WildSnow Blogger’s Rides – Louie’s new Waybacks – G3 Skins

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | April 12, 2010      

Still getting all our Denali gear ready. Will it ever end? Having fun though, even if the only time we’ve had for skiing has been some quick uphilling at nearby resorts (real mountains, soon soon). Check out what we’ve been cobbling up.

k2 Wayback skis for ski mountaineering

Louie with his new guns, 174 cm K2 Waybacks, 2010/1011 model with green graphics and K2's rocker configuration that every ski in the Backside line will have. That's his Spirit 3 and Radium, both work with minimal binding adjustment. Spirits are fit for super warmth and will be going to Denali. Radiums are a performance fit.

Wayback rocker

K2 isn't messing around with rocker geometry. All their Backside skis will be rockered next season. Wayback has 30 cm (as measured from the old style running surface contact point). According to brand manager Mike Hatrup, 'you won't be able to buy a k2 without rocker next year.'

Skiing the Waybacks

Skiing the Waybacks, Louie says they 'ski as good as my Coombacks.' That's a Cilo Gear 75 Liter Worksack, custom made for our expedition with woven Dyneema, the type of pack every person on our Denali expedition will be using (I have a non-woven Dyneema version in 60 liter). Louie uphills with 50 lbs of water in the pack, then usually dumps it out before the downhill to preserve his knees during workouts. I've been uphilling and downhilling with about 30 lbs, need to ramp that up!

Backcountry ski binding mounting.

Mounting the Dynafit FT12 bindings. Nothing unusual here, though we did eliminate the cosmetic fiberglass strip between toe and heel.

G3 cutter

It's not exaggerating to say the G3 skin cutter does for fitting skins what air tools and socket wrenches do for mechanical work. It is nothing less than an amazing time saver -- with accuracy benefits as well. We used to spend an hour or so cutting our shaped skins, now it takes mere minutes. According to Louie, as always the G3 skins climb great and have good glide. So a thumbs up on those.

G3 twintip tail fix

We got this nifty little item a while ago and had it on the holding shelf with the G3 skins. It's G3's super nice tail fix system for twintip skis (not needed for the Waybacks, but perfect for any twintip tail. Well thought out, solid, easy -- solves a big problem and is highly recommended if you don't have skis with a regular tail and notch.

Shop for G3 skins here.


Please Enjoy A Few Suggested WildSnow Posts


32 Responses to “WildSnow Blogger’s Rides – Louie’s new Waybacks – G3 Skins”

  1. Eric Steig April 12th, 2010 1:00 pm

    My impression of that new G3 tail attachment is that it will be superior to any of the standard attachments, because it can’t slip off sideways.
    I asked G3, and they said it would work on ski that has even a little up-turn in the tail. Do you find it works on the Waybacks?

    By the way, you guys may be missing out by not taking the new Movement Logic X-series skis to Denali — same dimensions as Wayback, about 60% of the weight.

  2. Brenda April 12th, 2010 1:26 pm

    I have the same G3 skins and I replaced the tail clip with the BD clipfix, since I found I couldn’t operate the G3 tail clip without taking my mittens off (it’s a bit small and fiddly). The tip attachment is great, and the tail attachment you have looks like a nice solution for round-tail skis.
    The G3 skins seem to resist balling up in wet snow better than the ascensions, but I don’t think they grip quite as well on steeper or skiddy uptracks.
    One more thing I find handy with the G3 skins – they are none the worse for wear if they’re rolled. On a windy ridge, rolling the skins, or even just jamming them willy-nilly into the skin bag is much easier than folding, and the glue does not seem to stick to the fabric side at all. That makes opening them back out at the bottom much easier, too.

  3. Louie April 12th, 2010 1:31 pm

    They fit on the waybacks, but because there is hardly any upturn of the tail, they dragged in the snow a bit. I don’t know how much that really affects glide, but it seemed like it would at least a little bit.

    The G3 twintip tail will fit on any ski with a rounded tail, the amount of upturn only makes it drag in the snow less. Most skis should work. The don’t seem to work any better than the standard attachments on flat tail skis, but works much better on twintip skis, and skis without a tail groove.

  4. bill April 12th, 2010 2:15 pm

    Will those G3 tail attachments work with BD tails. I remember them being almost the same.

  5. Eric Steig April 12th, 2010 3:37 pm

    Bill, I am sure they would work fine on BD tails, as I’ve used my standard G3 clips on BD tails. BD tails are slightly wider but the G3 clips still fit, and slide around less, which is actually a good thing.

  6. Fraser Foulds April 12th, 2010 6:59 pm

    Are the G3 tail attachments available now or do they come out in the fall? I haven’t seen them anywhere…

  7. Brad April 13th, 2010 12:28 am

    Hi guys,

    A question that’s not on topic — I searched and couldn’t find another post (your top 10 things every bc skier should know is great, but not quite right). Per instructions, I’m leaving my question here:

    My girlfriend’s sister is a fit marathoner who has a decent amount of outdoor experience — car camping hiking, some minor backpacking. She’s recently got he winter bug, but the problem is, she’s totally unaware of the fact that the winter is really very different than summer. She’s also very independent, smart, and strong-willed, so she won’t listen to advice from the family.

