/ Too much choice. Head hurts.
So far I've came to the conclusion that I want an AT set up but I wait a pair of skiis that are light enough to turn at the ski resorts, both on groomed stuff and also side sliding down the icy shit; but also usable for some skinning / touring.
It seems like the two obvious options that most people want to get.
the rest of the choice about bindings and camber and din settings and stuff is just too much for me
is it possible to get some ideas (hopefully a single choice) that I can just buy and get it over with
dont mind second hand or new.
Help me please I can't face waiting in 4 hour gear queues at Glen Coe again
Would really need a bit more info on you, your skiing style and where you ski.
I have a pair of atomic Vantage 95s with an older model of Dynafit Radical bindings. This is light enough to tour on but still skis well on piste and gives enough float for those occasional powder days abroad. But all of that is quite subjective and others would probably hate that set up. I do also have a second pair of lighter skis for longer tours but if I was pushed I'm sure I could suck it up and do a longer tour on the Vantages.
i wouldn't get too obsessed about turn radius and side cut of the skis etc. The skier in the boot is more important. A few times I've felt woefully inadequate pre-trip not being able to discuss the way my skis handle only to find that the next day it doesn't make any difference to the way others ski (or don't)
I bought a pair of salomon Q98 skis (cheap end of season) a few years ago and put vipec bindings on them, because there is a degree of toe release (useful for piste skiing with my daughter).
I have a pair of 5-6 yr old trab skis with a dynafit speed radicals that I use for longer hut to hut tours.
In in a nutshell:
decent lightweight binding
reasonable ski, end of season deal?
I mostly ski on pistes and sidecountry, but tour occasionally so I chose an 'all mountain' set-up with light frame bindings - Blizzard Black Pearls with Marker F10s. So far I have been pleased. Handle well on the piste in all conditions, wide enough underfoot to deal with moderate powder in the side country. Light enough for the occasional day tour. Wouldn't really fancy them for multi-day trips - they are a little heavy for that.
It really depends on how much resort skiing vs touring you do. I wouldn't worry too much about sidecuts and camber and all that stuff. The main things to consider are width underfoot for the ski and whether you want a frame or pin binding.
To add - if I were buying now I would probably go with one of the newer pin bindings with toe release but they were very new and still a little unreliable at the time.
> Help me please I can't face waiting in 4 hour gear queues at Glen Coe again
I'll second that; you have my sympathy...
If you're likely to do just as much on piste as not then don't go for anything super-lightweight / racy (i.e. < ~1.1 kg / ski); it's just not necessary.
Skis: seriously; look at any touring ski of the right length; with a width say 85-95 waist (you don't NEED fat skis in Scotland) ignore the rest.
Bindings: any of the chunkier pins or any frame (with breaks!) - i.e. any of most of these: ttp://www.facewest.co.uk/Bindings.html (my own preference for pin bindings would be one with an adjustable toe release or rotating toe piece like the Dynafit ST in the link)
Boots; whatever fits best; you can cause yourself some serious discomfort skinning up hundreds of meters in something that isn't quite a right fit. This is the one area where I wouldn't scrimp on buying the cheapest just because...
Mostly agree with daWalt. Although the ski does not need to be branded "touring" which I think would significantly limit the possibilities for cheap skis.
Bang on about fat skis in Scotland though. It is market driven although it is increasingly harder to find a non carving ski with a skinny waist.
Also great advice on boots, that's where the money should go.
You'll want a ski that is reasonably stiff (so it will hold and edge on harder stuff) and around 90 to 100mm at the waist. If you spend more time off-piste, then mellow tip rocker is preferred.
Look for skis around your own heigt or so, with rocker and solid skiing background you can longer (+10 to 15cm).
As for sidecut (ie. turn radii). If you ski in difficult snow, look for longer turn radiis (over 20m, preferably 25+). Ski will be more predictable in bad snow. Adn with a rockered softer tip, you can still make it turn on a dime if you wish (with a tiny amount of skillz and finesse).
Binders, look for beefier tech binders... with brakes. Dynafit Radical is a good contender...
For hard chargers, that like air and mostly ski inbouds, Dynafit Beasts (14 or 16) can be had at bargain prices now... not stellar of touring, but will work easily for that as well.
Boots, the ones that fit... I would steer away from the ones that come with changable soles (AT or alpine soles), as they limit your options somewhat (binders, mainly).
