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1st AT Setup

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1st AT Setup

Postby msmith7361 » Sat Dec 01, 2012 5:24 pm

First-time buyer. Planning 70/30 resort/AT skiing. Anyone have experiences/thoughts on the following?:

-BD Verdict skis
-Fritschi Diamir Freeride Pro bindings (2011)
-BD Slant (or Prime) boots (2011)


Thanks

Re: 1st AT Setup

Postby Bean » Sat Dec 01, 2012 6:34 pm

The Verdict has changed quite a bit over the years so it's hard to say without knowing which one.

Freerides don't belong inbounds (or anywhere IMO).

If you have a big fat foot the BD will be fine, but probably a bit soft for inbounds use (depends on what you like).
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Re: 1st AT Setup

Postby lordhelmut » Sat Dec 01, 2012 6:52 pm

Bean is a tad grumpy and biased when it comes to AT setups, but most of what he said is accurate. I'll disagree with the Freerides part though with regards to out of bounds. Lighter than a Marker and arguably easier to use than a Dynafit, a time and tested classic AT product. They just don't perform very well at all on bumps and tight trees in bounds.

If you are 70/30, try Ski Logik, preferably the Ullr Chariot. Its the closest in comparison to a Verdict. That, or the Icelantic Nomad. Very fun ski. Chariot is better overall though, IMO.

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Re: 1st AT Setup

Postby Cruiser » Sat Dec 01, 2012 7:44 pm

I skied on older (foam core) Verdicts for a couple of seasons and freerides for several seasons. I didn't really like the Verdicts much. I found them to have too much camber and a somewhat planky feeling off piste. I don't know that I ever skied them in-bounds but I suspect they'd have been better there than they were in the bc. The freerides served me well for a good many years. They're good clamps for mixed use but with a bias towards the bc. They have too much play and stack height for heavy resort use. Marker Dukes/Barons would be a better choice for someone with a significant bias towards resort skiing IMO.

But the real answer is simple. Buy the Verdicts (if you really like them) and then get yourself some binding swap plates from Binding Freedom and mount them up with Salomon (or Look) alpine binding and dynafits. Then you can ski in-bounds with confidence on real alpine clamps and you can tour like a champ with tech bindings.
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Re: 1st AT Setup

Postby Kevo » Sat Dec 01, 2012 9:48 pm

Will you have another set up? I don't think you'll want to ski Fritschi inbounds.

I also had Fritschi Freeride Plus/Verdict setup back in the day. I think it was 07/08 when I first got them. They were blue verdicts.

Take this with a grain of salt, because I'm sure BD skis have progressed since 07/08, but I'd second what Cruiser has said about the planky feel of the skis.

In alpine boots on hard pack they were pretty good, but out of bounds they were an awkward mix of camber and stiffness without much progression in the ski flex. They weren't responsive and didn't turn that well in softer snow, especially with the Spirit 4s I was trying to drive them with.

I also had a major "insta-tele" moment when the ski decambering caused the Fritschi to pop into tour mode coming off a little drop into one of the Alta chutes at Jackson Hole. Its a no fall zone, but when it popped into tour mode I went over the handle bars and fell several hundred feet down the mountain before I was able to arrest the fall.

I've since converted to a Dynafit AT setup, which is great for touring, but at 190ish lbs and after one major Dynafit prerelease I won't ski AT Bindings in bounds anymore if I can help it.

Smaller people in the 140-160 lb range (or those who ski with much more finesse than I do :wink:) can get away with a lot more skiing AT gear inbounds, but people I know who are my size and above tend to start having problems with all but the burliest AT bindings.

I'd go with Dukes, or maybe the new Salomon AT binding if there are good things being said about them if you will be skiing so much inbounds.

Also, it took me a while to get used to skiing AT boots. Its a totally different feeling IMO, especially with a more traditional AT boot like a Slant. I really dislike the feeling of soft AT boots, particularly on a stiffer ski.

In conclusion-

-I dislike Fritschis, and would never, ever own another paid.
-BD Verdicts are alright. I don't know about the new ones, but there are better options out there than what I had (Blue 07/08 models)
-Expect a tradition AT boot to be miserable in bounds.

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Re: 1st AT Setup

Postby osprey » Sun Dec 02, 2012 7:43 am

msmith

Lou Dawson answered a similar question as yours:
wildsnow.com/8568/dynafit-speed-radical-review-binding/
Scroll down to his posting on Nov 10.

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Re: 1st AT Setup

Postby msmith7361 » Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:32 am

Thanks for your thoughts everyone. I was being optimistic about using one setup for everything to save some money, but that's probably being too overeager. I think I'll purchase a new resort pair now and save some money to get an AT setup, hopefully next season. Helmut: I've been eyeing up the Ullr Chariot and Nomad as well... Have you skied the Shoguns? If so how would you compare them w/ Verdicts, Ullr Chariots, and/or Nomads?

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Re: 1st AT Setup

Postby Kevo » Sun Dec 02, 2012 8:34 pm

I think you should just put Dukes on whatever you are getting for resort skiing and buy a pair of skins. Touring in alpine boots can be bummer, but you'll be learning so its all good.

I know someone who has done some crazy long tours in Dukes/Alpine boots. PNW volcanoes in Dukes. For what 90% of people in CO ski at places like Berthoud Pass, Dukes are just fine.

I think that is the best way for someone new to backcountry skiing to start, and you can ski Dukes in bounds as well. Once you learn the systems for AT skiing you can look into other options for bindings/boots/etc.

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Re: 1st AT Setup

Postby Kevo » Sun Dec 02, 2012 8:43 pm

Also, you could put swap plates on your skis like Cruiser mentioned. I just mounted some swap plates that allow me to put my Pivot 14s or my Dynafit FT12s on my skis. I'm happy so far.

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Re: 1st AT Setup

Postby msmith7361 » Sun Dec 02, 2012 8:54 pm

Kevo, I don't know anything about AT bindings... how does the Duke handle resort skiing better than the Fritschi Diamir Freeride Pro?

Re: 1st AT Setup

Postby Bean » Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:00 pm

The Duke is much more like an alpine binding with a walk mode, though it has had some durability issues. Not sure if those are corrected in the newest versions. The Guardian looks to be a better mousetrap and looks to be a very good option for an inbounds-oriented ski that will occasionally see backcountry use - with the caveat that there isn't much in the way of long-term durability information.
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Re: 1st AT Setup

Postby climbingaggie03 » Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:27 pm

I picked up my first AT setup last season and it's been great. I got a pair of the K2 obsetheds (the model before the rockered version) with marker dukes. I ski them probably 70/30 inbounds/out of bounds maybe 60/40 and it's great! I use my alpine boots for inbounds and technica agent AT's for touring. I'm not wild about the agents, they have a cool adjustable spoiler thing, but it means you can't take the spoiler out, and I don't like spoilers (I think I have bigger than average calves) but they ski pretty well. I bought a pair of climbingskinsdirect.com skins for my obsetheds and they'll climb anything. It's far from the lightest touring setup out there, but I love descents with them and honestly I don't have trouble keeping up with my friends on the climbs. I also don't have any problems keeping up on the way down either. I think my next pair of AT boots will be Scarpa maestrale RS's but my agents will do for now.

I have several friends who ski similar setups all the time inbounds and out and have no complaints, so it can be done. The best part about my setup was if I didn't like it, I could ski it in bounds forever and be perfectly happy with it, being able to tour with it is an added bonus. In my experience, BD ski's are lame, I really like most of BD's gear is great but I've never skied a pair of their skis that I liked. I haven't tried their boots but they look promising.

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