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KaskadskyjKozak

AT Setup Advice

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Allright you hardcore BC ski enthusiasts. I'm gonna do my part to help stimulate the economy here soon with a randonee setup, and am wondering which way to go on bindings and boots.

 

Specifically, I can go lightweight with Dynafit bindings and boots, and cough up the cash. Or I could go heavier and try to find bindings that are compatible with my mountaineering boots (if possible - Scarps Freneys or Triolets). My question is what is the tradeoff in terms of the types of trips I may be limited to? What all do you folks have/prefer? How would Randonee boots limit the climbs I can do this winter and spring? Say for example I want to ski in to colchuck lake and climb the NBC on Colchuck or the NE Face Couloir on D-tail. Randonee boots OK? Or would you want climbing boots?

 

 

 

 

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I'm very happy with my Dynafit setup and I think the boots work great for moderate snow climbs. The skiing performance will far exceed what you will get out of a ski/mountaineering boot combo as well. Also, if you get a good fit, the boots can be surprisingly comfortable to walk in. For example, Bug and I did the Colchuck NBC in March of 2008, and due to the hardpacked nature of the trail, I hiked the entire approach (6 miles) in my 3-buckle Garmont Rando boots as well as completed the climb to the notch with no blisters. I also survival skied my way out, with a moderately heavy pack...something I wouldn't have attempted on a noodly moutaineering boot setup. That said I did not feel great about the forth-class rime/snow coated rock to finish nor would I want to do the rock section of the NE Couloir on D-tail in any rando boot but that's just me. Most would prefer some ankle flex for mixed climbing I think.

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Actually, I've climbed in plastics for years, and am now switching to Randonee myself. The Rando boots are designed for flexibility in the heel. They have a switch you can flip to allow for easier leg bending etc., and they're literally pounds lighter. I just purchased Dynafit bindings and boots, and am really happy with them.

 

I'm small and slower, but have good endurance. Weight means a lot to me, so I've made a point of going as light as possible. It not only allows me to move faster, but makes the trip more enjoyable in the long run.

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Do you want to really ski, or just approach climbs?

 

Skiing in mountaineering boots is extremely hard and probably not at all fun.

 

Climbing moderate snow and ice in randonnee boots is not too bad.

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Do you want to really ski, or just approach climbs?

 

Skiing in mountaineering boots is extremely hard and probably not at all fun.

 

Climbing moderate snow and ice in randonnee boots is not too bad.

 

I want it all!

 

So I guess it is priorities. I just want to know the limitations and tradeoffs before I drop a grand.

 

Keep 'em coming!

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Dynfit has now come out with a DIN rated binding. You can get some bomber boots to fit that system. I have the Fritchi (SP) Explores and have mixed feelings about them. I think they are a little mushy for the skiing I do. I have the Garmont Radiums and love them. I could easily climb most routes on Hood with them. The one thing I ran into was my crampons dont fit the ski boot because of its walk-mode switch, so i have to buy another pair of crampons.

Think about what counterfit asked... Do you want to ski or climb? When I ski, I have a pair of rondo boots. When I climb, I climb in my Nepals, and probably approach on slow-shoes.

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Another option would be to go for a true AT set-up, and then get a pair of beat-up skis for times you want to approach in your climbing boots. Skiing in climbing boots ain't going to be that grand anyway, no need for a high-end ski...

 

 

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Dynfit has now come out with a DIN rated binding. You can get some bomber boots to fit that system. I have the Fritchi (SP) Explores and have mixed feelings about them. I think they are a little mushy for the skiing I do. I have the Garmont Radiums and love them. I could easily climb most routes on Hood with them. The one thing I ran into was my crampons dont fit the ski boot because of its walk-mode switch, so i have to buy another pair of crampons.

Think about what counterfit asked... Do you want to ski or climb? When I ski, I have a pair of rondo boots. When I climb, I climb in my Nepals, and probably approach on slow-shoes.

 

I tried on the Radiums and they fit well (size 28). I may buy them. Thanks for the rec on them!

 

What crampons did you end up needing to fit them?

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I have a pair of Leverlock Sarkens, and the leverlock thingy hits the walk mode on my boots. I think the Flexlock (or whatever that rubber cage thing is called) should work on 'em.

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When I decided to get into randonee, I went old school and found a pair of better Kua skis with some Silvretta 404 bindings. The idea was to ski in mtneering boots and then climb with them. It was cheap and I felt i would have no remorse if I completely destroyed the skis or bindings.

 

I suffered through that for a year before upgrading to Shuksans mounted with Pure Freestyles and bought a pair of Scarpa Tornados. I went with the Tornados because I was able to justify to my significant other at the time, I can ski in alpine bindings with them to, hence a dual purpose.

