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  1. #651
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    the Low Sierra
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    I like em for what I use them for - snow surveys. I can do long days in rolling terrain without having to deal with skins off and on. Iíve done 3-4 day, 60 mile trans-Sierra tours with them. They have limitations but are perfect for some things.
    I didn't believe in reincarnation when I was your age either.

  2. #652
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    186
    Quote Originally Posted by ~mikey b View Post
    I like em for what I use them for - snow surveys. I can do long days in rolling terrain without having to deal with skins off and on. Iíve done 3-4 day, 60 mile trans-Sierra tours with them. They have limitations but are perfect for some things.
    Wow that's a long way to travel without skins! How do they fare on refrozen but low angle slopes?

  3. #653
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    the Low Sierra
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    well I gotta qualify that - we get dropped off on the west side in a helicopter and itís mostly a meadow skip with only a few climbs - Iíve still carried kickers but not used them


    they work well for refrozen low angle slopes - if they donít you need to change your timing or your angle
    I didn't believe in reincarnation when I was your age either.

  4. #654
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    186
    Quote Originally Posted by ~mikey b View Post
    well I gotta qualify that - we get dropped off on the west side in a helicopter and itís mostly a meadow skip with only a few climbs - Iíve still carried kickers but not used them


    they work well for refrozen low angle slopes - if they donít you need to change your timing or your angle
    Awesome, thanks for the info! Might just have to add a pair to the quiver...


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  5. #655
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    the Low Sierra
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    17,550

    The TGR Skinny Ski Ski Tourers' Refuge Thread

    they have a place in the quiver but they do have their limitations - for me theyíre for meadow skipping - farting around in the woods
    I didn't believe in reincarnation when I was your age either.

  6. #656
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Washington
    Posts
    375
    Quote Originally Posted by ~mikey b View Post
    they have a place in the quiver but they do have their limitations - for me theyíre for meadow skipping - farting around in the woods

    My experience with pattern base skis across multiple models from Voile, Madschus, and Fisher models is that they vastly exceed expectations. In cold snow, everyone would rather have a pair of skins. However in spring, pattern bases are the way to go. I do think there is a limit to their value when the skis start to get wide, the more complex the builds, and the more material you're trying to manage and control with underfoot pressure limits the effectiveness of the pattern base.

    The biggest problem that I have found is working through the group dynamics if people are on different gear. If everyone is on a pattern-based ski, it makes a really fast and fun day. However if even one person is on a different kit or set up, your transitions are in different spots, you're ascent lines are different, and the weight of the gear you were likely carrying is even different. All this leads up to a tremendous differential in the group travel pattern which leads to a much less efficient day for everyone as no one is able to maximize the utility of the kit they brought.

    Lastly, I've always been afraid of losing the glide ratio on the run out from various descents, or ruining the descent itself due to the pattern disrupting certain angles in the ski turn. However I found neither of these to be true. Although you can occasionally feel the pattern underfoot, it's never felt like during a turn it is limited me. Further, in glide ratio concerns I have found that the pattern base may stop a few feet shorter, but in the backcountry it's absolutely negligible in any snow condition.

  7. #657
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Posts
    61
    Anyone here use race skis for longer traverses? Looking at Ski Trab Gara World Cup, but want to make sure it wont totally blow out in real backcountry conditions (looking at it for stuff like Rainier in a day, Enchantments Traverse etc). Skimo guys love ski trab, wondering if there are other (cheaper) options

  8. #658
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    the Low Sierra
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    17,550
    Fischer used to make a skate ski with metal edges

    I knew some maniacs doing looooong spring Sierra day tours
    I didn't believe in reincarnation when I was your age either.

  9. #659
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    the Low Sierra
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    17,550
    and yeah - group dynamics - the agency I do snow surveys for has a few sets of waxless metal edge skis with G3 - we have extra skis and bindings and parts stashed at the cabins we use

    not everyone uses this gear but Iím sold on it for this application

    light plastic boots too - T4 or equivalent - weíre sciencing - we donít need heavy gear
    I didn't believe in reincarnation when I was your age either.

  10. #660
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Tetons
    Posts
    232
    Quote Originally Posted by sheel44 View Post
    Anyone here use race skis for longer traverses? Looking at Ski Trab Gara World Cup, but want to make sure it wont totally blow out in real backcountry conditions (looking at it for stuff like Rainier in a day, Enchantments Traverse etc). Skimo guys love ski trab, wondering if there are other (cheaper) options
    definitely. i overheard a guy at a recent skimo race talking about a traverse he had done from sinks canyon WY to gardiner MT on his atomic race skis.

    ski trab are regarded as amongst the best (along with dynastar) but a cheaper ski from atomic or dynafit should be fine. i would just avoid fischer as they seem to break more than any other brand.

