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Celticclimber
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PostTue Feb 20, 2018 4:14 pm 
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I have a female friend that wants to up grade.
Finding it hard to get skis in her size.
Anyone out there got some they want to sell.
Boots too, if they fit ( I think 7s)
Thanks
David
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RandyHiker
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PostThu Mar 08, 2018 5:11 pm 
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IMHO: Other than Scotty Bobs there really isn't any meaningful difference between "Alpine" skis and "Telemark" skis.   To get shorter lengths -- consider "youth" skis.

FWIW:  In the "old days" ('70s-''90s) in North America "Telemark" was widely considered to be the most efficient way to ski in the "backcountry" away from the ski resort.   This hasn't been the case since Alpine Touring equipment was more refined in the mid-'90s and became available in North America.     If your friend's goal is to tour and ski away from ski resorts -- Alpine Touring gear supports this without the complications of learning "Telemark".   Also in the last decade , improvements in Telemark gear have stagnated and improvements in Alpine Touring gear have increased -- my light Alpine Touring setup weights about half of current telemark setups.     

"Telemark" skiing requires additional training and fitness to master.  Mastering those skills is indeed pleasurable and the feeling of telemark turns in powder snow is superlative -- but expect a good number of face plants before mastering telemark skills to that level.    Many people never get to that level.
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Malachai Constant
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PostThu Mar 08, 2018 5:47 pm 
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The other advantage of AT gear is that it is easy to learn if you already can alpine ski. Old knees work better on AT. biggrin.gif
Telemark sure looks more elegant though.

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RandyHiker
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PostThu Mar 08, 2018 5:59 pm 
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Malachai Constant wrote:
Old knees work better on AT. biggrin.gif

The release feature of Alpine Touring bindings , though not as refined as Alpine bindings is another benefit when the joints and tendons of the skier are past the half-century mark.   Strains, sprains and bruises heal more slowly than they did when I was 20 something.
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rossb
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PostTue Mar 13, 2018 12:04 pm 
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You don't have to do a Telemark turn just because you are on Telemark gear. That is one of the big misconceptions. I have Telemark gear and always make parallel turns. Also, some Telemark bindings do release.

The big advantage of A. T. gear is the weight and availability of used equipment. As you said, there really haven't been any advancements in Telemark gear lately, while A. T. has gotten freakishly light. There are some attempts at trying to take advantage of those improvements with Telemark gear, but nothing has been standardized yet (and it is still heavier than A. T. gear).

There are a couple advantages to using Telemark gear, both related to touring. First, the transition is much easier. If you have a ski with fish scales (like the Voile Vector) you can make the transition from uphill to downhill (or the other way around) with just a flip of the switch. I've done it while the skis have been moving. I believe A. T. requires you to release the binding fully to go from downhill to uphill (or the other way around -- I forget).

The other advantage is that the boots bend at the metatarsal. To some, this is a big deal in terms of comfort. To others, it doesn't matter. I personally prefer it, both because it is more comfortable, and provides a stride that is similar to that found on cross country skis.

While you can use any Alpine ski to do backcountry skiing, there are significant differences in skis. The skis I mentioned (the ones with fish scales) make a huge difference when touring moderate grade terrain (which we have a lot of). Folks typically carry skins as well, but don't use them as often. A lot depends on the type of trip you take. If it is straight up and down, then the fish scales just get in the way. But if you have rolling hills terrain (like much of Paradise) or a flat approach (like Artist Point), it is really nice to have. You might find it opens up different options that you wouldn't consider otherwise.

Likewise, some Alpine skis are heavy and stiff, thus better suited for a groomed resort. You can ski OK with them in the backcountry, it just won't be as much fun. As RandyHiker said, though, I don't think there is any difference between a backcountry ski made for A. T. or Telemark (or for that matter a deep snow day at the lifts). There are plenty of people who use their backcountry gear for the lifts although it isn't as good for groomed. Turns All Year just had a discussion about that. Speaking of which, it is worth posting there (if you haven't already). I would also check out Second Ascent (now Ascent Outdoors) in Ballard.
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DIYSteve
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PostWed Mar 14, 2018 5:26 am 
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We (me, my wife and 5 friends) use fat fishscales (Voile Vector BC) with light AT bindings and light AT boots. The transition from tour to fixed heel or vice versa takes a few seconds.
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Celticclimber
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PostWed Mar 14, 2018 5:34 am 
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Thanks to all of you who were so helpful.
She did find some skis. And is now figuring out how to use them.

I am so   hoping that the spring skiing season will be
better than the winter one was.
David
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treeswarper
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PostWed Mar 14, 2018 9:31 am 
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I called it Telecrashing for a while.  I got so I could make a few turns and then crash on my Epokes and no edged fishscales.  If you want a challenge, go for it.  You can telecrash on any granola ski.

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pcg
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PostWed Mar 14, 2018 3:44 pm 
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rossb wrote:
You don't have to do a Telemark turn just because you are on Telemark gear. That is one of the big misconceptions.

So true. This is because nowadays "telemark" skis have sidecut. Thus when you lay them over on edge they form an arc in the snow and voila, a turn is born. And, as you say, you can lay them over in parallel and also carve a turn.

