November 20, 2015 8:16 PM MST - Subscription purchasing, account maintenance, forum profile maintenance, new account registration, and forum posting have been disabled
as we prepare our databases for the final migration to our new server next week. Stay tuned here for more details.
Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Since winter is around the corner I'm gonna talk about skis
Display Avatars Sort By:
Jeff Gerke

Locale: Utah
Since winter is around the corner I'm gonna talk about skis on 09/09/2013 14:40:49 MDT Print View

I was going to replace my ski gear last year but never got around to it. So this year I am gonna give it another shot since most my gear is almost 15 years old. Currently I have a tele setup. However I have been thinking about switching to AT gear. The downside to switching to AT is it would almost double the cost. Most AT bindings are about double the price of Black Diamond 01 tele bindings plus I would have to get new boots. If I upgrade my tele gear I would ski in my old Scarpa T2's another season and get new boots next year. The upside to AT is it would work better in crappy (crust ect.) snow conditions. So what do you guys think? Is it worth the extra cost to switch to AT? I like to do long tours and enjoy the uphill and hiking around as much as the ski back down. I was thinking tele boots may still be more comfortable for long tours than AT boots since AT boots don't have a flexible toe. I do most my skiing in the Wasatch.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: AT gear on 09/09/2013 16:09:59 MDT Print View

First of all, I'm assuming by AT you mean tech bindings (Dynafit et al). No other option is worth considering for 100% backcountry use.

You'd be blown away at how much more efficient tech bindings are for skinning, even compared to free pivot tele bindings. For me, this was a bigger deal than having a locked heel.

I don't think the bellows makes much difference in comfort, at least if you're talking about the more modern, light AT boots. The short, rockered sole walks pretty well for a rigid boot.

Jeff Gerke

Locale: Utah
Dynafit on 09/09/2013 17:11:06 MDT Print View

Thanks for the reply Dave. The AT bindings that I have been leaning towards are the Dynafit TLT Vertical ST and TLT Radical ST. Kind of spendy. I think I'm gonna have to choose between ski gear or a packraft. Don't think both are going to fit into the budget.

Jonathan Shefftz
(jshefftz1) - MLife

Locale: Western Mass.
Come to the light side! (And efficient too.) on 09/09/2013 17:18:17 MDT Print View

This is a great time to switch to lightweight AT gear: the big race scene in Europe has led to stunningly lightweight designs, the growing race scene in the U.S. means you can actually find stuff here now (although buying from Europe is usually pretty easy too), and the combination of the two means that you can get "obsolete" gear for pretty cheap that was state-of-the-art only a few years ago.

If you really have your heart set on a flexible bellows, then the old Scarpa F1 is ridiculously cheap (whether new or used).
For just a bit of flex in the metatarsal, the Dynafit TLT5 definitely helps with off-snow travel, although I haven't missed it in my race boots for on-snow skinning. And now that the TLT6 is available, the TLT5 will be super cheap (both new & used). Even some good off-season deals right now on the econo PDG race boot (~3.5 lb / pr).
The Scarpa Alien is comparable to the PDG, but you need to use the (included in the purchase price, I think?) separate lycra gaiter to keep out the elements. (I finally got it for my Alien 1.0 boots as a separate purchased -- very nicely designed, and vastly increases the boot's applications if you're not going to wear a lycra race suit all the time with an integrated gaiter.)
Sportiva has models comparable to the TLT5/6, but distribution is limited.

Avoid the temptation to get anything heavier!

For bindings, avoid those heavy (relatively speaking) "ST"-designated models with brakes and just get the Speed Radical (or the new Speed Turn if it ends up being distributed here). Lots of nearly weightless race bindings, but they tend to be pricey (unless you can find the discontinued Dynafit Low Tech Lite).

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: spendy ski gear on 09/09/2013 19:31:07 MDT Print View

Jeff, if I had to buy it full retail there's no way I'd own a tech setup. Luck/patience, sales, and discounts off discounts made it possible, and I'm still not enough of a skier for it to totally seem worth it. The used market is still dear. For an example, finding TLT5s super cheap will still mean 350+ bucks (for boots that need the cuff rivets repressed).

