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Author Topic: I have to get skiing HELP  (Read 5296 times)

Offline lonegreeneagle

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I have to get skiing HELP
« on: November 27, 2009, 04:32:38 am »
I am a 44 year old, 178lb, 5'10"(except around NBA players)tall  snowshoer that has a 34" inseam and I wear size 9.5 boots! I carry a cold camp 70lb. rucksack and it's 45lb.+ in hot tent camp with my 45+lb. drag sled! I got spanked last week in the Hills on a S&R by skiers and still had to be the one to climb down to him.  I need good recommendations for ;

           Crosscountry Ski Boots with or without gaiters (warm)?
             Bindings strong yet easy on and off?
               Skiis wide, waxless with skins?
                 Durable multi-use poles?

       I also wrote to Doug at the Bozeman ski shop for recommendations. But I live and work this region now and like your advice!
                       Thank You
                           Van
Avid outdoorsman? My son and I snowshoe and winter camp with a four season tent and no stove. When my daughter comes along we drag sleds holding the campfire style tent I made and my military style Yukon stove. We canoe and kayak long trips in the early spring till Thanksgiving. That's my son's and my last float of the canoe season as we celebrate his birthday.  My daughter more than my son loves climbing. My sore neck!
Along with the tent, I've made packs,paddles and the poor man's RV from an 18' boat trailer. It now carries our canoes, kayaks, mountain bikes, camping ger and the TeePee pole

Offline Ted

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Re: I have to get skiing HELP
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2009, 08:11:08 am »
Hi Van,

I'm 61 years old, 210 pounds, 5'10", 32" inseam and size 11.5 street shoes.

My back country sled-pulling set-up is:
Fisher Europa BCX 109 skis, length 198, waxable
Voile heavy-duty 3-pin bindings
Garmont leather boots size 13.
Full skins which I now think is over-kill but too cheap to buy kickers.
2 sets aluminum poles with really big baskets. I have several single fiberglass with broken mates.
Outdoor Research gators.

I went waxable as, for me, waxless doesn't work all that well on ice or icey snow crust. If the going is generally flat then I wax and just keep the skins handy in case of big hills. If generally hilly then no wax and keep the skins on all the time.  My full skins cut down on the glide I get when pulling on hard pack.

I find the boots a tad cold at lunch breaks, mug-ups or when stopping to enjoy the view. Should have bought one size larger for better socks. So making a pair of insulated full top gators to see if that helps.

Enjoying your posts. Good stuff.
Cheers Ted
« Last Edit: November 27, 2009, 08:15:52 am by Ted »
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Offline mattmayhem

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Re: I have to get skiing HELP
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2009, 11:27:24 am »
Just picked up some used cross country ski gear for less than 50$. Its the 3 pin system and the skis are waxable "splitkein". Couldint find good backcountry boots, the boots are an older 80ies-90ies style but i got them bigger so i can fit extra socks. Its been a while since I've xciuntry skied so looking forward to getting back out there!

Probably just do some day trips for now. I dont have a pool of people willing to camp out in the winter with me and I'm not ready to camp solo since it would probably be in a quinzee.

Offline Matti

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Re: I have to get skiing HELP
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2009, 11:53:32 am »
You can usually find decent Asolo leather 3-pin 75 mm boots on E-bay for a reasonable price for a heavy duty x-country ski / light tele setup.

I am a 9.5 - 10 and the 9.5 is a close fit (tight) and works well with the Voile binding, which is pretty easy to self mount.  I also ended up with a 10.5 through a bad series of buy and trades that sit in my garage now.

Matti

Offline yardsale

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Re: I have to get skiing HELP
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2009, 09:18:57 pm »
Man, you're carrying lots of weight. You will need a ski with some size to it for adequate flotation.  You might look at the Karhu XCD backcountry ski. This is a no wax ski with minimal camber which will enable you to chug along pulling a sled. Add skins for additional power. These have significant sidecut and may not track real well (or grip as others mentioned) on hardpack or ice, but if you are on that surface, put on your traction devices and walk! As for boots, the Black Diamond Excursions are a plastic shell boot with a removable inner liner. Very comfortable and warm, (and expensive but available used). Not very "traditional" I know but they do the job.  Heavy duty 3 pin bindings complete the package.

Offline lonegreeneagle

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Re: I have to get skiing HELP
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2009, 02:13:37 am »
            Thanks Yardsale,
     I'll take that advice. I haven't learned the line between traditional and good sense yet. But I think this one falls into the GOOD sense column! I like Black Diamond, they already have a good chunk of my change with my childrens climbing gear and my new trekking poles with probe capabilities.

