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Question: Whats your set up? AT/ Backcountry

em_

Diva in Training
#81
Wanted to share mine because the resorts closing convinced me it’s finally time to buy a touring setup, so I spent the last week down the rabbit hole of searching for gear and I’ve finally made all of my big purchases! Pretty stoked to try it all out when we’re allowed to travel again...

A little background -- I’ve been skiing since I was 3 and am a very comfortable double black resort skier since moving out west, but I’ve been skiing on skiboards (I’m that girl) since middle school because my brother had a pair with adjustable bindings when I outgrew my old skis, and I never went back. Last year I got “powder” skiboards which have been awesome and I’ve been ripping the trees and moguls in them, but they probably won’t work in the backcountry, so back to real size skis I go! Also means I haven’t skied with poles in awhile, so I’ll have to relearn the technique there lol.

Me: 5’6” (168cm), 115lbs
Touring gear:
Skis: 2017 Coalition La Nieve 168cm (bought used)
Bindings: Atomic shift MNC 13 2020
Boots: 2017 Scarpa F1s 24.5 (bought used)
Skins: TBD, looking at G3
Poles: Black Diamond Expedition 3
Beacon: TBD, looking at the BCA Tracker 2
Shovel: TBD
Probe: TBD
Gear I already had:
Pack: Osprey Mutant 38 - I actually bought this a few years ago as a climbing pack, even though it’s made for ski touring. Excited to use it for its intended purpose
Baselayers: Icebreaker leggings, usually a tank or long sleeve base on top
Insulating Layer: Icebreaker Merinoloft Helix Hooded Jacket - I love the stretchy panels on the elbows/sides
Hardshell: Outdoor Research Hemispheres GTX Jacket - love this jacket. I got it from OR on the cheap because it had a hole in it, but I patched it right up with a puffy patch and it has kept me dry ever since!
Pants: Black Diamond Dawn Patrol Pants (softshell) or Mountain Hardwear Women’s FireFall Bibs for really wet days
Helmet: Smith child’s helmet
Goggles: Shady Rays
Gloves: Some old Dakine mittens, Burton liners
 

em_

Diva in Training
#82
Touring gear:
Skis: 2017 Coalition La Nieve 168cm (bought used)
Bindings: Atomic shift MNC 13 2020
Boots: 2017 Scarpa F1s 24.5 (bought used)
Skins: TBD, looking at G3
Poles: Black Diamond Expedition 3
Beacon: TBD, looking at the BCA Tracker 2
Shovel: TBD
Probe: TBD
Updated touring gear list:
Skis: 2017 Coalition La Nieve 168cm (bought used)
Bindings: Atomic shift MNC 13 2020
Boots: Roxa R3W 105 T.I. alpine touring boots 24.5 (the Scarpa F1s don't work with shifts)
Skins: Black Diamond ascension nylon
Poles: Black Diamond Expedition 3
Beacon: BCA Tracker 2
Shovel: BCA
Probe: BCA

Now if only I could go out and ski...
 
#84
Looking at how the virus continues to affect everyday life has me thinking that resort skiing may be highly reduced or unavailable next season. So my boyfriend and I are seriously thinking about preparing for AT/Backcountry. We actually have skis and skins that we've played with on mellow resort terrain after closing but we will need education and additional backcountry equipment.

So to start, two questions:
1) He has taken the Level 1 awareness class but could use a refresher, I have none. Does anyone know if there are virtual trainings happening or planned?
2) We are looking at purchasing beacons and they are quite spendy (rightly so); there are used units available on eBay, any concerns with buying used?
 

DeweySki

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#87
Thanks for the suggestion @laine. I'll check it out, though I loath anything FB, haha.
This group is helpful and will be able to answer your two questions, but it will not restore your faith in FB :/ When the pandemic started this group got SUPER toxic and mean, especially around discussions about who should be allowed to go backcountry skiing and who should not (long story short: many Tahoe locals felt that they should be allowed to continue to recreate outside at will, but everyone from the Bay Area needed to stay home cause they are bad skiers and more likely to need emergency services...) Additionally, the moderators of the group were egging people on and basically picking fights instead of, you know, moderating.

Backcountry Babes is doing some female-only AIARE 1 courses this winter around Tahoe: https://backcountrybabes.com/itinerary/page/2/ Their prices seem kind of high (I think I paid about $350 for my AIARE 1 course a few years ago), but I would personally be willing to pay extra for an all-women's course :smile:
 
#88
This group is helpful and will be able to answer your two questions, but it will not restore your faith in FB :/ When the pandemic started this group got SUPER toxic and mean, especially around discussions about who should be allowed to go backcountry skiing and who should not (long story short: many Tahoe locals felt that they should be allowed to continue to recreate outside at will, but everyone from the Bay Area needed to stay home cause they are bad skiers and more likely to need emergency services...) Additionally, the moderators of the group were egging people on and basically picking fights instead of, you know, moderating.

Backcountry Babes is doing some female-only AIARE 1 courses this winter around Tahoe: https://backcountrybabes.com/itinerary/page/2/ Their prices seem kind of high (I think I paid about $350 for my AIARE 1 course a few years ago), but I would personally be willing to pay extra for an all-women's course :smile:
Eek, maybe I'll do research via other methods and go to that FB group if I fail to find what I need.

Thanks for the pointer to Backcountry Babes. Other courses in Tahoe are slightly less ($450) but like you said, all-women is a very attractive option. It looks like the SLT community college also has the course, that may be the most economical option.
 

