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About Randonnee

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    Wenatchee Mountains, WA
  1. Mountain Gear props

    Mountain Gear has given good service to me. I have returned a few things and received help, replacement, or refund. I have not bought much gear from Mountain Gear the past year or so, because I have sooo much stuff now. One time I was not happy with one guy on the phone, but MG took care of the issue satisfactorily. I have spent quite a bit $$ in the past 10 years at various places, and I can be a real pia if I think I am getting poor service in return for my $$. Conversely, here are some props as I have given others before as well.
  2. Dynafit binding release

    Nope. New stuff. Demonstrated in the shop in front of the tech person. There is a limit of power/ force that can be applied. I see it all of the time before locking the toe. I have 3 Dynafit setups that I am on 100 days this season. Two pair new boots this season.
  3. Dynafit binding release

    Just by weighting it you can make it release?!! Yes.
  4. Dynafit binding release

    My experience is that a Dynafit toe will release when the ski is on a hard surface, my boot in the binding, front lever in the touring position,and then I push down with my toes and ball of my foot. I have demonstrated this on various of my Dynafit bindings. As a result, if skiing on a hard surface I pull the front lever up. Yes, the jaws open when the ball of the foot/ toes push down, at times I see it occur while on skis with the toe lever unlocked, the pins will open then close when pressure is relieved. Locking the toe solves it for me. I am a big guy and 225 lbs and am in the mountains all year several days per week, so there is a bit of strength involved. Six years ago my Comfort toe opened while I skied with some speed carving, balanced, good form, on hard refrozen snow. As a result of the half-opened binding toepiece the ski skipped in successively larger lateral skips until I crashed hard. I was thankful to be wearing a helmet and also used my Whippet to stop sliding since I had been carrying speed. I learned to lock the toe. After adapting and concentrating on being a smooth and balanced skier, and using the toe lever locked, I use Dynafits on my 3 ski quiver of 70, 80, 88 waist skis in all conditions with confidence and no real problems. I used Dynafit bindings 7 years before I needed the bindings to release, when I skied into a windroll in bad light, and the bindings worked well. I use the BD cable tele leashes on my spring rigs, a nice clean system. I think the leashes pull off easily enough when the (key)ring used to clip on fails under pressure. If there is any chance of avalanche entrainment, I use no leash and the brakes interfere with turning the heel so no brakes either. But, if one does not feel that it is possible to know when avalanche entrainment is possible then this would not be a suitable approach. Dynafit bindings require some amount of adaptation and fiddling, but are worth it for ski touring.
  5. Arlberg Sports

    Last week my wife decided to go to Arlberg Sports in Wenatchee. Her new Fisher xc skis were purchased, mounted in about 1 1/2 hours, then my wife was told, "thanks for your business". She likes the skis.
  6. Leavenworth Mountain Sports

    Oh well, I looked again before heading out for pow. My partner is a little late. There is not an acrimonious word or phrase in my posting, it is matter of fact. I am happy that the refund was given. I do not recall being angry. Sometimes individuals who are upset and emotionally distraught characterize others out of that. Too bad that my wife does not yet have a xc setup, and she is not rushing out to grab another. She called around and other shops have gear which they would like to sell to her. Some are discussing emotions and friendships. Shop groupies and now guide groupies, expected. My discussion is about a business transaction. Some are calling me names. Whatever. Expected. Call me whatever you think that you need to, the facts stand. Try to read my posts more carefully. Try to discuss the concepts involved. As far as I see, this is the appropriate forum for this topic. I have discussed the events, I have attempted to not color or name call individuals. Again, I have described the events as I understand them.
  7. Leavenworth Mountain Sports

