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Cyclopath
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PostSat Dec 24, 2022 7:14 pm 
Randito wrote:
All of the NNN-BC and SNS-BC boots I've owned have been disappointing in terms of their torsional stiffness.
rossb wrote:
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it is just not as effective or as stable as skiing with the heel locked down.
Maybe, but the difference is subtle. It is like saying a four-strap boot gives you more control. Yeah, sure, but there are plenty of people who can ski just fine on a two-strap boot. In contrast, the difference between (plastic boot) Telemark and NNN-BC is huge.
It seems like a consensus that NNN BC isn't the way to go.

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Cyclopath
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PostSat Dec 24, 2022 7:26 pm 
I skied 3 pin as a kid, stopped for a long time, and then learned again as an adult on skinny, light Nordic gear. Started with 44 mm skis with essentially no side cut, and used them for years. I got a pair of 60/50/55 mm a few weeks ago. Put Rotta NNN bindings on them, and I've been using my stiff carbon boots made for racing in the tracks. I feel like these have exceptionally precise steering. Is that the side cut?

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Randito
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PostSat Dec 24, 2022 10:05 pm 
rossb wrote:
I don't know how to make a good Telemark turn
It is pretty funny that you are such ardent advocate of a style of skiing that you haven't mastered.
rossb wrote:
The idea that you need to "learn a new style of skiing" if you buy Telemark gear is simply not true.
I'm taking the perspective of people that have learned to lift ski on ordinary downhill skiing gear and now want to do some touring For them AT gear doesn't require them to learn any new skills for going downhill. Even using plastic boot telemark gear requires new skills and practicing-- even if making only parallel turns. Balancing and turning , particularly on steeper terrain with a freeheel is significantly different and less effective than with a locked heel.

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rossb
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PostMon Dec 26, 2022 8:38 am 
Randito wrote:
rossb wrote:
I don't know how to make a good Telemark turn
It is pretty funny that you are such ardent advocate of a style of skiing that you haven't mastered.
That is my point! You don't need to make Telemark turns with Nordic gear. The first time I tried Telemark gear (using a modern rig) I felt like I was back on the lifts. I was making perfect parallel turns. There was no learning curve. Everything I learned from my downhill days came back immediately. If anything it was much easier. Holy cow, the skis practically ski themselves these days. You lean and they curve. Back in the day, I had leather (downhill) boots and long straight skis. There will always be a learning curve of sorts when you change gear. Go from old-school long and fast skis to curvy powder skis and it is very, very different. You adjust. The difference between modern downhill equipment and what I learned on is much bigger than the difference between modern A. T. and modern Telemark gear. The difference between NNN-BC and Telemark is much bigger than the difference between A. T and Telemark. Much, much bigger. Yes, I am an advocate of cross country skiing, even though I haven't mastered it. The vast majority of people out there haven't mastered it. The main value of a Telemark turn (other than looking really cool) is that it is a great way to handle flimsy gear on challenging conditions. Steve Barnett could ski very steep slopes on flimsy gear. Most people can't. They need the support that very stiff boots (usually plastic) offer them, and once you get that, you can ski the same thing using parallel technique. I know someone who is excellent at making Telemark turns. When things get tough, he just switches to parallel. The only reason I bring this up is because people think that with Nordic gear you need to make a different turn. The video of the Nordic gear had someone making Telemark turns. Good for them. Under the same conditions, I would have made parallel turns. Either way we would have been happy, because the snow was so nice (and the gear "good enough"). Again, go to a groomed ski run. See the people who are slowing down, or making turns. Very few are making Telemark turns. If you ignore their equipment it looks remarkably like a ski resort (albeit often the bunny hill). Yet many are having a blast. If you go on the logging roads, this is the norm. People in skinny skis, not making Telemark turns. There are a few with A. T. gear, but plenty with skinny skis. When it comes to skiing, there is a balance between foot comfort and control. That is why I recommend someone interested in logging road skiing (the focus of this post) to get at least two sets of gear. I've seen many people on Amabalis with A. T. gear, and very few have done as much backcountry skiing as I do up there. By the time they finally lug their equipment up there, they just cruise down. Very few actually take advantage of their equipment to do things that are especially challenging (the type of thing I wouldn't attempt with my skinny skis). The fact that they don't even do the mellow backcountry stuff I do shows that one type of gear is not ideal. Yes, it is capable, but it is overkill for a lot of logging road skiing. If they had a second set of fairly affordable cross country ski gear, it is quite likely they would enjoy it more. Save the A. T. gear for when you need it. If you are like me, you may find that you really don't need it very often (although that has a lot to do with geography -- if I lived in Bellingham I might ski steep backcountry a lot more).