  11. #661
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    cordova,AK
    Posts
    3,484
    Skinny ski traverse
    https://youtu.be/Lqr5Ab9-AaU

  12. #662
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    724
    Awesome video... nice work.
    And yes, have done some big days on race skis. Switched to the Backlight pro with superlight 150 bindings. Those extra 200 gms or so, have been been so beneficial on anything other than perfect corn. Amazing, superlight ski and on sale at skimo

  13. #663
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
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    SLC
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    2,143
    Quote Originally Posted by BFD View Post
    Skinny ski traverse
    https://youtu.be/Lqr5Ab9-AaU
    Great video! That guy is a monster, he skied the Liberty Ridge last year and has the FKT on the Rainier Infinity Loop

  14. #664
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    Aug 2020
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    SLC
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    Quote Originally Posted by sheel44 View Post
    Anyone here use race skis for longer traverses? Looking at Ski Trab Gara World Cup, but want to make sure it wont totally blow out in real backcountry conditions (looking at it for stuff like Rainier in a day, Enchantments Traverse etc). Skimo guys love ski trab, wondering if there are other (cheaper) options
    If you aren't super experienced on race skis, you will be better off on a ~1000g ski. Race skis are much much more challenging to use in variable snow, uphill and downhill and will be slower overall despite their lighter weight. Most of the people you see doing big lines on race skis are skimo racers who are intimately familiar with the equipment. If you haven't spent a lot of time skiing bad snow on race skis they really suck.

  15. #665
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Hyperspace!
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    1,327
    Quote Originally Posted by Benneke10 View Post
    Great video! That guy is a monster, he skied the Liberty Ridge last year and has the FKT on the Rainier Infinity Loop
    Pretty sure BFD is aware, that's his son...

    Fun vid. I've skied all those peaks but never did the linkup.

  16. #666
    Join Date
    Nov 2022
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    2
    Quote Originally Posted by BFD View Post
    Skinny ski traverse
    Sweet Voile Wasatch Speed Projects!

  17. #667
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Amherst, Mass.
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    4,643
    Quote Originally Posted by ~mikey b View Post
    Fischer used to make a skate ski with metal edges [...]
    My sister-in-law still has a pair of those from when she raced nordic for Dartmouth in the 1990s!
    Mo' skimo here: NE Rando Race Series

  18. #668
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Amherst, Mass.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sheel44 View Post
    Anyone here use race skis for longer traverses? Looking at Ski Trab Gara World Cup, but want to make sure it wont totally blow out in real backcountry conditions (looking at it for stuff like Rainier in a day, Enchantments Traverse etc). Skimo guys love ski trab, wondering if there are other (cheaper) options
    re Trab, as much as I've loved all the different pairs of their skis I've had over the years, I think all the different brands' race models are generally comparable with each other these days.
    I'm surprised that Trab is still able to receive such a big price differential relative to the competition.

    re "blow out" if you mean break, definitely a higher chance of that for a race ski, even compared to an only slightly wider and less-extremely light model. That said, it's still a very low chance for any particular outing. Even after organizing a series of skimo races for a decade-and-a-half, we've had something like a dozen race skis break. (I keep almost all of them in my basement, a grim collection!) I often hear about breakages of other touring skis, since I mount/remount many touring setups for our racers, get discounts from one of our sponsors, and get asked lots of questions. So I hear of other broken skis, but adjusting for the usage/mileage/vertical, the breakage rate for race skis is still far higher.

    Quote Originally Posted by Benneke10 View Post
    If you aren't super experienced on race skis, you will be better off on a ~1000g ski. Race skis are much much more challenging to use in variable snow, uphill and downhill and will be slower overall despite their lighter weight. Most of the people you see doing big lines on race skis are skimo racers who are intimately familiar with the equipment. If you haven't spent a lot of time skiing bad snow on race skis they really suck.
    Agreed on sentences #1, 3, and 4.
    For sentence #2:
    • Agreed that race skis are far more challenging to ski in variable snow. Even a ski with only ~10mm more waist width is discontinuous, non-linear, or whatever in its skiing performance compared to a race ski. (For the rest of my quiver, waist width increases of ~10mm are more along a predictable continuum.)
    • Race skis more challenging on the up? If breaking trail, sure. Otherwise, I think maneuverability, grip, etc., will all be better.
    • Slower overall, sure, for a skier really struggling on the down, a race ski will be slower overall. Especially slow if that leads to an injury and a rescue is required! But for your category of skier in sentence #3, a race ski will be faster overall. But not funner overall. Therefore, although I might often be disparaged as someone who prioritizes vertical/speed/time over all other factors, I hardly ever use my race skis in the backcountry, even though I always use race boots and all my skis have race bindings. Getting in more vertical at a faster pace in less time is definitely more fun, but that add'l fun is completely offset and then some by how poorly race skis descend even on something like big volcanoes in the later spring and early summer with nearly ideal conditions. (But for resort groomers, they're a hoot!)

    I suppose the bottomline though is that we're in consensus on telling sheel44: don't do it!
    Mo' skimo here: NE Rando Race Series

  19. #669
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    Aug 2020
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    SLC
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    Thanks Jonathan for the thoughtful response! I appreciate all the skimo knowledge you share here. I can only speak to my personal experience using race skis, I felt like I had to use a lot more energy getting the skins to grip the skin track, I figured this was due to their smaller surface are. I also felt like the skin glue was more prone to failure, maybe also due to the smaller surface area. I am a huge proponent of adopting other skimo gear in the backcountry, as you are saying! I also use race bindings and often use Gignoux boots in the backcountry, but my smallest skis right now are Backland UL85s.

