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Was wondering if anyone has any info on little/short approach/ascent skis that snowboarders can use to get up and around the backcountry. I know k2 used to make em but I think they're discontinued. I've been thinking about trying to make my own, but want to at least see whats been develloped and worked/not worked first. Anyone know of anything like this in current production, who makes em etc...???

Any other ideas for backcountry snowboarders?? Thanks!
 

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I've got a buddy that uses Karhu approach skis. He got them a couple years ago, so I'm guessing they are still in production. They didn't work all that well though. He put full length skins on them, added an adjustable heel riser and then he could climb something over 20 deg w/o slipping. Good luck...
 

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Those are the ones. They have a perminant skin in the bottom, but it only covers about 1/2-3/4 of the ski. Not enough to climb up anything steep, but full skins and a heal riser can help with that.

ebaker - funny you recommend a BC ski setup. My buddy that used the approach skis to BC snowboard switched to tele last year cause he got sick of having so much trouble with the approach.

Meng- you might also want to look into a split board...
 

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Last year I bought a split board (Burton Custom), and I love it for Yo-Yoing in powder. I think it is the best solution for a snow boarder, but it is kind of a pain for touring especially when the terrain is gently rolling. It also doesn't traverse well on wind blown or corn. Sometimes I wonder if it would just be easier to learn how to Tele. There is no feeling like surfing a board on powder, but the lack of good locomotion options makes it not seem worth while. I've been snowboarding for 13 years and, with much resistance, I'm thinking about switching to the dark side. Just a thought before you go blowing a bunch on doe. :(
 

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Meng,

If interested...

I have a few pair of the K2 Approach skis w/ G3 heel lifters laying around that I would come off of pretty cheap. I had great performance with them except on icy/bootpacked skin tracks or deepdeep pow.

Are you using a soft, AT or Tele boot?

A Voile split kit and some Tractor skins would be the way to go if you already have a board. A little cheaper than a used/new split.

PiToN
 

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22West - My situation was similar to your buddies situation - I snowboarded for 10 years and hiked with snowshoes and all that. Then, I started hanging with a bunch of tele skiers and they were leaving me in the dust when we were in the back country, so I decided that I was going to learn to tele and that was 5 years ago. I haven't snowboaded but maybe 3 times since the switch and when I did, I was wishing I was skiing.

Now I'm going to get myself an AT set-up and see how I like that. I think the power of being locked in and the ability to hike with a free heel will be the ticket, although I just can't see giving up the comfort of my tele set-up...
 

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I've toured with many snowboarders and by far the way to go is the split board. Cost an arm and a leg to get but the switch over is quick and those things climb better than my AT gear sometimes or make the switch to skiing.
 

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By far the best way to go is with a split board. I've been riding one for three seasons in the BC now with no gear failure. Well over a 100 days on the board too. People are correct in stating that it doesn't traverse that well in wind/hard pack conditions. Spend the extra money and get crampons with the set up or buy a Burton Split (comes with crampons) to solve that problem. A split will solve 95% of your backcountry touring problems, but you still miss some of the convenience that skiers have.
 

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just make one

I've got splitters, but a few of my friends have made them with the voile split kit. (cheap, pretty easy, but no inside edges.)

I've got one for sale though!

kaleb
608 239 8840
Empire, CO
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the feedback all.

Kaleb... what kind, size and how much???
 
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