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  1. #1
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    Burliest AT setup

    So I've been toying with a 'project' in my mind for a couple months now, just kinda thinking it over, looking for the right gear, etc. I know similar topics have come up but I think this one is unique.

    My AT setup: The last two years I've been skiing relatively burly AT setups: freeride-oriented AT boots (Adrenalin 2 yrs ago, Diablo last year), fritschi freerides, and a fattish ski (182cm Mothership Lite 2 yrs ago, 185cm Sickbirds last year). Last year I got it pretty dialed and enjoyed the setup for the most part. It's not super light, but it makes backcountry travel easy and I can generally charge pretty hard on it.

    The problem: I've been skinning a fair bit over the last few seasons, and it's gotten me relatively easy access to some pretty serious, big-mountain lines - not that hard to do in the Wasatch. Problem is, even with a 'burly' AT setup, I still don't feel anywhere near as confident in my equipment as I do on alpine gear. The boots are OK, but too wide. The bindings are sloppy and the lack of forward ramp bugs me. The skis are too far forward mounted. I want to be able to 'rip the shit' outta some big mountain backcountry lines - high speeds, air, whatever. Treat it like a freeskiing comp, if you will. Which is pretty much my favorite way to approach skiing big lines: fast, fluid, technical, incorporated drops, no stops.

    Possible solutions: First off, while I have actually considered Trekkers, I'm not going that far...yet.

    I'm thinking I'll probably use alpine boots for these type of tours (projects, really). So that takes care of the boot issue.

    The ramp angle and binding slop can hopefully be addressed with the Freeride Plus, but I'm still not convinced. But it might be the best I can do this year until something burlier comes onto the market. Mounting point, same - just move it back.

    But the skis (185cm Sickbirds) might be too short. I'm thinking of running something bigger (at the cost of switchback ease), but am also worried a bigger ski is just going to exaggerate any flex/slop problems in the freerides. Possibly even something like my 189 Squads...

    Anyway it's just a fun idea I've been kicking around, curious to hear your thoughts.
    Last edited by Particle; 11-01-2006 at 12:05 AM.

  2. #2
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    freerides and legend pros are a pretty common set-up in gnarlier parts of europe (eg Chamonix). not quite as big and stiff as your squads but getting that way

    i have that set-up myself. been on touring bindings for so long I don't really notice the slop and other issues. I don't think i charge as hard as you but it's a pretty sweet set-up for me

    edit: as you say i have found that once you get into the high 180s length-wise, the kick-turns do get a bit harder
    fur bearing, drunk, prancing eurosnob

  3. #3
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    Lee and I ran into a Blackcomb patroler on Pattisonon this tour, he was skiing 183 Head 103's freerides and alpine boots. He said teh extra weight was well worth it for the decent. So there are other guys running the burlier set up in big mountains.

    I'll be on 180 Exploders, Dynafits and stiffend Megarides this winter.

  4. #4
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    This year I'm going for the 3 pair backcountry setup, 193 DB surreals with dynafit TLT comforts and scarpa lasers, 190 nordica 9.1ffs with nx21s and lasers/x wave 10s depending on the descent, and 190 w105s with 920s and trekkers. I'm pretty sure this has me covered 6 ways to sunday. Ya, kick turns will suck, ya, hauling w105s, 920s trekkers and x wave 10s will be terrible, but I will be able to ski whatever and however I want. I trust the nx21s to any drops less than 25 feet, as long as the landing is decent, your form on the drop is solid, and you land with the skis pointed in the direction you're traveling, freerides or nx21s shouldn't be a problem. HOWEVER, 189 squads are a lot of ski, so you might want to consider if the freerides will be rigid enough to drive it.
    Three fundamentals of every extreme skier, total disregard for personal saftey, amphetamines, and lots and lots of malt liquor......-jack handy

  5. #5
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    Flexon's w/thermoflex's, trekkers and anything in the quiver. 195 Lawnchairs with 957's (plastic, 12 din) is the main touring ski....light, skis short for it's length, but big for the weight. Overall, seems to climb well enough, and makes little compromise on the way down.

