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Author Topic: Your Preferred back country ski-mostly woods and lake-flat country?  (Read 13751 times)

Offline moosehide

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What is your preference?
 I am looking at the Fischer 62 in 189 length or the Fisher crown(no metal edge) in 205cm

http://www.skis.com/Fischer-Spider-62-Cross-Country-Skis-2015/325477P,default,pd.html

Is a metal edge a waste and too much added weight in a ski for mostly flat country?

Offline HOOP

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Re: Your Preferred back country ski-mostly woods and lake-flat country?
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2014, 09:01:41 am »
What is your preference?
 I am looking at the Fischer 62 in 189 length or the Fisher crown(no metal edge) in 205cm

http://www.skis.com/Fischer-Spider-62-Cross-Country-Skis-2015/325477P,default,pd.html

Is a metal edge a waste and too much added weight in a ski for mostly flat country?

Hi Moosehide,
We need more information.  "Crown" as used by Fischer means a waxless base for any ski, its not a model of a ski.  Here is their back country touring ski link:  http://www.fischersports.com/en/Nordic/Products/Skis/Backcountry   The E99 and E109 on this page have full metal edges and are really good skis.  They have changed over the years - I have an older pair of the E109's in waxable base and really like them.    Here is a link to their "Offtrack cruising" skis that list your Spider 62's:  http://www.fischersports.com/en/Nordic/Products/Skis/Offtrack-Cruising

There is a reason most off track backcountry skis are offered in full or 3/4 metal edge - because you need them for strength, and grip for hills, and to dig into logs and sticks.   Personally, I would recommend only metal edge skis for backcountry.   However if just skiing open fields and lakes, and trails that are clear of debris and smooth skiing, then no you don't need them.   Many an oldtimer did very well with wooden skis with no steel edge.  But many installed steel edges too.

For help from us, please list the model of the ski, whether its waxable or "crown" (waxless), and what length you are thinking about.  Knowing your height and weight is also a factor for choosing length and thinking about floatation.

There are sort of 2 types of backcountry ski:  one like the S-bounds are softer cambered downhill skis that are fatter and shorter and bendy for carving downhill turns, but you can tour with them, but they are less efficient for touring.  The other group are true touring skis (like the Spiders and E99/109's) that are longer for flotation, and have a stiffer camber for kick and glide, less sidecut for more straight ahead skiing, and are more efficient for touring, but are not great for downhill turning, but a good telemarker or AT skier can make them turn on an open hill.  (Where I ski I have no open hills, so I like straight ahead touring skis).

In any case you will also want climbing skins for off trail deep snow conditions and hauling sled in some unpacked and granular snow conditions, and if you are skiing the flats I recommend Kicker skins.  I see from Fischer's website that they have a new integral kicker skin system for their new E99 Easy Skin Xtralight (similar to what Asnes has had for years on their touring skis). 

I really, really like metal edges.  All my backcountry skis have metal edges.  Most high quality backcountry skis that are designed for floatation in unpacked conditions only come with metal edges, and there is a reason for that.

I have not skied Fischer's waxless (crown) base so I cannot offer an opinion on how grippy they are.  I have Karhu waxless base that are my number one go-to backcountry ski.  But I must have my kicker skins with me in my pack because there are unpacked airy dry snow conditions that I cannot get any grip at all when breaking trail.  Once I set the trail I can get grip.  But unpacked virgin snow, I often need the kickers.   I have also had many sled hauling conditions where I was experiencing major slippage with my waxless base, and needed the kicker skins to make any headway at all. 

edit:  I forgot to mention that when going off trail, you will also hit the occasional rock.  Metal edges prevent your edges from chipping, (which reduces future problems for tearing, snapping, or   de-laminating).
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 moosehide

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Re: Your Preferred back country ski-mostly woods and lake-flat country?
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2014, 09:24:33 am »

 Looking at also 2014 Fischer Country Crown Waxless Skis<br>ski width (tip/middle/tail): 60mm / 52mm / 57mm in a 205 cm.

About 15 plus years ago I tried the old E99 model and thought they were awful heavy. I think they are much lighter now?

The stiffnest of a medal edge I could see because now in extreme deep snow my touring ski bends up quite a bit at the tip.

Was wondering if a 189 cm in the Fischer 62 ski is long enough for good floatation?

Offline HOOP

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Re: Your Preferred back country ski-mostly woods and lake-flat country?
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2014, 11:50:34 am »

 Looking at also 2014 Fischer Country Crown Waxless Skis<br>ski width (tip/middle/tail): 60mm / 52mm / 57mm in a 205 cm.

About 15 plus years ago I tried the old E99 model and thought they were awful heavy. I think they are much lighter now?

The stiffnest of a medal edge I could see because now in extreme deep snow my touring ski bends up quite a bit at the tip.

