Help A Northeastern Trail Runner & Backpacker Build His First Nordic Backcountry Set-Up!

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Young Satchel
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Re: Help A Northeastern Trail Runner & Backpacker Build His First Nordic Backcountry Set-Up!

Postby Young Satchel » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:58 am

lilcliffy wrote:Looked at your ORS shopping cart- my family has a couple pairs of the Offtrack 5 BC boot- it is super comfortable and warm- BUT- it is VERY soft and not very supportive. Certinainly softer than a boot like the Alpina 1550 you were looking at. The Offtrack 5 is not much more supportive than my Rossi X5 XC track-touring boot- though it is warmer and more comfortable.


Yeah, I'm aware of that. I simply wanted to see what the cost of the Fischer 88 package they offer was all-in.

Looks like I'd save nearly two hundred dollars over buying the same items "a la carte" + the Alpina Alaska NNNBC boots I was eying. Essentially, if buying the package that has 4/5 desirable items frees up some real cash, I may have to consider it. Even if the boots aren't quite optimal.

But when I'm ready to buy I'll reach out and see if they offer some sort of percentage discount on a custom built package. I had hoped to make moves sooner, but I'm needing to put some money into the car(s) and stuff for the kiddos so this may have to wait til early October and become a birthday present to self


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lilcliffy
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Re: Help A Northeastern Trail Runner & Backpacker Build His First Nordic Backcountry Set-Up!

Postby lilcliffy » Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:22 am

Can't say enough good about the Alaska NNNBC...

You should be able to get the Alaska on sale for no more than $200...

And those Offtrack 5s are wonderful XC boots- when my current X5s wear out, I am pulling the standard NNN bindings off my track skis and mounting NNNBC so I can wear a boot like the Offtrack 5.

Those Offtacks 5s must retail for almost $200US alone!

Sounds like a good deal...
The pursuit of XCD balance: cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry

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Woodserson
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Re: Help A Northeastern Trail Runner & Backpacker Build His First Nordic Backcountry Set-Up!

Postby Woodserson » Sat Aug 19, 2017 8:13 am

I've been away, Satchel I've replied to your PM

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Woodserson
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Re: Help A Northeastern Trail Runner & Backpacker Build His First Nordic Backcountry Set-Up!

Postby Woodserson » Sat Aug 19, 2017 8:16 am

SKIING GUYS! YEAH! We be talking about SKIING! Love it!

Young Satchel
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Re: Help A Northeastern Trail Runner & Backpacker Build His First Nordic Backcountry Set-Up!

Postby Young Satchel » Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:40 am

Woodserson wrote:I've been away, Satchel I've replied to your PM


All good man, thank you! I've got my hands full with the kiddos but will hit you back later

Woodserson wrote:SKIING GUYS! YEAH! We be talking about SKIING! Love it!


Hahaha. And I don't even actually XC ski!

..........YET



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lowangle al
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Re: Help A Northeastern Trail Runner & Backpacker Build His First Nordic Backcountry Set-Up!

Postby lowangle al » Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:52 am

I haven't read the whole thread but I'm gonna chime in here. I think YS is hellbent to do some shreadding of his own and should consider a T4 type boot or at least an excursion. You have more control over your skis from being deflected by ruts and bumps with plastic boots because they hold your foot tighter and there is a more rigid connection of the boot and the ski. In your OP you mentioned having a knee injury. While skiing is good for your knees, crashing is not, and I feel much safer in plastic boots over leather.

The T4 would be fine for those short tours that you mentioned and those short steep sections could be good places to do laps. They would also be a good boot for the overnight camping. As far as the xc skiing goes it sounds like you have that covered with borrowed skis and you can use them on those bc trails too.

Just because you are a trail runner does that mean your skiing goal is to go fast and cover distance? It may be having fun with the more technical aspects of doing turns while getting fantastic workout in the outdoors. If your goal leans more to the latter I think you will be safer and happier in a light plastic boot.

Young Satchel
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Re: Help A Northeastern Trail Runner & Backpacker Build His First Nordic Backcountry Set-Up!

