1. There's more to this forum than meets the eye!

    We have a vibrant community here conversing about all sorts of non-snow topics such as music, sport, politics and technology. Simply register to reveal all our Après topics or continue browsing and reading as a guest.

    NOTE: This notice may be closed.

    Dismiss Notice

Advice needed Waxless AT Skis

Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by Sean Sunley, Jun 2, 2017.

  1. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2014
    Messages:
    3,977
    Likes Received:
    5,611
    Location:
    Glen Iris, Melbourne
    Great to hear your insights...
     
  2. Ziggy

    Ziggy A Local Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Messages:
    9,237
    Likes Received:
    4,037
    A Dutch cousin visited years ago and couldn't believe the skinny sticks we were using for BC. Shorter and fatter (ie randonée) was her experience.

    I doubt my muscle memory would allow me to go back to 2m skis. It'd be cross over all the time.
     
  3. rols

    rols Addicted

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2006
    Messages:
    143
    Likes Received:
    104
    Location:
    tas
    Can't go too far wrong, I've done 5? pairs, just get the router set-up dialled in by trying on a piece of wood before starting on the skis.
    Only reason not to try might be if you like using grip wax?
     
    BrindiCruiser likes this.
  4. BrindiCruiser

    BrindiCruiser Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2016
    Messages:
    144
    Likes Received:
    68
    Don't even own grip wax!

    Keen to do it, but need to look at a few more videos and get a better sense of how to do it.
     
  5. Ziggy

    Ziggy A Local Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Messages:
    9,237
    Likes Received:
    4,037
    I put out a call for a donation of old skis and got offered plenty. So they can be the test bed.

    I'm thinking of a simple wood jig which will guide left/right placement and also flatten the camber. To inform the design of the pattern there's an old Karhu XCD Supreme that Stefan probably worked on and that I skied for a few years on the High Plains. The choices are how long a pattern, and what size, depth and density of half-moons or crescents.
     
  6. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us

    Joined:
    May 4, 1999
    Messages:
    3,378
    Likes Received:
    1,122
    Location:
    vic
    Good luck with project Ziggy. I didn't do this with a rig so no real precision. Plus I suspect my ~ 1 cm
    Grinding disc/wheel was a tad narrow.

    I'm not all that convinced that half moons are the most efficient shape. I think they're probably easier for tooling machinery and hence cheaper to manufacture.

    The more staditional step pattern is probably better for grip but glide is often the issue ( hello Karhu!).

    Fischer crown-basic skis were generally considered the best mix of grip and glide in the mid-80s as I was just starting to ski. Although the E99s were pone to breaking when used aggressively.

    Asnes grip was always poor (small flat-ish sawtooth?) and Trak (positive pattern semi circular) were grippy but slow from memory.

    Again from memory, a few models (more trail-specific Morottos etc...) used to have a grip section made separately to the running sections. This centre section was essentially a positive pattern but glued into place so it was nice and flush with tips and tails. So glide was very good but grip was better than average.
    ...happy to be corrected by the more up to date & techno xc/bc brigade here but that's my impressions / memories.

    ...as for Mica Karhus - yuk - slippy! And mohair gripped but was cut to pieces by our rocks and shrubs!
     
  7. Untele-whippet

    Untele-whippet beard stroker Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2006
    Messages:
    15,251
    Likes Received:
    24,265
    Location:
    Blue Mtns, 1100M.
    Just attach your kickers to the tips of your skis. Great grip, reasonable glide.
     
    Chaeron likes this.
  8. Ziggy

    Ziggy A Local Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Messages:
    9,237
    Likes Received:
    4,037
    That sounds funky TW. Might give it a go.
    Snowgum, thanks for that bit of history.
    The current Fischer S-Bounds still use a moulded insert section with squarish fish scales that overlap forwards o_O
     
  9. rols

    rols Addicted

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2006
    Messages:
    143
    Likes Received:
    104
    Location:
    tas
    Yeah, I admit that even though I am a fan of the diy pattern l have been using this method of late. Haven't wanted to slow the bases of my wider go to skis.
     
  10. RTL

    RTL Hard Yards

    Joined:
    May 19, 2016
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    27
    Universal klister works well for spring tours and terrain like the Bogong High Plains and the Main Range. Has to be re-applied on alpine cambered skis during the day due to wear and no "grip pocket" that nordic cambered skis have.
    When done properly, or when conditions allow, grip wax or klister grips and glides better than a pattern base
     
  11. Ziggy

    Ziggy A Local Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Messages:
    9,237
    Likes Received:
    4,037
    Well I had a play with this.
    It produced the PB buzz on some surfaces. The tails had a tendency to go their own way.
    Why wouldn't you just shorten the skins to change the grip/glide ratio?
     