      Thank You all for the advice!
                                       Van
Avid outdoorsman? My son and I snowshoe and winter camp with a four season tent and no stove. When my daughter comes along we drag sleds holding the campfire style tent I made and my military style Yukon stove. We canoe and kayak long trips in the early spring till Thanksgiving. That's my son's and my last float of the canoe season as we celebrate his birthday.  My daughter more than my son loves climbing. My sore neck!
Along with the tent, I've made packs,paddles and the poor man's RV from an 18' boat trailer. It now carries our canoes, kayaks, mountain bikes, camping ger and the TeePee pole

Jim S

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Re: I have to get skiing HELP
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2009, 07:39:35 pm »
Van
definitely wear gaiters.
Old leather boots may be warmer unless you go for expensive randonee type plastics (which use really expensive bindings), but old leather boots would almost force you to go three pins. Nothing wrong with three pins but they can be hard to get into, ya see if you step into the wrong kind of snow the three holes fill up in yer boot making it hard to get them mated with the three pins in the bindings, and you do that balanced on the other foot using your poles to hold you up, with that outrageous pack on your back. I have a lot of years of experience skiing in a pack and I found 45 pounds to be ridiculous and 35 pounds reasonable, you would have to leave out the hot tent.

I prefer nnnbc bindings because you just step into them no fuss and they easy to get out of. Three pin bindings do not release so if you go down in an awkward position getting out of them can be much harder than getting into them.

If I were you I wold look for a spoon shaped waxless ski and carry full skins, especially with the weight of that pack. Ascending can be hard even with no pack and its an art that can be simplified with skins, also skins allow you do descend more slowly and thus more safely.

Since you are not an expert I also want to make a safety statement. DO NOT DROP TO ONE KNEE IF YOU'RE FALLING! This can severely twist a knee damaging cartilage and you could be the being rescued. Just fall, backwards if you can BUT falling on a really big hard pack while travelling at speed and out of control can also severely damage your spine.

You have to make some sacrifices if you want to ski where its not level terrain and weight in your pack is one of them. Welcome to the club by the way. lots of luck and by all means practice without a pack. And if you do have that razor sharp axe with you, have it really well covered.
Jim S - who knows these things cause he took a beating learning.

Offline lonegreeneagle

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Re: I have to get skiing HELP
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2009, 06:23:19 am »
              Jim S,
     Though I appreciate your recomendations, apperently you missed the part where I do Wilderness S&R as a WEMT. The heavy pack is my first aid bag and rescue gear. I carry a majority of it with me even if I'm not on call-out! Even in the summer with my kids hiking we come across others with aches,pains or simple problems like blisters. Those are also the people I am responsible for and why I carry extra gear.

      This pack I carry now adays is light compared to my Army rucksack; field gear, radio, binos, laser range finder, starlight scope, ammo and load bearing vest- 110lbs combat loaded.

     One thing I never confuse; experience for expertise!
                                                           Van
« Last Edit: December 18, 2009, 06:38:31 am by lonegreeneagle »
Avid outdoorsman? My son and I snowshoe and winter camp with a four season tent and no stove. When my daughter comes along we drag sleds holding the campfire style tent I made and my military style Yukon stove. We canoe and kayak long trips in the early spring till Thanksgiving. That's my son's and my last float of the canoe season as we celebrate his birthday.  My daughter more than my son loves climbing. My sore neck!
Along with the tent, I've made packs,paddles and the poor man's RV from an 18' boat trailer. It now carries our canoes, kayaks, mountain bikes, camping ger and the TeePee pole

Offline mattmayhem

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Re: I have to get skiing HELP
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2009, 11:31:08 am »
Finally got out skiing with the GF. We just went out on the local golf course to get into the groove. Later we will go to some of the dedicated trails. I wouldin't mind ski camping but shes a city girl so I gotta work her into the camping with some more 3 season stuff first.
Today was our second time, its about -20 celcius maybe abit colder with the wind. I was pretty warm, feet got abit cold but I was wearing:
-synthetic sports socks with smartwool mid weight hikers
-gaiters
-mec rad pants (nylon) and longjohns under
-mec polartec base layer shirt with zip-up neck
-us army wool 5 button sweater
-my shell was a cotton/nylon blend anorak, it worked very well, blocks all wind and i did not overheat, theres a zipper to open up the bottom like a skirt that i undid for abit to vent but the wind was getting up my back
-gloves were polartec fingerless with the velcro mitt part, found they worked well and were windproof, useful because I could go fingerless to play with bindings, laces, zippers etc...
-hat was a merino wool watchcap from mec

Cant wait to get out on some more remote trails!

I saw these skins : http://www.armysurpluswarehouse.com/product/telemark-ski-skin-3907.cfm
they seem cheaper than commercial ones, anyone with more knowledge able to provide insight?