Was wondering if a 189 cm in the Fischer 62 ski is long enough for good floatation?

Have a look at Fischer's web site pull down chart for the "Length Recommendations", that appears when you click on the ski model.  That is a narrow ski for off trail, and a short length unless you are a light body weight.  They are rating 185-190 length for 120-129 lb's.  What is your weight and height?  I am 5'4" (way below men's average height) , 150 lb's, and I like 195's in a ski that narrow.  My taller and heavier buddies are all using 205 and 210 skis. 

Stiffness of the ski is also important, and if the ski is too long for one's body weight, then the skier will have trouble punching down that grip zone into the snow.  And this gets trickier with a waxless ski because there is no adjustability.  With a waxable ski you can adjust infinitely the length of the kick zone with your kick waxing....except in icy conditions when the ice peels the kick wax off, and then one has to use skins.
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 moosehide

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Re: Your Preferred back country ski-mostly woods and lake-flat country?
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2014, 01:20:49 pm »
In the Fischer Country Crown I am looking at the 205. I weight about 195 with clothes and boots.

The 189 cm length is for the Fischer 62 metal edge which maximum length is 189.

Offline HOOP

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Re: Your Preferred back country ski-mostly woods and lake-flat country?
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2014, 04:11:26 pm »
In the Fischer Country Crown I am looking at the 205. I weight about 195 with clothes and boots.

The 189 cm length is for the Fischer 62 metal edge which maximum length is 189.

Hmmm, I see you are right about those Spider 62's being listed as longest at 189.   That's interesting, and is perplexing to me.  They are listed on Fischer's website in their "Offtrack cruising" skis, and have a metal edge.  But their "Backcountry" group of skis are all offered in up to 210 length, including narrower and wider models.  Their true downhill deeply sidecut touring skis are their S-bound series, and all those are listed max at 189, which I understand because they have to stay short for curving tight turns.

So I guess I totally don't understand how Fischer's new lines of "Backcountry" and "Offtrack" differ in their purpose and design.   I see they have a separate page for their new "Offtrack" line with an attractive couple cavorting in the snow:  http://www.fischersports.com/en/Nordic/Offtrack-Cruising/Offtrack-Cruising    The video shows them walking on their skis breaking trail, which is what one has to do in all deep snow in all skis (more ski walking than skiing for the first pass).   But I don't understand what the difference is supposed to be with their Backcountry line for attributes like camber, flex, flotation and kick and glide efficiency.   If you buy the Spider 62's you can be our first reviewer of how they perform!    :)
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 yardsale

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Re: Your Preferred back country ski-mostly woods and lake-flat country?
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2014, 08:41:41 pm »
New to this thread but I want to comment on metal edges.  They enable you to set an edge on ice and  hardpack and will protect the edge from rocks etc.  If you ski in those conditions, you should get the edges.  I have some S bound 98 and love them for touring.  Others are right that the skinnier offerings from Fisher will be more efficient if you are  skiing fast on packed snow, but that isn't the condition I encounter in the bc very often.  I prefer the enhanced grip and control and flotation in deep snow the S Bound offers.

Offline Harstad

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Re: Your Preferred back country ski-mostly woods and lake-flat country?
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2014, 10:23:05 pm »
The offtrack model seems to aim for the "light and fast" crowd. Those who want to make a new trail just for the exercise, before heading home to a low-carb meal ;) Not shure how it will handle with +200 pund of skier on top.

I would go for the longer skis. The E99 or E109 models.

Metal edge may or may not matter. If you are traversing mountains it's a pluss, if its icy conditions it's a plus. If you have dogs running around it might be a paw-cutting hazard, dogs tend to run alongside the owner.. And if you 90% are skiing on a good trail it's just overkill.

I've had the country crowns for a few years now. I think it's best suited for trails and wet snow/spring. The bonus of a waxless ski is the "no-hassle" design, just take them on and ski - downside is hi-drag (= low speed) and noise.

If I go off the trail I prefer a longer ski and metal edges, it makes the skis less "wobley", faster and quiet.


good luck in your search

Offline moosehide

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Re: Your Preferred back country ski-mostly woods and lake-flat country?
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2014, 08:32:42 pm »
How wide of ski do you prefer. Up to now mine is  60mm tip - 52mm waist - 57mm tail. It is the country crown waxless Fischer BC-no metal edge.

Offline moosehide

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Re: Your Preferred back country ski-mostly woods and lake-flat country?
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2014, 07:25:49 pm »
Any comment or use of the Fischer S bound 88  ski?

