An introduction, and also looking for newbie XCD advice

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Telecat
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An introduction, and also looking for newbie XCD advice

Post by Telecat » Mon Nov 04, 2019 11:55 pm

Hello tele tribe! This is my first post here, and want to introduce myself and also ask for some newbie XCd advice.

This winter will be my 3rd year telemark skiing. I absolutely fell in love when I first tried to tele, so I sold my alpine gear and never looked back. I'm now fairly advanced, I'm a resort skier, i mostly cruise on black diamond terrain, and I can survive going down any double diamonds, albeit without much grace.

I've thought about learning XC skiing for years, but this winter I finally want to do it. Especially because I want to just ski more than my 2 days off a week, and ski before or after work when theres snow.

I knew from the start I didnt want to be limited to skiing on piste at an XC ski area. So I've been trying my best to research what kind of set up I need to ski how I want (information for XCD is sparse). I want to have a set up that can take me anywhere in any snow conditions, with the focus being on smooth striding, with some limited downhill.

I live in the catskills/Hudson valley area of New York. Theres endless hundreds of miles of rail trails, carriage roads (both maintained and not), old logging roads, and other miscellaneous abandoned and very old trails and roads around here. The terrain is often hilly, but I wont be doing anything too steep, I'll mostly stick to flatish trails with some rolling hills, and mild downhills to do some gentle tele turns on.

I'm BROKE (young, and a craftsman in a less than profitable field) so most of my gear is either bought on consignment, from craigslist, or ebay. Therefore it can be hard to find stuff, especially in more niche sports such as this.

I knew the first step was to get boots. After searching Ebay for months to find something in my size (us 13) I got a pair of alpina Alaska 75mm that fit perfectly! These seem like they will be more than adequate for what I'd like to do, they were also never worn (tags still attached and all) and i scooped them up for $150.

So the next step is skis, and this seems a bit more daunting. I'm 6'2" and 220lbs, +/- 10lb, and reasonably fit. Being above average height/weight/shoe size makes it very difficult to find my size for anything, let alone trying to buy used gear. Ebay is useless when it comes to used XCD skis. I know of only 1 consignment store that will consign XCD gear that I might get lucky at.

SO finally down to my real question! Skis! I'd like a ski that can take me on most trails, off trails into the woods if the snow is deep enough, and perform in any snow condition. I know the length is based off weight and I'm basically going to need to use the longest ski that any of the manufacturers make. But when it comes to width I have no idea what I need, seems hard to find information on this.

The fresh snow we get here tends to be wet and heavy, even when we get fluffy powder which is rare, it will get crusted over and junky very quickly.

I basically want to know the range of widths that would fit my needs well. Any brand recommendations or any other advice is appreciated!

And as far as bindings go, I have a pair of unmounted g3 targas laying around if I dont find a mounted ski, I can just mount those myself. It seems like voile hardwire is a good option. Or should I just stick with a standard 3 pin binding that I can buy for super cheap?

Anyway, thanks for reading my crazy long post, Winter is almost here! Pray for good snow!

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lilcliffy
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Re: An introduction, and also looking for newbie XCD advice

Post by lilcliffy » Tue Nov 05, 2019 6:51 am

Hello and welcome Telecat!!!

Thank you for giving us some detail about where you ski, the terrain and the snow you will be skiing on.

What you want is to FLY on those trails.

My initial suggestions on skis:

- an "E99-class" ski was made for the touring you want to do. Stiff, stable, supportive flex; double-camber underfoot (but soft enough for backcountry snow and hills); long and relatively narrow = FAST; just fit in a groomed track; light and maneuverable; and they do make wonderful open, long-radius turns! You will want a ski in this class as long as you can get it- at least 210cm. Examples of this ski include Fischer E99, Madshus Glittertind, Asnes Gamme 54 (an Amundsen would rock as well- though my guess is it would be less turnable).

- I would suggest a waxless-scaled ski for your local skiing and snow conditions. (I am grip waxing my scaled skis BTW with excellent results- though I live in a colder climate than you.)

- as far as a dedicated BC-XC ski in this "class"- on a tight budget- you cannot beat the Asnes USGI ski- https://colemans.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=skis. It is an excellent backcountry cruising ski, and at 68mm underfoot it offers impressive stability and flotation. This ski is slower and heavier than the "E99-class" skis and a waxless base is not available. (The Fischer Excursion 88 is quite similar to the USGI- though much lighter and shorter.)

