Skinny Skis for Skinny Ski Mountaineers

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This post by WildSnow.com blogger  

Is this retro day at WildSnow.com? Or have rando-racer-types infiltrated the blog? What’s next, reviews of tights for ski mountaineering and advice on how to starve yourself so you can trim 10 grams of mass from your cuerpo? We shall see. Meanwhile, check out some of the lighter weight planks on the market.

Seriously though, although such skis are frequently scoffed at and classified as tools useful only for skiing tight steep lines or slogging herculean traverses, I think ultralight skis with waist widths in the 70s are perfect for the typically consolidated snow conditions of late spring and early summer backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering.

A quiver of one? Hardly. But then again, if you’re the kind of skier who would be satisfied with a single setup, then you’re probably not reading WildSnow.com blog posts in August, anyway.

Backcountry skiing Mount Hood Snowdome May 26, 2008

I thought we were going to ski perfect corn? Okay, fine I'll settle for untracked powder instead. (Mt Hood's Snowdome Glacier- May 26, 2008)

For this category of skis, obviously you can forget about rocker or even any early tip rise. My criteria were that the waist width had to be over 70mm, otherwise the ski is firmly in rando race territory, which is great if you expect consolidated snow conditions and only consolidated snow conditions, but anything unconsolidated and those few extra mm make a big enough difference in a non-race setting to justify their extra mass (relatively speaking) on the up.

Ski mountaineering on Mount Shasta June 30, 2011

What these skis really excel at is corn snow, lots of it. (Shasta's Avalanche Gulch- June 30, 2011)

Speaking of readily available, that attribute has a broader range than pretty much any other element in the table for those outside Europe. Some of the models here are from companies with strong presences in the North American alpine downhill market (Atomic, Blizzard, Dynastar, Elan) yet do not distribute their lightweight ski mountaineering models here. (Shame on them!) At the other extreme are some companies whose only attribute of which I am certain is that I didn’t make them up (Differences, Lighter Ski).

Newcomers to this segment include La Sportiva (new to skiing entirely) and G3. Traditionally backcountry-oriented ski companies include BD, Dynafit, Hagan, Movement, and Trab. Dynafit is a bit of a newcomer as their two prior iterations of a 70s-waisted ski had almost no distribution in North America. But the Broad Peak is carried by a surprisingly large number of shops, and has been used in an unsurprisingly large number of impressively long (yet fast!) trip reports on various blogs this past season.

Movement has four different models in the table. But its North American distributor last year had very limited availability. For this coming season, La Sportiva North America will take over distribution, but its focus will be on the Movement models appealing to alpine downhill shops (while La Sportiva’s own models — all tightly focused on backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering — go to backcountry shops). Since I have their Fish-X rando racer and their 80s-ish Logic-X, I’m disappointed that the Random-X will not be available.

Trab picks up much stronger distribution this season from Scarpa, and the Duo Free Rando Light will be available. I’m disappointed though that the Duo Sint Aero will not be available. Over the course of five seasons of late spring and early summer skiing, I’ve used them in all sorts of snow conditions (and even, umm, non-snow conditions). They ski perfectly in nice corn of course, and hold an edge perfectly on unripened corn and ski area “firm” groomer training sessions. When the corn is overly ripe, or fresh powder is unexpectedly encountered, a wider ski would of course be optimal, but the narrower ski still performs surprisingly well.

Their durability has also been a welcome surprise, even at over 100 outings and nearly half a million vertical feet. When I tapped the mounting holes the first time, I was a bit alarmed at how effortlessly the tap went in, then showed no apparent signs of bottoming out. Subsequently while playing around with binding toe shims, and also when remounting the heels for the diminutive DyNA/TLT5 sole length, I’ve removed and reinstalled the toe screws several times. Yet never a single spinner.

All specs in the table below are as published, including weights for a length somewhere in the 160s. The weight cut-off I set at that of the Dynafit Mustagh Ata Superlight, since I didn’t see much point in any 70s-waisted ski that weighs more than a 86mm to 88mm model (depending on length) that is reasonably priced and readily available.

The table’s “d” is for sidecut depth, which I calculated using the standard formula of tip plus tail minus twice waist (i.e., the bigger the “d” number, the turnier the ski). The “r” is for turning radius (i.e., the smaller the “r” number, the turnier the ski), as stated (or sometimes not) by the manufacturer, which is a function of both sidecut depth and contact length. (Note that a ski can’t have a constant set of sidecut specs and turning radius throughout all the lengths — some models vary the sidecut, some vary the turning radius, and some even both.)