    This became an issue when recently she decided she would snowshoe, solo, to a hut she had been to during the summer (somewhere on the east cost. Whites?). Turns out, she a) didn’t carry a tent, b) was surprised she couldn’t find the trail, and c) fell into a creek while looking for the trail.

    I’m a little worried that she’s getting a big ahead of herself and doesn’t quite realize that winter backcountry travel is a whole different game. She won’t listen to advice from family, so we’re looking for authority figures or resources she can look at herself. We’ll send her a copy of Freedom of the Hills, but that book is big and covers a lot more than what she needs, and I fear it will just go on the shelf. So much of the info on the web is totally worthless.

    So, do you (Lou, Louie, or others) know of any good, simple guides to safe winter backcountry travel? Something that would help her realize that she could die doing this, and would help her get the basic knowledge necessary?

  8. canwilf April 13th, 2010 1:35 am

    Freedom of the Hills is an excellent book for her to read.
    It covers a lot of key mountaineering material.

    As for her zest for the backcountry:

    > is a fit marathoner who has a decent amount of outdoor experience — car camping > hiking, some minor backpacking.

    That is where we all started. Get her a membership to a mountain club in New Hampshire and maybe she can find others to explore the whites with. better yet, get her a SPOT locator so she can publish her expeditions!

    > She’s also very independent, smart, and strong-willed, so she won’t listen to advice
    > from the family. This became an issue when recently she decided she would
    > snowshoe, solo, to a hut she had been to during the summer (somewhere on the
    > east cost. Whites?). Turns out, she a) didn’t carry a tent, b) was surprised she
    > couldn’t find the trail, and c) fell into a creek while looking for the trail.

    Um. not sure if this means she is incompetent or not. That’s part-parcel of even summer trips. Lots of people get their feet wet. Lots of people get wet in creeks during winter trips.

    I’d encourage her to hook up with some clubs or more experienced partners.
    Try to find some sites like trailpeak or tgr forums. Maybe you can get her some resources to help her get gear, contacts, and advice from pro’s and learners alike.

    When she gets real good in a few years, and with some dare, she might be your future guide into some fun back country adventures.


  9. Jonathan Shefftz April 13th, 2010 6:11 am

    “This became an issue when recently she decided she would snowshoe, solo, to a hut she had been to during the summer (somewhere on the east cost. Whites?). Turns out, she a) didn’t carry a tent, b) was surprised she couldn’t find the trail, and c) fell into a creek while looking for the trail.”
    d) Many (most?) huts out here are closed in the winter.

  10. doubleA April 13th, 2010 6:39 am

    What do you think of the Spirit 3’s? I’m sure the uphill is awesome on the lighter boot, but how do they ski?
    Don’t you normally ski a four buckle?

  11. Toby April 13th, 2010 7:19 am

    When do we get the video tour of the shop with all the cool tools?

  12. Lou April 13th, 2010 7:54 am

    Toby, I’ve been trying to get that vid done for a while. The problem is, there are just so many tools!

  13. Lou April 13th, 2010 7:59 am

    Brad, some people just don’t seem to respect the backcountry. It’s like they get into some kind of denial syndrome and just push it with improper skills and the wrong gear till they get hurt or killed. We see this a lot on the Colorado fourteeners. I really don’t know what the solution is, other than getting the person involved with good people. Giving a person books seems to me to be a rather meager approach.

  14. Scott April 13th, 2010 7:59 am

    I got a mounting question for the Mustagh Superlights with ST bindings. I just got the 178cm version (correct size for my height) for use with my old pair of Green Machines bsl 284 (performance fit). Unfortunately my boots are 6mm to short for using the inserts. Are there any mounting tricks so I don’t have to drill in between the insert holes?


  15. Lou April 13th, 2010 8:06 am

    Scott, hmmm, that’s surprising givin the adjustment range of the ST/FT type bindings. Are you using the front and rear insert sets that are closest together? That’s the only thing I know of that could help you avoid drilling.

    As for drilling, it’s ok, just stay as far as possible from existing holes.

    See this:


  16. Jonathan Shefftz April 13th, 2010 8:07 am

    I was just doing some calcs for a similar setup: friend currently has 178cm Manaslu with 296 bsl Zzero 4, but is contemplating the 287 bsl TLT5 for next season. I’m pretty sure we’re going to have to remount the heel unit outside the predrilled holes (but within the outlined mounting zone).

  17. Scott April 13th, 2010 8:23 am

    Thanks Lou. Even with the heel piece in the full forward position the pins barely touch the boot. It looks like it may work if I use the farthest back toes inserts then drill forward of the rear inserts like Johnathan mentioned. Is there a boot center to Dynafit skis or is it in any general area between the inserts?