- a narrower faster more XC-focused ski would also work in this skiing context- it would be faster, but less stable and harder to bend into a turn.

- and on that note- most any long, moderately stiff XC ski would probably work- if you don't have the money for a new pair of skis.

I will keep my eyes open for a deal!

I would suggest a 3-pin binding for that boot and the skiing you will be doing. I cannot see how you would need the heel cable.

A couple of stores that might have something suitable on clearance- contact them directly:
https://www.gearx.com/
https://www.neptunemountaineering.com/

Sweet deal on those boots BTW!
Cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry.
Unashamed to be a "cross-country type" and love skiing down-hill.

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lowangle al
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Re: An introduction, and also looking for newbie XCD advice

Post by lowangle al » Tue Nov 05, 2019 7:36 am

welcome to the forum TC and I commend you on your desire to learn xc skiing. I'm your neighbor to the south in the Pocono Mts.(at least until mid Jan. when I'll head north) so I'm familiar with your terrain and conditions. My plan for the bc around here is to have two types of gear. One is a double camber ski with leather boots for the skiing you describe and the other is a light plastic boot with a DH oriented ski for when conditions get crusty or I want to do some more touring for turns skiing.


LCs suggestion for the USGI ski sounds like a good choice for learning xc. I don't see a problem with using the G3 Targas on them but you may also want to save them for your next ski.


You can also use your resort set up in the bc with either kick wax or skins if you want to ski DH more aggressively. Good luck and have fun.

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Re: An introduction, and also looking for newbie XCD advice

Post by greatgt » Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:01 am

E99...best selling of all time....there is a reason for that and LC is right in recommending it....205-210 is good and you can find them everywhere.....If you can....get a wax ski....As a craftsman you will LOVE the insights you get when waxing up and then find out you were not quite correct....so in your pocket you slam some new different wax on top of the old.....Blast off!!!!! TM

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Re: An introduction, and also looking for newbie XCD advice

Post by Telecat » Tue Nov 05, 2019 7:26 pm

Thanks for the replies guys! Seriously very helpful.

The fischer E99 looks like exactly what I'm looking for in a ski. Can I assume these are also (or previously) known as Europa 99?

see a pair of 210 europa 99 for sale online, the look to be In fine condition, just some rust on the metal edges, and mounted with a different type of binding (I have no problem remounting them myself). They will cost ~160 after shipping, dies this sound like a good deal?

I also see a pair of E99 for ~$50 but based on the design look to be from the 90s/early 2000s, regardless of age they actually look to be in better condition than the ones I previously mentioned. Again mounted with the wrong binding :/


I've also thought in the past about getting some of the USGI skis? They seem like such a steal, but I was never sure of how they would actually perform. Good to know that they are well liked. At least to get started I think I want I waxless to simply things a bit.

I also have 2 more possibly dumb questions,

First, are all 3 pin bindings created equal in terms of performance and quality? Theres so many available on ebay for $10-20 a pair, some look very old, some in original packaging, etc.. are these worth it over the cost of brand new ones?

Second, when it comes to glide wax, is this specially formulated to be more slippery. With my downhill skis I've been waxing them with cheap all-weather wax I bought in bulk from a local ski shop, I think I got like 2lbs for $10. I dont even know who manufactures the wax. But would this be okay instead of glide wax? Or do I need to buy glide wax specifically.

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Woodserson
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Re: An introduction, and also looking for newbie XCD advice

Post by Woodserson » Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:30 pm

Telecat wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 7:26 pm
Thanks for the replies guys! Seriously very helpful.

The fischer E99 looks like exactly what I'm looking for in a ski. Can I assume these are also (or previously) known as Europa 99?


First, are all 3 pin bindings created equal in terms of performance and quality? Theres so many available on ebay for $10-20 a pair, some look very old, some in original packaging, etc.. are these worth it over the cost of brand new ones?

Second, when it comes to glide wax, is this specially formulated to be more slippery. With my downhill skis I've been waxing them with cheap all-weather wax I bought in bulk from a local ski shop, I think I got like 2lbs for $10. I dont even know who manufactures the wax. But would this be okay instead of glide wax? Or do I need to buy glide wax specifically.
Welcome Telecat! Get ready to rip!

