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canadug

Buying AT skis?

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I want to pick up some AT skis. I am about 5'10 and 140lbs. Been downhill skiing for about 15+ years. What would be a good length?

IS the K2 Mt. Baker Randonnee Ski a good one and can anyone recommend a good ski?

 

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I'm 5'8", 150# and ride Volkl Gotama 168's with dynafits and megarides. I'm loving the short fat ski (105mm waist). They provide lots of float in deep snow, great skinning grip and the short length makes for super easy kick turns. I've used them in various conditions now and love them. My skinny ski friends love following the wide skin track I leave behind. :)

 

The compromise is that they're a little on the heavy side. I decided that a little higher performance on the downhill is worth the weight penalty. I personally would go for something a little wider than the Bakers or Shuksans. Something like the BD Verdict. The length sounds about right though. It really depends on what you want to use them for.

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I would first suggest you read Sky Sjue’s very informative article he wrote: http://www.cascadeclimbers.com/ski-board/ski-intro

 

Second, I would love to tell you exactly what you should get but touring is a compromise between weight and performance. I have a few different binding/boot/ski combinations I use. But, if I could only have one, I would go with an all mountain alpine ski (Dynastar 8800), Dyanfit bindings, and Megaride boots.

 

I would also consider going a size shorter than you think you need for the skis.. I am a little taller and weigh a couple of pounds less than you and ski between a 167 and 171 depending on brand.

 

I hope this helps.

 

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Thanks. I have read Sky Sjue's article. I picked up soem 174 skis and Fritsche free ride bindings...just the most expensive item left to get.

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I'm 5'-10" and 160 lbs... curious how my 177cm Atomic Kongurs will perform this winter??? Hopefully they won't be too long.

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Too long? That's up to you. I'm 6' and I've skied on 190 AT skis for years. My really cool downhill skis are 207s.

 

I know ski lengths are shrinking these days, but you should be fine.

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Too long? That's up to you. I'm 6' and I've skied on 190 AT skis for years. My really cool downhill skis are 207s.

 

I know ski lengths are shrinking these days, but you should be fine.

 

I got sucked into a long stretch of too deep/too flat terrain last week on my new/modern/wide/blunt tipped/fairly short skis and while I was busting my ass horsing those things up out of the thigh deep drifts I found myself really missing my pointy tipped 215's which I think would have enabled a much better coasting/slogging ratio.

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jport, I have the exact same skis and I am 5'8" 155 lbs and love them. I was skiing 181s for alpine and going down a step was an easy mnve. Those skis are awesome and float really well. No problem on steep terrain with kick turns and cut through the pow no problem out in the Wallowas last season. An all around awesome ski....

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I've heard wonderful things about the Wallowa backcountry in winter. I'm heading out the Wallowas in a few weeks... psyched to find out what it's really like!

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I've had some great days in the Wallowa at Aneroid Lake. That was back a while ago, but it was tons of fun.

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I want to pick up some AT skis. I am about 5'10 and 140lbs. Been downhill skiing for about 15+ years. What would be a good length?

IS the K2 Mt. Baker Randonnee Ski a good one and can anyone recommend a good ski?

 

I'm 5'9" and about 165lbs - well, I was last summer anyhow. My "old" setup is 180cm "Fischer Tour Extremes" - which are basically a straight ski about 70mm at the waist. Mounted with Silvretta 404's. For my new setup, I went down to a 167cm K2 Shuksan - 2007 model. They're soft enough (and I'm heavy enough) that they still carve well despite the shorter length. Refusing to join the cult of Fritschi, had them mounted with Silvretta Pure Freerides and I absolutely love them. Plenty of torsional rigidity. Got the Shuksan's new on ebay for $180, and the Silvrettas new on ebay for $220 with brakes. Not bad. FWIW; I ski the pre 2006 model Garmont Adrenalins. (I DO use them for alpine too) I hear they softened them up after that year, so I would go with the stiffer Endorphin for 2008. As far as your question goes, I've heard that the Mt Baker is rather unresponsive. The Shuksan was once the industry standard and even now balances weight and performance - but the jury is still out for me I guess. I've heard good things about the G3 Baron and the BD Kilowatt too. Also, don't rule out a soft/light pair of alpine skis. The old Volkl G2's were supposed to be a good A/T ski, and I've seen a few skiers out on Solomon Pocket Rockets. (?WTF?)

 

My 2 cent.

 

Here's a question for Feck: Is flotation purely a function a total ski surface area? ie: shorter/fatter floats as well as

longer/skinny surface contact area being equal? I call upon your experience and math/physics knowledge to settle this ongoing argument I'm having with my brother.

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Here's a question for Feck: Is flotation purely a function a total ski surface area? ie: shorter/fatter floats as well as

longer/skinny surface contact area being equal? I call upon your experience and math/physics knowledge to settle this ongoing argument I'm having with my brother.

 

Yes. Longer skis = more stable at speed. There's been at least a half dozen cycles of short & fat vs. longer & skinnier or just longer in the past century of skis.

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Here's a question for Feck: Is flotation purely a function a total ski surface area? ie: shorter/fatter floats as well as

longer/skinny surface contact area being equal? I call upon your experience and math/physics knowledge to settle this ongoing argument I'm having with my brother.

 

Hmmm. You've got me thinking.

 

I'd say that a longer skinnier ski is going to have a roughly equivalent surface area with a shorter fat one. After that there is no difference in flotation. Just look at all the boats on the market. You can buy long skinny boats that will carry just as much weight as a short fat one.

