Trip Report Mt St Gwinear - Victoria

snowgum

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You're abit younger than me, I'm in my early 60's. I've tried different combinations over the years with varying success. As you say, Gwinear ungroomed is better with wider skis and plastic boots but you have to accept the extra weight. Never tried NNNBC, only the traditional 3 pin 75mm. Much difference?
Hi Serenity: you’re asking questions that my cohort (mid 50s) are asking too.

COvid has changed things - 2 years of no winter - almost a 3 year gap for most People, has lead to a loss of fitness and muscle mass.

A case in point, I have some SOFTSHELL Gen-purp mtn pants that used to be quite tight across the thigh. Now they’re fairly comfy - which is good but to me, a sign of lost muscle, which will happen through 50s & 60s even if your exercising regularly.

Do some research on the latest gear. Work out where you most plan to ski and decide, what gear is most appropriate.

Be prepared to pause/retire/sell stuff that doesn’t fit you body or ski style/destination anymore.

If you’re happy to spend Money to upgrade your kit, along with getting fitter/stronger, you’ll have a better ski experience.

Can I ask what gear you are mainly using?

I note, Gwinear can be quite rich, rutted and treacherous. It’s often not an easy mtn to ski. It was my first day trip with the uni - what a wake up!

You need metal edges, a bit of ski-width, stout binder (ideally inc a cable) and something like an Excursion or T3/4 (boot) to get the most out of MSG, most of the time.

There can be ideal days, (fresh dryish snow), when you may almost be able to ski on the narrowest, edge less toothpicks (sub 50mm waist), and floppy-floppy low-cut leather boots, and non-cable binders, but those days are pretty rare in my experience. To be savioured and well photographed!

Please feel free to share?
Cheers.

You aren’t alone! (;-)
 

Goski

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Grooming is rare at Gwinear and the main trail gets walked on, including by skiers, further up, when they are not up to skiing down from the summit, which means yet more skiers who otherwise could ski it must walk a bit too so it gets more chopped up and rutted until fresh snow covers the surface.

@Serenity in your position I'd be looking to get onto a wider pattern base ski if your bits have reasonable stiffness. Then you be more able to over the crud instead of getting caught in it. As @snowgum and @Mister Tee on XC Skis have mentioned, a plastic 75mm boot is the go for MSG but how often you go will be a factor in deciding to invest or not. Facebook marketplace can be a good source of used xc gear.
 
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Goski

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3 pin 75 mm with the cable with plastic touring boots is IMHO a better BC touring set up. You have more control. I am looking at the Rotefella Cobra cable Telemark touring binding to replace NNN BC on my Epoch skis.
I have Rotefella 75 mm 3 pin with the cable bindings on my Annum skis.
The Excursion boots are heavier than the Fischer BCX6 NNN BC boots but they are better for controling descents and turns and being 101% water proof is a winner too.
I have skied 100's of kms in the BC and on groomed XC trails using NNN BC. I still have all my skinny PB classic skis with NNN BC set ups.
NNNBC is generally lighter for easy undulating touring IMHO but no good for XCD applications.
@Mister Tee on XC Skis range a look at the Voile Switchback binding. I think @snowgum has liked them for touring.
 

snowgum

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@Mister Tee on XC Skis range a look at the Voile Switchback binding. I think @snowgum has liked them for touring.
I’m actually on 22D Axls on my Voile UltraVectors. So quite a heavy binder on a fairly but wide ski.

Supposedly, some people find Switchbacks a bit limiting when trying to turn in the BC. I can’t comment I haven’t used them.

But I can say that after 3 days skiing on Axls, I do like them. They are good fr control and striding and work well with Excusrions - which are fairly light for a placcy boot.

It’s all a compromise. No combination is ideal. It’s handy having multiple set ups of different weight. But it’s all an experiment. Enjoy the journey. :thumbs: :cool:
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

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I’m actually on 22D Axls on my Voile UltraVectors. So quite a heavy binder on a fairly but wide ski.

