Backcountry Skiing (Alpine touring vrs Telemark skis)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jay H, Feb 12, 2003.

  1. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    An almost complete newbie to skiing, was interested in backcountry skiing. Don't have much an interest in downhill skiing, what is the difference between Alpine Touring skis and Telemark skis?

    Black Diamond Alpine Touring skis

    These are 183cm in size, seem to be relatively inexpensive, I have trekking poles I might be able to extend far enough to use as ski poles, I would just need boots and bindings.

    Is there a difference between these AT skis and Telemark skis? What's a good size given that I'm about 130lbs and 5'4", typically would be used in NY/NJ where we can get all different kinds of snow, light to wet and heavy.

    Jay
     
  2. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    Don't quote me, but I believe the telemarks are more narrow than the alpines.


    It's been a while since I pulled my skis out. But the rules of thumb for size is if you stand with your arm straight up. The tip of the ski should reach your wrist from the floor.

    As for poles, they should reach your armpits from the floor.

    Or, at least these were the rules when I was skiing

    As for the type of snow... if these are waxless skis, they should work in all types. If these skis need to be waxed (which is a PITA if you're just a casual skier), there are different types of wax for different types of snow.

    Again, I haven't done it in about 10 years, so the technology may have changed.
     
  3. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    Telemark skis have fatter tips/tails and are shorter (i.e. meant for going/turning down steep hills). They do not glide very well. Alpine touring skis allow you to get more glide on flat land but still retain some shape to help with turning. Trekking skis are wide and long (good for towing gear & sleds, supports more weight & floats better on powder). They do not turn easily at all...
     
  4. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    hmmm, more absorbing, posted some questions on local forums and on outdoor review, I believe the 183s are too long and looking for something between 160-165cm. I bet the demo days are probably over, I missed the one up in High Point, NJ this year which was mid-january.

    REI has some Karhu Pyxis that seem to be my size, they are a little heavier than some of the others but I'm looking to get a pair cheap so I'll buy whatever is on clearence.

    I'm definitely going towards the Alpine Touring kind of ski since I will basically be using them on hiking trails in the winter as a faster means than snowshoeing so I'm looking for lightweight, rugged, full metal edge, waxless and something that will be able to handle uphill climbs, obstacles and the occasional tree [​IMG] all this while with a moderate sized winter daypack.

    Jay
     
  5. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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  6. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    But I wont be skiing on flat areas, I live in the highlands of NJ and also spend alot of time in the catskills or the adirondacks so I would be constantly going up and down, up and down and in the backcountry with rocks and roots and everything in between so the metal edges are necessary.

    I just happen to stop in Campmor on the way home from snowshoeing in Sterling Forrest and saw they had a cheap pair of Karhu Pavos in 160cm size (73/60/67) so it looks like a moderate sidecut (13mm) and is meant to be a versitile BC ski at least according to Karhu's website. For $99 I couldn't pass it up ($190 online) and they only had 2 or 3 BC skis left, this one was my size too. I am now going to search for some Randonee/AT type bindings and they said they would mount them for me for free so I can probably buy look for bindings/boots somewhere and bring them there.

    Jay
     
  7. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    Woooohoooo, I just went out to the golf course next door today at lunchtime and went for three laps around the lower semi flat section...

    I got my Karhu Pavo's with a Rottefella NNN BC binding mounted and my Alpina 1550 boots arrived yesterday so I waxed the ski and went out for the first time ever!

    Very icy!, the rains have made the snow a sheet of ice so going uphill was super hard, had to herringbone even the slightest of hills. I have the whole weight and weight transfer down pretty good, I just have to get to point where it's more subconcious, I find myself getting out of rhythm if my concentration waxes, but that will take time, I can go out almost everyday at lunchtime and practice. I really wanted to ski to work but the bikepath I go is trampled on so the snow is very thin and probably not enough to ski on without doing too much damage. The golf courses are nice because they're untrampled.

    Anyway, I'll be sticking to the flat sections and keep practicing my uphills soon... I'll probably try to practice some uphills if we get some more snow and it's not just ice.

    Jay
     

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