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08-18-2010, 08:31 PM #1
I don't know jack shit about AT, school me!
So I just managed to trade off some extra climbing gear I had lying around for an AT setup. Snagged a pair of Zag Slaps (regular camber, double rocker) in 185cm with a pair of last year's Fritschi Freeride Plus bindings attached. It's a frenchie brand but the few reviews I found were positive.
Most of my techtalk searches just said "Don't buy Fritschis you JONG" so I'm looking for a little more specific help. Plus, Dukes weren't an option - this is the trade that was presented to me and it didn't cost me a dollar out of pocket.
So anyway - I don't know shit about AT other than I'm always bummed when I can't go out with my fellow NE mags when they tour up Magic when the lifts aren't spinning.
So first things first - I need new boots. My alpine boots are mediocre and are painful as hell. Got any recommendations? I'm 6'2" and 185lbs and ski somewhat aggressively, lots of glades, like to arc big turns but don't really find myself ever in wide open terrain due to living on the ice coast, etc. I ski mostly east coast ice with 2-3 trips up to Jay and a trip out west every season. Anyone got a suggestion? I'd most likely make these my primary boots. Oh, and will AT boots work in my PX12's on my other planks? Final thought - if there's an AT boot that ice climbs pretty well, I'd be interested to hear about it, although I figure the climbing performance penalty is so severe, I'm better off just carrying my regular ice boots in my pack.
Second question - any good tips on using the Freeride+ or is it totally straightforward? I'm gonna download and go through the user manual, but figure someone might have picked up a protip or two along the way.
I'm also looking at skins. I think I'm heading towards the BD Ascension Splits (the Slaps are 110 underfoot) but I'm happy to hear suggestions.
08-18-2010, 09:14 PM #2
Don't get the split skins on a 110mm ski unless you aren't planning on climbing. I had some on my 127mm waist and didn't like them. That and the nylon strip in the middle tears easily.
At the top of you list should be an avalanche course and a first aid course.
08-18-2010, 09:17 PM #3, and will AT boots work in my PX12's on my other planks?
Final thought - if there's an AT boot that ice climbs pretty well, I'd be interested to hear about it, although I figure the climbing performance penalty is so severe, I'm better off just carrying my regular ice boots in my pack.
08-18-2010, 09:49 PM #4
08-18-2010, 09:53 PM #5Registered User
- Join Date
- Mar 2008
- northern BC
this site has a lot of good AT info
at your weight you may or may not have probelms with the
freeride + breaking or pre-releasing depending on how you ski
, fretschi are probably the most popular binding out there by
a ratio of 2:1 over any other AT binding
I think they work good but not for catching a lot of air
08-18-2010, 10:01 PM #6
boot fitter is your best option for figuring out what fits best.
this thread: [ame="http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php?t=78437"]AT Boot Flex Comparative List by model - Teton Gravity Research Forums[/ame]
has a good info on different boots... also xxx-er's suggestion is loaded with hours of reading.
08-18-2010, 10:02 PM #7
Your Freerides will work great for touring bringing them lift served is another thing, not that people dont do it. They are the best non tech AT binding out there for touring IMO. The climbing bar is pretty straight forward just stick your pole in and move it.
Like XXX-er said check out wildsnow.com lots of good stuff.
Oh yeah https://www.climbingskinsdirect.com/a positive attitude will not solve all of your problems, but it may annoy enough people to make it worth the effort
08-18-2010, 10:10 PM #8
@ XXX - great link, thanks!
08-18-2010, 10:36 PM #9
Bootwise, decide if your foot is wide and full or narrow and low volume like mine. Scarpa Lasers were my first boot but as they fit a fat, wide foot, I needed a 3/8" midsole added for me to make them work. Then I got some Garmont Megarides. 98mm wide (?) last and lower arch volume. They fit me like a glove. IMO, backcountry skiing is a chess game that's all about your ability to compromise by adjusting your goals and technique, given the equipment at hand and what mother nature hands you. Coming back in one piece is the goal. As an East coaster, Time for Tuckerman is the place to get the best beta.
08-18-2010, 11:21 PM #10
Certainly try some boots on before buying. Decide if you want something lighter for long trips (which will make a boot inherently softer), or if you want a stiffer, alpine-like ride. If you want a stiff boot that you can use daily, that will limit your choices. If you want replaceable soles, that will also limit your choices. Also consider getting dynafit compatible boots if you think you might upgrade in the future.