  12. Ziggy

    Ziggy A Local Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Messages:
    9,237
    Likes Received:
    4,037
    Hmm.
    There really isn't such a thing as one PB grip either. Look at the variables: the nature and amount of the pattern; the ski's camber, sidecut, length and width; the snow conditions (and how they vary over a day); and the technique of the skier.
     
  13. EmB

    EmB First Runs

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2018
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi all - my first time, so be kind. I googled AT and Waxless skis, which brought me to this thread, which I've read with interest. Any updates on people's current experiences with lightweight AT bindings/boots combined with waxless skis? Saw the Voile Vector in a ski shop in Cooma and thought they were heavier than the Madshus Epochs (which cater for telie). Btw I'm a tellie skier transitioning to AT and am experienced with skiing on patterned bases. Thanks in anticipation.
     
  14. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2014
    Messages:
    3,977
    Likes Received:
    5,611
    Location:
    Glen Iris, Melbourne
    https://www.ski.com.au/xf/threads/pattern-based-skis.45219/page-2#post-1778914:

    @Ziggy sums up the issues:

    “So many variables: ski length, camber/rocker, width, pattern length and type. Even wax (yep, tip and tail for Spring snow). (And binding and boot etc etc).

    In an earlier thread IIRC or was it this one (can't be fagged going back) a useful question was put: do you tour to turn or do you tour with a few turns thrown in? That partly addresses the question of what trade-offs you can live with if you only have a quiver of one.

    On this forum I've been reading doubts about the Rossi's from memory. But I haven't tried wider than 78mm underfoot and don't do steep and deep anyway. In spring snow on the BHP the Guides, with 7TM Power Tours and T2Xs work a treat for me - but that's 70% kick and glide and 30% telemarking.”
     
  15. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2014
    Messages:
    3,977
    Likes Received:
    5,611
    Location:
    Glen Iris, Melbourne
    https://www.ski.com.au/xf/threads/the-bc-chatter-thread.47700/page-214#post-3407543

    https://www.ski.com.au/xf/threads/pattern-based-skis.45219/

    https://www.ski.com.au/xf/threads/cross-country-skis-needed.72972/#post-2804962

    I combine patterned base Madshus Annums (AKA Karhu Guides) with tech bindings and kicker skins - a good combo for rolling hills - mo need to tele, can ski parallel for downhill.

    Madshus Epochs may be slightly too narrow for tech bindings.

    http://www.bogong.com.au/info/content/ski-gear-basics

    http://www.wildernessshop.com.au/html/xc_skis.html

    https://www.wildsnow.com/12640/voile-vector-bc/

    Best online comparison review of patterned bases:

    http://www.earnyourturns.com/33004/waxless-metal-edged-ski-roundup/

    http://www.earnyourturns.com/15935/review-madshus-annum/ (With some insights from @Ziggy )

    http://www.earnyourturns.com/9489/review-fischer-s-bound-112/

    BC binding widths for reference:

    Binding toe unit base plates and screw pattern widths (dimensions slightly rounded):
    – Dynafit ST, base plate 57.2 mm, 4 screws at 30 mm width, 5th screw centered.
    – Dynafit FT, base 48.4 mm, same screw pattern as above.
    – Marker Titanium alpine, base 45 mm, 4 screws at 34 mm width.
    – Marker F12 Tour, base 66, 4 screws at 34mm width.
    – Fritschi Freeride Pro, base 73 mm, screws at 34 mm width.

    Binding heel unit base plates widths at screw locations, and screw pattern widths (dimensions slightly rounded)
    – Dynafit ST, base front width 32 mm, base rear 36 mm, front screws 32 mm, rear screws 36 mm.
    – Dynafit FT, base front width same as above, screw pattern same as above, rear base width 54 mm due do bulge around screw holes.
    – Marker Titanium alpine, 59 mm base width, front screws 22 mm, rear at 42 mm.
    – Marker F12 Tour, base width 68 mm, 4 screws at 36 mm wide.
    – Fritschi Freeride Pro, base width 75 mm, two forward screws at 24 mm wide, one rear screw centered (4th screw centered and located so far forward it is not a factor in heel pullout strength).

    https://www.wildsnow.com/3999/at-backcountry-binding-widths/
     
    #65 Chaeron, Aug 2, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2018
    Rick Ross Da Boss likes this.
  16. skifree

    skifree grey Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 1998
    Messages:
    22,325
    Likes Received:
    13,567
    Location:
    Middle Oz
    Bruce has a good pile of these skis including demo set ups.
     