    I like the idea of Nx02's and squads or LP's.

  6. #6
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    i tour'd almost every day last year on 920's, 190 pow+ and trekkers. this was a *little* too heavy and stiff for anything longer than an hour approach, or 4+ hours of skinning in a day

    this year will be FFF or 120's with 916's on each. i think it should be fine for most things around here...

    i am selling my naxo's after breaking them in 2 days. i hated fritschis, and the plus is NOT any different, there is just a little shim under the heel pad.

    really, what is the point of walking to somewhere really cool, when you don't have the confidence to ski down it b/c of your gear?

  7. #7
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    180 Heli Daddies with freerides for my normal backcountry

    I'm actually thinking about getting a pair of Karhu XCD Guides and mounting pures on them for lapping short pitches or super long approaches. These look like PERFECT skis for that sort of thing

    Then I was going to get rid of my TM:X's, and put my freerides on a pair of Explosives or Mantras for my "big" setup
    For sure, you have to be lost to find a place that can't be found, elseways everyone would know where it was

  8. #8
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    oh, and choke slam & I have been talking about making super trekkers...

    metal heel throw, and sawing the bottom of an old boot off for the DIN part. way tighter and way less slop. we'll see how it comes together... anyone have any 314-317 boots that are freebies?

  9. #9
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    Race stock trekkers??? Hahaha....send me a pm.

    I think you'd be better off filling the existing peices with epoxy, fwiw...

  10. #10
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    I'm sure you're aware of my thoughts on the binding issue (linkens) which would also solve your boot issue but...also the clear, obvious ski answer is: Big Daddies

    See if you can get Andy to re-engineer some at bindings for you.
    "It is not the result that counts! It is not the result but the spirit! Not what - but how. Not what has been attained - but at what price.
    - A. Solzhenitsyn

  11. #11
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    Ok.......

    My final vote goes to 194 LP's, FKS 180's, modified trekkers, and Flexons with race toungues. Light enough to go up, but burly enough for anything.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Damian Sanders View Post
    Ok.......

    My final vote goes to 194 LP's, FKS 180's, modified trekkers, and Flexons with race toungues. Light enough to THROWup,
    fixed


    Jesus man, I used some 186 lps with freerides and adrenalins last year and even just having skis that heavy cuts your days shorter.

    What kind of hikes you plan on doing with a setup that heavy? That would cut down my number of laps per day for sure. The difference in dh performance isn't enough to accept that. I don't to "tours" as much as hike to peaks and lines I want to ski but being too tired to ski them well sucks.

    But that would be the burliest setup


    Particle......why not look for some 190 explosivs? They're actually pretty light compared to a lot of burlier skis out there now. That's what I'm going to use for my stiffer bc ski instead of the lps this year. (I've got some made'ns for softer/mellower days).

    Like UAN has said a bizillion times, going back and forth between at and alpine boots only heightens the differences. My whole introduction to skiing a few years ago was with a buddy who skied on lowa strukturas, freerides and explosivs. They guy weighed 210+, was 6' 2" or something and freakin charged down steeps with no problem. That was his only setup. You can also take out the toe shim on freerides and get about 1/2-1 degree more foreward. I ski in my bc setup enough that it's just like grabbing one of my other bikes. The outcome isn't all the different, you just need to do a few things differently.

    Just my 2 lincolns
    Last edited by kidwoo; 11-01-2006 at 09:59 AM.
    Besides the comet that killed the dinosaurs nothing has destroyed a species faster than entitled white people.-ajp

  13. #13
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    I am really convinced that the weak link in AT setups is the bindings. I have taken the toe shim out of my FR's and I bought the adrenalins, which are stiff enough (although still not an alpine boot). I still feel like most of the slop is in the FR's. From reading this board and talking to alot of people who tour, not sure the Naxo is necessarily the answer. Trekkers would suck for some of the tours around Carson Pass where most of our good touring is.

    I am might give the Naxos a try, maybe with some Gotamas and probably pick up a pair of the Scarpa Tornado Pros.

