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BackCountry/Uphill/AT/Touring - skiing support thread for newbs!

pinto

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#62
Going to try the Salomon hopefully next weekend. I was in Scarpa F1 which I didn't realize had a 102 last. I was skiing very "balanced" to say the least. Demo wise, its either Scarpa which has wide last, sportiva which didn't seem to be a good match or the Salomon (hope they still have in my size).

My research found the Salomon, the Tecnica Zero G (99) Atomic Backland W or Hawk Ultra XTD (98) are the more narrow lasted boots.
Anyone know of others?

I'm currently in last years Tecnica Mach 1 LV 22.5 with minor tweaks. I can get into DD's Hawk Ultra 22.5 but I would need a few punches for sure. I think the 23.5 would work better. Of course they are sold out of the XTD, not sure they have a Backland I can try on. I can also try on the Tecnica Zero G, and Dynafit TLT7

I did see this as an option also - do you remove the tongue for uphill?

Of course now I'm spoiled with the weight of the F1.... would like light weight w/ more focus on down hill, and concerned 90 flex of some boots too soft.
Lange XT Freetour 110 LV (= low volume) is quite nice, with a 97 last and good heel hold. Only problem is that a 24.0 has been the smallest size; I missed most of SIA this year, I meant to ask if they are making more for next year.
 

echo_NY

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#63
i am furiously looking up backcountry trip ideas to do before the season runs out. my husband suggested the Chic Chocs and also to do Tuckerman ravine on Mount Washington in the Whites at some point. and he said to book a BC hut trip for next year now before they sell out (if they're not sold out already) and to make sure to do one for 2020 while i'm at it since they typically book 2 years in advance. so i'll do that. what does everyone recommend in terms of where to go? i'm based on the east coast but will fly out west for a long trip, perhaps elsewhere too (such as Europe or Asia) - so looking for both end-of-season backcountry trip ideas as well as longer term ideas for going out west. thanks for any leads as to your favorites!
 

echo_NY

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#64
Reviving this thread for the new 2018-2019 season.

I recently got some Black Friday deals and scored a women’s specific backcountry pack and a shell.

I got the women’s patrol 35 from mystery ranch. We considered the airbag one from osprey but decided to maybe go for it at a later time since they are still new to the backcountry scene (although well supported by the industry now)

https://www.mysteryranch.com/patrol-35-womens-pack

I’ve tried it and it’s very customizable and the organization is pretty amazing. I hope I love it for the long term - I will be taking it up with me when walking uphill.

The husband just got the patrol 45 last season and he loves it. He just took it with him to hike to the fire tower at Hunter (there was lots of snow up top!) and he said it was great.

I believe the person who runs the company was a great bag designer for maybe arcteryx or something? And well respected bc the bags were amazing. So we’ll try them and see how it goes. Thanks to everyone for the recs though - we were looking at those bags too.

I also wanted a do-everything shell- my one goretex layer from MEC is great but with no pit zips, it’s tough when going uphill. Arcteryx came out with a backcountry ski specific shell called the senitel (or sentinel?) so I should be receiving that soon (it was ordered last week).

I tried on the beta sv as well as the senitel - at the store in NYC. While the beta sv is amazing, I was sold on the senitel and backcountry specific features. And we were considering the outdoor research one that’s at the top of outdoor gearlab list for women’s shells - but came across an arcteryx deal we couldn’t pass up.

Can’t wait to put these to use!
 

skiwest

Certified Ski Diva
#65
Curious whether others would do a backcountry ski tour alone. I'm very conservative in terms of risk, but I have no one to go with and I don't want to not ski at all just because of that (I'm also hesitant to join a random group of strangers when I don't know their risk tolerance or group dynamics). Would you consider doing a solo tour in low-angle terrain with attention to the avalanche conditions?
 

Analisa

Certified Ski Diva
#66
@skiwest I have friends who do - very conservatively. Snoqualmie pass has 4 "mini resorts" and during the weekdays one section is closed, so it's a popular spot for dawn patrols or weekdays off. Or there are a few tours on forest service roads that still gain 500-600ft per mile but avoid avy terrain. Or on the flip side, they join 400 people in a conga line up to Camp Muir on a bluebird day where you are never really alone.

That being said, it's safer to ski with the strangers you're hesitant about meeting up with. I try to meet up with perspective ski partners before we even start making plans for a drink or fro yo & chat about our risk tolerance, skiing ability, and uphill pace. It's even better when we can get an inbounds day in first or a short half day tour with minimal avalanche exposure/favorable forecast. Occasionally I'll find a touring bestie where we're super in sync. More often, I find the guy who has a higher level of risk tolerance who I mainly call on stable days, or the girl in her first season who's really stoked on giant objectives, but not really stoked on cardio training. I call her for days under 3k in the winter and 5k in spring. It doesn't take long to meet enough people to find a solid partner any day you're hoping to ski, especially if the people you meet bring a few partners of their own into the mix.
 

echo_NY

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#67
i'm back from ski touring in the selkirks/valhalla "powder highway" area of interior BC.

a couple of questions for those with a lot of touring experience:

(1) how do you train for 6000-9000 ft of elevation gain per day?

