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Which Touring Skis?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I am looking to get my first pair of ski and I have just started to get into ski touring so I am looking at a light off pieste ski I suppose. I have looked at the BD Stigma as that is what I ired last year and I got on well with them however it seems quite hard to get them oevr here. Another point is that I can get good discount on both Head and Salomon so if there is a ski from one of these that would suit that would be good, I have looked at the Salomon Lord and Suspect but both seem a little heavy.

Any suggestions will be greatfully recieved

Will
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
don't head do a Monster Mountain or somesuch which is a relatively lightweight ski with 90mm underfoot?

aside from that, there is such a range of touring skis that it's a bit difficult to advise without knowing a bit more about what you do. are you after something for a bit of uphill followed by a powder descent, hut to hut touring etc?

my general view is to get something slightly shorter and softer than you would ski as an alpine setup and stick dynafit bindings on but it really depends on what flavour of touring you are into
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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?
Lowest mark is the best.
Aufstieg/Gewicht = climb/weight

Test summary in German
http://www.testberichte.de/a/ski/magazin/ski-presse-nr-13-februar-2009-maerz-2009/149597.html

e.g. K2 Mt Baker is both lighter and better offpiste


Völkl Mauja is good in powder for its size
http://www.testberichte.de/a/ski/magazin/bergsteiger-12-2009/186279.html

the Movement logic with 88mm underfoot is tipped as the best touring powder ski in this test ...
http://www.testberichte.de/a/ski/magazin/alpin-11-2009/181135.html

K2 8611 Superlight RLS
http://www.testberichte.de/a/ski/magazin/ski-presse-nr-13-februar-2009-maerz-2009/149591.html


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Tue 19-01-10 10:17; edited 1 time in total
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I'm about 5'8" about 10stone, looking for a ski that will do everything but mainly day tours basically powder hunting, so a more downhill than pure touring ski would be ideal
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
can't see those head skis on their website - maybe ebay only!

i quite like the look of some of the Volkl offerings and the Dynafit freeride skis look nice - probably a bit lightweight for me but I weigh 15st!
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Arno wrote:
don't head do a Monster Mountain or somesuch which is a relatively lightweight ski with 90mm underfoot?


There used to be a "Head Monster iM 95 O.B."
http://www.untracked.com/p2060c49b89-08_head_monster_im_95_ob_skis.html
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
wi11,

If your goal is to do long multi day tours you want to get the lightest ski possible eg a Dynafit, Skitrab or similar, and mount with Dynafit bindings. This will also mean you need Dynafit compatible boots.

However a really light ski will not give good downhill performance, and touring boots do not match alpine boots for downhill performance. If you want a ski that will work on piste, off piste and for touring you may want something a bit more robust for which you will usually have to accept some extra weight.

Assuming you are in the 2nd category one of my ski buddies has the Head IM82's (green from a season or 2 ago) mounted with Dynafits and he uses them on piste, off piste and touring. He loves them.

If you want more off piste/touring focus, Dynafit do a ski called the Manaslu which is relatively light (3kg's) and wide (90mm).
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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, that's what i was thinking of
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Manaslu, G3 Tonic, the new 105mm Dynafit, SkiTrab Stelvio Freeride XL (I prefer this one over the manaslu), etc.

As for bindings and boots: Dynafit Titan and FT 12, no discussion possible on this imo.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Vorda wrote:
As for bindings and boots: Dynafit Titan and FT 12, no discussion possible on this imo.


er FT12 is €120 more expensive than the TLT speed, weighs more and has irritating brakes. how's that for discussion? Wink

and you should get the boots that fit you
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
wi11 wrote:
I'm about 5'8" about 10stone, looking for a ski that will do everything but mainly day tours basically powder hunting, so a more downhill than pure touring ski would be ideal


Yes downhill alpine boots perform better than touring boots but at your weight one of the stiffer 4 buckle touring boots should be OK. If you are buying new touring boots consider a boot with dynafit inserts and changable soles. As Arno says bootfit is paramount.

Would advise a ski width of 75 to 90 mmm - generally the wider the ski the better it is in powder but the poorer it is for the ascent / hard snow and the heavier you are the wider the ski required to give the same float. It's a trade off but I don't see much advantage in someone your (and my) size going for wider than 90mm unless you are skiing bottonless champagne powder (e.g. heliskiing)

In the 90mm range
Scott Sports Crusair
Völkl Nanuq / Völkl Polar Bear
Manaslu
K2 Mt Baker Superlight
http://www.sport-conrad.com/index.asp?disp=artikel&art_nr=70605209


Last edited by snowHeads are a friendly bunch. on Tue 19-01-10 12:45; edited 1 time in total
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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.
Fair enough, if you can't make Titan's fit you, bummer. But if you can manage to fit them, get them.
We're not talking alpine boots here, where construction is pretty much the same on every manufacturer and you can easily move on to something else which needs less fitting work. There is a difference in tour/ski performance of every touring boot, and currently for your goal, the Titan matches the picture best imo. (or a ZZeus, but don't get a BD Factor please)

As for the binding, words from wildsnow.com Lou:
Quote:
pretty simple choice, just get the Vertical ST as it has a bit more ramp angle and overall slightly better performance than Speed Classic, and is more current than Comfort. Not really much difference between Comfort and ST, but Classic is quite a bit different.