On the bindings front, beware of tech bindings which don't release laterally at the toe if you intend on skiing a lot of downhill. I had a slow twisting fall with Radicals a few days ago, and the result was my tibia going crunch and ending up in three bits.I I'd still use them when the focus is uphill or approaches to routes, but I'd the focus was going downhill I'd stay clear.
I noticed last week that Trab have a lightweight tech bindings available with both brake and lateral release - that could be worth looking at. Or Vipecs.
And to add, a friend broke a pair of Marker F10s last week skinning. There's a fairly critical part that's made out of the flimsiest wafer of composite imaginable, and if it snaps the binding is next to useless.
I'm using Black Crows Orb Freebird skis with Fritschi Vipec bindings. The skis are pretty light but have amazing edge grip for a touring ski and a wooden code, which makes them pretty reactive.
Anyone tried the Dynastar Mythic?
The overall crux for your plan is the uphill so go for lightness and narrowness and just 'ski better' downhill. Stop talking about powder, all mountain, rocker, sidecut like some black run idiot and just ski the f*ckers that are the easiest uphill. Trab, Dynafit, Scarpa.
Thanks everyone I'll take a read through all in the morning.
Mysterion has the nail here - I enjoy downhill for the sake of downhill not just to approach anywhere.
If the weather is windy or I don't want to go to a resort I just want to get up a hill and ski back down again.
I want something which is the easiest possible to skin up and enjoyable to get back down again.
Ive been touring before on some hires touring skiis from aviemore a few years ago and the skiis were really good going up hill but they were really hard getting back down again. It was like having to turn with ironing boards on.
And yes I'm well aware that a lot is skill based and a good skier can get down good with anything and I hope to get closer to that point but I need a starting point for what I want to do.
Some good advice above. I'd reiterate that you should aim for 85-95 underfoot, some good boots (some are now similar in stiffness to older alpine boots when locked into for downhill!) and ideally some newer bindings with the DIN toe release so you remove/reduce the risk of snapping your legs.
Feel free to message me on FB if you need more help.
> One note for the popular Dynafit TLT Speed Radical bindings is that they can rotate in to ski mode unexpectedly - I'm not sure how it is with other Dynafit bindings or the latest models. However, I was able to purchase an adaptor that prevents this happening, after a few scary incidents. Imagine skinning up a steep hard slope that leads to a cliff only for one of your bindings to suddenly click in to ski mode. Not funny.
I had this happen a few times with the original Radical ST, and of course always in a most inopportune setting, as these things tend to be! Never had it happen with the Radical ST 2.0 though.
I was in the same situation as you.
Went with a pair of last seasons Fischer Trans Alps 80's which are dead light and have an 80 mm waist, even went with their fancy plastic skins which are surprisingly good. Threw on some Dynafit Super light 2.0's I found on sale (adjustable DIN 5-12, also put them on the adjustable base plate) and some carbon fibre poles from G2 also on sale and so far they've been fine for touring in mixed conditions and the odd day on piste. Not the best on icy groomed runs tho so bear that in mind, but I'm a mediocre skier at best which likely helps as I probably don't know any better.
For boots you just have to look and see what fits.
I also have the same skis in a 163 length which are super short but also under 1 kg per ski so they're great as a long tour ski, when there is not so much downhill, or as an approach ski. Being short they're also really fun if touring involves dense trees on the descent as I can get nice snappy turns in that I could in no way do with longer skis.
I tried out ski touring for the first time last week, and hired some Black Crows Camox Freebirds for the week, which I found to be fantastic to ski on both on and off piste. I absolutely loved them. No problems on steep hard pack on the pistes, and skied beautifully in the powder off piste too. They were also very nimble and manoeuvrable on the narrow sections and bumps, and seemed pretty stable at speed on the pistes. They are not as light as more dedicated touring skis, but paired up with some Dynafit Radical ST pin bindings were light enough for me to skin for 2-3 hours without any bother. Also pretty light for boot packing up stuff.
I'm going to buy some at the end of the season, as they will do for me as one ski to do everything. I'm looking at Fritschi Tecton bindings, which are a similar (light) weight as the Dynafit Radicals, but supposedly a bit more robust if you want to do more downhill in them.
Having tried out pin bindings, I'm definitely going for these rather than frame bindings, which some of my companions seemed to find slightly cumbersome. You would definitely notice the weight difference going uphill. Look for the newer designs of pin bindings with lateral toe release which have the same ISO safety rating as DIN bindings.
Also have a look at Backcountry UK's website. There is some good advice there about different touring/freeride combos, along with suggested models of skis, bindings and boots to go for.
