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which rugged touring ski for beginner?

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  • which rugged touring ski for beginner?

    I've been lurking for a few months, but I could use some advice from more experienced forum members. I live in Ellensburg Washington and I'm looking to get a ski for local forest roads and ungroomed marked ski trails. Think Hogloppett type terrain. I have some regular recreational skis (Trak Areos) that I like. They work well on the golf course and groomed trails, they climb well and have ok glide. They don't have a metal edge or enough width to float in deep snow so I'm getting some rugged touring types. I've tried some newer Fischer E99s. Based on that experience I think I'm looking for something in the same width range, but more compact and with a more aggressive scale pattern (the Fischers had a negative pattern). I found climbing and herringbone to be very difficult with them. I think maneuverability and climbing are more important to me than speed and glide. I own Alpina NNN BC boots and bindings so I'm looking for skis that will work with those. My local shop has some S-Bound 78s, Rossignol BC 70s, E89s and will let me demo whatever I want. What advice do you have?

    curveball: the shop has a pair of Rossignol BC 110 on sale at a huge discount.

  • #2
    Ordinarily I'd say the Rossi BC-110s, hands down compared to the skinnier skis you mention. However, the boot and binding combo suggests the S-Bound 78s, although even those might be a tad skinny for rugged touring IMO.

    ain't no turn like tele!

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    • #3
      Stick with the skinniest that feels good....Rossi BC 110 is a huge snowboard ski which makes for horrendous cruising....They will give you float but getting there will be a chore....Unless your area is really bad for figuring out waxes....get waxable.....Teleman

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      • #4
        I ski the BC65s (similar to the BC70s) with nnn-bc and light boots. They are fun for charging around on snowmobile tracks and long, fast tours but I don't think they are much good in deep snow. I've broken trail with them several times in deep snow and felt they were a little out of their element every time.

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        • #5
          Are you talking about the roads and trails near Blewett and Table Mountain? I like to use a fatter fish scale ski or my Altai Hoks with pins to cruise the logging roads and get off trail for turns in the meadows and glades. Waxing can work but a patterned base will be more reliable and versatile here.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by airinwrite View Post
            Are you talking about the roads and trails near Blewett and Table Mountain? I like to use a fatter fish scale ski or my Altai Hoks with pins to cruise the logging roads and get off trail for turns in the meadows and glades. Waxing can work but a patterned base will be more reliable and versatile here.
            The roads and trails near Blewett and also some roads or unmarked trails in the Manastash ridge area.

            Am I correct in assuming that wider fish scale skis will make straight climbing easier, but herringbone more difficult?

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            • #7
              Herringbone will be fine with the kind of skis you're talking about. I was skiing my Hoks today on logging roads and clear cuts in deep unconsolidated snow in the Wenatchee Mountains below treeling, it's fun.
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              • #8
                Great Pics. I was up there last weekend at Tronsen Meadows. That power was deep enough to sink my 140cm pole up to the grip. Fun!

                The Hoks do look intriguing. A shop up in the Methow Valley rents them. I might try a pair if I make it up that way this season. I'd still want a skinnier edged ski, but they might be a good addition to the quiver.
                Last edited by Patrick Gould; 27 February 2014, 11:04 AM.

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                • #9
                  They're way more of a ski than I was expecting, like in hippy pow they are one of the most fun skis I own. They really float and turn in powder. Those pics were 6-8" of dry powder over 2' of unconsolidated settled snow. My dogs were up to their shoulders. Yet they are maneuverable in the woods like a snow shoe. With wax on the base and skin you can get a fair amount of glide in dryer snow on the flats.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by airinwrite View Post
                    They're way more of a ski than I was expecting, like in hippy pow they are one of the most fun skis I own. They really float and turn in powder. Those pics were 6-8" of dry powder over 2' of unconsolidated settled snow. My dogs were up to their shoulders. Yet they are maneuverable in the woods like a snow shoe. With wax on the base and skin you can get a fair amount of glide in dryer snow on the flats.
                    Thought I'd pepper you with a few more questions . . .

                    You have the 145 cm? And how do they climb (comparisons to scales and nylon skins appreciated)? And, how durable are the built-in skins?

