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AT Gear: Skis, Bindings and Boots

Info, conditions and gear related to skiing or riding Colorado Peaks, including the 14ers! Ski/Ride Trip Reports
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Re: AT Gear: Skis, Bindings and Boots

Postby climbingaggie03 » Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:49 pm

nkan02 wrote:
climbingaggie03 wrote:My biggest advice is ski your touring setup in bounds, the more familiar you are with it the better.

This is the fastest way to trash your gear. I skied about 10 days in-bounds last year on my new AT setup and the boots needed to be sent back to the factory for repairs (thankfully, still on the warranty). BC boots are not designed for resort skiing - at least not for moguls, but that's what you mostly find on black runs.


yeah, I don't know about skiing moguls in some at boots, though I do know alot of patrollers that work in at boots and put over 100 days a season on their boots without destroying them, though they sure aren't pretty. I'd be a bit leary of taking a new setup into the backcountry for the first time on it. I'd hate to be in a no fall situation and not know how my gear is going to feel. Also I'd say that most of the stuff I ski in the backcountry is harder on my gear than what I ski at the resort so if my gear cant get me through a day in bounds, I'd be pretty worried that it'd let me down in the woods.

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Re: AT Gear: Skis, Bindings and Boots

Postby DaveSwink » Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:51 pm

climbingaggie03 wrote:Check out allen and mike's really cool backcountry skiing book, its got alot of great tips, including tips on waxing.


Can you provide a link? :-D


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Re: AT Gear: Skis, Bindings and Boots

Postby DaveSwink » Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:21 pm

Thanks! Got it ordered. \:D/

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Re: AT Gear: Skis, Bindings and Boots

Postby GregMiller » Tue Oct 16, 2012 5:36 am

Ordered as well, thanks!

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Re: AT Gear: Skis, Bindings and Boots

Postby shaunster_co » Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:24 am

I was a skier long before I switched to a splitboard, but I usually test out any changes to my setup at A-basin before doing longer tours in the BC. Since many times early on I was testing out both touring and riding - I would just skin up, even though I had a pass to ride the chair. A-bay is usually really cool about that so long as you stay to the side. Just make sure your skis have brakes or a leash if inbounds. I would certainly wait until a vast majority of runs are open - don't poach trails that aren't open or skin up the 'white ribbon of death' :lol: In essence though, what I am saying is; splitboarding isn't exactly a dialed in science so often times I used the resort to test things out.

My roomate is a solid skier and we usually end up in the BC on the same hut trips and day trips together. She upgraded her sticks this year to the Black Diamond Starlets and I think she plans on a few days inbounds to dial them in - especially where she wants her DIN number to be. Since her Starlets are rockered, I imagine the numbers will change. Granted, inbounds she has a very aggressive mogul style, but not exactly the case in the BC as she exercises more caution on the terrain. Again though, she doesn't want to mess around dialing in her bindings in the BC or experimenting with lateral release adjustments.

It is different for everyone, but her system of transitioning form inbounds to the backcountry worked very well; taking a level one avy, and getting all her avy gear (and practicing with it) her first year, and doing rather side country stuff at Loveland Pass and full moon descents numerous times. When she wanted to ski aggressive terrain she would put on her downhill skis and head to A-basin. The second season she dropped the coin on Scarpa Gea's, and Dynafits. She opted to buy cheap skis and skins her second season [last year] in the BC. Again though, this season she has come full circle and upgraded her sticks now that she knows her skiing style in the BC - which is totally different that what she does at resorts. Everyone is different, but I suppose this was a good system for those that like to enter the pool gradually.

As nkan mentioned with boots - keep in mind that an AT boot is made from a different plastic than its inbounds counterpart that stays more flexible to lower temps. If you are tearing your AT boots up inbounds with the same skiing style as in the BC - you may want to look at a more rigor AT boot. I know numerous people that ski with Maestrales inbounds to include many ski patrol for the obvious benefits. These however are a four buckle boot and are designed for aggressive skiing, yet have the ability to travel on foot easier being an AT boot. In my experience when skiing in the backcountry, you are at times on some of the worst skiing conditions you could ever imagine - bullet-proof crust, ice, sluff pockets, scarp, bottomless powder - often all at the same time. There is nothing at a resort that could come close to that abuse on equipment - IMO.

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Re: AT Gear: Skis, Bindings and Boots

Postby nkan02 » Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:50 am

I am not sure we are all on the same page re. "abuse" of gear in the BC. On an average resort day people ski 10k-20k of vertical (Talons challenge is something like 30k if my memory serves me right). On a good day in BC you ski like 2k-3k - maybe 4k with multiple laps, etc. If my math is right, it would take about 10 BC outings to approach a resort day. Maybe I am missing something here. But yeah, my Scarpa Gea's did not withstand the resort "abuse". Dynafit bindings seemed to do ok.

Shaunster - I demoed BD Starlets last year at the resort. They did horribly on hard pack - they are a very soft ski. The would excel on low angle deep powder - but good luck finding it at the resort :)

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Re: AT Gear: Skis, Bindings and Boots

Postby Dave B » Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:53 am

nkan02 wrote:Shaunster - I demoed BD Starlets last year at the resort. They did horribly on hard pack - they are a very soft ski. The would excel on low angle deep powder - but good luck finding it at the resort :)


Yop, my wife skis Starlet's they're like over-cooked noodles, but yes, they do excel in the pow-pow.
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Re: AT Gear: Skis, Bindings and Boots

Postby ajkagy » Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:02 am

nkan02 wrote:I am not sure we are all on the same page re. "abuse" of gear in the BC. On an average resort day people ski 10k-20k of vertical (Talons challenge is something like 30k if my memory serves me right). On a good day in BC you ski like 2k-3k - maybe 4k with multiple laps, etc. If my math is right, it would take about 10 BC outings to approach a resort day. Maybe I am missing something here. But yeah, my Scarpa Gea's did not withstand the resort "abuse". Dynafit bindings seemed to do ok.

Shaunster - I demoed BD Starlets last year at the resort. They did horribly on hard pack - they are a very soft ski. The would excel on low angle deep powder - but good luck finding it at the resort :)


I think in general there is more movement on the binding when skinning/adjusting the riser settings, getting in and out of the bindings multiple times. Also more boot movement when skinning and sometimes a few miles approach hike on bare ground to get to snow in spring/summer, stream crossings ect. Got over 150 days on dynafit bindings in bounds and they are rock solid. The only thing that has broken on them is the ski pole hole to adjust the riser setting which can break easily if you muscle it, but doesn't affect the functionality of the binding...I'd say 90-95% of the abuse to my boots have come in spring/summer, since mid season I'm not doing as much booting up stuff or walking on bare ground.
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Re: AT Gear: Skis, Bindings and Boots

Postby shaunster_co » Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:16 am

nkan02 wrote:If my math is right, it would take about 10 BC outings to approach a resort day.
Very true. :-D

Given that her current K2 (I cannot remember the model, maybe she will chime in), were super stiff molar shattering I suppose it is a compromise. I think she plans on keeping them for rock skis, hopefully we don't have another one of those winters.

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