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Early Retirement Off Piste Kit Skis and Boots

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Morning All
I'm in the very fortunate although slightly scary position of packing in work next month.
I'm not sure what this will mean for skiing this year or next ... other than I hope to be doing a bit more !
For me that probably means 3 weeks a year as my wife does not ski and my trips are with mates whose time is a bit more limited.
I have skied with some of you - couple of Off Piste SH trips - and I consider myself an advanced skier. I'm pretty fit ... 6ft 2ins and 13.5 stone ... my risk appetite has declined with age and also after a nasty prayer inducing slide in Chamonix a couple of years ago ... although my skill level has probably increased !
My garage currently contains ...
Boots - Garmont Endorphin ... heavy and heavily remoulded around ankles and toes ... but very comfortable (after a couple of days) with a zipfit liner.
Skis - Black Crows Atris - about 4 years old and with a cracked edge under the sole ... otherwise good condition.
Also pair of lightly used K2 Coombacks.
Bindings - Marker Baron Frames with Quiverkillers on both sets of skis.
I also have 1 Blizzard Cochise ... other lost in powder 4 years ago ...
I'm looking to change boots and skis to a slightly lighter set-up with the aim of doing some touring ... nothing serious at the moment just to access new off-piste areas but possibly more in the future if I like it in the way I expect to. I have done a couple of short tours - in Lauteret with SH and Gressoney ... painful with blisters but exhilarating.
So I'm planning on a Shift setup and having done all my desk research have narrowed skis down to probably Salomon QST 106, Whitedot Altum 104 or Fischer Ranger 102. I think these are a bit lighter, softer and probably more fun than the Atris and certainly the Cochise.
Historically my favourite ever skis were Pocket Rockets and Gotamas ...
I'm more worried about the boots ... my ankle bones protrude a bit and I have a couple of Haglunds bumps as well as a wide forefoot and minor bumps near little toes ... I have had several reworks done on my current boots and I'm a bit scared about the prospect of going through painful boots again. I'm size 29.
I'd appreciate any help or advice that the great SH Collective Brain can give.
Thanks and Happy New Year
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Given that you're still on Endorphins, you clearly see your kit as an investment Smile
This is all the more reason to see a boot fitter. Touring boots have improved in leaps and bounds since the Endorphins were current so I am sure you'll find something which works. Blisters are a tricky one. I think some people are just more susceptible to them than others, even if you have well fitted boots. You may have to accept a bit of pain while you work out the best coping strategy - it may be as simple as how tightly or loosely you buckle the boots while walking. Or you may need to become an expert in application of tape/compeeds.
If you can't get to a good boot fitter from Cirencester, I'd recommend an early season trip to somewhere like Chamonix where you'll be able to get pretty much all the touring boots out there and there are some very good boot fitters
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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?
Thanks Arno ... I have been to many Boot Fitters ... Lockwoods, CEM, Profeet etc so definitely will go that route ... and I agree with the Chamonix fitting idea ... my best fit was a pair from a fitter in Val D'Isere where I got them tweaked multiple times during the week.
Just not sure when I'm likely to get out there in the current environment !
The Endorphins investment was eventually a good one ... that's why I'm so concerned about the change !
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It might be the liners that are giving you the blisters (no hinged area), other options here.
https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=4697435&highlight=zipfit#4697435
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Thanks DB - the Zipfits were a recent addition ... not toured with them so it's not those that caused it.
I did find that wearing a very thin liner ankle sock helped ...
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PBJ wrote:
Thanks DB - the Zipfits were a recent addition ... not toured with them so it's not those that caused it.
I did find that wearing a very thin liner ankle sock helped ...


Blisters while just skiing !!! (not touring), something doesn't sound right.
Wet and rubbing = blisters, you shouldn't ge getting so much movement while skiing to suffer from blisters.

I find the thickness of the sock is critical.
My advice would be mould with thin socks and only use the same model/manufacturer of socks (buy loads of pairs of exactly the same socks).

After my many pairs of touring socks wore through I bought what I thought were the same socks again online (same manfacturer and model name) but they were thicker.
Used the first new pair while on a long ski tour that took 8 hours (Rumplerrunde Krippenstein/Dachstein) - eventually couldn't stand up and had to take the footbeds out to relieve the pain.
ski holidays
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@PBJ We found ourselves in effectively the same position as you early in 2019, albeit that I'd deliberately been doing increasing part-time contracts with bigger gaps between already by then. Just a suggestion: have you considered taking up snowshoeing as an activity you could do with your wife on joint holidays? We ourselves do much more snowshoeing now, especially on bad weather days. And my brother-in-law's wife doesn't ski at all, but mixing skiing and racquettes makes it enough for them to enjoy trips out together. Just a thought.
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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!
Think you'd like the Altums (Delinquents) - they have the same sort of "fun factor" as the OG Pocket Rockets while being a modern ski that does a lot more. As you've had QKs you'll no doubt be on to the Scouse ski bandit who'll give you chapter and verse on all the ski options he sees a lot with Shifts - maybe Scotts and whatever the Cham range for Dynastar has become now?

