Forums: Climbing Disciplines: Alpine & Ice:
AT Questions
RSS FeedRSS Feeds for Alpine & Ice

Premier Sponsor:

 
First page Previous page 1 2 Next page Last page  View All


Lazlo


Jan 1, 2010, 2:59 PM
Post #1 of 40 (6223 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 14, 2007
Posts: 5073

AT Questions
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Okay, so I am absolutely new to skiing. I've had one downhill lesson and spent another afternoon on a green circle. Wink (I am a snowboarder though, FWIW)

I'm going to be getting into AT for winter mountaineering.

On to the questions;

- Will my old downhill skis work for AT bindings?

- When reading about AT bindings, some bindings fit 'alpine boots'... is that referring to any crampon compatible boot?

- Do I want skins that attach on back, or do I not?

- Are the small ski crampons worth a darn?



hafilax


Jan 1, 2010, 4:28 PM
Post #2 of 40 (6186 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 11, 2007
Posts: 3025

Re: [Lazlo] AT Questions [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I converted from snowboarding 3 years ago. Wink

Your old skis should work as long as they can be drilled for any binding and there isn't any overlap between the new and old binding mounting holes.

The only bindings that I know of that work with mountaineering boots are the Silvretta 500 or variations. They are a bit like a crampon attachment binding with a heel lever and a toe bail. The lateral and vertical releases are built into the heel piece. They may work with mountaineering boots but any kind of downhill will be extremely difficult without a ski boot. They also aren't the greatest system in general and people generally only get them to put on climbing approach skis AFAIK.

You'll want skins that attach at the back and all modern skins have some kind of attachment system. You can rig your own tail attachment like the rat tail system which can be found at wildsnow.com (a great AT blog).

Ski crampons make life magnitudes easier in hard conditions. I wish I had had some last year on a long traverse I did. As the sun crust froze in the evening I could barely get traction on even moderate slopes. I would have been cruising instead of struggling with crampons. That said, it is only in those kinds of conditions where they make a difference (ie. not necessary equipment).


Lazlo


Jan 1, 2010, 4:39 PM
Post #3 of 40 (6180 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 14, 2007
Posts: 5073

Re: [hafilax] AT Questions [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Awesome, good news! Thanks for the reply


kobaz


Jan 1, 2010, 4:41 PM
Post #4 of 40 (6177 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 19, 2004
Posts: 719

Re: [Lazlo] AT Questions [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

There are quite a number of AT threads on here. Search around and you'll find some good info.

Most any binding will with with most any ski. As in... you can mount it and it'll stay on, and you can ski with it. Whether it will work well is another story, and is mostly personal preference. But the general idea is, pick a good downhill ski, and mount an AT binding on it.

The shorter the ski, the easier it will be to tour in the woods, make quick turns and etc. The fatter the ski, the more you float.

Silvretta LSV 500 (or earlier models) is the binding of choice for skiing in mountaineering boots. I use these bindings on short (156cm with a 72mm waist) k2 skis for backcountry touring. They work very well for downhilling with AT or even downhill boots, and have a heel release. They work great with light weight mountaineering boots or plastic double boots.



The Fritschi Freeride is favored for having a downhill-esque binding that will also tour. It has a toe and heel release and is fully step-in. I have these bindings sitting in a box but haven't mounted them yet. I did a lot of research on bindings and settled on these for a pure backcountry ski setup.


Dynafit is the preferred binding for light and fast and not going so far as to do telemark.


There's also the Naxo bindings. They have this interesting duel pivot in the front that is supposed to make touring easier. I haven't tried them.


Don't bother with the Marker Duke, since it's basically a really beefy resort binding with a free heel mode you can flip to by taking your boot out entirely.

For more info check out http://wildsnow.com, and http://www.telemarktips.com (despite the name, they talk randonee too)

Be prepared to spend 300+ on randonee bindings, unless you can get a good deal on used gear or a sale.

Ski crampons I haven't used, but apparently they are good for icy traverses.


harpo_the_climber


Jan 4, 2010, 7:39 AM
Post #5 of 40 (6056 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Feb 25, 2005
Posts: 106

Re: [Lazlo] AT Questions [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

If you want to emphasize the ski in ski mountaineering, get the Dynafit bindings. You will need Dynafit compatible boots. Some Dynafit compatible boots have interchangable soles so you can also use them in regular alpine bindings. You can also use most Dynafit compatible boots in other AT bindings.

If you want skis you can use with your mountaineering boots (needs heel and toe bail) on approaches, but will need great skill to ski anything challenging, get a Sillveretta binding.

