(somewhat) OT - nordic ski touring / telemark skis question

Discussion in 'General Fitness' started by Hywel Davies, Jan 22, 2005.

  1. Hywel Davies

    Hywel Davies Guest

    Appologies for the slightly tenuous link to "walking", but here we go, and
    there have been similar threads before so I'm sure someone can help (eg
    Peter Clinch)....

    Can anyone recommend some sensible metal-edged touring / mountain for say,
    Scottish touring, some piste use, and some use on track-set trails ?
    Basically I want a ski that I can some stiction for for touring (kick-glide
    etc), but still use on the mountain / piste. I'm not interested in fast
    downhill stuff, and I've only got modest ability / experience. Whilst I may
    be asking a lot - ie do anything with one pair of skis but I previously
    hired Tua Transalps, which were long, thin, and worked really well on piste
    and for kick-glide with waxes on set trails. Tua now only seem to do these
    fat extreme skiiing type of stuff.

    I own a pair of Asnes Mountain extreme - superficially similar, ie long and
    thin, but can't really get on with them - and can't get them to stick to the
    snow for touring at all, and can't Telemark that well on them either, though
    get by on the piste at least. Perhaps I'm too light to bend the asnes skis
    enough to get the was down ? I'm using (heavy) Alico leather boots - which I
    do like.

    My first attempt (with the Tuas) at cross-country on prepared trails was a
    real revalation. I just whacked on some wax, and zoomed off, uphill and all,
    whilst my wife was struggling on her ostensibly more suitable lightweight,
    cross-country stuff. Then took the same skis on the piste later in the day
    and skied fine.
    But with my Asnes skis, I just can't get any stiction, and I'm not that good
    at telemarking on them either . I've also used a model called K2 Piste-off -
    only for telemarking - which were fine, but I don't think these are touring
    skis at all.

    Basically I'm after a ski suitable for Scotish touring, that will take wax,
    and give me some stiction, and I'll make do with that prepared trails and on
    the piste, (or hire some piste skis when occasion demands it). There's no
    value in hiring lightweight trail-only x-country stuff since it's always
    rather horrible cheap waxless stuff, and this is a bit too specialised to
    buy.

    I'm about 11 and a half stone, 6" tall.

    Any thoughts ?

    Thanks

    Hywel
     
    Tags:


  2. Hywel Davies

    Hywel Davies Guest

    Oh dear ! Here's 2nd attempt with improved grammar and readiblity, as my
    earlier version was a "deviation from English as we know it" as Nicholas
    Parsons might say.

    --------------------------------

    Apologies for the slightly tenuous link to "walking", but here we go.
    There have been similar threads before so I'm sure someone can help (eg
    Peter Clinch)....

    Can anyone recommend some sensible metal-edged touring / mountain skis for
    say, Scottish touring, some piste use, and some use on track-set trails ?
    Basically I want a ski that can give me some stiction (using wax) for
    touring / kick-glide, but still be useable on the mountain / piste. I'm not
    interested in fast
    downhill / extreme-skiing stuff, and I've only got modest ability /
    experience. Whilst I may be asking a lot - ie do anything with one pair of
    skis, I did previously hire Tua Transalps, which were long, thin, and worked
    really well on piste, and for kick-glide with waxes on set trails. Tua now
    only seem to do these
    fat extreme skiiing type of gear

    I own a pair of Asnes Mountain extreme - superficially similar, ie long and
    thin, but can't really get on with them; specifically can't get them to
    stick to the
    snow for touring at all, and can't Telemark that well on them either, though
    I at least get by on the piste. Perhaps I'm too light to bend the Asnes skis
    enough to get the wax down ? I'm using (heavy) Alico leather boots - which I
    do like.

    My first attempt (with the hired Tuas) at cross-country on prepared trails
    was a real revalation. I just whacked on some wax, and zoomed off, uphill
    and all, whilst my wife was struggling on her ostensibly more suitable
    lightweight, cross-country stuff. I then took the same skis on the piste
    later in the day and skied just fine. But with my Asnes skis, I just can't
    get any stiction, and I'm not that good at telemarking on them either . I've
    also used a model called K2 Piste-off - only for telemarking - which were
    fine, but I don't think these are touring skis at all.

    Basically I'm after a ski suitable for Scotish touring, that will take wax,
    and give me some stiction, and I'll make do with that prepared trails and on
    the piste, (or hire some piste skis when occasion demands it). There's no
    value in my hiring lightweight trail-only x-country stuff since it's always
    rather horrible cheap waxless stuff, and this is a bit too specialised to
    buy.