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WildSnow chart: Ultralight Skinny Skis for Spring & Summer Ski Mountaineering. Waist width greater than 70mm (otherwise in rando race ski territory), and weight less than Dynafit Mustagh Ata Superlight.
 
Company Model cm lb oz g Sidecut d r — msrp
Atomic Guide Huberbuam 164 5 4.0 2380 107 72 96 59 18.0 € 319
B.D. Guru 167 5 4.3 2390 120 75 105 75 15.0 $540
Blizzard TA Expedition 168 5 1.8 2320 112 74 96 60 17.5
Differences Tour Light 166 4 7.6 2030 114 72 100 70 14.0 € 800
Dynafit Broad Peak 167 4 11.8 2150 112 74 96 60 17.5 $650
Haute Route Plus 163 5 1.8 2320 113 78 100 57 18.8 $600
Nanga Parbat 167 5 1.8 2320 102 73 89 45 24.7 € 475
Se7en Summits Superlight 163 5 3.2 2359 113 78 100 57 18.8 $630
Dynastar Altitrail Vertical Light 160 4 12.2 2160 103 75 92 45 20.0 € 329
G3 78 Stinger 166 5 4.7 2400 112 78 100 56 $570
Hagan Spirit 163 5 6.1 2440 112 73 100 66 14.9 $430
X-Ultra 163 4 6.5 2000 111 71 101 70 14.7 $630
Elan Aconcagua 165 104 72 91 51 20.4
Elbrus 165 5 4.6 2397 104 72 91 51 20.4 € 270
Makalu 165 104 72 91 51 20.4
La Sportiva RST 167 4 13.6 2200 116 77 106 68 17.0 $579
Lighter Ski Spatzle 171 3 14.8 1780 115 76 105 68 18.5 € 700
Movement Feather 167 5 1.1 2300 115 76 105 68 19.0 € 485
Random 167 4 13.6 2200 115 76 105 68 19.0 € 528
Random X-Series 167 4 1.6 1860 115 76 105 68 19.0 € 739
Red Apple 74 168 5 4.7 2400 114 74 103 69 18.0 € 449
Trab Duo FreeRando Light 164 5 0.4 2280 112 79 96 50 22.0 $779
Duo Sint Aero 164 4 4.1 1930 105 73 89 48 24.0 € 700
Duo Sintesi 164 5 1.1 2300 105 73 89 48 24.0 € 410
Ski touring in Monroe Brook May 13, 2011

I can't believe how well these Trab skis have held up after five years of use and abuse. (NH's Monroe Brook, with the late-season emphasis on brook, wrapping up a nearly 10,000 multiple-ravine circumnavigation of Mt Washington- May 13, 2011)

If anyone has any ideas for other offerings we can add to the list of skis in the table above, please comment and we’ll try to add them in.

(WildSnow guest blogger Jonathan Shefftz lives with his wife and daughter in Western Massachusetts, where he is a member of the Northfield Mountain and Thunderbolt / Mt Greylock ski patrols. Formerly an NCAA alpine race coach, he has broken free from his prior dependence on mechanized ascension to become far more enamored of self-propelled forms of skiing. He is an AIARE-qualified instructor, NSP avalanche instructor, and contributor to the American Avalanche Association’s The Avalanche Review. When he is not searching out elusive freshies in Southern New England or promoting the NE Rando Race Series, he works as a financial economics consultant.)

Comments

61 Responses to “Skinny Skis for Skinny Ski Mountaineers”

  1. Jonathan Shefftz August 18th, 2011 8:14 am

    Also, I should have mentioned, in the used market, K2 Sahale & Chogori (designed by Andrew McLean), Volk Snow Wolf & Norbert Joos (the Andrew McLean of Europe?!?), Atomic 9.22, TM22, R:9.22, Femme Fatale, MX:9, MX:8, Climber, and Ambition (all same sidecut, but with MX:8 & Climber lacking the “beta tubes” construction).

  2. Bill B August 18th, 2011 9:58 am

    Hey, this looks like a place I can talk about skis and not be judged on size.
    I simply have more fun on my skinier skis and not just because they are so light..
    I often ski powder in my sints and have a blast. I just find more enjoyment in skiing a ski rather than riding it. Making it work and staying on top of it.

  3. Lou August 18th, 2011 10:14 am

    Watch out, ye will be judged!!!!!!

