Powder touring ski options

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treehugger

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Powder touring ski options

Postby treehugger » Wed Jan 02, 2019 12:58 pm

Hi. New to XC skiing. Been out about 10 times in a variety of conditions and can’t believe how much fun it is. Great forum! Picked up a lot of great info including that i already need more equipment. Thanks for that guys.

As opposed to another "what should I get post" I would rather just layout my assumptions and questions and hopefully have you straighten me out so I can make a educated choice. Although any suggestions on what I should get are appreciated.

Really enjoy my Fisher outbacks (68/59/64) NNNBC magnum w Alpina alaska. Great for my novice needs but certainly not Ideal for deep powder. I live on the west shore of Lake Tahoe and we can get big dumps. So starting to look at my options for a powder touring ski:

Love the glide of a XC ski so I think going longer is a great idea (as suggested on this forum) but in deep powder I think I will be “playing around” rather than trying to really get any distance touring. So I’m leaning towards wider rather than longer.

Excursion 88/68/78 looks like a great choice: Increased width but not too wide for decent glide, fairly straight for good tracking and good width under foot for float. Only thing that gives me pause is that I would like a more dramatic change from what I have. Also may not be wide enough to provide float I am looking for. I feel like maybe I should have gotten this instead of the outback as opposed to in addition. I feel the same way about the Ingstad, which sounds like an incredible ski. I wish I had one of these but not sure either is the ideal deep powder performer as my 2nd ski.

Will the Excursion (locally available) be enough of a contrast to the outback or do I need to go bigger?

I want to use NNNBC with my Alaska’s and not sure how wide I can go as a novice? I can imagine myself on Objectives gliding thru trees on moderate downhills but I’m guessing reality is going to be different.

What’s the max size I should consider with NNNBC setup as a novice? I’m thinking the S-B 98 (98/69/88) Epouch (99/68/84) or FT62 (97/62/86) are a good volume for me to consider.

But...These wider skis all have tons of sidecut. Which may be great for turning but wouldn’t more volume under foot float ski and also make for easier turns (in powder)? Isn't parabolic shape more for hardback than powder? Or does a narrower waist help loosen up and control wider skis with lighter weight bindings and boots? Not opposed to a ski that is easy to turn, just not planning on doing any steep BC runs anytime soon. I have a great respect for the extreme terrain nearby.

How much does the sidecut hurt glide and tracking or is that not important in powder?

As I’m just getting into this not sure I can justify high end equipment but seems like all the really good reviews are of skis with light-weight cores and carbon construction. Obvious that lighter is better but wonder if carbon provides spring and flex that glass can’t match?

I mentioned Objectives (117/84/102) and really like the early rise rocker instead of just the nordic rocker of XC skis. Wish there were some narrower choices of similar design in the XC world.

Another wider ski I like is the Rosi 76 (108/76/98) What a nice looking light weight ski. Pretty wide under foot for tip width compared to others of similar size. Unlikely I will ever get my mitts on one (or any Asnes for that matter) but if anyone else does please review!

Any help and advice you guys can provide to get me on track is greatly appreciated.

On another note: Anyone know anything about Madhus LT711? (67 wide tip?) Waxless stintered base, wood core, double camber. Neighbor gave them to me and thinking about putting bindings on them.

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Woodserson

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Re: Powder touring ski options

Postby Woodserson » Wed Jan 02, 2019 6:35 pm

This is a very well thought out post, welcome to the forum!

What is your height/weight?

treehugger wrote:Really enjoy my Fisher outbacks (68/59/64) NNNBC magnum w Alpina alaska. Great for my novice needs but certainly not Ideal for deep powder. I live on the west shore of Lake Tahoe and we can get big dumps. So starting to look at my options for a powder touring ski:

Love the glide of a XC ski so I think going longer is a great idea (as suggested on this forum) but in deep powder I think I will be “playing around” rather than trying to really get any distance touring. So I’m leaning towards wider rather than longer.

Excursion 88/68/78 looks like a great choice: Increased width but not too wide for decent glide, fairly straight for good tracking and good width under foot for float. Only thing that gives me pause is that I would like a more dramatic change from what I have. Also may not be wide enough to provide float I am looking for. I feel like maybe I should have gotten this instead of the outback as opposed to in addition. I feel the same way about the Ingstad, which sounds like an incredible ski. I wish I had one of these but not sure either is the ideal deep powder performer as my 2nd ski.

Will the Excursion (locally available) be enough of a contrast to the outback or do I need to go bigger?


YES, there is a big difference between the Outbacks and Excursions. I have had the Outbacks and they are good skis but they are straight-up beginner skis for shuffling. The Excursions are machines. They will track well and offer good flotation for trail breaking in deeper snow. They have less sidecut than the S-Bound 98 but have nice amount of nordic rocker, which in my opinion only, makes them as easy to turn. That being said one friend of mine here in NH thinks I'm full of it and out-of-his-cold-dead-hands will I pry his S-98s. Also the 88s have a slightly poppier feel-- a stiffer higher camber contributes to this. The EZ Skin is a nice addition to have too. The Fischer Crown design is great too, top of class.

