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Dipping my toes in- resort uphill

RJ*

Angel Diva
Glad to see this sub-forum here!
I would like to start going uphill in the mornings at the resort (I ski in Taos.) There are a few reasons for this: I want to exercise daily on skis (and can’t ski every day because of work), and would also like to eventually go outside the resort with my dog on low-angle terrain (terrified of avalanches!

I started thinking about a set-up and I need some guidance. I have a problem with boot fitting. I have tried so many boots that didn’t fit me, and I love my Tecnica Mach1 LV Pro. Is it possible to find a similar fit in a hybrid or touring boot?

Since I have resort equipment, should I get a dedicated touring set up?

For skis I’m looking into the Volkl Blaze 94. I have the 106 and love them on powder days. I demoed the 94 this weekend and love them just as much.

Grateful for any kind of advice. This stuff is expensive!
 

RJ*

Angel Diva
Also, would anyone recommend I take the avy classes before going uphill? I’m planning on staying on resort trails for now.
 

Pequenita

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I have tried so many boots that didn’t fit me, and I love my Tecnica Mach1 LV Pro. Is it possible to find a similar fit in a hybrid or touring boot?
I think in general there are fewer options for touring boots, but fwiw, I'm in a Technica Mach1 LV, and my touring boots fit me better than my alpine boot. I have a pretty wide forefoot, narrow heels, and skinny ankles, and am in the Scott Celeste II from a few years ago.

Since I have resort equipment, should I get a dedicated touring set up?
What would your other option be (besides getting a dedicated touring setup)? I had a hybrid setup when I first started touring because I couldn't afford another set of boots. Ultimately, that setup was heavy, and I was slow uphill in comparison to everyone I knew, and I replaced the bindings and got tech boots 5 years later. Looking back, I know I made the right decision for my wallet, but it would have been nice to have had my lighter setup from the get go.

This stuff is expensive!
Yep. Particularly the bindings.

Also, would anyone recommend I take the avy classes before going uphill? I’m planning on staying on resort trails for now.
If you're inbounds and only going on days that the resort is doing its own mitigation, it's not critical to take an AIARE 1 course.

Hope this helps!
 

Pequenita

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
@Pequenita I see what you are saying about the dedicated touring set up. do you recommend different skis then?
When I think "dedicated touring setup," I think of skis with bindings that can accommodate skinning, with a boot that has a walk mode - a complete setup.

I wasn't sure if your alternative was an aftermarket adapter that goes on an alpine binding to make it into essentially a frame binding with a free heel for skinning (Daymakers, etc.?), or a ski setup with AT bindings and a boot that has walk mode, with interchangeable alpine and tech soles, which is what I was referring to as a hybrid setup (I used the same boots for AT and alpine, and just swapped the soles).

I've never used Daymakers or their competitors -- I've never even seen them in real life -- so my thoughts about them are based on general things I know about touring. I have no idea how easy it is to take them on and off, which would be a consideration if you have one setup and ski regularly. The adapter will also raise your boot away from the ski. This isn't a big deal, but just something to recognize (especially as you make the first downhill turn). If you're using your regular alpine boots with no walk mode, your stride may be compromised by not being able to move your ankle. Also, your alpine boot is likely heavier than an AT boot. But, these may not be issues for you, in which case an adapter, rather than a whole new set of skis/bindings/boots is a very affordable alternative.
 

RJ*

Angel Diva
I was not thinking of the adapter, I didn’t even know that was an option! Wow, so much to learn about this. That’s the part that’s a bit scary, to make this kind of investment and then realize you should have bought something else!
 

Pequenita

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I think, unfortunately, first forays into a new activity are rife with the potential to buy the wrong thing and realize it only afterwards. But, the good part about being in Taos (as opposed to a more urban area that is a flight away from skiing) is that there are always going to be newbies behind you who will buy your gear, and you've learned what works for you. I was able to sell both my old bindings and good-enough boots pretty easily in the Tahoe area after using them for about 5 or 6 years. I still have the skis, which are now 12 years old? Yikes.
 

arbusch

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I would also watch to see if anyone is selling a pair of skis with touring bindings and skins. Then try on some touring boots to see which ones you like and watch to see if anyone is selling a gently used pair. There is a women's backcountry ski gear facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/womenwhobackcountryskiandsnowboardmarketplace) and it seems someone is always selling some gently used touring boots that just didn't work for them and some full ski/bind/skin setups. It is how I got into the sport without investing a ton of money before I knew if I would like it and what I really wanted. You can also find stuff on ebay.

