Budget Gear — Scarpa Matrix and Dynafit skis at Sierra Trading Post, Watch Prices

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | November 19, 2010      

I’ve always liked Sierra Trading Post for budget shopping. Bought a ton of stuff from them over the years. I just got set up with Sierra Trading to make affiliate sales though WildSnow. Their ski gear prices are a bit high at the moment, but here are a couple of things to watch for price reductions if you’re on a budget but still want functional AT touring gear. The Scarpa Matrix boots are totally functional, especially if used with a nice stiff binding such as Marker Tour or Dynafit. Dynafit Mustagh Ata skis are light and versatile. Funny, but they don’t seem to have any AT bindings. Perhaps they quit selling bindings because of liability concerns or something like that?

And remember our “budget skier” category.


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22 Responses to “Budget Gear — Scarpa Matrix and Dynafit skis at Sierra Trading Post, Watch Prices”

  1. Jonathan Shefftz November 19th, 2010 7:57 pm

    Also free shipping with a (fee-free) stp-branded credit card. (Although have to wait something like 10 days for that to kick in after applying.)
    Also, once on their email list, additional discounts (activated automatically by clicking through their emails) almost always apply (especially if you’re willing to wait a bit).
    And for Dynatible boots, in addition to the Matrix, stp also has the Magic, F1, Spirit 3, Spirit 4, Diva, MegaRide, MegaStar, and TLT4 Race. G3 skins and BD skis too.
    For awhile stp had Silvretta Pure bindings, but otherwise AT bindings are never being closed out in a way that would make sense for stp.

  2. Lou November 19th, 2010 8:00 pm

    Thanks for chiming in Jonathan. STP used to have older Diamirs and friends got quite a few that way. But that was years ago. Too bad they don’t have any bindings… with the amazing surge in tech bindings, I’ll bet that’ll change!

  3. Stewart N November 20th, 2010 2:37 pm

    I am going to Aspen with young family on 10th Dec for 2 weeks from Oz and was looking to get off the main runs and wondered if you know of a good guide or group to go with ?

  4. Greg Louie November 20th, 2010 6:15 pm

    They had some Atomic-branded Pures on there last year, but they weren’t that cheap ($299). Wouldn’t be surprised to see first-gen Onyx showing up in 2011.

    I keep waiting for a bunch of discontinued Dynafit Comforts to appear, but so far nothin’

  5. Bar Barrique November 20th, 2010 11:18 pm

    Good site for technical clothing, and, hiking boots at a nice price. I have bought some alpine gear there but the AT stuff I like always costs more.

  6. Steve November 20th, 2010 11:55 pm

    I got a pair of Scarpa F1s a few weeks ago for ~$250 shipped. If you need ski boots, sign up for their newsletter and watch for the 30% off footwear they do every week or two.

    Baked those boots this week, mounted Dynafit toe pieces on my splitboard, and am heading up to give my rig a test tomorrow in the Indian Peaks.


  7. patb November 23rd, 2010 1:09 am

    I use STP a lot for cheap gear-that’s all I buy! The deal with STP is they get deals from manufacturers and other retailers I believe and sell for usually a huge discount (never buy anything for what the posted price is here, you can always get it cheaper with a code or ‘one day only sale’).

    They don’t have bindings now because it depends on availability of closeouts. When they do have bindings they sell out quick like the recent Silvrettas. They’re gonna sell out quicker now since the Wildsnow crowd will be frequenting their site! Thanks a lot Lou 😉

  8. martin andrews November 25th, 2010 6:22 am

    The unanswerable I know – i’m 6ft 6, 17 stone BASI qualified instructor, 95% of my experience being on piste, recovering from knee cartlidge operation in July, planning on being in Courchevel most of season and wanting to get fit and then broaden from side piste to all mountain – ie want to spend a good deal of time initially skinning up to strengthen knee and associated muscles so that by say Feb i can rock n roll. Plan initially to use an old pair of Movement Flame skis with Alpine Trekker adaptors. So, assuming all goes well and weight down to under 16 stone, and here is the unanswerable, which boots and bindings would you recommend. Speed up is NOT what Im looking for and weight is therefore not really the issue (!) given my size anyway, confidence in the downhill part of it is what i want i guess. Amateur questions I know but shoot away……

  9. Lou November 25th, 2010 9:57 am

    Martin, for rehab I would NOT recommend using a massive setup like that. It doesn’t do your knees and hips any good t be dragging that kind of weight. Backup and try to at least find a used Fritschi setup, but ideally for skinning you want to be on a tech setup such as Dynafit. More, the newer Diamir bindngs have a more healthy pivot point for a more natural gait, tech bindings have that by default, but even tech bindings have a better gait if you use any of the Scarpa boots that have the toe fittings mounted a few millimeters back from most other boots.

  10. Jon November 25th, 2010 9:28 pm

    I just picked up the scarpa matrix boot and am paring it with dynafit bindings. I ski the wasatch backcountry mostly and wanted a bit fatter ski like the black diamond drift ski… I am worried that the boot is to soft to handle a ski that wide? I am 5’9″ 175lb. What do you think? am I going to be able to control a 100 underfoot ski with the matrix?

  11. Darin December 16th, 2010 8:57 pm

    If anyone is still reading this, and lives in the Durango, CO area, Pine Needle Mountaineering on Main St. has these, 169cm for $249.99 (new/unmounted). It took all my willpower to not buy them myself. If you’re in the area, it’s worth a trip. (they’re upstairs in the sale section)

  12. Darin December 16th, 2010 9:03 pm

    note: they’re the previous years’ model, not the new one with fancy inserts. aaahhhggg I need a job so I can buy these and not make myself broke!

