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my year in gear

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  • my year in gear

    this year was a very strange ski year for me. it boiled down to learning to ski again after a fairly bad accident last year. When i moved past XC skiing to telemarking again mid year, nothing felt right. some of that was the residual pain and weakness that even 1+ year later is still there. Some of that was for some reason, my body forgot most of what was unconscious before, and i have had to relearn many old lessons. While groomers and consistent snow are starting to feel fluid, anything with chunder is not a good feeling in my knee at all. And i can only really tele for about 2-3 hours at a time.

    step one in relearning to ski was a release binding. I am still messed up in the head, and i don't think i could ski without release right now. That journey started with the M3, which i never even skied, and after a long meander ended with a Trab TR2 TTN binding by the time i had my first tele day. attached is a pic of the current "final" version which has an adjustable pivot point. This is 100% resort oriented, and at this point has no tour option. i have a plan for tour, but may or may not ever do it because i haven't toured much in the last bunch of years.
    Click image for larger version

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    then while re-learning to telemark, i "discovered" how much easier it is to make parallel turns. While i was having knee and ankle pain telemarking, everything felt fine when parallel turning. So i bought a pair of Maelstale 2.0's. What a great do everything boot. 1375 grams, fantastic walk mode, and more than enough beef for any skiing i would ever want to do. Pretty much what everyone one wants for a TXP/TX replacement. lighter than both, better touring that both, more powerful than both. I mated those to some marker squire ID bindings. Also, what great bindings. $100 bucks on amazon, DIN 3-11, 760 grams with brakes, compatible with ISO alpine boots, ISO alpine touring boots, walk to ride boots, and gripwalk boots, so basically every non-2 pin only boot. I mounted those (using a 3d printed jib) to some old BD Convert backup skis. So locked the heel for the first time in 30 years, and hit the groomers. So much easier, and actually felt good. So good, i decided to buy a second set of squires, and mounted them to some virgin BD Link 95's i picked up for basically free and have had in the rafters for like 5 years. Again, so much fun. And these skis are almost the same side cut, same construction, similar flex, with width being the biggest difference. the difference between 95mm waist and 105mm waist on groomers was very obvious.

    Last friday was my best tele day so far this year. short, but nice corn on the groom, starting to get smooth, starting to not feel as bad in my knee and ankle. Next friday will likely be my last day for the year.

    I hope that next year will be a return to normal for skiing. I know i will keep working hard on rehab over the summer, and kite as much as i can.

  • #2
    Glad to hear you are continuing to recover, Jason. I'm curious to see how your TR2 rig holds up when you start skiing more aggressively. I have mine cranked up to DIN 10 and still lock the toes out for terrain where falling is a big risk. However, my heel is retained with Voile Tour (soft) cartridge springs, so your better NTN heel retention may help reduce pre-release. Mine ski and retain fine on good snow at DIN 8-9, it's only chunky/icy/heavy snow that's a problem.

    Time to get on the bike!


    • #3
      i have the TR2's set at 6, which is about DIN 4.5 due to the 2nd heel's effective BSL. No pre-releases, including some short bits on junky snow.

      stationary biking never stopped. Been putting in about 50 miles a week all winter.


      • #4
        That is beautiful, Jason. And I am glad to hear your recovery is making progress. I have never regained my confidence to make telemark turns in heavy, chunky snow. I'm happy to be able to make tele turns in the best snow and have no shame about all the parallel turns I make. I do hope you can get beyond what I can do but it's most important just to ski.


        • #5
          I have never regained my confidence to make telemark turns in heavy, chunky snow.
          Me too; I worry about "grabby" snow, had some of that on my last tour, transitioning from skiing in trees, to an open, sunny area, skis would suddenly almost stop ! But I was skiing fixed heel.
          Same with late season skiing in bumps; always a chance of burying a ski tip, but at least the snow is soft.

          This may have been my last riding-the-lifts ski day (well, probably skin up after lifts stop). Dry cold fresh snow, after a storm, my favorite. Notice the open water/stream beside the boarder. I nearly skied into one of these, unmarked, with a big mud hole at the bottom !
          April 22nd. Click image for larger version  Name:	Resized_20210422_101441.jpeg Views:	1 Size:	683.8 KB ID:	109849
          Last edited by chamonix; 25 April 2021, 10:56 AM.


          • #6
            Best of luck on your continued recovery, jason.

            My inbound ski is the BD Link 90. It's an unusual ski - very light, only partial metal edge (doesn't wrap around tip), but has decent dampness. I don't prefer it for it's intended use, backcountry, as the flat tail doesn't easily release when making turns in tight Vermont trees.

            Your TTN binding is the most professional 'home brewed' bindings I've ever seen. I'd love to beta test it at some point.