    Chaeron likes this.
  17. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2014
    Messages:
    3,977
    Likes Received:
    5,611
    Location:
    Glen Iris, Melbourne
  18. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2003
    Messages:
    31,110
    Likes Received:
    14,526
    Location:
    Kiewa Valley
    Chaeron likes this.
  19. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2014
    Messages:
    3,977
    Likes Received:
    5,611
    Location:
    Glen Iris, Melbourne
    Yup! 80 - 90 underfoot and 160 to 175 in length is aa good width and long as one wants to go for OZ rolling hills in mixed conditions.

    BTW - what’s your mondo-point boot size - I’ve got adjustable Dynafit Radicals on the Karhus which could probably accomodate between 24.0 and 27.... and I’d be happy to lend you my Guides for a week or two - they’re my 2nd set and I don’t always manage to get my son to come up with me...
     
    currawong likes this.
  20. Ziggy

    Ziggy A Local Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Messages:
    9,237
    Likes Received:
    4,037
    The Epoch and the Vector aren't really in the same class.
    Do you plan spring touring (firm snow) or winter (soft snow)? That's the key thing influencing ski width underfoot. IMO 90mm underfoot is too much for spring touring, esp if there's soft flex and a lot of sidecut. With a pattern base straight line performance of that kind of ski is lousy - it drags and wanders.
     
    Chaeron likes this.
  21. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2014
    Messages:
    3,977
    Likes Received:
    5,611
    Location:
    Glen Iris, Melbourne
    Even 78 (Annums) is a bit too wide for spring - does want to wander a bit.

    The Madshus Epoch at 68 would accomodate a Dynafit FT tech. binding and probably the Dynafit skimo race bindings..... a lighter combo...especially with light boots.

    “I saw someone the other day with a Madshus Epoch (which is skinnier than the Annum and I think has a bit more camber), Dynafit TLT 5's, and ultralight Dynafit race bindings. She said she could ski "absolutely anything" in them. Very cool.” - in comments section -
    http://www.earnyourturns.com/15935/review-madshus-annum/.
     
  22. Ziggy

    Ziggy A Local Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Messages:
    9,237
    Likes Received:
    4,037
    The trend in touring/BC skis has been shorter, wider, more waisted, and softer flexing. Ie. better for turning. And worse for simply covering the ground - all other things equal.
    So what kind of compromise can you live with, if you can only have one pair of skis?
    That's a hard one since snow quality and technique have a big role to play too.
    Probably the best single quiver I've had for rolling hills, wild snow and groomed trails, and some resort, was the old Boundless. 69mm underfoot IIRC, modest negative pattern and fairly easy turning. Could cope with the weight of a pack. Not so wide that edging in critical places was impossible or exhausting. Could be made to glide in various conditions with a half decent diagonal stride technique.
     
    Chaeron likes this.
  23. Untele-whippet

    Untele-whippet beard stroker Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2006
    Messages:
    15,251
    Likes Received:
    24,265
    Location:
    Blue Mtns, 1100M.
    I’ll have to agree to disagree,
    The Voile Vector BC’s eat corn and slush in spring, a combo of width and rocker and they float in Oz “pow”.
    The Vectors are a downhill ski that tours.
    The Guides/Annums are a touring ski that turns.
     
  24. Ziggy

    Ziggy A Local Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Messages:
    9,237
    Likes Received:
    4,037
    When were you last on something 62-69mm underfoot in spring conditions or packed new snow?
    And with light boots and bindings?

    Edited
     
    Chaeron likes this.
  25. Untele-whippet

    Untele-whippet beard stroker Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2006
    Messages:
    15,251
    Likes Received:
    24,265
    Location:
    Blue Mtns, 1100M.
    15 - 20 years ago.
    As I said, I agree to disagree.
    Each to their own pleasures.
    Though I did have a nice tootle on the Perisher xc trails a few years ago on some misery sticks.
     
    Chaeron likes this.
  26. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2014
    Messages:
    3,977
    Likes Received:
    5,611
    Location:
    Glen Iris, Melbourne
    The Guides/Annums turn, but they significantly underperform on steeps compared to a regular BC ski without a patterned base.... even when accounting for the patterned base loss.

    I have BC Blizzards with very similar dimensions to my Annums and they kill the Annums on the downhill.

    The Annum, like any patterned base is a compromise ski...and I know the narrower Epochs would be a more demanding ski on the steeps.
     
