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APE

which skis for AT ski mountaineering? (noob alert)

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I'm getting tired of walking descents... so I'd like to start ski mountaineering. For an AT setup, everyone seems to be saying Dynafit TLT bindings are the way to go.

 

But what about skis? The two that have been recommended to me are the K2 Coomback and the Blizzard Bushwacker. Are these good choices? They look a bit heavy to me... Mostly I want to skin up and ski down volcanoes in the Cascades, nothing crazy steep (yet).

 

Please excuse the noobishness and thanks!

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My buddy has the K2 Mt Bakers which are pretty light. I think there is a lighter version, the Baker Superlight? The Shuksans are pretty sweet too. Any of these would be my choice for a light ski if I was in the market for new skis. G3 makes some nice light skis too, at least for women.

Edited by DPS

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APE, i was in your shoes (haha..pun) two springs ago and the bindings were the relatively easy part, the boots were more dictated by what felt/fit best for the cost/weight.. but the skis were just up in the air.. whatever people skied is what was recommended. are you a good skier already? especially if not they're going to get thrashed good between learning or just plain in the late spring as you're riding the snow till it turns to dirt. just so you dont plunk a grand on skis for the first go of it..nice light boots will be more value for your $.

 

There is the winter snowpack to be had and anything 100-115 (or more) underfoot would be good.

 

Then the spring snowpack...corn snow on adams in june...and things into july etc, you can get by with very narrow... (80mm?)

 

As was told to me anywhere 90-105 underfoot with a bit of early rise and you'll be good for everything, assuming the weight isn't too much to tire you out. Light Light skis are going to get thrown in variable and crud snow but sounds like the aim of the game is getting down and its not like a light ski (2lb) is going to be unskiable while a heavy (5lb) ski is going to move without effort like a hot knife through butter on crappy snow. My friends with wider/heavier skis enviously make it sound like i've got balsawood toothpicks when they unload them out of the vehicle and about how they're light they are. you're definitely on track with the light-is-right approach to this, esp if not planning on winter ski touring.

 

I ended up with G3 Saints which dont get much play but are a great ski I think. Same for G3 Spitfire which have been redone for this next season.

 

a pretty accomplished climber/skier on here has mentioned these as http://www.movementskis.com/en/products/skis/x-series/logic/ their ski of choice.

 

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I think it depends on what type of skiing you do. If you're a winter/spring skier, I'd tend to a more fat setup like the coomback/sidestash. If you're into more late spring/summer skiing then something skinnier would be ok. I ski the K2 wayback and love the ski, it edges great, plays well on hard snow and is pretty light and sturdy.

 

If you're a light dude you may want to check these out for the price you can't beat it.

 

http://www.roostoutfitters.com/content/random-f08

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I'd look at Atomic and Voile skis for good all-around affordable boards. Backcountry magazine's gear guide is a good resource; as is Lou Dawson's wildsnow.com.

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If you're looking for a single-quiver ski that can handle a mid-winter dump at Baker and a summer ski down the Muir snowfield, something 100mm underfoot is the best compromise. It has enough float for the deep, but is still relatively light enough for spring and summer missions, without being so wide that you have to work to put it on edge in hard conditions.

 

If you are going to build a quiver, I'd recommend a different ski.

 

I'm not a huge fan of the lightest skis on the market right now - they all seem to sacrifice performance for weight savings. And I'm insistent that the ski has to have a flat tail for anchor building, so that eliminates a lot of the market right now too. I like K2 because they perform consistently with a small weight penalty that I can tolerate. I'd rather have a heavier ski the performs well than a lighter ski that doesn't.

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Do you have any background skiing, or is this your first stab at it?

 

If you have some experience, how do you like to make your turns? What kind of response from a ski do you like? All of these factors will play into a good ski recommendation for something you will think is fun.

 

I see a lot of people get hung up on weight numbers and forget the ski-ability/enjoyment factor of the ski. I'll take a weight penalty (within reason) to have a ski perform to suit my skiing style than the lightest/fastest thing out there. What works for me may not work for you however.

 

I agree with Chris; I gravitate towards K2. Their designs seem to work very well in these snow conditions and my ski style. Maybe since their ski designers live here and test their skis in the Cascades.

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If you want to ski volcanos and do ski mounaineering, weight's a bigger factor than if you want a slack country setup. I prefer fatter, lighter skis, but there's definitely a performance penalty in saving weight.

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It sounds like your primary purpose is to use the skis as a means of transportation, more so than crushing epic powder lines. If that's right, I would recommend the Rossi BC 125s. I really like my Rossi BC 125s for ski mountaineering. With a tight turning radius and low weight, I can maneuver them easily is tight terrain or bad snow conditions. They hold an edge reasonably well for a light weight ski.

 

The two reasons to go with BC 125s over the K2 Mt. Baker (similar style ski, weigh about the same) are: (1) the BC 125s have fish scales like a xc ski, so you can move faster with less energy on long approaches. This makes them suitable for ski traverses too. They are a little slower on the downhill compared to a standard ski, but not by much when they are on edge. (2) They are cheap (they retail for $350). That said, the Mt. Bakers, or any of the lightweight BD skis will serve you well.

 

I did a review of the BC 125s on my blog: http://kickturner.blogspot.com/2013/06/gear-review-rossignol-bc-125-skis.html#more

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