First Time Out On 3-Pin FT62X!

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JohnSKepler
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First Time Out On 3-Pin FT62X!

Post by JohnSKepler » Tue Nov 28, 2023 6:02 pm

Had a good dump ten days ago and finally got out this past weekend. Went to the local ski hill with the Falketind 62 onto which I recently mounted Rottefella Supertelemark hardwire cable bindings over Voile 10mm risers to use with some old Garmont Excursions I picked up on eBay. I'd been warned by people who know what they are talking about that this might be too much boot for the FT62 but, if nothing else, I wanted to understand what that meant.

Turns out they were definitely partly right!

The snow wasn't great. Maybe about three feet deep but not compacted at all and piled up on bushes and small trees. The uphill was no problem, though, following a skin-track and using full-length racing skins. First thing I noticed was how much lighter the Garmont is than my Scarpa TXPro, which wears me out if I do a lot of vertical. I was very impressed with how well that plastic, 3-pin boot tours. I expected it to be more confining with the way the 3-pin anchors the toe, but it was absolutely not an issue. And I really liked the Voile heel risers. The small riser kept the cable planted to the topsheet and the front (high) riser was perfect for the slope. The 20-year old boots fit great and kept my feet warm with no hot-spots. Me and the guy I was with did about 1,100 vertical in a little less than a mile and were still reasonably fresh. I love that setup for touring!

Downhill was a different story. Beaver is a pretty steep local, three-lift hill. We took reasonably technical blues to the bottom, maybe black in a few spots, but manageable.

First off, the FT62 was not nearly enough ski for that Utah powder over bushes. Those narrow skis just repeatedly punched through, especially with the cables - which I took off pretty quick. Far too much activity for that light snow so, I didn't get a great chance to tell how well I was skiing. That said, I really liked the plastic boot with the 3-pin binding, especially with the cable. Like I said, it wasn't a great test but I could tell it was going to be a significant step up in control from the Xplore. There was just such a solid connection between the boot and the ski and modulating the downforce on the rear ski was very straightforward. Often on the Xplore I just can't tell what that rear ski is doing. With the cables it was much easier to gauge real-time what was going on. I think I'm really going to like them. No doubt I have more, what people here call power, to control the ski with the heavy boot and binding than I do with the Xplore. I also see what the gurus were saying about too much power and, maybe, pushing that ski hard enough to need those boots might have it outside the envelop it was created for. Kind of reminded me of that Vega I saw one time with racing slicks and a blown Chevy small-block. Too much motor for that car but who cares! Testing and finding out is half the fun!

Cables off was pretty close to the same feel. Those plastic boots are a lot bigger than leather-type boots and provide a much more linear flex at the toe, thanks to the bellows. At least these Garmonts do. I skied a little better using the toe bellows only but those narrow, short skis found every low-density spot. Still, I can tell I'm really going to like them on a more consolidated base.

Got back to the Expedition and swapped out the FT62/3-pin for my Voile Objective and Alfa Free Xplore. Wow, while I didn't really notice the weight of the 3-pin/Garmont, I sure did notice that the Xplore set up was a lot lighter! I skied the Objective a lot last year. It's a lot wider than the FT62 but I was really wanting to test out that 3-pin binding. Still, the up was easer with the Objective and the down was a lot easier with the Objective. I had plenty of control with the Alfa Free and I was able to get a bit more speed with the Objective which, with the wider profile, reduced the amount I was burying the skis to almost nothing. I thought I'd have really liked the 3-Pin on the Objective and might put in some inserts so that I can run both sets. I have been warned about a tele binding on a paulowina wood core but the four hole connection of the Voile riser could well help with that.

We're supposed to get another dump this weekend. With temps this week that snow will be consolidating and another foot on top of that might start to give us a base I can do some real testing on. I'm not a great skier and it is just that much harder when the snow is neither homogeneous nor isotropic!
Veni, Vidi, Viski

mca80
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Re: First Time Out On 3-Pin FT62X!

Post by mca80 » Tue Nov 28, 2023 6:18 pm

Try some leather boots on the 3pin falketind. Really get to feel the ski and snow.



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Re: First Time Out On 3-Pin FT62X!

Post by fisheater » Tue Nov 28, 2023 8:10 pm

Light powder over bushes sounds like it could be a challenge. I think once you get a little base things will be better. I can hear LAA right now talking about the benefits of wide skis in such conditions.
I still haven’t listened ;)! I do respect the message!



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Re: First Time Out On 3-Pin FT62X!

Post by phoenix » Tue Nov 28, 2023 9:09 pm

"Try some leather boots on the 3pin falketind. Really get to feel the ski and snow."

And then try the Excursions with cables on the Objectives; I think you'll find that sort of kit better suited to you than any other combinations you've tried so far.

