New Member, Future Skis

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JohnO_SLC
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New Member, Future Skis

Post by JohnO_SLC » Fri Oct 18, 2019 4:57 pm

Greetings from Salt Lake City, where the snow is just starting to kiss the mountain tops! I was an avid XC skier as a kid (racer and marathon skier). Picked up a pair of too-small, too-skinny, too-cheap XC skis last year, did a trip up a local canyon and love it again.

I vowed I’d get myself into a pair of new skis this year. I came across a pair of Fischer BXC 675’s last year, so I kinda started backwards (boots first). I want skis for a few kinds of trips:
1) backcountry landscape photography
2) backcountry exploring off-track
3) forest service roads up into the hills, a la Bountiful’s Skyline Drive

I’m not an avid alpine skier and I don’t intent to climb Kings Peak and descend on my skis, but occasionally I will go up and, therefore, need to come down off a mountain.

I’m an avid photographer and want to get out for some winter scenes, so it’ll be me (I’m around 180-190 lbs) with a good 10 lbs of pack/camera, hoofing it through fresh snow, up the occasional mountain trail, as well as along packed forest service roads.

I am absolutely stumped when it comes to selecting my skis. I’m keen on Fischer’s EZ-Skin system, which would be handy here in Utah on many of the local routes. And what goes up, gets to go down, so I’m clearly looking for a ski that’ll handle turns and has full metal edges. From there, I have no idea between the 88’s, 98’s, 112’s and such.

Any recommendation on how to choose my ski? The 112’s seem much more oriented toward downhill and look absolutely slow for trekking across fresh powder meadows and valleys. So I’m leaning toward the 88’s or 98’s and thinking I’ll land on the 98 as a good balance between level/moderate skiing and the occasional steep ascent/descent. Am I crazy? Would the 88’s be a better choice overall?

TIA and hope to see a few folks out on the snow this winter.

John O.
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Tom M
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Ski style: Skate on Trail, 3 pin Off Trail, Backcountry Tele
Favorite Skis: Fischer S-Bound 98 Off Trail, Voile V6 BC for Tele
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Website: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCam0VG ... shelf_id=1

Re: New Member, Future Skis

Post by Tom M » Sat Oct 19, 2019 10:42 am

I've skied several seasons in Northwest Wyoming on the Fischer SBound 98's and BCX 675. Its a great combination. I also have a set Traverse 78's and pair them with Fischer Offtrack 5 boots. The 78's are my goto set for offtrack rolling terrain and I use the 98's for deep snow and steeper terrain. The scale pattern works well under most conditions and I like the easy skin setup. I have posted a few Youtube videos using each system if you are interested in my perspective.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCam0VG ... subscriber

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martin2007
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Re: New Member, Future Skis

Post by martin2007 » Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:13 pm

The Fischer 98's have lots of bite for climbs up forest service roads and green slopes at resorts. Mine are 1st gen. pre-easy-skin. I have a pair of skinny tip-to-tail skins that I sometimes carry with me for steeper ascents, but for the most part I get by without using them. Those skis are good at climbing, but partly because I bought them in a length that's on the short side for my weight. Good luck and enjoy your season up the canyons.

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JohnO_SLC
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Re: New Member, Future Skis

Post by JohnO_SLC » Sun Oct 20, 2019 9:12 am

Martin thanks fo the info. Sounds like I might be underestimating the skinnier skis like the 78 or 98.

Tom, I’ve watched your videos —they are what inspired me to consider going off track, actually! Thank you for the effort putting those together. If ever I get up your way, I would love to ski together for a day!

Sounds like my assumptions are correct - the 112’s are more for canyon carving than skiing, and it comes down to the 78’s or 98’s. Tom, I think you’re saying the skinnier skis are your go-to skis unless you’re going to be in deep powder, even for offtrack, but the 98’s would work fine with the BCX boots.

Food for thought, and thanks!

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Tom M
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Ski style: Skate on Trail, 3 pin Off Trail, Backcountry Tele
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Website: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCam0VG ... shelf_id=1

Re: New Member, Future Skis

Post by Tom M » Sun Oct 20, 2019 5:40 pm

The 78's are a great all-round off track ski. The are light enough that you can clip along at a good pace and wide enough for stability. My 78's are paired with a light weight boot (Fischer Offtrack 5), so they aren't my choice for ski outings with lots of downhill runs. I'd be more confident skiing downhill on the 78's with your boot. I haven't tried the BCX 675 on my 78's as they are set up with the NNNBC binding. I just picked up a sturdier NNNBC boot (Alfa Skarvet Adv GTX) for use with my 78's, and my wife picked up a pair of Excursion 88's. The Excursions are a bit short for me, but I plan to try them out with the Alfa boots.