Only time ski crampons are better than boot crampons are when you are skinning on certain types of breakable crust. If you are skinning, you will stay on top of the crust but could have a hard time getting grip. If you switch to booting, you sink into the soft snow underneath. The ski cramps let you stay on top but not slide around. They are standard issue in Europe, not so much in the US and Canada.

For more info check out Wildsnow.com, Tetonat.com, tetongravity.com forums, and telemarktips.com.


olympicmtnboy


Jan 20, 2010, 9:04 AM
Post #6 of 40 (5811 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Feb 4, 2003
Posts: 270

Re: [harpo_the_climber] AT Questions [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

http://cascadeclimbers.com/ski-board/ski-intro
Here is a good article.


Lazlo


Jan 31, 2010, 4:16 PM
Post #7 of 40 (5667 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 14, 2007
Posts: 5073

Re: [Lazlo] AT Questions [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

What are all the possible problems I could expect with mounting and using AT bindings on an older style ski compared to the newer parabolic 'powder ski'?

The skis I have are "Kastle Air sx 801", vintage late 80s to 90s.

Will skins fit alright?

I rented a pair of BD Voodoos a few weeks ago. I'm told that they're an awesome ski...but it was my first time on parabolic skis...and first time back country skiing. I was falling a lot. Are these the direction I should head if I want a solid future in back country skiing? I want to save money and stay with what I'm comfortable with...but I also don't want to stay in the stone age.


scuclimber


Jan 31, 2010, 5:11 PM
Post #8 of 40 (5644 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 30, 2003
Posts: 1007

Re: [Lazlo] AT Questions [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

1. They're not "parabolic," they're "shaped."

2. You can easily find a pair of used shaped skis for $50-100 that would probably work just fine and be way better than your old Kastles. You may be comfortable on them, but you'd be making things harder on yourself than it should be.

3. Do you actually want to enjoy the skiing? Or is it just a means of transportation?

4. BD Voodoos probably weren't your problem. It was more likely the fact that it was your first time BC skiing. I would suggest getting your ski setup dialed and then skiing inbounds a lot to get your technique down. If funds are an issue, find a small hill and get a season pass in the offseason when they're cheapest. Go up and ski off-piste in the shittiest conditions the hill can dish out.

5. Get Dynafits.


hafilax


Jan 31, 2010, 9:06 PM
Post #9 of 40 (5606 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 11, 2007
Posts: 3025

Re: [Lazlo] AT Questions [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

There's no such thing as a shaped powder ski. They have opposite design goals. Shaped skis have a dramatic sidecut, tend to be narrow, have lots of camber are stiff and are designed for hard pack. Powder skis are wide and generally have less sidecut (all the way to reverse sidecut for powder specific skis), have less camber (all the way to reverse camber) and are usually a bit softer. There are compromises in the middle ground.

The Voodoo is on the narrow side these days for deep powder but a good all rounder.

What were the conditions you were flailing in? Sounds like you need a few resort days for mileage and to get your feet under you.


Lazlo


Jan 31, 2010, 9:25 PM
Post #10 of 40 (5601 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 14, 2007
Posts: 5073

Re: [hafilax] AT Questions [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

hafilax wrote:
What were the conditions you were flailing in? Sounds like you need a few resort days for mileage and to get your feet under you.

We skinned up about 2,000 feet. Everything felt great. The moment I took my skins off the skis just seemed awkward and different (compared to my normal alpine skis, boots, and bindings).

The conditions were powder with a suncrust. As I left the ridge I was amazed at how hard it was to leaf down the slope. It was taking tons of effort to keep the skis in sync and unwavering. We traversed over and down to gentler terrain. What would have been very very easy for me in bounds and with my own alpine gear was extremely difficult and taxing. I was finding it very hard to initiate and follow through with turns.

As we got down into the trees we had varying conditions from suncrust to nice powder.

On the easiest of areas, it was still difficult to keep my skis straight and unwavering... a problem I've never had.

The last time I was out on groomed slopes I was carving with confidence down steep blue squares. But not this day.


