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1st AT Setup

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Re: 1st AT Setup

Postby RoanMtnMan » Sun Dec 02, 2012 11:45 pm

Pretty good advice given so far, but you may want to look at www.wildsnow.com. I am an amateur in my opinions, but the Wildsnow folks are truly professionals. Not many other Noram resources available that cover the AT subject in more detail. It sometimes takes some searching but it a very educational and free resource. Personally, I could go on and on about the subject, based on my personal experience, but not state anything that hasn't been said over there.
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Re: 1st AT Setup

Postby SchralpTheGnar » Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:29 pm

I think those skis, boots and bindings should work.

I have a similar setup and ski it inbounds, outofbounds, and sidebounds.
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Re: 1st AT Setup

Postby Kevo » Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:52 pm

msmith7361 wrote:Kevo, I don't know anything about AT bindings... how does the Duke handle resort skiing better than the Fritschi Diamir Freeride Pro?


As Bean said, it skis a lot more like an alpine binding. Fritschi has some slop, meaning that the binding will move and flex a little. This makes the ski less responsive and harder to control. Also, Fritschis are known to insta tele, where the binding can pop into touring mode while you are skiing. Dukes can't really do that because you need to take your boot out of the binding in order to switch it to tour mode. Additionally, Fritschis don't release the same way and as consistently as alpine bindings do, so you are more likely to prerelease or not release when you need to. You have an increased risk for injury the more vertical feet you ski, and of course you'll ski a lot more vert in bounds.

Wildsnow is great, but definitely caters to a more advanced user. Ask the same question there and you'll have everyone telling you to shell out $2k for a dynafit setup.

Lou Dawson, who runs wildsnow.com has said "AT bindings other than the Markers (Duke/Baron) are all a compromise. They are not alpine bindings." in regard to the release characteristics of AT bindings.

I would just put Dukes on whatever ski you'll be skiing in bounds. Its a $200 premium for the bindings and $100 for skins and you've got an AT setup that can ski just fine inbounds.

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Re: 1st AT Setup

Postby cheeseburglar » Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:17 am

$300 for skis with bindings and skins. Looks like any old boot will work. Anybody tried them?
http://www.mountaingear.com/webstore/Gear/Snowsports/Skis/Altai-Skis/Hok-Ski/_/R-230050.htm
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Re: 1st AT Setup

Postby RoanMtnMan » Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:18 am

Kevo wrote:As Bean said, it skis a lot more like an alpine binding. Fritschi has some slop, meaning that the binding will move and flex a little. This makes the ski less responsive and harder to control. Also, Fritschis are known to insta tele, where the binding can pop into touring mode while you are skiing. Dukes can't really do that because you need to take your boot out of the binding in order to switch it to tour mode. Additionally, Fritschis don't release the same way and as consistently as alpine bindings do, so you are more likely to prerelease or not release when you need to. You have an increased risk for injury the more vertical feet you ski, and of course you'll ski a lot more vert in bounds.

Wildsnow is great, but definitely caters to a more advanced user. Ask the same question there and you'll have everyone telling you to shell out $2k for a dynafit setup.

Lou Dawson, who runs wildsnow.com has said "AT bindings other than the Markers (Duke/Baron) are all a compromise. They are not alpine bindings." in regard to the release characteristics of AT bindings.

I would just put Dukes on whatever ski you'll be skiing in bounds. Its a $200 premium for the bindings and $100 for skins and you've got an AT setup that can ski just fine inbounds.


I agree with most of this post. My only disagreements are that a Dynafit AT setup can be purchased used for less than a grand, I just helped a friend get outfitted on an all Dynafit used rig for $900, Dynafit boots, bindings, and skis.

I will also say that Marker Dukes/Barons are a great binding from a release/safety standpoint, but you have to consider how much you are REALLY going to use them to tour, because they are heavy. Mostly resort and side country=perfect, but I would not be so happy on a 6 mile approach to a hut.