Make it ST if you don't need the 12 DIN version then.
@brakes: just remove them, or remove one of the two springs.

edit: but before I turn this into a stupid discussion, I agree; the TLT Speed is a good option as well if you don't want brakes or higher DIN.
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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
Vorda, can you elaborate on your comment re Factor? I ask because I've tried the Titan and it is too short and too narrow for my big wide, flat foot Sad

I've also tried the new Salomon Quest 12 Pro, which flexed much more evenly than the Titan but after 10 mins I could already feel my heel moving about. It's a much more generous fit allround which I don't want.

However I also tried the Factor and its combination of tight heel and wide front was an almost perfect fit. It may have been slightly less stiff than the Titan but did not feel significantly so.

I know the walk mode had problems with the early boots but understand (from the comments on www.wildsnow.com) that this has been addressed.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Will,

You should definitely go for the Dynafit binding which will reduce the weight whatever the set-up. I've just upgraded my touring equipment and I made the following decisions:

Boots: I bought the Black Diamond Factor, having tried the Dynafit Titan. The Black Diamond is a very good boot (excellent downhill feel) and I think this one comes down to a question of fit. The Titan is lighter, so if it fits you well it is a good option, but faced with the choice of slightly lighter but uncomfortable for my foot the Factor was definitely the right option.

Binding: Dynafit's most recent has a DIN setting of up to 12 and is very light. The only alternative (which I have on my downhill set-up) is the Marker Duke; this binding is very heavy, excellent for going downhill but poor for going up. It has the best ski feel but it's too heavy for any sort of serious tour. I would recommend the Dynafit, combined with a good ski and boot.

Ski: After trying and listening to friends' recommendations I went for the Fischer Watea 84. The Head Monster is a fantastic ski, but it's much heavier than the Watea (I have the Monster 88 as my downhill ski). The Watea behaves well in almost all conditions, although it cuts through crud less well than the Monster. It's reasonably lightweight, but not designed as a weight-saving touring ski; it skis very well in my view and I would definitely recommend trying a pair. I haven't skied the Head Alpinist, which is their designated touring ski; if you can find a pair these may be worth a try.

I would very much recommend both trying skis out and also talking to more experienced skiers who know your skiing style. Good luck with the search.

With all good wishes,

Matthew
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Hmm, you're right. I was unaware they fixed that. The 'issue' left now is the limited rearward motion, which you supposedly only notice on long flats. Still, sucks to see people who can fit in a Titan get a Factor imo.

Did you try the Garmont Radium btw?
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
bobinch wrote:
Vorda, can you elaborate on your comment re Factor? I ask because I've tried the Titan and it is too short and too narrow for my big wide, flat foot Sad


Really de Titan was too big for you???? I also have a wide fit, specially at right foot, and yes during the 3rd first days I'm thinking in some strech of shells, but then at the 4th day all changes, the liner was finally adapted to my feet (It packs lot to fit your feet ok, more than packs the factor for example), they fits me pretty well. Really, now, fits me better than my 3years old alpine boots. I need some effort to put my feet inside, but then I can spend hours in them without problem. Really happy with them now.

I feel it more precise than my alpine boots (maybe because better fit now, and maybe the liner in the alpine boots is already Be Nice please! off) and with enough stiffness to do all things that I was doing with other.... Or, more, because the walking position are impressive for the kind of boots we're speaking.

I need more days to could do a complete report (only 1 week of skiing on it) but at the moment really happy...
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Actually, what AlTom says is true, the Titans are known for having a very snug stock liner. Then again, I assume you did a shell fit.
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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?
AlTom, Vorda, yes, did shell fit with an experienced boot fitter. I'm a size 27 (well 27.5 but shell is the same) in Alpine. Tried the Titan in 27 shell with my alpine conformables and it was crushing the front of my foot. The fitter said it does come up pretty short. He suggested I try with a 28 shell and while the length was better the front was still very tight and by going bigger I'm leaving more space around the heel where I want it really tight. I was in it for 10 minutes so hard to say how much it would have packed out but the fitter was pretty honest and said to me that he could try and fit me in the 28 but suspected I would struggle due to my wide foot. Apparently it's a 98mm last compared to 100mm or 102mm in most of the other touring boots.

