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Author Topic: What kind of ski am I looking for?  (Read 8525 times)

Offline exophysical

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What kind of ski am I looking for?
« on: February 17, 2014, 12:52:03 pm »
 I haven't done any Nordic skiing since I was about 14, but lurking on this sight for a few weeks has convinced me that I need to get back into it. I plan to get some skis for next winter and I'm wondering what kind of a ski I should be looking for. Almost all my skiing would be either off trail in soft snow, or following skidoo tracks when I can. We have a lot of big hills around my home in northern Alberta, and even a few old decommissioned ski slopes that I'd like to try skiing eventually. I'm looking for a ski that I can use for back country touring on the lakes and rivers, as well as play around in the steeper stuff a little bit. At this point I'm leaning towards the Rossignoll BC 68 or 70, would this type of ski be a good choice or should I be looking at a wider ski?

Offline Moondog55

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Re: What kind of ski am I looking for?
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2014, 06:13:54 pm »
Cheap and second hand to start with, if you have skied before the start with stuff you don't mind breaking. More important is you choice of boot and binding. Skis are relatively cheap compared to boots & bindings

Offline SupGen

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Re: What kind of ski am I looking for?
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2014, 09:59:27 pm »
  Take a look at this thread:http:  http://www.wintertrekking.com/community/index.php?topic=2548.0 , here's the link to the skis: http://store.colemans.com/cart/us-gi-cross-countrydownhill-skis-p-2119.html . Believe me, you'll get way more than your moneys' worth.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2014, 10:05:24 pm by SupGen »

Offline exophysical

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Re: What kind of ski am I looking for?
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2014, 10:05:38 pm »
  Take a look at this thread:http: //www.wintertrekking.com/community/index.php?topic=2548.0 , here's the link to the skis: http://store.colemans.com/cart/us-gi-cross-countrydownhill-skis-p-2119.html . Believe me, you'll get way more than your moneys' worth.

I took a look at those but they wont ship to Canada, not sure what the cost would be by the time they got here either.

Offline Moondog55

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Re: What kind of ski am I looking for?
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2014, 11:37:39 pm »
At that price I'd be willing to hitch-hike down to pick them up.
Do you know any-one the other side of the border??
Great ski

Offline SupGen

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Re: What kind of ski am I looking for?
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2014, 08:41:59 am »
  Here's a link to a guy on E-Bay selling a different surplus ski made by Karhu. I haven't seen these yet, but I am ordering a pair. They're a little wider, with a little more sidecut (87-71-78), and the seller say's they are camber and a half so they're probably a little better for turning and steeper terrain. They cost a little more than the ones from Colemans, but at US $29.99 and $22.00 shipping they are still pretty cheap, and he does ship to Canada. I should get mine in about a week, so if you want to wait I'll let you know what I think. Geez, almost forgot, heres the link: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Unused-Karhu-Backcountry-Telemark-Snow-Skis-190cm-HUNDREDS-of-pairs-SOLD-/111280237084?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item19e8d1aa1c

Online Bothwell Voyageur

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Re: What kind of ski am I looking for?
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2014, 11:11:53 am »
Thanks for the link. just bought a pair, though I'm wondering what UPS will sting me for the privilege of clearing customs!

Hoping the snow sticks around long enough for me to get these set up. -3C today :(

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Offline Moondog55

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Re: What kind of ski am I looking for?
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2014, 04:23:13 pm »
10th Mountains are very very good skis, can be used with a standard 3pin binding but benefit from a decent Telemark binding a  stiffer boot

Offline HOOP

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Re: What kind of ski am I looking for?
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2014, 11:08:36 pm »
I ski tour with a day pack, and haul toboggans on the flats (lakes, roads, bush trails), and I don’t telemark because there are no hills here that are not thickly forested.  So my focus is straight ahead trudging on skis. 

There are many good combos of skis, boots and binding’s and an almost bewildering choice.  A buddy of mine wanted to get into back country skiing, so I came up with the following list of what I am calling a comparison of standards for flat country back country touring off trail, available in stores right now.   These can turn on a hill, but I am going to list simple bindings not really made for turning, and lightest of boots not really made for turning.  I am not saying these are the best for flat country trudging.  Rather I am saying these are all good, commonly available today, and a good standard to compare to when choosing your kit.   There are many comparable skis, boots and bindings of many brands:

I am suggesting you want a pair of waxable, and a pair of waxless skis.  Each has advantages and disadvantages depending on conditions.  What you need with both is a pair of climbing kicker skins or full length climbing skins.  For example there are icy crust conditions for which it is impossible to keep your kick wax on, and you must have skins or you will go nowhere.  There are melted and re-forzen granular snow conditions for which waxless cannot grip at all, and you must have skins.  There is deep unpacked powder that will shear on any sort of incline and your skis will not grip without skins.  Always have a pair of kicker skins in your pack.

