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#18026 - 02/27/06 07:05 PM Re: AT technique/gear question [Re: CrackBoy]
pedestrian Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 2244
Loc: a heavily fortified bunker!
skating with heels unlocked will cause the tails of the skis to drag slightly. it's annoying but probably impacts maneuverability and "feel" more than speed.

i went touring near Cooper Lodge, a.k.a. Cooper Shelter on the Appalachian Trail yesterday, and did all of the downhills with my skins on. which was good because the trail up there, although not overly narrow, is very hard to follow with a fresh coat of snow on all the tree trunks hiding the white blazes and hiding any hint of the trail on the ground. so I did a lot of doubling back uphill.

there is tons of powder up there right now, and with skins on, my tips kept digging down into the granular base at first, when going downhill. the telemark stance or leaning back or shuffling helps... uphill that is not a problem.

Unfortunately I ended up following (with a lot of difficulty) the AT north instead of south as I'd intended, so I quit early. I am tempted to go back up there and mark a few things with surveyor's tape.

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#18027 - 03/08/06 06:42 PM Re: AT technique/gear question [Re: pedestrian]
cfa Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 07/23/02
Posts: 259
Loc: Upper Valley NH
Well, I've had a chance to try several of the above methods now, and in general, I think I prefer pedestrian's method of leaving the skins on if I know that my downhill will be interrupted by many sections of uphill. If for some reason I think I can stomp through without the skins, then I definitely unlock the heels. (I can't lock and unlock at will because I have the dynafit bindings.) I also suck at skating, but it is still possible to side step or herringbone with heels unlocked. I was out one day with some guys with half-skins, and they were bumming when the going got a little steeper (sliding backwards, etc). I tried wax one time, and it was okay for the more gently rolling terrain, although I hate to have one more piece of junk (or two or three if you like to bring different colors) to worry about remembering to bring. (Plus I forgot to scrape it off before the next time I went downhilling. D'oh!)

-Carissa

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#18028 - 03/09/06 03:33 AM Re: AT technique/gear question [Re: cfa]
pedestrian Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 2244
Loc: a heavily fortified bunker!
Well, after the events of this weekend I'd have to admit that I've taken the skins-on thing to a bit of a sick extreme: I did the entire descent of the Monroe Trail on Camel's Hump with skins on and heels unlocked. We were expecting the trail to be a little more open up top.

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