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Approach Ski?
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By Chris90
From Unity, Maine
Sep 21, 2011

I have size 15 (Euro 49) feet. Never been downhill skiing before, but skis could make some approaches faster and more fun. Who uses Randonee set ups?? Do they work well? Whats the cheapest way I can go? Also, does anyone know of Tele or AT boots in size 15?


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By BryanV
From Fort Collins, CO
Sep 21, 2011
Ouray Ice Park

I have a lightweight pair of skis with Dynafit bindings. Super lightweight and efficient. I highly recommend it. It makes the down a lot more fun as well.

I would also suggest you do an old ski for cheap and put Alpine Trekkers on for bindings. You can just use a pair of stiff mountaineering boots then. This is a good setup for ice climbing, etc. Not the best for downhill performance though.

www.backcountry.com/backcountry-access-alpine-trekker-adapto>>>

Hope this helps.

bv
white-knuckled.blogspot.com/


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By Martin le Roux
From Superior, CO
Sep 21, 2011
Stairway to Heaven

BryanV wrote:
II would also suggest you do an old ski for cheap and put Alpine Trekkers on for bindings. You can just use a pair of stiff mountaineering boots then. This is a good setup for ice climbing, etc. Not the best for downhill performance though.


If you've never done any downhill skiing you're going find it's pretty miserable trying to ski in mountaineering boots. There may be some gifted skiiers out there who're okay with that setup, but for everyone else it's a lot more fun with proper AT boots. But then you have to choose between climbing in AT boots (okay up to WI3 or so) or carrying a second pair of boots.

This topic came up just a month or two ago: mountainproject.com/v/ski-binding-for-ice-climbing-boot/1072>>>

And here's an older discussion:
mountainproject.com/v/climbing-in-at-boots/106598905


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By Jarek
Sep 21, 2011

I have bought the second hand AT setup, silveretta bidings, skis, skins and ski crampons for around $250, complete set. I think you can find some deals on Ebay, I bought mine in Second Ascent, a Seattle outfit with used gear.

The idea for me was to approach the climbs and ski down with Koflachs. I have tried the setup on groomed trials and it was OK, not the best but manageable. The approach part was also great. However when I took it to the back country, with heavier backpack and powder or frozen snow, there was no way to ski down. It was extremely difficult to control skis with resistance created by deeper snow and additional weight of backpack, as your ankles are not supported by the boot. I ended up falling all over the place and my ankles hurting. I am an OK skier, but I have asked the friend of mine who is an expert to try, and he ended up with similar results. He was also wearing Koflachs.

I ended up buying Dynafit boots, TLT4's. There were really good deals on Sierra Trading Post (less than $300). Now what a difference that was for skiing! I think climbing itself is slightly compromised, but the boots weight similar to Koflachs and they do a decent job on easier / medium difficulty climbs. So my lesson was get light weight At boots for ski approaches and use snow shoes if you need full performance of your climbing boots.


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By D Condit
From Colorado Springs, CO
Sep 21, 2011
North Maroon

Since you're not already a skier, you might consider a split snowboard. You'd have to learn to snowboard, but it's not a whole lot more difficult than skiing. The benefits of the snowboard are that it's lighter, and you can use your regular climbing boots. The cost of a board is probably going to be a little more than skis. If you're really a cheap you can make one with a used regular board (search online for instructions). The hot chicks may not be impressed with your setup, but then again when was the last time you ran into hot chick slogging into a backcountry ice climb.


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By Wyatt H
From Casper, Wy
Sep 23, 2011

This article is pretty much exactly what you're looking for.


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By Eric Fjellanger
Sep 23, 2011
Me on top of Chianti Spire

Here is my opinion:

Learn to ski, skiing is rad. It's fun and it's also a really good means of transportation.

The idea of learning to ski just well enough to approach climbs is flawed, because backcountry skiing is hard. Much harder than resort skiing, which can be hard in itself. Skiing with mountaineering boots is also hard and not fun and I wouldn't suggest it on any terrain with a noticeable slope.

Learn to ski inbounds. Buy a pass for a year and ski a lot. There are people who will tell you that you can learn to ski in the backcountry, which is not technically untrue, but you will be very slow to progress as you will be making at most a few runs per day. You need a lot of laps.

My broad advice is to learn to ski on cheap gear for a season before sinking real money into it. You should be able to come up with a cheap pair of skis, and downhill bindings and boots, that'll let you figure out how serious you are.

There are a lot of new AT boots out there that are very light and have very flexible walk modes, without sacrificing very much skiability. With boots, fit is always most important, more so than brand and features. I know with your feet your options will be more limited, but there are still options.

I also have a friend with size 15 feet and he has a pair of Scarpa Matrix boots, and a pair of Lowa Structura boots. You can probably find size info on manufacturer's websites.


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