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Karhu metas

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Old February 1st 05, 01:49 AM
H.W. Stockman
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Default Karhu metas

I tried my metas for a 2nd time, and my verdict is ... they are not for me.
Maybe these combined ski/bindings have a place, I just haven't found that
place here.

I took then here :

....which required a total gain of about 2000' over 2.3 miles.

Comparison: Last year I went up the first part of the same trail, under very
similar conditions. Then I had Tua skinny (55-50-52mm) , metal-edged
fishscales, no skins, old Asolo not-too-stiff leather boots with 3-pin
bindings. Last year, we gained about 1000', and telemarked down through the

This year, I went with 9 snowshoers and 2 other skiers (who used real BC
outfits -- e.g. full skins, T2 boots, tele skis). I used the Karhu metas,
with fairly hefty (4 lb) stiff leather asolo backpacking boots (with
berghaus gaiters). Everyone else had an easier time; I had to cut
switchbacks to get up the trail. Only my decent cardiovascular
conditioning, and stubbornness, kept me going to the goal. I think the
"bear fur" of the Karhus probably held better than fishscales, but not a lot
better; the skiers with full skins could go up slopes twice as steep. I
made a LOT of switchbacks.

Then there is the matter of boots. The meta bindings are a lot like
snowboard bindings, and maybe the place of these strange hybrids is for
people who want to ski in over varied terrain, for a long distance, to go
boarding; but I don't see why such people would not do as well with some of
the lighter snowshoes. I tried two pairs of stiff hiking boots with these
skis. In a nutshell: if you cinch the bindings down hard enough to have
good control on turns, and the hiking boots aren't super-stiff, you will
feel as though your feet are caught in some torture device. If you use
stiff boots, the cinch-down pain is less, but the sole is too inflexible to
bend enough for a decent tele. I was able to do some mutant teles on the
metas, but after a while, my boots seemed to shift and mold enough, so that
no matter how tight I cinched down the bindings, the torque on my ankle was
not transmitted to the ski. In the end, I had less control than I had last
year with my skinny, 190 cm Tuas, and some of the snowshoers beat back to
the cars; I would go a lot faster for brief periods, then I would have to
stop and figure out where to go next, and I spent a lot of time in awkward,
short runs.

So the metas are going to my nephews (who have 20 acres of woods with
moderate ups and down), or onto e-bay.


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