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Since winter is around the corner I'm gonna talk about skis
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Jonathan Shefftz
(jshefftz1) - MLife

Locale: Western Mass.
Dynadeals on 09/11/2013 16:53:00 MDT Print View

Dynafit TLT5 boots are now on Sierra Tradingpost.
Price is only kind of so-so, although would be very nice with a typical 35% off coupon.
Also, European etailers now have the Dynafit Speed Turn binding (essentially just the venerable IV/Tech/Classic/Speed but with the Radical toe lever and longer 25mm adjustment track instead of only 6mm) for as low as 219 Euros (with VAT, but w/o shipping, which can kind of cancel each other out).

Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Re: Since winter is around the corner I'm gonna talk about skis on 09/11/2013 19:43:13 MDT Print View

It's already been said, but I would just agree with it: the main value with Randonee is that you can get really, really light gear (both boots and bindings). This makes a difference for tours or climbing mountains. Unfortunately, the light gear is expensive. There really isn't any point in you getting heavier AT gear, either because you want more control or because you want a bargain. If you want a bargain, stick with tele -- it is what you know and love. I really don't think you want more control (otherwise you wouldn't be considering sticking with tele).

I agree with the previous post: for touring, the Voile waxless skis are really nice. You have all the benefit of a modern powder ski, with the advantages of waxless touring. They are just a bit slower than flat bottom skis, but you wouldn't even notice it unless you are passed by someone (who has very fast flat skis). You can try applying kick wax on your skis, but that won't work too well with most of the standard powder skis because they don't have much camber. I've done tours close to folks who are much younger (and have lighter, more expensive gear) and just blown by them with waxless skis. They spent too much time putting on their skins, taking them off, putting them on, etc. Meanwhile, we only put on skins when it got really steep.

Jonathan Shefftz
(jshefftz1) - MLife

Locale: Western Mass.
fast transitions w/ fast gear on 09/11/2013 19:59:06 MDT Print View

The discontinued Dynafit TLT5 boot combined with the Dynafit Speed Radical or Speed Turn binding is that much more expensive that telemark gear?

"I've done tours close to folks who are much younger (and have lighter, more expensive gear) and just blown by them with waxless skis. They spent too much time putting on their skins, taking them off, putting them on, etc. Meanwhile, we only put on skins when it got really steep."
-- You need to watch some fast transitions. Here's from tour mode to ski mode (complete with removing skins, switching over boots, and locking down heels) in only about eleven seconds: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5qDWBvW5QA

Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
Re: fast transitions w/ fast gear on 09/12/2013 15:52:03 MDT Print View

Impressively fast. But somehow I don't think I'll ever get close to that with a full pack for a week-long tour :-).

Regarding used and discontinued gear - all well and good if you can find your size. I have been looking , off and on, for either F1's or for another pair of Garmont Excursions I can try some hacks on. I can't find my size (29.5) ever. I see lots of small stuff, but I've yet to see any my size.

Billy Ray
(rosyfinch) - M

Locale: the mountains
quiver on 09/12/2013 16:18:35 MDT Print View

If you do much skiing you will need a quiver of skis and boots...

I say get one of each...

B

Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Re: fast transitions w/ fast gear on 09/12/2013 19:15:16 MDT Print View

"I've done tours close to folks who are much younger (and have lighter, more expensive gear) and just blown by them with waxless skis. They spent too much time putting on their skins, taking them off, putting them on, etc. Meanwhile, we only put on skins when it got really steep."

-- You need to watch some fast transitions. Here's from tour mode to ski mode (complete with removing skins, switching over boots, and locking down heels) in only about eleven seconds: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5qDWBvW5QA

I can beat that by 11 seconds. :)

Actually, in that video, I never saw him put the skins in a bag, let alone his pack. Maybe he has a bag in his pocket and just shoves them in there. Or maybe he has a bag in his pocket, which he pulls out of his pocket, then he puts the skins in the bag, then shoves it all in his pack without taking off his pack. Or maybe, just maybe, he shoves the skins in his pack because he less concerned about preserving the glue on the skins then he is winning the race. Nevertheless, an impressive feat.

Oh, and don't forget the reverse. While this guy may be similarly fast with putting on skins, I am not. It always takes me a while. Of course, for a lot of slopes, I don't have to (thus the beauty of waxless skis).