Lazlo


Jan 31, 2010, 9:26 PM
Post #11 of 40 (5599 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 14, 2007
Posts: 5073

Re: [hafilax] AT Questions [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

hafilax wrote:
Sounds like you need a few resort days for mileage and to get your feet under you.
I won't disagree.


atg200


Feb 1, 2010, 8:11 AM
Post #12 of 40 (5573 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 27, 2001
Posts: 4317

Re: [Lazlo] AT Questions [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

breakable crust is hard to ski and not much fun. skiing in variable snow conditions is just harder than what you find at a resort. i do double blacks all day long at resorts in my AT setup, but some snow conditions in the backcountry still make me feel like a rank beginner.

resort mileage in your AT setup will help a lot, especially if you get off the groomers and don't shy away from crappy snow conditions. lots of mileage in the backcountry will also help. some things just take time - you probably didn't lead 5.10 on your first day climbing, and backcountry skiing has a learning cruve as well.

one nice thing about tele/randonne skis vs regular alpine skis is that they are often(but not always) lighter, which makes a difference for long distance touring. ski swaps are a good place to look if you don't want to pay full retail.


hafilax


Feb 1, 2010, 8:22 AM
Post #13 of 40 (5566 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 11, 2007
Posts: 3025

Re: [Lazlo] AT Questions [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Breakable crust might be the most challenging conditions to ski (especially for telemarkers so I hear). There is a real tendency for your skis to take off on you. I definitely wouldn't entirely blame the different gear.

As mentioned, AT gear is on the light side. The boots tend to be lower and softer, the skis softer and shorter. If you're used to alpine gear then you might get pushed around a lot more since AT gear requires a little more finesse.


altelis


Feb 1, 2010, 8:23 AM
Post #14 of 40 (5566 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 10, 2004
Posts: 2168

Re: [Lazlo] AT Questions [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Lazlo wrote:
The last time I was out on groomed slopes I was carving with confidence down steep blue squares. But not this day.

Hahaha, haha. Sorry. Look, I'm not laughing at the blue squares remark, or even at the describing them as steep part.

I'm laughing at the park where you assumed your ability to to "rip it" on a groomer would at ALL correlate to back country skiing. ESP suncrust w/ powder. If you were cruising up steep crimpy sport climbs but had never climbed trad before, would you expect an OW to be cake?

You can get all the way to scraping your way down black diamonds without ever REALLY knowing how to ski. Without really engaging your edges, without learning proper weight changes, etc., etc. Let alone sticking to blue groomers.

The best way to get better at BC is to ski BC. But if that isn't an option, get back to the resort but only ski a groomer if its ABSOLUTELY necessary. Stay off anything groomed as much as possible. ESPECIALLY if the snow conditions are sub par.


scuclimber


Feb 1, 2010, 2:23 PM
Post #15 of 40 (5538 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 30, 2003
Posts: 1007

Re: [hafilax] AT Questions [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

hafilax wrote:
There's no such thing as a shaped powder ski. They have opposite design goals. Shaped skis have a dramatic sidecut, tend to be narrow, have lots of camber are stiff and are designed for hard pack. Powder skis are wide and generally have less sidecut (all the way to reverse sidecut for powder specific skis), have less camber (all the way to reverse camber) and are usually a bit softer. There are compromises in the middle ground.

Easy there trigger. The OP appears to be one of those people that calls any ski with sidecut a "parabolic ski." I was simply dispelling that notion. "Shaped" doesn't necessarily mean "super shaped," it simply means something with sidecut. I'm well aware that the best powder skis have little (or reverse) sidecut, substantial taper, rockered tips, tails, etc.


hafilax


Feb 1, 2010, 2:27 PM
Post #16 of 40 (5536 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 11, 2007
Posts: 3025

Re: [scuclimber] AT Questions [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I wasn't replying to you.


Lazlo


Feb 1, 2010, 7:50 PM
Post #17 of 40 (5498 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 14, 2007
Posts: 5073

Re: [scuclimber] AT Questions [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

scuclimber wrote:
hafilax wrote:
There's no such thing as a shaped powder ski. They have opposite design goals. Shaped skis have a dramatic sidecut, tend to be narrow, have lots of camber are stiff and are designed for hard pack. Powder skis are wide and generally have less sidecut (all the way to reverse sidecut for powder specific skis), have less camber (all the way to reverse camber) and are usually a bit softer. There are compromises in the middle ground.

Easy there trigger. The OP appears to be one of those people that calls any ski with sidecut a "parabolic ski." I was simply dispelling that notion. "Shaped" doesn't necessarily mean "super shaped," it simply means something with sidecut. I'm well aware that the best powder skis have little (or reverse) sidecut, substantial taper, rockered tips, tails, etc.

I just heard the Voodoo called a parabolic ski...so that's what I called it.

What does Parabolic refer to?


atg200


Feb 2, 2010, 7:20 AM
Post #18 of 40 (5472 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 27, 2001
Posts: 4317

Re: [Lazlo] AT Questions [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

parabolic is the gaper term for shaped. it is right up there with calling soloing free hand climbing, or calling a caver a spelunker.


dingus


Feb 2, 2010, 7:38 AM
Post #19 of 40 (5468 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 16, 2002
Posts: 17394

Re: [hafilax] AT Questions [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

hafilax wrote:
There's no such thing as a shaped powder ski.

hehe, eh, no.