Supposedly, some people find Switchbacks a bit limiting when trying to turn in the BC. I can’t comment I haven’t used them.

But I can say that after 3 days skiing on Axls, I do like them. They are good fr control and striding and work well with Excusrions - which are fairly light for a placcy boot.

It’s all a compromise. No combination is ideal. It’s handy having multiple set ups of different weight. But it’s all an experiment. Enjoy the journey. :thumbs: :cool:
The Voile` Switchbacks are recommended to me by some very capable and experienced ski people but as one old hand put it " more can go wrong with them in the BC". He recommended the Rotefella COBRA Cable binding for what I am doing these days . It is like a 3 pin 75 MM Tele binding without the three pins.
 

snowgum

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The Voile` Switchbacks are recommended to me by some very capable and experienced ski people but as one old hand put it " more can go wrong with them in the BC". He recommended the Rotefella COBRA Cable binding for what I am doing these days . It is like a 3 pin 75 MM Tele binding without the three pins.

A good choice T. I haven R8 on a Voile release plate - fwiw; most of my older skis were on Voile release set ups - makes it easy to change bindings between skis. But not everyone is sold on the need for release. They do work if you set the release point at realistic levels.

You could do a lot worse than try a set - they’re not that cheap - nothing good is. They pair well with Excursions.

But the stiff wire is good for lateral control. As per V Hardwires, you can set the spring tension for a stiffer downhill style control or a more relaxed (softer) touring mode. Its hard to beat nice friction-free touring but that has to be weighed against, downhill control, weight, cost, user-friendliness and reliability.

Just when you get something ‘right’, you tend buy a ski fitted with a different binder. That’s Life!
 
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Mister Tee on XC Skis

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A good choice T. I haven R8 on a Voile release plate - fwiw; most of my older skis were on Voile release set ups - makes it easy to change bindings between skis. But not everyone is sold on the need for release. They do work if you set the release point at realistic levels.

You could do a lot worse than try a set - they’re not that cheap - nothing good is. They pair well with Excursions.

But the stiff wire is good for lateral control. As per V Hardwires, you can set the spring tension for a stiffer downhill style control or a more relaxed (softer) touring mode. Its hard to beat nice friction-free touring but that has to be weighed against, downhill control, weight, cost, user-friendliness and reliability.

Just when you get something ‘right’, you tend buy a ski fitted with a different binder. That’s Life!
Can you climb and kick and glide with the Cobra wires
not set on the heels?
I put the cables on for skiing the lifts and sustained
cross country descents.The cables are a pain in the orifice for kick and glide and climbing hills.
 

snowgum

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Can you climb and kick and glide with the Cobra wires
not set on the heels?
I put the cables on for skiing the lifts and sustained
cross country descents.The cables are a pain in the orifice for kick and glide and climbing hills.

I’m a heavy tourer - not just heavy per se.

I think fine for what I want - climbing Stirling, playing/a few turns in the summit/ whizzing down Bluff trail.

It won’t compete on the flat with a free-pivot mode binder. Or at least I’d doubt, that’s Switchback’s forte’.

The Axl offers both but it’s 5-600g pair heavier the SB X2. If you hike to turn, then the AXL may be the binder of choice. If you want to do mostly groomed, flat & gently undulating trails and straightlune speed & weight is paramount, the most would say stick with SB. Or upgrade to SB X2 for better downhills. (More cost!)

I’ve never skied a NNNBC btw - that’s a whole different weight grade. I did do the free Fischer gear testing at Lake Mtn a few years ago. Used light classic and Combines boots with nnnbc. Fun & light but it wouldn’t be fun on steep & or icy stuff.
 

snowgum

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I’m a heavy tourer - not just heavy per se.

I think fine for what I want - climbing Stirling, playing/a few turns in the summit/ whizzing down Bluff trail.

It won’t compete on the flat with a free-pivot mode binder. Or at least I’d doubt, that’s Switchback’s forte’.