Didn't try Radium because I already have a pair of Endorphins and want something stiffer. My understanding is that the Radium is no stiffer (at best) than the Endorphins.

AlTom, have you previously owned factors or just tried them?

MGA, what shape is your foot?
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wi11,

Are you looking for one pair of skis & binding setup for all your skiing (piste, offpiste & touring) or a touring setup to be in your quiver just for those big powder days?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
MGA, the same guy who has the Head IM82's with Dynafit also has the 88's. He says they are a completely different beast. Much stiffer and heavier and he struggles with them off piste. The 82's are much easier (and I think lighter)
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Dynafit certainly seems to be the fashionable recommendation on here! Its his first pair of skis so I am assuming that they will be used for piste skiing and lift accessed off-piste/touring. Having had problems with knees I would worry about skiing dynafits on my only ski. The toe will only release once the heal has so they do not provide as good protection. I don't think Fritschis should be ruled out in your case and certainly worth consideration. Marker are also releasing a new lighter touring binding which looks like it will compete at the same weight bracket as the freeride. Either of these bindings can be used happily with whatever boot you already have too allowing you to use a stiffer alpine boot for lift accessed skiing or even light touring.
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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 wrote:
MGA, the same guy who has the Head IM82's with Dynafit also has the 88's. He says they are a completely different beast. Much stiffer and heavier and he struggles with them off piste. The 82's are much easier (and I think lighter)


Anyone know how heavy the Peak 82's are in 170cm? Sounds like the 82's ski more like the Head Mojo 90s / Johns 94's which I preferred to the Monster IM88's.
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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!
bobinch wrote:
AlTom, Vorda, yes, did shell fit with an experienced boot fitter. I'm a size 27 (well 27.5 but shell is the same) in Alpine. Tried the Titan in 27 shell with my alpine conformables and it was crushing the front of my foot. The fitter said it does come up pretty short. He suggested I try with a 28 shell and while the length was better the front was still very tight and by going bigger I'm leaving more space around the heel where I want it really tight. I was in it for 10 minutes so hard to say how much it would have packed out but the fitter was pretty honest and said to me that he could try and fit me in the 28 but suspected I would struggle due to my wide foot. Apparently it's a 98mm last compared to 100mm or 102mm in most of the other touring boots.

Didn't try Radium because I already have a pair of Endorphins and want something stiffer. My understanding is that the Radium is no stiffer (at best) than the Endorphins.

AlTom, have you previously owned factors or just tried them?

MGA, what shape is your foot?


The radium is indeed a bit softer than the Endorphin according to the TGR list: http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php?t=78437&highlight=boot+flex
As for the last, it's more complex than that. If you compare the Factor's 102 to the ZZeus/Titan, they have 105. But the Dynafit (edit: I wrote dynastar.. sigh) seem to have a different shape: http://www.wildsnow.com/more/backcountry-skiing-boot-dimensions/
As you can see in the list, the "RW" is the big difference, which is:
" RW = Rear Width of footboard, 70 mm forward from boot rear. This is may be a critical measurement for folks who feel like boot pinch their feet in the area just forward and below the ankle joint. "
Anyway, I'm no bootfitter, but this was pretty interesting to look into Smile


Last edited by After all it is free Go on u know u want to! on Tue 19-01-10 15:56; edited 1 time in total
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It's good to see (from the TGR thread) that another manufacturer is offereing touring boots for narrow feet

i.e. Dalbello Virus
http://www.skiingthebackcountry.com/Virus_AT_Boot.php
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Whilst the Virus looks very much like the Flexon, any similarity in the volume department has been lost. The first word is that they are medium or even wide, especially round the heel:

http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php?t=178895&page=2
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altis wrote:
Whilst the Virus looks very much like the Flexon, any similarity in the volume department has been lost. The first word is that they are medium or even wide, especially round the heel:

http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php?t=178895&page=2


Yes I've just seen that thread, the table in the other TGR thread listed them as schmal (low volume) and got me hopes up.


Last edited by snowHeads are a friendly bunch. on Tue 19-01-10 15:57; edited 1 time in total
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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 tried on the virus and i found them pretty narrow around the middle of teh foot but plenty of room for the toes
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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
MGA, what shape is your foot?[/quote]

Hi Bobinch,

The problem for me was that the heel was too tight, which I guess must mean my heel is too wise; the BD Factor was much better in this respect.

