Adirondack Forum  
Rules Membership Donations and Online Store Adkhighpeaks Foundation ADKhighpeaks Forums ADKhighpeaks Wiki Disclaimer

Go Back   Adirondack Forum > The Adirondack Forum > Skiing in the Adirondacks
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 09-29-2015, 11:07 AM   #1
EagleO-10
PrimitiveCondition.com
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Stillwater, NY
Posts: 29
Question Recommendation: New all-around skis

I need new skis for the coming season and I'm hoping to get them sooner rather than later. But I need some help so while I'm waiting for a lot of the ski shops to open for the season, I thought I would ask here.

I've been an alpine skier since I was 10. I have a lot of experience, I'm capable and a strong siker. I tend to be a little conservative - I prefer smooth turns to screaming down double blacks - but I do get those in here and there and I can certainly handle them.

That being said, I also ice climb, mountaineer, etc. and want to get into AT/backcountry to compliment that. I see myself skinning to ice climbs and cruising back out, hiking and skiing slides, etc. East coast stuff, I don't foresee myself taking them out wet to do anything crazy. (Also, I tried on and ordered a pair of La Sportiva Spectres and am in love.)

I know "all mountain" can mean one of a billion different things but I can't afford two setups (college, ya know). I'm looking for something that can handle the resorts as well as tour and take on some eastern backcountry - maybe 50/50.

I've been looking at online recs, but sites like Outside and GearJunkie are mostly western-mountain based. A few notes: Voile V6, K2 Wayback, Blizzard Cochise. What am I missing?

Bindings are another one I don't know enough about so any thoughts on that would be greatly appreciated. Thanks a ton!
__________________
Primitive Condition - My Climbs - My Pictures
EagleO-10 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2015, 01:24 PM   #2
rdl
Member
 
rdl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: East Aurora, NY
Posts: 627
This is a question that has been asked and debated many times before. A little searching should turn up lots of hits on this forum.

One resource that I found very useful, some of the content is a little dated, but much is still spot on: http://home.comcast.net/~pinnah/Dirt...r/dirtbag.html

If you absolutely want something that is dual purpose: i.e. backcountry and also lift served, then you'll look for either a tele setup or AT gear. I don't ski AT gear, but I believe you'll find that generally more expensive than tele gear.

Remember there is no, one, all purpose ski. A good ski for lift served will be heavy in the backcountry. A lighter ski for touring to a slide, skinning up and skiing down will be too lightweight for serious lift served skiing.

Eventually you'll have a closet full of skis, decide what you want to start with and get the right equipment for that.
rdl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2015, 01:34 PM   #3
Redbeard
Member
 
Redbeard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 52
Scott Skis

You're pushing all mountain ski to a whole new level!! But I know what it's like, I'm only pulling your chain. I would recommend the Scott lineup and two models in particular - the Reverse and/or the Crusade.

Personally, I have the Crusade setup as a heels-down alpine resort ski. And while I've shredded the resort, side-country, glades, and pow very confidently. With what you're seeking, you're going to see a variety of conditions and this ski will definitely handle all of them.

This ski is #1 in my quiver for the past 3 seasons. These planks are 92mm underfoot, which is fat enough to float pow, while also mashing through crud. Needless to say, it's a groomer slayer as well. I even ski it in the bumps.

This ski does require an agressive driver and doesn't do well without a committed turn but once you get into the sweet spot, they respond mightily. The only caveat, I might not recommend it for touring, simply because it is a bit heavy.

That's where the Reverse comes in... Coming in a bit lighter, I could very well see this ski as being your answer. All of the aforementioned in terms of "ski-ability" but lighter. Also a bit more narrow in the waist at 88mm. This is my telemark setup. And I do plan on using these in the backcountry with skins. In fact, I just picked up a pair on eBay (last year's model) for $150 (planks only). So start searching eBay!

