Ski gear advice?

Posted by: cfa

Ski gear advice? - 03/16/04 04:05 AM

Since skis etc. are now on sale in a big way all over the place, I thought maybe I'd try to gear myself up for next season and save myself a bundle. So I need some advice, as I'm not an experienced skier. I'm mostly interested in using them for approaches to climbs - and then will need to climb in my climbing boots, and don't want to haul two pairs of boots. (Is it true that only randonnee bindings will take plastics?) So, they don't need to be able to do radical downhills, but they should be able to do a reasonable job of skiing back down the approach trails -- and if I didn't have to buy a second pair of skis to occasionally join friends for downhill skiing, that would be a bonus. I was hoping to be able to get away with buying one pair of AT or tele skis, fit them with randonnee bindings, and mostly use them uphill for approaches with my climbing boots but occasionally use them with actual randonnee boots for downhill skiing. Is that right, or do I have it completely backwards? Help! Thanks!
Posted by: andrew

Re: Ski gear advice? - 03/16/04 05:32 PM

skiing in plastic doubles is no fun - make sure you practice it a lot. for the most part i prefer to climb in my AT boots.

in order to work with plastic doubles, you'll need a silvretta binding - the one with the wire toe bail and not the plastic toe bail. i think the latest model is the 505, but i could be wrong. they ski fine(my brother skis double blacks at resorts all day long in them), but are a bit more of a pain in the butt to get in and out of then step in AT bindings like the fritschi. they also adjust easily without tools, so if you are switching between different boots the silvrettas are the way to go.

pretty much any tele or AT ski is fine. for approaching climbs, a cheap lightweight ski is a good option since you'll likely beat the crap out of them on rocky approaches. i use atomic TM9s with the silvretta bindings for climbing approaches, and bd crossbows with a fritschi binding for touring and resort skiing.

you live in boulder, right? go to neptune mountaineering and ask them for advice. they are very knowledgable and helpful, and i've gotten really good deals on AT equipment there.

have fun.
Posted by: hartmann

Re: Ski gear advice? - 03/17/04 07:22 AM

If I need to ski in to approach a climb, I just climb in my touring boots. I use my touring set up for all my skiing now. I haven't used my downhill skis in 2 years. If you really want to climb in the double plastics, then I think Andrews advice was good and go with silveretta bindings. Otherwise the Fritschi binding are really good. I use the Atomic Beta Ride 9.22 skis with the Titanal 3 binding and LOWA Strucktura EVO boots.
Posted by: andrew

Re: Ski gear advice? - 03/17/04 04:15 PM

one other note - skiing down approach trails can be *way* harder then making turns in a bowl. any steep narrow sections turn into bobsled chutes that can be very difficult to slow down in. in my AT boots i can make it down these, but in plastic doubles i would be walking.
Posted by: tico

Re: Ski gear advice? - 03/17/04 05:15 PM

I bought tele gear to ski into climbs, then found that i like skiing as much as i like climbing. don't skimp on the skis, you might find yourself in the same position
Posted by: SteveP

Re: Ski gear advice? - 03/18/04 07:13 PM

I returned from a week of climbing on katahdin a few weeks ago and here is what I learned, in regards to skis -the approach into the south basin requires a 30 mile ski, round trip. I've used AT gear for years so I took it without much thought. Essentially the skiing you do to climb in the south basin is pretty much a groomed cross counrty trail (it's a dirt/gravel road for the first 12 miles in the summer, which is used by all sorts of cars and trucks to camp at Roaring Brook campground). The rangers do all of thier equipment/fuel resupply to the ranger stations in the winter on snow machines so they are always doing trail maitainance to keep it in great shape.

The snow conditions we expereinced made waxing a nightmare (at least for me) so we used skins half of the time, which just plain sucks. The AT gear was overkill for the terrain. I't been said that a pound on your feet equals something like 8 pounds on your back, this has to apply somewhat to skis, although in good conditions you do get a glide.

Next year I'm bringing a pair of metal edge, waxless, backcountry/touring skis with a medium weight touring boot. (I stopped at LL Bean and picked up a pair of Fisher Rebounds and Salomon bindings for 60% off on the way home) I know this means carrying an extra pair of boots, but the B/C skis themselves weigh 5lbs. less than my AT skis. So i rethought my previous take on skis & climbing. I think this set up will work fine for almost every area here in the Northeast that you might consider using skis. Usually you are covering mild terrain in all of these places - Avalance Pass (partial road), Gothics, Smugglers (all road), Katahdin (mostly road), Tuckermans/ Huntingtons (mostly road). Anyway - take it for what it worth.
Posted by: andrew

Re: Ski gear advice? - 03/18/04 07:39 PM

yeah, she is in boulder though, and you definitely want an AT setup for most approaches there. in colorado, i almost always end up skinning up a lot of steep stuff and then i make nice turns on the way down.
Posted by: SteveP

Re: Ski gear advice? - 03/18/04 07:55 PM

thats true Andrew - I got so wrapped up in my recent frustrations with AT gear that I didn't notice her location.
Posted by: cfa

Re: Ski gear advice? - 03/20/04 02:02 AM

Hi all: Thanks for the responses...very helpful! Yeah, Andrew, I've been looking at the Atomic TM9s, and found a place to get 'em for under 200. And yep, I live in CO, though it's always useful to have info for other places too, since road trips are always fun!

Posted by: andrew

Re: Ski gear advice? - 03/21/04 08:00 PM

carissa - another good option is to demo some stuff from neptune's. they will put a couple of demo fees towards the purchase of a pair of skis.

if you end up going with something other than the silvretta/plastic double combination, i would suggest something a bit better than the TM9. most likely you'll do what i did - start skiing the backcountry, forget all about ice climbing and that other nasty suffering, and then pick up a quiver of skis to play with. probably best to stop short of moving to utah for the good snow though
Posted by: MarcC

Re: Ski gear advice? - 03/22/04 09:21 PM


probably best to stop short of moving to utah for the good snow though

But if she does, we'll then probably have enough'ers here to open a branch office. Besides, she'd be much closer to good B/C here than in Boulder!
Posted by: andrew

Re: Ski gear advice? - 03/22/04 11:20 PM

true that. though i had a lot more fun climbing in little cottonwood this weekend then i would have had sliding around in the slush at alta like i was originally going to do. why didn't we get a spring?
Posted by: crackers

Re: Ski gear advice? - 04/07/04 03:14 PM

you might look into seeing (if it aint too late) if you can find a pair of ascent skiis. they're like 120-150cm long, and fat enough to float on. Most come with skins, and they can make the world way better...