Offline Bioguide

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Re: Your Preferred back country ski-mostly woods and lake-flat country?
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2014, 07:56:17 pm »

Hello Moosehide, I have the Fisher S bound 88's and so does Cousing Pete. I agree with Cousin Pete's comments:

http://www.wintertrekking.com/community/index.php?topic=3072.msg26456#msg26456

http://www.wintertrekking.com/community/index.php?topic=2457.0

By Cousin Pete: "I was really impressed with the Fischer S Bound 88 skis.   They have good floatation when going off from the beaten path.  I have good control when going down the hills on the dog sled trail.  They are much better than the long skinny skies that I have used for most of my life.  I am sorry that I  cannot give a more thorough or technical evaluation of the skis.  I have little or no expertise when it comes to doing a technical evaluation.   Somebody like HOOP would have the expertise to do a proper evaluation. "

Offline moosehide

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Re: Your Preferred back country ski-mostly woods and lake-flat country?
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2014, 07:31:21 pm »
Thanks,like said earlier it will be mostly flat terrain.

Offline scott1702

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Re: Your Preferred back country ski-mostly woods and lake-flat country?
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2014, 08:24:29 pm »
For the uses you describe (mostly flat) I highly recommend going with old-school long nordic skis.  If you weigh 195 I'd be looking at 210CM Fischer Country Crown (or waxing) or the 205-210cm E99 if you want edges. 

What you don't generally see in the marketing info is that shorter skis don't glide as well as long.  This means that all day long you'll be expending more effort to move and you'll be going slower.   Wider skis also don't glide as well as skinnier ones, and, most of all - wider fishscales skis REALLY don't glide well.   I notice a huge difference between 190cm skis and 210cm in terms of glide speed.

The only thing shorter skis are better at is turning, it's easier to turn them when skiing steeper downhills, which it sounds like you won't be doing.  If you like to go out in all condtions I'd choose the E99 with metal edges, otherwise the Country ski is lighter and has a better waxless pattern for gliding too.  The edges/no edges is very personal choice.  For many years I skied only with Fischer Country Crown types skis and love them, then I tried E99's with edges and like them even better.   But they are heavier and glide a little bit slower.  You don't really need edges if it isn't icy.

I would recommend going with waxing E99 or E109 if you get them, the new waxless pattern on these is very long and thus fairly slow gliding.  The new waxing E99s have a slot in them for skins which adds more versatility.

For your weight I'd go with 210's, they will float better and be faster.  I'm only 175-180 pounds and I prefer 210 in the Fischer Country Crown, 205's in E99.  You can't really go wrong with the Fischer Country Crown IMO.  If you want something beefier later, you can always add a pair of wider edged skis, and you'll still appreciate having the Country Crowns.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2014, 08:31:07 pm by scott1702 »

Offline moosehide

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Re: Your Preferred back country ski-mostly woods and lake-flat country?
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2014, 10:12:25 am »
I agree,I have the country crown in a 20 year old pair of skiis,they are just getting old and over 1000 miles on them easily .  Been a good ski.Maybe I should just get a new pair.Wonder if the waxless area design has changed?

Also been thinking of the Fischer S-bound 78 in a 199cm length. Still should have a glide and it would give better floatation? Little longer and claims they glide half way decent,yet wider than country crown.
Maybe the S-bound series is more of a mountain ski and not flat woods skiing. Much of the time if your breaking trail you don't have any glide anyhow.

Offline scott1702

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Re: Your Preferred back country ski-mostly woods and lake-flat country?
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2014, 01:10:50 pm »
Those Fischers are very nice skis, I haven't tried the 78.  I would beware of the Offtrack Crown pattern though.  I had a brutal couple of days last winter in Vermont, it was cold, around zero F, with some fresh snow.  The scales pattern was sticking really bad and slowing me down, they don't do well in these conditions.   The Offtrack Crown section is not sintered base material like their pre-2012 fishscales, it's some other plastic they glue onto the base of the ski.

IMO all of the Snowbound series is designed for climbing for turns, for touring over long distances I'd be looking into their nordic backcountry line.  I'd probably get waxing E109's for deep, unbroken snow.  The aggressive Offtrack Crown scale patterns are not good in cold, fresh snow.  In my experience the scales only do well in wet snow or above freezing conditions.  The E109's are lighter than Sbound 78's and will be easier to ski long distances.   The E109's and E99's got significantly lighter a couple years ago, 200cm E109's will be wider than Sbound 78's and tour better with more camber.

I have Madshus Epoch's which are similar to Sbound 98's.  They are excellent for climbing up stuff and turning down, but on a long tour they feel like heavy sloggers compared to a true nordic ski like the E99.  Some people are happy touring in these, but I like the free feeling you get from moving around the woods easily on skinnier nordic skis.  and like I said, a couple of days in cold powder with that Off-track pattern was enough to convert me back to waxing skis for sub-freezing weather.

« Last Edit: December 06, 2014, 01:25:33 pm by scott1702 »