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Author Topic: We need a new BC ski!  (Read 6735 times)

Offline Trailpatrol

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We need a new BC ski!
« on: October 19, 2009, 12:07:43 am »
Actually, we need the return of the classics. Anyone want to join me in pushing Karhu to bring back the Bushwacker/Catamount/Orion/10th Mtn. Tour-type skis? I posted on their Facebook page, but no response so far.

Skis that work, for the long haul!

Waiting for REAL snow,
Hans
"My country isn't a country, it is winter" - Gilles Vigneault

Offline yardsale

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Re: We need a new BC ski!
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2009, 07:12:30 am »
Karhu still makes a reasonable ski for pulling a sled. Check out the BC guide. Its 109-78-95 dimensions make it wider than any of the older bc skis. Largest difference is the 31mm sidecut the guide has vs. the 20mm sidecut of the Catamount.  This might make tracking a problem on hardpack or ice if you are not using skins but should be fine in all subsurface conditions.  Snowtrekkers might also want to Google "approach skis" used by snowboarders to get to the goods.    http://pistehors.com/backcountry/wiki/Gear/Approach-Skis  The Sastrugi binding is supposed to be compatible with soft boots.  I personally think they are too short for efficient flotation and travel.

Offline Gapahuk

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Re: We need a new BC ski!
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2009, 04:37:31 pm »
Interesting website, yardsale.
I also think these are not comparable with real BC ski,s.
But interesting for me as a snowboarder. When I started snowboarding 25 years ago with my homemade board, the sport was very new and we weren,t allowed in 'towlifts'.
I cut some old ski,s to use in the lifts.

For wintertrekking these sastrugi bindings are interesting.
A while ago I found this guy : http://www.jerrykobalenko.com/gear.htm
Check what he is using for gear ( also besides ski,s and bindings; clothing etc. ) He uses 'Berwin bindings' usable with mukluks.


Cheers Ewout.

Offline yardsale

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Re: We need a new BC ski!
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2009, 07:35:12 pm »
In that link, Jerry touches on a pet peeve of mine.  Rigid poles are essential for the hilly, even mountainous environment I travel in  for  backcountry telemark adventures, but getting out of the harness all the time is frustrating. For this year's project, I am going to try to attach the poles to a light backpack I carry and let the chest harness\waist belt carry the sled load. If I can make the union somehow, it will be relatively simple to slip off the pack to get back to the sled.

Offline Tomd

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Re: We need a new BC ski!
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2009, 09:53:55 pm »
Yardsale, I don't have a fancy rig, but I use rigid poles of PCV Sched 40 with end caps glued on them and eyebolts in them. Then I use cheap lock links on the sled end and biners on my end to clip the poles to the gear loops on my pack's waistbelt. Works pretty good and is easy to get the poles off the belt.

I have some pics if you want to see my setup.

My skis are Atomic Rainiers with Voile 3 pin cable bindings on the Voile release kit.  My boots are Garmont Excursions which is Garmont's 2 buckle plastic BC boot.  Not a boot for -40C though.

Offline HOOP

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Re: We need a new BC ski!
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2009, 12:41:36 am »
Hi TomD,

Please do post pics of your set up.

Trailpatrol,
I agree the selection of BC trekking skis with stiff enough camber for a good kick and glide, and modest side cut that are long and fat enough for big floatation, are getting harder to find.  I have 2 pairs of the Karhu Orions (175 and 195).   I am glad I purchased them when I did.   There is a huge selection of radically sidecut downhill AT/telemark skis out there with essentially zero camber,  designed to bend backwards for tight downhill turning.  Most of them are very short too.  But you could never kick and glide with them with any efficiency.

Although I have not seen the Karhu Guide or 10th Mountain, I understand from reading the extensive reviews on Telemarktips.com, that these are somewhat floppy telemark downhill skis designed for turning (single camber), i.e. they will bend back in a negative shape for carving tight turns, and they sacrifice the stiffer camber for the kick and glide we tend to like here for skiing on the flats and for hauling sled.  And they are very aggressively sidecut for turning, which makes them squirrelly for skiing straight lines on the flats.  (Again this is my theory, as I have not skied them).    As mountain skis, the users are relying on skins for serious grip.   Karhu's GT and Pinnacle are their camber and a half skis (still not as fast for kick and glide as a true double camber ski).  The GT is close to the Orion/Catamount in shape.  My Orions also are only camber and a half, but I love them for their big time floatation, and I use kicker skins on them when the waxless base cannot grip well.
I would love to try the GT's in the longest (195) length.

If you want to get a petition letter going, I will sign it!   

Check out Asnes in Norway.  They are still making true trekking skis with moderate side cut.   There is an Asnes dealer in Calgary.  I don't know about the States?  I ordered a pair of the Ragos from the Calgary dealer, and they are still brand new, ready to be tried out.  They are much softer than my Atomic Mountains, but wider, so they will require a learning curve for waxing that softer pocket.   One of the issues with a softer pocket is loosing the wax, so I always carry my kicker skins in my pack just in case.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2009, 12:54:09 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 Tomd

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Re: We need a new BC ski!
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2009, 03:57:58 am »
Will do Hoop. I have to track them down.  FYI, Ray Jardine, the lightweight gear guru used Asnes military skis to ski with his wife across Antarctica from Patriot Hills to the South Pole.  You can read about his trip on his website, www.rayjardine.com Look for the link on the left side of his home page.  Ray makes lightweight gear kits used mostly by long distance hikers doing the Appalachian Trail (the real one) and so on.

