/ Touring boots and bindings

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
Tim Chappell - on 15 Dec 2012
I currently own downhill skis only. When off-piste, I carry them and the boots on my back, and change mode when I get to the summit.

My thinking is that downhill skis and boots will give me better control than touring bindings. Also, when I tried using touring skis in Canada (9 years ago now, wow) I went through all sorts of agony with shin-bang, i.e. with blisters on the front of my shins from walking/ skinning in touring boots.

On the other hand, I'd love to be able to skin up hills instead of walk up them, and in really deep snow, presumably walking up them wouldn't actually be possible.

Advice, please:

1. Do touring bindings give you good control for downhill skiing?
2. Are touring boots a frequent source of pain?
3. How much would touring boots + bindings + skins set me back?
Dave Kerr - on 15 Dec 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell:
>> 1. Do touring bindings give you good control for downhill skiing?
> 2. Are touring boots a frequent source of pain?
> 3. How much would touring boots + bindings + skins set me back?

1. Yes.
2. Not if fitted correctly.
3. Not cheap but check out http://www.sport-conrad.com/ for some great deals.

Tim Chappell - on 15 Dec 2012
In reply to Dave Kerr:

Great--thanks.
Denni on 16 Dec 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell:

Tim,
I just asked the same sort of things. I am going to end up with using a blank pair of all mountain skis I have had for a while, looking at second hand fritschis on fleabay and I have a pair of Scarpa Denali XT boots.
Whole set up is looking at around 400, just have to by some brakes and ski poons and I'm ready.

The XT's have a walk mode which I knew nothing about but seeing the reviews and talking to a couple of Marine mates who have used them extensively, they are highly recommended for touring and good for downhill.

I think you just have to make sure the boots fit the bindings as I don't think Scarpa fit Dynafit, only fritschi and marker.

There seems to ne loads for sale both on here and fleabay so maybe get a decent deal?
skarabrae - on 16 Dec 2012
In reply to Denni: some scarpa boots are dynafit compatible whilst some aren't. Avants arent, maestrale are for example.
OwenM - on 16 Dec 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell: For downhill skiing you need forward cant i.e. the ankle is locked in position with your knee pushed forward. For walking this is a very uncomfortable position so the walk mode lets you unlock the forward cant giving you some movement in the ankle. For skinning up it's best to slack off all the boot clips as well as un-locking the walk mode. Finding touring boots that are light, comfortable and give you the control for skiing down is something of a holy grail.
Dave Kerr - on 16 Dec 2012
In reply to OwenM:
> (In reply to Tim Chappell) Finding touring boots that are light, comfortable and give you the control for skiing down is something of a holy grail.

Maestrales do all of that for me.

andy - on 16 Dec 2012
In reply to Dave Kerr: Any thoughts on the new Salomon/Atomic bindings? They look pretty good for someone like me who tends to ski around the lifts but would like the option to do some "light" touring.
Dave Kerr - on 16 Dec 2012
In reply to andy:

Think there was a thread about them recently. Also look at Marker Barons. I've got a set but haven't toured on them, only lift accessed stuff.
OwenM - on 16 Dec 2012
In reply to Dave Kerr: Yes, tried on a pair earlier this year but the mondo 29 was just a bit tight and they didn't have a 29.5. Not that I actually had the 450 to buy them.
Other than that I did really like them the change from walk to ski mode was the most positive I've come across.
andy - on 16 Dec 2012
In reply to Dave Kerr:
> (In reply to andy)
>
> Think there was a thread about them recently. Also look at Marker Barons. I've got a set but haven't toured on them, only lift accessed stuff.

Think it'd be the Dukes for me, being on the chunky side...
Dave Kerr - on 16 Dec 2012
In reply to andy:

Just checked my Barons and they go up to DIN 13.
Aly - on 16 Dec 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell:

>
> Advice, please:
>
> 1. Do touring bindings give you good control for downhill skiing?

On the whole, yes, they give pretty good control. Some of the older Fritschi and Naxo bindings were noticably 'sloppy' but the modern bindings are much better. If you're a very good skier you might notice the difference and the increased stack height but most (me included) can't. Marker bindings (and potentially the new Guardian and Tyrolia bindings) will give you the most downhill feel. Dynafits are very stiff as well but come with certain caveats r.e. release and hucking off cliffs in them. Fritschi ones slightly less so but are a bit more user-friendly.


> 2. Are touring boots a frequent source of pain?

They shouldn't be if they fit well. It will also depend on the boot - a lighter touring boot like the Scarpa Maestrale will be comfier to walk and skin in than a freeride boot, like the Garmont Delerium but you compromise alpine performance.
Some people will walk and skin with their boots still partly or loosely buckled - I find this uncomfy so have to totally release all of the buckles - you just have to find what suits you. I must admit I am amazed at how easy it is to walk in the Meastrales, I think boots have come a long way in the last few years.


> 3. How much would touring boots + bindings + skins set me back?

You're unlikely to find a pair of boots for much under 400 and it's worth spending a bit extra to get ones that really fit.

There are plenty of nice second-hand setups around online (try here, ebay, gumtree and Snowheads) and you can get a nice ski/binding/skin combo for under 500. Just be sure to check the binding size and where they're mounted in case you need to move the binding.

Buying everything new will probably cost nearer 1000 all-in but this totally depends on what you want and there are some great deals on Sport Conrad and most shops would do you a good deal if you buy multiple items from them.


kevin stephens - on 16 Dec 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell: What are your current skis? If they are wide enough under feet (say 85mm ish or more) they should be fine, of skinny piste carving you are likely to need new skis. Although Internet deals can be attractive I would recommend going to a specialist shop so you only have to buy the right gear once and get boots well fitted.
andy - on 16 Dec 2012
In reply to kevin stephens: I've got some freeride/touring boots (super comfy, after 4 hours of fitting and adjusting) so I've been looking on Conrad at ski/binding deals - Atomic Access skis with Marker Baron bindings for 449 which is about 370 - amazingly cheap. Add a set of skins and some poles and that looks like a reasonable "do it all" set up for off-piste and occasional touring (I'm thinking occasional one day trips in the lakes and possibly Scotland, plus the ability to hike away from the lifts to access downhill stuff) and you've got it all for about 500.

That looks almost too good to be true - I've been a confirmed renter for years, but the idea of getting out in the hills on skis at home makes a touring-ish set up very attractive, and at that price it's a lot less than I was expecting to pay.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Tim Chappell - on 16 Dec 2012
In reply to all:

Thanks for all this info, folks. Very useful. (At the moment it makes me think "can't afford it", but that may change...)

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