The Axl offers both but it’s 5-600g pair heavier the SB X2. If you hike to turn, then the AXL may be the binder of choice. If you want to do mostly groomed, flat & gently undulating trails and straightlune speed & weight is paramount, the most would say stick with SB. Or upgrade to SB X2 for better downhills. (More cost!)

I’ve never skied a NNNBC btw - that’s a whole different weight grade. I did do the free Fischer gear testing at Lake Mtn a few years ago. Used light classic and Combines boots with nnnbc. Fun & light but it wouldn’t be fun on steep & or icy stuff.
Ok just the the one trial arvo on nnnbc. It didn’t change my world. Maybe something to hire when doing the Bullfight Rush? Or pub to pub?
 
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Serenity

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Hi Serenity: you’re asking questions that my cohort (mid 50s) are asking too.

COvid has changed things - 2 years of no winter - almost a 3 year gap for most People, has lead to a loss of fitness and muscle mass.

A case in point, I have some SOFTSHELL Gen-purp mtn pants that used to be quite tight across the thigh. Now they’re fairly comfy - which is good but to me, a sign of lost muscle, which will happen through 50s & 60s even if your exercising regularly.

Do some research on the latest gear. Work out where you most plan to ski and decide, what gear is most appropriate.

Be prepared to pause/retire/sell stuff that doesn’t fit you body or ski style/destination anymore.

If you’re happy to spend Money to upgrade your kit, along with getting fitter/stronger, you’ll have a better ski experience.

Can I ask what gear you are mainly using?

I note, Gwinear can be quite rich, rutted and treacherous. It’s often not an easy mtn to ski. It was my first day trip with the uni - what a wake up!

You need metal edges, a bit of ski-width, stout binder (ideally inc a cable) and something like an Excursion or T3/4 (boot) to get the most out of MSG, most of the time.

There can be ideal days, (fresh dryish snow), when you may almost be able to ski on the narrowest, edge less toothpicks (sub 50mm waist), and floppy-floppy low-cut leather boots, and non-cable binders, but those days are pretty rare in my experience. To be savioured and well photographed!

Please feel free to share?
Cheers.

You aren’t alone! (;-)
From my perspective there are 2 points here. The first is a lack of specific XC on a regular basis to maintain muscle and fitness. Covid and lockdowns saw to that. Even my gym sessions do not make up for actual time on the snow. The other factor has to do with age I think. The body does change over time normally (especially when combined with point 1), so you notice things don't fit as well and also feel heavier. Boots, especially newish one's, are designed to be bedded in, this takes time and use. I currently use Scarpa T4 with Fischer S-bounds with a pattern base. I have already identified that boots will need to be blown out (again) due to changes in my feet, so will reassess after that, but if that does not help I will look at lighter options. One step at a time atm. My 3 pin set-up on skinny skis and leather boots simply cannot handle ungroomed trails, especially when carrying a pack. In a nutshell, weight and comfort need to be addressed.
 

Serenity

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From my perspective there are 2 points here. The first is a lack of specific XC on a regular basis to maintain muscle and fitness. Covid and lockdowns saw to that. Even my gym sessions do not make up for actual time on the snow. The other factor has to do with age I think. The body does change over time normally (especially when combined with point 1), so you notice things don't fit as well and also feel heavier. Boots, especially newish one's, are designed to be bedded in, this takes time and use. I currently use Scarpa T4 with Fischer S-bounds with a pattern base. I have already identified that boots will need to be blown out (again) due to changes in my feet, so will reassess after that, but if that does not help I will look at lighter options. One step at a time atm. My 3 pin set-up on skinny skis and leather boots simply cannot handle ungroomed trails, especially when carrying a pack. In a nutshell, weight and comfort need to be addressed.
Forgot to mention, bindings are 7TM, skis and bindings courtesy of @chriscross.
 

pegasusSki

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Grooming is rare at Gwinear and the main trail gets walked on, including by skiers, further up, when they are not up to skiing down from the summit, which means yet more skiers who otherwise could ski it must walk a bit too so it gets more chopped up and rutted until fresh snow covers the surface.