  4. Randonnee August 18th, 2011 10:50 am

    Good and courageous topic. Apparently there is interest in 80 waist and below skis!

    I still own and use my K2 Chogori. A sweet ski, TLT4 boots on it for comfort. For touring around climbing, eg in trees on a 30 to 35 degree slope, that strong 70 waist ski does so with ease compared to wider skis. A few years back when teaching my little girl to ski on the lifts, that was my favorite piste-rig because the boots are so comfortable, and who needs support to ski on-piste anyway? And that Chogori is a strong carver for what it is. I am 6’1″ and 225 lbs and find the Chogori to be a more comfortable carver with light boots than is my 80 waist Seven Summits Superlight, and so much better than trying to carve in a relaxed fashion on 88 waist and larger- using light boots.

    A good skier with a 80 mm or less ski can ski everything with light boots, comfortably. My personal arsenal of randonnee skis includes waists of 70mm, 75, 80,88, 94, and 106mm. The only skis IMO that are do-everything comfortably and well with light boots are the 80mm waist and below.

    A good skier cans expertly and enjoyably ski powder on a 70mm waist ski, and handle all else very well also. I find that while the same can be said for the 106 mm waist ski, a heavier boot is required or desirable, and more effort is needed to carve hard snow- and it can be annoying to climb hard 30 degree sidehill snow on the wider skis..

  5. Scott August 18th, 2011 12:02 pm

    Yeah, I like to get out my 160cm K2 Sahale/Rally’s (68mm waist?) in the spring. Lightweight and ski corn very well, and they’re nice on steeper pitches, especially when paired with some F1boots. Really a fun ski / boot combo.

    I’ve always thought that its not the ski that makes a skier, but rather its the skier that makes the ski. Not a perfect philosophy, but works in most cases I think. But that would be a terrible business model to follow….

  6. Rasmus August 18th, 2011 12:15 pm

    To me the obvious way of comparing skis in the lightweight section would be to present the numbers in weight per surface area of the ski, i.e. g/cm2 or whichever unit you prefer. Do you have the surface area available to make such a calculation?

    /R

  7. Njord August 18th, 2011 3:53 pm

    When will we see an updated review on the latest Lycra and Spandex for skiing review??

    Njord

  8. Jonathan Shefftz August 18th, 2011 4:05 pm

    I love how these blogs on specialized gear items bring all their secret fans out in the open!
    (But as for lyrcra, I suspect that shot of me in the review of the Casco nordic shield changing my daughter’s diaper while wearing my rando race suit is the most lycra that Lou will ever allow here.)
    I recall a Backcountry or Couloir mag article many (many) years ago that calculated some weight:area ratios. To calculate surface area exactly would be very difficult, since the sidecut details can actually vary for the same tip-waist-tail specs, plus tip & tail configurations can also vary. But a rough measure of surface area is pretty easy given some simplifying averages for tip/tail configuration and location of minimum waist width.
    But easier just to look at the chart for an understanding of how some skis snuck in below the weight limit only b/c they barely make it into the 70s, whereas others are nearly 80mm yet still make the limit.
    If I were to run the calcs though, I suspect that the overall weight:area winner across any ski width must be the Movement Logic-X: 88mm at the waist, yet nearly rando race light.

  9. Kevin August 18th, 2011 9:53 pm

    I was going to say something sarcastic, like “skinny skis suck”, but the tone of this thread has been so affable. Everything does have a place. I personally do not subscribe to the philosophy that skinny skis are good for glacier or spring skiing. Personally I think a wider ski can better handle the variety of spring snow conditions. Once that perfect corn gets overbaked and sloppy give me some girth. Also, many of the lightweight skis can feel pretty skittery on the early morning hard pack.

  10. Gustav August 19th, 2011 12:41 am

    Quite unrelated, but here goes:
    I’m 6 ft and about 160 lbs. I have a “quiver of one” solution right now, a pair of Dynafit Seven Summits (not the SL variety) at 170 cm (113-78-100 widths). My experience with them is that they work fairly well in most snow conditions I’ve encountered, except that they sink a bit in powder, so I’m thinking about getting something “on the other side”, ie a ski that is fairly wide but still versatile. It still needs to be light and do a good job in most conditions, but I’d like to try something that floats better in powder.

    What would you guys recommend in terms of length and widths for a “quiver of one” solution on the fatter end of the spectrum? How light can I expect them to be, despite their greater area (for a fair price)?

