/ Thinking about new touring skis...

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
Dave Kerr - on 14 Aug 2013
Toying with the idea of new touring skis this year. Mainly due to the fact that as my confidence and ability have grown my skiing goals have changed from touring to more ski mountaineering and steep backcountry stuff.

I currently have K2 Waybacks which given their dimensions are superb in soft snow but not so hot in harder stuff. I realise now that this is partly due to the large amount of tip rocker they have giving a shorter effective edge.

As I have other skis best suited to powder and lift accessed stuff I'd like something no fatter than the Waybacks, of a similar weight that has better hard snow performance.

I'm not an agressive skier so I don't need something burly.

The one model already on my radar was the Trab Ripido.

Any other suggestions?

Ta
Cuthbert on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to Dave Kerr:

I really like BD Kilowatts Dave but I don't know what their modern equivalent is.
Dave Kerr - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:

Cheers Donald but I think Kilowatts or equivalent are a bit bigger than I was looking for.

How's your summer been?
Cuthbert on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to Dave Kerr:

Mixed to be honest Dave. Just done a superb cycling trip from Aviemore down to Oban then Islands then back through West Highlands. It really was good fun.

I am heading to Erraid next week for some climbing hopefully.
Srick - on 14 Aug 2013
In reply to Dave Kerr:

I have BD Verdicts. the killiwats are similar to the aspect or revert ski, not entirely sure though. The verdicts are ridiculously good at everything really. The older model i had a slight issue with turn initiation until they put the small rocker on it. Only really done one tour on sheet ice on a cairngorm plato. They coped pretty well, however i cant really compaire it to anything as everything else ive ski'd hasn't been stiff enough to cope with my size. (im not fat, just 6"3 and 16 stone) So i cant give you a good comparison. However i think they are quite similar to waybacks, a ski ive always heard good things about. 102 underfoot, mid fat ski now these days.

Aspect's are the slightly less fatter but not as much as a freeride ski, more dedicated tourer. Better side cut i guess for steep skiing. I'm sure theyd be fun going down a steep grade 1 though. I wish i was confidant enough for that! Maybee in a few years.
cyberpunk - on 15 Aug 2013
In reply to Dave Kerr: K2 Hardside.
smithaldo - on 15 Aug 2013
In reply to Dave Kerr: The dynafit skis (as a whole range) seem to be getting great reviews all over the place. Expensive though.
Fultonius - on 15 Aug 2013
In reply to Dave Kerr: Mantras Mantras Mantras!

Ok, ok, they don't *actually* fit your criteria much...

Erm, the best way of getting a ski with better hardpack performance is having somehting with a metal laminate but that will result in a heavier, more burly ski. Catch 22!

The ripido looks pretty decent but I don't know anyone who has tried them. Bit of a tight sidecut for steep side slipping but not as bad as some.

I'm sure i remember you saying you spent most of your time touring/off
piste? Maybe some time skiing steeps on piste will improve your edge control? I would have thought the wayback *should* be plenty of ski for most stuff?
Morgan Woods - on 15 Aug 2013
In reply to Dave Kerr:

I settled on the Scott Crusairs for touring. 90 mm underfoot and nice and light for something like the Haute Route. I found the carbon fibre makes them nice and stable on hard pack whereas some of the K2 skis i tried seemed a bit chattery.
Mike7 on 15 Aug 2013
In reply to Dave Kerr:

If you have the money, check out https://www.dpsskis.com/

There are various models to suit all tastes and I know of several strong ski mountaineers, who have dropped much of their quiver as they preferred their pair of dps.
Srick - on 15 Aug 2013
In reply to Mike7:

I'm increasingly seeing more pro's using DPS skis in small one off ski films. Cant be bad!

kevin stephens - on 15 Aug 2013
In reply to Dave Kerr:

Scott ventures are a slightly fatter evolution of my Scott Missions which I use for touring; a fair bit lighter than others, hence can chatter a bit on very icy pistes but good all rounders on most other snow. Anything lift served (especialy deep powder) I get more fun on my Preachers; and will be getting skins for them too for this winter
Dave Kerr - on 16 Aug 2013
In reply to Fultonius:
> (In reply to Dave Kerr)
>> I'm sure i remember you saying you spent most of your time touring/off
> piste? Maybe some time skiing steeps on piste will improve your edge control? I would have thought the wayback *should* be plenty of ski for most stuff?

I've got no doubt there's a technique issue but I'm after a short cut!

