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Back country set up advice

Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by Droopy, Jun 10, 2020.

  1. Droopy

    Droopy First Runs

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    I am part way through assembling my first back country ski set up. What I have got so far has largely been determined by what was available to me in Australia and my next choice of skis is also largely dictated by what I can access in Australia. Trying set ups is hard as there is not too many places that hire out AT gear (I am happy for suggestions on hire places as well to try before I buy)

    So far I have;

    - Marker Alpinist bindings
    - Atomic Ultra XTD 120 boots; These are a beefier boot than I wanted but it is what I could find that fitted and best of all I have back up from a local boot fitter if I have issues with them. I travelled some miles and tried some boots before making that choice.

    So now it is on to skis. I have wavered back and forward so much on this and read a lot of threads here on this forum but am a bit lost as what to choose. So a bit of background. I ski on Volkl Kendo's in resort and tried a lot of different skis before settling on them. The set of skis before them were Volkl RTM's so it seems I like the way Volkl's ski. I will be mainly cruising around Victoria; Bogong, High Plains, Mckay etc. Not wanting to charge hard on my skis, mostly just enjoying the Alpine area as well as feel secure on the way down.

    So by my reasoning I have pulled out the super light and heavier end of the skis and looking for skis around the 1500g mark. Ski options I have come up with that are available locally are;

    - Volkl VTA 84: On the light end. Obviously good for touring but maybe a bit light for good downhill performance.
    - Voile Ultra Vector: Internet reviews are glowing as usual so hard to find objective info on them.
    - Black Crows Orb Freebird: I am unsure of this one as I have talked with a trusted mentor in the inbounds ski side of things and his advice is I may not like the way they ski given what he knows about my preferences about resort skis. But I have not skied the inbounds version so I can't really judge that one yet.
    - Kastle TX series; This is the bolter in the group that I don't know if I can get that I would like to try out, I have tried contacting Harro's at Crackenback to see if they have any there but I have not heard back yet.
    - Volkl 90eight: A bit on the heavy side but still in the mix

    So there you have it. Any advice or new options that I have missed would be great.
     
  2. Chaeron

    Chaeron A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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  3. Chaeron

    Chaeron A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Some people buy wide dreaming of optimal conditions, but in our mixed conditions a less wide ski can be somewhat friendlier. 90- 100 seems the thing nowadays.

    Keep in mind that, unlike with inbounds, you’re buying a ski for the up as well as the down.

    The other thing is, buying as a BC beginner there’s a tension - you want to buy to ski epic lines, but epic lines aren’t as easily safely accessed as a beginner, unless you’re tagging along with an established group. So a compromise ski that tours more easily rather than a downhill beast comes into play...

    With alpine style bindings tele skis and patterned base skis are out of the discussion.... of course...

    Welcome to the forums @Droopy
     
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  4. Droopy

    Droopy First Runs

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    Thanks Chaeron. Definitely not in the realm of Epic lines, just gently extending out from the resorts and taking my summer hiking and camping into winter.
     
  5. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    For this, from your list this Voile Ultra Vector
     
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  6. skifree

    skifree A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Both Rythym and Wilderness Sports in Jindy hire / demo AT rigs of a variety of configurations and both will have some further good ski choices.

    Some of the Black Diamond skis on the shelf at Wilderness Sports are worth a good hard look at.

    I would agree with @Fozzie Bear on the Ultra Vector but make the comment that it is a very light weight ski and perhaps even heading into the specialised weapon category which is not for all skiers. As much as my mantra is light is right some folks have trouble working with really lightweight skis.

    The super light weight Kastle is in this ^^ category, an awesome ski but again a specialised tool. But do not let this scare you off at all, just be aware of this.

    Really if you are new to AT hire a couple of choices to make your own informed decision about what sort of tool you will enjoy and look forward to skiing rather than buy blind in this area.
     
