Looking at AT setup, questions - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 03-01-2010   #1
 
Winchester, Virginia
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 5
Looking at AT setup, questions

Just found this forum after some searching, and hoping to get some advice.

First I'll let you know my skiing background: I'm an intermediate downhill skier, using traditional downhill skis that I purchased 15 years ago (not parabolic or anything). 185 length. I'm 6'1" and 155 pounds.

Recently, my wife and I tried cross-country skiing, and we had a lot of fun. Not much xc available here in VA, but my parents purchased a vacatioin house out in WV where there is plenty of opportunity to do xc. (where we tried the xc at a nearby park). Ordered my wife a set of xc skis to keep out there.

There is also opportunity for some backcountry style skiing at the resort where the house is. hiking trails, even an unused actual downhill ski run (it's there, but the lifts are not operational). So I've been thinking I would like a set of skis to do it all, as I'd heard you can xc on telemark skis and go downhill. Then I found out about AT skis, and that, at least, sounds even better to me.

What I want to know is if these do what I want to do: be able to xc on groomed trails with my wife, as well as ski downhill at the resorts. I'm not too worried that I won't be able to xc as well as if I had actual xc skis, just want to know that I wouldn't hate it on AT skis. And that they'll downhill at least close to the ability of my current skis (I assume with the advances in ski technology, that shouldn't be difficult!). My current skis, since I don't get a chance to go often, anymore, just seem fast and I'd actually like a little more control at the price of some speed.

I've been doing a bunch of searching on the web the last few days (there is no where local I can go to find out about this stuff - we plan to go out to Wisp next weekend, so I'll stop in their shop; hopefully they may have AT gear and knowledge). I've been looking at the various brands and styles, and of course, price is unfortunately a major consideration. I'm thinking of going with Marker Baron bindings and maybe the K2 Wayback or Backup skis. The waybacks are 124/88/108 and the backups 125/82/110, and I figure 174 length? I've been confused over exactly what kind of widths to look at: I've seen widths ranging from 70 to over 100.

Anyway, am I even close to being on the right track?

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Old 03-01-2010   #2
 
Aspen, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 377
For skiing, I prefer an AT setup over telemark. Personal choice. I think that if you get AT gear, you might be disappointed by the ability to XC in them. I actually hate flat to semi-rolling terrain on my Dynafit gear, as it is way overkill for that. The Baron binding is even less XC friendly. That binding is way more to the alpine skiing end of the spectrum. I would get the fatter of the two skis, and if you are buying AT boots, I would give Dynafit bindings a serious look. The Baron will work just fine with your alpine boots but they (boots)will be awkward on the flats if there is no walk mode. Stay away from the real fat skis unless you get a lot of pow, which I don;t think is likely.
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Old 03-01-2010   #3
 
pocatello, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 471
aye

Short answer:

Completely different sports. The setups will not cross over well, if at all. XC on AT is pure misery. backcountry on XC is dangerous.

Good news: XC setups haven't changed a lot in the last few years. a used waxless setup will cost a $20 at goodwill and get you around just fine. also try ebay.

Changing to modern skis (on alipine or AT) will be a good thing for your fun factor. For the east coast anything from 75-85 underfoot should be plenty, but a bit more wouldn't result in tragedy. over 95 would be overkill(read heavy). You will be happy to find that AT gear skis just fine at resorts for all but the hardest charging hooligans. you should be able to get rid of your old alpine setup completely.
length is a preference but I would put you on 175, plus or minus 6.
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Old 03-01-2010   #4
 
Winchester, Virginia
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 5
Thanks for the replies. I guess it is a bit much to expect one setup to do everything.

But if the AT setup will do well for resort use, at least I can have a setup for when I do get opportunities to backcountry. Thanks for the help re: sizing, etc.

I'll see about picking up some used xc skis for cheap.

One more question: I notice that some AT bindings require you to take the boot out in order to switch from tour to downhill mode, and some do not. The convenience of not having to remove the boot sounds good, but I read on a product review that someone said it kept switching into downhill mode while he was climbing. Anyone here with experience, good or bad?

Thanks again!
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Old 03-01-2010   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jwiffle View Post
T
One more question: I notice that some AT bindings require you to take the boot out in order to switch from tour to downhill mode, and some do not. The convenience of not having to remove the boot sounds good, but I read on a product review that someone said it kept switching into downhill mode while he was climbing. Anyone here with experience, good or bad?

Thanks again!
In my experiance only the most hardened at skiers can pull a skin with the boot still atached, so it should not affect your decision. however. if you look at a duke baron binder you will notice the only thing holding it together is 1 pin in the lock leaver. if you break this pin or that 1 screw falls out your binding will slide right off its track.

get dynafit or fritchzi or naxo. lighter faster, better climbing bar etc.... and tele with a half skin or waxing will be money on xc your wife will think your so fast!!!!

tele = the shit
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Old 03-01-2010   #6
 
Aspen, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
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For ease of use you cannot beat the Fritschi. It skis well on mountain and changes from tour to ski easily without removing you ski. Dynafit and Dukes/baron require you to remove the ski to change modes. Naxo is defunct I think. I like Dynafit, but it is not as robust for resort skiing in my opinion, and it requires specific boots.
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Old 03-02-2010   #7
 
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most of the regulars to this east coast backcountry gem use some kind of AT setup, (mostly the Fritchi bindings)
The Thunderbolt Ski Run...Schuss it if You Can!
There are some tele folks around, and those who only visit this mountain once or twice just snowshoe up and change to skis for the ride down.
You are probably going to get the most overall use from an AT setup since you'll be able to use them backcountry or with lift service.
As recommended above, get a cheap pair of cross country skis, used, for when you want to poke around the flats, but otherwise go AT for everything else.
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Old 03-02-2010   #8
 
Winchester, Virginia
Join Date: Feb 2010
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looks like Dynafit or Fritschi are what you are all recommending. The dynafits, as far as I find, are more expensive, although as pointed, they apparently weigh a lot less than the competition. Do you think the Fritschi Eagle's would do well, or should I look at the Freerides?
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Old 03-02-2010   #9
 
Winchester, Virginia
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Originally Posted by bobbuilds View Post
get dynafit or fritchzi or naxo. lighter faster, better climbing bar etc.... and tele with a half skin or waxing will be money on xc your wife will think your so fast!!!!

tele = the shit
Do you mean you can do telemark turns on the dynafits and fritschis, but not the barons?
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Old 03-02-2010   #10
 
Aspen, Colorado
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You should not try tele turns on any AT binding. They do not flex at the toe and skiing them in the touring position puts way too much stress on them. The fritschi eagle will work fine for most people. Check the din settings on you skis that you have now. If they are set under 10 the eagle should work fine. If you are a large guy, or ski hard, get the freeride.
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