 

The big difference between a short fat ski and a long skinny one is probably in the selection of material as it relates to the springiness of the ski.

 

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I'll just say the powder I was riding in yesterday, it wouldn't have mattered the width/length of ski, unless it had hydrocraft abilities. I do know after riding both my alpine and backcountry setups a few times each this year (8 days out four on both resort & backcountry) my Shuksans handle the offpiste much better. And each pair of skis have similar dimensions.

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Here's a question for Feck: Is flotation purely a function a total ski surface area? ie: shorter/fatter floats as well as

longer/skinny surface contact area being equal? I call upon your experience and math/physics knowledge to settle this ongoing argument I'm having with my brother.

Interesting question, I've been thinking about this. A short wide ski will have more flotation (or lift) than a long skinny ski that has the same surface area.

 

For you aerodynamic buffs, think of a ski as an airfoil (or wing) with very low aspect ratio. A wide short ski has a higher aspect ratio than a long thin one, and should therefore be more effective at generating lift. One effect is that lifting pressure will be shed along the edge of the ski. If you have equivalent area, but less edge length, less lift is shed due to this effect. Another effect has to do with stagnation pressure and the way pressure is distributed along the length of the ski. There is a pressure peak at some point along the length of the ski (depends what angle the ski is at etc.). The wider the ski, the greater contribution this pressure peak has on the total lift generated.

 

A sort of good comparison a lot of people may be able to relate to is wake boards vs. water ski (which operate in water; more dense than snow, so the effects are exaggerated) If you've tried to get up on one ski, you know it's pretty difficult, but that once you're up you can go like hell. Whereas on a wakeboard you pop right up. I know, I know, the wakeboard probably has more area.. anyhow, I'm trying to help.

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Here's a question for Feck: Is flotation purely a function a total ski surface area? ie: shorter/fatter floats as well as

longer/skinny surface contact area being equal? I call upon your experience and math/physics knowledge to settle this ongoing argument I'm having with my brother.

 

I had this discussion eons ago with an engineer/skier named Chuck Loughney. His take on the subject, conversationally anyhow, was that no, there's more to it than ski surface area. He raised the idea of what he called pitching moment and cited that in the extreme you could have a ski 7 feet wide and 4 inches long which would be pretty worthless.

 

My own experience is that (I think anyhow) in bottomless stuff on short fat skis I have to pay closer attention to my fore/aft weighting than I used to on on skinny ones. This would sort of bear out Chuck's hypothesis but it could easily be just my imagination.

 

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I'm looking to get a pair of AT skis fit with Silvretta 500's. Right now I'm looking at some 153cm Atomics (a few years old) that are also relatively thin (I'm not sure the dimensions). My main use will be for approaching climbs (hence the 500's) and I've heard some people recommend short skis for this setup because of the weight. Another concern for me would be trying to control longer skis with such soft boots.

 

What worries me about the skis I'm looking at is that they might be too short for good flotation (I'm 6' 165 lbs.). Any advice? I'd prefer a short ski but I don't want to wallow through powder. Would I be better off with a longer ski? Does anybody use really short skis with their climbing boots?

 

Thanks for any help.

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The short/fat vs. long/skinny float is a pretty complex question physically. Water and air analogies don't work well because snow isn't a fluid. It compresses and doesn't return to the previous equilibrium. It's also a dynamics problem in that you get more float the faster you go. The snow has some momentum that is imparted to the ski and provides a velocity dependent lift.

 

The consensus in the ski community seems to be that the area underfoot is most important in giving float and that a softer ski is usually more forgiving in lighter snow. OTO wide skis take more torque to transfer from edge to edge and the for-aft stability is less.

 

If you want the extreme example of a pure powder ski look at the Spatula/Pontoons/Praxis reverse-sidecut reverse-camber skis. They're like little surf boards on each foot. They're supposed to be amazing in bottomless powder.

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Water and air analogies don't work well because snow isn't a fluid.

Halifax, I've gotta disagree with your statement, and I think you might too (hence the surfboard reference). Snow is not air or liquid water. But water is not air either (air being compressible, water not so much), and yet somehow the physics of a rudder, keel, or propeller blade in water are very similar to the physics of a rudder, wing, or propeller blade in the air. I am not saying there's no difference.

 

Is it just coincidence that the community agrees that the area underfoot is what counts?

 

Area underfoot = Boot length x Ski width.

 

My boot length is the same no matter what ski I'm on, so the agreement is really that the width of the ski is most important. Same conclusion the basic physical models based on fluid (or aero) dynamics would come to.

 

We all get the same fun results no matter how (or whether) we think about it.. yeeha!

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Is it just coincidence that the community agrees that the area underfoot is what counts?

 

Area underfoot = Boot length x Ski width.

 

Ummm, no.

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I'm looking to get a pair of AT skis fit with Silvretta 500's... My main use will be for approaching climbs... ... Another concern for me would be trying to control longer skis with such soft boots....Does anybody use really short skis with their climbing boots?

Approach skis are essentially replacing snowshoes so that you can glide back down from the base of the climb that you skinned up to. You shouldn't expect to do any real skiing on an approach setup using climbing boots (it's tough to do much more than snowplow). My approach skis are an old pair of relatively skinny 160ish Atomic Tourcaps. For comparison, I'm 6', 165lb and my regular tele skis are 173 & 181.

 

Lots of folks use their regular AT setup for approaches and just climb in their ski boots. You compromise a bit on the climbing side, but the skiing will be much more manageable and you only need to have one set of ski gear. If you're just slogging up logging roads, climbing boots and any short ski will do the trick.

 

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