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Starting touring - should I replace my alpine quiver?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I just got some new gear last winter and love it. But it's all alpine stuff and now I'm really wanting the ability to do some basic touring. Would love to pick up some cheap stuff through the summer. But I just can't work out what I should be looking at.

I ski relatively aggressively and have had a couple of early releases in the past that gave me a bit of a fright. They were front of my mind when I was comparing bindings last year. While the Salomon Shift binding looked ideal, I read a few reports of early releases so I decided against them. I also have wide feet which are difficult to fit boots.

In the end I chose to just get some solid and reliable downhill gear - Black Crows Atris skis (they're not Atris Birdies), Marker Jester bindings, Atomic Hawx Magna boots.

As I don't live at the mountains, I have to lug my gear through airports etc. So I'm not really interested in taking 2 sets of skis/bindings/boots when I travel.

So I guess I have a few options. (1) keep my current setup and buy a whole new touring setup, then decide before I go on a trip whether there will be any touring. (2) replace my current boots and bindings with some touring gear (which has a strong downhill focus), and then remount my skis.

I'd be interested to hear any opinions on how much tradeoff there is with the new alpine touring gear (eg Salomon Shift/Marker Kingpin bindings, Dalbello Lupo/Technica Cochise boots etc), and whether it is worth remounting bindings on my skis (they were brand new last year so this would be the first time remounting them), or whether I should use this as a chance to get some different skis.

What would you do...? Cheers in advance for any suggestions! Cool
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I use Dalbello Lupo 120s for all my skiing, and have Shifts on two of my touring set ups. For me there's really no tradeoff or compromise on the downhill side of things, only on the uphill side (obviously not the lightest set up).

I've owned and used Kingpins a fair bit in the past, including to the top of Elbrus... They are not in the same league as Shifts. Very marginally lighter/better uphill, but they don't ski like an alpine binding in the way the Shifts do.

As you mentioned Cochise boots I've also had 3 pairs/generations of them (also took them to the top of Elbrus, for which they definitely were not the ideal boot haha). Personally I prefer the Lupos and that smoooooth 3-piece flex, but both are great boots and unless you're seriously working race skis on boilerplate (and/or are a giant) either will be all the boot you need for any skiing. Go with what fits best.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I use Cochise Light and love them - so much so that I think I only used my downhill boots for a couple of gate training days last season, and even did a day of gates in the Cochise. For me, a brilliant "compromise" boot.

"Cheap stuff" and touring are a tough combination IMO. With touring, my feet go through a much wider range of motion than in downhill skiing, so fit is super-important. I have "easy" feet and can buy off-the-shelf downhill boots without any problem, but the one time I did that with touring boots was a disaster and I sold them after 2 days.

Once you go down the professionally-fitted route for touring boots, "cheap" may not equate to "good value"! A pair of boots that are comfortable after 3 hours climbing, and ski perfectly 2 hours later in a cruddy descent, are great value. A pair of "cheap" boots that leave your heels bleeding within the first 60 minutes ascent are bad value no matter how cheap they are.
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@snowdave, +1

@Sizzle Mcgee, I'm new to this touring malarkey, but very motivated. Boot wise, I shifted (hahah!) from stiff, heavy, race boots to Technica Zero-G Tour Pros at the start of last season and find them to be no issue at all on the alpine down (at least as supportive as my race boots) and totally lovely on the rando up.

... "whether there will be any touring" - isn't there always touring?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
under a new name wrote:
@snowdave, +1

@Sizzle Mcgee, I'm new to this touring malarkey, but very motivated. Boot wise, I shifted (hahah!) from stiff, heavy, race boots to Technica Zero-G Tour Pros at the start of last season and find them to be no issue at all on the alpine down (at least as supportive as my race boots) and totally lovely on the rando up.

... "whether there will be any touring" - isn't there always touring?


I’m the opposite. Love the Zero-G’s for the up but they are no comparison to Nordica Speedmachine 130’s on the down. And I don’t tour very much so would be careful to check how much touring you will actually do. Most people overestimate it.
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@Sizzle Mcgee, how much climbing do you intend to do?
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@BobinCH, yeah, I can see that. TBH, I haven't back to backed them as my race boots are a. so worn and b. the Squires require adjustment to take them again.