I didn't have any issue with the Waybacks until my easter trip when I skied mainly on my Hardsides. On the last day I did a part on part off piste day on the Waybacks and the contrast was remarkable, much less grip. Obviously there's other factors at play but when I put the skis side by side the effective edge on the Waybacks was much shorter.

Perhaps what I need to do is either:

a. MTFU and use the Hardsides for touring.
b. Skill TFU and learn how to get more out of the Waybacks.

craigloon - on 16 Aug 2013
In reply to Dave Kerr:

If I could, Dynafit's new Cho Oyu looks the biz.
Fultonius - on 16 Aug 2013
In reply to Dave Kerr: The hardsides have also got a metal laminate - I used to have them before the Mantras and found the edge grip to be great. Slightly easier to ski than the mantras.

Your two choices are spot on. Everyone I know that tours/skimountaineers to ski big lines just take the weight penalty of proper skis.

Everyone else just survives skiing big lines...

Unless your name is Killian Hornet. What he can do on spindly ski-rando kit is quite impressive!


Other Options
Searle seems to like his La Sportiva L05s. And I've heard the DPS Wailer 99 is a pretty decent allrounder. I'm happy to be proved wrong, but I don't know of any skis <1.5kg that really edge well. If I am proved wrong, then they'll be some good suggestions for you :-)
ClimberEd - on 16 Aug 2013
In reply to Mike7:
> (In reply to Dave Kerr)
>
> If you have the money, check out https://www.dpsskis.com/
>
> There are various models to suit all tastes and I know of several strong ski mountaineers, who have dropped much of their quiver as they preferred their pair of dps.

They rock, big big time. (proud owner of pair of DPS....)

Worth every penny.
Fultonius - on 16 Aug 2013
In reply to Fultonius: Other Other optionshttp://www.priorsnow.com/husume - XTC Carbon

I managed to drag my Mantras up 800m on my pack in April in about 2 hours and I would not have wanted anything lighter for the way down!
Ben Briggs - on 16 Aug 2013
In reply to Dave Kerr: how about these, they are making them is a lighter carbon lay up as well for next year. - http://gb.whitedotskis.com/ranger-new/
Srick - on 18 Aug 2013
In reply to Fultonius:

>
> Unless your name is Killian Hornet. What he can do on spindly ski-rando kit is quite impressive!
>
>

Hes not exactly human though is he? Id love to see what the UKC gear police think of him in the Winter climbing section ;)
Haggis Trap on 19 Aug 2013
In reply to Dave Kerr:


The reason the Hardside is better on piste / harder snow is because of the metal laminate. It is torsionally much stiffer than the WayBack and therefore the edge holds better (both skis have similar tip rocker).

You already answered your question...
i.e "MTFU and use the Hardsides for touring".

With dynafits that is a great set up.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Dave Kerr - on 19 Aug 2013
In reply to Haggis Trap:
> (In reply to Dave Kerr)
>
>
> (both skis have similar tip rocker).
>

They really don't.
Dave Kerr - on 19 Aug 2013
In reply to Dave Kerr:

Although I'm not sure how much of a difference that makes. My understanding was more rocker = less edge in contact = less grip although as you point out other factors like sidecut and construction come into play.
Haggis Trap on 19 Aug 2013
In reply to Dave Kerr:

The WayBack and Hardside both have what K2 call "All-Terrain Rocker"
(30% tip rocker, 70% camber).

The WayBack is a light weight touring ski (best for multi day tours and big 1500m+ days). The Hardside is a heavier, wider, more burly free-ride ski with much more torsional stiffness. 2 very different skis and constructions.

> My understanding was more rocker = less edge in contact = less grip

Kind of true.... Though in theory the 'all terrain' rocker should engage during the turn. So when ski camber is reversed the effective edge length is actually the same. Not all rockered skis are horrible on hard snow. IMHO the benefit of well implemented rocker easily out weights the down side.

If you think the Hardside is too burly (or heavy) for touring then consider the 90mm all-mountain / piste models from Movement, Dynastar or Volkl. With dynafit bindings they would be great, ski well and still light.

Touring specific skis often ski like "soggy noddles" but they have a place for people rocking up 4000m alps in lycra ;-)

Haggis Trap on 20 Aug 2013
In reply to Dave Kerr:

Also K2 Sideshow might float yer boat.

90mm under foot, very popular with UIAGM guides in the alps
(same construction as the hardside just narrower for peeps that don't want or need a 100mm ski)
Dave Kerr - on 20 Aug 2013
In reply to Haggis Trap:

Cheers for the info. After all that I think I'm going to stick with what I've got.