  11. Christian August 19th, 2011 1:48 am

    For me the perfect quiver of one would be something between 85-90mm with some length. (e.g. Mustagh ata sl, 187).
    I have a pair of race sticks for more climbing oriented tours – skis to bring when in doubt if I should bring skis st all. I also look forward to trying them out as a replacement for 55mm mountain cross country touring skis.
    Typical autoumn glacier tours where I ski on frozen stream to get down to the car without booting, is also one of the applications for short narrow skis. These tours are more about experiencing nature, than skiing.
    Although it is fun to surf on top of snow, skiing in snow also has its merrits – and it is much more challenging. When skiing in the snow the descent always feels longer, than when skiing on top of it. Because of this I sometimes feel deprived of the descent when skiing wide skis: what took ages going up, is just over too quickly when going down.

  12. Bob B August 19th, 2011 1:55 am

    Crazy beyond my comprehension why the industry cannot provide surface area for bottom of ski?? New this year, Dynafit Guide ski (170) 113-78-100 1,340 g (Back country.com $360) very similar to my Silvretta fr800 ant-gravity ski which has a sinstered bottom and is crazy fast. What more to ask for? I’m 5′ 11′ and 163 lb an inch and a few lb of Lindsey at the time of the Olympic events) and my other anti-gravity ski is the last of the white Voile Insanes. Brilliant design, floats my little ass over any thing! However, likely doesn’t work for Lindsey.

    BB

  13. Pablo August 19th, 2011 4:34 am

    Hi from the old Europe, Spain here!
    For us this kind of skis is the standar in backcountry (we prefer the idea of ski mountainering).
    I work as ski buyer for a consolidate mountain shop (www.barrabes.com) and I can tell you that Dynafit’s Broad Peak could be now considered as the best skimountainering ski on the market. It’s quite well balanced: lightweight, not too narrow, excellent edgehold, very good carving skills….a really good ski for europe.

    The absolute number 1 on sales is the seven Summit, It price and quality speak themselves.

    Another very good ski in this category I think you forgive (specially coming from an american brand) is the K2 backlite. I think it’s very close to the seven Summits but a little better in hardpack.

    Now I ski on K2′sWayback but for the next winter I probably go onto the Broad Peak as complementary for harpack days and steep colouirs.

    See you from overseas!

  14. Jonathan August 19th, 2011 6:24 am

    Gustav, in short, I’m in agreement Christian on the quiver-of-one. In more detail:
    http://www.wildsnow.com/4181/movement-logic-x-series-review/
    Pablo, thanks for chiming in! I’ve enjoyed your YouTube videos on various ski mountaineering gear. My favorite moment was when you put the dimunitive Dynafit race binding on a scale – very amusingly done!

  15. kevin starkey August 19th, 2011 7:44 am

    Ya’ll need to recall a very important saying from down South: “Ya dance with who brung ya” My old Kneissl tour carves with Silveretta 404s still bring me as much joy as my Fritschi/Gotama set-up. And I have never broken a heel piece on the Silverettas……………..

  16. Lou August 19th, 2011 8:01 am

    Weight vs surface area charting has been attempted. Dostie did it at Couloir mag a few times. It’s wonderful to have those numbers for evaluation, discussion and shopping, but really not much motivation for it as what’s more important is weight vs performance, and that is of course subjective.

    The other problem with weight vs surface area is that with no industry standard for what constitutes a “running surface” (and now especially so with rocker and big tips), how would we really compare apples to apples?

  17. Rasmus August 19th, 2011 9:43 am

    Well, isn’t that why it needs to be standardized? And I think you might the one to do it. :)

    Of course it is performance that counts and then one would need to take in to account for example base material and type of steel edges. The thickest P-Tex and biggest steel edges for a 105mm freeride ski in 180cm length are already weighing over 500g so by trying to keep performance it is hard to compete with the lightest.

    /R

  18. Wes Morrison August 19th, 2011 11:54 am

    The lack of tip rocker on these skis is a bit mystifying. Even narrow skis benefit form a little early rise. Having been on the K2 program for years, it’s amazing what a difference their “all terrain” or even “speed rocker” makes. Skiing the Crossfire back to back with it’s rockered replacement the Charger is a real eye opener, as is the Recon to the Rictor. It’s not just K2, Elan figured it out last year with adding rocker to the 999 and making the vastly improved Spire. Volkl does thesame this year with the Mantra. I bet everyone of these superlight mountaineering skis mentioned here would benefit from a little tip rocker, and not just in soft snow.

