Best New Backcountry Ski Setup for 2020-21 Season?!?

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davisrice4
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Re: Best New Backcountry Ski Setup for 2020-21 Season?!?

Post by davisrice4 » Wed Sep 02, 2020 9:12 pm

I have a brand new, flat (never mounted) Salomon QST 106 in a 181 cm length that I am looking to sell. Pricing it at $650, 100 lower than any online retailers I can find, but would match that deal if you find a lower price. They are this season's ski (20/21) and are freaking sweet for just about any type of skiing. Shoot me a text at 719-821-9125 if you have any questions.
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Re: Best New Backcountry Ski Setup for 2020-21 Season?!?

Post by pvnisher » Wed Sep 02, 2020 10:24 pm

I don't know if inserts void the warranty or not. Most warranty is only for 2 years and says it won't apply if (this is from Salomon, others may vary):
d) Damages due to non observance of the instructions of the Product’s user manual
e) Damages due to the modifications of the Product


So I think it'd only be void if the inserts caused a problem. But if they delaminate at the tip or whatever, that's hard to pin on inserts.
Either way, I'm using inserts all the way, every time, from here on out.

Regarding bindings, I like systems like Tecton (or Shift) because then when you go on a trip where you're in bounds some days, out other days, or side-country, you're better covered. I suppose a dedicated perfect setup is always ideal, but most of my big trips (more than single-day) involve traveling some distance, and I can't be bringing multiple pairs.

I have gone on a trip and taken one pair of skis and two bindings (Tecton for touring days or days we don't know what we'll do, and Warden for just resort). That's a pretty nice way to go. Takes all of 15 minutes to change setups in the hotel room. I've even gone up for day trips with both bindings in the car, and can make a line-of-scrimmage call based on conditions and partners.

Maybe other people don't care as much, but after a crash and subsequent shoulder surgery and months of recovery and ongoing issues, all due to pin bindings... yeah, I'm only using touring bindings when I'm touring. Otherwise, alpine bindings. I want my safety margin fat. I'll carry the extra grams.
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Re: Best New Backcountry Ski Setup for 2020-21 Season?!?

Post by dsr80304 » Fri Oct 16, 2020 1:58 pm

Just bumped into this thread - I'm a primarily BC skier who's gotten into 14ers & peak hiking/climbing by way of bc skiing/ski mountaineering. Great forum here!
All good advice above. Some other thoughts...
- Are you solving for general backcountry skiing or bagging/skiing peaks? If the former, then a 95-105 waist ski is more optimal since will ski moderate powder quite well. Weight doesn't matter as much since you'll likely be lapping more versus big mileage and vertical. If the latter, then go narrower, shorter, lighter and probably more sidecut, since 1) obviously more mileage and vert, 2) easier to climb with them strapped to your back and 3) less likely to be powdery and more likely to be steep corn (ideally)... or steep hard snow where sidecut and a firm ski tail are your friend
- For what its worth, I'm anti big wide pow BC skis since how often are there 2 foot days (at least in CO) that aren't flashing red avy lights? And a 100 ish waist ski should do great for modest powder
- Same question applies to boots and bindings, and particularly boots when booting up a cooley in crampons. For example, 5-10 more degrees of range of motion in a boot goes a long way when skinning, and also much more "walk-able"
- Bindings with brakes vs leashes... general bc usually have brakes which are heavier but more avy safe, while lightweight skimo/race bindings are usually leashes
- I ended up with two set ups... winter: 105 ski (4frnt), dyna rad ft binder w/ brakes, scarpa mastraele RS mid-range boot and then spring/summer: blizzard zero g 85 ski, brakeless dyna speed rad binder, dyna tlt7 light boot
- So many great options out there, hard to go too wrong EXCEPT for a bad boot fit which can be disastrous
- Tech bindings (and therefore boots too) are $$$... but are so much lighter and so much more efficient to skin with
- Shift bindings are great for a single ski to do resort, sidecountry and backcountry... but are really heavy for big miles and vertical
- When picking a boot, also figure out your crampons. Not all play well together - for example, dyna speed nose boots (ie, no toe welt) don't work with crampon toe bails and some Scott boots don't work with a standard heel leverlock. Ditto that the dyna speed nose boots don't work with all non-dyna tech bindings, FYI
- Skins - I find mix skins to be a great blend of glide and weight (the mohair part) and still enough grip (the nylon part) vs. a 100% mohair or nylon skin. Again, lots of good ones out there
Hope that helps you, or someone!
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Re: Best New Backcountry Ski Setup for 2020-21 Season?!?

Post by Jorts » Sat Oct 17, 2020 8:54 am

hogantheepic wrote:
Tue Sep 01, 2020 8:14 pm
I just need a little beta, if you will, on what to start looking into. Where should I be looking? What are your favorite ski brands? Just splash all the info you can about buying an awesome backcountry/ski mountaineering setup at me!
Fast and light. For one, you're skiing powder usually, so it's more forgiving than the chunder you encounter at the resort all the time. You don't need a ski boot that has a stiffness of 130 to drive a ski that's 105 underfoot.