  14. #14
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    This has been mentioned in countless threads, but Dynafits are by far the most solid AT binding there is. Less play in these than in many alpine bindings. I know a lot of people have issues with the max DIN of 10, and if you are really hucking much I wouldnt reccomend them. But otherwise, check into the Dynafit freeride boot or the available-only-in-europe Scarpa Spirit 4, beef them up as you feel necessary, and leave the trekkers at home. This makes for a pretty solid AT setup.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by kidwoo View Post
    fixed


    Jesus man, I used some 186 lps with freerides and adrenalins last year and even just having skis that heavy cuts your days shorter.

    What kind of hikes you plan on doing with a setup that heavy?
    Hey, I'm just suggesting that as the lightest possible setup that would make ZERO compromises on the way down. LP's are not that heavy, btw.

    If it makes you happy, I'll go skin 4k vertical feet at stowe this weekend (to the top of the quad, then two laps of the top half) on a heavier setup than that, just to see how it works. Went straight up liftline last weekend on a setup only 3-4 lb lighter (launchers, mentioned above), and was not exhausted. An skin up nosedive on a heavier setup should be a peice of cake.

    BTW, I should mention my flexons weigh about 7.5 lb for the pair, which is sicko light for an alpine boot.
    Last edited by Damian Sanders; 11-01-2006 at 10:52 AM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by marshalolson View Post
    metal heel throw, and sawing the bottom of an old boot off for the DIN part. way tighter and way less slop. we'll see how it comes together... anyone have any 314-317 boots that are freebies?
    Just mount TLT toes 2/3rds of a bootsole foreward of your alpine toepiece and use the toe piece of the alpine bindings as a permanent elevator... drill in some dynafit toes to your flexons and voila uncompromising touring solution

    "It is not the result that counts! It is not the result but the spirit! Not what - but how. Not what has been attained - but at what price.
    - A. Solzhenitsyn

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by marshalolson View Post
    i tour'd almost every day last year on 920's, 190 pow+ and trekkers. this was a *little* too heavy and stiff for anything longer than an hour approach, or 4+ hours of skinning in a day
    understatement!! marshal could do day trips to utah if he were on a lighter setup!!!!

    (of course he'd hate the descent. )

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Particle View Post
    SThe boots are OK, but too wide. The bindings are sloppy and the lack of forward ramp bugs me. The skis are too far forward mounted. I want to be able to 'rip the shit' outta some big mountain backcountry lines
    so....how big of a guy are you?

    to me, it sounds like you have AT boots that don't fit -- that problem would be mitigated with properly fitting boots.

    even if you remove the shim on the fritschi FR plus (the plus is basically identical to the older FR), that buys you...maybe...0.5 degrees on a 300mm sole. i calculated the difference once, and it's very slight. you may be able to detect it, though.

    the forward-mount situation...well, that really has nothing to do with your AT setup.

    tweak your mount, use your alpine boots if you must, and you'll be most of the way there.

    kidwoo said it above -- your body can adapt to the ramp angle (you actually mean "delta") or lack of it quite easily, but the problem is likely that you switch setups frequently and, thus, it becomes more noticeable. this is also true for the boots.

    it IS entirely possibly to rip "big mountain" lines on AT gear. the ONLY thing you might not be able to do is huck huge to firmer landings. (this assumes you're not over 200# or so, which may not be a safe assumption.)

    dynafits are definitely a solid interface between boot & ski, but find fritschis workable in all situations. the toughest condition for them is fat skis (>100mm waist) + firm/icy terrain...even then, it's the skier, not the ski.


    Quote Originally Posted by marshalolson View Post
    really, what is the point of walking to somewhere really cool, when you don't have the confidence to ski down it b/c of your gear?
    marshal hits the nail on the head. one has to have confidence in the gear to make the descent fun. doubt screws everything up.

    it's taken me time to get confident in the gear i use (basically all AT gear, all the time), and i know it very, very well. thus, i can go out and charge with it. maybe you just need more time on it to adapt a bit and develop that full confidence? maybe even do the mounts yourself (if you don't do so already) to learn what the AT mount issues are and how 'safe' it is.