@Serenity in your position I'd be looking to get onto a wider pattern base ski if your bits have reasonable stiffness. Then you be more able to over the crud instead of getting caught in it. As @snowgum and @Mister Tee on XC Skis have mentioned, a plastic 75mm boot is the go for MSG but how often you go will be a factor in deciding to invest or not. Facebook marketplace can be a good source of used xc gear.
I have been considering cable bindings with old school stiff leathers to get the most of both worlds - accepting that boots are not as waterproof or warm as plastic boots are heavy.
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

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I have been considering cable bindings with old school stiff leathers to get the most of both worlds - accepting that boots are not as waterproof or warm as plastic boots are heavy.
Fischer make a
BCX6 duck bill back country boot that is made for 75 mm three pin cable bindings. Check it out.I would take a look for sure.
 
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pegasusSki

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Fischer make a
BCX6 duck bill back country boot that is made for 75 mm three pin cable bindings. Check it out.I would take a look for sure.
yup, the only thing that has me looking at leathers is the torsional rigidity? of the sole, which is probably unbeaten. For day / weekend trips etc.
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

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yup, the only thing that has me looking at leathers is the torsional rigidity? of the sole, which is probably unbeaten. For day / weekend trips etc.
This boot is as close as you can get to a Plastic boot for torsional rigidty but still being a 90 % leather touring boot for 75 MM duck bill bindings.
 

snowgum

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NNN BC is not great on proper XC downhill terrain or on hard icy teeth chattering terrain.
That’s what I feel from a couple of hours trial at LMTn.

Fresh snow, no ice, groomed gentle trails they’d be fine.

How often do we those conditions in Vic? 1 or 2 days /10.

More so at Wire Plain and Falls home trails. Perisher too.
Sometimes?
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

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That’s what I feel from a couple of hours trial at LMTn.

Fresh snow, no ice, groomed gentle trails they’d be fine.

How often do we those conditions in Vic? 1 or 2 days /10.

More so at Wire Plain and Falls home trails. Perisher too.
Sometimes?
We ski what “ snow” we get and we need the right kit to do it.When conditions allow then NNNBC for Nordic Skiing Sun Valley at Falls creek is the right choice.
It is still easier to do turns in rat trap bindings with plastic boots even if it does look like overkill at Lake mountain.
 

snowgum

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Eh look burly, time will tell. Most leathers slop up in time.

The real weakness imo is the laces. Any boot that high is begging for a buckle and a power strap, so you can ease the pressure a bit for flat striding.

Too much fiddling with lacing is a chore. Even there done it. Ripped holes in my hands.

Still think my Excursions (esp mine are the lighter thermo fit model) would give them a run for their money. But Ex’s will be getting hard to find soon - possibly already?

Sad? A good boot for 80% of Aussie Xc. :(

There’s nothing tangible in NTN like the Excursion (light with good ROM) - Scarpa talking about for years, delayed by Covid and perhaps the need to run down old 75mm stock. :rolleyes:
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

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Eh look burly, time will tell. Most leathers slop up in time.

The real weakness imo is the laces. Any boot that high is begging for a buckle and a power strap, so you can ease the pressure a bit for flat striding.

Too much fiddling with lacing is a chore. Even there done it. Ripped holes in my hands.

Still think my Excursions (esp mine are the lighter thermo fit model) would give them a run for their money. But Ex’s will be getting hard to find soon - possibly already?

Sad? A good boot for 80% of Aussie Xc. :(

There’s nothing tangible in NTN like the Excursion (light with good ROM) - Scarpa talking about for years, delayed by Covid and perhaps the need to run down old 75mm stock. :rolleyes:
Scott are still making the Excursion boot.It is a game changer boot for me,coming from nnnbc.
 
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snowgum

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I wouldn’t leave it to September if you see a good weekend forecast with reasonable snow depth. (50cm at BB)?