    I'm about 11 and a half stone, 6" tall.

    Any thoughts ?

    Thanks

    Hywel
     
  3. Fran

    Fran Guest

    [email protected] said...
    > Can anyone recommend some sensible metal-edged touring / mountain skis for
    > say, Scottish touring,
    >

    Oh, it's about /skis/! I was wondering what on earth a
    sensible metal-edged touring mountain might be..
    --
    All the best to everyone in 2005
    - Fran
     
  4. In message <[email protected]>, Hywel Davies
    <[email protected]> writes
    >Oh dear ! Here's 2nd attempt with improved grammar and readiblity, as my
    >earlier version was a "deviation from English as we know it" as Nicholas
    >Parsons might say.
    >
    >--------------------------------
    >
    >Apologies for the slightly tenuous link to "walking", but here we go.
    >There have been similar threads before so I'm sure someone can help (eg
    >Peter Clinch)....
    >
    > Can anyone recommend some sensible metal-edged touring / mountain skis for
    >say, Scottish touring, some piste use, and some use on track-set trails ?
    > Basically I want a ski that can give me some stiction (using wax) for
    >touring / kick-glide, but still be useable on the mountain / piste. I'm not
    >interested in fast
    >downhill / extreme-skiing stuff, and I've only got modest ability /
    >experience. Whilst I may be asking a lot - ie do anything with one pair of
    >skis, I did previously hire Tua Transalps, which were long, thin, and worked
    >really well on piste, and for kick-glide with waxes on set trails. Tua now
    >only seem to do these
    >fat extreme skiiing type of gear


    Tua don't do any skis at all anymore. They went out of business a few
    years ago.
    >
    >I own a pair of Asnes Mountain extreme - superficially similar, ie long and
    >thin, but can't really get on with them; specifically can't get them to
    >stick to the
    >snow for touring at all, and can't Telemark that well on them either, though
    >I at least get by on the piste. Perhaps I'm too light to bend the Asnes skis
    >enough to get the wax down ? I'm using (heavy) Alico leather boots - which I
    >do like.


    I'm surprised at this as I've been skiing Asnes Mountain Extremes for
    over a decade now (mine are just about worn out) and they are quite a
    soft ski - good for turning, slow on the flat though with some glide. As
    they edge really well on icy snow I've found them ideal for touring in
    Scotland. What length skis do you have? If can't bend them enough to
    get the wax on the snow it may be because they are too long.

    >
    > My first attempt (with the hired Tuas) at cross-country on prepared trails
    >was a real revalation. I just whacked on some wax, and zoomed off, uphill
    >and all, whilst my wife was struggling on her ostensibly more suitable
    >lightweight, cross-country stuff. I then took the same skis on the piste
    >later in the day and skied just fine. But with my Asnes skis, I just can't
    >get any stiction, and I'm not that good at telemarking on them either . I've
    >also used a model called K2 Piste-off - only for telemarking - which were
    >fine, but I don't think these are touring skis at all.


    They're not. They'll be really slow on the flat.
    >
    > Basically I'm after a ski suitable for Scotish touring, that will take wax,
    >and give me some stiction, and I'll make do with that prepared trails and on
    >the piste, (or hire some piste skis when occasion demands it). There's no
    >value in my hiring lightweight trail-only x-country stuff since it's always
    >rather horrible cheap waxless stuff, and this is a bit too specialised to
    >buy.
    >
    >I'm about 11 and a half stone, 6" tall.
    >
    >Any thoughts ?


    The expert retailers in this field are Mountain Spirit in Aviemore
    (http://www.mountainspirit.biz/), Braemar and Cairngorm Mountain Sports
    in Braemar and Aviemore ([email protected]) and Base
    Camp in Ilkely ( 01943-816011). All three have web sites under
    construction at present!

    The trend in telemark skis in recent years has been for shorter, fatter
    skis designed for downhill turning. These aren't very good for touring
    except in terrain where you're either going up or down. Of the skis
    Cairngorm/Braemar Mountain Sports stock the Asnes Rago (67-57-62) and
    the Asnes Nansen (76-56-66) and the Ranger Wax Sporten (64-52-60) look
    the best for classic touring. (The figures, if you don't know, are for
    the width of the ski at tip, middle and tail. For touring I'd say you
    want 10-20mm of sidecut - the difference between tip and middle).