Offline lonegreeneagle

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Re: I have to get skiing HELP
« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2009, 05:30:27 pm »
              Hello Matt,
            Well I never used skins while skiing in the army, I would have to say they will be more durable than usable! My issued XC ski was an old K2 195 downhill convert with spring bindings on a plate. If the money is small and the experience gained is beneficial then its a good deal!
                                                                        Good Luck
                                                                             Van

As for getting the girlfriend out overnight? Ask her and prepare better gear (sleeping for her) or plans to zip bags together! You'll never know until you try. Don't go to far into the back country the first time, that way a midnight trip back to the car isn't life threatening.
Avid outdoorsman? My son and I snowshoe and winter camp with a four season tent and no stove. When my daughter comes along we drag sleds holding the campfire style tent I made and my military style Yukon stove. We canoe and kayak long trips in the early spring till Thanksgiving. That's my son's and my last float of the canoe season as we celebrate his birthday.  My daughter more than my son loves climbing. My sore neck!
Along with the tent, I've made packs,paddles and the poor man's RV from an 18' boat trailer. It now carries our canoes, kayaks, mountain bikes, camping ger and the TeePee pole

Offline Tomd

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Re: I have to get skiing HELP
« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2009, 10:44:58 pm »
Matt, you have lots of choices.  A good place to ask is on Telemarktips.com, perhaps the only tele website around.  Tele oriented, but some backcountry skiers on there willing to talk to newbies.  Tends to be a bit "clubby" and hard core but I got some good advice there. Don't let the snarky answers you might see put you off.  I've asked all the dumb questions already.  ;D

After asking a lot of questions there, here is my rig-

Skis - Atomic Rainier - a metal edge, not real fat (78-60-68) shaped waxless ski. Can be had on sale fairly cheaply. Not good in deep powder, but fine on packed snow. Mine are fairly short (170) but I only weigh about 135.  Karhu XCD's are popular, but I only have ever skied on mine, so no personal experience to pass on.

Skins - BD Glidelite, skins are essential for towing a sled in my modest experience.

Bindings-Voile 3 pin cable on the Voile release kit (converts the binding into a release binding more like a downhill binding). System bindings like the SNS have a limited range of available boots.

Boots- Garmont Excursion - 75mm (3 pin) plastic double boot with moldable removable inner lining, looks like a short alpine boot.  I wear a simple Cordura gaiter, but if I get new ones, probably something like the OR Crocs or similar winter gaiter.

Poles - Leki trekking poles with snow baskets; BD Flicklocks get good reviews.

Pack weight-I carry as little as possible and tow the rest in a small Pelican sled (blue, made in Canada).  I have pics of my sled here somewhere.  I couldn't carry 75 pounds on skis, my back couldn't take it, so I use the sled. Far easier for me.

I bought my setup so I could try a bit of  bunny hill telemark skiing as well as bc touring. Only been on them a few times, so keep that in mind as you read this.

Offline whitemtskier

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Re: I have to get skiing HELP
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2009, 10:23:51 am »
If those are strap on skins they may be a PITA. Snow balls up between the skin and the ski making keeping a flat ski impossible.

http://www.mountain-guiding.com/newsletters/tech-2001-11/

I long ago switched to ones with adhesive.

I dont know if you can use the Black Diamond adhesive sheets to apply to those military ones.

Offline mattmayhem

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Re: I have to get skiing HELP
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2009, 03:20:30 pm »
Yeah was just looking at those military skins for the cheapness over performance. I dont have plans to make use of them but alot of these items dissapear forever if you don't jump on em.
I think i may need a stiffer boot or wider ski, I find that the skis will easily "tip over". I guess thats what you get for thrift store ski gear! but it works!

Offline Tomd

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Re: I have to get skiing HELP
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2009, 03:19:45 pm »
The "Black Diamond Excursion" Yardsale mentioned is most likely the Garmont Excursion, which I have. BD doesn't make touring boots.

For a stiffer boot, you could move up to a Scarpa T3, an older T2 or Excursions. All of these are plastic boots.  Used Scarpas are common as dirt and cheap. Excursions are hard to find. I looked for months before finding mine in Colorado on Craigslist.

T3's are somewhat like Excursions, but narrower. I tried a T3, but it was too narrow for my foot.  I also bought a pair of Crispi CXA's but sold them before skiing on them-too much boot for my skis. T2's are really tele boots and look like it. Telemarktips.com is the place to ask about boots.

For skins, look on eBay. I got mine there. Can't remember what I paid-maybe around $80. Not sure which of the current ones they are the equivalent of on the BD website. Mine look like blue and white cowhide.  I don't have tails on mine, just glue, but I may retrofit them with the kit BD sells.