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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Boulder, CO
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    6

    New Skis for Haute Route

    I'm finally going to make a long-anticipated trip to the Alps this spring and am trying to get my gear sorted. I need to get some new touring skis for the trip and am looking for any direct feedback people have on the following models. For background, I am 6'2" 220lbs and like most of you, have been skiing my whole life. I want something light, but something that I'm not cursing every time I head downhill. I think I have it down to the following models, so any help making the final decision will be much appreciated.

    I'll be skiing Hagan Core 12 bindings and Scarpa Maestrale RS boots if that makes any difference.

    1- Kastle TX90
    2- Volkl BMT 90
    3- Blizzard Zero G 95
    4- Black Crows Camox Freebird

    Thanks in advance for the feedback!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Gaperville, CO
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    3,726
    Any of those will work well — depends on your skiing style more than one being better than other. If you’re a directional skier who likes to pressure the tips, find a year or two old zero g rather than the new shape. And don’t get something that requires a ski crampon over 105.

    If you care about skiing more than the legend of the OG Haute Route there are better Haute routes.

    Awesome experience. Did my first last year and will certainly try more in the future.

    https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/...ute-Route-2019

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    Go light and narrow. Multi day trips, the miles and elevation gain add up. 90% of the time you'll be going up or across. Light and narrow. Those Völkls and Kästles are both good skis.
    I've skied the 0G a bunch, and it's a great ski for what it is, but it's not worth it for the down if the narrower skis are lighter.

    (Just did a quick search of the official sites and the stated weight on the 0G is lighter than the Völkl and about par with the Kästle. If you can demo, I'd go with whichever skis the best.)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    SnoqWA
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    2,205
    Any of those seem fine. One caveat to the "light and narrow" emphasized above: consider if you'll be doing some lift-served before and/or after the HR. I did a couple extra days in both Cham and Zermatt and was glad to have brought some reasonably proper skis for that aspect of the trip. Lift-served skiing just isn't quite the same on flimsy gear.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Posts
    6
    Quote Originally Posted by bfree View Post
    Any of those seem fine. One caveat to the "light and narrow" emphasized above: consider if you'll be doing some lift-served before and/or after the HR. I did a couple extra days in both Cham and Zermatt and was glad to have brought some reasonably proper skis for that aspect of the trip. Lift-served skiing just isn't quite the same on flimsy gear.
    I definitely agree. I'm going to bring a much tougher set of sticks for the days before/after.....I just don't want to drag them up hills for a week on the tour.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    504
    Quote Originally Posted by Rider14x View Post
    I'm finally going to make a long-anticipated trip to the Alps this spring and am trying to get my gear sorted. I need to get some new touring skis for the trip and am looking for any direct feedback people have on the following models. For background, I am 6'2" 220lbs and like most of you, have been skiing my whole life. I want something light, but something that I'm not cursing every time I head downhill. I think I have it down to the following models, so any help making the final decision will be much appreciated.

    I'll be skiing Hagan Core 12 bindings and Scarpa Maestrale RS boots if that makes any difference.

    1- Kastle TX90
    2- Volkl BMT 90
    3- Blizzard Zero G 95
    4- Black Crows Camox Freebird

    Thanks in advance for the feedback!!
    I've skied BMT94 for several seasons, planned on picking up the 90, but demoed first. Did not like it at all. Felt less supportive in the tail in crappy snow, lower speed limit. Easy to ski, but still less maneuverable than the 94. I'm 190. At your weight the 90s may be too soft. Still 94s to be had cheap at some of the euro webshops. Sport-bittl.com.
    https://www.sport-bittl.com/en/voelk...SABEgKhLvD_BwE

    Ended up with a new pair of 94s some shop found in the back of the store.

    Hagan / ATKs are great. Buy ski crampons.

    Consider the Sally Explore 95 as well.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    whistler
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    965
    praxis yeti or exp. currently on sale too.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Gaperville, CO
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    3,726
    I kinda regret not bringing my Yetis on the trip. A yeti with slightly less tail rocker would've been perfect. IMHO, a stock yeti build though wouldn't be enough ski for someone 220#. I'm 6'2" / 170, and the stock is a nice easy flex for me. Another 50# and I'd be crushing them.

    Too bad you're a bit too late for the Down group buy -- the Lowdown would've been a solid choice.

    Like the binding choice. I wouldn't go uber light on your skis. If you're in pretty good shape in CO, and put in the vert before you leave, you're unlikely going to be the slow one on your trip unless you're going solo w/ a guide or a bunch of people you know are fast.

