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Cyclopath
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Faster than light
PostSat Dec 07, 2019 8:36 pm 
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I've been doing a lot of research and would love some input from people who have experience with this type of skiing and the conditions around here.

For context, I've been skiing groomed trails for years now.  I did 550 miles last season.  I love covering distance and seeing the sights more than anything, also really enjoy charging down hills and into corners, and I like being fast on the flats.  Ozbaldy is my favorite trail at Cabin Creek.   smile.gif

I've been wanting to ski Artist Point for years, I'd be happy to follow the road for starters.  There are a lot of other FS roads I'm sure I'll have fun on too, Deer Creek, Blewett area, I'll have to figure out what else.

Rossi BC X5 felt great, they'll be good for my injured tendon.  It seems like NNN BC is what I want if I'm more interested in distance than turns.  I have manual bindings now and will probably get manual again for this.  And finally I'm looking at Fischer Traverse 78 Crown skis.

Does this sound like a good setup for my interests, or am I getting anything wrong?
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RandyHiker
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PostSat Dec 07, 2019 8:53 pm 
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IME NNN-BC bindings and boot aren't significantly sturdier that current NNN boots and bindings.   Skate boots provide similar levels of support.

If you want something that is significantly better than NNN , consider randonnee racing boots and bindings.  They as light or lighter than NNN-BC bindings and boot but provide superior support, comfort and warmth.

Randonee boots tour better than NNN-BC -- ankle range of motion is far better, while lateral and torsional stiffness are much better.

Randonee racing bindings also provide safety release , something that NNN or NNN-BC systems don't.

The downside of randonee racing boots and bindings is they are quite expensive.

FWIW: I have used Scarpa Aliens with Ski Trab Gara Race bindings mounted on Madshus Glittertinds for long tours on rolling terrain.
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Cyclopath
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PostSun Dec 08, 2019 9:33 pm 
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Does randonee mean AT?
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RandyHiker
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PostSun Dec 08, 2019 9:44 pm 
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Cyclopath wrote:
Does randonee mean AT?

Yep -- Randonnée is French for "Hiking"   -- AT is an acronym for Alpine Touring.

Randonnée Racing is a subclass of Alpine Touring where the gear is optimized for moving uphill very fast, while still providing reasonable support and control while descending.   I have a pair of Randonee Racing boots that weigh a bit under 1KG each  vs my pair of "side country" Alpine Touring boots that are nearly as stiff a downhill ski racing boot that weight in at 2.2KG each

Examples

https://skimo.co/ski-trab-gara-titan

Weight (pair) 236 grams
$440


https://skimo.co/scarpa-alien-boot

Weight (pair) 1844 grams
$699

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Cyclopath
Faster than light



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PostMon Dec 09, 2019 5:12 pm 
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It's hard to believe that boot would be more comfortable to kick and glide in, but I know you don't judge a book by its cover.

What does raising the boot up above the ski accomplish?  I'm used to the bindings being flush with the top of the ski.
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RandyHiker
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PostMon Dec 09, 2019 6:20 pm 
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Cyclopath wrote:
It's hard to believe that boot would be more comfortable to kick and glide in, but I know you don't judge a book by its cover.

These boots consist of a hard plastic shell and a foam liner.     The hard shell is hinged at the ankle and in tour mode rotates freely -- as freely as an NNN "classic" ski boot.

The foam liner is very warm and supportive -- The liner is heated during the "fitting" process and flows to conform to the contours of your foot while hot -- but once cooled provide firm, but exactly fitting support.

Cyclopath wrote:
What does raising the boot up above the ski accomplish?  I'm used to the bindings being flush with the top of the ski.

The Ski Trab bindings allow a "flat mode" where the heel of the boot rests on the ski.   

The riser mode is useful when skinning uphill steeply so that the achilles tendon doesn't have to stretch as much and so the calf muscle can rest between each stride.
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RandyHiker
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PostMon Dec 09, 2019 8:03 pm 
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Also FWIW:   I telemark skiied for many years ( skiing into the Goat Rocks and the Enchantments in the '70s ) and a dedicated "free heeler" for many years using 3 Pin setups, NNN-BC, SNS-BC and other freeheel gear.    Around 2006,  I recognized that telemark gear had been getting progressively heavier over the years, but Alpine Touring gear was getting lighter -- remembering that the whole "telemark revolution" back in the '70s was about "Light is Right"  I got a used AT setup   -- transitioning to a fixed heel setup wasn't as easy as I  had assumed it would be (based on the claims of AT folks of "fix the heel, fix the problem), but I did like the light weight.  I had tried NNN-BC and SNS-BC setups to have something that would tour better than a heavy duty telemark setup.    NNN-BC tours far better than a 3-PIN / Plastic telemark boot setup and is much lighter than a setup using a "touring telemark binding" like the Voile Switchback -- but I found that linking turns on NNN-BC gear to be limited to "perfect snow" conditions (powder and corn).    With Randonee racing setups -- I've found they tour equally well as NNN-BC , but they downhill ski far better than NNN-BC.
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Malachai Constant
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PostMon Dec 09, 2019 8:21 pm 
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I used to be a three pin guy but as I got older it got harder to tell went to AT gear with racing boots also. A ton more support than tele boots. Use the same gear for yo-yo skiing also. No real reason to change. Do not do the Warren Miller type of stuff anyway.