Aside from your ski-touring aspirations, the instant way to avoid the 4 hour kit hire queues at Glencoe is to buy some cheapo second-hand downhill skis on eBay. Also doesn't matter if you trash them on the rocks etc then.
There are plenty of really decent skis on there, almost ten-a-penny. I'd avoid buying ex-hire skis though, as these might not have much base/edges left on them.
A touring set up including skins is going to cost a lot more. Even second hand it won't be cheap, and your choice will be a lot more limited. The second hand stuff I have seen up for sale seems to get snapped up immediately too.
+1 for backcountry uk. Tom and Phil are great guys who can’t do enough to help you with excellent advice and a great service.
La Sportiva Spectres. What would these be like on-piste?
Spectres are rather good boot. If they fit, that is. Also I seem to recall that they have quite a high amount of Sole rocker. Meaning that they can be a tad hard to fit in frame bindings. They work like a charm on tech bindings.
You won’t have an issue skiing touring boots similar to those on piste, that is unless your real name is Aksel Lund Svindal...
If you are mainly wanting to do downhill skiing but with the option of some skinning/touring, you might be better going for a freeride type boot. These also allow more options of ski binding that you can use.
I ended up getting some Lange XT Freetour LV's, which ski as well as my downhill boots and are a lot more comfortable - so I will probably use them for everything now.
You are best getting the advice of a good bootfitter re. which model would best suit (and fit) you though. Maybe give Phil at Backcountry UK a ring?
Definitely get your boots properly fitted though (especially if you are going to shell out £350+ on them!).
But if you are Scottish based Braemar Mountain Sports are well recommended for boot fitting. For skis I can recommend Whitedot R.98, great for off piste, powder and crud, piste and of course touring. They're so good I'm selling my fat skis (Preachers) and have sold my piste skis. The R.98s are not too dissimilar to the Camox Freebirds. www.thepisteoffice is a very good shop for skis and bindings
Thanks braemar isn't somewhere I'm likely to be any time soon. I'd need to take a chance on size and wear them at home and work with staff over the phone on the fit.
Additionally Ive been offered a set of skiis with bindings for £30 - normal downhill stuff - but they are 193 in length and I'm 6'2. Will I struggle with them?
That's not how it works, part of the boot fitting process is having the boots and ideally foot beds moulded to your feet. Just buying mail order your are very likely to end up with boots that are too uncomfortable or too big, either will be a big restriction on your skiing and a big waste of money. Your options may be to find a reputable ski boot fitter closer to home (some of the big chain branches can be ok depending on the staff). If you search or post on snowheads.com you may find some goof local advise depending on where you live. The skis are likely to be too big unless you are very good, and like poorly fitting boots will restrict the rate at which you improve your skiing, also if the skis are fairly old the binding release may not be reliable. If you buy them it at be prudent to get the bindings checked by a reputable technician
> is it possible to get some ideas (hopefully a single choice) that I can just buy and get it over with
Join the army and they'll decide for you. You'll never have to worry about choice again!
> Anyone tried the Dynastar Mythic?
Yes, I've got the 97, they're awesome. Very good to ski on, but pretty light for the uphill, but obviously not the lightest skis around. If you go for them, make sure you get the right length.
I've got the Black Vipec 12s on them (last year's model, NOT the original white version - those were quite a disaster from the sounds of it...), pretty solid bindings. Same weight as the Radicals, but have the advantage of a DIN setting on both toe and heel. Skied everything from icy 45 degrees to aggressive slalom turns on piste on these, the whole set up feels great.
^^^ Yep. You should probably budget 2-3hrs to get boots fitted properly. I was amazed at the difference in comfort and ski-sensitivity. You'll have to pay for this probably but much less if you are buying the boots at the same time rather than getting boots bought elsewhere fitted.
Re boot fitting, it can be an iterative process, so ideally buy from a shop near a ski area. That way you can take them back after skiing in them to have them tweaked.
In terms of skis, keep a lookout on Eagle Ski Club website and British Backcountry for sale (Facebook) and you will find a good bargain or two before long. Spend your money on well fitted boots. The Dynastar Cham range are great. A bit heavier than some mentioned above but, firstly, you're talking about doing more of your skiing in-bounds and, secondly, I suspect your hill fitness outstrips your skiing skill, in which case (with lightweight bindings and boots) you will easily drag them up any suitable objective. I have 189cm 107s (though for Scotland go 87 or 97 on width) and they are absolutely fine for medium length tours. I have Scott Superguide 95s too, which are great but maybe harder to find second hand, and less forgiving to ski than the Dynastars.
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