All the best,

Redbeard
Redbeard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2015, 01:37 PM   #4
montcalm
Mobster
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 944
I was going to respond earlier but I agree. Use different skis for the resort vs. the backcountry.

If your focus is skiing steeps, then you might be looking for more of an AT setup, although plenty of people do this with a light tele rig.

The switchback binding, light plastic boots like a T2, T4 or Excursion, and a ski like the Vector BC are pretty much the UL setup these days. A ski like the Annum will do the trick too but it's more of a decambered, fat Nordic ski than a modern powder ski. These also have scales so you'll be able to ski the flats and shallower slopes faster without skins. Skins are still needed for steep climbing.

These skis can be skied at a resort, but most of them suck on hardpack. And like RDL says, most skis that are damped for hardpack, are going to be too heavy and too skinny for the BC.

There are some crossover skis and AT binding setups, but they tend to be obese and are really going to suck on the flats. I tend to think they serve most better as side country getters i.e. those who ski lifts but want to venture behind the ropes from time to time. If you want to ski in the High Peaks and surrounding areas, you are better off going for a lighter weight, full BC setup.

As you'll note on Dave's page, there are also all sorts of lighter weight, more XC versions of BC skis. Some can be skied on big terrain, but most are more suited for touring and low angle glade skiing. It sounds like you are going to be pushing beyond that, but people have, can and do ski steep stuff with skis like that. It just isn't the norm nowadays with ski, boot and binding tech.

First figure out if you want to freeheel or use AT. That will be the biggest factor. If it's AT, def look used. You might be able to find something that will be tolerable on a powder day at the resort. Or you might find an obese set that might be tolerable for a close slide.
montcalm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2015, 01:49 PM   #5
stripperguy
Hangin' by a thread
 
stripperguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Schenectady, NY
Posts: 3,546
After a lifetime of lift served alpine skiing, I gradually switched over to AT about ten years ago. I still have my now ten year old Rossi Scratches with Marker Baron bindings. The Markers are bombproof, but heavy, and I have to release the binding to switch from touring to alpine mode. I got them through a ski industry buddy for very cheap, but I wouldn't recommend them unless you're really heavy and aggressive.

Currently, I have a pair of Fisher Watea's, 84's, and Fritchie Free Ride bindings. The Fritchie's are light in weight, strong enough for me to use in lift served bumps, and a quick switch from touring to alpine. The Watea's give me plenty of float (I'm 150 lb), even in untracked waist deep powder. And yes, I had waist deep several times in the last 3 years. They also hold well on harder snow...
Big trend now is the Dynafit pin binding set up, very light weight, but expensive too!

Almost any ski that will float you would be fine. I have a buddy that uses 110's, crazy overkill and they weigh twice as much. As long as the ski still has some sidecut so you can use it lift served, you'll be OK.

Boots are a whole 'nuther issue, don't try to cheap out, and definitely don't try to use alpine boots.

Other than that, I would say that ADK slide skiing looks way better in the brochures...the exposed powder gets wind slabbed or sun crusted quickly, maybe 2 days after a storm is the best you can hope for. Powder skiing in the trees, however, can last for weeks if the temps stay low.
Just be ready for any condition on any terrain, and keep a couple buddies with you.

Enjoy!!
__________________
Stripperguy's Photos (sort of)
stripperguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2015, 12:08 PM   #6
montcalm
Mobster
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 944
Just another thing to mention: Slides are unstable. It's the reason why they are bare. There's always the risk of an avalanche, so if you plan on skiing avy terrain, then you should be trained to deal with such conditions and carry the necessary safety equipment.
montcalm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2015, 12:39 PM   #7
EagleO-10
PrimitiveCondition.com
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Stillwater, NY
Posts: 29
Thanks for all the help! I get most of what you're saying.

I totally understand there will be tradeoffs, one ski can't be the best at both sides. I'm thinking if the tradeoff to have something more stable on harder snow is weight, I would rather carry a little bit more up a mountain.