Jonathan Shefftz
(jshefftz1) - MLife

Locale: Western Mass.
Transitions on 09/12/2013 20:09:50 MDT Print View

He is packing his skins away into a specially designed pocket in his lycra race suit.

When I am not wearing my race suit, I either pack my skins into a similar designed pocket in a softshell jacket, into an easily accessed side compartment on my pack (w/o having to remove my pack), or -- worst-case scenario -- just tuck them inside my jacket.

I usually go hours, or maybe even an entire tour, without ever needing to take off my pack (even to put on my jacket, or even to switch over to boot crampons and attach my skis to my pack).

This is part of an entire world of performance-oriented backcountry ski touring that is entirely within the spirit of BPL, but which BPL oddly enough runs completely contrary too once the snow falls.
An example of what can be done with modern ski touring ski are the Dorais brothers (who work long hours as newly minted physicians and even have families) from the OP's region, who this spring went from the Paradise Visitor Center up to the summit and back down -- a trip that is normally considered a multi-day overnight itinerary -- in under four hours roundtrip (and despite not being solo, not caching gear, not ditching gear, not neglecting crevasse rescue gear, and not neglecting avalanche rescue gear, unlike all the previous on-foot Rainier speed record holders).

Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Re: Transitions on 09/13/2013 09:47:44 MDT Print View

I think BPL has covered some high performance ski gear, but not a lot. Generally speaking, there just isn't that much coverage of winter gear. For example, a lot of people will never learn how to ski -- so maybe a "snowshoe state of the market" would be in order? But I've never seen it (or if I have, it is been a long time since I've seen it). The same could be said for climbing, which in many ways is much closer to BPL's mission (the whole ultralight concept was pioneered by a climber after all). But again, I haven't seen that much. On the other hand, there is a decent amount of coverage for Tenkara, which is a subset of fishing that a lot of fisherman I know refuse to even consider. This is really good, and I think a lot of people enjoyed that article. But BPL doesn't have experts in every outdoor sport, it just happens to have lots of people that like to fish.

One of the tough things about covering winter sports is that it is so complicated. You basically have snowshoeing, snowboarding (with or without a splitboard), and two types of skiing. Without a doubt, the fastest, lightest stuff is Randonee. But that isn't necessarily what all of the great mountaineers are using. My guess is that most of them use A. T. gear, but I've seen plenty of ambitious mountaineering (which make the quick ascent of Rainier via Paradise look like a walk in the park) done with all three types of gear (snowboard, A. T. and telemark).

I agree that a lot can be learned by the racers (who drive a lot of the innovation, to be sure) but I think there is a natural limit to it. The boots and bindings are simply superior to tele (even telemark skiers will tell you that) but the skis are a different matter. Most of the racing skis I've seen are fairly skinny (by modern powder skiing standards). I could be wrong, but my guess is that there aren't many racing skis (if any) that are really fat and have a lot of rocker. This means they are great for consolidated (or relatively consolidated) snow, but not so great for deep powder, or even worse, for Cascade slop (which has a very high moisture content -- great for making a snowball, terrible for skiing). If they had races where each skier was expected to ski their own line of fresh, deep snow, then I'm sure we would see more really light, fat skis. Of course, such a race would be very difficult, if not impossible to organize. Again, I could be wrong about this -- and if so, please correct me.

As I mentioned, though, the racers simply aren't interested in waxless skis. It doesn't make sense for them. They will skate or put on skins. But in a lot of terrain, waxless skis just make life more enjoyable. Skating can be a real pain in deep snow (especially if you are on a slight incline). You may be really fast putting on or taking off your skins, but I spend more than 10 seconds just putting the mesh onto the skin after taking them off the skis. I can get faster, but it still isn't going to be fun. Skins are no big deal if I am skiing up from Paradise to say, Camp Muir (I wouldn't take waxless in that case) but if I'm touring around nearby Mazama Ridge, with its dozens of little dips and bumps, it is really nice not to have to bother with skins through most of the trip.

Speaking of which, the video is really impressive, but it is too bad it got cut off before he actually put the skins away. I've known about the fast removal of the skins, but not the fast storage. I would like to see that part (especially the application of the mesh). Also, I would really like to see the quick application of the skins. I can remove them without taking off my skis, but putting them is another story. It is always fun to see guys doing things much, much faster than me.