Matthew
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
bobinch wrote:
MGA, the same guy who has the Head IM82's with Dynafit also has the 88's. He says they are a completely different beast. Much stiffer and heavier and he struggles with them off piste. The 82's are much easier (and I think lighter)


Hello again,

The 82s are definitely easier; the 88s require speed off piste. The 82s are of course lighter than the 88, but they're not a light ski and so wouldn't be my first choice for touring. They're great for a lift-assisted day with maybe an hour's climbing, but they are heavy and so I wouldn't go for them if I had more touring in mind than that; the Fischer Watea is a good deal lighter and has very good all-round performance. It's more flexible than the Heads and so easier to ski in most conditions. It doesn't cut through crud so well and it's less good on icy piste; it's better than the Head in powder.

The Head 78, 82 and 88 are all great skis, but I think that one of the reasons they're so good is that they're heavy. My wife skis the 78 (admittedly with a Marker binding) and wouldn't countenance more than an hour uphill on them.

With all good wishes,

Matthew
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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 all of the replies. I was thinking of getting some of the Fritschi Diamir Freeride Plus bindings, as these will be my first and only pair of skis I would want them to work well for touring but I would want something that when I go away with family and won't be able to do any touring would still work perfectly fine, I was looking at something like the Salomon Lords (I am quite keen to go for something from Head or Salomon as I am a student and can get discounts with both of these) but the weight is putting me off of them and the Head website has very limited information abotut their skis i.e. no weights. So I thinks that I am looking for a ski around the 3-3.5Kg mark that will handle the full spectrum of skiing really.

Will
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi wi11, I have just put an old pair of Freerides on some of this years Lords, and they ski just fine - Fritschis have a lot of detractors (and there are some minus points) but thousands of people have used them quite happily for many years for all sorts of touring - my main touring set-up for a few years was a pair of the original Pocket Rockets with fritschi titanal II (now 'explorer') bindings. These saw many years of use & abuse including heliskiing in AK and skiing alot of steep stuff and were still going strong when I sold the rig on in all good faith a few years back...

Yes it will be heavier than a pair of dynafit bindings mounted on toothpicks, but the extra smile-factor on the downhill is worth it (and yes you could happily use this set-up for multi-day tours eg Haute Route).
Enjoy
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
What extra smile factor downhill? Do elaborate, you're the first person I've seen who prefers freeride's vs TF12. Unless you don't want to buy new boots of course.

edit: actually, sorry for the offensive tone. I'm really interested to hear what makes you choose Fritschi over Dynafit.
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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?
Hey Vorda, the 'extra smile factor' refers to being on a decent pair of skis going downhill as opposed to a pair of ultra-light touring toothpicks (bindings irrelevant), which if you're coming from a 'traditional' alpine skiing background will often feel very difficult to control.

For the record i currently have Lords w/ Freerides, altitrail powders w/ dynafit comfort somethings & Mythic riders w/ ft12s. They all have their place and they all have +s & -s, but for a first touring rig I see no problem (& happily recommend to a lot of people) with fritschi bindings...
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wi11 wrote:
Thanks for all of the replies. I was thinking of getting some of the Fritschi Diamir Freeride Plus bindings, as these will be my first and only pair of skis I would want them to work well for touring but I would want something that when I go away with family and won't be able to do any touring would still work perfectly fine, I was looking at something like the Salomon Lords (I am quite keen to go for something from Head or Salomon as I am a student and can get discounts with both of these) but the weight is putting me off of them and the Head website has very limited information abotut their skis i.e. no weights. So I thinks that I am looking for a ski around the 3-3.5Kg mark that will handle the full spectrum of skiing really.

Will


Consider the Fritschi Eagle as an alternative to the Freerideplus. It has an improved pivot point / walk mode and binding release.

http://www.wildsnow.com/1769/fritschi-diamir-eagle-binding/

..... if you do go for the Freerideplus then look on ebay.

I'm a similar size to you and these would be my choices if buying new (currently ride a Völk snowwolf)
http://www.telemark-pyrenees.com/shop/product_info.php?cPath=1_48_315_396&products_id=7120

http://www.telemark-pyrenees.com/shop/product_info.php?cPath=1_48_315_396&products_id=7121

are you buying new touring boots?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Yeah I am buying new boots when I go (going to the bootroom in cham) so I mugy but my bindings out there depending on what boots I get
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wi11, that's where I tested the boots discussed above. They have a good range - Salomon Quest, Dynafit Titan, Dalbello Virus, Garmont Radium and more (No BD Factor though) - and I thought the main bootfitter Jules was very professional and honest.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
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If you are going for a one pair of skis setup then Fritschi's are a good compromise. A boot with interchangeable soles for Alpine and touring is good for when you want to demo/rent skis with alpine bindings. Some boots offer dynafit compatibility too. For boots - Garmont (lowest volume) or Dynafit Titan & ZZeus TF-X.

Perhaps someone (a friend, relative etc) would swap a brand new pair of Head/Salomon skis for a pair of touring skis.
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