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volkl inuk? dynafit mustagh ata?

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Has anyone done ski mountaineering in the Cascades with the Volkl Inuk or the Dynafit Mustagh Ata? (Anything else you really like? I mention these two because I can get good deals on them.)

 

Both have been recommended to me for a first AT setup. Typical applications would be ski descents in the Cascades and maaaaaybe Denali or stuff in the Ruth Gorge eventually. Weight is definitely an issue since ascent routes I have in mind are generally technical.

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assume you can ski already? Can't speak from direct experience but was told the dyna offerings can be a challenge to learn on, more suited to the experienced.

 

I demo'd some nanuqs or nunataqs (forget) two years ago and was really impressed by how light they were for the size. I was still learning a bit and just in a day i didn't do the topsheets any favors :whistle: , seemed a bit fragile but its just a topsheet.

 

I ended up with a G3 saint probably not light enough for you and maybe a bit wider than what you want but I think its a pretty solid workhorse, has held up great, worked in a variety of conditions. won't find much press or talk about them but I think they're an under-the-radar (lost in the pack) all-around cascades winner. The g3 spitfire is supposed to be pretty good, its a bit smaller in the waist than the saint. That said I'd highly consider the volkl offerings, they're good shit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I'd look for something wider than 88 underfoot for the Cascades unless you are only interested in skiing in late season when snow is very consolidated.

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I've been eyeballing the new G3 ZenOxide C3 105 for winter stuff. Weighs about the same as the skinny Dynafit skis but has a 105 waist.

 

Ultimately you have to decide what your priorities are. At one point I had hoped that someone could point me at a magical "Cascades ski", but it turns out that there are just a million skis and a million different personal preferences that vary wildly.

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Ultimately you have to decide what your priorities are. At one point I had hoped that someone could point me at a magical "Cascades ski", but it turns out that there are just a million skis and a million different personal preferences that vary wildly.

 

True, but skis like the G3 you have, Volkl Nunataq (107mm underfoot), La Sportiva Hi-5, DPS pure 99 or 105, are as close to a 1 ski quiver for Cascades touring as you can get.

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Thanks for all the info! Those G3s look really sweet...

 

How would a mid- or high-80s underfoot, e.g. Volkl Inuk or the Dynafits, behave in the Cascades in winter? Does it become impossible to get down safely, or is it just kind of uncomfortable? I haven't done much powder or backcountry, only resort skiing previously. (I've signed up for an AIARE L1 course, want to get into backcountry safely...)

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I see G3 dropped their Saint/Spitfire/etc and has just gone to calling their touring series Zen Oxides with some variations.

 

Two years ago when I was shopping the consensus I found for a 1-quiver ski for cascades what I planned (year round climb/skiing) was 90-100mm underfoot. Now it seems like everyone says 100 or just north of that. Read a review or a forum from 6-7-10 years ago, and 100 under foot is spoken of like it is a real fat ski. I think attitudes and gear change more than the snow. I got a bud who is still on some 6 or 8 yr old k2 Shuksans (80-85 underfoot?) and he seems to have an absolute ball on powder days hootin and hollerin. And hes skied them off the top of most of the volcanoes in the range in summer conditions. While I'm sure he'd like a new rig nobody can say he isn't have plenty of fun on what is now viewed as suboptimal gear (for powder at least)

 

Are you only really wanting to descend from climbs quicker, like your goal is to climb first, then add the ski aspect on or are you looking to ski/tour in addition to climb? Because if you're really just looking to descend fast and the skiing itself is an after-thought, you probably won't be climbing after volcanoes huge dumps (avy issues--maybe thats just me?) I'd probably go light/skinny as possible on everything and not worry as much about the ski aspect--for average/most conditions you're talking about degrees of pleasure vs can/cannot get down the mountain--anything 75mm to 115mm will underfoot will function to get you down. Obviously tons of fresh and super skinny will suck as will icy hard pack with a flexy fat ski.

 

on the other hand if you want to add touring (not just climbing) where you'll go out on big-dump days to tour below treeline as well as skiing corn in the summer, something 95-105 but still try to go light weight (like the ones Pete mentioned) will be great.

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I just don't see a real reason to get a ski in the mid 80mm's underfoot for year-round skiing in the Cascades. Many of the fatter skis these days perform so well in a wide variety of conditions with a minimal weight penalty, that its worth the compromise.

 

I don't think its a safety issue skiing a narrower ski in Cascade powder but I think you'll have more fun in a wider variety of conditions with a fatter ski. The powder here is often very deep and / or heavy which obviously favors a fatter, rockered ski. In spring, before the snowpack consolidates, the snow is often sun-effected slush, which favor a fatter ski.

 

Furthermore, in the Cascades it is common to ski mountain lines in which you'll encounter everything from ice / hardpack to powder to slush at different elevations and aspects. Again, nice to have a fatter ski that can handle a wide variety of conditions.

 

A couple more skis I'd check out, which I haven't skied but look good on paper, are the Black Diamond Drift and the Scott Rock'Air.

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I'm a new skier and went through this research process last winter. All of the recommendations I got are consistent with what has been said here. Around 100mm is a good all-arounder to start with and you can eventually get different or additional skis for varying conditions or as you discover your preferences. I ended up getting a 98mm for myself and 100mm for my girlfriend. When spring came around I picked up a cheap but light 80mm pair for skiing consolidated snow.

 

If you are deal hunting, I just saw a pair of Black Diamond Aspect (90mm waist) in 176 length at Pro Ski in Seattle for $275. Not quite as wide as the general recommendation, but I know people that have fun on them as their only ski and it's a good price IMO.

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I find this thread enlightening. Five years ago I bought 'fat' skis (BD Havoc, 88mm waist), looks like these are considered skinny now. I've never felt they were too skinny though.

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From the above I'm now leaning towards something in the 90s-low 100s waist. The weight penalty really doesn't seem too bad.

 

What about length?

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Length of ski depends on your weight, your height and what you've skied previously. With that being said, I'd imagine the majority of ski on something in the 170s and 180s.

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Keep in mind, you may want to size up if you go with a ski with a lot of tip / tail rocker, like a Hi-5 or a DPS. The ski will be shaped more like a C and therefore will have shorter actual distance from tip to tail.

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I was told that for touring, you may want to select a length a bit shorter than otherwise, or kick turns will be a pain. I guess this is probably a function of your leg length mostly, but as a rule of thumb I was told to not really go longer than your height.

 

Both of my pairs of skis are at least 1 size down from the recommended length for my weight (especially considering pack weight). This reduces stability at speed, but I do like the maneuverability. YMMV.

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I've toured on Mustagh Atas for three seasons now. I'm really happy with them. They' re really light, ski well in a variety of conditions, and are wide enough for my tastes. My only hesitation would be skiing them hard in hard conditions because I'd be afraid of breaking them. I use Dynafit skins on them which are light as well (for skins) and climb and glide as well as anything.

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