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Backcountry Skis?

Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by Spence, Mar 4, 2020.

  1. Spence

    Spence One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Firstly apologies if this is already covered in another thread (I couldn’t find one)
    I’m looking to buy some backcountry skis. I have been doing a fair bit of research and I have narrowed it down to either the Black Crows Camox or Navis. There seems to be good arguments for both. I already have Shift bindings that I’ll use. Hopefully the skis are compatible with Quiver Killers so I can swap the bindings around with my other skis?
    Any advice or recommendations is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. BoofHead

    BoofHead One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    All flat skis are compatible with quiver killers.
    I guess which ski comes down to whereabouts and what conditions you want to use them in.
    Cheers
     
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  3. Spence

    Spence One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    It will be mostly Australia and something that’s good all round. As travel from Sydney and due to work commitments I have to lock in my ski trips well in advance and deal with whatever I find when I get there. Again with my research both of the BC skis seem like they have solid all round performance.
     
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  4. skifree

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

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    Whichever is lightest. They are both popular skis.

    Quiverkillers are the go.
     
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  5. Spence

    Spence One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I’m also open to any and all other suggestions from you more experienced bc gurus.
     
  6. Drt

    Drt Hard Yards

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    I ski backcountry (and resorts) with Icelantic Nomads. They are the best ski I have ever used. I have the standard option, but you can get a lite variant which shaves off some weight for bc touring. My normal variant are still lighter than my previous skiis, so I find them plenty light to carry on my backpack. They are not the fastest ski out there, but super playful, edge beautifully, and are great in all conditions including corn and slush which you mainly find bc in Sep - Nov. Took them out for 4 days on Spion Kopje at the end of last season and had the best time ever. I bought mine (online) from a physical shop in Sydney who stock Icelantic. Gave them a call, and they also did the binding mounting for me.

    https://www.icelanticskis.com/products/1819-nomad-95

     

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  7. rowdyflat

    rowdyflat One of Us Ski Pass: Gold Ski Pass: Silver

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    Unless you are only skiing soft spring snow which can be skied on anything , you will find variable firm = icey conditions also.
    personally I would go narrower ? 84 mm waist
    Mine are 78 mm.
     
  8. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    There are touring versions of Black Crows Camox or Navis. If by "back country" you mean you will hike/tour, then you shoudl look at the lighter weight touring versions, Black Crows Camox Freebird or Navis Freebird.
     
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  9. Spence

    Spence One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Along those lines I have also been looking at the Line Sick Day 104 and the Line Vision 98. Neither are tour specific but light enough that they seem to be popular for touring. And watching some backcountry ski videos I have even seen the non/touring Black Crows skis being used with pin bindings and huge climbs and descents.
     
  10. Spence

    Spence One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Thanks Sandy. I did mean the Freebird models. Forgot to add that bit. Any experience?
     
  11. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    I have the regular Camox. Great ski. Perfect one ski quiver, if you can only have one ski.
     
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  12. Spence

    Spence One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Do you use it in the backcountry? I like what I have read about the Camox Freebird. As I have the Völkl M5’s in the same width I’m tempted to go for the Navis Freebird at 102 wide. I appreciate that there is more to it than that and that the skis are different geometry but both sound excellent. I would probably still end up using either ski on piste a fair bit anyway.
     
  13. Kletterer

    Kletterer Thredbo Doughnut Tragic Moderator

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    You may need to size up with the Freebirds.
     
  14. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Well, I use it oob sometimes. I like the stiff tail, but with the big rocker at the front, and the taper. Mine are a 186cm
     
  15. Gonltruck

    Gonltruck First Runs

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    Chiming in here, Sick Day 104 is what I've picked up this year and plan on mounting up with pins.
     
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  16. Spence

    Spence One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    So you go narrower at 86cm for the Orb? Even in Japan bc?
     
  17. Spence

    Spence One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    The weight brings it in competitive with dedicated touring skis in the same width. Are you mostly in Aus backcountry? Not too wide for here?
     
  18. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    I have the Black Crows Camox, 186cm, 98mm underfoot, which I sometimes use in Japan BC if I happen to be using them that day.
    If I'm going for powder all day, I'll use my K2 Annex 108, 184cm, 108mm underfoot.
    I've also skied my Blizzard Brahma (180cm, 88mm underfoot) in powder, however it's not optimal but usable.
     
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  19. skifree

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

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    100 is on the limit for Oz BC, we ski too much ice is nice for the extra with.
     
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  20. Gonltruck

    Gonltruck First Runs

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    Yeah the overall weight comes in pretty competitive. Generally I am in the NZ or North America BC. This will be my second season in Aus, and didn't head BC here last year, but intending to amongst the VIC BC this year.