 

I love the skis and find the boots to be so-so. I have climbed (and downclimbed) 4th-class rock in them and never did I feel comfortable in it. But I survived.

 

My advice is if you're looking only at moderate snow or ice, lean towards the ski side. It will be more fun -- and more likely safer for your ACLs. If you then want to climb hard, then either carry in your climbing boots, which I know a lot of people who do, or go on snowshoes.

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Love my current set-up and would like to recomed it. Garmont Mega-rides (will get radiums when i can) Dynafit comfort (would like the FT12)and 4frnt VCT 129-98-109. (will replace with the same model) I have been so pumped with my garmonts. They climb and ski great. I have skied dynafits for 4 seasons and would never ski (well buy) any other AT binding. They do take some getting used to, but all AT bindings do. They do have some limitations: They do not like big park jumps, knuckling on the half pipe, or drops over 30ft unless the landing is PERFECT. 4Frnt VCTs are the best ski I have ever been on. So much fun. soft tip= great powder/mt hood powder ski. Stiff tail= good groomer/ heavy pack/ tired leg ski. You can carve like on rails and blast into the crud and land in deep powder, backwards if you are into that kind of thing.

 

Bottom line.... Garmonts & Dynafits, You will be happy

 

We must not shop at the same place if you are going to only spend a grand. They are all damn proud of what they make$$$$

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There is a third vote for the Garmonts! They are a rockin' boot. And same with the VCT. I just mentioned that in another thread, it is a sick ski. I love my Line Prophet 100s; if I ever get a different ski (other than powder sticks) it will be a pair of the 4FRNTs.

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I used to have the Garmont Adrenaline. I didn't spend to much time in them though--just a couple Tuckerman outings. I sold them to my buddy for a lark--too soft for my liking. Do any of you guys say to hell with weight savings and just rock alpine boots? My set up is hell on the hip flexers, but going down is the cats ass.

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I took my bindins off a pair of EP pro models (mothership platform) and mounted them to my VCTs. It was a smart move. Line does make some great boards. I was bummed when Line sold to K2 who builds their skies in Mexico. 4frnts are made with love in the USA by some great people where it snows.

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Mexico? What's with all the little "made in China" stickers on the tails?

The problem I've found with lil' homegrown USA made skis is that they almost never come from the wrapper flat. Ever take a true bar to a pair of Icelantics? Skis should be made in Europe.

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If you're a good skier, or an OLD skier, you'll ski fine in mountaineering boots. I learned to ski before plastic ski-boots existed (early '60s), and ski just fine in single mountain boots, and in plastic double boots, a casual observer wouldn't notice that I'm not in ski-boots. On the Hog Loppet, from Mission Ridge to Blewett Pass, I enjoy bending younger skiers' minds by telemarking the downhill portions on skating gear. For mountaineering boots, I get my best results with Silvretta's a-t bindings. I've also used Fritschi with a-t boots. The routes you mention in your post would be fine with a-t boots, as will waterfall routes to about wi-4. My sons learned their ice-climbing skills in a-t boots, because I am too poor to provide them with separate boots for skiing and ice-climbing at an age where they will be lucky to fit for a single season. I've skied off Denali from the 14k basin camp twice (1981 & 1982)in mountaineering boots & the old "bear-trap" style bindings, both times trailing a freight sled. For me, the question would be: "Is my priority on skiing performance, or climbing performance?" I've even used a-t boots for easy rock-climbing on avalanche control missions in my years as a professional ski-patroller, and in my high-school & college years done winter climbs in the Tetons in mid-weight 3-pin nordic boots. If you're just gettin' into it, my advice would be don't pay retail, because you'll end up tailoring whatever system you start with to fit your individual style and preferences. Or, if the opportunity is available, rent or borrow different rigs until you get a sense of what you like best...

 

Now, in my old age, I have an old pair of "classic" width alpine skis mounted with silvrettas that I steer with mountaineering boots on trips where climbing performance is the priority, and a pair of "fat" alpine skis mounted with Fritschis that I steer with a-t boots on trips where skiing performance is the priority. As functional a-t gear has become more readily available in the U.S. I no longer use nordic equipment for mountaineering...

Edited by montypiton

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If youre still lookin for an AT setup...check out the Scarpa Denali TT boots for sale in the Yardsale section of Turns ALl Year. $125...great deal...if you're a mondo size 27 that is....

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I haven't done all that much climbing in my AT boots, and mostly skied in bounds. But I dragged my Scarpa Denali's up the North Face of Chair and had no problems with walking performance, or climbing performance. I was just using a standard set of Grivel G-12's with a lever lock heel. They're rigid, waterproof, not to heavy, plenty warm, and perform well enough that anything I want to ski they'll handle.

 

Good luck!

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