As a semi-relevant aside, I put my tech race bindings on my Karhu Guides and skied them that way for a few months. The lack of metatarsal flex significantly decreases the kicking traction in kick and glide. Pleather duck bill boots and three pins are still the way to go for distance touring.

If I had to pick packraft or skis, option one would be an easy choice. But that's just me.

Jeff Gerke

Locale: Utah
Re: re: spendy ski gear on 09/09/2013 19:54:22 MDT Print View

Jonathan, thanks for the info. Really good stuff.

Dave, I think I may agree with you. The ski gear might have to take a back seat to the packraft unless I can find some really good deals. I'll keep looking.

Chad Lorenz
(ChadL) - MLife

Locale: Teton Valley, Wydaho
Re: Since winter is around the corner I'm gonna talk about skis on 09/09/2013 20:11:30 MDT Print View


Waiting for a sale on Voile Switchbacks may be worth it if you aren't sold on 01's. The switchbacks tour really nicely and are light. Pair them up with a patterned ski like Voile Vector BC's and you can use your T2's and save some time in transitions depending on the objective.

New School: Tele Tech seems cool, haven't skied it yet, and would require the same investment as a new AT setup (essentially).

AT: Others have covered this. Ya, they're nice and ya, they're expensive. The ski swap at the Black Diamond store parking lot every fall is a great way to pick up used gear, and there are lots of swaps and resale shops in your area. Watching for demo days at local resorts is a great way to try a bunch of different AT setups, often for free (just have to leave your credit card at the booth).

Good luck!

Jeff Gerke

Locale: Utah
BD Slant on 09/10/2013 08:57:25 MDT Print View

What do you guys thing about these boots. Price is right.

Or maybe this.

Edited by mtnrunner on 09/10/2013 09:01:37 MDT.

Jonathan Shefftz
(jshefftz1) - MLife

Locale: Western Mass.
BD Prime/Slant = way better than any T2 setup, but ... on 09/10/2013 09:12:59 MDT Print View

The BD Prime/Slant is a fairly middle-of-the road AT boot, maybe even lighter than average (depending on how you define the average here), and it's certainly way more efficient than any tele setup, but by BPL standards applied to ski touring, it's heavy and has a limited walk/tour mode range of articulation.
(Although the same is true for all other boots I didn't mention in my prior post. Looking at the spreadsheet summary I created for my avy course students, about 67 different "Tech"-compatible AT boots are currently on the market for this coming season, and that's not even counting women's variations. But only about a dozen make any sense from a BPL perspective, and about half of those are expensive race boots.)

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
B/C Tour camping on 09/10/2013 11:20:32 MDT Print View

For winter ski camping you absolutely need:
1. boots with REMOVABLE insulating liners that can be removed to go in your sleeping bag overnight


2. heavy duty backcountry NNN style boots that will also go (in a stuff sack) inside your sleeping bag overnight.

I post this because freezing feet in the morning is miserable and can lead to serious frostbite.

Ryan Bressler
(ryanbressler) - F
Re: BD Slant on 09/10/2013 11:41:16 MDT Print View

If you are looking at the Slant I would recommend trying on Scarpa's more affordable boots. Try on the maestrali and/or rush at least in carpet testing.

Most people find the scarpas fit better and have better range of motion and I think they are lighter.

Bd is definitely working hard to improve their boots but the people i know who have used them say they still have issues. The fit is wide/boxy and liners can pack out rather quickly and they don't have the range of motion of the latest generation boots.

The scarpa maestrali on the other hand has a more ergonomic fit and comes with a high end intuition heat moldable liner. Intuitions are widely regarded as the best liners on the market and many people end up buying them and putting them in other brand boots.

