Selecting My First Brand-New Skis (Backcountry Touring)

This is the World Famous TelemarkTalk / TelemarkTips Forum, by far the most dynamic telemark and backcountry skiing discussion board on the world wide web. We have fun here, come on in and be a part of it.
User avatar
bgregoire
XCD KNIGHT
XCD KNIGHT
Posts: 1022
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2014 9:31 am
Location: Rimouski, Québec
Ski style: Nordic backcountry touring with lots of turns
Favorite Skis: Fisher E99, Åsnes Ingstad & Cecilie, K2 Wayback 88
Favorite boots: Crispi Sydpolen, Alico Teletour, Arkos Greenland & Alfa Polar
Website: http://living-laponia.tumblr.com

Re: Selecting My First Brand-New Skis (Backcountry Touring)

Post by bgregoire » Sat Dec 08, 2018 11:25 am

Johnny wrote:Smitty, a friend of mine has a nice pair of 201cm Amundsens for sale at a very nice price...
Just saying... ;)
I think your friend might give them another chance with Lilcliff's BC waxing technique. :lol:
I live for the Telemark arc....The feeeeeeel.....I ski miles to get to a place where there is guaranteed snow to do the deal....TM

User avatar
Smitty
XCD Enthusiast
XCD Enthusiast
Posts: 49
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:37 am
Location: Alberta, Canada
Ski style: Low-Vert Nordic Touring
Favorite Skis: USGI Surplus
Favorite boots: Alfa Perform

Re: Selecting My First Brand-New Skis (Backcountry Touring)

Post by Smitty » Sat Dec 08, 2018 3:54 pm

lilcliffy wrote:So- what dominates?
1) Cruising on consolidated snow?
or
2) Breaking trail through deep snow?

If #1 dominates: Amundsen (or Gamme 54- slower- but better in variable terrain).
This ski will be acceptably stable in deep snow and will still fly on dense snow.

If #2 dominates: Combat Nato.
This ski will be acceptable on dense snow and will absolutely crush deep soft snow and breakable crust.
Thanks everyone for helping me ponder this and really hash out what I want the ski to do. At the end of the day, I think the cruising takes precedent for me LC. Even though there's lots of dry powder around right now, the snow does get wind-blown and usually consolidates going into January-February. Especially going across the lakes and down the creeks. Although our snow is light and dry, it comes in regular 3-5 cm shots later in the year. We don't generally get huge dumps of powder at one time. So the base does have time to firm up a bit. Couple that with sharing lots of packed out trail with the snow machines, and the narrower cruising ski wins out.

And like you said, I could always add something like the Combat Nato in the next couple years for cruises where I'm doing mostly trail breaking through the deep.
bgregoire wrote:
Johnny wrote:Smitty, a friend of mine has a nice pair of 201cm Amundsens for sale at a very nice price...
Just saying... ;)
I think your friend might give them another chance with Lilcliff's BC waxing technique. :lol:
Ben, it really does seem that I was unfairly discounting the Amundsens and that they might be the ideal ski for most of my outings. If you want to put yours back on the market after a couple more months, feel free to get in touch with me! Looks like I would be right in the wheelhouse for weight on the 201 cm. But if you're happy with them no worries of course. :) I can check in with Johnny or make a trip down to Calgary later in the new year and we will see where it takes me!

User avatar
fisheater
XCD Guide
XCD Guide
Posts: 605
Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2016 9:06 pm
Location: Oakland County, MI
Occupation: Construction Manager

Re: Selecting My First Brand-New Skis (Backcountry Touring)

Post by fisheater » Sat Dec 08, 2018 6:35 pm

Smitty if you are thinking Gamme, definitely think 210. They are not a super stiff unwieldy ski. I am a little heavier now that I'm getting old, tipping the scales at 195. The guys here encouraged me to order 210, and I am glad I did. I have not skied them, but I easily can squash the camber in my kitchen. I really believe I would have been disappointed with 200's. I certainly would not be afraid to break trail with this ski, but with 0 miles I am not going to say anything more.

User avatar
Smitty
XCD Enthusiast
XCD Enthusiast
Posts: 49
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:37 am
Location: Alberta, Canada
Ski style: Low-Vert Nordic Touring
Favorite Skis: USGI Surplus
Favorite boots: Alfa Perform

Re: Selecting My First Brand-New Skis (Backcountry Touring)

Post by Smitty » Sat Dec 08, 2018 8:26 pm

fisheater wrote:Smitty if you are thinking Gamme, definitely think 210. They are not a super stiff unwieldy ski. I am a little heavier now that I'm getting old, tipping the scales at 195. The guys here encouraged me to order 210, and I am glad I did. I have not skied them, but I easily can squash the camber in my kitchen. I really believe I would have been disappointed with 200's.
Thanks for the input fisheater! Glad that everyone seems to be in agreement on 210 cm if I go the Gamme route.

