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Backcountry / Telemark touring

mahgnillig

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#1
I recently bought a pair of Madshus Epochs (backcountry skis with fish scales) for those times when the snow is too deep for my other XC skis (Madshus Voss). I figured the setup could serve double duty as light telemark gear, so I equipped them with Voile Hardwire bindings and bought some Scarpa T3 boots. Today was my first day out on them, and something doesn't seem right. Normally when I kick and glide on the flats on my skinny skis, my ankle flexes back and I kind of slide on the one ski while setting up for the next stride by flexing the opposite ankle forwards. This feels quite natural and comfortable for me and doesn't feel like I'm jamming my toes up against the front of the boot. When I switched to the heavier setup today and tried the same kick and glide motion, it was a whole different story. The T3 boots have a decent amount of forward lean, unlike my XC boots, so every time I tried to glide I got the same sensation as being in the back seat on Alpine skis, and my toes would push up against the toe box of the boots, which was really uncomfortable after a while.

I have since thermo moulded the boot liners (probably should have done that first!) to give myself a little more toe room, but the boots aren't really that tight, and that doesn't really address the back seat/toe bang issue. So my question for any other backcountry skiing divas is whether the technique is different when you are kicking and gliding on tele gear vs XC gear. If so, how should I be doing it?
 

SkiGAP

Angel Diva
#2
I've never been on xc gear so I don't know what it is like to transition to tele. On the tele gear, on groomed snow, I don't have any kick motion, it is more of a weighting and unweighting while doing a smooth lead change. In chop or steeps I do tend to jump turn. In any case, am not an instructor. There are LOTS of YouTune videos on beginning telemark to explain the turns, perhaps you can refer to them. Otherwise, I think a lesson is the way to go since you may have a particular technique issue to address.

Good luck!
 

altagirl

Moderator
Staff member
#3
I don't know that I've ever really tried to kick and glide on tele gear either. I do have a classic XC setup and obviously do it on that gear, but I don't have any tele skis with fishscales on the bottom and if I tried to kick and glide on my tele skis I wouldn't have any traction and wouldn't go anywhere.... I have added skins onto my tele skis and gone touring with it, but my skins don't get much glide and our terrain around here is such that it's usually pretty steep uphill so there's no opportunity to glide even if I could.
 
#4
I've got a similar setup--Fischer Outtabounds and T3s (although I am going back to a Garmont boot because the T3s don't fit my wider feet.)

DEFINITELY bake the liners. If you haven't done so before, look up videos--it's easy. This is pretty old, but it's a classic:

You want to create a toe cap and stand on a book while they cool to create room for your toes and a heel pocket. Cooking the liners makes a big difference, IMO.

While there's some kick and glide with this setup, it's more plodding than XC gear. I make sure to tighten the strap across my instep to help keep my heel in place (and toes back from the front). I have a tendency to get shin bang, so I keep the top of the boot lose, but I know plenty of folks who strap up their boots and go. So play with how much you tighten/loosen straps on your boots.

All that said, I had the same problem with the T3s and finally had to admit they were just too short for my feet. A friend bought them and loves them. She has a 7.5 to my size 9, so yeah, they were too small for me. So check the sizing as well!

Good luck. When you get that setup to work, it's a lot of fun.
 

SkiGAP

Angel Diva
#5
Uh - "YouTube"

I've got a similar setup--Fischer Outtabounds and T3s (although I am going back to a Garmont boot because the T3s don't fit my wider feet.)
Still wanna know which bindings :-)
I have relatively narrow feet, but the Garmonts fit best - now I think my heel is coming up though...might need new liners. Can one get conventional customer liners in the tele boot or must one get tele liners? I suspect it is the latter...
 
#6
This is a different tele-set up from the one I was talking about in the other thread. :D For this lighter setup (non-resort) I use the Voile 3-pin cable. IMO, the Voile Hardwire is a bit overkill for this (I like to remove the cables when climbing or depending on terrain), but I haven't looked at the comparative weights).

I would guess you could use custom liners, but I can't say for sure. I have a friend how stuck a pair of nontele liners in his old T3s and it worked fine. You also might try a heel lift. Dr. Scholl and others make them for heel pain, but I bought them and put them under my footbeds, and it's helped a lot with heel slop. You might try rebaking your liners as well.
 

mahgnillig

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#7
I'm definitely looking forward to trying this again with the liners newly baked :smile: I think it's probably poor technique on my part more than anything. I love how light these Madshus skis are! I think I'm going to take the bindings apart and reinstall the wires upside down though, so I can remove them easily in the same way you can with the 3 pin cables. That way there will be a bit less weight on the skis for puttering along on the flats, and I can put them back on for downhills. I'd really like to try this setup at the resort too, just for giggles. I'm guessing that the Hardwires and plastic boots will be a beefy enough setup to at least try telemark turns on the bunny hill :thumb:
 
#8
I recently bought a pair of Madshus Epochs (backcountry skis with fish scales) for those times when the snow is too deep for my other XC skis (Madshus Voss). I figured the setup could serve double duty as light telemark gear, so I equipped them with Voile Hardwire bindings and bought some Scarpa T3 boots. Today was my first day out on them, and something doesn't seem right. Normally when I kick and glide on the flats on my skinny skis, my ankle flexes back and I kind of slide on the one ski while setting up for the next stride by flexing the opposite ankle forwards. This feels quite natural and comfortable for me and doesn't feel like I'm jamming my toes up against the front of the boot. When I switched to the heavier setup today and tried the same kick and glide motion, it was a whole different story. The T3 boots have a decent amount of forward lean, unlike my XC boots, so every time I tried to glide I got the same sensation as being in the back seat on Alpine skis, and my toes would push up against the toe box of the boots, which was really uncomfortable after a while.
What binding and boots were on these skis when you were able to kick and glide?
 

mahgnillig

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#9
This is the first binding and boot setup I've had on them. My Madshus Voss have regular Salomon auto bindings and combi boots... They glide nicely :smile:
 
#10
Oh, so maybe these skis just don't glide as well as the other ones?

The sensation you described sounds like your boot/binding combo are way too stiff to allow the "natural" kick action you were so accustomed to. (when you don't get a good "kick", you end up in the back seat -- because your back feet slide too far back)
 
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