    Other skis to look out for are the Fischer E99 (68-55-62) and the
    Fischer Outtabounds (88-68-78), which I think Mountain Spirit stock.

    There is always a compromise between touring and turning ability. A ski
    that has enough camber (the arch under the ski when unweighted) to glide
    well will be harder to turn downhill than a ski with a softer camber.
    However the softer cambered ski will be slower and harder work on flat
    and undulating terrain. There is no ski suitable for mountain touring,
    piste skiing and track skiing.

    With any ski you can try the old paper test to see if it's too stiff or
    too soft. Stand on the skis behind the bindings with equal weight on
    each foot. Someone should be able to slide a sheet of paper under the
    skis without much difficulty. Now shift all your weight onto one ski
    with the paper under it. It should be impossible to slide the paper out.
    If the paper will slide out then the skis are too stiff and you'll have
    problems getting the waxed midsection in contact with the snow. If the
    paper won't slide under your skis when they are equally weighted the
    skis will be slow on the flat.
    >
    >Thanks


    You're welcome.
     
  5. Roos Eisma

    Roos Eisma Guest

    "Hywel Davies" <[email protected]> writes:

    > Basically I'm after a ski suitable for Scotish touring, that will take wax,
    >and give me some stiction, and I'll make do with that prepared trails and on
    >the piste, (or hire some piste skis when occasion demands it). There's no
    >value in my hiring lightweight trail-only x-country stuff since it's always
    >rather horrible cheap waxless stuff, and this is a bit too specialised to
    >buy.


    >I'm about 11 and a half stone, 6" tall.


    I bought a pair of Morotto Jotulkyrkja (add slash through the o) skis in
    the sale last season. They were in the sale because they're out of fashion
    now... In the sale this year I think there were still some of this type
    or similar, worth keeping an eye on the sale bin.

    I mainly used them for hut-to-hut touring in Norway, and a couple of tours
    in Scotland. I can't find the specs but the tape measure suggests
    65-55-60, metal edges, waxing base.
    I found I can turn them ok on the downhills, not as easy as the carvers
    with the big boots, but I came down the piste in Glenshee at the end of
    our trip without any problems (and I'm not the most experienced skier). It
    helps if you improve your downhill technique on bigger skis.

    If you want to try a range of skis: Pete and I are about the same weight
    as you are (though shorter (much shorter in Pete's case ;) ), so if you're
    near Dundee and want to take them out let us know. Apart from the Morottos
    there's a range of other shapes and widths.
    You'll have to organise the snow yourself though.

    Roos
     
  6. RJ Webb

    RJ Webb Guest

    Not off topic.. Skis are often the best walking footware (not often
    enough though)
    >
    >Tua don't do any skis at all anymore. They went out of business a few
    >years ago.



    >>
    >>I'm about 11 and a half stone, 6" tall.
    >>
    >>Any thoughts ?

    >
    >The expert retailers in this field are Mountain Spirit in Aviemore
    >(http://www.mountainspirit.biz/), Braemar and Cairngorm Mountain Sports
    >in Braemar and Aviemore ([email protected]) and Base
    >Camp in Ilkely ( 01943-816011). All three have web sites under
    >construction at present!



    Hope we get a bit more snow soon.. Much up in Strathspey?

    Richard Webb
     
  7. Nigel Cliffe

    Nigel Cliffe Guest

    Hywel Davies wrote:
    > Oh dear ! Here's 2nd attempt with improved grammar and readiblity,
    > as my earlier version was a "deviation from English as we know it" as
    > Nicholas Parsons might say.


    In addition to the others suggested, might be worth considering Madshus
    Glittertind. They've been suggested to me as a better alternative to the
    Fischer E99 and are on my "possibles" shopping list. Its a slightly softer
    ski than a standard touring ski, so if hut-to-hut touring I'd expect you'd
    be re-waxing a lot more. The benefit is meant to be better turning.
    Not sure who carries Madshus in the UK, but someone does (in addition to RMA
    who can get them to special order). I'll probably purchase in Norway as its
    not much further away than any UK ski shop for me.



    On the existing Asnes skis, could I ask if it might be a technique thing ?
    Are you actually getting your body weight over the ski to flatten it ("nose
    over knee over ski" as one of my instructors would put it), or are you only
    putting 2/3rds of your weight on the ski and then getting no grip? (And
    then things get worse as you're worried about lack of grip, so you are less
    confident in action, so they grip even less.....)


