Beginner Touring Gear

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kwhit24
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Beginner Touring Gear

Post by kwhit24 » Sun Jan 08, 2017 6:12 pm

So after asking a general question about touring gear in alpine boots, I realized that I obviously needed to do some more research. I hope to build a true AT set up but the cost is just too high right now. My thinking is to replace my current bindings (Salomon Z12s) with a frame bindings. I know the weight is a lot more than true tech bindings but I feel frame bindings will be a good way to start touring and would allow me to use my current alpine boots until I get new boots.

Does anyone have any experience with Salomon Guardians or Marker Barons? Preference?

Eventually, I'm looking to replace my current boots with a boot that can work with tech pins or a typical alpine binding (or frame binding). Basically, ISO 9523 compatible. I'm looking at the Solomon MTN Lab but I've read there might be an issue with the heel releasing. The Salomon Quest Max 130 has inserts that can be added for the tech holes.

Thoughts on boots that can work for both types of bindings? I really only want to have one pair of boots.

Skis for my AT setup would probably be something like the Rossi Soul 7.
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Exiled Michigander
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Re: Beginner Touring Gear

Post by Exiled Michigander » Sun Jan 08, 2017 7:02 pm

My AT setup is Rossi Sin 7's with Marker Tour bindings. It's heavy compared to my friends who have tech boots and bindings, but as long as you don't mind a bit more of a workout I think you'll be happy going with the route you are thinking of going. I was in a similar situation to you two years ago and just couldn't justify tech boots. I was afraid I might really regret my decision, but so far I've been very satisfied. Skinning up is a bit less comfortable and a bit more work, but the platform is bomber skiing down.

Perfect world I'd get a pair of Technica boots, Marker Kingpin bindings, and some Black Diamond carbon touring skis. But right now I have better things to spend $2,000 on.

Good luck with your continued research.
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Conor
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Re: Beginner Touring Gear

Post by Conor » Mon Jan 09, 2017 7:41 am

I would personally skip the frame bindings. almost everyone who goes that route ends up with a tech setup in the long run. buy once, cry once. Deals are to be had everywhere. Just search around.

MP had a pair of skis/skins/tech bindings for $400 this fall and the guy in SLC had trouble selling. I almost lowballed him just to have an extra set.

Mountaingear had scarpa freedom SL for under $300 shipped at the start of Dec.

I put my setup together for $900ish with new skis, g3 ion bindings, skins and maestrale's.

If you walk into the heart of alpine season though and start shopping, expect retail prices. Luckily, the "industry" starts selling off AT gear around the time spring skiing gets kicked off here in colorado.
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Re: Beginner Touring Gear

Post by BillMiddlebrook » Mon Jan 09, 2017 7:50 am

^Not everyone :wink:

I switched most of my BC setups from Dynafit to Marker F12 EPFs and haven't looked back. More power and no pin hassle. I'm in the minority, for sure but that's par for my course...
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Re: Beginner Touring Gear

Post by mojah » Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:50 am

I own a pair of MTN Labs. Great boot! If you have wide feet like me, you'll probably want to get some punches. The liners aren't terribly warm either, so I got Intuition liners for the cold days.

If you're set on frame bindings, the Guardians/Trackers (same thing, different branding) are super heavy. They also only have 2 lift levels as opposed to 3 on most other bindings. The Marker Tours are much lighter and are apparently pretty capable. I think they're the lightest frame bindings out there. My first setup were Q115s/Trackers/2013 Factors. A bruiser of a setup that slayed downhill, but heavy. I currently run QST 106s/Kingpins/MTN Lab. So far pretty happy with them.

One additional thing to note about frame bindings is that their touring motion isn't as natural due to the pivot point being in front of the toe.
"And this might get me in trouble, but ski mountaineering. I don't know why. You all seem like great people, and I'm sure it's just envy on my part. But there's just something annoying about planning a climb, getting in shape, and all the buildup that goes into dragging myself up a couloir to finally reach the top, and then getting on here and seeing somebody basically say, "Now watch me ski this with nary a mention of how I even got up here." You all make me sick :wink:"
-jaymz
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kwhit24
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Re: Beginner Touring Gear

Post by kwhit24 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 1:11 pm

Thanks for all the input. The frame bindings would just be for my downhill/resort set up which is currently Salomon R2 115/Salomon Z12/Salomon X Max 100. I'd swap out the Z12s with frame bindings to dabble even in-resort and maybe branch out to backcountry.

