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Altai Hoks and associated gear - what do you think?

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  • Altai Hoks and associated gear - what do you think?

    I posted earlier about searching for a rugged XC ski, and received many responses (thank you). One possible ski suggested by airinwrite was the Altai Hok In a lot of ways, this looks ideal for someone who is new to skiing in the mountains, and wants to go play in the woods on moderate terrain, or spend some time on the nearby golf course hills. Climbs better than waxless, without mucking about with skins. Slower on the descents. Fairly maneuverable, due to the 145 length.

    So, now for my questions:

    Would the three pin cable bindings that they sell on their site be adequate, or should I try for Voile or Rottefella?

    Thoughts on the Scarpa T-4 boots?

    That tiak pole they mention looks like a lot of fun, and apparently use of a single pole was the norm for hundreds of years. Still is, in some places. Thoughts on that? Probably wouldn't boost my street (snow?) cred, but then again, I don't much care. But would it hamper my learning to DH / BC ski with poles?

    Any other suggestions / thoughts on this?

  • #2
    The 3 pins they sell are Voile.

    I would never use a single pole. Maybe going down it would be OK but poles give you power going up and on flats.

    I wouldn't expect much glide from these boards. Probably fine if you are always breaking trail but it will be miserable following tracks; your own or others.

    These might be fun for climbing hills and skidding back down, but for actually doing a tour and covering any ground, I would stick with a more traditional ski.


    • #3
      I use regular poles when I'm on my Hoks.

      On the flats you don't get that much glide, certainly better than a ski with full skins though. Breaking trail is easy and following your uptrack gets easier as you do more laps.

      They are fun for climbing hills and when I set my own uptrack I can keep it between 12 and 15 degrees which is a nice incline. I don't like steep skin tracks anyway. On most 2 dimensional snow the Hoks are a bit skiddy, but in pow they aren't at all and they aren't slow on the descent if you know how to ski and stay in the fall line.

      I said in the other thread that I consider the Hoks a mid winter tool, I use them like people use snow shoes. They are best suited to soft deep(er) snow.

      If I know the snow will be firm and supportive, I use something else and stay out of the woods for the most part.

      Most of the negative comments I hear about the Hoks are from people who haven't used them or are trying to make them do something they aren't suited for.


      • #4
        ski shoes?
        "Nobody ever got my name right." - Me


        • #5
          Have only used mine twice. First outing, great; climbed well & wonderfully light & agile. Second time was exactly the condition airin describes as bad: refrozen rain crust. Worse, it had rain-runnels and was like brain coral. What happens with crust & the skins is I got a, call it a "step-wise" glide slope down: no slip, no slip...slip...stop. Very un-fun. In those conditions a pattern base would be much better.

          All are compromises. I was on Excursions and 3-pins. I'll add I made a little ramp for under the bindings. Flat on the deck was too extreme for the rocker in my boots.

          My curiosities are: what about the universal binding with some superlight winter-hiking/mountaineering boots. And throw in a ski crampon for just walking downhill when the glide is forbiddingly herky-jerky. Convertible snowshoes, maybe. Possibility for shoulder seasons when there is more hiking than skiing.
          nee, Whiteout


          • #6
            Their website makes me want to visit Mongolia.

            What ever happened to Nils? I guess he didn't make the switch.


            • #7
              Originally posted by Matt J View Post
              Their website makes me want to visit Mongolia.

              What ever happened to Nils? I guess he didn't make the switch.
              You might be confusing Nils from Ttips with Nils Larsen, not the same guy.


              • #8
                I watched the videos again and I have to say, for certain conditions, these could be really fun. Watching them tour they seem terribly slow... but so are snowshoes. Snowshoes undoubtedly climb better, and I'm sure if you encountered ice with these they'd be worthless. Snowshoes have limits too. Steep ice falls are not where you want to test your snowshoe crampons. This is where you want real crampons.

                So yeah, I can see where it bridges the gap between a snowshoe and a ski in terms of gear. I'd recommend them to my wife but I'm pretty sure she'd get pissed at how slow they are. It would certainly help her climbing and descending.

                I think you have to really, really decide what your priorities are before buying something like this. For someone who already has a good variety of skis and snowshoes it might be able to bridge the gap. For someone who doesn't want to go far and just wants to play around in the snow i.e. sledding, these could be the ticket.

                For an all around BC XC, it wouldn't be my choice. Nor would the setup the OP has currently. So anything is going to expand his horizons.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by airinwrite View Post
                  You might be confusing Nils from Ttips with Nils Larsen, not the same guy.
                  Ahhh. Thanks.