Postby Young Satchel » Sun Aug 20, 2017 7:42 pm

lowangle al wrote:I haven't read the whole thread but I'm gonna chime in here. I think YS is hellbent to do some shreadding of his own and should consider a T4 type boot or at least an excursion. You have more control over your skis from being deflected by ruts and bumps with plastic boots because they hold your foot tighter and there is a more rigid connection of the boot and the ski. In your OP you mentioned having a knee injury. While skiing is good for your knees, crashing is not, and I feel much safer in plastic boots over leather.

The T4 would be fine for those short tours that you mentioned and those short steep sections could be good places to do laps. They would also be a good boot for the overnight camping. As far as the xc skiing goes it sounds like you have that covered with borrowed skis and you can use them on those bc trails too.

Just because you are a trail runner does that mean your skiing goal is to go fast and cover distance? It may be having fun with the more technical aspects of doing turns while getting fantastic workout in the outdoors. If your goal leans more to the latter I think you will be safer and happier in a light plastic boot.


You read me right, I do wanna shred! But......A few obstacles to immediate shredding:

1. Skill level: while i have about a decade of snowboarding under my belt, and was on skis occasionally throughout my childhood prior, it's been a long while since I've done either with any level of seriousness.

2. Time: As sole breadwinner with 2 jobs, father of 2 kids one of whom is blind and autistic, and family life administrator, I have very little time to myself. This makes getting out to the shred zones in my area kinda tough more often than not.

Which brings me to...

3. Terrain & Conditions: here in the Hudson Valley, there is certainly decent snow, and shredable terrain, but it takes a bit of time and coincidence to find and enjoy it properly. Way more of my time will be spent on narrow, rolling single track littered with logs, debris, post holes etc in sub-par snow conditions.

This is what had me leaning towards a leather boot and some sort of MID-width BC/XCD setup. But since you mention it, I will at least give the plastic boots you suggested a look since I haven't yet. Who makes the T4?

And finally, while I am a runner, and XC skiing will potentially fill a cross training roll, I'm equally--if not more--interested in enjoying it for its own merits, so im really game for however that plays out, whether long and fast, or short and more focused on finding fun hills to lap.

I think ultimately what I've realized with all your helpful guidance is that there are only so many questions i can answer from my armchair in the middle of August. It'll take me choosing a pair of skis and boots and getting my ass out there to really get a feel for what works and what doesn't.

I'm very much looking forward!


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lowangle al
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Re: Help A Northeastern Trail Runner & Backpacker Build His First Nordic Backcountry Set-Up!

Postby lowangle al » Sun Aug 20, 2017 11:12 pm

Skill level; The T4s will help more than hurt while learning, they are more stable and will make it easier to control your skis and be safer IMO.

Time: Places to get some turns in may be closer than you think. Any hill big enough for kids to sled on can work. I've had fun skiing in my neighbors yard on a hill with only 10 feet of vertical. I've also spent hours doing turns and never gotten more than a few hundred yards from a trail head.

Terrain and conditions: I always felt that the crappier the conditions get the heavier gear you need. I can ski a trail in my light gear fine one day, and a few days later as the weather and traffic take it's toll, I need the rigidity of plastic boots to make it fun again.

The T4s are made by Scarpa. I've skied the T2 by them for years, which are heavier, and just tried the T4s last season and was really impressed that they had the range of motion of my leather boots and the more rigid connection between my foot and ski of bigger plastic boots for control. It's the perfect compromise for East coast bc skiing IMO.

Young Satchel
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Re: Help A Northeastern Trail Runner & Backpacker Build His First Nordic Backcountry Set-Up!

Postby Young Satchel » Mon Aug 21, 2017 7:12 am

lowangle al wrote:Skill level; The T4s will help more than hurt while learning, they are more stable and will make it easier to control your skis and be safer IMO.

Time: Places to get some turns in may be closer than you think. Any hill big enough for kids to sled on can work. I've had fun skiing in my neighbors yard on a hill with only 10 feet of vertical. I've also spent hours doing turns and never gotten more than a few hundred yards from a trail head.

Terrain and conditions: I always felt that the crappier the conditions get the heavier gear you need. I can ski a trail in my light gear fine one day, and a few days later as the weather and traffic take it's toll, I need the rigidity of plastic boots to make it fun again.