(2) also, what is your process in skins on/skins off on the cat track up? i played with order but i have efficiency problems in getting it done quickly. so what do you do and why?

i am also going to review older replies to this thread to make sure i was doing all i could. for my first tour outside of Avalanche 1 with AIARE and my first couple days of touring, it was a solid experience. it was also eye opening and hard as heck. i enjoyed it but thought, uh maybe i belong at the resort. i could only do about 3000-5000 ft elevation gain per day which is on the low side at the place I was at.
 

echo_NY

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#68
I think I simply need to practice transitions more to see what works for me. Thank you to everyone again for writing up what they do and why...! (Just reviewed older answers)
 

Analisa

Certified Ski Diva
#69
For the vert question, nothing builds your engine for skinning quite like skinning. I joined my local race league this year and while my setup is super heavy by race standards and I'm in no way shape or form near the top of the rankings, it's been really beneficial. It's like speed training days while working up to a marathon. I do a lot of long distance hiking & mountaineering during the summer, so I have the endurance & nutrition/hydration right to keep skinning all day, but needed to increase my pace & turnover. Cranking out 2k of vert with descents & transitions in an hour to an hour and a half on a weeknight has really changed my "comfortable" pace.

If you're not in a spot where that's an option, isolate what's holding you back. For me, it's cardio. For friends, it varies between muscle strength & endurance - like barking hip flexors partway through the day, or skinning technique/efficiency, or losing a lot of time with more technical skinning - like kickturns or spots where you need to side-step without your heels locked in. For others, it's gear that's heavy or boots that don't stride well (looking at your reply to the setup thread, you look pretty well geared-up).

3-5k of vert on your first few tours is totally respectable. It gets easier with practice. The guiding ops near me also do "introduction to touring" classes that teach skinning technique and transition hacks that are meant to compliment an AIARE 1. Might be worth looking into, or I really like doing a day of private guiding every season or two, and the guides always have tips on how to get more bang for your buck with strides or keeping you gear organized for quick transitions. Youtube tutorials help too!
 

echo_NY

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#70
Thank you @Analisa for the tips!

I believe my cardio is good, so I think it's muscle strength and endurance for that muscle strength.

Yes I'd agree with you that i'm pretty well geared-up!

okay on 3-5K per day being respectable for my first tour. I may do a day of private guiding this season again before the winter is done. Yes I have looked at the YouTube tutorials. They have been pretty good. But I think I need to actually do it more to gain more experience.

Thank you for those ideas. I will get into it!
 

dloveski

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#71
While on the topic of b/c touring, I am wondering how Divas deal with blisters. I've been through several boots and finally found one that best fits my long toes, bunions, and extra narrow heel---and had custom bed inserted. My Arctryx boots are fabulous, feel great, have everything I want in a b/c boot. BUT, even with minimal heel slippage on the walk up, I have hot spots on the inner sides of my heels. I'm guessing they need to be calloused---so taking short hikes and am considering duct tape under the sock as a barrier.

Any ideas---boot fitters can try other things---but I'm not sure what that would be.
 

MissySki

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#72
While on the topic of b/c touring, I am wondering how Divas deal with blisters. I've been through several boots and finally found one that best fits my long toes, bunions, and extra narrow heel---and had custom bed inserted. My Arctryx boots are fabulous, feel great, have everything I want in a b/c boot. BUT, even with minimal heel slippage on the walk up, I have hot spots on the inner sides of my heels. I'm guessing they need to be calloused---so taking short hikes and am considering duct tape under the sock as a barrier.

Any ideas---boot fitters can try other things---but I'm not sure what that would be.
I have no backcountry experience, so bear that in mind.. however, when I was young I figure skated competitively. One of my pairs of new skates gave me the absolute worst blisters while breaking them in, to the point that my nylons were soaked in blood everyday when I'd take off my skates. My coach had me use a liquid spray "bandage" (I'd do a bunch of coatings to thicken it up), and that helped a ton to form a barrier without having to put any physical material inside that would probably bunch with movement eventually anyway and cause more pain.

In hiking boots I've used mole skin as well.
 

dloveski

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#73
I have no backcountry experience, so bear that in mind.. however, when I was young I figure skated competitively. One of my pairs of new skates gave me the absolute worst blisters while breaking them in, to the point that my nylons were soaked in blood everyday when I'd take off my skates. My coach had me use a liquid spray "bandage" (I'd do a bunch of coatings to thicken it up), and that helped a ton to form a barrier without having to put any physical material inside that would probably bunch with movement eventually anyway and cause more pain.

In hiking boots I've used mole skin as well.
THANKS worth a try----better than duct tape which a couple of my b/c enthusiast friends use. the heel movement uphill trekking is so so small---it's tough to get a boot to totally lock down my heel. Hoping for callous development as well.
 

Belgiangirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#74
I have no backcountry experience, so bear that in mind.. however, when I was young I figure skated competitively. One of my pairs of new skates gave me the absolute worst blisters while breaking them in, to the point that my nylons were soaked in blood everyday when I'd take off my skates. My coach had me use a liquid spray "bandage" (I'd do a bunch of coatings to thicken it up), and that helped a ton to form a barrier without having to put any physical material inside that would probably bunch with movement eventually anyway and cause more pain.

In hiking boots I've used mole skin as well.
Liquid bandage, genius!!! Today was the first day of touring in the mountains and while I loved it, my heels are a hot blistery mess right now :eek:
 

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