    (all bets are off if you're talking about charging day in and day out and you're over 200#...i just think you'll sacrifice the long-term durability - not that it won't be fine for a while.)

  19. #19
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    Burly? How about sumthing like my setup.
    I use my alpine boots, old flexons or Kryptons, unless I'm hiking over lotsa rock, etc.
    Freerides w/o toe shim. Mounted 7mm forward on Big Daddy's, dark blue ones w/ no plate.
    Duct tape on ski under rear "feet" of freerides to tighten up the slight gap/slop there. I'm not hucking big but have run thru the park w/ my pack to check out feel. This is the most alpine AT setup I've ridden.

  20. #20
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    I have never had a problem with my Freerides, espcially on some big ass decents. But lately I have been fantazising over a Dynafit setup. My idea=mount Dynafits to my 180 FFF. Sick! But it will probably never happen. I have no idea how this helps OR get the burliest ski you can, get some Dynafit Comforts, and rig you favorite Alpine boots with Dynafit settings. Perfect

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by marshalolson View Post
    i tour'd almost every day last year on 920's, 190 pow+ and trekkers. this was a *little* too heavy and stiff for anything longer than an hour approach, or 4+ hours of skinning in a day

    this year will be FFF or 120's with 916's on each. i think it should be fine for most things around here...

    i am selling my naxo's after breaking them in 2 days. i hated fritschis, and the plus is NOT any different, there is just a little shim under the heel pad.

    really, what is the point of walking to somewhere really cool, when you don't have the confidence to ski down it b/c of your gear?
    how did you break your naxos? I think I've heard of some issues with older models but from what I recall, those issues have been fixed. yes/no?

  22. #22
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    Go back to flexons.
    Merde De Glace On the Freak When Ski
    >>>200 cm Black Bamboo Sidewalled DPS Lotus 120 : Best Skis Ever <<<

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by marshalolson View Post
    i am selling my naxo's after breaking them in 2 days.
    marshal: can you get us a little info on how you broke 'em/what you were doing? are you referring to nx21s? i've never ridden them, but i'm thinking of mountain a pair up just to be able to test them. my wife uses nx01s (newer version). i have a naxo/fr+ option on a pair of skis in my quiver.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kya View Post
    My idea=mount Dynafits to my 180 FFF.
    kya--i think dynafits on a super-fat ski will rule in soft snow. interesting combo of super-light binding with pretty-heavy ski (FFF).

    i'm going to mount a pair of dynafits on a ski with a 120mm waist this year.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by marshalolson View Post
    i tour'd almost every day last year on 920's, 190 pow+ and trekkers. this was a *little* too heavy and stiff for anything longer than an hour approach, or 4+ hours of skinning in a day

    this year will be FFF or 120's with 916's on each. i think it should be fine for most things around here...

    i am selling my naxo's after breaking them in 2 days. i hated fritschis, and the plus is NOT any different, there is just a little shim under the heel pad.

    really, what is the point of walking to somewhere really cool, when you don't have the confidence to ski down it b/c of your gear?
    the last comment pretty much sums it up. Trekkers and 916s how could you go wrong. Well worth the weight penalty.
    Last edited by hick; 11-01-2006 at 02:35 PM.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by hick View Post
    the last comment pretty much sums it up. Trekkers and 916s how could you go wrong. Well worth the weight penalty.
    i think the point is that it's a personal decision as to what is 'worth it'. tons of folks rip on AT bindings and can go further/faster with the reduced weight w/o penalty on the descent.

    other folks can't use AT gear without seriously compromising the descent, therefore they'll take a weight penalty (and not go as far or fast as they otherwise could with lighter gear).

    it is indisputable that the lighter your gear, the further, faster or longer you can go. however, if one is sacrificing something at the end (or one simply doesn't need to go to a more remote location or get an extra lap in), then it's easier to accept the weight hit.

    THAT is where the trade-off comes into play.

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