I dunno the tip/tail of your skis, but it sounds like 130mm BD ascensions would be great. I agree on skipping the split skin unless the terrain will be mostly flatter.
Avy gear is always recommended, and Tremper's Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain is a great read.
08-18-2010, 11:46 PM #11
08-19-2010, 07:20 AM #12
Hmmmm? Now where can he find a boot fitter with a selection of AT boots to try on, in August, in Joisey?
x2 on Tremper's book and Volkens Backcountry Skiing" is a summer list "must read".
Enjoy your new journey.
08-19-2010, 08:07 AM #13
Or consider alpine boots. I do most of my touring in a pair that fit well, and prefer them to my AT boot, unless I am pushin 5k in a day, multi day or late in spring where there are a lot of dry approach. A little more weight on the way up, but way more fun on the way down.
Edit: I have a pair of 120mm clipfix as ascension I could sell. Just need to check what I paid, but I did get them for much less than retail. Bought em and don't really need em.
08-19-2010, 08:38 AM #14
If you want to save money, just get some light, comfortable alpine boots. AT boots have better climbing performance, but you can't ski most AT boots in standard alpine bindings, while the Fristchis take either. Don't be too worried about the Fritschis, they may not be as beefy as the Marker offerings, but they are a solid binding. Using them is super simple, you would actually easily beat someone on Dukes up the hill and at the transitions. For skins, BD is ok, but I prefer G3 Alpinists. I think they have the best marriage of stick, glide, and weight conservation.
08-19-2010, 01:36 PM #15
The krypton boot line-up with swapable tongues make for some pretty good AT/Alpine do-all boots. I was pretty comfortable in my Dalbello Il Moro's on the way up, and swapped the tongue to the stiffest possible for the ride back down.
Also, as others have said, Fritchi's are not bomb-proof, at all. They will pre-release the shit out of you, breaks will break, etc, it you are hard on them. Otherwise, they are a great touring binding. They just don't ski well. If I were you, I would pull them off while you can, sell them, and buy some dukes. Seriously.
08-19-2010, 02:45 PM #16Registered User
- Join Date
- Mar 2008
- northern BC
make sure all the bindings screws are not loose ,U don't want to lose a screw in the middle of nowhere, you need a torx bit (a t-10 I think) and a PZ3 , ,minimum clearance under the front afd you wana see daylght
I found if you don't have that length adj screw flush with the rear housing they might pre-release more than usual ,I set the screw flush but then I turn the DIN up 1 din more than I normaly would for an alpine binding even tho its not the same as the toe and this cuts down the pre -release but really what you got is a much thicker heel faced with rubber so its harder for the binding to clamp & stay clamped on the boot,also the rubber sole can be compressed and then expand ... not bad but not as good as real alpine
I used freerides for about a year at the hill ,they were OK but now I save em for the BC cuz you pay alot for the freeride's and still they are a compromise compared to real alpine bindings
even a cheap alpine that has enough DIN for your weight will work noticably better than freerides at a fraction of the cost
YES they are a compromise but so is everything ,the reason to buy FRitschi IS they are probably the best nontech binding that doesnt weigh a ton ,there are lots out there used on good skis,parts are available and often stocked by good shops ,you can use them with alpine or AT boots until you can afford to buy more gear ... which you must do
the new fritschi is suposed to rock according to Shirk who is I believe their rep or SFT but doesnt BS
08-21-2010, 09:15 PM #17you would actually easily beat someone on Dukes up the hill and at the transitions
08-21-2010, 10:52 PM #18
^^^^^ True, but I think the comment was more directed at the fact that you have to step out of a Duke to transition from tour to ski. Fritschi is done on the go, no stepping out of the ski needed which is an advantage if you are alternating between traversing and climbing.
08-23-2010, 09:31 PM #19
All good words here.
1. Your Fritschi FR+ are excellent bindings and will take some resort pounding too. Good choice. Unlike Dukes these are a real touring binding, but you can still run an alpine sole in them for resort days. A lot of people use these. Ignore the BS comments.
2. Get wall to wall skins. Not sure if synthetic or mohair is the going for Tuckerman's, ask around the area to see what people tend to prefer, BD, G3, Colltex, etc.
3. You will need all avi gear: beacon, probe, shovel, and know how to use it (AST). Get a proper, good shovel (G3 or Voile) and not some POS. Probe should be a good 3m.