Also, AT is definitely the plan.

A couple of the models I've circled on my list and I'm curious if anyone has any experience with any of them:
  • DPS Wailer 93
  • DPS Cassair 95 (The Wailer's slightly more frontside-inclined brother)
  • La Sportiva Lo5
  • La Sportiva Mega Lo5 (The Lo5's slightly more frontside-inclined brother - I think this is where I'm leaning - see here)

To be honest, I'm not sure of everything to look for when I pull up some info on these so I'm curious if anyone has any thoughts.
__________________
Primitive Condition - My Climbs - My Pictures
EagleO-10 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2015, 04:42 PM   #8
Redbeard
Member
 
Redbeard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by EagleO-10 View Post

I totally understand there will be tradeoffs, one ski can't be the best at both sides. I'm thinking if the tradeoff to have something more stable on harder snow is weight, I would rather carry a little bit more up a mountain.

Also, AT is definitely the plan.


To be honest, I'm not sure of everything to look for when I pull up some info on these so I'm curious if anyone has any thoughts.
I didn't even know La Sportiva made skis! So here goes with a few thoughts...

IMHO: You will need a wide waist ski, rockered tip, camber, and possibly a flat tail.

Wide waist = stability and provides float. We ski the Ice Coast - gotta be stable.

Rocker = float for the tip. On those pow-pow days, tips can't be sinking, brah.

Camber= power plant for turn initiation. See Ice Coast comment

Flat tail= added edge hold and also good for skins; a must for your BC ski mountaineering endeavors.

After a good look at both the DPS and the La Sportiva options, I'm really intrigued by the La Sportiva MegaLo5. All of the aforementioned specs that you want as well as pre-drilled holes in the tips and tails that are multi-use. Forgive me but I'm a Patroller, so everything skiing runs through the medical part of my mind too. And a huge advantage with the La Sportiva's is in a medical emergency, those bad boys could be tied together and rigged as a splint/sled etc.

Lastly, as for boots, I may recommend the Black Diamond Factor model. Has interchangeable heels for alpine and AT setups. I have a pair myself - can't be beat.

Keep us updated. Love that we're talking skiing!
Redbeard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2015, 02:30 PM   #9
MrKawfey
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 164
I know I'm going to get crucified for this, but I just thought I would throw out one more option.
As my AT setup has evolved I made the switch to mountaineering boots and I love it. Everything I read before I made the leap said "don't do it, it's impossible to downhill in mountaineering boots", "your going to kill yourself", "You're a danger to everyone on the east coast!" Or something like that.

Here is the unexpected benefit: Resort skiing has never been more fun!

Here is my story:
I had essentially given up on East Coast resort skiing because the lift ticket prices had gotten soooooo high and there just wasn't anything challenging or interesting left. So I started switching to an AT setup and getting out in the woods.
First I got the Fritschi Freeride bindings. Cool, I can skin up now instead of carrying skis and walking in alpine boot.
Then one day I was at tuckermans and blew out the side of my boot on the headwall. They were old Dolomite alpine boots that were so worn they were like slippers
Time for new boots, but, this is where things went south.
I went to Mountain Travelers in Rutland and the guy convinced me I wanted stiff 4 buckle bomber boots and to make sure they fit tight. I went home with a pair of Scarpa Denalis. Then I was miserable for 2-3 years. Despite being lighter AT boots they were way stiffer and harder to walk in than my worn in Dolomites. They KILLED my feet.
So, on a trip west I was at Squaw and a friend convinced me to go to surefoot to see if they could help. I am too embarrassed to tell you how much I spent, but in the end there was vary little improvement. The bottom line is the shells were too small and you cant fix that with foam.
At this point, getting older and more interested in comfort over performance, I took a leap of faith and bought an old set of Silvretta 404 bindings and a pair of Bates Tora Bora boots and mounted them to my skiis.
Time to put my happy face on again. Soft and comfortable! The only boot I could find that was available in a wide size (I have hobbit feet). Warm! Light!
First outing was at a resort and it was a blast. It took a bit to get my balance, but that was part of the fun. I thought the lack of front-to-back rigidity would be the biggest issue, but it was the side-to-side softness that was a problem. Edge holding is very tough because you don't really have good muscle leverage in that direction. Front-to-back your foot is a pretty good lever arm.