I would also ask around if any of your friends who backcountry ski have any old gear you could try out. I have a set that has become my loaner set for friends to try out if they have a similar-sized foot. My one friend just returned the pair of boots. She said it was her gateway to help her figure out what she wanted in gear and in a boot and finally got a pair of boots that she loves. She is like you. She just wanted something for fitness at our local hill and has no interest in backcountry right now.

I wouldn't take an avy course until you want to start venturing into the backcountry. You need some knowledge on how to use your gear in the course and how to skin. I would recommend taking a beginner backcountry course or a mentor who takes you out at least once or twice on some low angle before an avy course too.
 

bitoffluff

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
If you are after LV boots, I've got super skinny ankles, and flat feet. I found the Celeste roomy but have got on with 2 generations of scarpa Gea - worth a look. I guess if you are do it purely for fitness, the heavier the gear the better ;-) but seriously you will enjoy it more and open up more routes if you get dedicated or at least touring leaning skis, tech bindings and compatible boots. As above - seek out some used gear to try it out, it's always resaleable unless you absolutely trash it.
 

RJ*

Angel Diva
If you are after LV boots, I've got super skinny ankles, and flat feet. I found the Celeste roomy but have got on with 2 generations of scarpa Gea - worth a look. I guess if you are do it purely for fitness, the heavier the gear the better ;-) but seriously you will enjoy it more and open up more routes if you get dedicated or at least touring leaning skis, tech bindings and compatible boots. As above - seek out some used gear to try it out, it's always resaleable unless you absolutely trash it.
It’s good to have an idea where to start with the Celeste and the Gea, since I have LV feet. Thanks!
 

WaterGirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I started thinking about a set-up and I need some guidance. I have a problem with boot fitting. I have tried so many boots that didn’t fit me, and I love my Tecnica Mach1 LV Pro. Is it possible to find a similar fit in a hybrid or touring boot?
You should really try on the Tecnica Zero G Tour Scout W. It will feel a lot like your Mach1. it's just a hair wider last but you will want that for the UP. (I do not believe it is a true 22.5 if that's your size which was 273 BSL same as the 23.5) --

FWIW I was added to that Facebook group a few weeks ago - may want to try agin.
 

IceHeeler

Angel Diva
I would like to start going uphill in the mornings at the resort (I ski in Taos.) There are a few reasons for this: I want to exercise daily on skis (and can’t ski every day because of work),
I added uphill to my ski days looking for a way to get more high altitude cardio and gives me something to do on days I feel it's too cold for downhill. The only gear I needed to buy was skins for my tele skis.

I highly recommend everyone take the free Avalanche Awareness class. Uphill, downhill, or snowshoeing, knowing what to look for and what situations to avoid is a good idea. We did it after an inbounds avalanche and learned a lot in a short period of time.
 

yogiskier

Angel Diva
Well, after stalling because I am not in as good shape as I was the last time I'd skinned (in winter 2021), I finally did a short skin lap at Windham (NY) 2 weeks ago. Yup, I stopped every few minutes to rest and only made it to a 700ft elevation gain, before skiing back down. I was glad that I did it, but wished I was both in better condition and had lighter equipment than my heavy hybrid setup!
 

GuloGal

Certified Ski Diva
You should really try on the Tecnica Zero G Tour Scout W. It will feel a lot like your Mach1. it's just a hair wider last but you will want that for the UP. (I do not believe it is a true 22.5 if that's your size which was 273 BSL same as the 23.5) --

FWIW I was added to that Facebook group a few weeks ago - may want to try agin.
I have the Zero G Scouts too, on my second pair, and they are seriously so comfortable to walk in! I have so many foot issues and these are great. Plus they ski pretty well too. Often, touring boots are comfier than downhill specific boots, as they are a bit roomier in the toe box and a bit softer overall to accommodate all the walking.
 

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