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Touring skis for crud

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Let's face it not every day is a powder day. As a ski-touring weekend warrior (live circa 1 hr away from the nearest ski touring routes) I'm looking for something to replace my crappy snow skis (Atomic Blackeye Ti 2012 mounted with Dynafit Radical 1's). So something in the 80 to 90 mm waist range. (also have a wider 98mm setup for soft snow).

Weight = approx 70 kg
Height = 172 cm short.

Not sure if I should go for a lighter All-mountain ski again (flat version without alpine binding system) or for a pair of specific touring skis that are on the sturdy side for a touring ski. Probably don't want to go heavier than 3.5 kg / pair (without binding) @ approx. 170-175 cm ski length

Any suggestions?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
> Any suggestions?

1. Move nearer the mountains

2. Just go touring when the snow is good and do something else on the other days.

3. Otherwise get a Fischer Transalp 88, preferably last year's model so you get sale price and put some Dynafit Speed Turns on them. Sorted.

4. Don't overthink things

5. bin your 98mm skis unless you are going to a country with descent powder like Japan or America
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davidof wrote:
> Any suggestions?


5. bin your 98mm skis unless you are going to a country with descent powder like Japan or America


+1
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davidof wrote:
2. Just go touring when the snow is good and do something else on the other days.

A lot of the time the snow is good for some of the day or in some areas and not others. Skiing only on days where it is perfect everywhere and perfect all day - even assuming you were able to judge before setting out - would be very restrictive.

davidof wrote:
bin your 98mm skis unless you are going to a country with descent powder like Japan or America

I ski the whole mountain (on and off piste, all conditions) on a 98 waist ski. These days that's really not that wide or considered a full on powder ski.
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davidof wrote:
> Any suggestions?
1. Move nearer the mountains
Can't afford to, have house & pension to invest in. Rates of pay near the mountains are poor for the Industry I am in. A move to the mountains will probably happen when I retire.

davidof wrote:
2. Just go touring when the snow is good and do something else on the other days.
I didn't come all this way to be a fair weather skier.

davidof wrote:
3. Otherwise get a Fischer Transalp 88, preferably last year's model so you get sale price and put some Dynafit Speed Turns on them. Sorted.
Too floppy for crud.

davidof wrote:
4. Don't overthink things
yes I know but skiing is important.

davidof wrote:
5. bin your 98mm skis unless you are going to a country with descent powder like Japan or America
Japan & the USA are on the bucket list. The wider skis are great for powder days and places such as St Anton.
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@DB, I use black crows camox freebird. 98 underfoot so I recognise that’s a bit wider than you’re asking for...but they’re very good in crud/ ice/ gloop etc - and not bad in powder. Hold an edge well. Nice weight, esp if combined with dynafit bindings (as I have).
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Inboard wrote:
@DB, I use black crows camox freebird. 98 underfoot so I recognise that’s a bit wider than you’re asking for...but they’re very good in crud/ ice/ gloop etc - and not bad in powder. Hold an edge well. Nice weight, esp if combined with dynafit bindings (as I have).


Thanks I was thinking about the thinner black crows orb freebird (90mm) as one possibility.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@DB, I've got a pair of brand new Whitedot trad R98's 186cm quiver killered for Dynafits, never been skied, new last season. Don't think i'll ever use them. Let me know via PM if youre interested and I can email you photos, could do a deal. Very nice skis but not for me.
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Kastle fx95 HP version, done
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@DB, really talking crud here (still some depth/3D but chopped up and manky), or various flavours of hard snow?

Either way, that's sort of thing Blizzard and Dynastar excel at. But for proper crud you really want some metal and mass - basically diametrically opposed to an ideal touring ski.
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Markymark29 wrote:
@DB, I've got a pair of brand new Whitedot trad R98's 186cm quiver killered for Dynafits, never been skied, new last season. Don't think i'll ever use them. Let me know via PM if youre interested and I can email you photos, could do a deal. Very nice skis but not for me.


Thanks but they are too long for me and I've already got some 98mm wide skis.
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clarky999 wrote:
@DB, really talking crud here (still some depth/3D but chopped up and manky), or various flavours of hard snow?

Either way, that's sort of thing Blizzard and Dynastar excel at. But for proper crud you really want some metal and mass - basically diametrically opposed to an ideal touring ski.