BITD xc skis had no sidecut. If you wanted to carve a turn you had to do a telemark turn. Back then that meant locking the tip of the rear ski against the boot area of the front ski, thus effectively forming an arc in the snow, which would carve a turn.

When specialized tele skis with sidecut came on the scene, the tele turn suddenly became even easier. Tele turns became stylish and it was considered poor form by some to parallel ski with a free heel when you "should" be doing tele turns. Ha ha! Who cares about form! IMO a tele turn is less stable then a parallel turn in all situations except when negotiating very uneven terrain straight on (not turning). Then the tele position is more stable.
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RandyHiker
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PostWed Mar 14, 2018 5:28 pm 
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Super sidecut makes turning easier, independent of the type of turn being used, be it a stem, Telemark or parallel turn.   Fat skis make turning in soft snow easier,  also independent of type turn used.

These days choosing Telemark gear over alpine touring is a style decision , not a practical decision.  Modern AT gear is lighter , more efficient and safer than current Telemark gear offerings.
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rossb
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PostThu Mar 15, 2018 8:14 am 
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RandyHiker wrote:
Modern AT gear is lighter , more efficient and safer than current Telemark gear offerings.

Why safer? You can get Telemark bindings that release. If anything, I would think Telemark is a bit safer. You have some give and some flexibility before they release, which means if you've set your release point too aggressively (and the skis don't release when you wish they would) it is less likely to hurt your knees.

RandyHiker wrote:
We (me, my wife and 5 friends) use fat fishscales (Voile Vector BC) with light AT bindings and light AT boots. The transition from tour to fixed heel or vice versa takes a few seconds.

Yeah, the fat fishscale skis are a marvelous invention that works really well for both A. T. and Telemark. The transition is fastest with cross county bindings (since there is nothing to do) but it is tough to drive most of the big skis with cross country gear (even BC). Plastic boots are a much better choice. The transition is quicker with Telemark (less than a second) but still much faster for A. T. than putting on (or even taking off) skins. It is funny that racers don't use them, but they are usually racing steeply up a hill (where skins are required) and then down, meaning they only have one transition (and the fastest one involving skins). That is very different than the up and down, rolling hills terrain that make fat fishscale skis a joy.

Speaking of which, another misconception is that you won't use fishscale skis with skins. Most or the tours I've been on involved a bit both. Some skinning, and a lot of fishscale skiing. Artist Point, (greater) Paradise and Sunrise, Park Butte all often involve both. They area  great choice for the Northwest because of highly varied terrain.
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RandyHiker
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PostThu Mar 15, 2018 8:19 am 
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rossb wrote:
Why safer? You can get Telemark bindings that release. If anything, I would think Telemark is a bit safer. You have some give and some flexibility before they release, which means if you've set your release point too aggressively (and the skis don't release when you wish they would) it is less likely to hurt your knees.

Only the 7TM binding offered DIN release -- and it is no longer available in North America.    The only Telemark binding currently available that offers release is the NTN -- which is primarily a resort oriented or side-country oriented binding (based on weight) and it's release isn't DIN certified.
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rossb
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PostThu Mar 15, 2018 8:19 am 
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RandyHiker wrote:
These days choosing Telemark gear over alpine touring is a style decision , not a practical decision.

I wouldn't call the difference in the way the boot flexes as "style". To some (including me) it is simply a lot more comfortable to be in a Telemark boot (while kicking and gliding) then it is to be in A. T. gear. I pay a very big weight penalty, but my feet are happier.
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RandyHiker
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PostThu Mar 15, 2018 9:09 am 
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rossb wrote:
I wouldn't call the difference in the way the boot flexes as "style". To some (including me) it is simply a lot more comfortable to be in a Telemark boot (while kicking and gliding) then it is to be in A. T. gear. I pay a very big weight penalty, but my feet are happier.

By "style" I mean that the reason to choose telemark over AT is so that one may make telemark turns for the enjoyment of making telemark turns.

In terms of comfort and touring efficiency modern AT boots are far far better that current telemark offerings.

My dedicated touring setup uses Scarpa Alien boots -- which are very light (900 gr per boot) , very comfortable and kick and glide on flat and rolling terrain better than my old Merrell Ultras leather telemark boots and far far better than the Garmont Excursion boots I used for touring a several years ago.

I tele skied for 3+ decades before giving AT equipment a try 7 years ago.   I understand the pleasures of telemark pretty well.
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DIYSteve
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PostThu Mar 15, 2018 4:56 pm 
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IMO, it boils down to this: Nordic gear for Nordic terrain. Alpine gear for Alpine terrain. Modern lightweight AT boots and bindings has rendered tele obsolete for the latter.

I switched to lightweight AT 11 years ago after 15+ years exclusive tele. I doubled my touring days per season when I switched, mostly because AT is so much easier and fun to ski in difficult snow, and less so because light AT boots are more nimble on rock, ice and firm snow. Nearly every serious tele tourist I know has switched to tele.

For those claiming tele duckbill boots to be more comfortable for touring, have you tried a big ROM AT boot, e.g., TLT6 or Backland? IME, they walk and tour much more comfortably than any plastic bellowed tele boot. And duckbills suck scrambling on rock, cramponing and kicking steps in firm snow.
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