    I'm similar-ish build/weight to you - 6ft and 10st7lbs.

    - Nigel

    --
    NC - Webmaster for http://www.2mm.org.uk/
    Replies to newsgroup postings to the newsgroup please.
     
  8. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Hywel Davies wrote:

    > Can anyone recommend some sensible metal-edged touring / mountain skis for
    > say, Scottish touring, some piste use, and some use on track-set trails ?


    For a single ski that can do a bit of everything reasonably well that's
    currently available my good pal Stefan (BASI telemark and nordic
    instructor, Telemark Ski Company teacher/group leader and owner of
    enough pairs of skis to start a shop) seems to think the Fischer E109 is
    a pretty good piece of kit. He got his at Mountain Spirit.
    I use some Dynastar Montagne Plus, which is basically a rebadge of the
    old Tua Escape, and if you can find any about I've found them to be a
    good ski, though I've only used them on piste when I haven't got wider
    skis with me.

    Beyond the ski, what binding... 3 pin rat-traps are probably best for
    touring as they're light and simple, though for piste work or steeper
    descents a cable is better. Riva 3s are still pretty light, easier to
    get into than 3 pins and give a bit more downhill control, and if you
    loosen off the cables shouldn't be /too/ bad for a tour. The 3pin/cable
    from Voile can be used as a pin binding if you take the cable off so in
    some ways you get the best of both worlds, but they're a total PITA to
    get into in fluffy snow if you're using the cables and the pins
    together. You choose, you lose...

    > I own a pair of Asnes Mountain extreme - superficially similar, ie long and
    > thin, but can't really get on with them; specifically can't get them to
    > stick to the
    > snow for touring at all, and can't Telemark that well on them either


    Echoing Chris's thoughts, I wonder how long they are? Skis length
    should be related to weight, but some people sell them on height: you're
    4" taller than me and weigh about the same... My Montagnes are 200s,
    I think, and so are Roos's Morottos. Anything over that would possibly
    be a bit too long (though I'm not familiar with the ski's general
    characteristics).

    Beyond that, for getting kick 'n stick it helps to do some pure
    lightweight work and get your technique honed a bit with some
    instruction on diagonal stride. Or you could carry a heavier pack! ;-)

    Telemarking is actually a pretty difficult thing to do well, and it
    should be noted that it's not actually anything you need to /know/. The
    only teles I've done on tour were purely recreational, and stems and
    ploughs are frankly much more useful. Teles are more *fun* and there
    are times they should work better than anything else, but a touring ski
    is not the easiest way to learn: starting on fat planks and then working
    back to the thinner ones once you've got your moves is probably an
    easier way to go. Further note that the traditional nordic camber of a
    touring ski makes telemarking specifically more difficult, as the 50/50
    weight of a tele means it's quite hard to edge the ski under your foot
    in comparison to flatter skis, so don't worry /too/ much about teles.

    For practice, and quite probably the chance to try a pile of skis, think
    about signing up for the Braemar Telemark Festival March 11/13th.

    > also used a model called K2 Piste-off - only for telemarking - which were
    > fine, but I don't think these are touring skis at all.


    Kinda depends how one defines "touring". IIRC the Piste Off is designed
    for (no surprises) forays off-piste, which certainly /can/ be touring,
    but as far as covering undulating ground rather than up something steep
    on skins and back down something steep without them they wouldn't be any
    much use.

    > value in my hiring lightweight trail-only x-country stuff since it's always
    > rather horrible cheap waxless stuff, and this is a bit too specialised to
    > buy.


    For use purely in Scotland, yes, given the low slow is so unreliable
    now, but if you're prepared to take them abroad then they're thin and
    light enough to slip into a ski bag alongside the other skis without
    trouble and are much more fun to actually do cut trails on. A set of
    waxing combi skis (I use Fischer LS Combis) with either an NNN3 or SNS
    binding and appropriate boots and proper track poles is faster and
    lighter than metal edgers, and will skate a lot better too unless it's a
    sheet of ice. They /can/ go off formally cut trails too, and usually a
    ski holiday involves taking such skis into hilariously inappropriate
    spots... ;-)

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
    Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
    net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  9. Hywel Davies

    Hywel Davies Guest

    Thanks for all the really helpfull replies.