Basically crappy snow including - crud, refrozen crud, mashed potatoes, tracked out partly frozen stuff, windblown, breakable crust, ice …..

Metal and mass (yet under 3.5 kg) is what I have at the moment. Maybe the Atomic Vantage 90 Ti is the answer as it's a similar weight to the black crows but has metal in it.

Orb Freebird review
https://www.wildsnow.com/26104/black-crows-orb-freebird-ski-review/

Atomic Vantage 90 Ti review
https://gearinstitute.com/gear-review/atomic-vantage-90-ti/

All mountain ski reviews
https://gearinstitute.com/ski-snow/skis/all-mountain-skis/mens-all-mountain-skis/


Last edited by And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports. on Mon 9-09-19 16:30; edited 1 time in total
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@DB, still don't get why you think you need an 80-90 waist ski for this.

What is your "98mm setup for soft snow" ski/binding?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Layne wrote:
@DB, still don't get why you think you need an 80-90 waist ski for this.

What is your "98mm setup for soft snow" ski/binding?


Völkl 90eight (2017) in a 177cm, also with Dynafit Radical 1's. (Boots have only tech fittings).
I'm not that heavy so a wider ski might give you similar results if you are over 70 kg.
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If I was skiing crud I'd want a wider ski, 100-110mm, just sayin........
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
DB wrote:
Layne wrote:
@DB, still don't get why you think you need an 80-90 waist ski for this.

What is your "98mm setup for soft snow" ski/binding?


Völkl 90eight (2017) in a 177cm, also with Dynafit Radical 1's.


Sounds ideal for crud Wink

BTW I'd be wary of WildSnow reviews in this regard - compared to the matchsticks they ski/review much of the time it probably doesn't take much to impress them in bad snow.
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Also interested in this thread. Have Blizzard Rustler 11’s (112 waist) mounted with Shifts for short downhill focused tours. Need something lighter for a 6-7 hour big day tour length - but don’t want something super light that is useless on the downhill
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BobinCH wrote:
Also interested in this thread. Have Blizzard Rustler 11’s (112 waist) mounted with Shifts for short downhill focused tours. Need something lighter for a 6-7 hour big day tour length - but don’t want something super light that is useless on the downhill

If you like the 11's then just go narrower with a Rustler 9 which come in a tad under 1900g per ski in 180cm.
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The new K2 Mindbender 99 Ti gets very good reviews. Another option?
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I had the 90eights, which I thought were great, and swapped them for Scott Slight 93s as I wanted a more piste orientated ski. The Slights are great fun in most snow conditions and pretty light too.
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KenX wrote:
If I was skiing crud I'd want a wider ski, 100-110mm, just sayin........


Sure, each to their own - whatever floats your boat.

Maybe it's my lower weight or more probably my lack of technique but when skiing uneven surfaces (basically almost anything other than prepared piste and untracked powder) the wider skis get knocked about a lot more whereas with a sturdy ski I can either get more of an edge or bust through. In cut up, half frozen mashed potatoes yes a wider sturdy ski would be better but the weight would be well over the 3.5 kg. As the thiner skis tend to be the skis I take on multi-day tours I don't want a lot of weight.

Some ski weights in this link
https://blisterreview.com/gear-reviews/2019-2020-volkl-mantra-102

The other thing is I probably get more float from my 98mm wide skis than someone who is much heavier on 110 - 115 mm. The wider I go the more hard snow performance I lose for the extra float that I hardly ever need (unless in Japan or similar). As I'm sure you know a ski tour is very rarely made up of one type of snow. In snow with a variable consistency (e.g. tracked out underneath with 5 to15cm fresh powder on top) I feel more confident on stiffer skis were I can blast through down the fall line without the skis getting knocked off course than skiing on eggshells. Increased speed also means more float.


Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Tue 10-09-19 7:53; edited 1 time in total
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BertieG wrote:
I had the 90eights, which I thought were great, and swapped them for Scott Slight 93s as I wanted a more piste orientated ski. The Slights are great fun in most snow conditions and pretty light too.


Thanks, that's a really good call. They are lighter than my atomics but look to be a lot stiffer than other touring skis.
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I bought some cheap scott superguide 88s at the end of last season. Haven't skied them yet but they get good reviews for both edge hold and stability and they are light. I bought them for hut to hut touring etc. but if you are doing that then you need to be ready for not yet softened neve, firm couloirs and slush as well as spring snow.
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jedster wrote:
I bought some cheap scott superguide 88s at the end of last season. Haven't skied them yet but they get good reviews for both edge hold and stability and they are light. I bought them for hut to hut touring etc. but if you are doing that then you need to be ready for not yet softened neve, firm couloirs and slush as well as spring snow.