  13. Lou December 16th, 2010 9:51 pm

    That’s a pretty good deal, and perhaps you can even talk them down some more?

  14. SteveG December 17th, 2010 9:55 am

    I started alpine touring two years before receiving my first social security check and bagging epic lines and peaks is not in the cards. Bagging epic deals is my forte. I shop for new or barely used gear on the net. My first AT rig of 5 year old but NIP Shuksan’s ($80), like new Scarpa Laser’s ($100) and still good Comfort’s ($230) got me into the game for well under $500 including the free skins that needed a re-glue. I resold that rig and replaced it with end of season Shuksans for $99 shipped from EVO, another used set of Comforts on craigslist and BD Ascension’s for $24 at STP . I drive that with MegaRide’s that looked almost new for $165. $65 Patagonia Guide pants from STP go with the two pair of Hestra Heli Guide’s I got for $37 and $14.86. Sorry, I can’t say where, it’s my secret stash. I also worked a deal to sell T shirts at my cost to a guiding outfit in the PNW. Instead of profit, I got a beacon. So, yeah, you don’t have to spend a ton of dough to hit the back country, but I’d guess that I spend as much time shopping on line as Lou spends on snow and in the shop.

  15. Lou December 17th, 2010 10:16 am

    Excellent Steve!

  16. olin February 25th, 2011 1:23 am

    I’ve been skiing two different setups randomly. I finally got dialed in w/ my scarpa denali TT, FFR+, 165 havoks to where I feel fairly agressive (mostly resort). The other setup is Scarpa Diva’s, dynafit ST’s and 168 Atomic Kongurs. I love the tours but ive never felt ‘dialed in’ Almost Everytime it feels like survival skiing on the down – even hero snow seems too tenuous. numerous times I’ve even felt like it was gonna snap my fibula. trying to figure things out – wondering if the Kongurs were just too stiff or thinking that the Divas were too much of a performance fit I got a pair of spirit 3’s off STP. Somehow in my quest for a one boot quiver I got clued in to the ramp angle thing. Is this why Scarpa has the two postion lean adjustment? If I use the more upright position for the dynafits and the more foreward for the fritschi’s would that be close? Or should I just shim the front of the Dynafits?

    Shimming – is there a dedicated page for finding out about that procedure?
    What about a collection of links for fixing and modifying the pesky lean locks?

    On the budget gear theme I picked up a pair of k2 shuksannes for 100$ off EVO. haven’t got them mounted yet, all this ramp angle blather has me intrigued in the ONYX and a couple sets of mounting plates. Thinking maybe the k2 would be a good powder ski and the kongur for corn and crud? Any similar experiences?

  17. Jonathan Shefftz February 27th, 2011 8:26 pm

    “Shimming – is there a dedicated page for finding out about that procedure?”
    – I’ve done this many times, for many different types of bindings (including Dynafit), so I’ll start working on a post for that.

  18. Lou February 28th, 2011 8:35 am

    Olin, yes, the most important thing is to figure out a setup you like then match the angles and feel with your other setup. Even then, you might find you have an adjustment period of a few turns while your body gets used to the different boots and skis. Also, if a setup just never feels good, it might simply not be the right setup for your style and type of terrain. In other words, try dialing the stuff but don’t throw good money after bad. As for shimming bindings, it’s really not that tough. Main thing is to know that small amounts can make a big difference, and you need the correct length screws. Personally I prefer to not shim bindings as I ski so many different setups. I’d rather just get my boots working. But I have to admit that switching from Dynafit ST/FT over to Fritschi is quite a shock, due to the radically different ramp angles.

  19. Jonathan Shefftz March 1st, 2011 9:27 pm

    Getting your boots dialed in just right is not a substitute for getting the binding delta just right by shimming. You can play with your boots forever, but if the binding has too much delta, your fore-aft balance is always going to be messed up.

  20. aviator March 1st, 2011 11:57 pm

    I don’t really understand?
    If you level out the your binding delta with boot ramp angle all is well?
    Your foot can’t tell which is which anyway?

  21. olin March 2nd, 2011 1:45 am

    yeah thanks Jonathan, yeah your foot angle in relation to the ski is still going to be different even if the forward lean is the same. Pretty wild, with all these variables the more I read about skiing the more I realize that its an art and a science and it gives me more of an appreciation for the pro-shops. I think someone (Lou ?) ought to write a book about about the nuances of gear fit and tuning and the effects that these things can have on performance. I’d gladly buy a book like Allen & Mikes really cool telemark tips. I think backcountry skiing is starting to attract all kinds of people that might not be into the resort scene or prices – people who didn’t grow up alpine ski racing etc. but regardless the skiing fundamentals are the same. There is some good internet stuff out there, but a “for dummies” book would be nice. It might address things like binding delta, boot angle, boot center – and mounting +/- of center for what kinds of conditions, ski tuning how and why and repair basics. But maybe the crowd that needs it wouldn’t buy it anyway?

  22. Jonathan Shefftz March 2nd, 2011 6:49 am

    See my more detailed comment in the “Dynafit 2011/12 — The new Bindings” thread, but in brief, the height differential inside the boot between the heel and ball-of-foot is different than the binding delta. (A perfectly flat plane inside the boot combined with significant binding delta would probably be unskiable for most people!)
    For info on lateral stance alignment, see Warren Witherell’s The Athletic Skier.
    For fore/aft, click on some of the info at the GMOL Foot website.

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