Also, keep in mind that this was with my 188cm Rossi resort skis (also known as my only skis). Biggest complaint outside the resort is how even the smallest uphills need skins or fishboning. To handle that I bought a pair of Fisher S-Bound skis with the scales on the bottom. I haven't used them yet, but I am excited to try.

Another issue that came up was I busted an eyelet on my Bates boots and can't get it fixed (long story, will post for advice on gear thread). So I bought a used pair of Asolo plastic mountaineering boots to see if they give me more lateral control than the Bates boots (which are not plastic shell). I have not tried them yet but I want to run them on my 188 Rossi skis before switching the bindings to the Fischers so I have an apples-to-apples comparison. I can tell you the Asolo boots are less comfortable just around the house than the Bates. Also, much heavier.


Some other thoughts:
The stride with the Fritschi bindings is noticeably worse than with the Silvretta's. I've also heard that the dynafit system has even better striding.

Boot fit and tolerance are such a personal thing. When I was younger I could ignore anything. Nowadays, not so much. If I had pushed back when I was buying the Scarpas and insisted on a super soft 3 buckle I might never have tried the mountaineering boot route.

I will let you know how the Fischer's ski once I try them.

I think I need to start learning about wax. I am still a noobie when it comes to the Nordic side of things and I'm kind of learning as I go.

Sorry for the loooong post, but I know when making these decisions, all the feedback you can get helps.
MrKawfey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2015, 02:41 PM   #10
MrKawfey
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 164
Also, would love to hear someone else's thoughts as to why people used to be able to ski in leather boots without as much trouble. Was it the skis? Heavier, no sidecut, lack of flex or camber? The length? I used to ski 200cm Dynastars and thought they were short compared to my Dad's old skis. He had ditched the leather boots by the time I started skiing. The width?
Or is it a fallacy? Was it just as hard back then as it is now?
MrKawfey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2015, 06:48 PM   #11
EagleO-10
PrimitiveCondition.com
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Stillwater, NY
Posts: 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redbeard View Post
After a good look at both the DPS and the La Sportiva options, I'm really intrigued by the La Sportiva MegaLo5. All of the aforementioned specs that you want as well as pre-drilled holes in the tips and tails that are multi-use.
My thoughts exactly! Wider, with a little more rocker and camber than a resort ski so it works in the backcountry, but not so much that its out of place in groomers or ice. Plus the holes are pretty nifty!

I think thats where I'm leaning...
__________________
Primitive Condition - My Climbs - My Pictures
EagleO-10 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2015, 05:50 PM   #12
Redbeard
Member
 
Redbeard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by EagleO-10 View Post
I think thats where I'm leaning...
Yeah, right on! If you pull the trigger on these - post some pics!
Redbeard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2015, 08:44 PM   #13
Redbeard
Member
 
Redbeard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrKawfey View Post
I know I'm going to get crucified for this, but I just thought I would throw out one more option.
As my AT setup has evolved I made the switch to mountaineering boots and I love it. Everything I read before I made the leap said "don't do it, it's impossible to downhill in mountaineering boots", "your going to kill yourself", "You're a danger to everyone on the east coast!" Or something like that.