    I have an old pair of first gen Salomon MTN explore 95s that I picked up used a few years ago, but I find the downhill performance pretty lacking for what is only 9mm skinnier. I guess if I was super into technical objectives and climbing I would have gotten more use out of them but I never really ended up getting that deep.
     
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  21. rowdyflat

    rowdyflat One of Us Ski Pass: Gold Ski Pass: Silver

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    Your chances of powder back country in Aus are low.
    You will find ice or firm most days .
    Weight hence waist and size of the wet skins is a big factor if you do more than 1 climb for the day.
     
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  22. Gonltruck

    Gonltruck First Runs

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    Yeah I wouldn't really ski powder on a 104 either, that's more in the territory of 115+ for me.

    Although wet skins weren't a factor, I just schlepped 115mm skis with frame bindings (~3.2kg per foot) for some smaller 1500m vert slackcountry days around Japan for 2 weeks. Now that's a workout!
     
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  23. zac150

    zac150 A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I have the navis freebird, 102 under foot mine are 172 long. super fun ski and I use them for touring and powder day skis.

    solid skis
     
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  24. Conkers

    Conkers Early Days

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    Do any of you take sqids out backcountry? How old, what sort of distances do they cover.
    TIA
     
  25. Spence

    Spence One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Can I just confirm that you are skiing in Aus? This is definitely the model I am most interested in but there seems to be an opinion that 102mm wide is to wide for Aus conditions. Also re length how tall/heavy are you (don't answer if you don't want to). I am 175cm and 85-90kg (depending on my beer consumption), would you recommend 172 (173.4) or a bit longer (179 current lengths). Thanks zac150.
     
  26. zac150

    zac150 A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah I ski Aus and o/s but only back country in Australia. My back country is closer to side country but I have toured out of Guthega with them.

    the 102 is on the wide side for touring but I also use them as my powder day skis so the 102 is perfect for that.

    I’m about the same weight but 165, I’d say the skis are a fraction long for me but they are ok.
     
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  27. BoofHead

    BoofHead One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Shifts on your current M5s would make for a versatile 1ski everywhere quiver.
    The shifts aren’t exactly super light, maybe Another option could be to buy some much lighter tech bindings for your M5s. Just throwing some ideas around.
    I have Kingpins on some older Mantras. Not a terrible setup.
     
  28. Spence

    Spence One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    At the moment I have Warden 13 bindings on my M5’s. I’m happy enough with that setup as my resort ski (I think I would be happy with that as a boot deep powder ski given the opportunity). I have the Shifts on a pair of Moment Wildcats (116mm) that were used in Japan and will be my OS powder setup (kind of didn’t really happen in Japan this February). So looking forward to the coming season I plan to finally get into some backcountry skiing. Actually something I’ve wanted to do for many years but somehow never gotten around to. Myself and a friend (snowboarder, plans to get a split board) will be looking to doing an introductory course and some guided day trips. Anyway, as I love to browse and research ski gear, I have been reading up quite a bit on bc skis. So I wanted to tap into some of the knowledge here on the forum. I’m happy enough to buy another pair of skis (I’ll square it with my wife somehow). And as I mentioned before if I use Quiver Killer inserts I can share my Shift bindings.
     
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  29. Team Weasel

    Team Weasel One of Us

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    How many of these skis have touring bindings on them and are used for significant amounts of touring?

    Here's my take...Navis is a good ski. Shift is a good (but heavy-ish) binding. So are Wildcat Tour 108s. Or ZG105s. I tour a tad more than the average, and 108 doesn't feel too wide in Oz BC if you pick a versatile ski.
     
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  30. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Shift is too heavy for a Camox or Navis Freebird.

    I’d pair a Navis Freebird with a Fritschi Tecton. I had G3 IONs on mine which weigh the same bit the Tecton has better features

    I’m yet to debut my Camox Freebird because (humblebrag) it has been snowing too much in Europe so I’ve been skiing my Corvus Freebird (with Shifts) - I mounted them with a G3 Zed but even that’s a bit heavier than I really wanted but I couldn’t get my hands on a Fritschi Xenic or an ATK Crest before my trip.

    What boots do you have? That’s a big part of the equation for a balanced setup.
     
  31. BoofHead

    BoofHead One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    When you are researching gear, I would like to suggest googling up Contour hybrid split skins and/or give Bruce at Wilderness Sports a ring. These skins can be used on skis from 95mm up, are light weight, easy to take off when windy, and durable (wilderness sports use them as rentals apparently).

    CM says the shifts are too heavy for the free birds. I was thinking the same but didn’t feel qualified enough to say so. Having said that, I have Kingpins (heavyish) on my Dynafit skis and still feel like I’m floating up the hill compared to when I used Dukes on K2 sidestashes on a multi day Oz trip a couple of years ago (yikes)
     
  32. legend

    legend One of Us

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    By backcountry skis do you intend on using these for touring (Munyang to Jagaungal, Kiandra to Kosci), or to be used on the Main Range for big hill skiing?
    Vastly different requirements between skis and equipment.
     
