/ Touring-Lite Kit
However I'm getting a hankering to do some short day tours at home as well as getting a bit further away from the lifts in the Alps - it's getting so I can be reasonably sure of a couple of trips a year now).
The economics of buying still don't really add up, but the ability to whizz over to the lakes when conditions are good is attractive, as is getting a bit further afield in the alps.
So...I've got the boots. I've seen some last-year K2 Hardside skis in a local shop, which I can get with skins and Marker Baron bindings for £550. I've read that switching modes in Barons can't be done with skis on, so I've also had a quote for the new Scott Guardian (same as the Salomon ones) for £685 (still loads less than list price).
Or I can get a full set up, same skis (this year's model) but including skins AND poles, from sport conrad for about ninety quid less.
Now I'd far rather buy local, but that's a lot of money to buy near home. And on second thoughts, do I want to buy at all for the few times I'll be able to use it at home (we live in the Dales, so Lakes is easy enough but Scotland's a trek).
Alternatively, is it possible to rent touring kit in the Alps? I've never seen it anywhere - but I can rent for five years holidays for what it'll cost me to buy, and that's before I've paid fifty quid a time to fly it out there. I wonder whether I'd be better having a few goes
But what you're describing doesn't sound particularly 'lite'
Hardside + Baron is a heavy combo. I know as I have it. A good choice for lift accessed and short approaches / skin outs but hard work for longer tours. I'm swapping my Barons for Dynafits to save some weight in the hope that I'll actually use the things other than in europe.
The fact that you can't change mode with skis on is really not much of a disadvantage.
> Hardside + Baron is a heavy combo. I know as I have it. A good choice for lift accessed and short approaches / skin outs but hard work for longer tours. I'm swapping my Barons for Dynafits to save some weight in the hope that I'll actually use the things other than in europe.
I'd only be doing short stuff really, not really long stuff, but useful to know that's quite chunky.
Really? I quite like the idea of just switching it over with a pole and not clumping around in boots on slippy stuff. I don't think I'll be going anywhere too dodgy though.
Most of the time your swapping mode you be applying/stripping skins though? Te main difference I see is the ability to quickly flip down your crampons when it gets icy with Fritschi that you cant in the same way with dynafits.
> Really? I quite like the idea of just switching it over with a pole and not clumping around in boots on slippy stuff. I don't think I'll be going anywhere too dodgy though.
As pointed out above the vast majority of transitions involve stripping or applying skins which unless you are a racer is normally done with skis off.
durrrr... told you i needed help...
The last guide I skiied with discouraged use of that particular feature, though I don't quite remember why. Possibly it is possible to flip the crampon down unexpectedly, possibly it can result in crampon holder damage. He'd done a lot of skiing on Fritschis though, so I assume he knew what he was talking about. Anyone else heard of this?
Incidentally, it is possible to drop one knee and have the sole of your boot angled up high enough to unslot dynafit crampons. Wouldn't take much practise to be able to slot em in, too ;-)
One significant problem with those Fritschi Axiom crampons is that the teeth are not as long as standard ski crampons. So, when you're ascending a steep icy slope with heel raisers in place, there's little or no contact between the ski crampon teeth and the ice. Not ideal. I'd stick with standard Fritschi ski crampons (were I still using Fritschi bindings...).
Yes you should be able to find a shop in most places that rents out touring gear, just won't be in every shop! I live in a medium sized resort called Chatel thats not known for touring and there are 2 shops that have the gear.
I'd have a look for 2nd hand stuff on tinternet. If you'll be doing mostly lift assisted stuff make sure you have decent bindings - i think Fritschis are a really good combo of not too heavy and you can trust them. I have skiied various 50 deg couloirs on not great snow on them with no fear of releasing, but I'm not that big or heavy. (not saying you are but its something to bear in mind!)
I gather the boots you have don't have the 'Dynafit' metal eyes/slots on the toe part where the TLT binding toe pins would grab the boot?
I am not experienced at all, but I guess you need to choose the gear based on the majority of time you'll be spending on the skis:
- mainly going down (off piste with ski lift help): get heavier bindings and wider skis.
- mainly for "real touring" (few hours up and down alternating, longer distances, etc) - I'd get (if boots compatible) the TLT bindings and lighter (ie 2.2-2.4kg/pair) skis. I recently tried out my new set (2.2kg/pair) on the pistes and they performed surprisingly well, of course on the ungroomed they sank quite a lot - but then, you don't swear about their weight with every step when skinning up!
The above opinion is totally uninformed and I am a beginner just like you, but perhaps you'll find it useful.
Mate, no one can answer that one for you; it depends on how much money you have and how much you are prepared to pay. Those vary hugely for different people. No one can offer you advice on that one.
Why not sell your freeride boots to generate income for the new gear to further reduce costs?
I'm a terrible skier, so my advice probably won't be relevant... but... I've got two set ups that I sorted for very cheap. A pair of Hagan Tour Extreme 130cm (£70.00 on sale a few years ago + £25.00 eBay skins) with Silvretta 400s (£28.00 eBay.de) and some Volkl Husky 168cm (new from Skibartlett.com £99.00 + £99.00 skins) with some used/but new Silvretta 500s (£75.00). I thought it was a bargain and I'm happy with it! I found the prices at Ski Bartlett to be awesome. Super good customer service as well. Time to upgrade from my plastic mountain boots though...
Chamonix in two weeks...
Lots - every year for about ten years before we had kids, then a break before they started skiing. Tend to take them to pas de soleil at half term but got a passout for a grown ups trip this year.
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