If I knew then what I know now I would have spent my money differently but it's not worth the outlay to change.
Henry Iddon - on 20 Aug 2013
In reply to Dave Kerr:

Whitedot Ranger is worth a look.

http://gb.whitedotskis.com/ranger-new/

Buy British.
Calski - on 20 Aug 2013
In reply to Dave Kerr: Good idea, mate, keep the cash for a ski holiday...

However, it's worth keeping an eye on the following... http://www.wildsnow.com/

Cal
Haggis Trap on 20 Aug 2013
In reply to Dave Kerr:

Sounds like a plan.
The WayBack looks like a decent touring ski.
(not skied on them but certainly looked solid in the shop)

As ever ski touring kit is about compromise.
i.e The perfect haute route ski is not what you want to use for freeride (etc).
craigloon - on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to Ben Briggs:
> (In reply to Dave Kerr) how about these, they are making them is a lighter carbon lay up as well for next year. - http://gb.whitedotskis.com/ranger-new/

Mmmm. So is this the lighter carbon carbon layup in the link?
richlan - on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to Henry Iddon:
> (In reply to Dave Kerr)
>
> Whitedot Ranger is worth a look.
>
> http://gb.whitedotskis.com/ranger-new/
>
> Buy British.

Are they not from Scandinavia ?

http://gb.whitedotskis.com/heritage/
Ben Briggs - on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to craigloon: no its not on their website yet but it's the exact same ski in dimentions, camber, side cut ect but weighing 1635g per ski instead of 1975g. They are producing all of their skis other than the one (park ski) with the option of either the standard or carbon+flax constructions for next season.

I'm going to use the directors in the carbonlite construction for touring as I prefere the tip and tail rocker but either the director or ranger would both make great a one ski quiver depending on your preference for positive/ reverse camber.
richlan - on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to Ben Briggs: Bit wide under the foot for a touring ski are they not ?
Ben Briggs - on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to richlan: it depends what your looking for but not really no. 100-110 underfoot seems to be the sweet spot for one ski performing well over a range of conditions. Smaller is just not as fun and you can't charge as hard in good snow conditions but bigger and a lot of the hard snow performance can be lost.

A ski of that size does need to be tortuously stiff to edge well on hard snow, which would normally require a lot of weight with metal in the ski. Now due to developments in the construction of skis it's possible to reduce the weight while maintaining the performance making larger skis more viable for touring.

When I first started touring I used super heavy alpine stuff which was great for skiing but sucked for the uphill, then I got obsessed with going light but my skiing suffered on the downhill. Now skis like the ranger carbonlite are available you can freeride but still be light and fast, a perfect compromise for me. Yes if you want to run up in Lycra or go up a 7000m mountain then a smaller ski will be a better choice but I can't think of anywhere in the alps I would need to take a lighter/smaller ski and let my enjoyment of the actual skiing suffer.

Although whitedot have strong ties to a few places I believe they are essentially a British company.
richlan - on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to Ben Briggs: Cheers, makes sense, I only ask as I am looking at a pair of general purpose freeride/touring skis and was thinking around the 90mm area, not for Haute Route just lift assisted and odd days here and there. Also is >20M not a bit of a big radius or not too much of a concern ?
Pinch'a'salt on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to richlan:

Personally I prefer a ski with a longer 'turn radius' when I am skiing off piste - I find the width difference between tip & underfoot on skis with a bigger sidecut can make them unpredictable and hooky in heavier snow...

And classic 'sidecut' turn radius is far less important off piste than on, as on the whole you tend to be skiing in the snow rather than on it and so the whole base is in contact with the snow - general ski flex will have more bearing on turn shape if you are looking for a 'carved' type turn...
Pinch'a'salt on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to Ben Briggs:

Hey Ben, have you skied the Rangers?
HeMa on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to richlan:
> Also is >20M not a bit of a big radius or not too much of a concern ?

Remember, the given turn radii is something you can't change. As in it depends on the shape of the ski. And if the turn radii is smaller than on the turn you are or want to do, the ski can feel nervous or twitchy.

But if you flex a ski, it will get a shorter actual turn radius.

Hence, I prefer mid 20s for my freeride-/touring skis. They feel solid in bigger turns, yet can be made to turn on a dime when pushed. I prefer speed and big turns though, not those lovely powder 8 guido turns.
Henry Iddon - on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to richlan:

No it's a UK business (although Andrew one of the directors is a kiwi based in Yorkshire)

Fred Syverson was involved in the development.