Jonathan Shefftz
(jshefftz1) - MLife

Locale: Western Mass.
Range of gear... on 09/13/2013 10:14:17 MDT Print View

“I think BPL has covered some high performance ski gear, but not a lot.”
- Except for some very quick tidbits a few years ago, BPL has never covered modern ski touring gear, and has instead commissioned pieces on offbeat inefficient oddities.

“Without a doubt, the fastest, lightest stuff is Randonee. But that isn't necessarily what all of the great mountaineers are using.”
- Telemark ski mountaineers accomplishing anything fast or otherwise impressive are very rare these days. The gear is just so horribly inefficient on the up, and then lack of control on the down = worst of both worlds.
- The snowboarding penalty isn’t as bad for a technical ascent that involves very little skinning, since climbing boots can be used for the technical climbing and then also for the snowboarding descent, and although the snowboard + bindings combination is heavier than AT, we all know about the relatively small factor of weight on the back.
- So yes, not “all” now, but nearly all. Rather hard to be a great ski mountaineer if your ski mountaineering gear isn’s all that great.

“I could be wrong, but my guess is that there aren't many racing skis (if any) that are really fat and have a lot of rocker.”
- Several race skis for this coming season have tip early rise / rocker.
- In unconsolidated snow, for skiing with more of an emphasis on downhill ease, with overall speed/efficiency being a secondary priority, yes, wider skis are more ... fun!
- Several companies now are essentially making wider versions of race skis. A typical all-out race ski is about 3 lb / pair with waist widths in the mid 60s. Into the mid to high 70s or so usually adds another pound per pair. Into the mid to high 80s adds yet another pound/pair. And then yet another pound for high 90s or low triple digits. (Plus a roughly comparable added weight for wider skins.)

“If they had races where each skier was expected to ski their own line of fresh, deep snow, then I'm sure we would see more really light, fat skis.”
- For races held on powder days, the top racers still just straightline everything at crazy high speeds. Even for me, the fastest powder skiing I’ve ever done has been during races on my race skis.

BTW, re the mesh “cheat sheets” for skins, those are just for indoors storage, not for use in the field. (Well, unless maybe for a skier with absurdly monstrously wide skis and skins.) And even for indoors storage, they’re almost pointless for the typically straight ~60mm race skin.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: modern touring gear on 09/13/2013 10:59:42 MDT Print View

BPLs mission is multi-day, lightweight wilderness travel. There are a variety of reasons why current cutting edge AT gear has and will continue to be only tangentially related to this. Your knowledge is considerable Jonathan, but your different perspective has and seems likely to continue to cause a lot of talking past.

Not many people are doing multi-day, technical ski mountaineering with a premium on speed such that they're moved to use race gear. As I mentioned in my article this past winter, the various attempts on the Bugs-Rogers Pass speed record are one. 5-8 hour car-summit-car records aren't really relevant here.

More BPLers will be interested in rugged touring-type terrain. Race skis, and indeed ultralight AT skis generally, are not good for this. The patterned base question aside, they're too stiff for rolling terrain. I have my own reservations about using tech bindings and plastic boots for this sort of stuff, but provided you put the time into very good boot fitting there's a compelling argument to be made for XCD skis with tech race bindings and boots, especially if you spend a lot of time above treeline. If you're more into the backpacking ethos of doing landscape trips through lines of weakness, odds are ski mountaineering only has so much to teach you.

The cost issue bears mentioning. This is my own bias, but for the overwhelming majority of users who want to do winter backpacking (as opposed to ski mountaineering or tons of vert in a given period) the current cost-benefit of tech race gear is not good enough to merit the investment. For the cuben everything crowd, this may not be the case.

Jonathan Shefftz
(jshefftz1) - MLife

Locale: Western Mass.
Nordic Touring Gear on 09/13/2013 11:05:30 MDT Print View

Even though nordic backcountry touring gear is ironically much heavier than "skimo" alpine touring gear, I certainly understand the appeal of nordic backcountry touring gear for some applications.

However, when BPL has strayed away from that focus, it has instead covered backyard playthings and telemark gear ill-suited for long-distance ski touring.