Maybe next season.
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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!
Thanks heaps for all the feedback - very helpful to hear from people who have actually used all the gear I've been trying to compare! I'm glad to hear nobody's having issues with the shifts. The things I've read about pre-releases still give me some concerns but I'm thinking this might be related to earlier versions of the bindings or some other issues such as snow/ice buildup. You guys sound like you've well and truly put them to the test so this gives me some confidence. In case anyone's interested here's some of the reviews (you can filter to only see the 1 or 2 star reviews): https://www.evo.com/alpine-touring-ski-bindings/salomon-slab-shift-mnc

@gorilla to be honest, I don't think it will be a great deal and most of it would be short trips (I doubt there would be any overnight trips etc). It's just that last winter I had a few chances to do it and ended up having to bootpack or not do it at all. I'm still much more concerned about downhill performance rather than uphill.

@snowdave I've gotta learn to stop using the word "cheap" in connection with boots Very Happy I've had enough pain in alpine boots over the years that I am completely on board with buying what fits, not what is cheap. I just meant I'd have a look at gear during the end of season/off season sales.

What do you think about skis? I love my atris and at 108mm underfoot they seem like they could be ideal for sticking some shifts on (if it's ok to remount them). Or keep the atris (and alpine boots) as a dedicated alpine setup, and buy a new set of skis for touring. I'd love something even wider but am thinking I probably want the versatility of the atris for an all purpose setup that can also tour. I don't mind a bit of weight on the uphill. It's more about the downhill for me and I'll only just be getting started in touring. Maybe I could get something wider and put the alpine bindings on them... but then when there's new snow I have to choose between touring and fat skis. Argh the dilemma.
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@Sizzle Mcgee, there was no 'earlier version' of the Shifts, they've been unchanged since their launch. They do require to be precisely set-up to the users boot by someone that understands the nuances of this binding. I've sold/mounted hundreds of sets without issue. I've posted plenty about them here: https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=134462&highlight=salomon+shift&start=400

The solution to travelling with your two ski requirement is to share one pair of bindings across both skis using Quiver Killer inserts: https://www.thepisteoffice.com/index.php/the-piste-office-store/quiver-killer-inserts.html
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
Thanks @spyderjon, very helpful. I hadn't heard of the Quiver Killers, that's a brilliant solution.
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Watch your self with that quiver killers.... bloody dangerous on the wallet with buying many sets of skis.
All seriousness I am a big fan of them, if you are reasonably competent at DIY you can also get a diy installation kit, this opens up taking a punt on skis if you can QK across one set of bindings over your ski quiver.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
I have my original touring set up for sale for a couple of hundred quid, Fritschi explore frame bindings, 1080 twintips, ski crampons, skins. There were listed in the Buy Sell section but that looks like it's had a spring clean.

It doesn't help your ski carriage situation but they would give you an easy intro into touring without having to change all your existing kit before you get to know your preferences.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@Sizzle Mcgee,

Given you are just getting into touring I'd suggest hiring the kit for your first couple of days. You'll have a much better basis for making decisions after that.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@jedster, yep, good call.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@spyderjon, Are you able to give me a bit of information about quiver killers. I currently have 3 sets of skis 2 with alpine bindings and one with shifts. these are already fitted. i have since bought a new set of skis with a set of shifts but hey are unmounted. I also have my eye on a wider set. my question is can you only fit quiver killers before mounting? if so i now wish that i hadnt purchased the second set of shifts as they are a bit redundant. also where can you get these fitted as im guessing that the likes of ellis brigham dont do it? is it easy to swap the bindings in and out for anyone? so could you take away 3 sets of skis and one binding? this would make carriage much easier as its the bidings that take up space in the ski bag.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@mk28, It's a relatively easy DIY job to retro fit quiver killers depending on your skills. If you are doing a pair where you are adding the quiver killers to the existing screw holes it's even easier.

@spyderjon, sells a DIY kit.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@jedster, yes good point, I'll have a think about that.

@AndAnotherThing.., cheers but I don't think it'll work for me at the moment.

Thanks very much guys, plenty of food for thought for me.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@mk28 I think its recommended at least 10mm from your old binding holes to your new holes. Your existing shifts it's a very straight forward job. Strongly recommend giving spyderjon a ring hes the UK importer and very clued up on all things shift aswell. I drove from stoke to his shop for a morning servicing course well worth it!

Remember you will need to plug/seal your old alpine binding holes.

Changing shift binding from ski to ski is a little bit of Fing about (compared to my old QK vist bindings) probably about a 10 minute job.

Luckily shift bindings remain unchanged next season so your 2nd pair will have a good resale value.

QK makes adding to your ski quiver so easy its dangerous!
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WASHOUT wrote:
.........Strongly recommend giving spyderjon a ring hes the UK importer and very clued up on all things shift aswell.....

Already done.
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