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celticclimber

WANTED: Randonee/Backcountry Ski gear

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FWIW.... we are a Fritschi, Dynafit, Silvrettra 300, Silvretta 404 and Silvretta 500 family. For normal weekend usage my wife skis the old Fritschi's and loves them. She never screws with her set up and just steps in and goes. They are obscenely heavy (especially mounted on Jaks) but she's pretty fast so that means I can keep up with her.

 

I ski on Jak BCs with Dynafits. They're light and sexy and when gear heads see me on the skin track they drool; but they can be a pain. When skiing through thick brush the plastic pieces on the bindings have broken on me three times; when skiing in wet snow the bindings tend to ice up and I have to chip away the ice in order to get my boots in or lock down the toe piece. That said - I like screwing around with gear and thus don't mind the extra work to have light bindings. If my wife had to chip away ice in order to get her boots in the bindings would take the skis and throw them into the nearest crevasse.

 

For extended trips where we will be climbing I use my Silvretta 404s and my wife uses the 500s. These are decent bindings for anything but skiing. For ice climbing we have 300s mounted on cheap waxless skis. You can find these for $30 on eBay. You can buy 404s for $100 on eBay.

 

In a nutshell... if you like gear and don't mind fiddling with it then get the Dynafits. If you just want to go skiing and not worry about anything then get the Fritschis.

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Oh ya, did I mention I am a cheap bastard and want to spend next to nothing for this?

 

You picked the wrong sport then, IMHO. With b/c gear, you get what you pay for!

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I have to put in a plug for dynafits as well. I got a dynafits with Garmont Dynamite boots and love them. Very light, and comfortable. Also, the pivot point being at the front of the boot (instead of well beyond) makes them tour great. They do take a little practice, but after a couple flail-fests, I was able to get them under control. As far as the flexible boots, there are some stiffer options out there - the Garmont Megaride for instance.

 

Huge in Europe, I think they are gaining a following in the US. As a datapoint, I was in the parking lot at Snoqualmie getting ready for a tour, and saw what looked to be (not totally sure) the entire staff of Martin V's Pro Ski Service gearing up with Dynafits and Megarides.

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Huge in Europe

so are Fritschis. 65% Fritschi, 25% Dynafit, 10% Silvretta. Dynafits suck if you are taking skis on and off often (say liftserved with alot of hiking), and dynafit brakes suck

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Dynafits, period. I have been resort skiing for years, got a dynafit/k2 shuksan/garmont megalite setup for the backcountry last year, and I now like it BETTER than my alpine skis even for the lift-serviced stuff. It is so light. The boots are plenty stiff for me and the binding is not very hard to use.

 

Shop now, I got good deals in the summertime last year.

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I have a dynafit and a fritschi free ride set up. I also have a 4 buckle boots as well as a 3 buckle. I usually end up grabbing the dynafit and tour determines the boot. I have found the fritschi has some of lateral movement when skiing, they do not tour as well, and feel heavy under foot. They are however easy to adjust between boots and they are easy to get in and out of. I have used my alpine boots in them before. All of this has been pointed out so far.

 

Everyone I tour with started out on fritschi and now skis dynafit and they swear they will never go back. I do agree the breaks suck and that’s why I took them off. They are not hard to get in to unless the rubber your sole is worn down and then they can be a pain. I have never had the “icing up” problem and I used them over 70 days this year.

 

If I were new the ski touring I would by a boot that fits well and is dynafit compatible, then find a ski that will work for me, and finally chose a binding. Going cheep will be hard to do and you may just end up getting a set-up that just doesn’t work for you. Finally, don’t buy used boots unless you plan to buy a new liner for $100-$250.

 

Don’t forget the cost of skins, crampons, transceiver, shovel and probe. I wouldn’t go out with someone who couldn’t dig me out.

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