4. As for boots, head to a bootfitter, but here's some considerations:
- Do you want a dedicated touring boot? This means a boot with a dedicated touring sole and with Dynafit toe connectors, where weight is priority over burliness. You want to tour, right? So do it proper.
Second, demo both tongue boots (ie Scarpa) and overlap (ie Garmont Radium). If you're coming from alpine, the tongue boots might not work for you. If they do, they do offer several advantages in the backcountry (swap tongues, easier to get in/out of). FWIW I use Garmont Radiums as I prefer overlap for the control and flex pattern that I am used to from alpine. Definitely check out the Dynafit boots, especially the Titan and the Zzeus (also overlap).
- The Factor is slowly becoming a better "touring" boot however, like many hybrid touring/alpine boots, aka "freeride" marketed boots (Scarpa has 'em too), it really does neither touring nor alpine all that well. They're heavy; they don't tour all that well as they lack proper release flex; nor do they flex quite like an alpine boot on the down. If you really need a hybrid, or want to lug around pounds and pounds on your feet for no real appreciable reason in powder on the down, then it works. Me, I'd go for a lighter, touring dedicated boot that still rips, like the Titan, Zzeus, Radium, Skookum, Spirit4. These are all excellent.
- If you want an alpine boot that is touring capable, check out the Salomon Quest (this is my "resort" boot now) and the Atomic AT boot. However these are compromises for touring and here in Whistler, are becoming the go-to resort boot. Think slackcountry.
As for ice, you wouldn't want this big heavy plastic on yr feets. Forget it for anything over class 4. Keep your Sportivas.
08-23-2010, 11:12 PM #20
[ame="http://tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php?t=191256"]Saloman Quest Tech inserts failure thread - Teton Gravity Research Forums[/ame]
perhaps you mean touring capable but definitely not touring capable when used in conjuction with tech (dynafit,g3,others?) bindings.
i'm sure that you grasp this distinction, but the OP (being an admitted bc jong) may not.
DO NOT USE THE SALOMON QUEST BOOT WITH TECH BINDINGS.
and to quite honest i would just stay away from them period.In search of the elusive artic powder weasel ...
08-24-2010, 10:49 AM #21
Get boots with tech (Dynafit) fittings because, in all likelihood, if you get hooked on touring you'll eventually get Dynafit bindings. Re boot stiffness, it's a very personal thing. If you are getting dedicated AT boots, my rule is to get the most comfortable tour-friendly boot that your skiing style permits. I like flexible light boots notwithstanding that I'm on the big heavy end of the tourist spectrum. Remember that, even for the strongest tourists, 80%+ of the time is spent going uphill or on the flats, hence my preference to get a boot that is biased towards touring, walking and scrambling.
If you are looking for one boot for lift/tour, and a high volume boot fits your foot, consider trying the discontinued (and thus discounted) Scarpa Spirit 3 or 4, using the stiff (black) tongue for lift skiing and the hinged (orange or green) tougue for touring. Lots of maggots will deem a Spirit w/black tongue too soft for lift skiing, but there are lots of good skiers skiing very well on difficult lift-served terrain on that setup. But, again, it's really a matter of personal preference.
Fritschis ski fine in 90% of touring conditions. Ignore the Fritschi haters on TGR. OTOH, FR, FR+ and predecessors don't tour all that great because the toe pivot is too far forward. (The Eagle design addressed this issue.) Fritschis are also clumsy to carry on a pack.
I've seen some good ice climbers climbing hairy stuff on AT boots.
08-24-2010, 10:53 AM #22
This is rapidly turning into one of the best general AT knowledge threads on TGR. Thanks everyone!
08-24-2010, 11:05 AM #23Registered User
- Join Date
- Mar 2008
- northern BC
all you want showing is the steel edge , I like BD but whatever you buy MUST cover the whole ski ,the difference in $ is not huge but the performance will be ,don't be tempted to buy those narrow skins that are reduced because they are too narrow for the skis that are being sold
at some point it means the difference between maybe just having a little trouble getting up a track and backsliding into tree wells
08-24-2010, 03:26 PM #24
As far as boots go, I think I'm gonna look at a pair of Full Tilts. I don't have any immediate plans for long tours, mostly EC slack country stuff only. And I need new boots anyway. This sort of covers all my bases - swap in a soft tongue for going up, hard tongue for going down, usable in both my alpine bindings and my Fritschis, etc.
Thanks everyone for all the help! Definitely continue to add any words of wisdom too - the more the better. I'm sure I'll have some thoughts to add