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tvashtarkatena

Best AT skis

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Skied the new Manaslus in the Baker backcountry this weekend. What a great ski. Feather light, nice and short, yet they ski the pow like a dream. Best 3 ski days ever.

 

With most of my tely quiver sold off, my gear room just got quite a bit smaller, too.

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nice and short, yet they ski the pow like a dream.

Three questinos:

1) How long are the skis

2) How much do you weigh?

3) Can you carve turns (initiate by edging only) in powder or does the rocker force you to crank?

Thanks in advance...

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nice and short, yet they ski the pow like a dream.

Three questinos:

1) How long are the skis

2) How much do you weigh?

3) Can you carve turns (initiate by edging only) in powder or does the rocker force you to crank?

Thanks in advance...

 

169 cm

185 lbs full commando

Skied em with a 3 day overnight winter pack - zero cranking, as effortless as you could want. Perfect crunch and launch goodness. They pretty much ski for you.

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THere was a pair of 169s at Redmond REI for $350 recently. If you want a super light backcountry setup that's a little shorter for the trees n crud...

 

Note: the 169s are slightly narrower (92 underfoot) than longer Manaslus (95 underfoot)

Edited by tvashtarkatena

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I really like the Dynafit Baltoro better than the Manaslu but everyone has different tastes and ski styles. A number of us here at Marmot found the Baltoro to be a bit stiffer, and a bit damper than the Manaslu. I am 5-11/190# and skiied on the 176 Baltoro.

 

I really like the La Sportiva Hi-5 for powder days too! It was my top pic last year for a fat ski.

 

Don't forget you can demo some of these models and apply the cost to purchase.

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Just curious if anyone has tried the new LaSportiva AT set-up? Looks pretty sweet but a grand for a pair of boots and $750 for bindings? Yowza! :shock:

 

LaSportiva AT Gear Linky

 

 

LaSportiva AT Gear linky dos

 

 

I got to demo a pair of LS Hang 5s from LMS at Vertfest the other weekend. Fun ski in those conditions, but generally too wide for my tastes (they were 117 under foot). They were fun in the steep and deep, but everywhere else I'd prefer something narrower and more manageable. I guess I just don't get the superfat ski craze (>100mm waist) that's going on, at least for here in the Cascades.

The demo skis also had the LS binders on them too and they seemed burly enough to drive those planks through what I was putting them through. Amazing, but not worth the extra $$$ over the other tech binding options in my opinion.

 

 

Glad you like the 'slus Tvash. 92 underfoot seems to be in a nice sweetspot between just wide enough to provide float and just narrow enough to be manageable ihmo. Have fun out there!

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Coming from Atomic Kongurs (not a bad ski mind you) and Scarpa T2 telys it was like slipping into a sparkling, Carlos Castanedian world of smooth without pain, where baby unicorns frolic among giggling snow children under the gentle plumes of fragrant Volcanoes.

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...was like slipping into a sparkling, Carlos Castanedian world of smooth without pain, where baby unicorns frolic among giggling snow children under the gentle plumes of fragrant Volcanoes.

Best review yet! Can I float across canyons from cornice to cornice?

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I got to demo a pair of LS Hang 5s from LMS at Vertfest the other weekend. Fun ski in those conditions, but generally too wide for my tastes (they were 117 under foot). They were fun in the steep and deep, but everywhere else I'd prefer something narrower and more manageable. I guess I just don't get the superfat ski craze (>100mm waist) that's going on, at least for here in the Cascades.

 

I completely agree with you on this. I don't understand why anybody would want the extra weight of some of these ridiculously wide skis unless they are having lots of trouble skiing powder on a more reasonably sized ski. The only conclusion I can come to is the sheep mentality and people buying in to marketing trends. I demoed a pair of Icelantic skis a year or two ago (at the recommendation of the demo guy..."they fucking rock bro") I should have taken his use of "bro" as a warning sign, as that was the most incredibly boring ski I ever had the displeasure of standing on. I think the mid-90s waist skis like the Manaslu are probably the sweet spot for a quiver-of-one ski, though I'd maybe go with something just over 100 (like the Stoke) for Powder days if I can find a pair on sale. TVash was styling the 'slus this past weekend in the deepest snow you'll ever ski in the Cascades. They are some badass planks.

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I tried out a pair of the la sportiva spitfire boots and the HI5's with la sportiva's tech binding at vert fest. I think I will stick with my dynafits but other than that the boots were pretty amazing, super light, fairly stiff (flex factor of 120) and the best walk mode I've seen in a boot thus far. The HI5's were also pretty easy to ski in both the powder and on the groomers. They seem like a good all around touring ski.