    Well, I was finished, I was going to leave it alone, really, we received a refund along with the LMS owner telling my wife to never come into his shop again (confirmed to me by LMS owner). However, we can continue talking with what could be (?) an agent of the LMS owner. I propose this because of what I heard from the LMS owner on the telephone compared to the above posting. Also, if there is a Guide in town, then there is likely a business relationship between LMS and the Guide. And I am sorry to say that continued divulging of details is not in my view helpful for the reputation of LMS. I fully realized that by airing this, by calling the Sheriff, I would be subject to criticism. As a matter of fact, I was prepared for such from the start since I was anticipating legal action (probably just a filing in Small Claims) as necessary in the face of such asinine and wrong behavior on the part of LMS. To begin, there was no "temper", no "going nuclear." One clerk said "Merry Christmas" as I left, I returned the sentiment. My wife had been distraught after being so screwed by LMS, so I went there to clearly demand a refund. LMS clerks were upset as a result of their shop's incompetence, and apparently did not understand how to fix it, and were not supported by the owner. If I was acting inappropriately, why should I bring in the Deputy- I would have just left. I was not asked to leave by the clerk, I would have done so immediately if asked since the agent of the business has that lawful authority to tell me to leave the premises. Mr Guide, your unfounded aspersions cast toward my behavior, based on nothing of which you have direct knowledge speak clearly for your character. Mr. "I am a Guide." Perhaps you are striking a blow to help your friends and to help ensure your equipment discounts. My efforts did convey the deliberate intention of trying to accurately describe the situation. Your words convey the deliberate intention to attack my personal character in order to invalidate my words. Does your Guide Certification include coursework in Business Law, retail customer relations, and an overview of the Washington Revised Code in regard to retail sales (no)...or is your post some bro-effort to strike a blow for your pal? I am just a consumer, Mr. Guide, my money spent is my justification. Since you wish to wield your authority, please tell us your name, Mr. Guide. When I spoke to the Sheriff Business Office, I was asked whether I wanted contact from a Deputy, I replied yes, I would like to file a report. There is a Deputy on duty here, if they are engaged in something, probably anything beside this, they would not come until the other more important business was wrapped up. My concern was the intentional refusal to refund defective product, my intent was to file a legal report. Secondarily, the thought was to have a Deputy on the scene to observe and to hear complaints, including those such as someone went "nuclear." There were no such statements to the Sheriff in my presence, such behavior did not occur. It would be unwise for me to air this incident had I been inappropriate. I was mindful of the likelihood that the especially unprofessional clerk may make such statements. The one clerk repeated to the Deputy several times that the Shop Policy was No Refunds, the same clerk repeated to the Deputy several times that my wife had lost her paper receipt. My intent from the start was to prepare for legal action (Small Claims) as necessary, therefore my thoughts were to behave in a manner that supported that intention. One does not initiate a legal claim before exhausting reasonable efforts to remedy the situation, therefore the filing of a Sheriff's report would confirm that reasonable effort. My only statement to the Deputy was that I just wanted to file a report in case it went to civil action. Unlike LMS, my actions and intentions were considered previously. Above I posted that the owner returned my call, made apology, spoke of the desire for customer service, all true. I wanted to give the guy credit for that. Since you are continuing this discussion, I will include more information. During the telephone conversation owner Adam was clearly primarily concerned with his expressed hurt feelings and, remarkably, told me how great his staff had been in serving my wife. Now, all else aside, which is mostly opinion anyway, LMS took the full price payment then mounted the wrong binding for the new boot sold and then instructed us to take it home, there were "No Refunds." There was no statement or assurance that a refund would be given after the owner showed up at some point days in the future. That is fact, such was explained by the clerk to the Deputy, the Deputy watched us walk out with the defective gear. Later,on the phone, Adam spoke to my wife and myself in a manner that expressed his hurt and attempted to instill guilt and feelings of remorse in us. Considering his words, it would appear the he thought we needed to support his and his clerks' emotions after they took our money then totally screwed up the product. There was from Adam some jibberish about community, human relations, from someone whom I have never met, someone who takes my money in exchange for product- let us not be confused about the nature of a retail business relationship. Now, really, enough. We got our refund, LMS is building its reputation. It would be reasonable to hear another side, another view of the situation and the actions surrounding it, but it is not reasonable to just attack me, that is in fact cowardly.
  8. Leavenworth Mountain Sports