  19. Lou August 19th, 2011 12:25 pm

    Wes, I’d agree, I think it’s partially just that we’re getting skis from a bunch of older ski designers who are excellent skiers, and simply don’t see the need for any rocker. Also, rocker does change skin climbing performance on hardpack. Not a big deal, but that could be a factor since these guys are very human-power oriented.

  20. Ptor August 21st, 2011 1:23 am

    Foam tooth picks! They’ll just make you weaker.

  21. Jonathan Shefftz August 21st, 2011 8:20 am

    I do feel a little bit weak now after carrying them on the [far too] long approach to the Jefferson Park Glacier, but anything heavier probably would have killed me…

  22. Toby August 22nd, 2011 10:03 am

    There is a one other clear benefit with the skinny waisted skis: They are much, much handier to grab when you hand carry the skis for some short (snowless) passages. I do this quite often during spring skiing or when skiing mountaineering and traversing or climbing some rocky or steep short sections.

    I think this is the skinny ski überhaupt : )
    Stöckli Stormrider light.

    Alpin Magazine wrote: „Ganz klar, der Testsieger bei den Tourenski. Durchweg gut oder sehr gut und das bei dem Gewicht und dem Preis. Wow!“

    I was doing a lot of research to find the best suitable skinny, light, yet solid AT ski for my euro style ski touring. Stöckli is on heavy side in this category, but I have tried some lighter skis, and they were not nearly so enjoyable in difficult snow conditions or hi-speeds than these ones. They have good old woodcore with sandwich construction. I can really recommend them if you mostly ski kind of hard and/or rough snow with steeps angles.

  23. Lou August 22nd, 2011 10:29 am

    Toby, that’s a good point about portability. It my sound weird to folks who do a lot of skiing in places where snow coverage is even, thick and continuous. But when in mixed terrain with the skis coming on and off, huge planks can be very unwieldy.

  24. m1977 September 3rd, 2011 1:33 am

    Sorry Lou,
    but I do not speak and write in English very well.
    I’m looking for opinions on the new ski ……..” movement of bonds. ”
    It ‘very new (2012) and around to say almost anything you hear …….

    thanks

  25. carlo September 17th, 2011 2:27 am

    as regards numbers, at skialper, a small italian magazine, they make very good tests on lots of skis every season, with surface, weight surface etc…you can contact them on their internet at skialper.it, but the tests are only on the magazine, not online.

    Regarding width, I am an euro skier , and used to consider this size(75mm+-5) the best for good ski touring. my quiver goes from merelli at 66mm. to more than 100 mm. but I would add that a ski larger than 80-85 performs much worse going uphill, not only for weight, but mainly for “shape”: steep treverses, hard traverses, skin hold and skin friction are significantly affected.

    So in my opinion for a single quiver random-x are much better than logics…(for bigger quivers like mine logics are a must-have)
    Some professional guides here in europe are coming back to these sizes after trying the 88-95 mm skis

    last point regarding rockers..It is not correct that narrower skis don’t have rockers. this season from dynastar pierra pro carbon, pure race ski at 700 gr. and 65 mm., to new dynafit baltoro are said to have a rocker. more to come for sure, (still I am not sure that it is good for steep mixed terrain..)

  26. Jonathan Shefftz September 17th, 2011 6:55 pm

    Carlo, thanks for the European perspective. (You’d be shocked at the typical widths — and weights! — of skis reviewed here by a so-called backcountry skiing magazine.)
    Interesting that Dynastar is adding some sort of early rise to such a high-end race ski. I didn’t see anything about it on their website though?

  27. Simon September 18th, 2011 10:26 am

    http://www.scialp.it/notizie/sci/dynastar/2012/dy2012.htm

    Some details on next years rockered Pierre Menta here

  28. Jonathan Shefftz September 18th, 2011 12:13 pm

    Wow, and almost exactly three pounds also — impressive!

  29. john doyle September 20th, 2011 7:44 am

    A question for Simon (or anyone else); do you know if the Dynastar Mythic Light is available here in the states?

  30. Jonathan Shefftz September 20th, 2011 8:38 am

    I think something like a decade has now passed since Dynastar last distributed its touring line-up in the U.S.
    Atomic and Fischer also stopped awhile ago.
    And I don’t think Blizzard and Elan lightweight touring skis have ever been available here.

