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jstluise

question AT Ski Width Recommendation?

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After years of talking about it I've decided this is the year I finally put together my first AT setup...there has been far too many times where I get jealous of the skier flying past me down the mountain.

 

I've been doing my research and right now my main question is ski width. Can someone make a width recommendation for a good all around ski here in the PNW? 90-105 mm is a range I see a lot...95ish mm seems popular.

 

Other info: I'm 6' 175lb. Certainly not an expert skier, but I would put myself in the intermediate category. Ski length would be 180-185 cm.

 

Thanks!

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100-105mm at waist.

 

170-175cm length.

 

Look for something with some early rise rocker, and a flat tail.

 

Tech bindings.

 

Thanks for the response. Would you mind going into some reasons behind your recommendations? For example, 100-105mm vs. let's say 90-95mm? My guess is the wider would be to accommodate variable conditions since I'll be using this for an all around ski?

 

Also, based on my height/weight everything about length seems to suggests around 185cm. A shorter ski will be more maneuverable, but is there another reason?

 

For sure tech bindings. I have my eye on the Dynafit Radical ST 2.0s, but we'll see.

 

Thanks again!

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Shorter is also lighter and more efficient to skin with. I prefer a little wider underfoot for an AT setup as it gives you more skin under your foot where it helps the most and are more funner on the descent in soft conditions.

 

My personal preference is for some tip rocker but a flat tail. Seems to help avoid the occasional tip dive while skinning.

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Shorter is lighter, easier to maneuver, less sticking out of your pack. It also sounds like not a crusher skier ("not an expect") so the extra ski length is just waisted (sounds like more of an approach ski?)

 

Nothing is really "out" with a 100-105 ... ie you can still ski the hard pack and corn and still float enough in the deeper pow. Smaller makes deep snow (significantly) harder; while larger makes hard/corn harder (105 is a little wide, but manageable; much bigger than 10t makes hard/corn almost prohibitive).

 

110-112 would,be biggest for a quiver of one, but would suffer more hard/corn.

 

You might also consider what will happen when you want a second set of skis. Maybe plan on two right now and have a better system instead of an aftet-thought add on.

 

Quiver killers allow one set of bindings.

 

Early rise just helps the ski float better, also makes it maneuver like a shorter ski in hard/corn.

Edited by dave schultz

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It's helpful to think about when/where you plan to ski most. We really have two seasons of skiing in the Cascades. Midwinter skiing when you'll ski primarily powder (I wish) and other soft/unconsolidated snow, and spring/summer skiing when you're mostly skiing corn.

 

A wider ski will be beneficial for most midwinter skiing. 100-105 is a good width for a daily driver in winter conditions. Good flotation for deep snow on the uphill and down, tends to float on top of crappy snow conditions, but not so wide that they're difficult to keep in the skin track or cumbersome on the down. I'm currently on some 115s and they're honestly a bit too wide for all but really deep days, will probably switch back to a 105 soon.

 

Narrower will be better for spring skiing - lighter weight, better edge to edge performance, easier to drive in firm snow. I think 90-95 is a good width for those, that way you still have some flotation for when the snowpack hasn't fully consolidated.

 

You can certainly get by using one ski for both conditions, I'd just buy for whichever conditions you're likely to encounter more.

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Thanks all for the advice! Lots of good info here.

 

My original and main intent is to have these for some spring/summer skiing, but since I'll have the setup I'll definitely be looking to get out in the winter.

 

The biggest issue for me when I started looking is that whatever binding I choose will lock me into my ski width due to the brake. The dynafit radicals I'm looking at have brake widths in 90, 105, 120, and 135. Seems like the best bet is to get the 105 version which will allow me some leeway between 90-105. Any thoughts on this? I could get the 120s to accommodate wider skis but I'm sure they'll be too wide for a narrower ski...say 95.

 

The explanation for a shorter ski makes sense, I'll keep that in mind. Can't complain about having lighter equipment.

 

Sounds like I can't go too wrong with 105s for covering most of the snow conditions. Let's say I eventually have two sets of skis: winter and spring/summer. Maybe 90-95 for a spring/summer ski and then 105s for winter? Or would you go wider for winter?

 

I guess the situation I want to avoid is buying another set of bindings in the future. Love the idea of quiver killers.

 

Thanks again I really appreciate all the advice!

 

Edit: So I thought the brakes were permanent on the radicals, but after looking around some more it seems you can buy the brakes w/ baseplates for around $80/pair. Not bad if it comes down to it in the future but I'd like to avoid it if possible.

Edited by jstluise

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Another option is to skip brakes and buy leashes.

 

B&D makes a set that you can leave on during transitions, short booting, and working in a snow pit, etc.

 

I personally don't own a ski with a brake.

 

I might go even smaller on the summer skis, 65-75mm, your 100-105mm would still not be too wide compared to a mid 80s ski and that is where a 70mm would work up to where a mid 80s would also work.