The Carbonlite Rangers are amazingly light - they had them on the stand at ISPO
richlan - on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to HeMa:
> (In reply to richlan)
> [...]
>

> I prefer speed and big turns though, not those lovely powder 8 guido turns.

Cheers, not just me then !

richlan - on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to Henry Iddon: Thanks, I saw them at KMFF last year, they looked very nice, might have to put them on the shortlist.....
craigloon - on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to richlan:

Euromincer all the way!
buddy1664 - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Ben Briggs:

Do they ski quite short due to the tip rocker?

Looking at the Carbolite Rangers for a touring/freeride ski this season in Chamonix. Torn between the 186/195 due to the hefty increase in weight for ascent and the increase in length for tight situations.

I'm 6ft2" and 95kg. I'm going to ski it with plum yaks and a freeride boot (poss scarpa).

Cheers in advance.
Stuart Johnston - on 26 Sep 2013
In reply to Dave Kerr:

Can't rate my Dynafit Manaslus highly enough. The only thing they are bad as is holding an edge at high speed on hard pack - not torsionally stiff enough. Aside from that they are light, responsive, have good float and are surprisingly durable.
Cuthbert on 26 Sep 2013
In reply to Dave Kerr:

I bought some Atomic Descents Dave, with piste bindings. They seem pretty light and I can show you them any time.
NottsRich on 26 Sep 2013
In reply to all: As someone who is looking at buying a set of skis for short Scottish tours, Scottish climbing approaches/descents, Scottish fun and 'off-piste' in/around alpine resorts, I'm well and truly confused by all the suggestions here!

There seem to be a lot of people on here that do similar things but everyone is recommending different skis! I'm not sure I've seen any two people agree on a setup yet.

What I need is a big list of skis, and then I can tick the boxes of what I want them to do and narrow it down to just a few choices. Does anyone know of any such database/website? Most likely to pair with Maestrale or Maestrale RS boots, and Fritschi FR bindings.
earlsdonwhu - on 26 Sep 2013
In reply to NottsRich: You have to remember that skiing probably generates more kit bullshit than most activities ( apart from cycling). Like bikes, if you are good you will manage with just about anything! If you think back to what we skied on a few years back, every current ski will perform better and most are pretty polyvalent.

Having said that there will be differences eg better on ice or powder, lighter for long tours or more solid for mainly piste. Do you want long or short? The holy grail is one ski to cover all bases but it doesn't exist.

FWIW I have K2 Waybacks with Dynafits and K2 Coombacks with Fritschi Freerides.
Shearwater - on 26 Sep 2013
In reply to NottsRich:
> What I need is a big list of skis, and then I can tick the boxes of what I want them to do and narrow it down to just a few choices. Does anyone know of any such database/website? Most likely to pair with Maestrale or Maestrale RS boots, and Fritschi FR bindings.

Ultimately, most modern skis are actually pretty reasonable. Assuming you don't go for something that's that's really fat, or really stiff, or a bit too delicate and lightweight, you'll do just fine. To be honest, big lists of skis and features will just lead to analysis paralysis and agonising over stuff that just doesn't matter. After a season on your new skis, you'll have a much better idea about what you want, anyway.

Go look at the sales and get something cheap (sport conrad have some reasonably priced k2 touring skis right now).
Dave Kerr - on 26 Sep 2013
In reply to earlsdonwhu:
> (In reply to NottsRich) You have to remember that skiing probably generates more kit bullshit than most activities ( apart from cycling).

Agreed. It's always funny to hear a salesperson in a shop tell someone that they can't do X with ski Y.
Shearwater - on 26 Sep 2013
In reply to Dave Kerr:
> Agreed. It's always funny to hear a salesperson in a shop tell someone that they can't do X with ski Y.

Please to be posting a video of slalom on reverse-reverse skis ;-)
Dave Kerr - on 26 Sep 2013
In reply to Shearwater:
> (In reply to Dave Kerr)
> [...]
>
> Please to be posting a video of slalom on reverse-reverse skis ;-)

Don't know about that but how about this?



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cppkpKu-CA
French Erick - on 26 Sep 2013
In reply to Dave Kerr:
That's a real classic Dave. Not seen it in a couple of years.
Dave Kerr - on 26 Sep 2013
In reply to French Erick:
> (In reply to Dave Kerr)
> That's a real classic Dave. Not seen it in a couple of years.

Whenever anyone says you can only do something with certain kit my first thought is of you telemarking backwards down Cairngorm in DH boots and alpine touring bindings!

Shame we didn't capture it on video.


This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.