Trying touring
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5 users
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tromano
February 2, 2007
Member since 12/19/2002 🔗
998 posts
I just ordered my first pair of AT bindings and skins.

Frischi Freeride Plus Size Medium!

I think I am probably going to mount up my Bigstix 7.6 175cm AT for now to learn around here. They are sorta like rock skis so if they get hosed up, no worries.

Ultimately I will probably end up using my Nordica Beasts size 188CM for AT in UTAH. They are actually pretty light and around 90mm waist is supposed to be the sweet spot for a good touring setup. But that is along way off and requires I learn lots about safety first.

Any experienced BC skiers have advice on good places to learn? I guess white grass right? Also what helpful goodies should I bring along as a noobie? I guess some duct tape and a bar of wax as well as the obvious stuff. Thanks in advance.--Tim
fishnski
February 2, 2007
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
Judging by your posts Tromano you tend to favor PA. Why not Ck out Laurel Ridge? There seems to be a X-Country Crew over there.Denis will eventually give you some advice if he catches this post in time. Good pointers & info for Whitegrass. Call Whitegrass & ask for Chip..All his fame still hasn't got to his head! Anybody will help you there. There is plenty of snow everywhere...snowing now...Big Deal right? BLAZEY..Still Snowing..BORING!
SpringsRegular
February 3, 2007
Member since 10/14/2004 🔗
153 posts
Tim,

Check out Wildsnow.com

Lou Dawson is one of the best back country guys out there. He has some great tips.
tromano
February 4, 2007
Member since 12/19/2002 🔗
998 posts
Thanks for the info, I will check it out.
GGNagy
February 5, 2007
Member since 01/5/2006 🔗
450 posts
What ever happened to the nordic center on PA RT31 between HV and Koozer SP? Still there?
Denis - DCSki Supporter
February 7, 2007
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,217 posts
Quote:

Denis will eventually give you some advice if he catches this post in time. Good pointers & info for Whitegrass. Call Whitegrass & ask for Chip..All his fame still hasn't got to his head! Anybody will help you there. There is plenty of snow everywhere...




I seldom look into this forum but the word "touring" caught my eye. Tim, I think you have a great start. You're soon moving to Utah - right? So doing backcountry 101 now in WV before the Wasatch is a great idea. Do you have a boot yet? Last year I bought a pair of Dynafit AT boots for $179 on the internet; 1 yr. out of date and with thermomoldable liners. I hate alpine boots, and no longer use them. Instead I use the AT boots with Marker bindings, for lift served alpine, which is another story. You may be able to get a similarly good deal if you google around. Alpine boots will work in Fritchis too but most folks quickly abandon them in favor of something lighter and more comfortable.

Most of us use scaled skis in WV for efficient travelling on the flats and the gentle uphills. You can use kick wax instead for this purpose. Ask Chip. If you get the wax right it works better than scales since it gives better glide. The kick wax wears off eventually, or you can remove it with a scraper.

For places, well just ask Chip at Whitegrass. You may even ask him to tell you where Denis goes. However I'd recommend the lower open slope at Whitegrass, Springer orchard, and the several slopes you cross enroute to Springer until you get your feet wet. These offer greater width and a greater choice of pitch.

Safety? You can learn basic skills and self sufficiency through trial and error in WV. For the Wasatch you will soon want to take an avalanche course, obtain beacon, probe, shovel, and practice with the beacon. (You need a pair of beacons, one for yourself and one for the buddy who is going to dig you out.) I like the DTS Tracker; it is the easiest to use. I am sure that avy courses are offered in the SLC area. Bruce Tremper, the Dean of American avy experts lives there. In the east, several outfits offer courses in the Mt. Washington, NH area.

Good luck and have fun!
tromano
February 7, 2007
Member since 12/19/2002 🔗
998 posts
Hey Denis!

Yea I am just trying to learn in the relative safety of the midatlantic. As for boots I just bought a pair of Techica Diablo Magmas (26.5) for my alpine boots. I love the boots and they fit like a glove. I can actually walk in them pretty well if I open the cuffs and straps. The top cuff is on a hinge that just swings open when unbuckled. I don't have trouble walking a half mile or so in them with cat tracks so I should be fine. I also have a pair of Salomon Ellipse 9.0 (27.5) which I had been using last season. They have a walk feature and I was thinking about using them for touring boot if I don't like the Technicas. I sort a swim in them at times but I can make it work with a thick foot bed and thick socks as long as I'm not skiing moguls! If I think that what I have just really isn't working I can always get a pair of real AT boots. What places around here actually have AT boots in stock? IMO fit is even more important for AT than for alpine / downhill boots because you're the lift and the skier.

Thanks for the info. I didn't even know about grip waxes until I read your post thanks! I did buy a pair of Kick zone skins. They seemed like enough for me right now. I will have to figure out the kick wax because that sounds a lot less involved. http://www.backcountry.com/store/BLD0795...cker-Skins.html

I am definitely going to check out WG soon. I also fond like about a half dozen maps of ski touring / snowmobile trails in SWPA. I know to stay off snow mobile trails. It's good they have them on the same map that way I know where to stay away from!
tromano
February 7, 2007
Member since 12/19/2002 🔗
998 posts
The freerides arrived today and now they are installed!





The Mini skins arrived too! I tested them out and it seems pretty simple and idiot proof. They cover only right under the bidings. Its supposed to be enough grip for most not too steep climbs. I might try the grip wax method too. That might be better because I wont have to mess with putting skins on and off.



Denis - DCSki Supporter
February 8, 2007
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,217 posts
Nice pictures! Who mounted them for you? Or did you do it yourself? I didn't know that anyone around here mounted Fritschis.

Kicker skins ought to work fine in WV, that's what I use all the time. Kick (grip) wax will not climb as steeply as the kicker skins. It serves the same purpose as scales, but it isn't as idiot proof as scales. Waxing for the wrong temperature can be worse than no wax. I suggested it as a means to travel efficiently on flat or nearly flat ground. For example, Springer Orchard is 3/4 mile or so from the Whitegrass Lodge. That is a long way to pole oneself with nothing but slick alpine wax on your bases. Your arms would be falling off by the time you got there. Kick wax allows you to just diagonal stride like any cross country skier. You could also probably climb the lower angle aspects of Springer with wax. If not, just put on skins; the wax won't harm the skin glue.

Skins can ice up if the snow is wet and that can be a real PITA. They sell "glop stopper" wax for rubbing on the skins to prevent that, but there is something better. I treat the plush side with Zardoz (google it). Just rub the puck over the skin going with the grain. It will last all season, prevents ice up and gives better forward glide. Don't get it on the glue or it won't stick. Also a ski base freshly treated with Zardoz will not hold skin glue.

Hope this makes things more clear. not
tromano
February 8, 2007
Member since 12/19/2002 🔗
998 posts
Thanks for the additional info Denis. I thought I bought the right thing with the kick skins, but I'm a newbie and its nice to have some confirmation.

To answer your question, I did the mount on my kitchen table. There was complete guide with paper jigs on wildsnow.com (thanks Sam). I started mounting skis with the system skis I got like 4 years ago. Once I realize how not rocket science it is I moved on to mounting flat skis with alpine bindings last season. I have appropriate drill bits, and screw drivers. With the appropriate tools mounting skis is an easy hour long wood working project.

There are even guides online about how to make your own skis from scratch. And I like DIY activities.
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