AT setup on the cheap? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 12-21-2011   #1
Lakewood, Colorado
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 509
AT setup on the cheap?

Sorry for the ignorance, but I haven't bought any ski equipment in about 12 years and am completely out of touch with new gear. I'm looking to get an AT setup and want to spend as little as possible.

I have an old pair of tele skis. Some kind of rental Rossi's from the late '90s. Can I just put AT bindings on them?

Also, is there any reason I can't use my DH boots in AT bindings? I know proper AT boots have the ski/walk setting. How desirable is that? I remember Alpine Trekkers back in the day.

Thanks for your help.

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Old 12-22-2011   #2
The OC, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 56
Any AT setup will beat the trekkers, hands down.

You can mount most AT bindings on most skis.

Downhill boots will work in some AT bindings, but you will want AT boots if you are going to walk very far or climb very much. AT boots are lighter and more flexible on top of the walk mode. They don't typically have as much forward lean as DH boots. This translates to skiing the back seat if you are not watching out.

I have seen a couple of Fritschi Freerides for sale used, they are pretty durable and would work with DH boots and not be overkill for your old Rossis. I have skied them in and out of area for years. I am in the process of setting up some Dynafit Speed Radicals on a pair of Madshus Annums for a super lightweight setup that I can go skinless on when the climbing is not too burly. Which reminds me, don't forget the skins... Should be able to find those used as well.
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Old 12-22-2011   #3
Moon's Avatar
Silt, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 193
Sooooo you want to spend as little as possible.... you can tele??? you have a tele set-up?? if so then just do a rope wrap around your skis and walk up.... if you want to do down hill with regular bindings then alpine trekkers are the cheapest thing out there... one trip in the BC and you will look at AT bindings.... but you wanted cheap right??? I have had Naxos, Fritchis, and Markers.... they all have their place... It depends on if you want a BC binding for on hill... or a regular binding for walking... i run the markers cause i do about 90% on hill with a little walking these days... my summit 151 track takes care of the BC But when i need to skin they do just fine... i would rather have something weigh a little more and work vs. shaving an ounce or two and fail... they never break in the parking lot... just my opinion... have fun out there!!
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Old 12-22-2011   #4
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Riverdale, Utah
Paddling Since: 1977
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 231
Downhill boots are very heavy. I don't like walking from my car to the lifts in my downhill boots; do you want to hike a couple hours in yours? The ski/walk setting is key. You don't see a lot of Alpine Trekkers because its a bitch to hike with heavy gear. Do you want to do sidecountry, or hike from the road? I think boots are the most important thing (as with downhill gear). Look for huge discounts in the spring, or used gear. I'd suggest trying on a bunch of AT boots, figuring out what model and size you want, then look for a used pair, from someone who bought the wrong size. Or an older pair of boots. I have an old pair of Dynafit Tourlights with a bit of life left; but they are in Utah, and they could use some new liners. If you have not priced AT boots recently, get prepared for sticker shock.
Used skis are probably the cheapest component you need to come up with; you may find some skis+ bindings for cheap, and not have to deal with moving the bindings.
Put a beacon, shovel, and daypack on your list. A probe too. I see used beacons occasionally on the bulletin boards in REI and other shops.
You could visualize lucking into an entire setup that someone wants to sell for cheap. Make a list, goalsetting, all that good stuff.
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Old 12-22-2011   #5
Carbondale, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 330
I spent the last year putting together an AT setup as cheap a possbile. By far, the cheapest way to get AT boots is by signing up with Sierra Trading post and purchasing boots through their deal flyer coupons. I got new Garmonts sub $300 when they're going for $400+ everywhere else. Craigslist has a fair amount of used AT bindings on it. Some touring AT boots are definitely lighter and softer than an alpine boot and can be overpowered when driven hard, but the 4 buckle models I got are every bit as stiff as alpine boots and charge lines great. As with any endeavor, there's a continuum of uses within the AT world - touring gear designed for light and fast that focusses on the climb, or gear that can be hucked. If you can stand all the BS on the TGR site, there's good info there. Be forewarned, the tools that lurk there make the buzz look like church camp.
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Old 12-22-2011   #6
Lakewood, Colorado
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 509
Thanks for the advice. I bought a used tele setup a while back but the boots were too big and I never got smaller boots. Now the thought of putting in a ton of resort time to learn sounds awful.

