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ryan g
(ryan_g) - F

Locale: around
help a would-be bc skier on 01/02/2007 11:52:14 MST Print View

Right, so I just moved to Colorado. I've done some downhill at resorts in the Summit Co area, but I'd rather be in the backcountry, doing the winter equivalent of backpacking.

Now, I know next to nothing about skis. I'm at best an intermediate downhiller. Based on what little I know, a Tele setup is what I want for BC stuff. But, what kind? What length of ski is appropriate (I'm 6'3" and 170 lbs)? What width (we're talking Rocky Mtn snow)? Boots? Keep in mind I'm a novice. Cost is another factor. Is there a cheap way to go from zero to competent?

Any general advice? Advice at all?

Alec Muthig
(Alekat) - F

Locale: Wyoming, USA
Type of BC? on 01/02/2007 14:42:53 MST Print View

Hey Ryan,

I'm your neighbor up in Wyoming. Similar snow and terrain. I've done a bit of BC skiing, but exactly what type of BC? Just out touring the BC? Hardcore downhill BC? The type of skiing you plan on doing will help determine your ski and boot types. Also, think about avalanche gear (shovel, beacon, probe) and how to use it all.

Chris Jackson
(chris_jackson) - F
Re: ski equipment for Colorado backcountry on 01/02/2007 20:03:51 MST Print View

Ryan,

As Alec mentioned, Colorado offers excellent opportunities for both nordic and backcountry skiing. For nordic skiing, ie mostly undulating trails and roads, you'll want a nordic ski setup. IMHO, the 'best' skiing in Colorado is the backcountry glade skiing (just below treeline). For this you can use either Alpine Touring (AT) or Tele gear. If you're currently an intermediate downhill skier, then you could probably ski the glades immediately on AT gear. If you swap to Tele gear, there will be quite a learning curve (maybe a couple of seasons) before you can weave your way through a steep glade in knee-deep powder. My advice would be to give serious consideration to a lightweight AT setup.
It's the same weight as Tele equipment, you'll enjoy it immediately, it will be easier on your knees and it will be superior for spring skiing above treeline. AT gear has a significant following in CO, partly due to the early efforts of Ramer. Lou Dawson, who grew up skiing in Aspen, is also a proponent of AT gear and has a website at wildsnow.com . It might be worth checking the equipment lists there, and posting equipment questions on the wildsnow forums.

I also recommend that you rent several different brands of gear before you buy. You can rent high quality gear at some of the resorts and also at specialty shops such as Neptune Mountaineering in Boulder.

Edited by chris_jackson on 01/02/2007 20:11:38 MST.

Summit CO
(Summit) - F

Locale: 9300ft
What do you really want? on 01/04/2007 15:40:04 MST Print View

If you want to go downhill too... you want tele or AT.

For lots of detail on tele setups telemarktips.com is your place

For Alpine Touring (aka Randonee) you want Dynafit bindings for lightweight. BCA Naxo NX21 bindings are for you if downhill performance is key. Telemarktips.com and Tetongravity.com are excellent places to learn about more agro BC touring.

For touring skis, wider is so so so much better here. 88mm underfoot should be your minimum I think.

Tell us where you are in CO and we can recommend some shops to visit.

If you are sticking to just flat terrain on cut tracks, nordic skiing is probably for you.

PLEASE EDUCATE YOURSELF ABOUT SAFE BC TRAVEL TECHNIQUES AND AVALANCHE SAFETY. Colorado has one of the most, if not the most, unstable snowpacks on the continent.

Edited by Summit on 01/04/2007 15:43:24 MST.

Christopher Plesko
(Pivvay) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: What do you really want? on 01/04/2007 19:24:12 MST Print View

PLEASE EDUCATE YOURSELF ABOUT SAFE BC TRAVEL TECHNIQUES AND AVALANCHE SAFETY. Colorado has one of the most, if not the most, unstable snowpacks on the continent.
---
Word up. Read, take classes, check the awesome Colorado Avalance report center http://avalanche.state.co.us/ and never take it lightly. Still so much fun to be had, just be safe.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Hmmmm... on 01/11/2007 01:28:51 MST Print View

"Summit Co's" statement that 88 mm waist measurement for a touring ski is a minimum is absolutly not my cup of tea.
I have Atomic TM22's with a similar measurement. They do NOT track straight worth a darn.

My new Asnes Combi Combat (Norwegian army) skis are much better suited for BC touring. Enough flotation with a 62 mm waist (84/62/74) in all but the deepest, fluffiest powder and faster than wider skis. Yet they have enough sidecut (22 mm.)for fair turning ability.

Remember, these skis are for TOURING over mixed terrain, not skinning up and tele or paralleling down all day. The Norwegian army chose them for a reason. They are an all around ski.

Talk to the people at Neptune Mountaineering in Boulder, CO, where I got my skis.

Edited by Danepacker on 01/11/2007 10:29:58 MST.