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crmlla2007

Heavy Old A/T Advice

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Background: As a teen skied every winter day, worked at ski resorts, skied on 205 GS skis, most lower level black diamond. Wife, kids, work, so no more skiing.

 

Currently: Now I'm 48, back to working out and skiing, went from 235 to 210 in 6 months, goal is 190 in the next 6 months. 6'1" tall. Resort skiing on 174 cm all-mountain carve skis, mid-level blue, just starting work on black. I have tried 186 cm skis but wasn't as happy.

 

Goal: I'd like to switch to A/T. I might go on some multi-day (live in Utah and relatives in Cascades) so I might be carrying a 50lb pack. I won't be doing anything extreme. Just across, up, and down.

 

Advice: When I look at the manufacturer's charts, they all seem to stop at 190 lb for what seems to me to be a very long ski. I realize that is just a generalization, but rather than make a big mistake I'll regret with my wallet, I'd like to read some of your opinions.

 

Thanks.

 

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Demo some skis. If you live in Utah there should be some demo days at some of the resorts coming up soon. I know being here in Colorado there has already been one and not all of the resorts are open.

 

I prefer a shorter ski myself. But my backcountry skis are actually a little longer than my downhill skis just because I like that extra float on the approach but it's not so much I have problems turning them on the way down.

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True. BD is less than an hour away and I could rent gear and try it out.

 

Just kindof wondering about some of this. If they max out at 190 lb. I will always be way above that, so I wonder what that means.

 

Will I not float? not be able to turn? or what?

 

Will it be worse wearing a pack?

 

I'd really rather not just randomly try stuff if it will never work out.

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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.

Edited by Randonnee

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What do you mean by manufacturers charts? Ski or binding?

 

I'm about your size, maybe just a fuzz lighter at 190-200. After 35 years on 215's I made a switch a few years back to 190cm K2 Shuksans. Love em in all conditions including with heavy pack loads; never going back. I'm using pretty oink-y boots with them(Denalis). They're plenty of boot for the downhill part especially with those dinky little skis - a bit high and stiff for climbing up. Next boots I'll be looking hard at something a bit less monstrous.

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Wow, 215.

 

I meant the ski charts.

 

Example:

 

Skier Weight Range

159cm: <115 lb. (>52kg)

183cm: 155-195lbs. (70-88kg)

 

Which puts me way off (till next year anyway).

 

My point was really just this:

 

I realize the charts are only generalizations.

 

What is the end result of going beyond the chart?

 

What would it be like using a 174 at my weight and height?

 

What about 183? or like in your case, 190?

 

Or gosh sakes, even going with a really fat 160?

 

I feel like I ski like crap on 184 and settled on 174 for resort skis.

 

And yes, it never occurred to me to rent a few dozen times to find out.

 

So thanks all.

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The pack will only throw off your balance and restrict your movements. Stick with what feels comfortable for you. Get some beaters used, spend very little on them and use that as your benchmark for a season of bc. That's what I did and I am glad (and less poor) I chose that path.

 

Plus I think I became a better skier (which isn't saying much) turning on beaters as well.

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I think I would ignore those charts & like was said elswhere here get some cheap used stuff & use that as your baseline for the next pair.

 

I think the only real downside I have found to the stubby skis is breaking trail where I have to work harder to horse the tips up out of the local cottage cheese to move ahead. This seems like more of a project than it was with my 215's which stayed more on top.

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