                    Thanks.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Patrick Gould View Post
                      Great Pics. I was up there last weekend at Tronsen Meadows.
                      Has the big ground facet layer abated over there? We did a fat fishscale+skins tour there on 2/15, hoping to get up to DH summit ridge via the ridge route (we usually do Windy Knob then the open E aspect slopes of DH), but the snow pack was scary, several feet atop a ubiquitous 30-40cm facet layer at the ground, huge big slab avy hazard, so we turned around and found some turns in the lower trees.

                      Interesting discussion. For the Hogloppet I've used skinny fishscales, e.g., Fischer Superlights. No need for edges and width on the Hog Loppet after the ****show downhill near the start. Sounds like you are looking for what we call a "logging road" ski, which includes a wide range. Europa 99 Crown was the classic double camber logging road ski, but you'll want single camber if you want to make turns in the untracked. Hard to find one ski that will do all you want.

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                      • #12
                        I have the 145 cm and ski them with pins and older T3s. They climb better than fishscales and will put in a 15-20 degree track depending on the snow. I've had no issues with the skins and haven't been particularly careful in low tide conditions. If I was skiing longer lines in steeper terrain I would definitely use my bc rig, but for exploring and finding nice glades and meadows to turn in they are awesome. Very light too, once you find a zone and set your up track it gets faster every lap and you can feel how light they are on your feet.

                        Originally posted by dschane View Post
                        Thought I'd pepper you with a few more questions . . .

                        You have the 145 cm? And how do they climb (comparisons to scales and nylon skins appreciated)? And, how durable are the built-in skins?

                        Thanks.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by airinwrite View Post
                          I have the 145 cm and ski them with pins and older T3s. They climb better than fishscales and will put in a 15-20 degree track depending on the snow. I've had no issues with the skins and haven't been particularly careful in low tide conditions. If I was skiing longer lines in steeper terrain I would definitely use my bc rig, but for exploring and finding nice glades and meadows to turn in they are awesome. Very light too, once you find a zone and set your up track it gets faster every lap and you can feel how light they are on your feet.
                          Good info., thanks.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Big Steve View Post
                            Has the big ground facet layer abated over there? We did a fat fishscale+skins tour there on 2/15, hoping to get up to DH summit ridge via the ridge route (we usually do Windy Knob then the open E aspect slopes of DH), but the snow pack was scary, several feet atop a ubiquitous 30-40cm facet layer at the ground, huge big slab avy hazard, so we turned around and found some turns in the lower trees.

                            Interesting discussion. For the Hogloppet I've used skinny fishscales, e.g., Fischer Superlights. No need for edges and width on the Hog Loppet after the ****show downhill near the start. Sounds like you are looking for what we call a "logging road" ski, which includes a wide range. Europa 99 Crown was the classic double camber logging road ski, but you'll want single camber if you want to make turns in the untracked. Hard to find one ski that will do all you want.
                            I don't really have enough experience to comment much on your first paragraph. We skied around the Tronsen Meadows loop twice and then struggled up the side step trial. My avvy awareness is mostly academic, but in the trees where we were skiing I didn't notice any of the textbook signs. There was probably 48" of loose powder and I'm sure that hard layer was down there too. I did see a few folks in plastic boots heading up higher.

                            Thanks for putting a name to the type of ski that I'm looking for. Those E99 are pretty good skis, and I think they would be perfect if I had a few more seasons experience under my belt. I'd like to learn how to link turns on an open untracked slope, but mostly just be able to negotiate the curves and switchbacks on the logging roads and trails. The local shop doesn't have Madshus, but I'm sort of leaning towards a pair of Eons. They're single camber, shorter and would work with my NNN BC boots and bindings.

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                            • #15
                              I have a pair of 125cm Hoks with both universal and 3-pin bindings. I tried them with SNS-BC boots- which interface well with the universal bindings-and have found that the boots just aren't stiff enough torsionally to control the edges, even for walking. My hiking boots are no better, so I use them only with 3-pin boots now.
                              Hope this doesn't discourage others' purchases as they are neat, unique skis and products of a local legend. I'd buy them again, just not to use with light duty boots.

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