Oct 31, 2010 at 4:42 pm #1264994
Thoughts welcome and appreciated.Oct 31, 2010 at 7:11 pm #1659914
Heavier than we need here in Oz. I went 3-pin with Voile plates for many years, but outgrew the boots during the no-leather-boots period. Switched to light NNN-BC and haven't regretted it. Metal edges of course.
Not sure about going *down* 45 degree slopes. Tried it once and scored 30 stitches. I think I prefer more gentle descents – but that does not preclude traverses across steep faces with kick-turns. Yeah, I'm a woose.
Leather – is it past it's expiry date? Getting close, but the big plastic boots (T3 etc) are an absolute (and literal) pain for touring. They are worse imho!
CheersOct 31, 2010 at 10:08 pm #1659942
@dirtbagclimberLocale: Pacific Northwest
I'm currently using a pair of Alpina Lite Terrain skis, 168 cm with Voile 3-pin's mounted flat and an ancient pair of T2's. These tour fairly well and I think they can manage the downhills much better than I can at this point. That length is pretty nice for dealing with trees and such.
I do have a pair of those fisher Outabounds, 195cm long. I'm not heavy enough to get much benefit out of the fish scales on that sized ski, so if anyone wants them send me a PM.
I have been mighty impressed by the new light Dynafit stuff. You might want to check out Garmont's new light boots as well as Dynafit's. If I were made of money I would definitely own some of that sort of gear. In the meantime I keep digging around for old ski gear that is cheep and seeing what I can cobble together.
Can anyone report on the advantages of using lifts with 3-pin bindings. I've never used them and I'm wondering if they might be worthwhile.Nov 1, 2010 at 4:45 pm #1660148
Roger, I think the lighter gear would work for me if I could do long traverses and kick turns on steep parts. It's the steep trees, and especially the steep narrow singletrack descents that really require burlier gear.
Doug, risers for freeheel bindings reduce binding drag when edging on hard snow, and make hitting the binding on stumps and what not less likely. They also provide a bit more leverage for turning. However, taking advantage of that leverage requires more boot and/or leg strength. I've tried my current rig with and without risers, and prefer the risers. I can see how, if you're pushing a wider ski on tougher terrain with a floppy boot, risers might not be desirable. And of course they add weight.Nov 1, 2010 at 9:52 pm #1660252
> It's the steep trees, and especially the steep narrow singletrack descents
> that really require burlier gear.
Ah yes. My solution is to find another way down! I am NOT going to try to follow the guys on big telemark skis and heavy AT bindings.
Our terrain does have a lot of gentle rolling stuff, and not much in the way of tele gullies. Suits me, except when I get off-route and try to do something silly …
CheersNov 1, 2010 at 11:24 pm #1660265
You mentioned the Wilderness Ski Classic in the link to your blog – I believe that this years race had folks on just about every sort of ski gear – a fellow was on skate skis, Dynafits, and lots of folks on light BC skis (madshus vosses and the like) with various binding and boot setups. The fellow on the skate skis finished with winners but was disqualified for picking up a new binding at
Anaktuvuk… By the end of the race apparently the folks using the Dynafits had totally destroyed feet..
There are several routes folks take, and some are steeper than others, which might have factored into the gear selection, but folks seemed to do fine on a pretty wide array of gear.
Some of the racers have accounts of the race that can be found online -> http://liventhedreaminalaska.blogspot.com/2010/04/wilderness-classic-act-ii.htmlNov 2, 2010 at 2:59 am #1660280
> By the end of the race the folks using the Dynafits had totally destroyed feet..
That's the bit which worries me.
But we don't have that problem with low-cut leather 3-pins or with NNN-BC.
I'm not out there to prove anything; I am there to enjoy myself.
CheersNov 2, 2010 at 6:30 am #1660301
@jkrew81Locale: White Mtns
Been a big fan of your blog Dave, lots of interesting info!Nov 2, 2010 at 6:43 am #1660303
Thanks everyone. There are no good answers here, and I write these to clarify my own thoughts and hopefully have folks contest them, thus moving us all forward.
Jay, as I mentioned in the essay I spoke with Luc Mehl (one of the winners and Dynafit users) quite a bit about his gear. His partner John did have pretty messed up feet (you can see this at the end of Luc's vid), but I think Luc wasn't nearly as bad off.
