Advice on alpine touring setup?

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Wimyers
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Advice on alpine touring setup?

Post by Wimyers »

I’m looking to purchase my first AT setup. I’m expecting to stay on the cross country side of touring- not interested in shredding steeps or techy terrain with this setup. I’m mostly looking for an alternative to slowshoeing, hoping for long days in the alpine with high elevation gain. I expect I’ll have more days on firmer spring snow than powder. I was once a mediocre resort skier, but no longer own any ski equipment. Again, more in it for the climbs than the descents. 6’0”, 175 lbs.

Does anyone have advice for me? I figure most people on this page probably have ski habits similar to my ambitions. My preliminary research is leading me to something like https://www.backcountry.com/dynafit-blacklight-pro-ski or https://www.backcountry.com/dynafit-bla ... AcQAvD_BwE? Maybe 172 cm to prioritize uphill performance? Open to any recommendations for other skis/bindings, though! Sale prices, especially.

I’m trying to keep to a moderate budget, ~$1000k for skis and bindings. Found some used Skorpius boots in my size, so that’s settled (unless people have strong negative feelings about those?).

Thanks for any advice any of you may have! I’ve done lots of reading but it’s a bit overwhelming. All opinions and perspectives are appreciated.
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cottonmountaineering
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Re: Advice on alpine touring setup?

Post by cottonmountaineering »

youll probably get 5 different answers here, a lot comes down to personal preference... heres my take

skis:
width- for one pair of skis in colorado i would recommend something in the 100-110mm width, will keep you afloat in most conditions and not be too heavy. i have a pair of 106mm and 95mm and find myself using the 106 for everything
rocker- freeride rocker, makes things a little easier on variable snow conditions
length- for you about 175-180cm, if youre not a good skier, shorter is preferable
weight- probably in the minority here but lighter isnt always better, the lighter your ski is the harder it is to be stable on bad snow

bindings:
depending on what weight/safety you want, you can pick from lightweight pin bindings, mid weight pin bindings, or heavier resort/backcountry combination bindings.

skins:
also probably in the minority here but whenever ive seen people using mohair or blend skins in the spring time they are slipping everywhere, nylon skins for me

below is my primary setup except a few years old
https://www.powder7.com/Dynafit-ST-Rota ... dings/sale
https://www.powder7.com/Salomon-QST-106 ... 2/for-sale
https://www.powder7.com/Black-Diamond-A ... Skins/sale

for finding deals dont forget to look at womens gear, its often on sale when mens gear is not
dont forget a shovel/beacon/probe and know how to use them
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Bean
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Re: Advice on alpine touring setup?

Post by Bean »

Snow conditions for 14er-access-skiing, even if you walk down all the steep stuff, can be extremely challenging. Spring snow is often punchy and only half-consolidated. You still need to be a competent skier.

That said, if you only care about quickly moving on flats/ups then it doesn't really matter. Find something used in the mid-170s length and high 90s width. The specific skis and bindings you're looking at will definitely do the job but are overkill if you're just using them for access. Don't get G3 skins. Skorpius will be fine if it fits your foot.
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k_fergie
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Re: Advice on alpine touring setup?

Post by k_fergie »

Welcome to the dark side, Will :twisted: :twisted:
I thought, I taught, I wrought
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Monte Meals
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Re: Advice on alpine touring setup?

Post by Monte Meals »

Powder 7 in Golden usually has used/demo AT setups in the spring
at discounted prices.
pvnisher
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Re: Advice on alpine touring setup?

Post by pvnisher »

Even if you're all about the uphill, the downhill is still part of it, and is the part where you'll get over your head.
You need to be a good skier. Conditions will be tough, variable, ungroomed. Even if it's not big slopes, just returning to your car over mellow rolling terrain, you still need to be a good skier. You don't fall on the uphill. You fall on the downhill.
And getting bindings focused on the uphill (ie, super light pin), will be worse on the downhill, and more likely to injure you, which is again more likely if you're not a good skier. Get your bindings for the fall, not for the climb.

Skis, I prefer 105 as my do it all.
Mount the bindings with threaded inserts. Trust me.

Get boots that fit. No compromise on that.
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Re: Advice on alpine touring setup?

Post by markf »

Have you considered a metal-edged XC setup? This is my setup for this year:

https://www.rei.com/product/195501/fisc ... untry-skis
https://www.rei.com/product/892159/alpi ... -ski-boots
https://www.rei.com/product/892162/rott ... i-bindings
https://www.rei.com/product/123438/fisc ... bing-skins
https://us.genuineguidegear.com/collect ... bing-skins

Initiating a parallel turn on metal-edged XC skis is not easy because of the funky flex pattern, but it is quite possible to ski rolling terrain pretty easily, especially if there's been enough traffic to pack the snow down. The short skins are for when the fish scale pattern isn't enough. The long skins are for longer, steeper climbs. You can get full length skins that are narrow enough for these skis, but they're not as easy to find as skins for wider skis. Mohair skins are what people used before nylon was invented. Mohair glides better than nylon, but it doesn't grip as well, doesn't last as long, costs more and needs to be waxed from time to time for best performance. Hybrid skins are somewhere in between the two. Nylon is my first choice, but the Fischer short skins are only made in hybrid style. Choose your ski length based on the ski maker's recommendation for your height and weight.
mark
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Re: Advice on alpine touring setup?

Post by Bean »

pvnisher wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 4:21 pmAnd getting bindings focused on the uphill (ie, super light pin), will be worse on the downhill, and more likely to injure you, which is again more likely if you're not a good skier. Get your bindings for the fall, not for the climb.

Skis, I prefer 105 as my do it all.
Mount the bindings with threaded inserts. Trust me.
Even 150g race bindings are not worse w.r.t. control on the downhill, and running an appropriately-low release value will leave one very unlikely to be injured in a fall. Something like a Tecton is not appropriate for this use case. Nor are inserts.
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Re: Advice on alpine touring setup?

Post by thebeave7 »

Oh man, Frischi still makes bindings? My first set was a pair of Freerides 16 years ago, so heavy.

I'm with Bean, light weight pin bindings can ski really well and hold up to most conditions. I typically ski on the speed radical, bit heavier than the race bindings, but more flexible on the climbs (esp in steeper terrain). I've skied those in bounds on double blacks and in 45-50 degree back country terrain. I ski 98 underfoot dynafit beast and for my size that's been a great moderately light ski (far from a race ski).

To echo what others have said. A lighter weight back country setup can be a great way to get around, but you still have to be 100% comfortable skiing it in all terrain. It's inevitable you'll find yourself in a challenging situation, which i guess you could boot out of (that would be miserable).

Eric
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gb
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Re: Advice on alpine touring setup?

Post by gb »

thebeave7 wrote: Fri Nov 25, 2022 10:51 am Oh man, Frischi still makes bindings? My first set was a pair of Freerides 16 years ago, so heavy.

Best bindings out there, by a long shot. (not the freerides, but the vipecs and tectons)
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Re: Advice on alpine touring setup?

Post by pvnisher »

Bean wrote: Fri Nov 25, 2022 8:53 am Something like a Tecton is not appropriate for this use case. Nor are inserts.
How do you figure?
It's his only set of skis and bindings.
Something like Tecton and inserts would be a good purchase since I doubt it's really all about crushing the uphill for fkt.
For me, anyway, I'd rather carry more weight on the uphill and be better set up for the downhill. But I'm not going for speed.
Doesn't have to be that specific binding, of course, but whatever it is, inserts are always appropriate!
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Re: Advice on alpine touring setup?

Post by SchralpTheGnar »

You should be able to get something really nice with a 1000k budget
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