As for price, yes, sometimes you get what you pay for.
And as prices are both already quantified and self-evident, I don't see any need to dwell on them.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
tech nordic on 09/13/2013 11:11:38 MDT Print View

To say more on tech nordic and repeat things I've said elsewhere:

The tech pivot interface is fantastic for skinning. It gives up considerable efficiency for kick and glide with scales or kick wax. I'd spitball 30-60% grip lost depending on snow conditions, when compared to a mid-weight pleather duckbill boot with 3 pins on the same ski.

When negotiating rolling terrain with a race boot and tech toe, the release function (even with the toe locked) can be both a benefit and hindrance. When suffering the inevitable wrecks skiing short descents with the heels free, the toes will release reliably when you'd want them to, i.e. in situations where a 3 pin binding might tweak something. This is especially relevant with a pack. On the other hand, you'll twist out tech toes frequently when subjecting them to lateral forces doing things like crawling under deadfall. A lot of skiers avoid this kind of thing and thus won't find it an issue. I found it a serious annoyance, as a lot of my favorite winter routes involve plenty of deadfall.

For all the warmth and waterproofing of plastic boots (which is awesome), they have serious drawbacks for distance touring. Fit of both the shell and liner will need to be adjusted for swollen feet, ankle pronation, etc; day after day. This takes a lot of time and effort and experience. All these things done, I experience foot fatigue from rigid soles that I find obnoxious, and don't experience (or experience much, much less) in flexible soled boots. This will not be the case for everyone, but new buyers should be aware that their fancy investment comes with some potential, serious downsides.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Skis on 09/13/2013 19:51:05 MDT Print View

Sounds like we need to set up a 7 day BPL ski traverse where everyone brings different gear so we can determine who's having the most fun.

Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Re: Range of gear... on 09/13/2013 21:46:34 MDT Print View

>>
“Without a doubt, the fastest, lightest stuff is Randonee. But that isn't necessarily what all of the great mountaineers are using.”
- Telemark ski mountaineers accomplishing anything fast or otherwise impressive are very rare these days. The gear is just so horribly inefficient on the up, and then lack of control on the down = worst of both worlds.
<<

I guess it depends on what you mean by "rare". When I think of impressive snow mountaineering, I think of guys like Jason Hummel, Kyle Miller or Lowell Skoog. I think Lowell uses A. T. gear, Kyle snowboards, and Jason uses telemark gear. If you look through Jason Hummel's photography, you will see plenty of picture of Telemark skiers doing impressive stuff (some of these are of him, some of them not). To put things in perspective, the Picket Range (a sub-range in the North Cascades) has only been done twice. The first time it was done by the Skoog brothers (one of whom passed away) and just recently by Hummel and Forest McBrian. You can read about it here: http://www.cascadecrusades.org/SkiMountaineering/pickettraverse/pickettraverse2010/pickets2010.htm
or here: http://www.alpinestateofmind.com/The-Picket-Traverse/i-Wtpv8cC

But yeah, guys like Hummel are rare. I guess that is my point. When it comes to ski (or snowboard) mountaineering, the most important part is the "mountaineering".

As to racing, there is no doubt that folks who want to race up to some spot that someone else has already been to (or thousands, or maybe even millions have been to) should carry the lightest gear around. Absolutely. Randonee is certainly the gear for that -- not even close. So there is that.

But for mountaineering that doesn't involve setting speed records, folks have personal preferences; and each type has its advantages.

Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
Re: Since winter is around the corner I'm gonna talk about skis on 09/14/2013 10:44:54 MDT Print View

In answer to the original query: I asked earlier if your “long tours” were long days or multi-day trips. You answered mostly day tours, but you’d like to start doing 2-3 day trips. I asked because the type of trip has everything to do with the type of gear that works best for that trip. If your goal is to go up a mountain and come down it in the most efficient manner, then LIGHT AT gear is probably best. Unless you simply like to tele, and then tele gear is best. If your goal is several days of touring in STEEP mountain terrain, with little or no flat/rolling/mellow touring involved, then the LIGHT AT gear is again probably the best.

IF your idea of a great tour is what Dave C. describes as a landscape trip through lines of weakness (I like that description) in terrain that involves plenty of rolling across a big basin and up a long spectacular valley, then we get into the area where nordic backcountry gear(despite its many failings given the current state of the market) becomes the tool of choice.