  31. Jonathan Shefftz September 20th, 2011 12:27 pm

    A pair of La Sportiva RST floated their way on over here last week. A little bit over the official spec, but that’s usually the case it seems with all skis, plus they’re still of course very (very) light.
    A very nicely finished ski, and something about the ski just has a confidence-inspiring feel to it. Might be because I just realized it has the widest tail and the second-widest tip in the chart. Looking forward to its November debut on some dawn-patrol groomers…

  32. Forest September 21st, 2011 5:42 am

    Jonathan – have you tried any of La Sportiva’s boots yet? I wondered how they would compare to the TLT5.

  33. Jonathan Shefftz September 21st, 2011 7:30 am

    The new La Sportiva touring boots won’t be available until around after Christmas, but the design certainly seems to be the only direct competitor to the TLT5.

  34. Wick September 21st, 2011 9:08 am

    Jonathan – maybe I’m being nit picky but wouldn’t the SCARPA Alien carbon & non carbon boots be competitors of the TLT5??? …along with obviously, the PG’s!!

  35. Jonathan Shefftz September 21st, 2011 9:29 am

    Pretty much all my nit-picky gear reviews are an open invitation to more nit-pickiness!
    So for full-on race boots weighing about 3 pounds per pair, plenty of competition: PG, Alien 1.0 (cf), DyNA Evo, La Sportiva Stratos.
    But for boots weighing a bit over 4 pounds per pair, and stiff enough to drive pretty much any reasonable weight ski for touring, I don’t think the TLT5 has any competition … until the La Sportiva touring boots arrive. (The Garmont Masterlite/Literider are light enough, but they don’t seem to have any fans of their skiing prowess relative to the TLT5.)
    The Alien sans numerical designation (i.e., pbax version) weighs in at about the same, but with the liner so exposed via the minimalist shell, sure doesn’t seem like it’s suitable for general ski touring?
    I suppose the F1 Carbon is comparable overall to the TLT5 Performance, but the F1 Carbon price makes the TLT5 Performance look downright cheap by comparison . . . which is all kind of moot since it’s almost impossible to find a pair to buy anyway.

  36. Jonathan September 21st, 2011 2:31 pm

    I’ve updated the chart here for the new Hagan specs — in particular, the updated X-Ultra has kind of leapfrogged the competition, going from one end of the weight spectrum to the other.
    Availability of Hagan skis in the U.S. is pretty limited, but the distributor is about to place an order with the Europe hq, so if you’re interested in one of their models not carried by a local ski shop, might want to get in touch with him.

  37. aviator September 22nd, 2011 11:39 am

    @jonathan
    about the “stiff enough” criteria.
    the PGs are much stiffer than all the other ultra lite boots.
    and the f1 carbon are much softer than all the others.

    the PGs are too stiff for most hence the dynamic lever:

    and all these boots are too fragile for bigger skis, but what is too big?
    it depends on so many things, technique, style, terrain, snow,
    some people report using carbon race boots on ridiculously big skis.

  38. stephen October 27th, 2011 7:24 am

    A while back I got to try on a pair of TLT 5 P boots and, much to my surprise, they fitted better than my Scarpa F3s with way more toe room, something that has – literally – been a sore point. Given the massive increase in ankle movement and a sigbificant weight decrease I’m considering TLT 5s for next winter. There doesn’t seem to have been much love for the TLT Mountain boots online but I’ve been wondering how much of this is based on how they work, versus perception that since they’re cheaper they must be crap. Since I weigh 65kg, I don’t really need the stiffest boots in existence, and if the Mountains provide as much levrage as the F3s I could save quite a few $. Any comments?

    Also, I notice there are two liners for the Mountains, a very light foam liner (TF, as per the 5 P) and a fancier but heavier TF-X liner with reinforcements, a rubber sole and laces. Does anyone know if there’s any difference in volume or moldability between the two liners? Dynafit’s website says the boots weigh 1050/1065/1225 for P+TF/M+TF/M+TF-X, so t seems the CF cuff saves only 15g per boot.

    Re skis, the Movement X series sure are light, but the Dynafit Baltoro also looks interesting, seeing as it’s got rocker, is relatively straight, doesn’t have inserts(!), seems to be a bit shorter than most skis, and should thus be a bit more manoeuvrable and easier to carry. They’re usefully cheaper than the Movement skis too, but maybe too wide at the waist for this thread…

  39. Jonathan Shefftz October 27th, 2011 8:19 am

    My understanding is that the TF-X liner can be heat molded, but it doesn’t have as much effect as with the TF. And yes, the P weight savings are almost entirely in the TF liner vs the TF-X liner (which is the only M option in North America).
    The Baltoro isn’t light enough to make the chart in this post, and isn’t quite wide enough (by a single mm!) to make the chart here:
    http://www.wildsnow.com/4181/movement-logic-x-series-review/
    … but certainly sounds like a nice all-around ski mountaineering choice.