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  33. rowdyflat

    rowdyflat One of Us Ski Pass: Gold Ski Pass: Silver

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    You may not know what sort of skiing back country you will do until you try it but bc Australia is nothing like bc Japan or Nth Hemisphere.
    Floatation is not an issue , edging is .
    I go for the lightest skis and boots I can within reason ie cost and reliability.
    Wet skins can be a boat anchor.
    There is another thread about this but IMO a good resort ski is not a good bc ski and vice versa.
    Resort boots are too much bc unless you are a bulldozer.
     
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  34. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend Ski Pass: Gold

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    soooo.... what's in the 95-97 waist range (that would be paired with Plums).

    BC Vastus freebird?
    Dynastar Cham97-esque?

    Something goldilocks... not too heavy, enough bunt to push through chatter, no wider than about 97 because ice touring and the like ... 174-176 ideally...
     
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  35. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    I just use kicker skins now. Anything steeper i just bootpack / crampons
     
  36. rowdyflat

    rowdyflat One of Us Ski Pass: Gold Ski Pass: Silver

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    I have just started use kicker skins last couple of years they are great for an approach or moderate terrain = BHP but when you need real grip on icey steep slopes with lots of exposure on the main range well .........
     
  37. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Why not Camox?
     
  38. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yes, was reading their table wrong with the vastus.
    Camox it would be.
    Anything similar out there for comparison's sake?
     
  39. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    K2 Wayback 96, Salomon MTN Explore 95
     
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  40. Zeroz

    Zeroz A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Google touring skis (in incognito) the no.1 site is aussieskier.com/collections/alpine-touring-skis. Nice Google-fu.

    Google related but different backcountry skis and you are way back. Your algorithmic exploitation needs work.


    You'll get my invoice in the morning.
     
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  41. rowdyflat

    rowdyflat One of Us Ski Pass: Gold Ski Pass: Silver

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    Can confirm K2 waybacks are nice touring skis .
    My wife has the female version appropriately named the Talkback 84.
     
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  42. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ta mate, will check em out :)
     
  43. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Hi RF, I concur with Talkback family, my wife has the nice short 170 cm 88mm (purple) variant - it serves her as a nice easy piste Tele ski. In the past I’ve ‘stolen’ it as my super light 75mm BC ski set up for somewhere like The Twins back o Hotham. I imagine even in better sized (185 cm & maybe 96mm) a Wayback would still feel quite light - esp after a piste set up.

    By the way Rowdy, what (full length) skins do you use.

    I have kickers plus G3 Alpinist Nylon but the latter seem to suffer from high friction on the Rustler 9s so was wondering whether you’ve used a Mohair/Nylon mix in Oz? Maybe a Contour or Pomona?

    Cheers if you anyone has ideas / experience of the latter models? Or can compare with pure nylon? Yikes? Hard work! :)-0)
     
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  44. Chaeron

    Chaeron Ski-Hike-Blade-Bike-Kayak Ski Pass: Gold

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    Mohair skins in Oz don’t like our wet snow.
     
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  45. skifree

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

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    My mohair’s were good. Only had one day where the temp went thru the floor at the end of day and froze the water in the skin. So far skin wax and not staying out silly late has prevented a repeat. The fur did eventually wear out and the replacements I’m pretty certain have been mixes despite labels of mohair.
     
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  46. Chaeron

    Chaeron Ski-Hike-Blade-Bike-Kayak Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yup - globstopper and glide wax makes all the difference sometimes.

    Can’t beat mohair for grip on the steeps either.
     
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  47. rowdyflat

    rowdyflat One of Us Ski Pass: Gold Ski Pass: Silver

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    I have several pairs most oldish for 72 , 78 , 84 , 105 skis subtract 6mm so about 65 , 70 ,80 and 100 waist .and the kickers are about 75 mm.
    As above for glide and less sticking in conditions around zero use glide wax on skins,
    For Japan climbing you can get away with 4-12 mm less than the ski waist provided you dont edge much.
    When you take them off in the cold put them under your ski jacket.
     
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  48. chicski

    chicski A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I have so much to learn :confused:
     
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  49. Chaeron

    Chaeron Ski-Hike-Blade-Bike-Kayak Ski Pass: Gold

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    Us fanatics on here overcomplicate everything.... but I’ve learnt lots on the forum which has made my life on the snow so much easier and fun...
     
  50. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Cheers skifree can I ask which models/brands please?

    I’m seriously thinking of trying a mohair or 70/30 M/N mix this winter due the G3 Nylon resistance. They do climb trees though but a one dimensional. And the tip & tail gadgets seem to work too - even if the former is hard to pack/fold.

    I have my kickers for really flat. But for the next tier of terrain, be good to get a mix of glide/climb.
     
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