Know how to use your s**t without fussing. There's nothing worse than a ski partner removing each ski at the top of a ridge with a 35mph headwind.

BOOTS
Atomic Backland
Scarpa F1
Dynafit

You spend more than 85% of the time going up so comfort and weight are rather important. Get something you can flip one or two levers into downhill mode without adjusting. There's a large range of boots in each line. One up in beefiness from the flimsy skimo line suits me. Some people like a little more support. Depends on your weight and how you ski.

SKIS
95-110 underfoot for most of the season. Just remember, bigger is heavier. Atomic has a nice ski around 105 that is pretty light. I've been using 99 underfoot Dynafit Denalis for 4 seasons. They work for 95% of powder days. Really deep days they're not enough but you can manage with 105s... and those are few and far between.

I'd recommend a front notch for affixing skins that can be ripped from the front but that's personal preference.

BINDINGS
Dynafit Radicals are tried and true. Now that they've been off patent forever, there are dozens of variations of their pin tech. Get something you can adjust with gloves on and easily transition from uphill to downhill. Avoid at all costs frame bindings. If you ski hard you'll probably blow up a heel piece in some shape or form at some point. It's kind of inevitable.

SKINS
mohair, full coverage, easily rippable without removing your skis. The ones with the front fixing point that can be ripped from the front of the ski are optimal.

BEACON
The best beacon is the one your partner knows how to use. Be proficient with your beacon.

SHOVEL
Metal blade. Don't get a flimsy piece of crap.

PROBE
At least 270cm. More is better. Nothing too thin, you don't want it breaking the first time you plunge it into the snow.

With respect to avy gear, if you don't know how to use it and affect a rescue, it's completely worthless. Practice. Know how to do a coarse and fine search with your beacon. Know its range. Know that you probe in a spiral outward from your beacon's lowest reading, orthogonal to the slope. Know that you start digging about 1.5x away from your probe's depth on the downhill side.
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Re: Best New Backcountry Ski Setup for 2020-21 Season?!?

Post by NathanRL » Sat Oct 17, 2020 7:56 pm

dsr80304 wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 1:58 pm
For what its worth, I'm anti big wide pow BC skis since how often are there 2 foot days (at least in CO) that aren't flashing red avy lights? And a 100 ish waist ski should do great for modest powder
This. I'm pro-big wide pow skis in bounds, but, if you need to ski deep pow in the backcountry, please go somewhere with a maritime snowpack for safety's sake.
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Re: Best New Backcountry Ski Setup for 2020-21 Season?!?

Post by NicI » Sun Oct 25, 2020 11:41 am

This season in the backcountry is going to be a great one no doubt. I’ve been in the backcountry for three years now coming up on 22 years old. I got more than 50 days touring yesterday in non-optimal gear and have been skinning hard since I picked up skiing again.

What I’m going with for next year is the same ski I’ve had for the last two years. I’d say it’s a perfect all mountain ski you can really take anywhere and have amazing powder runs on any open fave you find. I go with the Bentchetlers 120 width. I was using the 2018 pair and just got the new pair that released this fall. That being said last year and the year before I was using standard marker bindings with at capibilities and a regular ski boot. The setup worked well as I was able to get out a lot and effectively skin with the extremely lightness the Chris Benthchetler skis bring. You can walk forever without even noticing you have skis on. The regular bindings worked but my ski boots got pretty torn up namely in the toe and sole from skinning. So next year I’m going with the shift binding from Solomon and AT PIN technica boots. The guys at the ski store where I got the bindings said a lot of people were riding the Chetler shift combo this year. It’s gonna be an extremely lightweight option paired with the new 2021 G3 alpanist+ glide skins. I’m envisioning a very comfortable fast year in the backcountry, extremely excited to check off a bunch of lines! Hope your setup works out.
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Re: Best New Backcountry Ski Setup for 2020-21 Season?!?

Post by martinleroux » Sun Oct 25, 2020 4:06 pm

NicI wrote:
Sun Oct 25, 2020 11:41 am
So next year I’m going with the shift binding from Solomon... The guys at the ski store where I got the bindings said a lot of people were riding the Chetler shift combo this year. It’s gonna be an extremely lightweight option...
Maybe I'm old and decrepit, or I've been spending too much time on skimo gear, but my idea of a lightweight setup is radically different than yours. I think of "lightweight" as a ski/binding combo less than about 3 lbs/1.3 kg per ski, like my Movement Alp Tracks 94 skis with Dynafit Superlite bindings. (A skimo race setup would be less than 2 lbs). Bent Chetler 120 skis and Salomon Shift bindings are almost 6 lbs per ski! You must have strong legs.
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Re: Best New Backcountry Ski Setup for 2020-21 Season?!?

Post by Bean » Tue Oct 27, 2020 6:16 am

There's a lot of really good advice in this thread so I won't try to repeat it, especially since ski/boot/binding preferences are really individual.

I just have two things to add:
Don't be afraid to go a little heavier because the skiing performance will go up significantly, though this doesn't mean you should get a full alpine-weight setup.
I'd recommend against the new kingpin with removable toes. Just too much to go wrong, get lost, and fiddle with.
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