My own trips are in the last category. I skied across the Sierra via a route designed for views and uniqueness, and waxless skis, 3-pins and Excursions were the tools of choice. I skinned maybe 4 or 5 hours total on a 9-day trip. Mellow touring was the order of the day, and this is the gear for it. If my trips were less “backpacking on skis” and more “skiing with some snowcamping “ then I might want different gear.

I will say I would like to try some rando racing boots and bindings (and maybe even try some hacks on them) if I could afford them, as I am tempted by the lighter boots, but I have doubts for the rolling stuff. I have a friend who has probably done more multi-day tours than any one of us (heck, maybe more than all of us put together). He skis Dynafits on the steep day tours, but when he goes out for a week the duckbills come out, as he finds them more efficient for that sort of thing. He has gone to free pivot bindings. I’d still stick with waxless skis. For spring in the Sierra, they are just the way to go if you are making miles. Other ranges, other seasons, may call for other solutions.

And now let me get out my soapbox.

Mention has been made of how little attention has been paid to this kind of thing on BPL. I agree with Dave C. that multi-day wilderness adventure is the BPL mission, and if so then lightweight gear for multi-day winter travel ought to be part of it. I know the number of people who do this stuff is vanishingly small compared to the number of backpackers, or even compared to the folks who ski the backcountry on day trips (regardless of their sliding device of choice). But we are out there. There are certainly some members of the tribe who participate in BPL discussions. It really would be great if someone at BPL would take up Dan’s suggestion and do a week-long “review trip” with various participants on different gear to see how things work out. There are intriguing possibilities for light gear for this kind of trip that have not been explored much, and BPL could do it. I hope they will.

Jonathan Shefftz
(jshefftz1) - MLife

Locale: Western Mass.
more techy thoughts on tech on 09/15/2013 08:31:01 MDT Print View

“On the other hand, you'll twist out tech toes frequently when subjecting them to lateral forces doing things like crawling under deadfall.”
– I’ve engaged in all sorts of strange maneuvers with my bindings in tour mode, yet never twisted out of the toes when in tour mode. (This is over the course of over 2.7 million vertical feet of ascent – as well as descent of course – in various Tech bindings in recent years.) Nor have any of my touring partners experienced such problems.

“For all the warmth and waterproofing of plastic boots (which is awesome), they have serious drawbacks for distance touring. Fit of both the shell and liner will need to be adjusted for swollen feet, ankle pronation, etc; day after day. This takes a lot of time and effort and experience.”
- I’ve never had this problem even with many consecutive high-mileage & high-vertical days. Nor have any of my touring partners.

As for a seven-day tour, the skiers on modern lightweight AT would be so much faster that they would finish in only three or four days ... so they’d have less fun?
Then again, if the comparison was Excursions on three-pins, lifting/pivoting a boot twice as heavy on each stride, encounter lots of resistance on each stride, skiing any significant downhills with a very floppy soft boot and no heel holddown – doesn’t sound like my idea of fun over any long distance.

The Picket Traverse was an impressive sufferfest, but the average daily mileage and vertical was very low.
Reminds me of Samuel Johnson’s rather sexist retort that involved “a dog's walking on his hind legs” - in this context, although the Picket Traverse could be done on modern ski touring gear with the addition of a brick in each skier’s pack, that wouldn’t justify carrying bricks on ski tours.

Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Re: more techy thoughts on tech on 09/15/2013 12:26:14 MDT Print View

I think you missed the whole point of mentioning the winter Pickets traverse, as well as the various guys that did it. Who cares what the average mileage is? Seriously, that is like saying that the average speed of the guys who climbed K2 is pretty slow compared to the guys who climb Everest. Only that analogy isn't perfect, because only two groups have traversed the Pickets in winter. Two! We are talking about a sub-range that is a huge draw, by the way. Nearby Puget Sound has millions of people living in it. A lot of those people are drawn to the area because of the mountains. The North Cascades have over half the glacial area of the lower 48, and are a varied, complicated, dramatic set of mountains (as the pictures show). It draws people from all over the world. Yet, only two parties have ever completed this obviously tempting endeavor. Two had Randonee skis (pre-Dynafit bindings, since it was 1985) one had telemark gear, and one had a snowboard. It isn't just this traverse, either. Or other traverses. Or first descents. Or just plain nice outings. If you browse through Hummel's (or other great photographer's) pictures then you will see plenty of photos of great, truly world class mountaineers descending in various gear (of the three types).

