Are we gear junkies? Perhaps so, but it’s better than the alternative. We got a good fix last week setting up a beautiful new backcountry skiing rig, then testing it this past weekend.
|Our complete state-of-art rig. Dynafit D-812 skis in 160cm, Dynafit Comfort binding.|
|We mounted Dynafit Comfort bindings withoutbrakes, instead using our favorite minimalist safety strap andclip on toe unit. Not using brakes reduces weight, but more allows easy rotation of heel unit to switch modes from downhill to touring while still latched into the binding. These bindings are set up for use with Scarpa F1 boots, hence the black shim block mounted just behind toe unit.|
|We installed our well known Rat Tail, the skin attachment system we developed over the past several years. As always it works great and was fun to make.|
We’ve had a few days now to test this D-812 setup. These skis are incredible. They’re super versatile, lightweight, and ski well in diminutive lengths. We love short planks for spring backcountry skiing, as they not only save weight, but are much easier to carry on a backpack. The Dynafit Comfort bindings are also working well. We’ve not experienced any issues with coming out of the toe while touring (a reported problem that’s most likely the result of ice building up under the toe unit, and easy to rectify with diligent field maintenance), and of course they ski downhill like a dream (a now acknowledged property of Dynafit bindings).
The BCA Low Fat skins are light and pack nicely in our smaller springtime backpacks, but they have the least glide of any skins we own so we’ll go back to using BD Glidelite skins as soon as possible. As with any climbing skin, rubbing the plush with a block of alpine wax before each trip makes them perform much better (improving glide and also preventing ice buildup), and this seemed to be especially true for the Low-Fats. More, BCA Low Fat skins are known for their super sticky glue. This pair of furs was no exception, and we’re finding that storing them with a release liner on the glue is mandatory, rather than doubling them and sticking them to themselves during backcountry ski trips.
Weight per ski, with skins, ended up being 65.2
ounces (4 pounds).
In all, a fun project, and just in time for the peak of spring skiing, as sunny weather in Colorado today is baking the corn snow.