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rossb
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PostMon Dec 26, 2022 9:12 am 
Cyclopath wrote:
I got a pair of 60/50/55 mm a few weeks ago. Is that the side cut?
That is the type of gear I recommend most people use for most logging roads. But some would want to pair that with an A. T. or Telemark setup if you want to ski more challenging stuff. To answer your question, sort of. Technically those are the dimensions that determine the sidecut. But lots of people (myself included) will refer to the dimensions as the sidecut. This is a great explanation: https://blog.liftopia.com/buying-skis-sidecut-turn-radius-explained/. It really is about turning radius. There are plenty of cross country skis that have a turning radius that is enormous (i. e. they have very little sidecut). Some have none at all. Going from those sorts of skis to what you have is huge. There are slopes where you can simply carve to make a turn. Initiating a sharp turn is also much easier. With a lot of sidecut, you can make tighter turns more easily. But unless you have very stiff boots and bindings, you will have trouble handling the skis. Or at least I have had trouble in the past. I used Alpina Light Terrain skis (102-64-87) with NNN-BC and it was a mess. You really need a super stiff boot to handle those skis. On the other hand, I have used Atomic Rainiers (88-60-78) with NNN-BC and they work fine. I just find that now that I have a much beefier setup (Telemark, but similar to A. T.) I never use them. My Inbound Crown (68-58-64) work great with my regular cross country ski boots. The turning radius isn't t as great, but they are considerably lighter and the setup is just a lot more comfortable. If I need more control, I skip over the intermediate gear and go with the plastic boots (and much bigger skis). This is a site when you can calculate the turning radius, but you need the length of the skis: http://member.fis-ski.com/skicalc.htm

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Randito
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PostMon Dec 26, 2022 10:37 am 
I skied Amablis early in December after the 1st storm that brought sufficient coverage (barely) I used Madshus Glittertind MGVs mounted with Ski Trab Titan race bindings and Scarpa Alien RS boots. We did the loop. Broke trail both up and down the loop. Was finally able to slide a bit after returning to the Y and were able to follow our uptrack, but I was still double polling going down that due to the sticky snow. Never locked the heels or switched the boots out of walk mode. Even with the heels unlocked and boots in walk mode, the side to side stiffness and torsional stiffness of these boots is superior to any NNN-BC or SNS-BC setups I have owned. Control better than my old Merrill Ultras + Voile 3Pin Cable bindings , but tours better and much lighter. Control similar to Garmont Excursions + Voile 3Pin Cables, but tours MUCH better. For logging road skiing , placing a WTB ad on Craigslist in Seattle has a good chance of scoring a 90s or early 00s Telemark setup for very little money. Be sure to inspect the leather in the toebox carefully. If it wasn't cared for and has dried out , it is possible to tear apart the toe making for cold wet toes and little control and reminding you of the importance of always have a decent quantity of duct tape rolled on to your ski pole shafts.

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Bronco
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PostTue Dec 27, 2022 8:14 am 
Randito wrote:
For logging road skiing , placing a WTB ad on Craigslist in Seattle has a good chance of scoring a 90s or early 00s Telemark setup for very little money. Be sure to inspect the leather in the toebox carefully. If it wasn't cared for and has dried out , it is possible to tear apart the toe making for cold wet toes and little control and reminding you of the importance of always have a decent quantity of duct tape rolled on to your ski pole shafts.
Leather tele boots from the 80's or 90's have a high probability of smelling so bad they are likely unusable for all but dairy farmers and undertakers who would be somewhat conditioned to the stench.