Roger, I'd take an easier way down if there was one! In a place like Yellowstone you can plan routes that largely or entirely avoid steeper bits, but more locally that just isn't possible. Horses for courses, eh!Nov 2, 2010 at 7:11 am #1660312
@richardglyonLocale: Bridger Mountains
Thanks, David, for getting this started. I'm considering a Dynafit set-up this winter, which is lighter than my current tele kit. I tend to tour for steep and deep turns, and ten years' use of stiff tele boots (T1, T3,and T-Race) has made my abilities on 3-pin/low boots unreliable. If I can ever pull off a move to the mountains so that I can ski and tour everyday I want that's the first thing I'm going to work on!
Doug, risers are necessary for my steep descents unless the powder's bottomless, to avoid "booting out" when angled over the skis, and make skinning up easier too. Worth the weight sacrifice in my opinion.Nov 2, 2010 at 12:01 pm #1660388
The ski talk is so exciting. I can't wait till there is enough snow to tour. The last two years were my first years of touring. Previously it was all ski areas or up and down backcountry. I like my tenth mountains but I couldn't afford boots so I was using old garmont veloces. I had tons of fun playing in the snow but often found myself wishing for lighter boots or heavier skis! Ones Quiver is never quite full enough. This year I am looking at either Fischer BCX 675s or Rossignol BCX11s to pair with the tenth mountains. I was also coveting some leftover guides or the new madshus version for touring with more vertical, however after reading your blog I think the new Rossignols would pair even better with my old veloces. I love that they are wider and shorter. Anyone heard anything on the waxless pattern? I don't have any experience with other waxless skis but I hear many folks talk about how much better the Karhu pattern is for climbing than others out there. While all the equipment talk is very interesting I can't wait for snow so I can get out and slide around on whatever old boards are on my feet. Heres to a bountiful winter for all!Nov 2, 2010 at 1:08 pm #1660415
I've inspected the BC 125s in a shop. The pattern is quite aggressive and similar to the one on the Guide/10th Mtn. The Guide is quite a soft ski, the BC 125 felt a good bit stiffer. Probably a good call for a wider ski, the Guide is manageable on ice, but only manageable.Nov 2, 2010 at 1:18 pm #1660423
> the Guide is manageable on ice, but only manageable.
Is ANYthing better than just 'manageable' on boilerplate ice????
CheersNov 2, 2010 at 7:21 pm #1660512
Will you guys help me select a pair of backcountry boots? I want to give backcountry skiing a go (on the cheap).
I just picked up an older pair of Kahru Lookout skis with Rottefella 3-pin bindings.
I'm 6'-0" 165 and will use the set-up mostly on overnight trips on fire roads. But I would love to ski the pitches between the "U-Turns" in the road. And, if all goes well, maybe more. I'm an experienced resort alpine skier, but have never tried a tele turn.
It seems like the Garmont Excursion boot would be a good choice. Is that true?
Any other suggestions?
I would prefer to buy something second-hand.
Thanks a lot in advance……..Nov 2, 2010 at 7:44 pm #1660518
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
I had been using Asolo X-C ski boots for decades. Finally a couple of years ago I got some Garmont Ventures, and they seem decent. They are not as large and expensive as other boots, yet they are tall enough and stiff enough for anything that I do.
–B.G.–Nov 3, 2010 at 6:54 am #1660598
@richardglyonLocale: Bridger Mountains
David L, Since you're starting the tele from scratch (albeit with a strong Alpine background), you might consider some leather three-pin boots if you're going to be doing much touring and only a few downhill turns. If you can learn the tele on these, you can ski anywhere. As noted in my post above, I've been cheating for years on three- and four-buckle stiff plastic boots and I'm going to have to re-learn to balance without that extra support. Old-style lace-up leather tele boots are often on sale at Sierra Trading Post, see http://www.sierratradingpost.com/d/408_Mens-Ski-and-Snowboard-Boots.html
Try out a few brands before buying. As is true for hiking boots, sizing varies significantly among different manufacturers, particularly when it comes to width. I have narrow ankles and SCARPA's boots fit me best; Garmonts are much too wide.Nov 3, 2010 at 7:09 am #1660605
Dave L, the Lookouts have double camber. This isn't an issue I addressed originally, perhaps I ought to have, as it's very relevant to the subject. More camber (bend between tip and tail) means better spring and faster kick and glide. It also means that setting the full edge of the ski is harder, as it requires very aggressive weighting. If your used skies are well used, some of the camber might be worn out of the ski, a good think for turning.
The Excursion is (IMO) too much boot for that ski. It would work well for turning, but would not be the ideal thing for taking advantage of the kick and glide efficiency on the flats. A boot like the Rossi BCX11 would be closer to ideal. You'd be able to make miles, and still crank some turns, albiet with a lot for effort and care than with plastic boots and single camber skis.