  40. stephen October 27th, 2011 9:11 am

    Thanks again. I’ve met two people with the TLT5 Mountain boots – both on Manaslus – and both seemed happy with how they skied, so I might give them a try; the 5P pivot-wear issue metioned occasionally might go away with the Pebax cuffs too.

    The Logic X looks really, really interesting – I am envious – but I could buy the Baltoros and get a good start on a set of race bindings for the same amount of dough. And a straighter, narrower ski wouldn’t be such a bad thing for the typically firm snow conditions here in Oz. (Voile’s Vector BCs look like a useful ski too.) Decisions, decisions.

  41. Toby October 27th, 2011 1:36 pm

    New ALPIN MAGAZINE (german) touring ski review has been published. Lot of skis. Skinnies, but not rando race sticks. Good stuff! Someone should send the copy to you guys overthere.

    Winner was Kästle TX 87: 122-87-110 no reocker.
    NOTE: Kästle TX 77 was one of worst in the test !!!

    Other SEHR Good ones were:

    K2 Back Up 124-82-105
    Völkl Inuk 120-83-106
    Stöckli Stormrider Tour Light 112-72-98

  42. Patrick November 29th, 2011 1:44 pm

    My girlfriend is shopping for new AT skis for use in British Columbia. At 5′ 0″ and 94 lbs it’s challenging finding a good fit.

    The Dynafit Baltoro is mentioned in this thread. Salewa USA does not import the 149 or 158 cm length, making it impossible to demo, but it’s available for sale fairly easily and quickly from France.

    Can anyone comment on how this model might work for a petite skier?

    Or can anyone report on having found a good AT ski for a short and light person?

  43. Lou November 29th, 2011 2:58 pm

    Patrick, I’d strongly recommend NOT buying something she can’t demo! That sounds like a relationship killer…. Lou

  44. Jonathan Shefftz November 29th, 2011 4:17 pm

    Demoing is of course ideal, but where many skiers live, not many options for that.
    Add in AT bindings (not tele), and something light, and something short for smaller women, and you typically have absolutely no demo options at all.
    For my wife several years ago, I got her a 148cm Rossi Hip Chick:
    http://gearx.com/rossignol-hipchick-tele-ski-06-07.html
    And for a friend’s girlfriend a couple years ago, we got her the Karhu Jil:
    http://www.backcountry.com/karhu-jil-telemark-ski-womens
    Neither of those skis is available now, but Dynafit has really stepped it up with a 161cm Manaslu women’s, 149cm & 156cm Haute Route Plus (women’s Se7en Summits), and the 149cm & 158cm versions of the new Baltoro.
    I summarized some less-skinny skis here:
    http://www.wildsnow.com/4181/movement-logic-x-series-review/
    … although only a few are available in really short sizes.
    If you insist on demoing first, you’re probably going to be limited to skis that are way too long and heavy for her. Maybe see which Dynafit Competence Centers are close to you?

  45. Patrick November 29th, 2011 5:32 pm

    Although Dynafit manufactures shorter length skis they are not offered by Salewa USA. The shortest ski they will import this year is the 156cm Haute Route Plus and they’re only bringing in 2 pairs. One is going to Mountain Gear and the other to Ute Mountaineer.

    Regarding shorter ski lengths Selewa wrote to me that “we base our orders to Europe off of the orders from our retailers. If nobody places preseason orders for them, it’s not a good sign for us importing them”.

    Clearly we won’t be able to demo any of these.

    I’ve been watching for used skis but nothing has shown up under 160 cm.

    Thanks for your suggestions though.

  46. Lou November 29th, 2011 5:35 pm

    Well shoot…. can you get skis short enough from someone such as K2? All the good skis these days are, well, good… And she would probably be very happy with a Manaslu….

  47. Patrick November 29th, 2011 5:56 pm

    The K2 Talkback’s dimensions put it in a range that might be worth considering and it’s offered in a 153 cm length. However that length is not available on the K2 web site or stocked anywhere in Vancouver, BC.