            • #7
              spectacular binding, you built, with the Trab TR 2.

              I too like my Maestrale 2.0 boots; skied them a lot touring this season, and some resort. I took them to France in January 2020.
              As for "gear this year", the ski for me this year was the Black Crow Orb Freebirds, with an ATK binding. Really light, fun to skin up with my F-1s (new ones) . I bought this setup for touring in Europe, but that didn't happen this year.

              New tele skis this winter, Volkl Kendos, 91 UF with Outlaws. Great ski for high speed cruising on the groomers, waiting for enough snow for touring.

              Click image for larger version  Name:	Orbs on deck.jpg Views:	0 Size:	512.4 KB ID:	109862 Click image for larger version  Name:	Kendos.jpg Views:	0 Size:	468.3 KB ID:	109863
              Hope you recover soon.


              • #8
                Hey, great to see that you are getting back in a sensible and progressive manner. I think most everyone who is in this lifestyle will face injury and setbacks and after healing the confidence or lack of is as hard as the injury itself. Moving to full Alpine setups for resort skiing in IMO, is a way safer and predictable way to ski as opposed to any tele, pin AT or any AT plate for that manner. Anyway, I personally use Marker ID bindings for my primary day in and day out skis. Mostly using full Alpine boots but have experimented with my stronger AT boots. For these skis which are Rossi E94's, my AT boots are a little soft and not as much fun on typical groomers. However, I do use my AT boots on resort snow with my powder setup. these bindings are Shift and different but similar in principle. I am sure you know this but setting up the AFD is ultra important to getting a safe setup and the rubber soles of AT boots is a factor. I was able to have proper clearance with my AT boots but the adjustment was close to the end, so I ground the soles a little so the adjustment was closer to the middle. I don't want any stickyness in the AFD.

                Also, glad to see that you haven't dumped kiting especially where you live. Lynn already has 8 days mainly on 7's and 8's, we both have Wing setups now but haven't been out as the water is cold and with winging you spend a lot of time in the water. So, a few more days? RU going to go strapless, sure it is a consideration. Luck to you as always.........

                "Just say no to groomed snow"


                • #9
                  Whoa, hold up, wait just a minute...out top tele t(h)inkerer tosses out a flimsy excuse like " fairly bad accident last year," embraces the dark side, loves it, and no one is concerned?? When Dostie's "discovers" that really fat skis are better in powder or skiing with boots in ski mode transfers more power, no one is gonna give him ****? What's next, we gonna not bat an eye when Aqua Toque make a serious statement? What happened to this forum? I am all for compassion and empathy, but losing another life-long telemarker is beyond bothersome.

                  Jason - I have some time tested advice on how to remember what "was unconscious before" but, if I remember correctly, it wasn't your thing during our formidable years skiing together. Hint - it was why most of the tele tribe used to stop for multiple safety breaks - works every time when I am overthinking how to tele ski in funky snow. They legalized the stuff to make skiing easier after all.


                  • #10
                    Superb piece of work. Sort of Meidjo, though without the complexity of the release bit (which curiously you seem to now need). And if I am correct lovely long springs, so the smooth action of a Hammerhead. Of course you can tour with it as long as you accept not getting your boot flat when skinning


                    • #11
                      Beauty work Jason. Glad to see you embrace the duckbutt connection.

                      DJHutch, It's not that I don't know, I'm just not compelled to change my curmudgeonly ways and remember, it's all about safety.

                      ain't no turn like tele!


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by djhutch View Post
                        What's next, we gonna not bat an eye when Aqua Toque make a serious statement?
                        Upon reading that my heart was filled with joy!

                        And I'm serious.

                        Best wishes jasonq.


                        • #13
                          Another picture, for Dostie of a TTD binding in development . I may be violating an NDA .
                          Click image for larger version  Name:	TTS prototype.jpeg Views:	0 Size:	988.0 KB ID:	109872


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by chamonix View Post
                            Another picture, for Dostie of a TTD binding in development . I may be violating an NDA .
                            Click image for larger version Name:	TTS prototype.jpeg Views:	0 Size:	988.0 KB ID:	109872
                            Louis’s latest design I presume? 😀


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by chamonix View Post
                              Another picture, for Dostie, of a TTD binding in development . I [may be]/am violating a NDA .
                              Click image for larger version Name:	TTS prototype.jpeg Views:	0 Size:	988.0 KB ID:	109872
                              And what, pray tell, is a TTD binding?

                              Can't tell for sure but that resembles the classic Spike/Bulldog power train in there with a butthook clutch. 7tm ventured down this road but I don't think it ever came to market. Certainly not stateside. There is certainly room for more innovation. Is that a Dynafit brand toe?

                              ain't no turn like tele!