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Author Topic: Trak Bushwacker and Karhu Catamount  (Read 277 times)

Offline Trip Douglas

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Trak Bushwacker and Karhu Catamount
« on: November 08, 2018, 03:43:32 PM »
Hi Everyone,

This is my first post!

I have an opportunity to purchase these skis. Does anyone have any experience with them? Any positive or negative attributes of either? I believe the Traks are an early model without metal edges. I believe they have Berwin bindings. I would be putting 3-pin cable bindings on them.

Thanks for your feedback!

Trip

Offline GearFreak

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Re: Trak Bushwacker and Karhu Catamount
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2018, 07:51:43 PM »
welcome to the forums,

I have no clue about skiis
"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."

Dr. Seuss - "The Lorax"

Offline yardsale

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Re: Trak Bushwacker and Karhu Catamount
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2018, 08:14:51 PM »
Like any ski, they will do some things well and some things poorly.  What kind of skiing do you want to do with them? What kind of terrain, packed or unpacked snow?  Just skiing around or pulling a sled?

Offline Trip Douglas

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Re: Trak Bushwacker and Karhu Catamount
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2018, 06:05:54 AM »
Yardsale,

Thanks for your reply. The type of skiing I do is off trail bushwhacking. Typically lakes and ponds connected by overland marches through various forest types indicative of the Canadian Shield. I enjoy climbing up onto the top of open ridges and whalebacks and skiing down when there is a good base and powder. Skiing with a loaded daypack. Typically logging anywhere from 15 to 25 km a day.  The skis I have now are Sporten Rangers with metal edges (68-60-65). I like them. They are great on the flats, but I don't find they they allow the control I'd like on the downhills. It may be that I just don't know what I'm doing! Possibly the lack of sidecut.

Trip

Offline Slush Walker

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Re: Trak Bushwacker and Karhu Catamount
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2018, 12:28:42 PM »
I use a pair of Trak Bushwackers with Berwin bindings. I think it would be hard to do the off lake skiing and distances you describe. Doing some actual downhill skiing in powder would be hard. Glide is almost non existent. They are kind of a substitute for snowshoes. They work well for me on lakes and packed snow and I like wearing my mukluks in the berwins when I'm ice fishing but off lake was a chore. they are not fast by any stretch of the imagination. Like most things they have a place. 

-SW
"It is possible to live wisely on the land, and to live well. And in behaving respectfully toward all that the land contains, it is possible to imagine a stifling ignorance falling away from us."  -Barry Lopez

Offline snapper

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Re: Trak Bushwacker and Karhu Catamount
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2018, 01:16:00 PM »
While I don't have the old Trak "Bushwackers," I do have a pair of the Hok ski/shoes that are similar in nature; just newer.  Essentially what you have is a cross between a xc ski and a traditional snowshoe.  For that reason they're not great at any one thing but certainly helpful in various conditions.  If I'm traveling in mixed habitats (i.e. some trail, some fields, some woods) they are what I'd probably use because they are adaptable to a lot of conditions.  But if I were to be mostly on trails or open lakes, I'd go with true backcountry skis if I had them; which I do.  Concurrently, if I'm going to be in a more wooded environment most of the time, I'd probably go with my snowshoes.  All that being said, there are snowshoe styles that excel in open country so there really isn't any hard and fast rule.  Just realize that you'll never travel as fast & far with them as you would on true skis.  If distance covered is a consideration for you, you might want to rethink using them.  Again, it's all up to you.

That's all for now.  Take care and until next time....be well.

snapper

PS - One positive I forgot...by using the "Bushwackers" with the Berwin binding, you don't need different footwear.  Whatever winter boot you use will most likely work.