Here is the unexpected benefit: Resort skiing has never been more fun!
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?
Redbeard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2015, 12:19 AM   #14
Schultzz
Low Impact Skidder
 
Schultzz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 694
Some people are adept at using telemark for downhill skiing. I am not nor have I ever been that versatile. I use three pin with light shoes and scales for cross-country and gentle slopes. I also use downhill skis for just that. Not a lover of moguls anymore although if I have to.... Like to carve long easy tracks. I leave the schuss for the young and restless. Like Holiday Valley.
__________________
Never Argue With An Idiot. They Will Drag You Down To Their Level And Beat You With Experience.
Schultzz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2015, 05:33 PM   #15
MrKawfey
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 164
Quote:
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
Old 10-08-2015, 02:49 AM   #16
Redbeard
Member
 
Redbeard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrKawfey View Post
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.

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.


I understood, or rather assumed, that when you said mountaineering boots, you were referring to plastic mountaineering boots. Thus, why I brought up the question about flex and technique...thinking you were using a hard shell plastic mountaineering boot.

But nonetheless, you hit it right on the head with technique being twice as important, which is exactly what I was thinking, and exactly where my question was originating.
Redbeard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2015, 04:09 PM   #17
yardsale
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Burlington
Posts: 87
Another vote for Vole Vector bc mounted with Vole 3 pin cable bindings and Garmont Excursion boots. Last year I skied this super light set up on anything from rolling touring terrain to Gulf of Slides on Washington. Note the tele set up gives one an advangate over AT on rolling terrain but 90% of the time I am making parallell turns on em.
yardsale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2018, 01:34 AM   #18
Pete Greco
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 1
MrKawfey, I fit the profile you described in your 10/2015 post... I began skiing in the east coast at 4yrs but in the past few years I pretty much stopped bc got tired of the resort lift service skiing (crowded, pricy, not challenging enough). I switched to mainly ADK hiking in the winter, and am yearning to get back on skis so am eyeing the ADK slides and other backcountry AT. I have a pair of Sportiva Trango's (in hindsight I wished I went with the Baruntse's) and an old, reliable pair of alpine skis which I am planning to set up with a pair of Dynafit bindings. I anticipate doing 70% hiking to summits and 30% skinning/skiing.

I'm curious how your experience has been with the Asolo boots. You and others noted that technique is critical when descending in mountain boots. For an experienced skier, I imagine this isn't too much of an issue for the short descents on slides after a snowfall. I'm wondering if it might be a good idea/investment to also pick up a pair of AT boots to have in the trunk in case I want to crush longer, steeper, deeper backcountry trails. I'm concerned about quick enough response when carving, especially bc I tend to ski aggressively.

I came across a gadget that adds stability when skiing in mountain boots, providing same flex as alpine boot. It's a carbon fiber brace called Mountain Spring sold by a French company called Black Powder (http://www.alpcontrol.com/). You can almost buy a pair of AT boots for the price of this gadget, but I can see myself preferring a pair of flexible mountain boots with this gadget in my pack rather than hiking in AT boots.


Also, any recommendations for backcountry AT spots in the NE? Best Backcountry Skiing in the Northeast by David Goodman seems like a good reference but haven't purchased it yet.

Thanks for your informative post.
Pete Greco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2018, 09:54 AM   #19
stripperguy
Hangin' by a thread
 
stripperguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Schenectady, NY
Posts: 3,546
Mr Greco,
You'll likely have few responses to requests for BC or AT skiing spots...generally speaking, the best spots are closely guarded "secrets". As if a handful of AT skiers is going to shred an entire mountain!
PM me for some suggestions, but I am biased away from slide skiing in particular. Snow pack is either too unstable, or conditions too fleeting to enjoy, for me at least.
__________________
Stripperguy's Photos (sort of)
stripperguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2018, 08:19 PM   #20
yardsale
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Burlington
Posts: 87
Vole Vector Ultra--that is all.
yardsale is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:02 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

DISCLAIMER: Use of these forums, and information found herein, is at your own risk. Use of this site by members and non-members alike is only granted by the adkhighpeak.com administration provided the terms and conditions found in the FULL DISCLAIMER have been read. Continued use of this site implies that you have read, understood and agree to the terms and conditions of this site. Any questions can be directed to the Administrator of this site.