I have this ski in multiples, and love it. My 189cm are good long distance skis when there are hills involved and fresh snow. It's just a workhorse, jack of all, master of none kind of ski.

Here I am skiing in the White Mts with my 88s

Image

I want to use NNNBC with my Alaska’s and not sure how wide I can go as a novice? I can imagine myself on Objectives gliding thru trees on moderate downhills but I’m guessing reality is going to be different.

What’s the max size I should consider with NNNBC setup as a novice? I’m thinking the S-B 98 (98/69/88) Epouch (99/68/84) or FT62 (97/62/86) are a good volume for me to consider.

But...These wider skis all have tons of sidecut. Which may be great for turning but wouldn’t more volume under foot float ski and also make for easier turns (in powder)? Isn't parabolic shape more for hardback than powder? Or does a narrower waist help loosen up and control wider skis with lighter weight bindings and boots? Not opposed to a ski that is easy to turn, just not planning on doing any steep BC runs anytime soon. I have a great respect for the extreme terrain nearby.

How much does the sidecut hurt glide and tracking or is that not important in powder?


It really depends on what your aims are. Are you touring to climb and come down hills? Or are you touring to go the distance? The sidecut will affect tracking on hard-packed trails, less in fresh snow, and will make them easier to turn on the way down. What these skis are all missing are length. If you are a taller bigger skier and you want to go the distance in deep snow a longer ski is where it is at-- but less turny for sure. The S98's are stiffer than the Epochs, so the Epochs will turn better, the FT62 is loved by Fisheater, maybe he'll chime in here. I don't think FT62 and Lake Tahoe though...

As I’m just getting into this not sure I can justify high end equipment but seems like all the really good reviews are of skis with light-weight cores and carbon construction. Obvious that lighter is better but wonder if carbon provides spring and flex that glass can’t match?

I mentioned Objectives (117/84/102) and really like the early rise rocker instead of just the nordic rocker of XC skis. Wish there were some narrower choices of similar design in the XC world.


The Objectives are an amazing ski, but they are a downhill specific ski for AT or Telemark, they are not a long distance ski. Johnny has NNN-BC bindings on him but he has mad skillz from a lifetime of meditating on this set-up waiting for the right time. Maybe not something to jump right into right away. I have the Objectives and ski them with a 3 pin binding with hardwires and a T4 boot. Great set-up! But it's a light telemark setup, not a nordic touring set-up.

On another note: Anyone know anything about Madhus LT711? (67 wide tip?) Waxless stintered base, wood core, double camber. Neighbor gave them to me and thinking about putting bindings on them.


If you have these, use them! They will be educational regardless.

treehugger

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Re: Powder touring ski options

Postby treehugger » Wed Jan 02, 2019 7:26 pm

Great response thanks for lots of specific info. I'm 172lb 6'0. Right in the middle range of 179 Excursion according to Fischer. 189 would be plenty big if I want to size up (don't forget I'm a novice).

Good to hear that the Excursions would be a great choice. Would likely pass the outback on to my daughter and just use Excusions if I do get them.

Mainly I'll try to stick to mellow terrain. Sugar pine state park, location of '60 Olympic cross country events, is at end of my street. Not looking to tour for turns just want to enjoy the downhills as much as my ability allows.

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Re: Powder touring ski options

Postby paulzo » Wed Jan 02, 2019 8:35 pm

I have Atomic Rainers - virtually the same ski as the Excursion 88's (some say EXACTLY the same ski but I don't know that for sure). While I like them, and have gone many places on them including across the Sierra, I think that for powder it aint' what you are looking for. Still too skinny and too much camber. I have had mine in deep soft stuff and it was a slog. On nice spring corn in the Sierra, different story - you can get almost anywhere on them.
I have been eyeballing some Objective BC's and my only doubt is that they are wider than I want for spring corn (multi-day, high mountain tours). But they are so light - as light as my Rainiers - and I have heard such good things about them in terms of traction and turning, that I am leaning that way. For your case, I bet you'd love them. Nothing else that wide is that light, and it would set you up to handle a wide variety of conditions. Not the best thing for making miles on snow-covered logging roads, but you won't make miles in Sierra powder anyway - nor in Sierra cement. And when it corns up and you want to cover some ground you have skis for that, while the objectives would be great for more up and downy tours - of which, as you know, there are lots in your neighborhood even ignoring the more extreme stuff.

I actually have a second pair of Rainers in my garage that belong to a friend who does not want them anymore - I have been wondering whether to sell them for him or buy them myself as a backup or to try with some different boots/bindings.