Edited by cdmike112

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I tried out a pair of the la sportiva spitfire boots and the HI5's with la sportiva's tech binding at vert fest. I think I will stick with my dynafits but other than that the boots were pretty amazing, super light, fairly stiff (flex factor of 120) and the best walk mode I've seen in a boot thus far. The HI5's were also pretty easy to ski in both the powder and on the groomers. They seem like a good all around touring ski.
Do you think the Spitfire boot could double as a mt climbing boot in walk mode? Crampon compatible? Is it intended to be just a ski boot or more of a crossover boot? Seems the holy grail would be one boot for skiing & climbing but I've yet to see anything that is good at both.

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That was my impression after trying them out. They are crampon compatible and supposedly designed to be climbed in. They felt pretty nimble. The BSL for a size 27.5 was 297 compared to my current BD boots which has a BSL of 310. They felt more like a mountaineering boot than a ski boot while in walk mode.

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That was my impression after trying them out. They are crampon compatible and supposedly designed to be climbed in. They felt pretty nimble. The BSL for a size 27.5 was 297 compared to my current BD boots which has a BSL of 310. They felt more like a mountaineering boot than a ski boot while in walk mode.
Thanks!

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I got to demo a pair of LS Hang 5s from LMS at Vertfest the other weekend. Fun ski in those conditions, but generally too wide for my tastes (they were 117 under foot). They were fun in the steep and deep, but everywhere else I'd prefer something narrower and more manageable. I guess I just don't get the superfat ski craze (>100mm waist) that's going on, at least for here in the Cascades.

 

 

I tour mainly on a pair of Lotus 138's that are widest under foot, tapered into the tips/tails. At 8 lbs per pair I give up 1 lb per foot compared to a dedicated touring ski. The rather absurd amount of rocker they have makes skiing soft snow stupid fun/easy, and breaking trail rather enjoyable because the tips stay on top of the snow with lifting the leg. Of course by compensating on the Boot/Binding setup my overall weight per foot is still under 7lbs/foot which I consider to be very very reasonable.

 

With that said I am looking to get a "skinny" ski for spring time touring, something in the 95-100mm waist. :P

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The fat ski hating is getting me down. I don't think that I would be as into skiing as I am now if I started 10 years ago because I really think that fat skis are just so much more fun. I've basically learned to ski on Shamans (110 mm underfoot, I laughed with joy after my first few turns, and have used them in all possible conditions since with good results.) This week I borrowed some BD Gigawatts which are 135 underfoot and reverse camber, and my mind was blown. Not great all conditions skis obviously, but in real pow they make you feel like a god. Honestly I feel sorry for anyone skiing powder with anything under 95 or 100mm or so. I just can't help but think that your missing out. That said, I work hard to avoid tracked snow when possible, which makes a difference.

 

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No hate, but I felt like Dog on 92s this weekend in the bottomless, so no pity, either!

 

My gear weighs 7 lbs per foot, but that includes everything: boots, skis, binding, and skins.

 

Thank you, Modern World.

 

 

 

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I'm not hating on fat skis, just saying I don't understand them for use here in the Cascades. I spent 15 years skiing in Pennsylvania (a.k.a. downhill ice skating) before moving out here so my background is definitely different. A pair of skis I'd take out only maybe 3-4 times a season seems a little much for me. I spend a fair amount of time teaching at Stevens and am always surprised at the amount of superfat skis I see people using when we haven't seen more than a few inches of new snow, or none at all. Does excessive amounts of rocker or early rise really help them that much on hardpack? Getting that much ski up on edge seems a chore. Guess there's just some sort learning curve?

 

I spent all weekend on a pair of K2 Sideshows I just picked up and had a blast. Floaty enough in the morning, but when things got tracked out, they blasted through the mank and absolutely RAILED on the pack, almost as snappy as my GS skis. I didn't float as much as those guys with pontoons, but I sure got more faceshots ;). These are going to be awesome in the BC.

 

I do want to try some Shamans as I've heard a lot of good things about that ski and the shape intrigues me. Line's Influence (105 or 115) is also an awesome ski that's new this year. Not really a touring option as they're kind of heavy, but a fun fatty for sidecountry or short tours that can rail the cord.

 

To each their own though, the only thing that matters is that we're all having fun making lines in the snow!