If I were to buy some skis today I'd look at the Superguides, you can pick them up for under 300 euros too. There's a ladies version which might suit the OP better given his mensurations.

However it is in the same programme as the Fischer Transalp which the OP said he didn't have the skills to ski in variable snow.
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davidof wrote:
I'd look at the Superguides, you can pick them up for under 300 euros too. There's a ladies version which might suit the OP better given his mensurations.

I don’t think there’s any need for that – I ski the 95 in a 168 and don’t have any problem getting them to go where I want. I’m not sure why they bothered, except that the 88 used to come in shorter lengths than it does now. Maybe it’s more bendy? Don’t think the OP would want that. At least it’s not pink.

Might be a bit too light for a crud buster though. I mean, I’ll ski anything on mine, but if you really want to lug something heavy up a mountain, knock yourself out. If I did, I likely literally would wink
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davidof wrote:
jedster wrote:
I bought some cheap scott superguide 88s at the end of last season. Haven't skied them yet but they get good reviews for both edge hold and stability and they are light. I bought them for hut to hut touring etc. but if you are doing that then you need to be ready for not yet softened neve, firm couloirs and slush as well as spring snow.


If I were to buy some skis today I'd look at the Superguides, you can pick them up for under 300 euros too. There's a ladies version which might suit the OP better given his mensurations.

However it is in the same programme as the Fischer Transalp which the OP said he didn't have the skills to ski in variable snow.


Lol. Do they do them in pink to match my headband?



Here's a test on the Fischer Transalp 88 you mentioned. They are basically light skis for doing something like the haute route, climbing orientated skis not much good on hard snow or in freeride conditions. Probably about as stiff as a learner ski with a similar speed limit. Ideal for fairweather skiers who just potter about while the suns out, I can see why you like them. wink
http://www.alpin.de/tests-produkte/ski/11298/produkttest_klassische_tourenski_bis_88mm-fischer_transalp_88.html?slide=1286233

The Scott 88 / 95 are much better/stiffer. The Scott Slight 93 looks to be an even sturdier ski than the Superguides and I can pick then up for around €50 more than the fairweather skis you mentioned.
https://www.alpin.de/tests-produkte/ski/21741/produkttest_produkttest_tourenski_2017_18-scott_slight_93.html?slide=2008709
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The trade off between ski weight and ability to ski nasty snow is a personal one. There are so many factors to influence the decision.
I have a pair of barely used Dynastar Mythic 98's in a 177 which are for sale if you were interested. I thought that they struck a pretty good balance.
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BenA wrote:
The trade off between ski weight and ability to ski nasty snow is a personal one. There are so many factors to influence the decision.
I have a pair of barely used Dynastar Mythic 98's in a 177 which are for sale if you were interested. I thought that they struck a pretty good balance.


Thanks, good skis but far too similar to the Völkl 90eights that I already have.
https://www.proskilab.co.uk/c/ski-reviews-2018-men-s-freeride-touring
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Have a look at the Fischer ranger series
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I took a pair of Black Crows Orb Freebirds mounted with Marker Alpinsts out to Austria to demo this Spring and was very impressed with them.

I was purposely seeking out varying snow conditions and pushing the skis quite hard (they were demo skis after all). Mixture of snow conditions including firm pistes, slushy bumps, spring corn, crud and some boot top powder to finish the trip. I was so impressed that I'm seriously considering getting a pair.

I also took a pair of Scott Superguide 88s with me which I didn't enjoy as much, lacked the dampness of the Orbs in variable snow.


Last edited by Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name: on Thu 12-09-19 18:25; edited 1 time in total
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 Poster: A snowHead
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IMHO To get through crud you need a bit of weight.

I have learn't .... basically cos Cody Towsend said it and who am I to argue ... that for touring, ski weight is much less important than you think. If you are doing it properly, you are more sliding the ski rather than lifting it. More important is boot and binding weight [if you are using a frame binding] as those are what you lift.
I bought lightweight skis bindings for skinning but was always bitterly dissapointed when skiing down especially in crud as they would deflect everywhere, and engendered no confidence.
I now happily compromise with Nordica Enforcers [pick your width] and Atomic Shift bindings. Slightly heavier but a joy on the down...... or anywhere for that matter .....
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@FoofyNoo, good points...