    I'll try the "piece of paper" test, one of those really obvious things I
    would never have thought of, and rather expect it will confirm by
    preconception that the skis are too stiff.

    I'll have a look out for the skis suggested, and try the paper test on those
    too.

    I'll also seriously consider another Braemar course, followed by suitable
    shopping.

    Regarding telemarking, I'm doing OKon that, not necessarily well as such. On
    a previous (piste skiing) trip to Norway itself I was very pleased (and
    suprised) to find myself as an above average standard telemarker.... right
    up till the weekend when all the local lads turned up on skinny skis and
    boots like old doc martins . Back to the bottom of the class !

    Thanks again

    Hywel
     
  10. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Hywel Davies wrote:

    > I'll try the "piece of paper" test, one of those really obvious things I
    > would never have thought of, and rather expect it will confirm by
    > preconception that the skis are too stiff.


    Though don't forget carried loads. Touring you're entirely likely
    to have a reasonable weight of pack, which helps flatten out the
    ski. Which in turn means that the "perfect do-it-all ski" with a
    nordic camber is compromised to some degree by the weight it's
    meant to be carrying if you're doing a different job that day :-(

    > Regarding telemarking, I'm doing OKon that, not necessarily well as such. On
    > a previous (piste skiing) trip to Norway itself I was very pleased (and
    > suprised) to find myself as an above average standard telemarker.... right
    > up till the weekend when all the local lads turned up on skinny skis and
    > boots like old doc martins .


    Practice makes... better! ;-) (but plastic boots and wider skis
    certainly don't hinder the process either, and once you're up to
    speed it's easier to retrofit the skills to touring skis.)
    I'd feel /slightly/ more impressed with turning in the best teles
    anyone did in Neiderua, Austria a couple of weeks ago if there'd
    been more than me and Roos trying to do any (and I've several years
    head start on her)!

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
    Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
    net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  11. Roos Eisma

    Roos Eisma Guest

    Peter Clinch <[email protected]> writes:

    >Practice makes... better! ;-) (but plastic boots and wider skis
    >certainly don't hinder the process either, and once you're up to
    >speed it's easier to retrofit the skills to touring skis.)
    >I'd feel /slightly/ more impressed with turning in the best teles
    >anyone did in Neiderua, Austria a couple of weeks ago if there'd
    >been more than me and Roos trying to do any (and I've several years
    >head start on her)!


    Though one might argue that you can't see yourself skiing, so mine were
    the best teles you saw that week ;-)

    Roos
     
  12. In message <[email protected]>, RJ Webb
    <[email protected]> writes
    >Not off topic.. Skis are often the best walking footware (not often
    >enough though)
    >>
    >>Tua don't do any skis at all anymore. They went out of business a few
    >>years ago.

    >
    >
    >>>
    >>>I'm about 11 and a half stone, 6" tall.
    >>>
    >>>Any thoughts ?

    >>
    >>The expert retailers in this field are Mountain Spirit in Aviemore
    >>(http://www.mountainspirit.biz/), Braemar and Cairngorm Mountain Sports
    >>in Braemar and Aviemore ([email protected]) and Base
    >>Camp in Ilkely ( 01943-816011). All three have web sites under
    >>construction at present!

    >
    >
    >Hope we get a bit more snow soon.. Much up in Strathspey?


    Thawing fast at present at 300 metres and the cover was too thin to do
    more than link patches anyway (I didn't bother).

    Went to Garbh Bheinn instead where I needed an ice axe and almost needed
    crampons.
     
  13. RJ Webb

    RJ Webb Guest


    >Went to Garbh Bheinn instead where I needed an ice axe and almost needed
    >crampons.
    >


    Which Garbh Bheinn? I was on the Ardgour one on Saturday.... Magic
    day. Saw two folk descend into the big corrie when I was on the way up
    - thats all.

    Richard Webb
     
  14. In message <[email protected]>, RJ Webb
    <[email protected]> writes
    >
    >>Went to Garbh Bheinn instead where I needed an ice axe and almost needed
    >>crampons.
    >>

    >
    >Which Garbh Bheinn? I was on the Ardgour one on Saturday.... Magic
    >day. Saw two folk descend into the big corrie when I was on the way up
    >- thats all.
    >

    The same one but on Monday. I couldn't get away until then. A good day
    out - and no one else about - but the weather was dull with higher tops
    cloud capped. There were boot prints in the snow up the ridge and on the
    summit.
     
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