There are some great deals on bd skis out there right now.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Skis on 09/10/2013 19:40:11 MDT Print View

Skis are a tough one. Right now my dream setup that is efficient for longer traverses yet still capable for turns is something like the Voile Vector BC skis, Dynafit TLT Speed Superlight and TLT5 boots. Voile's new Charger BC skis are darn tempting too, but a bit too similar to my Rossi S7/Duke/BD Factor downhill oriented setup.

Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
Re: Since winter is around the corner I'm gonna talk about skis on 09/10/2013 21:26:34 MDT Print View

Jeff - define "long tours". Do you mean long day tours, or do you mean multi-day tours? And are your tours in the kind of terrain that is pretty much all up and down, or do you like (and find) routes that have quite a bit of rolling, mellow or flat in them?

Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
Re: Come to the light side! (And efficient too.) on 09/10/2013 21:35:58 MDT Print View

Jonathan - where would you look for used F1's?

Jeff Gerke

Locale: Utah
Re: Re: Since winter is around the corner I'm gonna talk about skis on 09/10/2013 21:38:13 MDT Print View

Paul - Right now mostly day tours. I do most my skiing in the Wasatch Mountains so not much mellow stuff. I would like to start doing some 2-3 day winter trips eventually when I get some warmer sleeping gear. If I did multi day trips they would be somewhere outside of the Wasatch.

I forgot to mention. I also do some resort skiing.

Edited by mtnrunner on 09/10/2013 21:40:12 MDT.

Jonathan Shefftz
(jshefftz1) - MLife

Locale: Western Mass.
F1 on 09/11/2013 07:17:28 MDT Print View

New for $252 in sz 27.5:
New for ~$300 (depending on coupon) in sz 24 only:
New for $280 in sz 24:
New for an overpriced $500 in 25, 26, and 27:

New in sz 25.5 for the stripped-down version (price will probably drop even more):
Nearly new of the same:
Carbon version (price will have to drop even more to get rid of these):

Used sources: (Will have more once the season gets going.)
Also try the various Craigslist third-party search engines.
Sometimes the sellers want to stay local, but worth an email.
Here's a pretty typical used price:

Serge Giachetti
(sgiachetti) - M

Locale: Boulder, CO
bc on 09/11/2013 08:00:28 MDT Print View

You're a mnt runner & you live in the wasatch? Thats a no brainer. Get best AT setup you can afford & don't look back. AT gear is a bargain quality of life enhancer. OK, a little biased too ;)

Jeff Gerke

Locale: Utah
AT binding safety on 09/11/2013 14:54:06 MDT Print View

While we are on the subject I have another question. I've never skied with AT gear so don't know much about it. I was told by someone that AT bindings release in the heal when you wipe out, which I do frequently, but they don't release the toe. Is this true? I was trying to figure out which type of binding, AT or Tele, would be more prone to injury. I've never had a tele related injury yet and hope switching to AT won't make me more prone to injury.

Jonathan Shefftz
(jshefftz1) - MLife

Locale: Western Mass.
AT "Tech" binding release on 09/11/2013 15:01:45 MDT Print View

Weren't all the answers sufficient?

So for "Tech"-style Dynafit bindings and competitors, both the lateral and forward release springs are located at the heel: first the heel pins disengage, and then when only the toe pincers are engaged, they have an effective release value of about 0.25 or so, and therefore they release almost immediately in sequence.

And remember, if you get good modern ski touring gear (instead of heavy stuff), and you're really a mountain runner in the Wasatch, you can hang out with some fast company:

Mike R
(redpoint) - F

Locale: British Columbia
Dynafit on 09/11/2013 16:45:34 MDT Print View

As others have said, go Dynafit bindings and boots. You can pretty-much go as light as you want. For touring, I'd also look at the DPS Wailer 99 ski. AT gear is expensive, but it's cheaper than a new bike and you're not buying lift tickets. If I skied 10 days at Whistler, I'd have spent over $1000. Additionally, you could also look used, people are always trying to off-load last year's "old tech". A friend of mine picked-up some carbon fibre DPS Wailer 99s with dynafit bindings for about $900 last year [MSRP is about $1800].