  18. Lou April 13th, 2010 8:41 am

    Scott, the Manaslu sweet spot is fairly large. Even so, as Jonathan said, with a smaller foot, you’d probably want to use the rearmost set of toe inserts and drill new holes for the heel.

  19. Jonathan Shefftz April 13th, 2010 8:58 am

    Lou, wrong URL — here’s your own pic of the sticker:

  20. Lou April 13th, 2010 9:46 am

    Thanks Jonathan, I was trying to clarify the issues with using the inserts or not. Both URLs will help Scott.

  21. Brad April 13th, 2010 12:01 pm

    Hi all,

    Thanks for the tips. Very helpful — I think we’ll go with the people approach (vs books).

    I’ve certainly made my fair share of mistakes, many due to hubris (and being in my 20s), so I am just as guilty. The troubling thing, though, is she doesn’t seem to realize that she made some potentially serious mistakes. She really hasn’t done more than one or two short backpacking trips, so her experience level is pretty low for solo winter travel. Here’s hoping. . .

    Anybody know of a good solid mountaineering club or shop around Rhode Island?

  22. Jonathan Shefftz April 13th, 2010 12:26 pm

    “Anybody know of a good solid mountaineering club or shop around Rhode Island?”
    — Probably the best option to check out the local chapter of the AMC and the closest REI and/or EMS.

  23. Pierce April 13th, 2010 3:31 pm


    You are right by being concerned. In the mountains out here it only takes a few mistakes to put yourself in a very bad situation. In fact, what you described kills people out here on a regular basis. It’s probably not too far off from that in the winter where you live. Going solo only ups the ante. The only two types of people I know who solo in the winter are either very experienced and prepared, or very naive and optimistic.

    Some of the best advice I’ve ever received was, “Respect the Elements.” It seems trite, but Mother Nature and the mountains do not care how fit or smart you are. Even serious preperation and experience won’t get you there sometimes.

    That being said, solos can be great fun and great personal experience. Unfortunately it’s tough to effectively jump from little experience to a lot of experience. Start with bigger group backpacking and then lead your own small group, then do an easy summer solo. Then move onto the winter stuff in the same fashion.

    Following along with the suggestions here, getting involved with a club is a great way to learn and get in on trips that might be out of your reach on your own, and also to meet some like-minded folks. If not a club, than maybe someone you know who a lot of experience that will take you out. REI/EMS offer some good intro classes, too. Start with the basics, like basic survival skills, and land navigation. It sounds like a lot of BS for a headstrong self-starter, but it’s way better to be humbled by your lack of knowledge in a class or instruction setting than in the field.

    Keep us posted!

  24. Larry April 13th, 2010 7:59 pm

    An uphill ticket (free or paid) is worthless unless there is some control to examine tickets (ticket checkers). Without the checkers there is no valid reason to issue a ticket.

  25. Louie April 13th, 2010 8:39 pm

    DoubleA- I skied the spirit 3’s exclusively for a few years, and now use them and the radiums. The radiums and spirit 3’s are similar, but The spirit 3’s definitally tour better, and are warmer. The Spirit 3’s have one of the best ratios of stiffness in ski mode, and softness in tour mode that I have seen, but the radiums definitally ski better.

  26. Mark W April 13th, 2010 10:11 pm

    Cool setup. I’m curious to know what you think of G3 glue over the long term. Yes, the G3 trim tool is MUCH better than any other. Totally superior.

  27. Mark W April 13th, 2010 10:12 pm

    Tip rocker might be the one thing I miss in my Baker Superlights. Cool to see it in the 2011 Wayback.

  28. Lou April 14th, 2010 6:01 am

    Mark, I did a long-term test of some G3 skins last year. The glue seemed to hold up fine. The DWR coating went away just like it does on any other skin after a lot of use, and the skins didn’t glide as good after many many days of use, but there were no issues unique to the G3 that happened to me.

  29. roca April 15th, 2010 2:38 am

    I have used a g3 alpinst skins and I am very happy. glue after 40000mt. still very good, much better than BD in my opinion, but I always used the plastic web to store them. (To Brenda: I would NEVER roll them glue on skin. suicidal in my opinion)
    I must admit that they do not glide now as new. They used to seem very fast to me and now they do not anymore.
    Can DWR and “glide” be restored LOU? how? which product?

    LOUIE: you will not take ski stoppers on denali, will you?


  30. Louie April 16th, 2010 6:37 pm

    I’m still debating taking ski brakes on denali, I’ve grown really used to having them, so they might be worth the weight to me, we’ll see how heavy my pack comes out to be.

    I like the glue on the g3s, My pair that I have been using all season (and last summer) are starting to get weird, but they still stick well. Most skin glue seems to fail after about 1 season for me.

  31. Nick April 23rd, 2010 12:16 pm

    So are the 2010/2011 “Waybacks” essentially the same ski as the 2009/10 “Sidestash”? The graphics look identical; is everything else the same?

  32. David May 14th, 2010 4:50 pm

    Those new Waybacks look very nice for mountaineering! I am considering a pair of those for springtime descents, possibly next season (spring). Now, if only they would “fix” the graphics…

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