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Looking for some assistance in gear...n00b from Kodiak, Alaska.

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I originally posted this in Ski Gear subforum, but then I found this one.  If a Moderator is reading this, please delete whichever one is in the wrong place!  :)

Greetings from Kodiak, Alaska.

 

A little about me.

 

I'm 6'4" tall, 220#, been x-country skiing for many years now all over the place.  Last time I downhill skied was...1980ish I believe.  Tried snowboarding once - in 1991.

 

I'm active duty Coast Guard, so I don't permanently live here on Kodiak.  But I do try and get assigned to places where there is snow - and preferably mountains, too!

 

So I'm trying to find the "dual-sport" (motorcycle reference there) of skis.  For the flat x-country skiing here, I have my x-country skis.

 

I want to get up into the mountains and do some real exploring.  And yes...that means downhill as well.

 

From what I can tell, backcountry gear should be my best bet.

 

First question - is that correct?  If not, what should I be looking at?

 

Next question - I don't have a lot of extra money sitting around burning a hole in my pocket.  But I much prefer getting my exercise OUTDOORS as opposed to inside a gym.  So, I can make a few $$$ sacrifices if needed.  What's a good, realistic cost for a quality beginners outfit?

 

This is all pretty foreign to me, and I'm reading up...but with what seems to be so many different options, I need some help narrowing it down. 

 

Thank you in advance - and Happy New Year to everyone!

 

Spicy

 

Kodiak, Alaska

 

 

 

 

 

post #2 of 4

Happy New Year Spicy.  Anyone using a Dropkick Murphys song title as their name merits a response!

 

First of all it sounds like a backcountry setup may be what you need.  However, that doesn't really narrow anything down.  You mentioned you do some XC skiing, how much experience on those do you have?  I ask because if you're comfortable on the skis and descend well you might consider a wider backcountry oriented setup.  Something like the Rossignol BC90 of BC125.  They would give you great touring capability and if you set them up with a three pin binding you could do some descending.   The drawback here would be  that these are still XC skis and will not handle descents like a more alpine oriented ski.

 

If you want to look at something more descent oriented there is a wide variety.  You have telemark which require turning much like you turn on your XC skis (free heel dropped knee).  Tons of fun.  Or you can go into AT or Randonee.  This setup will allow you to release your heal to climb and lock it down to descend.

 

The only issues I can see with the last options is that you haven't skied in awhile.  I would highly suggest that if you are thinking of either of these options you go visit a ski hill and rent some skis and get the feeling back before you venture into the BC.  Also Tele or AT setup can be very pricey you may want to check places like Craigslist for used stuff.  A lot of us (including myself) swear by Dynafit bindings for AT setups.  For tele I use G3 bindings.  

 

I guess this is all a long winded way to say tell me a little more about what you want to ski.  How long are the trips you are planning?  How technical do you want to get out there.  And finally, before going out there take some Avalanche classes and learn about the hazards you may face.  And go with somebody who has some experience.  I may even be able to direct you to a few skiers near Kodiak

 

cheers

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by skierhj View Post

Happy New Year Spicy.  Anyone using a Dropkick Murphys song title as their name merits a response!

 

First of all it sounds like a backcountry setup may be what you need.  However, that doesn't really narrow anything down.  You mentioned you do some XC skiing, how much experience on those do you have?  I ask because if you're comfortable on the skis and descend well you might consider a wider backcountry oriented setup.  Something like the Rossignol BC90 of BC125.  They would give you great touring capability and if you set them up with a three pin binding you could do some descending.   The drawback here would be  that these are still XC skis and will not handle descents like a more alpine oriented ski.

 

If you want to look at something more descent oriented there is a wide variety.  You have telemark which require turning much like you turn on your XC skis (free heel dropped knee).  Tons of fun.  Or you can go into AT or Randonee.  This setup will allow you to release your heal to climb and lock it down to descend.

 

The only issues I can see with the last options is that you haven't skied in awhile.  I would highly suggest that if you are thinking of either of these options you go visit a ski hill and rent some skis and get the feeling back before you venture into the BC.  Also Tele or AT setup can be very pricey you may want to check places like Craigslist for used stuff.  A lot of us (including myself) swear by Dynafit bindings for AT setups.  For tele I use G3 bindings.  

 

I guess this is all a long winded way to say tell me a little more about what you want to ski.  How long are the trips you are planning?  How technical do you want to get out there.  And finally, before going out there take some Avalanche classes and learn about the hazards you may face.  And go with somebody who has some experience.  I may even be able to direct you to a few skiers near Kodiak

 

cheers


Thanks for the reply.

 

I've been x-country skiing since I was...2 I think.  Because of being in the Coast Guard, there's been a few years where I've not been able to ski, but for about 38 years I've been doing it.

 

Unfortunately, there are no ski areas here to rent skis.  It's ALL "back country".  Just want to find some decent skis for farting around wherever I want, whether it's in the hills/mountains or in the valleys/riverbeds - all with one thing in common - no groomed trails.

 

I'm waiting for a class to be put on...there's nothing available except through the Kodiak Island Search and Rescue organization - they bring a trainer down when there is enough demand.  So far this year, not that much demand, unfortunately.  I've lived up here in Alaska almost my entire life and while I don't have the technical training, I've seen and experienced a lot IRT avalanches.

 

That being said...as soon as there is a class here on Kodiak, I'm in it.

 

Thanks!

Andy

post #4 of 4

With your extensive XC background I think the transition to telemark might be rather easy.  The techniques are basically the same.  The only downside of a tele setup is that you will need climbing skins for the touring.  So, consider either a true backcountry oriented XC setup (Rossignol XC90 for example) might be just what you need.  They are lightweight.  Set them up with a 3 pin binding and you will have a really versatile setup.  By the way not saying get Rossi just using as an example but it is good stuff.  You will get ease of touring similar to your current XC skis, you will have a very light setup which will allow you to cover some ground easily and it will allow you to handle a variety of terrain.  Plus this setup is far less expensive than a full AT or tele package which will give you money for the beacon, probe, shovel etc that you will need in the backcountry

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