Pequenita

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#89
@merrydog, Backcountry Babes and its owner Emily are awesome. And while I can't speak to LTCC's AAIRE 1 course, a friend did their river guiding program last year, and reported it was fantastic. In any case, you need to do a least a portion of the training in person. Also, keep in mind there's a difference between an "Awareness" course and AAIRE 1. Here's a list of avalanche education providers in Tahoe: https://www.sierraavalanchecenter.org/education/providers

There is definitely a bit of localism in NLT that is blind to what brings in the money. :rolleyes: Also, I always found it weird that no-longer-San Francisco people who now lived in the mountains were still on a FB group named "SF Backcountry skiers."
 

laine

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#90
I had only suggested the FB group as a local place to ask if anyone was selling a beacon. I thought it might be more reliable than eBay for that.
I agree that a class is the best bet. I took Intro to Backcountry through ASI at The Backcountry shop in Truckee. I was signed up for Avy 1, but it was at the end of March/early April and cancelled for SIP. So I have it as a credit to take this winter (assuming we can).
 

DeweySki

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#91
@merrydog,

There is definitely a bit of localism in NLT that is blind to what brings in the money. :rolleyes: Also, I always found it weird that no-longer-San Francisco people who now lived in the mountains were still on a FB group named "SF Backcountry skiers."
Haha, right? This was my first winter on that group, and was like, "Wait, there are people from all over Northern California on this group..."

I will say the group is also good for scoping current conditions on certain peaks when people post pictures of their missions within days or hours of their trips.
 
#92
I had only suggested the FB group as a local place to ask if anyone was selling a beacon. I thought it might be more reliable than eBay for that.
I agree that a class is the best bet. I took Intro to Backcountry through ASI at The Backcountry shop in Truckee. I was signed up for Avy 1, but it was at the end of March/early April and cancelled for SIP. So I have it as a credit to take this winter (assuming we can).
@laine the suggestion was a good one for that purpose and I did request a join. However I'm on FB using an oddly named pseudonym (because of my distaste for FB) so the point may be moot, ha. Since it's an open group I may still be able to use it for information/beta as suggested by @DeweySki

All input from Divas on this has been greatly appreciated!
 

Pequenita

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#93
Another marketplace option is the West Coast Sisterhood of Shred group on FB. It's sponsored / formed by Coalition Snow, and initially had a Tahoe bent, but now it's broader geography. I sold a pair of frame bindings through the group a few years ago. https://www.facebook.com/groups/WestCoastSisterhoodOfShred/

Regarding buying a used beacon - you want to stick with a 3-antenna beacon because they are so much better than the 2-antennae ones. Newer beacons can be updated from home, others you need to send in to the shop, and older ones can't be updated. I am not exactly sure what is getting updated (firmware?); I just know that mine - purchased new in 2012 - is too old to update but it still functions well. Here's slightly more information: https://beaconreviews.com/updating.php

The most important thing is to know how to use your beacon and becoming familiar with it. Seemingly silly things like knowing how close/far you need to be for your beacon to pick up a signal are good to know (it can then dictate how you do your coarse search), and remembering that the signal is curved. :smile:
 
#94
2) We are looking at purchasing beacons and they are quite spendy (rightly so); there are used units available on eBay, any concerns with buying used?
I don't think I would buy used, unless I knew the person I was buying from. It's a life saving safety device. I consider myself a pretty trusting person, but you never know why they're selling it... With that being said, if the option is a used one or not wearing one, I would take the chance and buy used. Then I think it's really good advice to make sure you have some type of protections of either returning it or making sure it works properly before making the final transaction.

If you decide to go new and need beacon/shovel/probe, there are some good deals on buying the package together. My husband and I each did the BCA Tracker S package last year, and have been really happy with it (very user friendly).
 
#95
Does anyone have any thoughts on or experience with Shift bindings? I have a beginner frame binding setup, but I'm thinking about getting something a little lighter and potentially more responsive in case this season is a bust for lift service. I've seen both rave reviews and comments on design flaws in last year's model. Does anyone have any thoughts or knowledge on changes to this year's model and whether they would be preferred for any reason? If there isn't an obvious benefit then I would certainly prefer to buy last year's model at a discount instead..
 
#97
Does anyone have any thoughts or knowledge on changes to this year's model and whether they would be preferred for any reason? If there isn't an obvious benefit then I would certainly prefer to buy last year's model at a discount instead..
I'm pretty certain there haven't been any changes from 2020 to 2021, with the exception of the addition of a Shift 10 binding.
 

fgor

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#98
I'm pretty certain there haven't been any changes from 2020 to 2021, with the exception of the addition of a Shift 10 binding.
Speaking of which, I love that they introduced the Shift 10. As a lightweight, non-hard-charging skier, the Shift 13 DIN range is too high for me. (Not that I'm looking to get into touring anytime soon but hypothetically speaking, I'd definitely be interested in shifts if I was.) Thanks Salomon!
 

Pequenita

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#99
I don't think I would buy used, unless I knew the person I was buying from. It's a life saving safety device. I consider myself a pretty trusting person, but you never know why they're selling it... With that being said, if the option is a used one or not wearing one, I would take the chance and buy used. Then I think it's really good advice to make sure you have some type of protections of either returning it or making sure it works properly before making the final transaction.
@merrydog - definitely do a beacon check when you are picking it up - both send and receive. Or if there isn't a second beacon to do a check with, request that the seller give you a period of time where you can go into a shop and do a beacon check. My sense, though, is that most of the used beacons you'll find on the market are going to be 2-antenna.
 

NYSnowflake

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I just bought a set of Line Pandora 84s...now I need to find touring bindings and boots. I already have adjustable carbon fiber hiking poles. Recommendations for East Coast touring bindings welcome! I plan to ski NY/VT resorts at first and maybe later explore the Catskills/Berkshires/ADKs off piste. Edit- P.S. my downhill ski DIN is a 4.
 

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