    Thanks, I will look into Tuna.
  9. Leavenworth Mountain Sports

    This was a chance to deal locally for xc gear. LMS has not previously sold what I wanted for randonnee skiing, so I went elsewhere. XC ski gear, it would seem, would be one of the big lines here in Der town. Funny, aside from family, some friends and Science Center, Aquarium, etc. for my daughter, about the only thing that brings me west of the Cascade crest are the gear shops and the service/ selection over there. Unfortunately right now my wife does not even seem interested in going elsewhere to get her Fisher skis. I often think it would be cool to have a shop that was not all upscale, with a corner for coffee and hangout and a climbing wall. High quality but also friendly to the vast hordes of less than upper middle cla$$ recreationists. At this stage in my life I just pay what is asked for my gear, unlike when I was young and poor and looked for deals or clearance. Even when young, I expected reasonable use of the gear bought and also service, but I think that with age and experience one tolerates less any poor treatment/ practice, or the perception of same.
  10. Leavenworth Mountain Sports

    I made a call to the LMS owner, which was returned with apology to me. During the conversation, the owner was conciliatory after a bit and spoke of the desire to give excellent customer service. My whole point is that I spend money in a shop in exchange for gear and service. My concern was that my wife was presented with a ski package that was paid in full and not functional due to shop error, and the shop representatives were providing no solution and no refund. I explained that when I told the clerk that the standard is that the shop must replace mis-drilled skis, the clerk did not agree, at which point I stated "I will take it up with your Distributors," clerk responded "feel free..." I did. He and my wife did confirm during the phone conversation that he, the owner told her at the time of her refund this AM to never come into his shop again, since he thought he did not people want "like them" in his shop. I would agree with that, for a different reason than his... : )} e.g I give you money, you give me what you say you will provide for the money We were not planning to go into LMS again. In regard in getting what we want, my wife may now drive to Wenatchee tomorrow to purchase her Christmas gift.
  11. Leavenworth Mountain Sports

    I just came home from skiing 2600 vert of sweet pow nearby and found a note from my wife. She said LMS gave her a refund and she went to Arlberg in Wenatchee to get Fisher skis. I bought some Dynastar setup with Fritsches from Arlberg, and they mounted my wife's Fristches, no problems there. I have not had any email or message from LMS in regard to my many forwarded commnications. I will not set foot in there again under the current regime, and LMS probably would appreciate that. I bought complete Fisher ski outfits from Liv who started LMS and my last Fisher skaters right after Liv sold LMS. My three randonnee touring partners this week both got excellent setups from Brian, previous LMS owner. I bought a tele setup (back when) and skate setups from Der Sportsmann and it was all fine. I have bought 5 Dynafit bindings in as many years, four boots, two skis, plus two pair of K2 skis. I drive to Pro Ski in North Bend for Dynafit, even though I live a few blocks from LMS who had some Dynafit. Pro Ski has expertise and gives strong support, and are quite friendly as they should be with folks who spend $$ supporting their shop. I bought one complete Dynafit boot, binding, and K2 ski setup at Marmot, they did all setup and fitting just fine. My last tele setup came from REI, no problems. In Leavenworth Das Rad Haus has rebuilt my mountain bike as needed and have a high level of expertise and service in my experience. Der Sportsmann has Eric, a very, very, high-level knowledgeble guy who talked to me a while this week about wax, which I purchased there. Eric actually talked me out of the pricier stuff, and was very helpful. He also seems to know bikes, so I will keep that in mind if I buy Specialized for my daughter or wife. That is what I know right now.
  12. Leavenworth Mountain Sports

    My wife bought a completely new boots, skis, bindings, boots setup. I was there long enough to insist that she get some good stuff for better performance than she has had, then I butted out to let her choose and to allow the LMS Staff to guide her. LMS mounted a binding that did not match the boot that LMS sold to her. That alone is inexcusable. At quality shops (other than LMS) where I buy lots of skis (current quiver of skate, tele, 3 randonee setups, lift) I am told that if they make an error, miss-drill, etc., they will provide a new setup and hopefully I would not know of the error. I could find better deals sometimes, but I feel that I pay for competence and service, Warranty support, etc. Shops get their 40% markup in exchange for competent service, this is not grocery buying. The clerks kept pointing to the receipt that said "No Refunds." Nice, huh. The clerk liked to repeat that my wife lost her paper receipt, after all in the shop knew and dealt with us for 3 days. Real warm, eh? For some reason, she was given some different color Atomic poles- kinda dorky when one is buying a new matched Fisher setup. The owner did not support the employees who did what they could (not anything reasonable), but were not properly trained and empowered, that is a problem with the ownership. We will see the character of the owner tomorrow, and I will gladly post about a reasonable remedy, or the ongoing efforts. I have lived here 28 yrs, skied all disciplines since, and have seen shops come and go. It may be nice for someone to have a new acquaintence, but this is no way to serve customers. We are just getting started, this is going to the Distributors, Chamber of Commerce, etc. As far as I am concerned the behavior of LMS was comtemptible. The intent expressed by LMS thus far is not a remedy of the LMS error, that seems fraudlent to me. Clearly, after being told no refund following their error, I was not patient, but not inappropriate. After a refund we would have directed our attention to buying ski gear at Der Sportsman or in Wenatchee. It really does not matter a rip how "cool" someone is when they screw a customer.
  13. Leavenworth Mountain Sports