Edited by dave schultz

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it's funny to see this come up (I asked it in 2011) and was told 90-100. I had hunted old posts and saw in years before and saw people say 90-95. Now you've got plenty of 105s, hah.

 

One thing when you mention coming down the mountain... to clarify your objectives, if you are doing skimo on volcanoes primarily and the enlightened method of descending (sliding, whatever form it may be) vs touring looking for good conditions. And you mention spring conditions--you talking like coming down Adams or from Muir in June?

 

If that is more what you are thinking, I'd give a nod to the narrow side. My first skis are g3s 94mm underfoot. And my second are hagan cirrus at 75mm.. I use the hagans year around for climbing Mt. Hood and love their versatility. Only use the wider skis for tours or resort. That said, early rise tips def help a lot.

 

my 2cents

Edited by Water

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I haven't delved into the leash vs no leash debate much, but going brakeless might be an option. I like those leashes...they seem to eliminate the issues that people bring up about wearing leashes, mainly not separating from your skis in avy terrain.

 

Water, you're spot on with my main objectives (skimo). For the last 10 years I've been mountaineering in the spring/summer, so I'd like to make similar trips but with skis. That's my primary objective, but getting this setup will definitely make me want to get out for some winter touring.

 

It is sounding more like I'd be better off with a narrow ski (75mm-90mm) to start me off which will get me through next spring/summer, and then later if I want to make more winter trips look for something in the 105mm range.

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90-95mm width for general purpose. Flat tails. If you need more ski width then its really deep and at your weight you'll want a real powder ski. If you like powder, want to tour, and want to ski corn anything other than multiple skis in your quiver is a crappy compromise.

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Thanks everyone for the advice. I definitely have a better idea now of what to look for. Since I am mainly interested in spring/summer skimo trips, I think my first pair of AT skis would be something on the narrow side, 75mm-90mm, with a more minimal brakeless tech binding. This will get me through next spring/summer and give me a pretty lightweight setup.

 

Then next year I can think about a mid-winter AT setup, ~105s with the radical bindings I was originally looking at. It seems like the radicals would be a bit overkill for a spring/summer ski, but maybe not.

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Jumping in on this a bit late...but...IMHO, for your intended use don't go over a 95 waist. Don't go over 176 cm length. Also, good idea shying away from the Radical (I own a pair, great for their intended purpose), you don't need all of that. Something that has not been mentioned yet - boots. Probably the biggest factor. The weight/walk mode of your boot is going to have a massive impact.

 

When it comes to boots, just don't buy anything that isn't Dynafit or La Sportiva, or some Scarpas, and you will be fine.

 

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Thanks for the response. I ended up finding a decent deal on craigslist for some skis, skins, and bindings. The skis are older but in good shape, '06 Trab Free Rando 171cm w/ 79mm waist...a little narrower than I was planning but I'll give them a go. BD skins are in great shape minus the glue, I gotta see if I can breathe any life back into them with the paper bag/iron trick. The bindings are the Dynafit vertical STs and are in great shape. I would probably just use them except I already bought the Speed Turn 2.0s on a deal I couldn't pass up. I think I'm going to run the speed turns and hold onto the verticals...I've got a couple friends that are wanting to get their own touring setup.

 

I'm moving onto boots now. Really like the looks and reviews of the Dynafit TLT6 Mountain CRs, but I need to find a place to try them on. I stopped by sturtevants but they didn't have much for ski touring gear.

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That will be a great ski for spring skiing with the speed turn. Good luck with the glue, I hate messing with glue, after 2 BD glue strips and transfer rolls - never again. Such a messy PITA.

 

That is a good boot. It's hard to find ski touring gear in the US, though it is getting better. I am sure you can find it around though, I remember seeing that boot at a shop in B'ham and then again in Hood River this summer. Probably for cheaper too as the TLT 7 is out.

 

I bet that set up seems pretty skinny to you right now, I remember changing over from 115 underfoot...jesus what was I thinking to 84 underfoot on a pure race binding. Game changer. Be prepared to wait for your friends.

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I hope so, definitely looking forward to getting out with them. I haven't messed with the glue yet, but yeah I've heard it's a PITA.

 

I did find a shop today that carries the TLT6 Mountain but unfortunately didn't have my size in stock...maybe soon. They did have the TLT7 Performance in my size so I tried it out. Felt good right out of the box. Nice boot and I like the new ultralock 3.0 system. One thing I don't like is the lack of toe welt for step-in crampons.

 

I still want to try out the TLT6 Mountains. The salesman said they were "a lot" narrower than the TLT7s, but best I can find online is that the last is 1mm narrower (101mm vs 102mm) so I'm not sure I believe what he said. They won't be as stiff as the TLT7s (carbon cuff), but if the fit is similar I'll go the TLT6 route...my wallet will appreciate it.

 

Oh, I did try on the Arc Teryx Procline Carbon. More than I want to spend but...Holy. Crap. The ROM is incredible in that boot...feels like you're wearing a pair of hiking boots.

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