Ideally do before the big September thaw?
Or in this years’s case, the ‘The Big August Melt’ :oops:
 

Serenity

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So, another trip to Gwinear today and the conditions were not great. The real skiable snow didn't really start until Jeep Track Flat, and even that was rain affected and chopped up. Just getting there was an effort with poor snow on the Main Trail, significant dirt patches, all covered in debris. Hopefully a significant top up soon, otherwise it's goodbye Gwinear.
 

chriscross

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Another perspective on Monday 8/08. Curses upon incompetent BB communications/management. But blessed be St. Gwinear, whoever she may be.
Turned away at BB entry, I decided to go MSG. A 500 m hike found skiable snow above the first bridge.
Decided I had to go to the summit for lunch ( my wife's chicken and vegetable soup with grated vintage cheese from Stanley food flask, no more cold lunch in the snow for me).
Then had to ski over the back towards AAWT, just to have a look. The big rocks on the main trail looked ugly, skis off, and I nearly turned around. But tracks in deep snow led around the rocks and back to the trail so I pushed out across the creek with a few tentative turns. Snow quality was better up high, soft and slightly r**n affected but most amenable. Up to the rock shelter at AAWT. Then it was down through the snowgums into Tullicouty Glen. Have not done this for some years. Turns were inelegant, glad no-one was filming. But great to be out there. Time to turn around.
But a little look across the next ridge top found me in the creek gully comprising the Saints trail so I had to take that route past the little waterfall back to Gwinear Flat. Across the bridge, back over the summit, skis off again before the car park, legs were cactus. Haven't toured like that for some years. So good to get out there.
20220808_131938.jpg
20220808_131938.jpg
20220808_142018.jpg
 

rune

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Not sure if this is allowed so feel free to delete but I was up at Gwinear on the weekend and wrote up a short entry about it on my blog if anyone is interested in a recent trip report.

 
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snowgum

A Local
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Another perspective on Monday 8/08. Curses upon incompetent BB communications/management. But blessed be St. Gwinear, whoever she may be.
Turned away at BB entry, I decided to go MSG. A 500 m hike found skiable snow above the first bridge.
Decided I had to go to the summit for lunch ( my wife's chicken and vegetable soup with grated vintage cheese from Stanley food flask, no more cold lunch in the snow for me).
Then had to ski over the back towards AAWT, just to have a look. The big rocks on the main trail looked ugly, skis off, and I nearly turned around. But tracks in deep snow led around the rocks and back to the trail so I pushed out across the creek with a few tentative turns. Snow quality was better up high, soft and slightly r**n affected but most amenable. Up to the rock shelter at AAWT. Then it was down through the snowgums into Tullicouty Glen. Have not done this for some years. Turns were inelegant, glad no-one was filming. But great to be out there. Time to turn around.
But a little look across the next ridge top found me in the creek gully comprising the Saints trail so I had to take that route past the little waterfall back to Gwinear Flat. Across the bridge, back over the summit, skis off again before the car park, legs were cactus. Haven't toured like that for some years. So good to get out there.
20220808_131938.jpg
20220808_131938.jpg
20220808_142018.jpg
Sounds like you had a lot of fun CC.

It’s been a long time between drinks for us - must get back in a good year.

I note the signs at Gwinear have received very little love since I started skiing there in 85’. A bit sad how we run our mountains into the ground. Not like our big city sports venues.

Btw; I like the look of your skis. Are they the Vector BCS?
 

snowgum

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Yes, they're great for that sort of touring. But they've done a few ks, now. I would like another pair, maybe mount ntn set up.
Do your research re NTN. If possible wait Scarpa bring their new NTN boot out (possibly this summer as indicated on Freeheel Life).

I ‘can’ tour on TX Pro and Outlaw X (& say Rustler 9 (94mm) ) plus FL G3 skins but they’re pretty heavy & the ROM for the tall, stiff boot is quite ordinary- rated poor by some.

If I chucked my unused Lynx on the Rustler, it would help the weight issue but not the ROM.

Have fun… ;)
 
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