Also you sound like an ideal candidate for multi bashes (maybe not this year but in future)
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Thanks Dave ... you are spot on ! On all counts !
DB the blisters were only from touring ... sorry didn't make that clear.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
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@PBJ, I had Garmont Endorphins back in the day. Nice, comfortable boots, just a bit of forefoot widening required. Only changed them as they didn’t have pins. Now on Tecnica Zero-G which seemed to fit out of the box. May be worth a look - I think they’re quite easy to punch if required. Liners are very light/thin though so you may need some aftermarket liners to beef them up if you’re using them for a lot of downhill
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@BobinCH, Concept Pro are now selling the O-Gs without liners ...
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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.
under a new name wrote:
@BobinCH, Concept Pro are now selling the O-Gs without liners ...


Don’t get me wrong, the stock liners are perfect for the up - light and flexible, but a bit thin for the down. Now need to ratchet up the clips a bit much for my liking. So if you ski them a lot downhill you’ll want aftermarket liners at some point but I’d still want the stock liners for a big climb
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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
@PBJ,


I hope to be in your position before TOO long so keep us posted on what you get up to.

I think you are on the right track about gear. Probably the key thing is finding the right sort of boot (uphill vs downhill) and the right fit. My only wisdom here is that you can't go too light without limiting how you ski on a 100-110mm ski. At your weight, if you load the tips you will overpower a lightweight boot.

The only curveball I'd throw is that I'd have thought that the Altums were quite similar to the Atris. that may be perfect if you see them as a replacement but I guess the other option would be to go for something lighter, skinnier and more of a complement while keeping the Atris for liftserved etc. I guess Blizzard zero G, Scott scrapper or superguide, salomon moutain explore in the mid 90s with a purer pin binding would fit the bill
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Another ski which is fantastic, if perhaps a bit heavier than you’re looking for is the Kaestle FX 96. A real go anywhere ski. There are lighter skis like the ones mentioned above and Kaestle have the TX 98’s in that class which I’ve also got but if you’re relatively fit and not doing long tours I’d pick the FX 96’s over the TX 98’s every time.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Thanks for the help ...
Regarding the boots ... my focus in the short term is on the down rather than the up but that's because I'm good at the down and inexperienced at the up ! I hope to become good at both but realistically the split is probably unlikely to be more than 70 30 in the short term until more of my ski buddies get into touring too or I meet more SH touring buddies on more bashes if they ever happen again !
I have looked at last widths and the ZeroGs look narrower than others ... although my feet actually measure as normal width but I always wind up needing them to be blown a bit around the little toes. Hence I have looked for wider boots ... may be a mistake though as my ankles and calves are quite skinny. I haven't been anywhere to try lots in the current circumstances, but I did try Dalbello Lupos last year which were surprisingly comfortable and think they have a 100mm last.
On the ski front ... the Atris is a really good ski - maybe just a bit dull
Interested to hear other views of the Altum.
The Fischer Ranger looks like a modern Pocket Rocket ... but not many about ... think I read the factory burned.

I'd ideally only want one pair quiver ... so there will be compromises ... and don't really want to go below 100mm waist
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@PBJ, if you want Altums: https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=154464
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Thanks DJL ... I would need 187s ...
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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?
@BobinCH, I agree with you on Kastle skis. I have a pair of TX98s in 189cm and they are one of the best skis I have owned. So light and yet stable and powerful. Not skied the FX96 but a friend uses them on hard snow days when not touring and rates them.

@PBJ, I own and rate the Atris and before owning the TX98s noted above my favourite skis were the Volkl Katana (191cm) and pair of the last gen Gotamas in 194cm. If you want a lighter tourable ski take a look at the Kastle TX103 which is a fatter version of the TX98 and closer in dimensions to the Atris - but a lot lighter. I just got a pair of TX103 delivered - not sure if I will ski them this season though!

Good review of the TX103 here https://www.outdoorgearlab.com/reviews/snow-sports/backcountry-skis/kastle-tx-103

Outdoor Gearlab still rate the TX98 as the best tourable ski they have used.
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https://www.outdoorgearlab.com/topics/snow-sports/best-backcountry-skis
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@PBJ, you need some new friends. 3 weeks does not even begin to be remotely enough if you have finished work. As for the present Mrs@PBJ, that needs some thought...
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interpaul wrote:
Not skied the FX96 but a friend uses them on hard snow days when not touring and rates them.


Not just hard snow!

http://youtube.com/v/4yXdDcl4vQ4
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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, I think the Niklases have aftermarket liners that are as light.
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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!
@HammondR, Laughing 1 week would be nice this year ...
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@BobinCH, correction he has the FX95 HP. The FX 96 HP looks a really versatile ski.

I am preferring narrower skis since I snapped my ACL and found the TX98 amazing in knee deep powder with no tip dive. Kastle have defo got something good going on with their skis, I think it is the very even flex pattern with no fold points.

I have shifts on my 98s, it is a very light set up.

I have a pair of BC Noctas for deep days.
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