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Matt Kidd

Approach skis for carry over routes

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After this season the plan was to get some really short skis to put some old Silverettas on for carryovers with my Spantiks. My climbing partner had tried this, however, and said they were much more difficult to ski with mountain boots than a longer ski, not even while skiing in deep stuff. He changed back.

 

Is this your experience? Other thoughts or suggestions? Post holing back from routes and carrying boots to the base this year has motivated me to try something new.

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Hey Matt. Been skiing a bit since I got home. Crystal is suppose to be open through July. We'll see.

 

I just bought a pair of Dynafit skis in 160cms. And hopefully will have a couple of pair of short demos to try out with Dynafit bindings. Will S. was sking 160s with his 6000s to good effect with touring bindings.

 

I think part of taking advantage of mtn boots is make sure you get a narrow waisted mountaineering ski without huge side cut.

 

I have a couple pair of the TLT5 boots here right now. Not sure they are going to be the answer for me on technical climbing. Awesome ski boot though..the lwt ones are the same as a pair Nepals Evos or a bit less than a Baturas.

 

Be interested to see what you come up with.

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I think part of taking advantage of mtn boots is make sure you get a narrow waisted mountaineering ski without huge side cut.

 

I think Dane is spot on (as usual). For my approach set up I went from Silveretta 400s mounted on an old skewl pair of 180s to a light pair of 167cm skis with a narrow waist and big side cut. The difference was pretty amazing. I could actually carve fairly graceful turns in my Scarpa Invernos.

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I think part of taking advantage of mtn boots is make sure you get a narrow waisted mountaineering ski without huge side cut.

 

 

not a skier by any means anymore so I got a question. By my definition of side cut (which may be wrong) how can you have a narrow waist without significant side cut? I thought side cut was the change in width from tips to were the boot sits on the ski. (which were the waist would be to?)

 

would this just be a skinny ski front to back?

Edited by genepires

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would this just be a skinny ski front to back?

 

Yes, and it would track better, but takes more effort to get it carving - meaning you have to up/down weight or make some other effort to apply more pressure to the edges to initiate carving. You can't just lay the ski on edge and expect it to carve by itself, as a ski with more sidecut will tend to do.

And of course you can still turn them w/o carving.

Edited by pcg

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This got rather long. Truth is if you can really ski, boots and skis don't matter all that much. Kinda like ice climbing, most any tool or 'pon will do if you will. So I am alwasy looking for an edge to make me "better".

 

Some of the "new" skis have a fairly large tip and tail and a narrow waist or even a wide waist. New style stuff is generally considers a "shaped" ski. Old technology mountaineering skis aren't as "shaped" and have less side cut.

 

Soft boots don't turn wide skis (wide under the foot) well because they are harder to get on the edge. Narrow under the foot takes less leverage, which a soft mtn boot is more capable of. Boot sole might well be wider than the ski.

 

Most mountaineering specific skis will run 80cm or less under foot. Shaped or fat skis will go 100cm plus under foot and literally as fat as water skis at tip and tail.

 

The trick is mating what you want to use for boots to a ski the boot is capable of turning and what you want the ski to be able to do.

 

For me a Spantik is not the best boot to turn a 130/90/117 mm (176 cm) 6# 10oz.

 

On the other hand my Spantik will easily turn a 88-67-76 168cm. 5# 4oz

 

These even easier. 113-78-100 163 cm 5# 4oz

 

Part of it is the length, part is the ski flex and part is the side cut of the ski.

 

Put on real ski boots and you (or someone) can turn anything with a binding on it.

 

From Colin's post here:

Skis

The usefulness of approach skis depends on the range you are climbing in, the nature of the terrain where you will be, and the season you will be there. On many expeditions skis would be useless, but on many others it would be completely impossible to travel without them. Snowshoes are typically much slower and less efficient than skis, but do have the advantage of being lighter. For this reason, the one situation when snowshoes are a good choice is if you expect to have to carry them on your backpack for a long ways before using them on your feet. Telemark bindings have no useful application in alpine climbing, and the randonee bindings that you choose should work well with mountaineering boots (which usually means a wire bail front).

 

A good ski setup for alpine climbing is very different from a good ski setup for backcountry skiing. The skis should be lightweight and short, with a length from 130-160cm. Skis this short are much easier to turn when wearing mountaineering boots. Some skis are specifically designed as approach skis and come in these shorter lengths, but you can otherwise just buy an old pair of kids skis at a ski swap. Also, it is best to use skis with a waist that is relatively narrow by modern standards – mountaineering boots do not provide much lateral support compared to ski boots, so it is hard to put wide skis on edge.

 

A trick that is very useful for skiing in mountaineering boots is to use ‘knee-cords,’ a cord that runs from the tip of your skis to a strap right below your knee. By tensioning such a cord you essentially mimic the effect of a high-backed ski boot and will stay in control much more easily in variable snow and with a heavy backpack. Drill a hole through the tip of your skis, and connect the knee-cord to the tip using 5-6mm perlon with a stopper knot on the underside of the hole in the tip. The tension on the knee-cords should be easily adjustable while you are wearing them, as should the tension in the strap around your knee."

 

Colin's done as much on skis in the conditions I ma thinking about lately as anyone i know. Check out April for the last few years.

 

http://colinhaley.blogspot.com/

 

P1010316.JPG

Colin's short, narrow and skinny set up with Spantiks. Spantik is one of the most stiff dbl boots available and makes a decent old school ski boot. Intuition liners make them even stiffer.

 

This might well be s better plan...but not convinced yet.

web.jpg

 

 

 

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