Boots and bindings:
3 main choices for binding systems, which dictate boot choices, or visa versa:  75mm Nordic norm, Salomon BC, or NNN BC.

75mm:  Rossignol BC X-6 boot.   There are better soft boots, but these will get you started for relatively cheap:    http://www.rossignol.com/CG/CA/bc-x-6-75mm_RI2WA86_product_nordic-men-boots-outdoor.html

75mm binding:  Voile makes one of the best and simplest, the Mountaineer, which is what I use:  http://www.voile.com/voile-telemark-bindings/voile-hd-mountaineer-3-pin-telemark-binding.html

Salomon BC:  X-ADV-6. Boot
https://www.salomon.com/caus/product/x-adv-6.html

Salomon boots uses their own SNS BC binding:  https://www.salomon.com/caus/product/sns-xa-manual.html


NNN boots and bindings:  This is a similar idea to the Salomon system, but they are not interchangeable:
Rossignol uses NNN bining.  Their website shows only the automatic BC binding.  Never get an automatic for BC, only manual.  Auto can ice up and not work, manual is better:  http://www.rossignol.com/CG/CA/bc-auto_RJ31007_product_nordic-men-bindings.html

Rossignol NNN boot:  BC X-6:  http://www.rossignol.com/CG/CA/bc-x-6_RI2WA85_product_nordic-men-boots-outdoor.html

Many ski companies make good boots for these binding systems.

BC skis
there are two kinds :  (1) double camber and camber and a half for kick and glide for making distance, and (2) soft floppy single to almost no camber, for downhill turning, and these usually have radical sidecut hourglass shapes.  These turning skis will have major trouble holding a kick wax, and will be slow pigs on the flats.  They are made to bend backwards for turning, and using skins for climbing up mountains.  Unless you are turning a lot, I think you want the stiff double camber or camber and a half kick and glide long skis with less sidecut.

Skis – waxable :
The Madshus Glittertind is legendary.  This is an all round making major Km’s ski.  Don’t be fooled by its slim profile, 68-55-62.  Get longer for floatation.  http://madshus.com/skis/glittertind-ski
I don’t have these skis, but I have a narrower pair of very similar skis, the Atomic Mountain, and these are my favourite touring waxable skis.   The Mountains are not made anymore, but Atomic is making what I think is the identical ski called their Sierra 59 wax: 
http://www.atomic.com/en/Products/Nordic/Ski/Touring/SIERRA_59_WAX/AB0020334.aspx?filter=315%3a1%3b235%3a1
The profile is the same as my old Mountains at 59-50-55.  There are many brands of fine mid width skis in this class of mid width steel edged, double camber or camber and a half touring skis.  Tip widths range from 59 to about 70 to 80ish, E.g. Fischer, Atomic, Rossignol, Asnes, and many other brands I cannot recall at the moment.

Skis waxless
My buddy has a pair of these brand new this year, and they are the best waxless touring ski I have seen for our type of use:  the Madshus Eon:  http://madshus.com/skis/eon-mgv-omni  For lake skiing on my wider Karhus with the same Omnitrak fish scale base, I cannot keep up with him in his Eons.  Madshus made a very good move to purchase Karhu’s Omnitrak base – best waxless base IMO.

Last but not least, the skins:  For flat country trudgers like me, I recommend Black Diamond kicker skins because you don’t need a full length climbing skin on the flats.  The kickers give you some glide.  There will be conditions where you cannot pull your sled without these:  http://blackdiamondequipment.com/en/ski-skins/glidelite-mohair-mix-kicker-skins-BD163711_cfg.html#start=8

There are several options for poles as well:  fixed or BC adjustable.  Black Diamond makes some great adjustable poles for shorter people.  I use those, but my taller buddies both over 6 foot tall prefer XC ski fixed length poles.

The list above is my off the cuff list for comparison shopping.  There are less expensive and more expensive options.  Good luck!