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Randito
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PostTue Dec 27, 2022 9:10 am 
Bronco wrote:
Leather tele boots from the 80's or 90's have a high probability of smelling so bad they are likely unusable for all but dairy farmers and undertakers who would be somewhat conditioned to the stench.
That a really strong argument for spending hundreds $$ for new gear instead of $10.

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rossb
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PostTue Dec 27, 2022 1:41 pm 
Randito wrote:
Even with the heels unlocked and boots in walk mode, the side to side stiffness and torsional stiffness of these boots is superior to any NNN-BC or SNS-BC setups I have owned.
I think just about everyone would agree with you. Even unlocked the boots/bindings have an amazing amount of control. Telemark gear is similar, in that even when I've forgotten to flip the switch (or didn't bother) I still have a huge amount of control.
Randito wrote:
Control better than my old Merrill Ultras + Voile 3Pin Cable bindings , but tours better and much lighter. Control similar to Garmont Excursions + Voile 3Pin Cables, but tours MUCH better.
I think that is where some folks would disagree. I find (or at least found) that AT boots didn't tour especially well. They are light, for sure. And they offer some flexibility at the ankle. But without the bend at the foot (the metatarsal) it just isn't as comfortable (at least to me). But that is definitely subjective. I know plenty of people that feel the way you do, and plenty that feel the way I do. This is why I own a Telemark setup. It is just more comfortable on my feet. It is why lots of people own setups that offer less control (like BC). It is why folks are trying to reinvent the wheel (in my opinion) with this new type of Nordic binding (I don't see how it is better than BC, but they do). Which does suggest that there are times when a BC setup is "just right". It offers just enough control, while being more comfortable than an A. T. setup. Personally, I think those days are rare. This is why keep going back to the combination I suggested. For the O. P. I recommend an A. T. setup and a regular cross country rig like Cyclopath and I have. Use the A. T. setup for when you need it. Find a cheap A. T. setup (used) if you can. (Foot fit is everything.) If you can't find something that is affordable, just start with the cross country setup. But I do think you should be able to find a decent A. T. setup for not that much money. It might be a bit on the heavy side, but steep tours tend to be short tours. At worst you gravitate towards those tours anyway. I've toured Skyscraper Pass and had it to myself, while the vast majority of people ski slopes that are much closer (and steeper). It's all good. If you find that every A. T. boot just seems to hurt your foot, consider Telemark (that is what I did). [For brevity, I will refer to A.T. or Telemark gear as simply "A. T." for the rest of this comment.] Meanwhile, for Amabalis (or similar roads) you just use regular cross country gear. I've skied Amabalis dozens if not hundreds of times. I've skied every combination of groomed, ungroomed, and torn-up-by-exuberant-snowmobiles (that was especially challenging for my friend). I've skied various side roads as well as forested and open slopes. Not once have I wished that I had A. T. gear. It just isn't worth the bother. The cross country setup is just a lot more comfortable and faster going up. A lot does depend on the conditions. With A. T. you can ski anything, which means you can get out more. But in general, of the trips I've done over the last few years, I would recommend the following gear:
  • Amabalis -- Cross country for sure. Grooming has vastly improved, and even when they haven't groomed, I would still use cross country gear.
  • Kendall Lake Roads -- Could go either way. If you use cross country gear, you will likely stick to the road on the way down. You can explore a few open slopes by the lake(s), but taking the steep route down (through the trees) is very challenging with cross country gear (including BC). Even the road is often challenging -- I would consider it an expert level cross country ski tour best reserved for excellent snow conditions. It is just too torn up by everyone and their dog. So I guess A. T. until you get good (or find excellent midweek conditions).
  • Foss River Roads -- Cross country.
  • Deer Creek Road -- Cross country although I could see A. T. being handy by the lake (and above it).
  • Mountain Loop Road -- Cross country. Makes a great beginner run (very flat). Only drawback is snowmobiles and occasionally low snow levels (true of Deer Creek as well).
  • North Mountain Road -- Cross country.
  • Park Butte -- A. T., although I've skied it with NNN-BC. Most of it is rather mellow, but there are sections that aren't. Next time I do it I'll be on A. T. gear.
  • Paradise -- A. T. as a general rule of thumb, but there are places where you can ski cross country. If all you have is cross country gear, don't rule it out as a fun trip.
  • Sunrise -- Similar to Paradise. Might be one of the few where an NNN setup could work (for some tours). Only works in the spring, so the best setup involves skis you can carry on your back, or carry with your bike (right before they officially open the road).
  • Artist Point -- I would go with A. T. The tours aren't long enough to bother with anything else (or they are much more challenging, and you definitely want a plastic boot, along with avalanche gear, etc.).
There are also a lot of groomed areas, like the Methow and Bend that are fun. This works fine with the type of cross country gear I mentioned (with decent sidecut). If you find yourself really enjoying that though, then you could get a pair of skis that are best at that. Basically you would be making the reverse transition that Cyclopath made. You can get get skinnier, faster skis, with more camber and keep the same boots and bindings. That makes it easy as you can just swap out the skis depending on what you plan on doing. If you look at that list, there is only one (maybe two) logging road where I would use A. T. gear. I know I'm not alone. Having been on those roads, I see people with snowshoes and a range of ski gear. But except for Kendall Lake Road, it is almost always cross country gear. That is a big exception though, given its proximity and the various really nice terrain as you get close to the lakes.