    Also, for the record I prefer as wide a ski I can manage on volcanoes because you will inevitably be skiing on mush at some point, and the extra float is really nice there.

  20. #670
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Bay Area
    Posts
    621
    Quote Originally Posted by alive View Post
    Awesome video... nice work.
    And yes, have done some big days on race skis. Switched to the Backlight pro with superlight 150 bindings. Those extra 200 gms or so, have been been so beneficial on anything other than perfect corn. Amazing, superlight ski and on sale at skimo
    Second this rec, it's what 200 g heavier than a race ski? And now that I've gotten out on mine a few times I like then a lot. They are easier going than a zero g 95 and (in my limited experience so far) nearly as composed. More turny though. Good edge hold. Really good price on sale. Pin skin thing is so-so, I have mostly been just using race skins.

    Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk

  21. #671
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Amherst, Mass.
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    4,643
    Quote Originally Posted by Benneke10 View Post
    Thanks Jonathan for the thoughtful response! I appreciate all the skimo knowledge you share here. I can only speak to my personal experience using race skis, I felt like I had to use a lot more energy getting the skins to grip the skin track, I figured this was due to their smaller surface are. I also felt like the skin glue was more prone to failure, maybe also due to the smaller surface area. I am a huge proponent of adopting other skimo gear in the backcountry, as you are saying! I also use race bindings and often use Gignoux boots in the backcountry, but my smallest skis right now are Backland UL85s.

    Also, for the record I prefer as wide a ski I can manage on volcanoes because you will inevitably be skiing on mush at some point, and the extra float is really nice there.
    You're welcome, and such a nice refuge we have here to discuss such minimalistic gear!

    So for race *skins*, I totally agree with you. I've probably never used race skins for "real" ski mountaineering: less grip from both the narrow dimensions and the slippery pure mohair (which would also get burned through quickly from abrasive spring & summer snow), and glue optimized for fast transitions rather than stick um in warm temps and wet snow. Instead, for when I occasionally use my race skis for such purposes, I've always had a separate set of full-width/contoured-cut momix skins. Often these have been nasty old skins retired from a wider setup, yet when cut down most of the yucked-up glue and/or plush was trimmed away in the process. I love repurposing/salvaging old gear that way! (Grandpa S got his start in this country that way, first at a lumber salvage yard, then as a building wrecker, which was part reverse civil engineering and part classic scrappy immigrant junk dealing.)

    And hard to find fault with the Backland UL85. My standard protocol when I fly out in June for Adams & Hood is to bring a pair of mid-80s skis and a pair of mid-70s skis. Partially for back-up, but the usual "progression" is that I use the mid-80s pair in June, then when I return in July (having left all my gear with my PNW touring partner) I use the mid-70s pair.

    This past year when I came out a third time for a trip straddling Aug & Sep (my first TAY!), I brought mid-70s skis and race skis, but I ended up using only the race skis since although we loved taking ~2,300' vert laps with only a ~200' vert "approach" on a mainly paved path, the Palmer is essentially the extended dance mix version of Wachusett.

    (When I came out yet again in mid November, I used a pair of 88mm skis the entire time, and we had all sorts of whacky conditions that tested the full range those skis could handle!)
    Mo' skimo here: NE Rando Race Series

  22. #672
    Join Date
    Sep 2022
    Posts
    20
    this has been a really helpful discussion; great to have people with alot of miles share their experiences.

    ive been on race skis for only two years here in pnw. 10 year old dynafit pdgs with plum 150s. pair them with atomic backlands. use them for fitness. everytime i think of replacing a ski it turns into two and thinking of replacing these pdgs has been no different. i seem to want that 65mm ski for fitness, races here and there and mayybe a speed traverse or two. but then have been recently wanting something that skis better in the 75-85mm range. skiing ice on these skis takes alot out of my legs. biggest worry is if ill feel the extra weight/regret giving up the skinny sticks. having an 800g ski has been really fun though and with infinite money i would always have a pair with some skimo running shoes.

    this threads been useful in pushing me away from the pure race ski and going with something like the backland ul or blacklight pro.

    curious to hear how far others have pushed race skis (is 'underskiing' a term yet?) or how fat people have gone for fitness/racing.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  23. #673
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    No longer somewhere in Idaho
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    1,683
    Iím definitely curious about truly light skis but canít muster confidence to get remote on stuff light than a kiloÖ.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    Gravity always wins...

  24. #674
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Posts
    30
    I found a good deal on some 85 backland UL. I understand they rip uphill my question is can they hold an edge on steep spring couloirs?


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  25. #675
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Posts
    61
    Thanks for the advice here, for context I did use movement race pro 85s as a daily driver for a year and have experience on race skis. But thanks this is definitely making me do a double take on my plan, at least for the skis

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