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Old 10-07-2015, 06:33 PM   #15
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 164
Originally Posted by Redbeard View Post
Interesting... Now I have little experience with mountaineering boots, but what I do know is that they are incredibly stiff. How do you have enough flex in the ankle of those boots to turn your skis? I know you mentioned lateral flex being an issue but I would think your skiing foundation and fundamentals would absolutely go out the window in mountaineering boots....or am I wrong?
Not sure if you are comparing to tele boots, but maybe I should clarify. My Silvretta bindings freeheel for climbing, but the heels lock in for skiing. I'm not talking about telemark skiing.

I have not yet tried the plastic mountaineering boots since I got them this spring so I can't comment on how they ski, but they feel considerably softer than my AT boots. My AT boots in walk mode are still stiffer than the plastic shell mountaineering boots.

The boots I had been skiing in (until I broke the eyelets) are "leather" mountaineering boots. I put the word leather in quotes because they are not made of leather but some other space age textile. They are stiffer and taller than a good backpacking boot, but not as stiff as a plastic mountaineering boot. In terms of flex they are much closer to a leather hiking boot than they are to a ski boot.

If a hiking boot is a 1 and a downhill ski boot is a 10, these are like a 3 or 4. The plastic ones are a 4 or 5 for stiffness.

As far as technique, your fundamentals are twice as important when skiing in mountaineering boots. In downhill boots you can recover from getting in the backseat by leaning on the back of your boot. Also you can power the shovel of the ski by really driving into the tongue of the boot. With mountaineering boots you need to be centered on the ski at all times. Your balance needs to be perfect.

So in a way your fundamentals are the same, you just feel like sloppy new skier again. After a couple of runs it starts to click and you are skiing like a novice. Obviously you will never be able to perform as well as an expert who skis with the best equipment.

The benefit though is your boots and feet are now 10x more comfortable, especially when walking or touring.
MrKawfey is offline   Reply With Quote