The AT setup would be something like Soul 7/maybe Kingpins/MTN Labs (I do have a wider foot). I'm not 100% on buying frames but I have heard it is a good place to start (probably just stores trying to get me to buy more gear) especially since I won't be buying new skis or tech bindings for a while unless I find a good deal whether it be used or new. I'll probably get new boots for next winter since the XMax100 (first pair of boots) is narrow which I didn't know at the time and I want something stiffer.
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Re: Beginner Touring Gear

Post by AlexeyD » Mon Jan 09, 2017 2:13 pm

BillMiddlebrook wrote:More power
Not to totally derail the thread, but - can you elaborate?
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kwhit24
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Re: Beginner Touring Gear

Post by kwhit24 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:09 am

In your opinions do you "beat" up your skis more in the back country/spring 14er skiing or difficult terrain at resorts? I've progressively become more aggressive at the resorts in trees and higher areas with typically less cover and more exposed rocks so I have some minor scratches on my skis. I know not all backcountry touring is powder (although that's the goal to find it, right?!?).

Is it worth buying new skis, whether current model or older, for the backcountry? I kind of figure the backcountry is more rough and I might as well get used skis in decent condition for a cheaper price but I'd like to know you thoughts.

Also, what has been your experience with buying used bindings? I'm very weary of buying used because if there is something faulty or excess wear I way not be able to see it beforehand and obviously so much of your safety is tied to releasing from the binding when you want/need to. I will say my first set of skis (Dynastar Cham 87 w/ some Atomic bindings) I bought used off of Evo and had no issues but I would trust Evo or Powder7 over Craigslist.

Bill, by more power do you mean more weight (in a bulky kind of way) to push through thick powder turns?
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mojah
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Re: Beginner Touring Gear

Post by mojah » Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:51 am

If your only goal is to ski powder in the BC, and are careful to find good conditions, you can keep your skis in pretty decent shape. I am not that careful, so I tend to beat my skis up in the early season and late spring. Ptex is your friend! Even the steeps in the resort can eat your skis up since there are more people to scrape the snow away.

I've personally never bought skis full price. Evo clearances and ski swaps are great.

Bindings can be tricky, but I know a lot of people who ski used bindings. If you're worried, take them to a shop and have the techs look at it.

I think what Bill means by more power is that frame bindings give your boot a more traditional and elastic connection to the ski. Going from Guardians to Ions to Kingpins, I can definitely say that Guardians felt the most confident on the down, while the Ions felt very loose and weak (granted the Guardians were mounted on 115 underfoot and the Ions on 98), especially in less than ideal conditions. The Kingpin so far has met that happy medium between weight and performance for me. Maybe Bill ought to try them out! :-D

Image
"And this might get me in trouble, but ski mountaineering. I don't know why. You all seem like great people, and I'm sure it's just envy on my part. But there's just something annoying about planning a climb, getting in shape, and all the buildup that goes into dragging myself up a couloir to finally reach the top, and then getting on here and seeing somebody basically say, "Now watch me ski this with nary a mention of how I even got up here." You all make me sick :wink:"
-jaymz
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Re: Beginner Touring Gear

Post by SkaredShtles » Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:35 am

Do yourself a huge favor and get the boots and bindings 1st. Worry about BC skis later.
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mojah
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Re: Beginner Touring Gear

Post by mojah » Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:10 am

Yes, boots are the most important part of any setup. It's important to get a good fit that you'll be comfortable in for hours on end. Get a pair that suits your goals. It's all about tradeoffs. Light for the uphill, or heavy for the down? Generalization of course, but thats the idea. You'll wanna match your bindings and skis to the boots.
"And this might get me in trouble, but ski mountaineering. I don't know why. You all seem like great people, and I'm sure it's just envy on my part. But there's just something annoying about planning a climb, getting in shape, and all the buildup that goes into dragging myself up a couloir to finally reach the top, and then getting on here and seeing somebody basically say, "Now watch me ski this with nary a mention of how I even got up here." You all make me sick :wink:"
-jaymz
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