Using Alpine Skis for Tele and AT - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 12-23-2005   #1
 
WhiteLightning's Avatar
 
Eagle County, Colorado
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Using Alpine Skis for Tele and AT

Howdy howdy. I am an alpine skier, and I also screw around on my old pair of Solomon Super Mountain Alpine skis which I had mounted with G3 tele bindings, and some old 2 buckle tele boots from a swap. I was just reading about all these hotshot AT setups, and was wondering what the difference is between the tele and AT skis, vs. regular alpine skis with tele/AT bindings? I've heard of weight being a factor, but I'm a bigger guy (over 200lbs) and don't want something super floppy. Also, there is always the price factor- recycling my old alpines, etc.

I was also a little confused. In the article, it looked like they had tele boots on some AT setups, AT boots on others, and even alpine boots on the burly setup they showed. Is there some level of interchangability (is that a word?) between boots?

Mostly just curious about general info on how the different setups can be used.

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Old 12-23-2005   #2
 
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Wheat Ridge, Colorado
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"A fool and his money are soon parted..."

Dave,

My philosophy has always been this: a person who believes you can only tele on a special tele ski, or AT on a special AT ski, and his money are soon parted. Though I ski on old Tua Excaliburs for AT, I'd have no reservations mounting up AT bindings on a fairly light-weight alpine ski that handles soft snow conditions well. Some of my tele buddies ski on alpine skis and rip it up on- and off-piste.

With the advent of wide skis that have lots of sidecut, and the torsional stiffness in the alpine ski market you should be able to pick up a pair of great alpine skis for AT or tele really cheap. The only thing the special AT skis have that alpine skis don't is the holes in the tips and tails which aree used to convert the skis into an emergency evacuation sled by tying them together. It used to be that most of the AT skis were designed for the European market, and by government regulation had to be made in bright colors which could be seen by rescue parties more easily than drab skis.

Go check out the clearance rack at Gart Bros. or some other mega ski shop for some recreational skis that flex the way you want and get yourself a good deal. Stay away from foam core and metal topsheets and you should be able to find something that's not too flimsy for you. After a day getting used to them they'll ski just fine.

Lets get on the hill together sometime this winter.

--Andy
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Old 12-26-2005   #3
 
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Hi Andy, thanks for the response. Have you ever used Alpine Trekkers by BC Access? (Like an AT binding that snaps in to your alpine bindings) If so, is this far more awkward than using a true AT setup?

How can you tell what kind of topsheet or core something in the Sniagrab bargain bin at Garts has?

I can do pro form through ski patrol, but not sure if I can get AT gear from that. It's my first year, and haven't got all that stuff figured out yet. Anyone know if that is possible?

I keep seeing stuff that says "dynafit compatable". What is that? Also, why are lugged soles important for AT boots?

Thanks,

-D

Also, it'd be great to do some runs with you Andy, let me know if you are ever heading to Vail/BC area. Looks like Ian-DSP is out for a while, huh?
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Old 12-26-2005   #4
 
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Wheat Ridge, Colorado
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Hi Dave,

In answer to your questions:

I've never used the Backcountry access or Trekkers before but would imagine that the alpine bindings AND them would make for a pretty heavy but will defer to others who are familiar with them before speculation - anyone with better beta?

As for construction, I'd ask the ski techs about the different models if that info's not on the ski itself or easily-available documents on the ski.

Ask some of the patrol guys about the pro deals.

Dynafit-compatible means that the AT boots have notches in the toe which fit a super-lightweight binding that has small pincers that grasp the boot's toe rather than a standard type toe binding that comes up over a DIN-type ski boot toe.

http://www.backcountry.com/store/LIF...ml?id=d8ARDKD4

As for the lug sole (and walking adjustment), its 'cause these boots are made for walking and that's what they're going to do! There are plenty of times when you'll hike for awhile before putting the skis on the snow to start skinning, also you may find yourself kicking steps into a steep face or traversing hard snow where an alpine boot may not grip as well as you'd like.

Give me a call and we can talk about it more.

--Andy



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Old 12-28-2005   #5
 
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Hey WL,
Let me preface with the fact that I Tele. But I do have some knowledge to pass on about Trekkers, etc.

If you are thinking of buying some trekkers and using alpine skis and boots for touring you're going to be carrying around alot of uneeded weight....mostly from the skis, bindings and boots. The Trekkers don't add a whole lot of weight (2-3 lbs. a pair) but they are a little bulky. Two of my buddy's started out with the trekkers. Within a year one had gone to a full AT set up. The other is still on Alpine but complains constantly about the extra weight/bulkiness in the BC.

Tele skis tend to be softer and lighter. But there are stiffer tele skis out there and they keep getting more stiff each year. A stiffer Tele ski could be used as an AT or alpine ski and vice versa. Most large manufacturers (K2, Rossi) will take a ski and just put a different top sheet and graphic on skis and market one as a tele ski, the other as an alpine ski to keep their cost down. So you might be able to find an alpine ski that's the sister ski of the Tele/AT ski for cheap....if that makes any sense.

With some of the AT bindings there is some interchangeability between AT and Alpine boots. Take a look at the Naxo binding from BCA....might be an option if you're not ready to give up those stiff heavy boots. As far as I know there is no interchanging for Tele.

JN
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Old 12-28-2005   #6
 
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Hey WL,
Let me preface with the fact that I Tele. But I do have some knowledge to pass on about Trekkers, etc.

If you are thinking of buying some trekkers and using alpine skis and boots for touring you're going to be carrying around alot of uneeded weight....mostly from the skis, bindings and boots. The Trekkers don't add a whole lot of weight (2-3 lbs. a pair) but they are a little bulky. Two of my buddy's started out with the trekkers. Within a year one had gone to a full AT set up. The other is still on Alpine but complains constantly about the extra weight/bulkiness in the BC.

Tele skis tend to be softer and lighter. But there are stiffer tele skis out there and they keep getting more stiff each year. A stiffer Tele ski could be used as an AT or alpine ski and vice versa. Most large manufacturers (K2, Rossi) will take a ski and just put a different top sheet and graphic on skis and market one as a tele ski, the other as an alpine ski to keep their cost down. So you might be able to find an alpine ski that's the sister ski of the Tele/AT ski for cheap....if that makes any sense.

With some of the AT bindings there is some interchangeability between AT and Alpine boots. Take a look at the Naxo binding from BCA....might be an option if you're not ready to give up those stiff heavy boots. As far as I know there is no interchanging for Tele.

JN
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Old 12-28-2005   #7
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Hey Dave,

What AT/Tele review article were you reading? If it's the one I think it is, I wrote it and can give you some insight. Drop me a line at [email protected].

Cheers,
Sam
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Old 12-28-2005   #8
 
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You've got mail.

BTW- Skiing Magazine's Backcountry Gear issue
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