  27. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2014
    Messages:
    3,977
    Likes Received:
    5,611
    Location:
    Glen Iris, Melbourne
    Welcome @EmB
     
  28. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2003
    Messages:
    31,110
    Likes Received:
    14,526
    Location:
    Kiewa Valley
    Thanks heaps but no skiing for me this season. Also i just use normal downhill boots and only stray a little into sidecountry.
     
    Chaeron likes this.
  29. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2014
    Messages:
    3,977
    Likes Received:
    5,611
    Location:
    Glen Iris, Melbourne
    Word me up next season if you want to borrow the Karhus for a week or two - I’ve got some borrowable 26 and 26.5 mondo point boots if that’s any help...
     
    Ziggy likes this.
  30. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2003
    Messages:
    31,110
    Likes Received:
    14,526
    Location:
    Kiewa Valley
    :thumbs:
    Hope I'm back out there then
     
    Untele-whippet and Chaeron like this.
  31. Ziggy

    Ziggy A Local Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Messages:
    9,237
    Likes Received:
    4,037
    For straight line performance with a pattern base ski I'm looking for what contributes to glide ... and I'm not taking into account snow quality, base prep or technique standard here:
    1. Camber - keeps the pattern from dragging and makes for good edge hold on icy slopes.
    2. Narrowest width and minimal sidecut consistent with not sinking right in - to track in ungroomed snow the ski edges need to bite to some degree. The tip sets its own track if you like. If the ski floats and has serious sidecut it wanders.

    These make for straight line glide, which makes covering the k's enjoyable in Aus rolling hills.

    Float's a function of your weight, your speed, the ski contact area, and snow density.

    I use these PBs:
    1. Eons: 62mm underfoot, little sidecut, camber - a zippy ski but sinks in soft snow. They're for day tours on the plains when the weather's turned.
    2. Fischer S-Bound 112: 78mm underfoot, stiff camber, lots of sidecut, long pattern. Good for soft snow but they have to be worked on hard snow and in the turns. They're for o/night tours or hairy terrain mainly.
    3. Voile V6s: 98mm underfoot, little camber, soft flex, plenty of sidecut. I've done my own pattern on these as IMO most factory patterns are too aggressive. This ski does the wander and float thing on firm snow but it's for turns not tours.

    Edited.
     
    Chaeron likes this.
  32. skifree

    skifree grey Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 1998
    Messages:
    22,325
    Likes Received:
    13,567
    Location:
    Middle Oz
    Voile Vectors here as one of my touring skis, but no pattern only skins. Back on them this week & reminded what a nice ski they are. They track & traverse well and turn nicely. Though they really appreciate equal & constant weighting to turn well on firmer surfaces.

    Years ago I found i was carrying skins anyhow and the pattern precludes turning performance, is noisy & just slows the show down. And for enough of the time to be a bother they climb like rubbish.

    Sure there is a delay when stripping Off & reinstalling the skins but generally find I welcome the breather break this provides.

    I do appreciate the Oz love affair with the simplicity of pattern base but think once your over 70 under foot & 10 of sidecut you are better off with no pattern & skins.
     
    Telemark Phat and Chaeron like this.
  33. Untele-whippet

    Untele-whippet beard stroker Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2006
    Messages:
    15,251
    Likes Received:
    24,265
    Location:
    Blue Mtns, 1100M.
    Short skins from tip to toe of boot or kickers attached from the tip give pretty good glide and great grip for moderate climbs on skis with no pattern for fast movement on undulating ground.
     
    Chaeron, currawong and skifree like this.
  34. Ziggy

    Ziggy A Local Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Messages:
    9,237
    Likes Received:
    4,037
    I'm a fan of kickers too. Live in the pocket, quick to fit.
     
    Chaeron likes this.
  35. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2003
    Messages:
    31,110
    Likes Received:
    14,526
    Location:
    Kiewa Valley
    interesting tip. I had just assumed that they would work best in the same zone that pattern is put.
     
  36. Ziggy

    Ziggy A Local Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Messages:
    9,237
    Likes Received:
    4,037
    They're a bit funky on a traverse.
     
    Chaeron and currawong like this.
  37. Ziggy

    Ziggy A Local Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Messages:
    9,237
    Likes Received:
    4,037
    The Eons have been great on groomed trails but I've now traded them in on Epochs - 68mm waist, still 2x camber, a bit more sidecut; = more float in softer off-piste conditions. Still using NNN-BC.

    I did a trial mount of NNN-BC on the Fischer 112s: horrible. Not enough edge control with Glittertind boots.
     
    skifree and Chaeron like this.