    We, on Christmas Eve, have had an unbelivably bad experience with Leavenworth Mountain Sports. Consider carefully where you choose to buy new ski gear (or gear) and get it mounted. My wife's Christmas gift was to update her classic track skis. She has a full quiver of tele, randonnee, xc, skate. Anyway, LMS took an extra day to mount *new* skis with the wrong *new* binding for the *new* boot, then informed my wife that LMS does not have a boot to fit the binding. Further, when I drove over and demanded a refund, a refund was refused. We were reminded that the receipt states no refunds. We were reminded repeatedly that my wife lost her paper receipt. There you have it, no exaggeration, my attempt at accurately describing the situation. The owner was not to be reached, according to the employees. I called the Sheriff and filed a report, as I ponder whether the situation goes beyond incredibly bad service into the area of fraud. The shop has a new owner, I am told. We will, of course, try to remedy the situation or get a refund and I have already complained to ski Distributors who supply LMS.
  14. Heavy Old A/T Advice

    You are welcome, glad it may be helpful. Just waiting for snow here in north central WA.
  15. Heavy Old A/T Advice

    There are many variables. In my view, it is more a matter of what you do with your skis than what they will do for you. I feel that matching randonnee boot to ski in regard to stiffness is of most importance. A properly matched burly boot will turn a burly ski with relative ease while a soft light boot will be much different on the same ski. Conversely, in the past I bought a stiffer boot and then the old ski felt wimpy compared to the old boot on the same ski. It depends on how one wishes to ski, and one's technique. A stiffer ski may require more attention to turn as one wishes, but may feel more stable at times, but modern technology blurs these ideas. I would not plan the ski characteristics around carrying a load, unless that is the intended/ only daily use of the ski. Skiing with a pack of any significant weight is strenuous and your technique/ performance will probably be limited. Shorter is better for walking and climbing in my view, although I agree with the length adding flotation eg like my old 220 cm XCDs back in the day, but I think shorter is better for uphill kick turns, going through trees and brush, and for making it easy to whip the skis around in tight situations. Since I ski more slowly in the bc for safety, the shorter skis probably encourage slower speeds; when I get on longer stiffer lift skis I tend to point 'em and go stupidly fast, and I am too old and have too many responsibilities to do that. This season my randonnee quiver includes 3 weights/ widths- a light 70 waist 174 cm ski with a matching boot best for traveling quickly and corn/ summer skiing, an all-around 80 waist 178 cm ski with a matching 3-buckle boot, and an 88 waist 178 cm ski for powder with a 4-buckle boot. If I had to choose only one, it would be the all-around mid-range. In my view, randonnee gear does not cross well to lift skiing except the bigger heavier randonnee stuff, unless one is content with the limitations of the gear while riding lifts. I am 50, 6' 1", and 225 lbs. I skied randonnee 82 days last season, lifts 2 days, 50 powder days bc, 1 powder day lifts. I have ski toured 31 seasons, 14 on tele. My gear all works well for its intended purpose, and works anywhere according to its characteristics. My problem is breaking things, so I have to watch it, it seems as if I can break anything if not trying to be smooth and reasonable in my technique (also on my mountain bike)- I did physical labor as a logger for 7 years in my youth and etc. so the weight is not all unsightly fat. I try to remember that 95% or more of the time I am walking over skins, not making downhill turns. I hope this helps, randonnee skiing is my #1 recreational pursuit so there is some input.