I just took delivery today of some 186 Dyanfit Legend 88's with a Ti sheet, heavy wood core and Shift binders as my new touring setup for coming season. 6'4" and 99kg. Light floppy skis dont work well for me. I have Legends in 96 (no Ti and Light wood core) with alpine binders for powder/good snow days and will most likely use the 88's for lousy snow days.
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@FoofyNoo,
On my last hut to hut touring trip I took my WD R108CL 186. There were 80 pairs of skis at the hut and mine were the biggest. That didn't reflect genius on my part!
Weight of skis does make a difference when you are skinning >1000m vertical a day. Ultimately you are still pushing those kg up the mountain. And you will probably have them on your pack at some point too. It is always worth watching what the guides use...
For shorter day tours and side country the trade off is different.
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jedster wrote:
@FoofyNoo,
On my last hut to hut touring trip I took my WD R108CL 186. There were 80 pairs of skis at the hut and mine were the biggest. That didn't reflect genius on my part!
Weight of skis does make a difference when you are skinning >1000m vertical a day. Ultimately you are still pushing those kg up the mountain. And you will probably have them on your pack at some point too. It is always worth watching what the guides use...
For shorter day tours and side country the trade off is different.


Of course you are absolutely correct .... for long tours/ski mountaineering then weight is everything.
I nearly always tour/skin to ski. This would not involve days of massive vertical therfore allow more compromise.
If the snow is cruddy, for me, all enjoyment is gone with light skis.
I think my post was for people thinking that they absolutely have to buy superlight gear for any form of touring/skinning. For me that was both unecassary and reduced my enjoyment.

Conversely, the very first time I skinned I had heavy skis, frame bindings and a heavy Spyder jacket ..... that was also a bad mistake! Shocked
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@FoofyNoo, I did my EMS training with Atomic RT Ti plug race boots, Dukes and Volkl Mantras. 4 days later was almost in a coma Toofy Grin
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davidof wrote:
jedster wrote:
I bought some cheap scott superguide 88s at the end of last season. Haven't skied them yet but they get good reviews for both edge hold and stability and they are light. I bought them for hut to hut touring etc. but if you are doing that then you need to be ready for not yet softened neve, firm couloirs and slush as well as spring snow.


If I were to buy some skis today I'd look at the Superguides, you can pick them up for under 300 euros too. There's a ladies version which might suit the OP better given his mensurations.

However it is in the same programme as the Fischer Transalp which the OP said he didn't have the skills to ski in variable snow.


I got some Scott Scrappers in the sales. Really liked the Superguide 105s I tried but I am a bit of a “short skis suck, long skis truck” kind of person and the Scrappers come in a 189 and don’t weigh much more
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skimottaret wrote:
@FoofyNoo, I did my EMS training with Atomic RT Ti plug race boots, Dukes and Volkl Mantras. 4 days later was almost in a coma Toofy Grin


Do you reckon Dukes & Whitedot R.98s be ok for the mountain safety course do you think?
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@kitenski, yeah no worries there, the tours aren't too long on the MS. The EMS ones were pretty tough if you dont have much experience touring, everyone in my group suffered including one ex WC skier and one olympian..
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kitenski wrote:
skimottaret wrote:
@FoofyNoo, I did my EMS training with Atomic RT Ti plug race boots, Dukes and Volkl Mantras. 4 days later was almost in a coma Toofy Grin


Do you reckon Dukes & Whitedot R.98s be ok for the mountain safety course do you think?


That should be fine for a training course .... less extreme vertical.

I just bloody hate frame bindings cos of the misery they have caused me, so I am biased.

They are for the young and fit ... not for the old and warty like me!

I was skiing in Japan last year with a guide who was touring with skis and frame bindings that were so heavy I could barely lift them.
He was in his 20s and was not affected at all! He just wouldn't use pin bindings due to reliability/safety issues.
He did ski ridiculously hard thought .....

For me the Atomic Shifts are perfect. Best of both worlds and still not too heavy ..... but I am someone who prefers to sleep in a hotel rather than a hut! wink
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@FoofyNoo, ta, I'm 52 but have the "lighter" F12 Tour EPF so hopefully ok!
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