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I can see both sides. It's true you see a ridiculous number of huge fatties on days when they seem to make no sense. I can only assume that this is because the owners have a one-ski quiver and bought for the powder days they rarely see.

 

I remember when fatties first showed up in the 70s. Until then everyone skiied powder fine on relatively skinny skis with little sidecut. The key was locking them together and mentally skiing like you were on one monoski if you will. Stein Eriksen - "ski like an eagle" was the mantra.

 

Ski technology is constantly improving to make skiing more conditions easier. Why not take advantage of that?

 

Re. the Shamans. They are fabulous in deep powder, but where they really excel, and why I bought them, is in deep heavy snow. For me, they are the ultimate cheater ski for skiing trees on those days when the snow is heavy - the kind of stuff that I consider somewhat dangerous to ski because you have to ski in a very deliberate manner to avoid catching an edge and you get tired fast - at least I do (did) because I am (was) in the back seat a lot in those conditions. In these conditions the Shamans are a game changer for me because I can get up on the tips and they won't dive. Also, the sidecut is so radical you can steer them by just edging, allowing high C turns in deep steep snow. In powder they are the most fun I've ever had. Surprisingly, they hook up and carve on hard pack as well. The only down side is that I am constantly banging the fat tips together as I still tend to ski powder with my skis locked together. Lots of clunking sounds when I am on those skis!

 

In general, for light powder not deeper than 1 foot, I ski on 171 Head Monster 78s (78 mm underfoot). They are fairly soft and still carve well on hardpack. I have another shorter pair mounted with FT12s for summer volcano skiing and they are superb for that, but also work fine in powder as well.

 

I think it boils down to how many skis you can afford to own (I buy used in the summer) and your ski technique. If you can only afford to own one pair, then fatties might make sense if you expect to be skiing powder because for most people, skiing powder is more challenging that skiing groomers (ice aside). When I see people sking powder nowadays most of them are skiing with skis well apart and the only way you can easily do that is with fatties. I guess most would rather have their only ski be a fattie as they prefer a fattie on groomers to a skinny ski in the powder.

 

Fatties are cheaters. That's why I like them. They make skiing powder so much easier. If you can afford to own more than one ski why not take advantage of that. I have some old school ski buddies who refuse to ski on cheaters. IMO, their pride is preventing them from having a lot more fun.

 

 

 

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After selling both kidneys to get this setup, I'm a quiver of one kind of guy.

Next step... Quiverkillers to help you amortize those expensive bindings!

 

I'm really eager to try the Manaslus as the lightness is very appealing. I was surprised when I first mounted some Dynafits on alpine skis, how much more nimble and quick I felt. So, in addition to the obvious advantage that lighter skis and bindings hold for skinning uphill and on the flat, for a slightly-built guy like me, getting weight off my feet really helps my skiing ability.

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Fatties are cheaters. That's why I like them. They make skiing powder so much easier. If you can afford to own more than one ski why not take advantage of that. I have some old school ski buddies who refuse to ski on cheaters. IMO, their pride is preventing them from having a lot more fun.

 

Who knows, maybe it's the pride issue and not wanting to be on cheaters that is biasing me. Pride is generally useless though, so perhaps I should swallow it and drink the kool-aid? :):brew: I guess most people wouldn't consider the Stokes (104mm underfoot I think?) a fattie these days, but I sure would like to try out some of those. They are really light for how big they are.

 

As for the Shamans, maybe I need to give a newer pair a shot next time I get a chance. I sure wasn't impressed, but they seem to have quite a following. As somebody else mentioned, skis are subject heavily to personal taste, so one person's dream ski is another person's ski to dump on CL cheap.

 

On the opposite side of the spectrum, I'm looking for something narrower and shorter to replace my old BD Havocs for Spring corn and hardpack. Top priorities are to hold an edge on steeps and survival skiing and lightweight. Some of the narrower Dynafits are tempting. Anybody have other recommendations for this type of ski?

 

Also, those Voile BC with the partial fishscales look cool, though they are about the same underfoot as Manaslus.

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Fat skis can be sweet in powder, but suck on icy uptracks. I've seen folks with rocker skis (fat) struggle on the uptrack. Good edging on an icy traverse is important. The greater the width the harder it is to chop time after time.

 

I'm not too much of a quiver guy. I want one pair of skis that functions well in whatever I ski. Everybody's different of course. For some skiing powder is more important, and fat skis fit the bill.

 

That is something I think about when looking at skis.

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