Sent from my BBB100-1 using Tapatalk

User avatar
littlevikingca
XCD Enthusiast
XCD Enthusiast
Posts: 19
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2017 2:25 pm
Location: Thunder Bay, ON

Re: Selecting My First Brand-New Skis (Backcountry Touring)

Post by littlevikingca » Sun Dec 09, 2018 2:01 am

For the "for what it's worth" file:

I started skiing in terrain like yours -Kapuskasing Ontario, flat and in the boreal forest, with skis similar to the Amundsen (the original stiffly double cambered Europa 99's 210cm with aluminum edges). Lakes, snowmobile tracks across the muskeg, camp service roads (secondary logging roads), lakes, etc. Very similar snow conditions by the sound of it. Learned to use polar and special green wax for much of the season. I used them in local loppets (20K events) , the Canadian ski marathon (longest day 30+ k if I remember correctly), winter camping, ice fishing and cruising in the set tracks -all around skis. The only downhill in that area was the local ski dip (150ft vertical :roll: ) that I would try to do long telemark turns at slow speed in deeper snow before the "downhill" season started. Downhill on the CSM tended to be snow plowing on polished hard pack. The skis worked well for all of these pursuits

When I moved to a hilly location in the shield country the cross country downhill bug hit: to "practice" my turns, I evolved through a compressed telemark history (narrow skis/light boots, wider skis/double leathers to wide shaped skis/plastic boots) to play at the local ski hills with our alpine skiing/snowboarding children. It was also a great opportunity for family trips to the west and eastern "big" hills. The trouble was, most of the local boreal bush was too tight to allow extensive telemarking and, located on the windward side of Lake Superior, we didn't get many powder opportunities, so local "earn your turns" backcountry skiing was mostly "earn" and not too much "turn".

Last year, after being away from skiing for a few years, I decided to "go modern" backcountry XC (no D) (with the nature of our terrain in mind) and picked-up some Amundsen skis, 201cm for a 183cm, 88kg, the "Fram" version and NNNBC bindings/boots. They immediately reminded me of the old 99's, but with more stability (width) . Definitely "cross country" skis, fast cruisers in the harder base and set tracks, tracked straight on hardpacked snow, nice in 20 -30 cm of new snow over a consolidated base -to me a classic ski for the nordic conditions you've described. Even though these (Fram) are slightly stiffer than regular "Amundsens" they worked well for me (with a day pack; extra clothes, tea, wax, tools, etc). IMHO they are great XC touring skis for the conditions around here, not Nelson BC or the Chic Chocs, etc that we all dream about.

I guess the point of this "wander down memory lane" is that since you've narrowed your search to skis that realistically suit the terrain/conditions in which you'll be doing most of your skiing you will likely enjoy whichever ski you ultimately select.

User avatar
lilcliffy
XCD KNIGHT
XCD KNIGHT
Posts: 2198
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:20 pm
Location: Stanley, New Brunswick, Canada
Ski style: Nordic backcountry touring
Favorite Skis: Asnes Ingstad BC; Asnes Gamme 54 BC; Asnes Storetind Carbon
Favorite boots: Alpina Alaska; Scarpa T4
Occupation: Forestry Professional
Instructor at Maritime College of Forest Technology
Husband, father, farmer and logger

Re: Selecting My First Brand-New Skis (Backcountry Touring)

Post by lilcliffy » Sun Dec 09, 2018 7:59 am

I very much enjoyed and appreciate you telling us your ski story littleviking!

It so clearly illustrates how important the specific skier's ecological context is.

Your description of the Amundsen Fram is inspiring! Think you might write a review of it for us and post it on the Community Review board?

What boot are you using with the Amundsen?
Cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry.
Unashamed to be a "cross-country type" and love skiing down-hill.

User avatar
littlevikingca
XCD Enthusiast
XCD Enthusiast
Posts: 19
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2017 2:25 pm
Location: Thunder Bay, ON

Re: Selecting My First Brand-New Skis (Backcountry Touring)

Post by littlevikingca » Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:39 am

Hi,

I'm using Alfa Guard Advance GTX boots (now Skarvet) and I would be pleased to add my impressions of the Admundsen Fram to the Review section, perhaps after some trips with "reviewing" in mind ;)

Cheers,

Dave

User avatar
littlevikingca
XCD Enthusiast
XCD Enthusiast
Posts: 19
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2017 2:25 pm
Location: Thunder Bay, ON

Re: Selecting My First Brand-New Skis (Backcountry Touring)

Post by littlevikingca » Sun Dec 09, 2018 1:39 pm

Correction: "Quest Advance" now Skarvet

User avatar
Smitty
XCD Enthusiast
XCD Enthusiast
Posts: 49
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:37 am
Location: Alberta, Canada
Ski style: Low-Vert Nordic Touring
Favorite Skis: USGI Surplus
Favorite boots: Alfa Perform

Re: Selecting My First Brand-New Skis (Backcountry Touring)

Post by Smitty » Sun Dec 09, 2018 2:52 pm

Thanks for all the detail viking! Great to get input from someone whose home terrain is almost identical to mine. Appreciate it!

Sent from my BBB100-1 using Tapatalk

User avatar
lilcliffy
XCD KNIGHT
XCD KNIGHT
Posts: 2198
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:20 pm
Location: Stanley, New Brunswick, Canada
Ski style: Nordic backcountry touring
Favorite Skis: Asnes Ingstad BC; Asnes Gamme 54 BC; Asnes Storetind Carbon
Favorite boots: Alpina Alaska; Scarpa T4
Occupation: Forestry Professional
Instructor at Maritime College of Forest Technology
Husband, father, farmer and logger

Re: Selecting My First Brand-New Skis (Backcountry Touring)

Post by lilcliffy » Sun Dec 09, 2018 3:06 pm

littlevikingca wrote:Correction: "Quest Advance" now Skarvet
Very cool.
Review of these too, please!
Cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry.
Unashamed to be a "cross-country type" and love skiing down-hill.

Post Reply