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Cyclopath
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PostTue Jan 03, 2023 11:20 am 
That was a long, miserable walk out. I disliked the bindings even before they came apart, and never want to risk using Rottafella bindings again. The store was very gracious and let me return these. I need to buy a set of skis to fill this niche. These were 60/50/55, yesterday I used 44/44/44 mm skis and was immediately surprised they don't turn themselves I need a lot more technique to drive them. I assume the extremely easy and precise steering in the fatter skis was because they had so much shape? I want to keep enjoying that handling.

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Cyclopath
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PostTue Jan 03, 2023 12:48 pm 
https://madshus.com/en-us/p/fjelltech-m50-skin-skis-2023 If I can't find skis that are more suitable, is it possible to remove the binding plate so I can use ones of my choice?

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Alpendave
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PostTue Jan 03, 2023 7:48 pm 
Check out Altai Skis.

The highest form of dissent is to love those who will not give you the freedom to disagree with them. To genuinely love your enemies is the purest form of freedom from their power. Life is too short to take too seriously.
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Cyclopath
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PostWed Jan 04, 2023 9:38 am 
Alpendave wrote:
Check out Altai Skis.
I'm looking at their website. Can you use any of their skis with NNN boots and bindings? It doesn't look like that's what they're for at all?

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Randito
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PostWed Jan 04, 2023 10:34 am 
Hoks are cool, but they are wide , so using an old skool technique of using a single sturdy pole, ( called a lurk ) is needed for control on all but the softest snows.

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Cyclopath
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PostWed Jan 04, 2023 11:19 am 
I have a feeling AT is in my future. For now, I need a pair of Nordic skis around 60/50/55 mm with NNN bindings, and ideally mohair skins not fishscales. It's amazing there don't seem to be more options like this. Rossi made one. I really liked the Madshus m50, the Evo is unknown but I assume it would ski very similarly given identical dimensions. But I don't know. The main reason I would go with Rossi instead would be to avoid the horrible bindings, but I think Rottafella makes bindings for pretty much everyone but Salomon? https://www.crosscountryski.com/product/rossignol-evo-r-skin-xc-60-tour-w-turnamic-control/ https://madshus.com/en-us/p/fjelltech-m50-skin-skis-2023

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