Speaking of Ray, he used a two person "quilt" of his design for him and his wife to sleep under on that trip.  You wouldn't think it would be very warm, but that plus their parkas and insulated pants are what they slept in even at -30C or so.

Ray makes a bomber hat kit that looks interesting. Not expensive and super lightweight.

Offline Tomd

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Re: We need a new BC ski!
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2009, 04:02:28 am »
Keep in mind this is for a pretty small sled and not more than about 40 pounds of gear.  I cross the poles in an "X" tp give them a bit of stability. I am sure a bigger and heavier sled or tobaggan would need a harness of some type, but for a light load, this setup works pretty well.

Fully loaded on the way out



As you can see, I'm not in Northern Canada :) This is Yosemite on probably a 5 to10C day. The skis are Atomic Rainiers with Voile 3 pin cable bindings on release plates. They are a bit short, but I got them on sale at about 25% retail and couldn't pass them up. For really fluffy snow, they are too narrow, but for the Sierra, they usually are fine for hardpack.



Kelty waistbelt and gear loop



Pelican sled and PVC poles
The sled is made in Canada so I presume you've seen these before.



Snaplink and end cap for sled end



End cap and biner for pack end



Sled eyebolt



These fins are not on my sled, but are on the same model that a hiker in BC uses. By coincidence, he not only has the same sled, he has the same pack and waistbelt.  I borrowed his pictures from his posts on ClubTread, a BC hiking forum.



« Last Edit: October 22, 2009, 04:27:27 am by Tomd »

Offline yardsale

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Re: We need a new BC ski!
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2009, 05:48:31 pm »
I used  a smilar setup with a hip belt and was bothered by the jerking. Perhaps it will be less on a pack. 

I've developed a couple of  ways to attach the poles to sled without tools. Here is a photo of the earlier version. Notice the angled cut on the outside sections of the poles. When you lower the poles to the working positions the outside end of the poles engages with the U rings.


Don't have a photo of the best setup but it involves installing two 90 degree pieces at the end of the drag poles nearest the sled and attaching two short sections of pole that meet in the middle between the two u bolts. I have inserted a dowell into one so when they come together they stay there untill you flex the poles to draw them out of the u bolts. Works slick.

Offline Tomd

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Re: We need a new BC ski!
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2009, 07:13:20 pm »
I've seen something similar using a wide "u" shaped piece in the front held down by brackets. The poles then fit into the ends of the "u." Forget where I saw it. Ed Buffard sells all kinds of parts on his website http://www.skipulk.com/ made from fancy marine grade fittings. If I was pulling a lot of weight and going really far, I might look at his stuff.

Offline HOOP

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Re: We need a new BC ski!
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2009, 09:45:44 pm »
Thread hijack!!!    Ooops, I started it by asking TomD to show pics of his rig.   :-[

Lets keep this one to the back country skis Trailpatrol was talking about.  (But nice sled rigs!   And those hauling and camping condtions in your pics look like shangrila!   Sunburn weather more intense than summer!  I received a pulk, pole and harness from Ed at the Symposium to try out.  Man I can't wait for the snow to put that baby through the paces.  I will be posting a gear review after I use it - gotta get some snow here first).

I just got back from the EXCELLENT 11th Winter Camping Symposium, and saw Dick Pula's Fischer Outabounds Crown (waxless).   I had never seen this line of Fischers, and I was really impressed.  They were stiffer than I thought they were going to be, meaning they would have a better kick and glide (good!).    They were at least as stiff as my good old Fischer Europa 109's (waxable), and those are great skis!   And they had very respectable width, and a moderate side cut.   I will do more research on the Outabounds (ya, I think I want a pair!).   :)
« Last Edit: October 26, 2009, 09:57:45 pm by HOOP »
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 Tomd

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Re: We need a new BC ski!
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2009, 10:19:04 pm »
Sorry Hoop, but you asked for them. :)

The Outabound is just a bit fatter at the waist than my Rainiers- 68 v. 60. There is another ski with the same dimensions as mine, but I can't remember which one. Might be a Karhu.

Offline K.

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Re: We need a new BC ski!
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2009, 10:21:15 am »
I bought a pair of the Fischer outtabounds a few years ago to replace my E99's. A great all-round ski that probably does nothing perfectly, but they got me up and down the front range in colorado and through the woods in Algonquin with equal effectiveness. I always put in a plug for them whenever this topic comes up.

Offline kinguq

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Re: We need a new BC ski!
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2009, 09:10:27 pm »
I guess I am a bit of an iconoclast about this, but I stopped using wide touring skis with lots of floatation about 10 years ago. I now use the narrowest, lightest metal edged ski I can find, at the moment the Asnes Marka.

In my experience it is a rare occasion when a wide ski actually floats better than a narrow one. I think you have to go to extreme widths and/or lengths to get enough floatation to make a difference under most conditions. Usually the snow is either soft or it isn't, so your ski is going to sink no matter what. And the narrow lightweight ski is a lot easier to push forward than the heavy wide one.

Now there surely are occasions when a wider ski will float significantly better, but as I say it seems to be quite rare. But weight on the ski is a huge factor. Remember you are moving it thousands of times per day. So I will prefer the lighter ski every time, and will willingly give up floatation to save weight.

I have skied all over northern Norway and now central Ontario with these skis, and they are the best I have ever used. I ski mostly off trail. My next pair will be lighter still, if I can find them. I do like metal edges however.

Cheers,

Daniel.

Offline Trailpatrol

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Re: We need a new BC ski!
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2009, 10:30:11 pm »
I'm too fat for skinny skis.

« Last Edit: January 06, 2010, 05:37:06 pm by Trailpatrol »
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