Listen, I get it. Randonee with Dynafit style gear is really light. You don't have to tell me, I bought some. But every bit of gear has its advantages. With a snowboard, the boot can be softer. With Telemark, the boot can be more flexible, since it bends at the toes*. Many find this more comfortable. There are other advantages and disadvantages to each type, but you get the idea.

I know speed records are set with gear like this, but that doesn't mean it has completely taken over ski mountaineering. As I mentioned, lots of guys (and gals) use a variety of equipment when it comes to tackling big mountains in the winter. Advances in all the gear explain why the three are used quite a bit. But to suggest that everyone who does winter mountaineering now uses A. T. gear (as if it is the late 70s and everyone has switched from pitons to nuts) is a bit of an overstatement.

As to racing and speed records, I think is is very helpful, but there is a limit to what can be learned. It is pretty common in the summer to see people use dog pile tents in some races. Do you think that BPL should focus on that? Alcohol stoves are great (I would imagine that the folks who set speed records for the PCT used them) but I know lots and lots of people use canister stoves to hike from Mexico to Canada. BPL is right in considering both. If you really want to lighten you're load and win the race, you will use a thin sheet of foam as a mattress, but rarely do people do that when backpacking recreationally. There are trade-offs. It is that simple. To suggest that one type of gear is simply better (even if it is generally lighter) is to ignore the tradeoffs, and a disservice to anyone who is considering exploring the sport. The fact that a great adventure writer like Dave points out drawbacks (based on his personal experience) is a great example of these tradeoffs.

One of the great things about this magazine, and the site in general is that they don't focus on the absolute lightest gear. There are plenty of articles about silnylon tents, sleeping bags and inflatable mattresses (even though Cuben tarps, quilts and foam mattresses are lighter). Just about everyone who has spent much time on this site knows that they can have a ridiculously light load by following a few simple steps. What they don't know is how to balance comfort and weight in such a way that works best for them. This is what keeps the site moving, and keeps things interesting.

* Boots like the Scarpa F1 offer the best of both worlds, so to speak -- the light weight of an A. T. binding with the flexibility of a telemark boot. Unfortunately, it isn't made anymore.

Jonathan Shefftz
(jshefftz1) - MLife

Locale: Western Mass.
The best gear for ski mountaineering is - surprise! - ski mountaineering gear. on 09/15/2013 12:43:08 MDT Print View

“I think you missed the whole point of mentioning the winter Pickets traverse, as well as the various guys that did it. ”
- No, I think you missed my point. Go look up the Samuel Johnson quote.

“Yet, only two parties have ever completed this obviously tempting endeavor.”
- No, it isn’t tempting at all. It’s just a long slow-moving sufferfest. That’s why almost nobody bothers wasting the time on this tour that could be spent on far more tempting routes, as well as having something to do other than ski. (Impressive though that anyone would want to slog it out for so long, even more so on disadvantaged gear.)

“Listen, I get it. Randonee with Dynafit style gear is really light. You don't have to tell me, I bought some. But every bit of gear has its advantages.”
- No, you don’t get it at all. It’s not just the static weight. It has other advantages too. The other gear you cite doesn’t have any notable advantages. (And the Scarpa F1 boot was discontinued because it was a dated design far superseded by designs from Scarpa and its competitors, i.e., the F1 is no longer some Holy Grail best of both worlds.)

“But to suggest that everyone who does winter mountaineering now uses A. T. gear (as if it is the late 70s and everyone has switched from pitons to nuts) is a bit of an overstatement. ”
- I never wrote that. (I see all sorts of inefficient and ineffective gear used for ski mountaineering, as well as for all sorts of other sports and outdoor activities too.)

The bottomline is that telemark gear and snowboard gear can certainly be used for ski mountaineering, and it certainly is an advantage for those whose primary goal is to telemark or snowboard (respectively).
But the best gear for ski mountaineering is: gear designed for the sole purpose of . . . ski mountaineering.
Plenty of sensible debate can be had among different brands and models of ski mountaineering gear. But it’s not exactly surprising that ski mountaineering gear is better for ski mountaineering than is gear whose designs are compromised for those who place a higher priority on a certain style of turn above overall efficiency and effectiveness.