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#13369 - 10/27/04 10:49 PM Re: xc? xt? skate? backcountry? [Re: Spiderman]
zachres Offline
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Registered: 04/03/03
Posts: 495
Loc: In the midst of a "psychotic b...
Backcountry skiing is basically going into the wilderness/out of ski resort boundries, climbing a mountain, and skiing it. The level of difficulty or danger involved is entirely up to you. Cross-Country skiing is essentially an endurance sport... typically done on flat or rolling terrain, with no steep ups or downs.

Cross-country and Backcountry begin to kind of cross paths at or near the ski that you're looking at... Most people would call it a touring ski; good for long trips with a big pack, or for moderate up and downs... kind of like what you want to do......... although, there is a small group of curmudgeony old doods that swear this type of set-up is the superior method of down-hill as well. Of course, their idea of downhill and mine are vastly different.

I work at a backcountry skiing and snowboarding magazine, so I do know a little bit.... however, I'm a snowboarder, so that's where most of my expertise lies. I would reccomend posing this question on our forum at www.earnyourturns.com you'll definitely get some answers.

Zach

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#13370 - 10/28/04 04:37 PM Re: xc? xt? skate? backcountry? [Re: zachres]
phlan Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/11/00
Posts: 2778
Loc: Gardiner, NY
reading between the lines, what I think you want are called regular old "beater" skis... the kind you don't have to worry about scratching up or maintaining...

everyone should have a pair like that, even if you have performance setups of one kind or another. if you only have or want to get one pair, this is the kind to have (no muss, no fuss.)

shop for a used pair, waxless and get something that seems sturdy and won't break... you don't have to be too picky for the type of skiing you want to do.

have fun!
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#13371 - 10/28/04 10:01 PM Re: xc? xt? skate? backcountry? [Re: zachres]
Spiderman Offline
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Registered: 12/23/01
Posts: 178
Loc: Long Island N.Y.
What do you think is a good length ski for me.

5'11" 163lbs
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#13372 - 11/11/04 01:35 AM Re: xc? xt? skate? backcountry? [Re: Spiderman]
pedestrian Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 2244
Loc: a heavily fortified bunker!
If you're doing hills steep enough to require telemark turns, you want a metal edge ski. If not, you will probably have more fun with a normal x-c ski, since they're lighter weight and probably cheaper. Most of the metal-edged "backcountry" skis that are being sold have similar width and camber to x-c skis.

I am a fan of wide-track x-c skis. They are more stable and still lightweight. Better for people like me who suck on x-c equipment, which is most people. They aren't built for x-c racing, for sure, but you can still ski for miles x-c without tiring yourself out.

you can always just rent a pair of normal or wide-track x-c skis up at rock & snow to try them out for a day, say on some of the downhills around the mountain house. some of those are even groomed. and you should easily be able to snowplow down old minnewaska carriage road towards rhodo bridge, without requiring a metal-edged ski, for example.


Edited by pedestrian (11/11/04 02:08 AM)

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#13373 - 11/29/04 02:55 PM Re: xc? xt? skate? backcountry? [Re: andrew]
Smike Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/01/01
Posts: 3143
Loc: in your backyard
Does anyone know what the feasibility of using you ice boots (leather) for cross country ski touring (no down hill) I know Ice boots suck for alpine.

Or basically what is the ideal Cross country ski shoe? Soft, hard etc...

Thanks

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#13374 - 11/29/04 06:54 PM Re: xc? xt? skate? backcountry? [Re: Smike]
groundhog Offline
member

Registered: 04/19/01
Posts: 137
Loc: southern NJ
Quote:

Does anyone know what the feasibility of using you ice boots (leather) for cross country ski touring (no down hill) I know Ice boots suck for alpine...




Ice boots, even leather, will tend to be too stiff for cross country touring, which generally requires a fairly flexible toe area (notice the bellows in plastic tele boots). You would probalby need more of an AT style binding, which IMO would be overkill for general cc touring. Of course, if you were looking to ski into an ice climb that would be the way to go.

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#13375 - 11/30/04 03:07 PM Re: xc? xt? skate? backcountry? [Re: groundhog]
Smike Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/01/01
Posts: 3143
Loc: in your backyard
Thanks, it would be as guessed I'm sure for long approaches to far away ice. (well at least far from mad crowds) Just trying to figure what the best set up would be to avoid having to bring 2 pairs of boots.

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#13376 - 11/30/04 05:22 PM Re: xc? xt? skate? backcountry? [Re: Smike]
groundhog Offline
member

Registered: 04/19/01
Posts: 137
Loc: southern NJ
Quote:

... long approaches to far away ice.... Just trying to figure what the best set up would be to avoid having to bring 2 pairs of boots.




In an attempt to address just this issue, I picked up a pair of Lowa Struktura boots this year. They fit like a glove, no heel lift at all, nice buckle closure. They require an AT style binding (fritschi, silvretta), but feel like they should make a decent ice boot. Can't wait to try 'em out!

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#13377 - 11/30/04 08:07 PM Re: xc? xt? skate? backcountry? [Re: Smike]
pedestrian Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 2244
Loc: a heavily fortified bunker!
as has been noted elsewhere, mountaineering boots are not ideal for either downhill or XC skiing. but if you just want to mount some cheap bindings on beater skis and use mountaineering boots with 'em, last years Silvrettas are lookin' good - they have a simple wire toe piece that looks like a crampon toe piece. I would not recommend this setup for serious downhills where you might need alpine-style binding release, though.

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#13378 - 11/30/04 08:16 PM Re: xc? xt? skate? backcountry? [Re: pedestrian]
Mike Rawdon Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/29/99
Posts: 4276
Loc: Poughkeepsie
Quote:

as has been noted elsewhere, mountaineering boots are not ideal for either downhill or XC skiing. but if you just want to mount some cheap bindings on beater skis and use mountaineering boots with 'em, last years Silvrettas are lookin' good - they have a simple wire toe piece that looks like a crampon toe piece. I would not recommend this setup for serious downhills where you might need alpine-style binding release, though.




If anyone is thinking of trying such a setup, I have a pair of skis you can have for free. They are all white. I think they are US Army 10th Mtn Division surplus. I used them for a year of ski area tele skiing then moved on to a more lively downhill ski. So they have had 3 pin bindings mounted on them. The bases are in good condition. They are alpine width & length (180 I think), alpine flex i.e. much less cambered than a XC touring ski. They are not "shaped" like the current parabolic skis so you have to know how to turn, as opposed to merely laying the ski at an angle on the snow (yea, I'm a cynicaloldfart)

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