One of the reason the Guide and 10th Mountain (now Annum and Epoch) have proven so popular is that they have more camber than typical downhill skis, for more pop when kick n' gliding, yet still fall within the realm of single camber, so they turn good too.
While skiing ice is rarely if ever fun, my K2 Summit Superlights are better than manageable or bullet, I'd rate them as confidence inspiring (at very low speeds). They ski ice better than I do.Nov 3, 2010 at 9:25 am #1660645
Thanks for the info on the bc 125's some stiffness is certainly apreciated here in the east where "Variable" conditions are the norm.
I have a very old pair of Karu Lookouts that were my first foray into touring. I played with them in my old leather tele boots and even with plastics and I couldn't get them to turn worth a darn. I am a reasonably competent but by no means expert tele skier and heavy but that camber is tough. By all means as was said try them with some light boots for the flat and rolling but do not get discouraged with this genre of skiing over them. You will be able to apply your alpine skills to a single cambered/plastic booted set up and have tons of fun immediately.Nov 3, 2010 at 3:12 pm #1660802
Thanks a lot for the input….I would welcome more if anyone has anything to add.
The Rossi BCX11's look good, I was concerned about spending all day and evening (on and off skis) with a boot like the Excursion. Plus they're cheaper.
What is "double camber"?Nov 3, 2010 at 5:38 pm #1660846
What do you guys think of the Alpina BC 1575 boot for the Karhu Lookout ski with the 3-pin Rottefella binding?Nov 3, 2010 at 11:39 pm #1660940
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
"What is "double camber"?"
There are several definitions, and they all fight around the same quality of a ski. Take the skis and put them together along the ski surfaces. If the skis were completely flat, the entire ski surfaces would fit together neatly. However, there is usually a bit of arch in the foot area of each ski, so that makes for an arched gap between the two skis. If you can squeeze the two together so that they flatten out together, and if you can do that easily with one hand, some people call that single cambered. If it requires the strength of both hands to do it, they call that double cambered.
Some people check the same quality with the skis flat on a hard floor and with your normal weight equally on the skis. That slight amount of arch will raise each ski up so that a dollar bill underneath the ski can be pulled out from under it. That is typical of a double cambered ski. A single cambered ski will be so flat to the floor that the dollar bill cannot be easily extracted.
The whole idea of camber becomes important depending on what kind of ski turns you do and how you carve a turn. In general, a double cambered ski is better for doing lots of touring miles on a flat route, and a single cambered ski is better for carving a tele turn on a moderate slope.
–B.G.–Nov 4, 2010 at 2:08 am #1660955
> slight amount of arch will raise each ski up so that a dollar bill underneath
> the ski can be pulled out from under it. That is typical of a double cambered ski.
If you ever get the chance, check out the old Bonner Conquest skis. They were sold as 'double camber', but I suspect you could get rather more than a single dollar bill under them – more like Freddie Mac's deficit imho. Even two handed I could barely get the soles to touch. But unbelievably rugged! And very fast in the straight too. Turning? Don't ask. Sigh.
CheersNov 4, 2010 at 5:46 am #1660979
David I looked at the alpina boots you spoke of and in my experience with the lookouts I think(without having tried them) that they would be plenty of boot for the ski. Again try not to have to high of expectations for turning but for what you describe as your end use they would proabably work. Just be prepared to want a more turn oriented set up if you end up enjoying your travels this winter it will be a whole different world.Nov 8, 2010 at 7:00 pm #1662350
@paulmagsLocale: People's Republic of Boulder
My favorite site for backcountry skiing is this one
To quote the author:
"Nordic backcountry touring falls in that odd middle ground between cross-country skiing and telemark skiing. "
For that type of skiing here in CO, I'm all about 'old school teles' with kick wax. The (mainly) consistent snow of the CO winter makes using a wax a joy vs. fishscales.
"I think these skis are ideally suited for experienced backcountry travelers who are interested in pushing deep into the winter woods with a reasonably equipped day pack or overnight pack"
I am the point where I love skiing almost as much as backpacking. :)Nov 9, 2010 at 9:28 am #1662500
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
I have gradually evolved into two types of ski setups for backcountry touring.
SKIS- Norwegian army skis (new) W/Voile 3 pin release bindings
BOOTS – old Vasque leather 75 mm W/ Thinsulate overboots for colder weather
SKIS – Atomic TM 22, again W/ Voile 3 pin RELEASE bindings
BOOTS – Scarpa T3
Poles are usually Leki hiking poles W/ larger snow baskets.
The Norwegian (Asnes) army skis are 210 cm for max flotation and good straight line tracking. I know, long, but I'm "Old School".
Release bindings are important for backcountry safety for this old Nordic patroller who has transported his share of accidents.
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