All skis are shaped. ALL of them. Even the new reverse camber skis are shaped.

to the op - ski technology has jumped lightyears since those fossils you call skis, were made. Get something newer (and turnable).

DMT


Lazlo


Feb 2, 2010, 3:42 PM
Post #20 of 40 (5428 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 14, 2007
Posts: 5073

Re: [kobaz] AT Questions [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

kobaz wrote:

Silvretta LSV 500 (or earlier models) is the binding of choice for skiing in mountaineering boots. I use these bindings on short (156cm with a 72mm waist) k2 skis for backcountry touring. They work very well for downhilling with AT or even downhill boots, and have a heel release. They work great with light weight mountaineering boots or plastic double boots.

.

I have a pair of koflach double plastics and a pair of pretty sturdy leather mountaineering boots... How much could I expect to ski in these boots? I assume it would be far from preferable.


kobaz


Feb 2, 2010, 6:59 PM
Post #21 of 40 (5406 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 19, 2004
Posts: 719

Re: [Lazlo] AT Questions [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Lazlo wrote:
I have a pair of koflach double plastics and a pair of pretty sturdy leather mountaineering boots... How much could I expect to ski in these boots? I assume it would be far from preferable.

They will work. You won't have as much fine control as you would with alpine boots. You'll be able to ski a black diamond, but don't expect the release to always work, there's not enough stiffness in the ankle to always trigger it.

I've skied with vasque ice 9000's on some greens and blues just fine.


atg200


Feb 3, 2010, 7:17 AM
Post #22 of 40 (5382 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 27, 2001
Posts: 4317

Re: [Lazlo] AT Questions [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

unless you are a pretty good skier already, you will find it difficult for anything but low angle survival skiing.


Lazlo


Feb 4, 2010, 6:19 PM
Post #23 of 40 (5315 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 14, 2007
Posts: 5073

Re: [Lazlo] AT Questions [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

My final choices! Woo! I'm excited.

I chose the Havocs by recommendation in that they are a good all around ski. I'm compromising on the twin tips because I do plan on spending a good bit of time in bounds. I'm undecided on length though. I want short for weight savings, but length sounds good for stability and float. Thoughts?

Havocs


Fritschi Plus Bindings


Ascension Nylon STS skins


Method boots



altelis


Feb 4, 2010, 8:12 PM
Post #24 of 40 (5296 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 10, 2004
Posts: 2168

Re: [Lazlo] AT Questions [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Lazlo wrote:
My final choices! Woo! I'm excited.

I chose the Havocs by recommendation in that they are a good all around ski. I'm compromising on the twin tips because I do plan on spending a good bit of time in bounds. I'm undecided on length though. I want short for weight savings, but length sounds good for stability and float. Thoughts?

Havocs


Dude, skiing and landing switch is skiing and landing switch, whether you are in or out of bounds. Not sure why you said that bolded part...

I can say one thing about the twin tip skis from personal experience...your friends will LOVE the rooster tail when following close Cool

As far as length, at a waist of 88 without really much of a shovel or tail to speak of to keep you really floating, I wouldn't go too short.


Lazlo


Feb 4, 2010, 9:09 PM
Post #25 of 40 (5274 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 14, 2007
Posts: 5073

Re: [altelis] AT Questions [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

altelis wrote:
Lazlo wrote:
My final choices! Woo! I'm excited.

I chose the Havocs by recommendation in that they are a good all around ski. I'm compromising on the twin tips because I do plan on spending a good bit of time in bounds. I'm undecided on length though. I want short for weight savings, but length sounds good for stability and float. Thoughts?

Havocs
[image]http://gearx.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/5e06319eda06f020e43594a9c230972d/h/a/havoc-titanium-2_1.jpg[/image]

Dude, skiing and landing switch is skiing and landing switch, whether you are in or out of bounds. Not sure why you said that bolded part...

I can say one thing about the twin tip skis from personal experience...your friends will LOVE the rooster tail when following close Cool

As far as length, at a waist of 88 without really much of a shovel or tail to speak of to keep you really floating, I wouldn't go too short.
Basically; Being able to plunge the tails in the snow vs. the ability to ski switch.

First page Previous page 1 2 Next page Last page  View All

Forums : Climbing Disciplines : Alpine & Ice

 


Search for (options)

Log In:

Username:
Password: Remember me:

Go Register
Go Lost Password?
$26.96 (10% off)
$120.02 (10% off)
$22.46 (10% off)
$57.31 (10% off)



Follow us on Twiter Become a Fan on Facebook