The T4s are made by Scarpa. I've skied the T2 by them for years, which are heavier, and just tried the T4s last season and was really impressed that they had the range of motion of my leather boots and the more rigid connection between my foot and ski of bigger plastic boots for control. It's the perfect compromise for East coast bc skiing IMO.


Thanks for the reply Al!

All some really Interesting perspective. Particularly the sledding hill comments. I live in a rural area now, but I grew up teaching myself to snowboard on sledding hills in NYC on crappy snow around thanksgiving . I see what you're saying there. Perhaps turns are as close as the nearest apple orchard?! Hahahaha...

I'll take a look at the T4. I know the Scarpa name well from years of climbing long ago, so that a good start.


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lilcliffy
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Re: Help A Northeastern Trail Runner & Backpacker Build His First Nordic Backcountry Set-Up!

Postby lilcliffy » Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:37 am

Satch- Hopefully, we are helping you!

"Nordic" skiing covers a spectrum that is very wide and very deep- from high-performance XC on the groomed track- to big-mountain "Telemark", which has evolved to be to akin to "Alpine Touring" (AT), in that it is primarily designed to climb up and ski down extreme terrain- AND- then of course there is everything in between.

I may well have misinterpreted your OP- assuming that you were- at this point- primarily interested in traditional "Nordic touring" (i.e. XCd) in the backcountry.

If your primary interest is in developing Nordic-downhill skills and- in particular- learning the telemark turn, then perhaps you should focus on that?

Don't get me wrong- one can certainly develop Nordic-downhill skills while on distance tours in hilly/mountainous terrain. But- and I am certain many agree- if you are new to Nordic skiing- and you want to "shred" downhill- then your learning curve will be faster if you spend some concentrated time focusing on downhill skiing and turning skills.

(If to shred is your bag- you may actually want to start a new thread that focuses on that...)

If to XC ski in the backcountry is your focus at the moment-

On the subject of plastic touring boots-

I disagree that 75mm bindings create a closer more responsive connection between boot/foot and ski- There is VERY little play between a NNN/SNS binding and boot. The 75mm-NN platform allows one to wear a much more rigid boot- also requiring and allowing stronger and more active bindings. The increased support, stability, and control of a boot like the plastic T4- compared to a soft XC boot, like the leather Alaska/Antarctic- comes from its rigidness.

Boots like the T4- and the even more flexible Excursion (although apparently the current T4 has more flex than the previous model- read the review)- are at the distance-oriented end of the big-mountain "Telemark" boot spectrum. The previous model T4 has been my boot of choice for Nordic touring in steep mountainous terrain- as it is at the distance-end of the "Telemark" spectrum it is the only modern fully-plastic Telemark boot I have ever owned. (Previous to that I owned the now extinct composite Merril Comp).

Although there are certainly high-cut, rigid, heavy-duty leather Telemark boots that are as stiff and supportive as the T4, and certainly the Excursion, comparing a boot like the T4 to a boot like the Alaska or Antarctic doesn't make sense to me.

From my perspective- there really is no overlap in boots between XC and Telemark. Nordic boots that are designed first for downhill stability (i.e. Telemark) do not have the flexibility and range of motion of a boot that is designed to primarily xcountry ski.

BC-XC boots that are designed to offer some extra downhill stability (e.g. Crispi Svartisen/Fischer BCX6) are still first and foremost XC boots and do not offer the rigidness and stability of even the most distance-oriented Telemark boots (such as the Excursion/T4).

Everything has a trade-off- a boot like the T4/Excursion will most definitely offer greater stability and control when downhill skiing. BUT- the T4/Excurion boot will not offer the XC performance of a xcountry boot.

If you want to primarily develop your downhill skills- perhaps you should be looking at Telemark equipment instead of xcountry.

(Please forgive my perhaps obnoxious quotes and underlines- I am trying to help clarify what we are talking about- Nordic skiing is a big universe- and the little "t" telemark is a turn- that can be done on any ski with a Nordic binding and boot that allows a natural metatarsal flex. Big "T" Telemark conventionally refers to Nordic boots and bindings that are primarily designed to ski downhill.)

(And- please forgive my longwindedness- just trying to be clear and helpful! :oops: )
The pursuit of XCD balance: cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry


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