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Backcountry/AT ski setup

Info, conditions and gear related to skiing or riding Colorado Peaks, including the 14ers! Ski/Ride Trip Reports
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Re: Backcountry/AT ski setup

Postby Cruiser » Fri Sep 17, 2010 6:31 pm

If you're planning on ski mountaineering then pretty much anything in the BD lineup would make a nice choice for the ski. My Verdicts were fantastic skis for variable conditions as long as I was willing to open up and let 'em rip. If, on the other hand, you're skinning in to find the steep and deep then you may want to demo some interesting shapes/rocker profiles and see what catches your fancy. My PMGear Lhasa Pow's are telekinetic. I think about turning and they take care of the rest. FKNA!
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Re: Backcountry/AT ski setup

Postby radiate17 » Fri Sep 17, 2010 8:16 pm

I love that its time to start talking skiing!!! Especially since season pass balances are due next week. I love my dynafit bindings. Light, super stable, do take a little getting used to stepping into. I have the K2 Mt Baker super lites and am super happy with them. I have also boot packed up Mt St Helen's in my garmont radium boots and they were really comfrotable. These skis can be chattery on groomed runs so I reserve them specifically for skinning and backcountry stuff. :D

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Re: Backcountry/AT ski setup

Postby XrunclimbskiX » Fri Sep 17, 2010 11:22 pm

I am an ex racer as well and just can't deal with the dynafit boots. I had a pair with dynafit bindings and traded them out for marker baron's and my K2 seth viscous. They are heavier certainly but I hike to ski down, and will sacrifice the weight going up for the performance going down. My setup is the heaviest of all my friends but I am always the first one to the bottom.

Re: Backcountry/AT ski setup

Postby mtnfiend » Sat Sep 18, 2010 11:23 am

leadvilleclimber wrote:If you are an ex racer the only boot to look at is the Black Diamond Factor. I have been skiing Lange Comp 120 Freerides and they blow them out of the water. I have my Lange setup on a true race fit and I can safely say the Factors are just as stiff with a slightly higher cuff and the walk mode is great.


B.S. When I looked at boots (and I demoed about everything available at the time - except the skookums) the factors didn't even come close in stiffness to either the Zzeus, Titan, or even the Radiums for that matter. In my experience, I found that the flex rating BD gives their boots is a bit overzealous by about 10 to 20 points (comparatively speaking). Not that the factors are bad boots, but they are not the only boots to look at. Just my observations from spending almost the first half of last season demoing different boots.
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Re: Backcountry/AT ski setup

Postby summit co kc » Sat Sep 18, 2010 6:51 pm

I love my Katanas super stable and reasonably quick with the rocker. First generation had some sidewall cracking issues, the redesign took care of that. Gotamas have no metal,They are much lighter but not as stable as the Katana or Mantra with two sheets of metal. I've quit using any of my other skis unless I have reason to break out my Kuros.

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Re: Backcountry/AT ski setup

Postby CR0SS » Sat Sep 18, 2010 8:40 pm

From my first run on the Hart One I loved the ski. It is a great do everything ski. It is 96 underfoot and has a 21m turning radius in the 182 length(132-96-122). I have skied everything from powder to ice(true ice not just hard pack) with it and it performs very well.

One thing I have found is a ski with cap construction never performs as well as a ski with sandwich construction and real sidewalls.
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Re: Backcountry/AT ski setup

Postby USAKeller » Sun Sep 19, 2010 4:36 pm

GSracer wrote:I'm trying to get the most versatile ski I can get as I really only need one pair for backcountry stuff, but I am terrified of the squishiness factor. One brand of ski I have heard lots about other than the BD's are the Volkl Gotama/Katana/Mantra family...thoughts on these? I'll be a little more specific on my needs...want something managable in tight technical spaces but can roll big fast super G turns with in the open spaces in pow/crud/corn and have the ski stay reasonably stable.

Just my $.02 on this - my first pair of backcountry skis I used had a 72mm waist and I hated it. I upgraded to a women's version of the BD Havoc with an 88mm waist; the waist isn't bad and I definitely wouldn't go any lower again but they are too soft. I ski the Volkl Mantras (96mm underfoot) and still have yet to find something I don't like about them. They really can rip through any terrain both on and off-piste, and are a fantastic versatile ski IMO. The metal topsheet adds some weight, but it's totally worth it to not have a soft ski. I'd be surprised if you were disappointed!

GSracer wrote:Since a couple of you are advocating AT boots, specifically the Factor and Titan, are these of comparable stiffness/performance?

I can't speak for the Titans, but I'll give another prop for the BD Factors; good, stiff boot for the bc and I am really happy with them in-bounds as well. Mind you, I am not an ex ski-racer, so I'm not as picky.
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Re: Backcountry/AT ski setup

Postby GBguy » Sun Sep 19, 2010 7:24 pm

I'll throw out another recommendation for the Kilowatts. I have the Fritschi Explore bindings (a step below the Freerides but hey, I got them for $185 on SAC!) and Garmont Radium boots. I absolutely love this setup, so much that I use it in bounds and out. When I first used the boots, I couldn't believe how much lighter they were than my regular boots. The Fritschi's are great too. When in bounds, I ski amost exclusively at a certain southern Colorado ski area and there are a lot of short, easy hikes (flat or slightly uphill) to get to some great powder turns. I'm not sure how other bindings work because I've only used the Fritchis, but I just pop the binding with my pole and start hiking.
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Re: Backcountry/AT ski setup

Postby RenoBob » Sun Sep 19, 2010 8:48 pm

I've had the K2 Shukshan/Fritschi Freeride ski set up with BD Method boots for three years and couldn't be happier. The skis handle well in all types of BC conditions and I use them on resort powder days as well. They turn quick in tight steeps and float in most new snow conditions, but I have buried the tips on some deep snow days out here in the Tahoe Basin. I'd like a little more width under foot. The boots took a a few runs to get use to, they where a little sloppy and if you're use to driving your turns with "race" boots then you're in for a momentary surprise. Once I adjusted my technique they were fine. Very light weight and easy to click back and forth from touring to down hill. Geez, just talking about this makes me wish for some snow.
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