As you would expect, the 98's offer better flotation than the 78's, and for me, instill more confidence on more challenging terrain. The downside is that the 98's feel less like a "cross country ski" on the flats. That can either be a good thing or a bad thing depending on an individual's preference.

I spent several decades skiing the backcountry on narrow skis with 3 pin bindings and sturdy leather boots. All the skis in my current quiver are very wide and short by comparison. I spend most of my time breaking trail up the mountain so speed on the flats is less of a priority for me. I have skate skis for use on groomed trails.

I'm always happy to link up for some backcountry fun. We have snow on the lawn today, so it won't be long now!
Tom telemarks on Ruth.jpg
3 pin Europas, late 70's. Ski design has come a long way since then! Check out my wool mittens.

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JohnO_SLC
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Re: New Member, Future Skis

Post by JohnO_SLC » Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:46 pm

Debated this a ton, and finally chatted up a free-heeler at the Layton REI Grand Opening this weekend about nearby off track places to ski. Sounds like there's enough fresh snow around to justify going with the 88's. I'll be ordering soon!

So yah, bring the snow!!

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JohnO_SLC
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New Member, Future Skis

Post by JohnO_SLC » Mon Nov 25, 2019 2:45 am

And so, as daylight follows the night, my follow-up questions: would you pair the 88’s with a new pair of Fischer BCX 675’s (three pin heavy boot), or with a heavy NNN-BC boot?
Note: I did this all backwards. I fell in love with the 675’s and bought them a year ago on closeout, so they are the boot I have. I just wonder if they’re going to be too much boot...

Intended use: skiing forest service roads to peaks around Utah’s Wasatch range, skiing into the (level-ish) backcountry in the Unitas for photography, etc, and perhaps skiing around Bryce Canyon. Not looking to carve big turns, just scoot across the landscape but will inevitably encounter elevation change and want to be ready.

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lilcliffy
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Re: New Member, Future Skis

Post by lilcliffy » Mon Nov 25, 2019 12:39 pm

On this end of the spectrum of Nordic boots- the boot means a lot more than the binding (in terms of support/leverage).
I personally prefer NNNBC with this class of boot (e.g. Fischer BCX6/Alpina Alaska).

However- choose the boot first. If you love the BCX675 boot- then that is the boot for you IMHO! Binding? I would mount Voile's 3-pin cable- removable cable and gives the option of a full-on Telemark boot later (plus the cable gives you a backup if something fails in the BC- which has definitely happened to me with 3-pin boots before!).

I have NNNBC Magnum bindings on my Fischer 88s and am using them with primarily with my Alfa Guard Advance boots- for me, this is plenty of boot for that ski. Your BCX675 is in the same class of support- whether it is a bit more supportive (or less) depends on which model/generation of the BCX6 you have (i.e. Fischer keeps redesigning this boot).
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JohnO_SLC
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Re: New Member, Future Skis

Post by JohnO_SLC » Fri Dec 13, 2019 8:55 pm

And... dropped my new Excursion 88’s, Voile 3-pin bindings, and BCX6’s at the “shop” at my local REI for mounting. Winning $100 gift card and selling a bunch of old junk took the bite out of the total, but still... $525 with tax and Easy Skins was a tough nut to swallow!

Should be several inches of new snow at low elevations here in the Salt Lake Valley by the time work ends Monday, and I’ll be hitting a local forest service road to break them in. I might have to take a play out of Tom’s book and record a ‘first impressions’ review.

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Tom M
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Favorite Skis: Fischer S-Bound 98 Off Trail, Voile V6 BC for Tele
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Website: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCam0VG ... shelf_id=1

Re: New Member, Future Skis

Post by Tom M » Fri Dec 13, 2019 10:00 pm

Congrats on your new setup. Julie was rocking her new Excursion 88's today on a Forest Service Road in Eastern Idaho. She said they had lots of glide. Not a lot of snow, but high moisture, 31 degree ATV packed, and super fast.
20191213_113255_Moment.jpg

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