« Last Edit: February 19, 2014, 07:12:52 am by HOOP »
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"I firmly believe that far from hurting the planet, the growing knowledge of Bushcraft is helping our natural world. When we employ bushcraft skills, it may seem as though we are consuming natural resources.  But of course, the more we learn about the trees, the plants, the animals around us, the more we respect them. The more we respect them, the more we cherish them, the more we nurture and take care of them. That is the underlying principle of Bushcraft.

Offline exophysical

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Re: What kind of ski am I looking for?
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2014, 09:58:02 am »
 Thanks HOOP, just to further Clarify though I'd like to put the question a different way. For use in a wide variety of conditions, including off trail touring in deep unpacked snow and occasional steep terrain, would you recommend going with a ski with dimensions along the lines of the Gllittertinde/ E99, or a wider ski like the Eon or Orion?

Offline exophysical

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Re: What kind of ski am I looking for?
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2014, 01:21:10 pm »
I picked up a pair of those Karhu's as well, I doubt I'll get any type of ski much cheaper than that in my neck of the woods anyways. Thanks for the link!

Offline SupGen

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Re: What kind of ski am I looking for?
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2014, 01:55:09 pm »
  No problem, for the price, even if they suck you can always use them for "rock skis". It's really a shame you can't get the Asnes skis from Coleman's; they are a real double-camber touring ski. The weight and flex are very similar to my mid-90s E-99s, and they're about 10-15 mm wider.

Online Bothwell Voyageur

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Re: What kind of ski am I looking for?
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2014, 04:34:52 pm »
A couple of links which folk may find useful

a forum thread on the Kahru military skis

http://www.vftt.org/forums/showthread.php?33751-New-Favorite-Toy-in-My-Toybox-Karhu-Army-Skis-Fritschi-AT-Bindings-Permagrin

and a blog post on Nordic Backcountry that contains a fair bit of useful info

http://home.comcast.net/~pinnah/DirtbagPinner/dirtbag.html

BV
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Offline HOOP

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Re: What kind of ski am I looking for?
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2014, 07:28:55 pm »
Thanks HOOP, just to further Clarify though I'd like to put the question a different way. For use in a wide variety of conditions, including off trail touring in deep unpacked snow and occasional steep terrain, would you recommend going with a ski with dimensions along the lines of the Gllittertinde/ E99, or a wider ski like the Eon or Orion?

Hi Exophysical,
Since I am flatlander bush trudger, I cannot speak to steep terrain for skiing down.  Then I think you are into telemark technique, outside my experience, and probably want to have a heel cable.  I think Voile still makes their detachable cable binding for having an ultralight touring option and a cable option when you need it. 

Its too bad that Telemarktips.com went out of business.  That forum was the world's premier forum for discussing exactly what you are asking.  There are some free-heel downhill skiers  on this forum who may be able to help you on the downhill considerations. 

If it was me, I would err on the side of better performance in flatland trudging for making K's and hauling sled efficiently.  That means a longer, stiffer, less sidecut, narrow to medium BC width, more cambered ski with a better glide.  Therefore there would be a negative tradeoff with carving tele turns.  I am thinking the Glittertinde/E99’s are stiffer and more cambered and harder to turn, and the Orions/Eons are softer and will tele turn better.   But in either case for what I would want is the longest ski I could handle for the flats (for me that's 195-ish), and that's too long for good turning for my low stature, from what I read about telemark turning?   My problem is that I dearly like all of the above skis and would buy all four! (I own the Orions).
 :)
My Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/Wintertrekker

"I firmly believe that far from hurting the planet, the growing knowledge of Bushcraft is helping our natural world. When we employ bushcraft skills, it may seem as though we are consuming natural resources.  But of course, the more we learn about the trees, the plants, the animals around us, the more we respect them. The more we respect them, the more we cherish them, the more we nurture and take care of them. That is the underlying principle of Bushcraft.

Offline Moondog55

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Re: What kind of ski am I looking for?
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2014, 08:22:46 pm »
You can always do what I do, I usually take 2 pairs of skis [ after all skis are cheap enough if not buying the "Latest and Greatest' and getting used or demo'd] so I can have the best of both worlds. With a little practice it isn't hard to tow the second pair behind if the won't strap to the sled or pulk. I have 5 pairs of almost new skis here I got from the recycle center for $3- a pair. Old downhill skis make excellent cheap fun turning skis