I've got beacon, shovel, probe, and daypack. I don't huck anything big and mostly just want to get better snow and fewer people than the resorts can offer. I have read avy books and will be very conservative but still need to take a class.

TGR tip is good, I haven't been on TGR in years but I do remember the assholes that hang out there.

Does anyone know a good bootfitter in Denver? My last boots were fit by Earl Middlemiss in SLC and are awesome.
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Old 12-23-2011   #7
Shit Creek, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 277
For cheap, keep your eyes peeled for older Fritcshi binders. I have owned each model since the first Diamir came out several years ago. Never had a problem with any of them. The 1st or 2nd gen work well for good old fashioned powder skiing and can be had pretty cheap most of the time. Watch CL denver and CL rocky daily and you should find something.
As for bootfitting, I use Chris at Harb Skier Alignment in Dumont. It is best to get an appt to make sure you get all the attention. I have had 3 pairs of boots/insoles done there by Chris and couldn't be happier with fit and performance.
PM me if you want his complete name. It isnt cheap, but not as spendy as other bootfitter shops either.
Speak of Peace, (but carry a big gun)
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Old 12-23-2011   #8
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
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Originally Posted by mjpowhound View Post
....I bought a used tele setup a while back but the boots were too big and I never got smaller boots. Now the thought of putting in a ton of resort time to learn sounds awful.
I resisted learning to tele and took up AT long ago for the same reason. Looking back, I wish I'd picked tele up a lot sooner.

If you're a good downhill skier then you should make the transition to tele pretty easily - especially with the new modern gear (you know, plastic boots, beefy bindings) you'll be on. You've already got lots of snow sense, balance, timing and everything from the waist up is about the same. You just need to be a little more pronounced with keeping your shoulders facing down the fall line. And you can always revert back into a downhill "telepine" stance if need be.

Its definitely worth spending a few days in the area on the greens and blues to get used to teleing and then getting out to the backcountry to some mellow terrain. It sounds like you've got the right attitude about mellow terrain - I mean you don't really want to hit the BC steeps with the snow pack we've got right now so you've got a couple more months before you'd want to get onto the steeps anyway.

Whatever you do, don't forget to have fun!

Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 12-23-2011   #9
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TGR is the shit! they are assholes, but people there do reach out to you quite often and once you find the right people the welth of information is unfathomable for sliding on snow. there is also telemark tips and snowwest both great places to learn about snow.

I see more people switching over to tele from AT more each year. gear is lighter, more active on the way up and overall less fatigueing on the long tours. it is harder to rip a line on tele, but if you just walked 3 miles to get there why not enjoy it? I ski tele inbounds and AT out back, as soon as i get moneyz i am going full tele.

if you have most of the gear you are 1/2 way there. shoot me a PM with what you have and what you want and i will look at what i have lying around, might be able to hook you up.

also the cheapest yet still charging AT boot you could find is sub 200$ made by salomon called the e-2 it was a resort boot made easyer for texans to walk in it has a ski mode and walk mode, it is an at boot. reviews say it will only work with a salomon binding. BS i own a pair and they are in my dukes, you might find a pair at level9sports. but it has been some time. i can also hook you up on a marker duke large, we need to know the bsl, again sub 200$

let me know.
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Old 12-23-2011   #10
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 103
Originally Posted by mjpowhound
Does anyone know a good bootfitter in Denver? My last boots were fit by Earl Middlemiss in SLC and are awesome.
Lee Kinney -Custom Foot
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