NEW REVIEW: Hagan Extreme Approach Skis

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 UKC Gear 18 Feb 2011
Not recommended but good fun, the Extreme's in the air, 4 kbSkis allow you an amazing freedom of access in the winter, says Jon Griffith - not only because you can 'skin' there quicker and with far less effort than on snow shoes but also because you can use them to ski back down to the valley afterwards. Enter Hagan. Hagan have been around for a while but are a very niche ski maker...

 Doug 18 Feb 2011
In reply to UKC Gear:
"in the last 5 years skiing has become big business in the UK " really ? whats been going on why I've been away ?

Other than that, seems a good review and maybe of interest to those who posted on
 Jon Griffith 18 Feb 2011
In reply to UKC Gear: For those who want more info about a decent binding, the lightest one you can get is the Silvretta Pure Performance. You will need to pad out the front toe bail though but a bit of foam and glue does the trick well. Am testing a pair of Hagan's new 150cm carbon fiber skis for this year and with the bindings they come in at only 3kg for both skis which is pretty amazing.

 Oceanic 18 Feb 2011
In reply to Jon Griffith:

Wouldn't Scarpa F1s and Dynafits be a better bet than Spatniks?

(should probably add that I've never worn F1s, so this is just uninformed speculation)
 Ron Walker 19 Feb 2011
In reply to Oceanic:

Scarpa Vegas use to make really good ski boots as long as you tightened the laces or used a velcro power strap around the ankle cuff! The newer winter climbing boots are a bit too soft for decent skiing....
In reply to Doug:
> (In reply to UKC Gear)
> "in the last 5 years skiing has become big business in the UK " really ? whats been going on why I've been away ?

Yeah, everyone and his dog skis (or claims to) these days.
 summo 19 Feb 2011
In reply to Flashy:
> (In reply to Doug)
> [...]
> Yeah, everyone and his dog skis (or claims to) these days.

Yeah, for a fair while I thought I could ski, then when I actually got my act together and could ski, I realised that previously I was actually pretty $hit !!
I don't think ski hols places are up, or that places like escape are especially busy, there certainly aren't that many more tracks on the hills. Weardale and Teesdale ski club has had a booming membership recently, but that is purely down to the winter last year and the something like 40days continuous skiing.
 Morgan Woods 20 Feb 2011
In reply to Jon Griffith:

What's in the rest of your "quiver" Jon? I think you reviewed some Black Diamond skis a while back so are these the powder skis you were referring to?

Interesting points about revising your technique when using these in deep snow. I've not skied in climbing boots but I imagine it would be much worse than climbing in ski boots and the lack of easily available bindings seem to conspire against this setup. If you were simply rapping a couloir route would you use the hagans?
 JIB 20 Feb 2011
In reply to UKC Gear: Nice review Jon. I think you balance the review carefully between the compromise that climbers need to approach the route with skis that'll handle the skin-up (you mention the slippage) as well as skis that can be skied down off the route! Then there's the binding conundrum...

Any idea of how they'd compare with the Rossignol Freetreks? Last time I used mine was on breakable crust with a decent sized pack ;-(
 Jon Griffith 20 Feb 2011
In reply to all: Thanks for the comments. This review was always going to be a bit tricky as the idea of skiing mini skis in climbing boots seems, well, a bit daft. Of course there are compromises and it does completely depend on what you want to go and climb- yes on some routes the benefits of skiing in with your ski boots will outweigh the downside of having to climb with them. But honestly, like all things, you have to teach yourself how to ski again. It will seem very hard at first but then wasnt the first day you strapped skis on one of the weirdest of your life?

I do have a set of K2 apache Chiefs as well as the BD verdicts Morgan mentioned. However I've only put them on occasionally in the last 2 seasons, and I mean very occasionally. I was amazed at how fast you can progress in skiing in mountain boots when you put time into learning it. Ok, I'm not out on deep powder days on these mini skis but thats not really the point of them.

JIB: yes, skiing in breakable crust is a total nightmare, especially with a big pack on! I've yet to work out how to not make it a nightmare but given how short the skis are they're always going to nosedive under the crust. You can always tie string from around your knee to the top of the ski which will help lift it up if you lean back a bit at the right time. Never tried it but its what Haley does and he's skied the Whymper couloir on the Verte in approach skis.

Finally: there are great bonuses to skiing in your mountain boots. For starters its much comfier. It is also means you dont have to carry spare boots with you in your pack which are not only heavy but take up loads of space meaning you cant just head out witha small day pack. It also means you dont have to squeeze on frozen plastic ski boots back onto your feet in the evening (this can be near impossible at times and involve some serious ice axe levering). Finally the whole thing is just so much nice and lighter on your feet. Plastic ski boots and big skis are really cumbersome and heavy.

Morgan: I use my Hagan's (and now my new 150 X Race Hagans) 99.9% of the time now. Even if its a easy route I could easily do in ski boots- with a bit of practice you realise that it really isnt that hard and you wont bother with the faff of ski boots and big skis ever again for climbing purposes.

As for bindings you want the Silvretta Pure Performance. Carbon fiber touring set up, but you'll have to pad out the front toe bail with a bit of foam mat (very easy). Petzl are in the design process of a lightweight binding for mountain boot use but thats still a couple of years away yet


 terrarob 21 Mar 2011
In reply to UKC Gear: Hi guys, in the picture laid out on the snow, which bindings are you using with the La Sportiva Batura's? I have a pair and I am currently in the process of trying to mod some short skis with new/modified bindings to fit the Batura's.

 Jon Griffith 22 Mar 2011
In reply to robric: Those arent available anymore. You'll want to strap on a pair of Silvretta Pure Performance bindings. You'll have to pad out the front toe bail but its worth it for the extra weight saving over the Silvretta 500

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