    The only demo options here this winter will be Black Diamond’s Syncra at 152 cm. The Starlet is available at 156 but I think it’s too much ski for her weight. Nothing is available in the 90 mm range.

  48. Jonathan Shefftz November 29th, 2011 6:00 pm

    K2 has a 153cm in both the TalkBack (essentially the 88mm Wayback) and She’sBack (80mm waist).
    La Sportiva has a 157cm in the GTS (88mm).
    G3 has a 157cm in the Viva.
    Hagan has quite a few short ski lengths (down to 140cm).
    Trab has 157cm in the FreeRando & FreeRando Light.
    Plus the BD skis you mentioned.
    But, yeah, even just *buyin* any of these is going to be a challenge, let alone demoing them…

  49. peter green November 29th, 2011 6:35 pm

    You could try mec’s online gear swap (under community.I saw shorter skiis there.

  50. Patrick November 29th, 2011 6:52 pm

    Thanks for the suggestion Peter. I have sold three pairs of skis there recently so I’ve been watching the site every day for the last month but I haven’t seen anything under 160 cm.

    Thanks for your research Jonathan. I’ll check into these.

    She is using a Movement Silk 147 cm for on-piste. It replaced a BD Mystic 158 cm which she found too long. At 5′ 0″ and 94 lbs what ski dimensions would be closest to ideal?

  51. Patrick December 1st, 2011 6:12 pm

    Has anyone mounted TLTs on K2′s Dawn Patrol?

    A 4-year-old pair of 153s is available here.

    Will there be a problem mounting Speeds with the K2 inserts?

  52. Patrick December 1st, 2011 6:17 pm

    The Dawn Patrol was a tele ski. Comments about how it might perform as an AT platform would also be appreciated.

  53. stephen December 2nd, 2011 7:07 pm

    Perhas the easiest way to attach the bndings would be to use a B&D tele-to-Dynafit adapter plate (http://www.bndskigear.com/). These have enough closely spaced mounting holes that the lack of adjustment in the Speed binding would”t be an issue. FWIW, I have a pair of these on a set of BD Stigma skis previously drilled for Voile Switchback bindings – so I could decide if the skis were worth persisting with – and have had no issues.

    Re skis: I thought we’d all decided that skis are skis are skis these days. That said, I’ve no idea aabout the Dawn Patrol, but was under the impression they’d been well-received.

  54. Tim December 13th, 2011 2:53 pm

    Has anyone used the BD Guru skis? Their a good price and look like a nice spring mountaineering ski for tight couloirs. greatest sidecut depth and one of the shortest turning radii in the list, is it a bad thing to be the outler here?

  55. Tracee January 8th, 2012 2:22 pm

    Hi guys,
    Has anyone else skied the Baltoro? I am heading up to do volunteer search and rescue on Denali this spring and I hope to get to do a bit of skiing up there as well. I was able to try the Baltoro inbounds only on moguls and ice. I liked it but have no idea how I would like it in a steep couliour or in powder. If anyone has these skis can they tell me what they like/dislike about them?
    Any other recommendations for a good ski for Denali?
    Thanks

  56. Greg Louie January 8th, 2012 6:30 pm

    @Tracee:

    I skied the Baltoro this week in a 176 (I’m 5’8″ and around 165) and loved it. Super precise and solid ski that worked well on frozen corn with debris. I think it would rock steep couloirs and be adequate in pow, depending on your skiing ability.

    If I didn’t already own the Mustagh Ata SL I’d be all over it.

  57. Tracee January 8th, 2012 7:28 pm

    Greg,
    Thanks for your advice. I think I will give it a try. Have you tried the Dynafit Broad ski? How did it compare? I am leaning towards the Baltoro since it is a little wider, has early rise and I was able to try it.

  58. Patrick January 8th, 2012 7:36 pm

    Tracee, what length Baltero did you try and where were you able to demo it?

  59. Tracee January 8th, 2012 7:51 pm

    Patrick,
    I tried the 167 at Mountain Outfitters if Breckenridge. They had a lot of sizes to chose from.

  60. stephen January 8th, 2012 8:54 pm

    Useful info, thanks. I notice T-P has 4 sizes (149, 158, 167, 176cm) and am wondering which might best suit me at just over 140lbs; I’m guessing 158 or maybe 167 but no way to see or demo on this continent; I’ve been happy with 169 Manaslus if that helps. :-(

  61. cameron fraser October 26th, 2013 6:40 pm

    Any experience with La Sportiva RST ski? Looking for an uphill ski with some downhill capability.

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