--------------
"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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joker
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PostTue Dec 10, 2019 10:28 am 
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I've found that the biggest knock on the sort of gear Randy describes for hilly touring is that there's no flex in the ball of the foot. But the wide ankle cuff flex range does a LOT  to  make up  for that IME. If I'm doing a fairly low angle tour where I don't expect to be doing much in the  way of turning to manage speed (versus to stay on a winding downhill  portion  of moderate pitch  trail on a packed trail where a snowplow will  suffice) I will use my old three pin boots and double cambered skinny skis (yeah, I know upgrading  to NNN etc would probably be nicer for that). But for extended climbs and descents I'd much  rather be on my AT gear. An additional plus I didn't notice mentioned above (but perhaps I missed it) is that my AT bindings have a pretty decent "release" function which is nice for reducing injury risk on descents.

I do sometimes still do telemark turns on my double cambered skis (I've long  since sold off my big plastic telemark boots and  fat shaped telemark skis with heavy releasable telemark bindings) - e.g. during  stormageddon last February I linked turns along the Tolt Pipeline where it drops to the  Sammamish Valley which was kind of amusing for me, and I'll often do this while skiing down Creekside at Hyak after touring the upper XC trail  network with a lift assist. But like Randy I find that with these skis I'm no Steve Barnett so conditions need to be at least somewhat friendly for  me to do that.
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Cyclopath
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PostTue Dec 10, 2019 11:28 am 
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I appreciate the comments, everybody.  Especially Randy, thanks for putting the AT concept back on my radar.  I didn't even consider that it was possible with this type of ski.  I don't really want to spend a grand on boots and bindings, but I do see how it could be cheaper in the long run if I go down that route, to have one pair of boots that work with all my skis (except the really skinny ones).  I really should go try the boots on before I decide.

On Sunday I drove up to Blewett Pass and skied a couple miles up and down the road that leads toward the Tronsen Ridge TH.  On skinny racing skis, 44/44/41 mm.  I stayed upright, but they were pretty unstable descending on bumpy snow that was chewed up by jeep tires and snowmobile tracks.  Does anyone have an opinion on how 78/61/69 (Fischer Traverse 78) would handle on this kind of terrain?  Is that going to be wide enough to feel stable coming down?
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joker
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PostTue Dec 10, 2019 11:32 am 
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Depends on you  and your skills and bar for "stable."  They will for sure be better than "skinny racing skis!"
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Cyclopath
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PostTue Dec 10, 2019 11:52 am 
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Yeah, you're right.  I'm thinking since I haven't bought the skis yet, I could go up a size.  In the end it probably doesn't matter that much.  It's hard to make a decision when my experience is pretty much all on groomed trails.  I want to be able to tour efficiently, so I think I want as skinny as I can go and still feel comfortable coming down "imperfect" snow.

The skinny skis are perfect on groomed trails, and I've been enjoying 33 mm tires (bike) on rough dirt and gravel roads, so my threshold for stable is probably pretty forgiving.
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RandyHiker
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PostTue Dec 10, 2019 1:59 pm 
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Given the forecast and prospects for snow this season -- I'm not buying any new skis this season.   I made that mistake in the '97-98 el nino year and bought a new pair of Karhu 10th Mountain -- only to have the waxless bases ruined from far too much contact with thinly covered gravel patches on a logging road tour.

In fact I just moved my bindings from a newish pair of high quality skis onto a 2008 vintage pair of skis that already have multiple repaired core shots.    When/if a decent snowpack develops -- I'll move the bindings back to the "newish" skis.  (Binding Freedom inserts are great IME)

FWIW:  My touring bike sports 45mm tires -- the widest ones I can fit on my touring frame.   For bike riding I prefer comfort over speed, 1500 kms cycling so far this calendar year.
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Cyclopath
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PostTue Dec 10, 2019 2:49 pm 
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I keep going back and forth on whether it makes sense or not, getting these skis.  My thinking is (1) I'll probably move north from Eastlake next month, putting me further from Cabin Creek, and closer to the MLH, if so I'll have more opportunity to ski backcountry and less for groomers, and (2) groomed trail Nordic might not be possible for a lot of the season, but I can drive to Blewett or Artist Point, and to Harts Pass Road when I'm in the Methow.
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Foist
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PostTue Dec 10, 2019 3:17 pm 
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I've been "classic" XC skiing my whole life, mostly on groomed trails. I've thought about expanding into a more backcountry setup but never took the plunge.  Occasionally I've done non-groomed logging roads and, as long the snow is fresh and fluffy and not icy, I find it works out fine (although admittedly probably not the best).  I have skied the road to Artist Point a few times.  I carry snowshoes and use them to wander around past the Artist Point parking lot. I always try to find a weekday when: 1) it's clear out; 2) there's enough snow to ski on, but not too much that the downhill ski area is open; 3) the snow is fairly fresh and not icy; and 4) I can get off work.  A lot of years that day never happens.  It seems like this year will be one of those years.  Artist Point is forecast to get 40 inches of snow by Friday, which will open the ski area, obscure the road and create avalanche danger.
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