Who XC Skis?

Brandon Pattison

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Feb 25, 2012
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Michigan
I have been looking into NNN BC boots and skis. I wonder if the trekking poles will work or do I need to buy another set of poles. I also wonder who makes the best, rugged skis and boots. I like leather and Gore-Tex hiking boots and would like something like this for in camp use. The skis must be steel edged as well. This is a sister thread to Aron's WHO SNOWSHOES? thread.

What do you have to flap about it?
 

Battle

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Mar 6, 2012
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Wyoming
I AT ski and prefer it to snowshoeing or XC skiing as it is the best way to get around off trail in the backcountry. Dynafit boots and bindings, any wide skis...mine are 120 mm in the waist.
 

CrzyTrekker

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Aug 3, 2012
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San Luis Valley, Colorado
I have an AT setup and a NNN BC setup. I take AT gear only if downhill skiing or big descents are on the menu (for example a hut-to-hut trip on alpine terrain). If the terrain is steep and deep then AT gear rules. But, I prefer the lighter BC gear for covering ground quickly.

If getting from point A to point B is the plan (backcountry touring or camping) then I always grab the NNN BC setup because it's lighter and, I think, somewhat faster over a wide variety of terrain (i.e. slogging through meadows, climbing hills, some descents).

For NNN BC gear I've had good luck with Rossignal and Alpina.

I keep an old set of MSR snowshoes around because I occasionally hike with guys that don't ski. If you're the only guy on skis then you will spend a lot of time waiting for them to catch up. :rolleyes:
 

CrzyTrekker

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franklinmanklin, I have used trekking poles while BC touring. I don't think there is a huge difference between BC poles and trekking poles, although the ski-specific poles are probably stiffer/stronger for turning. Also, you'd want to outfit your trekking poles with bigger baskets. That's all I can think of...
 

CrzyTrekker

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San Luis Valley, Colorado
I like full leather boots, but my Alpinas are fake leather. They are not warm in camp. I'm not sure a leather NNN BC boot would be much warmer for camp use. I know some guys will pull a sled with extra gear including warm boots for camp use. I've been looking at Kifaru sleds...
 

fillthefreezer

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eatonvile, wa
ive had a couple knee reconstuctions so downhill skiing has been off the books for me as the added leverage is not something i want to risk, is there any risk of gnarly wrecks in xc skiing?
 

frans

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May 4, 2012
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With any sport during which you attach your feet to long, inert objects, and go through precipitous terrain, covered with substance and/or hidden snags that could halt progress of those objects, while your body continues motion, there is a change of gnarly wrecks. In other words, yes. But since generally only the front of your foot is connected to a binding, you have some more movement, compared to downhill. Unfortunately that binding generally doesn't come loose when you fall, in fact if it does, you must be in a big wreck.

That said, a lot of cross country can done on fairly decent trails, but then the interesting places often are at the far end of trails that aren't often used, across more difficult terrain, winding, etc. On the upside, the pace while trekking around on XC skis is usually not that high, especially not if you are breaking trail.

I tried an alpine touring set-up just the other day, and unless you get to steep terrain and want to incorporate downhill, I'd stay away from it. It is heavy and slow. But when equipped with full-length skins you have some serious grip even on quite steep and slippery terrain. If I had to make a choice right now, I would go with a good XC set-up, with good insulated ("plastic") boots, metal-edged skis, wide enough to provide buoyance in deep snow. I use "plastic" boots in my racing XC set-up, and have been for years, and they work well, even though the area around the metal bar up front can wear down quickly if you walk on anything else than snow.

Frans
 

CrzyTrekker

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fillthefreezer, there is a risk, but mostly if you put yourself on something steep and fast.

NNN BC gear is lighter and more flexible than alpine gear so you are at less risk of having a body part become the weak link, IMO. If you're backcountry touring then you generally have the option to choose the type of terrain you're skiing.

Having a background of downhill skiing is a real plus, because NNN BC gear with metal edges will allow you to do some basic turns including parallel turns. If I'm going down something steep and narrow like a hiking trail, then I usually revert to the time-honored snow plow.
 

Goober

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Jul 22, 2012
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Central Wisconsin
Does anyone make boots that you can take the skis off and walk comfortably in the boots? I tried CC skiing 10 years back, the boots sucked if you wanted to drop the skiis to walk and look at something where skiis wouldnt go. I was doind alot of scouting and immediately went back to snowshoes. I would give it another try though, looks like the boots have come along way from what I was using then.
 

CrzyTrekker

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San Luis Valley, Colorado
I've found newer BC boots a little more comfortable to walk in than the old three-pin. But I suspect the metal bar is prone to rock damage if you're doing much cross-country walking.
 

Arbutusbucks

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Nov 24, 2013
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PA
I try to as much as possible. I was able to get out a few times this year, but now there is no snow in NEPA. I use an old pair of fischer Outabounds.
 

buckchaser

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Nov 12, 2013
Messages
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A pair of lightweight plastic boots combined with a pair of lightweight touring skis (metal edged) is the best all round setup for touring around the woods. Something like the Madshus Epoch (http://madshus.com/skis/epoch-mgv-omni)

I have a lightweight pair of metal edged skis (Madshus Voss) that are skiable in tracks and also reasonably capable out of track. They are my "go to" for covering ground.

I also have a pair of alpine touring skis that I use for touring on difficult terrain or when I am looking to hike for turns.
 

jrice

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Nov 2, 2013
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Swan Valley, Idaho
I also use an older pair of Fisher Outabounds, and my wife uses the Rebounds. Both are excellent BC skis for a wide range of skiing here in the west. We found them on Ebay, but not sure how available they would be now. There should be plenty of good skis out there for bc skiing, but get a metal edge and make sure they have some decent sidecut. Just yesterday we were skiing through cottonwood timber in a bottom and found our first shed of the year (moose); they're excellent for that sort of thing. We've been through lots of boots and are pretty happy with Rosingols BC boots. We have 3 pins but they make the same boot in the bar type binding. Treking poles with snow baskets will work fine. If you will be dealing with slopes get yourself some climbing skins. If you've never used them before you will be amazed at how steep a slope you can go up.
 
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