The Fritschis are lighter and can't take as much abuse as the Markers, but also cheaper and if skiing in a slightly more conservative fashion, they are a good bet on the "compromise" scale. That said, I put about 100 peaks, many resort days, and a lot of backcountry lapping days on my Fritschis before they broke. I was happy with them for the money. And the incident that ended their life was an ill-advised rail slide at A-Basin, so I can't blame the binding, they certainly were not made for that. For the price I paid, I got more than I expected from a use standpoint.

My experience is that really aggressive and really terrible skiers are the folks that break bindings and skis most often. I am in the middle of that spectrum so I seem to get good life out of mine. A couple of photos of a Fritschi binding that had a long life.

Image

Image
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Re: 1st AT Setup

Postby Dave B » Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:06 am

RoanMtnMan wrote:I agree with most of this post. My only disagreements are that a Dynafit AT setup can be purchased used for less than a grand, I just helped a friend get outfitted on an all Dynafit used rig for $900, Dynafit boots, bindings, and skis.



If one is patient, flexible on boot and ski choices and willing to buy a set up in spring a brand new dynafit setup can be had for less than $1000. I paid $950 for mine.

Very cheap boots can even be found right now along with skins and skis from last year. Getting the bindings at a discount is going to be (next to) impossible until spring though. Although I've never understood the timing of price cutting on AT gear coinciding with the "beginning" of ski mountaineering season.
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Re: 1st AT Setup

Postby kiliclimber7_17_02 » Tue Dec 04, 2012 9:21 am

My AT set up is the Mantra with Marker Baron and BD Factor boot. Solid inbounds but bit heavy skinning. Works fine for me.

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Re: 1st AT Setup

Postby AlexMack » Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:36 pm

New in the market for new AT bindings here, I got a pair of Dynafit ZZero4 U-TF boots from REI when they were on sale, and since I was getting a slightly smaller boot than my previous boots (which after use I realized were a size too big, bought used and couldn't return). I go to get my bindings refitted and they told me my Fritchis were too big for the new boots. Mounted on some older Volkl Karmas. Even though these are basically 100% BC/touring/hut trips/etc skis I'm pretty interested in Dukes or something like that. People say they're heavy, but is the difference really that significant? I want to be able to ski how I like and where I want with these. Really hoping to find some deals on last year's gear online though as dropping $400+ on a new pair of AT bindings was not part of my budget.
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Re: 1st AT Setup

Postby msmith7361 » Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:46 am

There seems to be a lot of Marker Duke fans. Any thoughts on the '13 model compared with last year's, or the 11's? It looks like they go down in price about $100/season.

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Re: 1st AT Setup

Postby Carl » Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:42 pm

AlexMack wrote:Even though these are basically 100% BC/touring/hut trips/etc skis I'm pretty interested in Dukes or something like that. People say they're heavy, but is the difference really that significant? I want to be able to ski how I like and where I want with these.


Yes, there is a significant difference between the weight of a Duke and a tech binding, and it's a big deal if you're touring a lot. If you're using the skis 100% in the backcountry Dynafit is the easy decision. Unless you're consistently hucking 20ft+ cliffs and/or landing switch a bunch I wouldn't worry about it. You might consider getting the Dynafit Radical that came out last year if you want something a little burlier. I like my Barons (used to have Dukes but they're overkill for me) but I ski them inbounds 96% of the time. They do handle everything, e.g. the terrain park last week with Barons and AT boots...

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Re: 1st AT Setup

Postby George James » Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:32 pm

Regardless of what you end up going with, definitely add inserts or swap plates into the equation.

Cruiser wrote:The real answer is simple...get yourself some binding swap plates from Binding Freedom
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Re: 1st AT Setup

Postby climbingaggie03 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:15 am

msmith7361 wrote:There seems to be a lot of Marker Duke fans. Any thoughts on the '13 model compared with last year's, or the 11's? It looks like they go down in price about $100/season.


I've got some dukes from a couple of years ago, and while I haven't seen the new ones in person, it seems like the upgrades aren't earth shattering. Mine have been super durable and I have no complaints about them. I think you'll be fine with an older pair, but ymmv.

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