/ Approach Skis

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Dugg - on 17 Nov 2012
Right, I'm not much of a skier, i can get down the slopes fine on piste and tend not to wipe out most of the time.

I'm looking at getting some skis to get me across the deep powder so I can climb. I want them to make the mountains more accessible, not for the sole purpose of skiing.

So i've done a bit of research and i'm still unsure.

Has anyone got any suggestions for some good approach skis that can be easily carried with me on routes?
jonnie3430 - on 17 Nov 2012
In reply to Dugg:

I don't know, but I'll be playing with some 1m approach skis this winter for the same reason. Boots are my main problem, as I don't find touring boots particularly good for climbing and climbing boots are pretty bad for skiing. I think there is a gap in the market for a climbing/ touring boot. At the moment the touring spectrum has light and flexy toe at one end (not good for climbing and stiff at the other end (clunky for climbing.)

Some more stuff on approach skis here:

"Apart from climbing in the Spantiks Iíve also done a lot of ski days in them- both in my big powder skis and my small approach skis. I first tried skiing in climbing boots two years ago and couldnít hack it at all in my Phantom Lites- from a far it must have looked hilarious. This winter I decided to really teach myself how to do it and spent a fair portion of it whizzing about the Alps in my Spantiks and 130cm skis. At firtst itís a bit weird but the support offered by the Spantiks was just right and by the end it was more fun than skiing in my proper set up. Some boots donít quite offer enough support on the shins which makes skiing very hard and allows for a high ankle snapping potential but the Flex OverLap system on the Spantkis really helps support the front of the boot onto your shins. The boot also fits fine in Fritschi touring bindings without having to do any modifications to the sole."

From http://www.alpineexposures.com/pages/la-sportiva-spantik-review
jonnie3430 - on 17 Nov 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:

I should add that I'm looking for a pair of old light bindings to put on my gf's old touring skis, which'll give me some 140ish cm light touring skis...
Dugg - on 17 Nov 2012
In reply to jonnie3430: Some of the skis I have looked at are about 1m in length. I've read a lot that the ski touring boots a rubbish for climbing so i'm definitely going to go for mountaineering boots.

Just don't know which skis to get, they aint cheap either.
jonnie3430 - on 17 Nov 2012
In reply to Dugg:

Atomic-Ski-Touring-Skis-Skins-Bag-and-Silvretta-Bindings-and-Crampons on ebay?

They ain't pretty but they'll do the job, I'd always go second hand because the prices are ridiculous. I've tried skiing in mountaineering boots and found that walking on the flat and going uphill is fine but as soon as you go downhill you end up going over backwards as there is no support for the calf.
ERU - on 17 Nov 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:
> (In reply to Dugg)
>
> Atomic-Ski-Touring-Skis-Skins-Bag-and-Silvretta-Bindings-and-Crampons on ebay?

Keep those links coming. I'm also interested.

What about Decathlon? They seem to do cheap stuff?
OwenM - on 17 Nov 2012
In reply to Dugg: I have a set of Silvretta 404's bindings that take mountain boots well, fit like crampons. P.M. me if your interested.
Dugg - on 17 Nov 2012
In reply to ERU: I had a look at the Decathlon stuff but it all seems to be racing skis and piste skis.

Do people think i'm going about this the right way? Im thinking shorter (1 metre) skis as they will be lighter and more practical to carry.
jonnie3430 - on 17 Nov 2012
In reply to Dugg:
> (In reply to ERU) I had a look at the Decathlon stuff but it all seems to be racing skis and piste skis.
>
I couldn't see any touring skis there, but even then you are paying top dollar.

> Im thinking shorter (1 metre) skis as they will be lighter and more practical to carry.

Longer will stay on powder better, how much I hope to be able to answer after this winter. On carrying, most people I seen that ski to the base of a route leave their skis there and come back to them.
Oceanic - on 17 Nov 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:
> (In reply to jonnie3430)
> I'm looking for a pair of old light bindings to put on my gf's old touring skis.

I have a pair of size small Fritschi Diamir Titanal 1 bindings that I'm going to put on ebay tomorrow. They will fit boots with soles up to 300mm long.

£50 (plus £10 postage) if you get an email to me before I put them on ebay.



jonnie3430 - on 17 Nov 2012
In reply to Oceanic:

Cheers, but I think I'll go for a cheap set of Silvretta 404's. (And my boots are 310ish...)
top cat - on 18 Nov 2012
Hagan Off Limits ski (130cm, 90 wide) plus 404 / 500 / 505 / 555 bindings (all these bindings are Silvretta and will work with B3 climbing boots. I use ski boot liners in my Vegas which are a good compromise...
Tim Davies - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to Dugg:

I'm a reasonable skier and tried approach skis once.

Once.

moffatross on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to top cat:
> Hagan Off Limits<

They are fun. I used these (with Fritschis) quite a bit in the Moffat Hills before swapping the bindings onto a full length touring ski. They are definitely an easy back carry but their lack of length means that any steep skin climb is pretty difficult because of lack of grip.

For me, they were also quite 'challenging' on the descent and I wouldn't recommend for anything technical. I had a twitchy descent down the Nubbery Knowes gully off Hart Fell into Black Hope a few winters ago ...

http://www.winterhighland.info/pix/displayimage.php?photo_id=11814

... followed by a mile long traverse by head torch through some rock bands that had my left knee wobbling for days afterwards. :-)
smithaldo - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to Dugg: The practicality of short skis and climbing boots depends on what routes you are actually looking to do. If you are going exploring in alaska fair enough. If you are thinking chamonix in winter then normal skis and touring boots will be better for most stuff as alot you can ski in, climb up, ab off and ski home.

Unless you are an amazing skiier it will be really really really really difficult to get down anything at all technical on short skis and climbing boots.

Also, nowadays some touring boots are amazing to climb in, dynafit tlt5s are probably better than things like nepal evos on icy gullies
DPaul - on 21 Nov 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:
> (In reply to Dugg)
>
> Atomic-Ski-Touring-Skis-Skins-Bag-and-Silvretta-Bindings-and-Crampons on ebay?
>
Just bought them.Hopefully they'll serve me well on my first Alps winter.
Bindings are old 404's-heavy but durable/simple.
Will be using Sportiva NE's,which seem to fit ok,so lets see how it goes!
I'm hoping that much experience of Telemarking in 'soft'boots will see me thru.They'll atleast be better than snowshoes!

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