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Re: Powder touring ski options

Postby fisheater » Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:06 pm

Treehugger,
The E88 seem like a nice ski. I will post a photo of my Tindan 86 and my Falketind 62 for a comparison of ski sizes. Mostly because I went through the effort to show the difference before you posted your last post. The Tindan is within a couple mm of the Objective. I also included a photo of Johnny skiing an Objective on NNN and Alaska. I only included that photo because it shows the possibilities. Frankly having the Tindan 86 only increases my respect for the ability to handle these skis in NNN-BC and Alaska BC boots.
You seem happy with the E-88. If you ever want to know about the Falketind 62 let me know. I will tell you the good and bad, ain't no ugly, well maybe me, the ski is pretty sweet
IMG_1152.PNG
[attachment=0]IMG_1153.JPG[/attachment is a nice ski.
IMG_1153.JPG
Last edited by fisheater on Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Powder touring ski options

Postby Woodserson » Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:07 pm

treehugger wrote:Great response thanks for lots of specific info. I'm 172lb 6'0. Right in the middle range of 179 Excursion according to Fischer. 189 would be plenty big if I want to size up (don't forget I'm a novice).

...

Not looking to tour for turns just want to enjoy the downhills as much as my ability allows.


Size up to 189cm. Trust me.

Paulzo has some good ideas in there, I guess I shouldn't have thrown the Objectives out the window as quick as I did, especially in light of the above sentence.

EDIT wow, Fish, that's like, a clean multi-purpose minimalist do-it-all quiver right there.

treehugger

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Re: Powder touring ski options

Postby treehugger » Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:50 pm

Yeah Objectives look sweet but think they would be wasted on me at this point. Maybe next year with new bindings and boots? Or just better skills? Right now love the lightweight NNNBC with Alsaka set-up. Johnny riding fat skis with that setup is inspiring.

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Re: Powder touring ski options

Postby fisheater » Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:01 pm

I have Alaska for the skinny green skis. My first time on NNN. I am even skiing the FT 62 on 3 pin leather. I think the FT is very doable NNN

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Re: Powder touring ski options

Postby lilcliffy » Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:46 pm

paulzo wrote:I have Atomic Rainers - virtually the same ski as the Excursion 88's (some say EXACTLY the same ski but I don't know that for sure).


Pretty sure that the Rainer is narrower (60mm waist?), more cambered and stiffer than the Fischer 88? The current 88 also has a rockered tip.

Unless I am wrong- I don't think that Fischer still makes a ski like the Rainier...My close friend has a pair of Rainier and also a pair of the Fischer Rebound- these two skis look exactly the same to me...
https://www.gearx.com/atomic-rainier-bc-ski-08-09
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=1194&hilit=fischer+rebound#p14736

Did Atomic make different versions of the Rainier? What is the sidecut profile on your Rainier?
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lilcliffy

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Re: Powder touring ski options

Postby lilcliffy » Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:27 pm

Welcome, treehugger!

First of all- sounds like you want to XC ski- not looking for downhill performance at this point?

Secondly- what is the "powder" like- is it cold, dry very deep snow- true "Champagne" powder? Or is it moisture-rich?

Also- you mention considering the "Rossi 76"- not familiar with that ski...do you have specs or a link to a description of it?

You mention that Fischer's BC-Nordic skis are locally available- do they have the S-Bound 112 or 125 in stock? Is there any chance you could actually try them out?

The best deep-snow XC ski in my quiver is my 210cm Combat Nato- but, my typical very deep soft snow is cold, but moisture-rich...When the snow is truly deep and dry- not common here- my lower cambered 195cm Annum and 188cm Storetind are just as effective XC as the Combat Nato...I can imagine the snow being deep, dry and fluffy enough that you might need something at least as wide as 90+mm underfoot to actually float on it...

(As an aside- the Finns use very long (up to 3m long) low-cambered skis for XC skiing on deep soft snow...)

As another note- the S-Bound 98 will not offer you more float than the 88- it is the same width underfoot. At 185lbs, I much prefer the 112 for "powder" XC skiing...
Is Fischer still selling the S-Bound 125?

You can use the Alaska boot on any ski! But- there is certainly a limit to the width of ski that you can drive with a boot as soft as the Alaska!
As an example- I ski regularly ski my 145cm Altai Hok (110mm underfoot) with my Alaska boot. I can ride wonderful open turns with that setup on ideal soft snow and moderate terrain. When I put my Scarpa T4 boot on the Hok- I can drive that sk.

Another thing to consider...
If you do end up deciding to get a wide powder ski- you may want to consider 75mm-3pin boots/bindings...There is a clear limit to the boot support that you can currently get for a NNNBC binding...

With a 75mm-3pin binding- you can use a soft XC boot like the Alaska when you are sliding in the pow on the flats- and then you can swap out the Alaska for a more supportive Telemark boot on steep terrain...Just something to think about...

Personally, I am very comfortable on steep terrain in boots like the Alaska- and I can certainly ride- and drive- skis like the Eon/Ingstad/E109 with that boot. And although I am sure I would love my 68mm Storetind with the Alaska- on ideal BC snow and moderate terrain- I chose to put a 75mm binding on the Storetind precisely because I can unlock its full downhill potential with a Telemark boot.

But again- if you are not looking to ski steep terrain, then the Alaska BC is perfectly fine with a wide powder ski.
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