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AT Gear



 
 
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  #1  
Old January 9th 04, 04:32 AM
Flip Buttling
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Default AT Gear

I'm a 6'2" 250 lb alpine skier, who's been trying like hell to get the swing
of tele gear. I have a few pairs of used tele skis with Voiles and G3
bindings, and I'll keep working at it- Although it ain't pretty, I can
handle easy slopes on piste and fairly mellow off piste woods. Plus, I like
to trek through the woods with rolling terrain in the Adirondacks.

However, last year I wanted to ski the Thunderbolt trail on Mt Greylock. So
a buddy and I hauled our alpine gear (steeper then I can handle with tele's)
on our backs as we snowshoed up. What a pain in the ass- too much crap with
me.

So now I'm thinking of an easier way, and that is to invest in AT gear. One
pair of boots, ditch the shoes, and use the skis to hike up- with skins or
fishscales. Here's where I can use some advice-

Skis- Prob single camber fishscales, although for where I want to use them,
(steeper woods skiing, such as the Thunderbolt, or some slides in the ADK's)
skins will prob be needed anyway. Any suggestions?

Bindings- I had heard that AT gear may not be tough enough to stand up to a
guy my size. So I'm looking for the burliest toughest bindings out there. A
few ounces isn't going to make much difference to me. What is out there,
and what other options should I look at?

Boots- No idea what my options are-

Any ski shops in the Upstate NY area that deal with this gear?

Thanks for the assistance !

Flip B.


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  #2  
Old January 9th 04, 10:00 AM
Peter Clinch
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Default

Flip Buttling wrote:

Skis- Prob single camber fishscales, although for where I want to use them,
(steeper woods skiing, such as the Thunderbolt, or some slides in the ADK's)
skins will prob be needed anyway. Any suggestions?


If you'll be using skins anyway then note that fishscales do make a dent
in turning ability to some extent. Anything too steep for you to come
down on tele gear would probably warrant skins going up.
Also fishscales tend to mainly exist on ski models designed for long
lines on rolling ground. Steep woods I'd want something turnier than
stuff I've seen in fishscales. For the longer, flatter journeys I'd
stick with lighter tele gear as the kick 'n stick really helps there.

Bindings- I had heard that AT gear may not be tough enough to stand up to a
guy my size.


There's AT gear and there's AT gear. Dynafits aren't as tough is
Fritschi Diamirs, but then OTOH they weigh a whole lot less too.
Bearing in mind that things like Diamirs are used on seriously daft
descents I don't think your weight should really be a problem if you're
doing the sort of thing where fishscales skis are a serious consideration.

Boots- No idea what my options are-


If you want the lighter, comfy end then the Scarpa F1 might be the
thing, assuming you happen to fit Scarpa boots well. Trying things on
is the way to find good fit, and beyond that note that boots are
available for a range of things, from light but not too technical to
heavy but very capable. By example, from Tourlites to Denalis. But
whatever you get, try them on first.

Pete.
--
Peter Clinch University of Dundee
Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital
Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
net http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/

  #3  
Old January 9th 04, 05:21 PM
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Default

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In article ,
Peter Clinch wrote:
Flip Buttling wrote:

Skis- Prob single camber fishscales, although for where I want to use them,
(steeper woods skiing, such as the Thunderbolt, or some slides in the ADK's)
skins will prob be needed anyway. Any suggestions?


_ Depending on how serious you are, you might just start off with
a relatively lightweight pair of alpine skis or one of your old
pairs of tele boards. For New England, I would shoot for
something in the low 70's underfoot and relatively stiff.


If you'll be using skins anyway then note that fishscales do make a dent
in turning ability to some extent. Anything too steep for you to come
down on tele gear would probably warrant skins going up.


_ Depends a lot on how good you tele and how many trees there
are. You might not be able to go straight up, but I think a
really agressive pattern like the Alpina Xterrain might work
for most New England trails. Add a pair of kicker skins and
ski crampons and you're set. Fishscales have a bad rep for
turning because they're most often found on skis with a
double camber, it's the camber not the fishscales that makes
turning difficult.

Also fishscales tend to mainly exist on ski models designed for long
lines on rolling ground. Steep woods I'd want something turnier than
stuff I've seen in fishscales. For the longer, flatter journeys I'd
stick with lighter tele gear as the kick 'n stick really helps there.


_ There are a couple exceptions to this rule. The Alpina
Xterrain, Fischer's Boundless Crown and I think Atomics
Raniers would also fit in this category, but they may be
a bit thin for someone that big. If you want to go waxless,
I would definitely search out the Alpina Xterrain. That ski
is stiff enough to turn well for the beefier skier. I think
in general though, if you're focused on making turns that
you won't be happy the available waxless skis other than
maybe the Xterrain. The Fischer Boundless is a great ski,
but it has a soft tele flex than could easily be overpowered
by a heavy alpine skier.

_ Personally, I think a relatively shallow negative pattern
like that on the Fischer Boundless crown should be an option
on ANY backcountry ski. IMHO, it has little or no effect on
turning and in climates where kick waxing is not feasible,
it's an incredible advantage to just be able to climb something
when you need to and not mess around with skins. Waxless
can't replace skins for the really steep stuff, but I'm
definitely considering experimenting with retro grinding
a waxless pattern in some of my older skis.


Bindings- I had heard that AT gear may not be tough enough to stand up to a
guy my size.


There's AT gear and there's AT gear. Dynafits aren't as tough is
Fritschi Diamirs, but then OTOH they weigh a whole lot less too.
Bearing in mind that things like Diamirs are used on seriously daft
descents I don't think your weight should really be a problem if you're
doing the sort of thing where fishscales skis are a serious consideration.


_ If you're the kind of person that breaks stuff, you'll break
any AT binding. I think the breakage rate has more to do with
how you ski than how much you weigh. I think the problem with
Dynafits is not that they break, but that they prerelease when
you huck on them. You may also want to consider that most AT
bindings have relatively low release levels. If you need more
than 8-9 din on your alpine skis then you really only have
two choices in the USA, The Fritschi FreeRide or the Naxo.


Boots- No idea what my options are-


If you want the lighter, comfy end then the Scarpa F1 might be the
thing, assuming you happen to fit Scarpa boots well. Trying things on
is the way to find good fit, and beyond that note that boots are
available for a range of things, from light but not too technical to
heavy but very capable. By example, from Tourlites to Denalis. But
whatever you get, try them on first.


_ Fit, FIT, FIT... These days you can get AT boots in the range
from stupid light to beefier than all but the stiffest race Alpine
boots. Try and find a shop that carries several different
manufacturers so that you can compare. Getting boots that fit
is by far the most important thing you can do for BC skiing.
In general the quality of all boot manufacturers is pretty
high, get the brand that fits you the best. The only boot
I would be cautious about is the Rossignol Enduro. I've not
heard good things about the whole "soft boot" alpine concept.

_ Booker C. Bense




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  #4  
Old January 9th 04, 07:53 PM
Jon
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Default

Another approach you could consider is to replace whatever bindings
you have on your alpine skis with the Naxo AT binding, get some skins,
unbuckle the top two buckles of your downhill boot and skin up with
that setup.

I was very impressed with the natural stride the Naxo gives you in
climbing mode and just toured with a guy who was in alpine boots and
claimed they were totally comfortable on long hikes on the skis...
 




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