    A lot of reference packing lists for the HR have far more places to shave 100g off than your skis and be plenty happy.
    Last edited by doebedoe; 10-10-2019 at 07:46 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Colorado Front Range
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    2,981
    Quote Originally Posted by doebedoe View Post
    I kinda regret not bringing my Yetis on the trip. A yeti with slightly less tail rocker would've been perfect. IMHO, a stock yeti build though wouldn't be enough ski for someone 220#. I'm 6'2" / 170, and the stock is a nice easy flex for me. Another 50# and I'd be crushing them.

    Too bad you're a bit too late for the Down group buy -- the Lowdown would've been a solid choice.

    Like the binding choice. I wouldn't go uber light on your skis. If you're in pretty good shape in CO, and put in the vert before you leave, you're unlikely going to be the slow one on your trip unless you're going solo w/ a guide or a bunch of people you know are fast.

    A lot of reference packing lists for the HR have far more places to shave 100g off than your skis and be plenty happy.
    I'm curious what you prefer about your Yetis over the CD 104Ls. I remember your comments about your wider (Fritschi) crampons sucking, but nothing about the skis.

    BTW, with limited time this Spring on my EXPs, I love them. I need more time on them to suss out exactly when I'll bring them out, however.

    ... Thom
    Galibier Design
    crafting technology in service of music

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Gaperville, CO
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    Quote Originally Posted by galibier_numero_un View Post
    I'm curious what you prefer about your Yetis over the CD 104Ls. I remember your comments about your wider (Fritschi) crampons sucking, but nothing about the skis.
    You're right, the 104L would've been pretty money with the right binding/crampon combo. The yeti being a cm narrower (icy skin track happiness) and giving up little in soft snow is intriguing for OG Haute Route though where you're not going to ski much in the way of deep snow unless you get really lucky.

    The 104L is more capable in fucked snow and skiing off lifts. Although I wish it was a few cms longer (I went 181).

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Posts
    6
    Quote Originally Posted by doebedoe View Post
    I kinda regret not bringing my Yetis on the trip. A yeti with slightly less tail rocker would've been perfect. IMHO, a stock yeti build though wouldn't be enough ski for someone 220#. I'm 6'2" / 170, and the stock is a nice easy flex for me. Another 50# and I'd be crushing them.

    Too bad you're a bit too late for the Down group buy -- the Lowdown would've been a solid choice.

    Like the binding choice. I wouldn't go uber light on your skis. If you're in pretty good shape in CO, and put in the vert before you leave, you're unlikely going to be the slow one on your trip unless you're going solo w/ a guide or a bunch of people you know are fast.

    A lot of reference packing lists for the HR have far more places to shave 100g off than your skis and be plenty happy.
    We are lucky to be taking a group of six buddies that have been skiing together for years. Everyone is either a bike racer, hockey player, or CrossFit competitor, so we should all be ok with the exertion level. .....assuming we aren't too hungover for any of the alpine starts.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Gaperville, CO
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    If you've got six buddies, screw the standard business of the OG Haute Route and go ski something with better skiing and less busy huts.

    Unless you're more interested in the social aspect than the skiing.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Boulder, CO
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    6
    Quote Originally Posted by doebedoe View Post
    If you've got six buddies, screw the standard business of the OG Haute Route and go ski something with better skiing and less busy huts.

    Unless you're more interested in the social aspect than the skiing.
    We are doing a modified trip already to get more turns in than the standard HR, but still want to do most of the classic tour....I guess I have a soft spot for tradition.

    We will get our fun downhill days in before and after the tour in Cham, Verbier, and Zermatt. I'd really love to get over to La Grave while we are over there, but the twill have to wait for another trip.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    Colorado Front Range
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    Quote Originally Posted by doebedoe View Post
    You're right, the 104L would've been pretty money with the right binding/crampon combo. The yeti being a cm narrower (icy skin track happiness) and giving up little in soft snow is intriguing for OG Haute Route though where you're not going to ski much in the way of deep snow unless you get really lucky.

    The 104L is more capable in fucked snow and skiing off lifts. Although I wish it was a few cms longer (I went 181).
    I'm finding my standard 104s ski a bit short as well. I notice it mostly when I take them inbounds, in harder snow (tip wander).

    I currently have them mounted with Vipecs as well, although they may see some Plum Guides this Winter.

    In BC snow they're fine, and I was really close to ordering some 104Ls before the deadline came.

    I have too many other purchases slated for this year however, with an air bag pack being the big one.

    I figure my EXPs deserve some time this Winter, and I'm enough of a ski whore as it is.

    Too bad our BSLs differ by so much (293mm, Zero-G).

    ... Thom
    Galibier Design
    crafting technology in service of music

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