Offline Moondog55

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Re: Trak Bushwacker and Karhu Catamount
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2018, 04:21:07 PM »
I used the Trak about 40 years ago. Over here they were considered a snow shoe substitute and not designed for traveling long distances.
Ski design and manufacture has come a long way in 40 years. My own change has been to Madshus Aeons/ the old Karhu Guide and they ski so easily compared to my old skis that I am less tired at the end of the day. Not as fast on the flat as a skinnier ski but much easier to turn on the glide down and also good enough for sled hauling on the flat "As-Is" and on the hilss using skins
Unless you get the Bushwackers free I personally wouldn't bother except for using as skinny snowshoes around camp.
Second thought; I have never used Berwin binding but I understand that they have lousy downhill control, the local [Melbourne Australia] Antarctic binding has a better reputation in Antarctica
https://icetrek.com/shop/flexi-paramark-ski-binding

However new plastic double boots using heat moulded CCF liners are plenty warm down to -25C and give far more control and are a little cheaper
All of this is budget dependent tho, skiing isn't cheap I'm sorry to say.

Offline Goski

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Re: Trak Bushwacker and Karhu Catamount
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2018, 07:27:43 PM »
Hi Trip,
I have old Karhu Orion, which i believe are about the same as Catamount and i think they are about perfect for what you described.  They have very good no-wax base and if not in mountains, can get by without skins.  Anyway, myOrions are 85mm in tp, 70mm in waist and 80mm tail, if Catamount is about that go for it.   I wouldn't mind to buy a pair, although i have two newer pairs, as my old Orions are getting a bit worn out.  My first for this kind of skiing and still my favourite.

Offline yardsale

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Re: Trak Bushwacker and Karhu Catamount
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2018, 08:14:14 PM »
Trip,

I think the Tracks are much wider than your current boards which will provide you with more flotation off piste.  The additional sidecut would make the ski more turny.  However, I have concerns about the bindings you are considering.   Do these bindings attach to both the toe and heel of the boot?  In order to optimize the turning of the ski, you have to transmit some torque from your foot to the ski through the binding.  A sloppy binding won't do that. Also, if you ever find yourself on hardpack and wish to put some edge pressure on the ski, a soft boot will, again, just twist and you will be sliding around without control.  Not "traditional" by any means but a 3 pin cable binding matched to some T-2's will maximize control with some sacrifice in  warmth and comfort. Choices, choices.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2018, 09:26:34 PM by yardsale »

Offline K.

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Re: Trak Bushwacker and Karhu Catamount
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2018, 09:54:03 PM »
...The type of skiing I do is off trail bushwhacking. Typically lakes and ponds connected by overland marches through various forest types indicative of the Canadian Shield. I enjoy climbing up onto the top of open ridges and whalebacks and skiing down when there is a good base and powder. ...

For the precise type of skiing, I have a ski in 88-68-78. Along with the metal edges, that's a huge increase in downhill capability over what you currently run.I have the same 3 pin cables you mention, and leather boots.  I don't think my daily average is quite 20 km, but I blame that on my fitness, not my equipment! Prior to that I had E99's in an almost identical profile to those rangers. For me there's no question about the advantage of downhill control over speed on the flats. Going slow on the flats never got me into trouble, but not having a reliable turn while descending long portage trails or on gladed slopes often did.

Offline Trip Douglas

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Re: Trak Bushwacker and Karhu Catamount
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2018, 08:47:28 PM »
Thanks everyone for your advice, I really appreciate it! I ended up going with the Karhu Catamounts (85-70-80). They came with Voile 3-pin Mountaineer bindings installed and a pair of leather Alico boots. I haven't skied on them yet, but I'm really looking forward to it! I might put 3-pin cable bindings on them. Not sure yet. I'm learning that it is difficult to find an all round ski that excels in every situation. With the boards I already have, I think my 'quiver' is shaping up nicely. 

Thanks again!

Trip

Offline Moondog55

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Re: Trak Bushwacker and Karhu Catamount
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2018, 01:11:09 AM »
I'd not bother with cable bindings on the Catamount myself, they are not really a Telemark
Rigid rod bindings [ such as the Voile Switchback] are far superior even if they do cost a bomb more cash.
Nothing wrong with the Voile Mountaineer binding from simply tromping around

https://www.voile.com/voile-switchback-telemark-binding.html

Offline yardsale

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Re: Trak Bushwacker and Karhu Catamount
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2018, 07:46:19 AM »
How much you need the cables depends somewhat on the stiffness of those boots.  Try em out for a while then decide.  Your choice is as close as possible to a do everything ski.  (Too wide to fit in groomed tracks, not that I would care. ;D)