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  7. Droopy

    Droopy First Runs

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    Thanks skifree and fozzie bear

    Good advice to try out as many different back country skis as I can first. Jindy and Cooma are a bit out of the way for me but a dedicated trip to try some out might be on the cards.

    So if the really light touring skis are a bit hard to handle on the down what about a light resort ski like the Head Kore series?
     
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  8. skifree

    skifree A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Not hard to handle, just different.

    Can’t say I’ve skiied any Head stuff or even spoken to folks who have.
     
  9. Chaeron

    Chaeron A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    But what t if you want to get a Head in the back country?
     
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  10. skifree

    skifree A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Stick your nose out.
     
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  11. Droopy

    Droopy First Runs

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    I appreciate the help. I just thought of a way of expressing what I am looking for. I want the Toyota Camry of skis. Dependable, maybe a bit boring but will always get you there. Well that is my experience with Toyota's anyway and 600,000km + on two different cars in my life. So hoping for a ski that performs a bit like that, just gets the job done.
     
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  12. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Head Kore is definitely a ski that we put in that category, not a touring ski per se but about as light as you can get for a resort ski that would absolutely be a good option to put some touring bindings on.
     
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  13. Chaeron

    Chaeron A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Wot he said! AND you could ski it inbounds too!
     
  14. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Its exactly why we stock it, can ski it inbounds all day with a Tecton or a Shift, too heavy for the ‘light is right’ crowd, but about as good as you’ll get for a true double-duty ski.
     
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  15. Chaeron

    Chaeron A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Doing something similar with a pair of frontside DPS Cassiar Alchemists mounted with Dynafit ST Rotation 12s this season... (but I’m still keeping my options over with a quiver)
     
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  16. skifree

    skifree A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Just swap to some ATK Race & your rig is good to go, for a training ski.;)
     
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  17. Chaeron

    Chaeron A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Agreed!

    With my ST Rotation 12 toe, the boot in the ATK race heel from @Untele-whippet is about 12mm off the ski - so need to order some lower toes to match off skimo.com or similar. :thumbs:
     
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  18. buckwheat

    buckwheat One of Us

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    I may be a broken record on this but my Moonlight All Mountains are 1450g and ski like a resort ski. At 1000 Euros full price they are exxy but i got a 40% post season discount about may last year. This years models are slightly different, think they added more rocker, but weight is now 1370g for a 105mm ski at 179cm. Pretty good. Possibly a tad wide for oz but at that weight very little penalty. I also have some Zag Ubacs at 95mm which are about 1350g - so lots of niche options out there if you are happy with an Alfa instead of a Corolla.
     
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  19. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend Ski Pass: Gold

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    How do these go in the Main Range crud/etc? am in the market for some ~95mm sticks.
     
  20. buckwheat

    buckwheat One of Us

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    Love em! JT has the Adrets which are lighter still but maybe a tad narrow for mine at mid 80s. I've skiied the ubacs in everything and they've handled it well.
     
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  21. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend Ski Pass: Gold

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    Cheers. Will add them to the mix. Well priced against the fleet as well in current sales online.
     
  22. skifree

    skifree A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    I have some Moonlight Gear Northern Light Carbons which I see are now 599.00 Euro. To me these fall in the special lightweight tool category. When you have them working they ski really well, but they are unforgiving as a ski and are a challenge on Oz mixed ice. Mine came out 100 grams more than the catalogue weight.

    https://www.moonlightmountaingear.com/products/northern-light
     
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  23. buckwheat

    buckwheat One of Us

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    Wonder if its the width that makes them trickier? Mine are obviously a tad fatter. I'm also lacking any deft touch on skis, i tend to rely on brute force so may be a bit blissfully unaware of performance subtleties!
     
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  24. buckwheat

    buckwheat One of Us

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    I heartily recommended a pair of Movement Sparks to a friend years ago. He bought on my recommendation and hated them. So maybe don't listen to my advice!
     
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