The E99 is a great ski, agreed on all accounts. The Europa 99 is what the ski used to be called. They are all similar, the newer ones are lighter and usually have nordic rocker, which means that when the camber is compressed the tips rise, shortening the effective length of the ski on the snow, making the ski slightly slower when kick&gliding but easier to turn. Keep this in mind and what your priorities are. I don't know when the rocker got introduced, as in, do all E-99 have nordic rocker or not? I am sure if it's labelled Europa 99 it won't have any rocker, it will be traditionally full cambered.

There are 3pin telemark bindings that fit your boots, and there are 3pin cross-country bindings from days of yore that might not fit your boots and will not put up with the serious stresses of cranking and banking. The Targa might be a bit much for this ski and will make touring miserable. The Rottefella Super Telemark (no cable) and Voile Mountaineer/3pin etc. are excellent. The Voile 3pin with cable is nice because the cable comes off and on EASILY. If the bindings you're looking at appear to be brushed brass or bronze, with a black toebail, or have toe pads that are seriously inset and not wide and long, probably the older lightweight X-C shoe bindings. Avoid. I don't have a picture on hand, but if you search Super Telemark and compare to something questionable you'll see the difference immediately.

You will, over time, have a collection of bindings you taken off some skis and put on others, and back and forth. This is normal. Don't not get a ski because it has the wrong binding. That can be rectified.

Glide wax is to differentiate from grip wax. Grip wax gives you the grip you need to go forward if you are on a WAX ski. A waxless or nonwax ski have the mechanical scales and generally, grip wax is not necessary. Generic ski wax you got somewhere is fine for glidewax for the time being. See the excellent posts on waxing in the Wiki forum.

Waxing is a whole 'nother world of magic, philosophy, art, magic, and science. And it's wonderful.

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Nitram Tocrut
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Re: An introduction, and also looking for newbie XCD advice

Post by Nitram Tocrut » Wed Nov 13, 2019 8:50 am

Telecat wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 7:26 pm
Thanks for the replies guys! Seriously very helpful.

The fischer E99 looks like exactly what I'm looking for in a ski. Can I assume these are also (or previously) known as Europa 99?

I also see a pair of E99 for ~$50 but based on the design look to be from the 90s/early 2000s, regardless of age they actually look to be in better condition than the ones I previously mentioned.
He Telecat! Hope it is not too late to help you!

I was wondering if you were talking about the Europa 99 like the 2 pairs on the picture? If so, you should really buy them at that price. I have bought 3 used pairs throughout the years and I have exclusively used them for decades... that was before I got the Åsnes fever...

I still use them a lot, especially the 220 as they have great K&G for a BC ski when I just have some time to wander around the fields. I have used the 210 with 3 pins a lot for but to hut multi dais trip with a big back pack and all.

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Nitram Tocrut
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Location: Quebec, Canada
Ski style: "Doorstep" backcountry skiing and groomed trails
Favorite Skis: Asnes Ingstad, Europa 99 and Salomon Equipe 8
Favorite boots: Alpina Alaska 75 mm
Occupation: Organic vegetable grower and many other things!

Re: An introduction, and also looking for newbie XCD advice

Post by Nitram Tocrut » Wed Nov 13, 2019 8:52 am

Forgot the picture :roll:
190B2254-727F-4194-83EF-4EB6EBDD5FC7.jpeg

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Telecat
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Re: An introduction, and also looking for newbie XCD advice

Post by Telecat » Thu Nov 14, 2019 10:44 pm

Hey Nitram,

Thanks for your input! I decided to jump on those $50 E99s from Ebay, already got them and remounted them the other day! Cant wait to use them. Idk the year of the model, but I'll attach pictures, they're overall in excellent condition.

If you have any info on the model's year, I'd appreciate it, google didnt help much. They're mounted with voile mountaineer bindings

I cant wait to start skiing them!
20191112_210018.jpg

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Re: An introduction, and also looking for newbie XCD advice

Post by greatgt » Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:26 am

Those 99's are the first air-cores that Fischer came out with....fantastic ski.....with one tiny problem....Teleking and I broke 5 sets in two years....We were REALLY torqueing them and traveling the top of Camels Hump to the river 3600 feet below......They were lite....sliced beautifully and came around easily....Hell they even skied well after we split them tip to tail....Ski shop down in Burlington kept on giving us new ones and we kept on splitting them....Teleking still has a set and uses them now and then....Between Teleking and I we have destroyed at least that many Rebounds too.....Scored a couple years back a set of 99's that I CAN"T break and Telekid has skied his 99's without problems....Have a blast they will rip....For a skinny they really go!!!!!!! TM

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