To quote myself from another post here earlier: "I'm now skiing on my 4th mount on my Voile Objectives; four hole standard spacing and even an added pair for a 6 hole binding. I've done all the mounts, and know how they feel when I set the screws, I fill the old holes properly. I have had no issues and don't expect any, and I've bridged 'em and buried those freakin' low rise tips on a number of occasions rather abrubly (as in stopped dead in a stream bank). Results may vary depending who's doing the mounting, but that could be true with any skis." Granted, I'm around 130 lbs, and heavier skiers may want to be more conservative, but still..



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Re: First Time Out On 3-Pin FT62X!

Post by lilcliffy » Wed Nov 29, 2023 8:23 am

First of all- thank you John!
Thank you for being open and willing to share your skiing pursuits and experiences!
JohnSKepler wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2023 6:02 pm
I really liked the plastic boot with the 3-pin binding, especially with the cable. Like I said, it wasn't a great test but I could tell it was going to be a significant step up in control from the Xplore.
I am a bit puzzled with your claim that the 3-pin binding is a "significant step up in control from the Xplore", when you are comparing a plastic Telemark boot (Excursion), versus your current XP boots- Alfa Free and Alaska XP- yes?

Wouldn't a more equivalent 3pin boot(s) enable an acual comparison in terms of the binding's influence on "control"?

for example- Alaska XP vs Alaska 75
for example- Alfa Free vs Crispi Svartisen 75- or even better an "extreme class" 3pin boot with a more rigid/stable sole than the Svartisen (if one currently exists...Andrew perhaps?)
Often on the Xplore I just can't tell what that rear ski is doing.
Is this the binding- or technique? If you can't feel your rear ski- is it weighted? Without the cables- how would 3pin alone facilitate "what the rear ski is doing"?
Got back to the Expedition and swapped out the FT62/3-pin for my Voile Objective and Alfa Free Xplore. Wow, while I didn't really notice the weight of the 3-pin/Garmont, I sure did notice that the Xplore set up was a lot lighter! I skied the Objective a lot last year. It's a lot wider than the FT62 but I was really wanting to test out that 3-pin binding. Still, the up was easer with the Objective and the down was a lot easier with the Objective. I had plenty of control with the Alfa Free and I was able to get a bit more speed with the Objective which, with the wider profile, reduced the amount I was burying the skis to almost nothing. I thought I'd have really liked the 3-Pin on the Objective and might put in some inserts so that I can run both sets.
After reading this- I am even more confused as to how 3pin cable is giving you more "control" than Xplore...You are describing having more downhill control with the Free XP on the Objective ski- which is a less rigid/supportive boot- than the Excursion boot...And if you put the Excursion boot on the Objective ski- you are going to have more support and leverage than with the Free XP- but, again you would need a more equivalent 3pin boot to compare it to the Free+XP- no?
..........
Please don't get me wrong here- I do agree that clipping on a heel cable- with some resistance- makes a huge difference to stability and leverage vs plain-jane 3pin (yeah, yeah I know some skiers claim they don't need the cable- this doesn't mean it doesn't do anything...)

but, I really don't see how an "excursion-class" vs "extreme-class" test offers any empirical comparison of 3pin-cable versus Xplore...
Cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry.
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Re: First Time Out On 3-Pin FT62X!

Post by wabene » Wed Nov 29, 2023 9:33 am

Yeah maybe it isn't fair to compare Xplore to anything other than NNNBC and plain pins. Obviously the 3PC, Traverse and Hardwire enable much more versatility and the ability to choose ever more powerful boot and binding combinations.

I agree with the above, and would swap the bindings on those 2 skis.



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JohnSKepler
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Re: First Time Out On 3-Pin FT62X!

Post by JohnSKepler » Wed Nov 29, 2023 1:03 pm

Lot to unpack here, and thanks for the responses.
mca80 wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2023 6:18 pm
Try some leather boots on the 3pin falketind. Really get to feel the ski and snow.
What leathers would you recommend? I've been perusing 'classified' ads on a variety of platforms since August. Not a lot shows up in men's size 8. Lots of ladies sizes available smaller and plenty of men's sizes available larger, but not many size 8. So, I'm more inclined to go with a new boot. There are a number of choices and I have no idea which would be 'best'.
fisheater wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2023 8:10 pm
Light powder over bushes sounds like it could be a challenge. I think once you get a little base things will be better. I can hear LAA right now talking about the benefits of wide skis in such conditions.
I still haven’t listened ;)! I do respect the message!
Non-homogeneous, non-isotropic snow over bushes is definitely not the best! I don't feel like I had a decent test of the 3-pin bindings at all. Though I could tell that I had better control with the 3-pin than Xplore under the same conditions. No, it isn't a fair comparison and probably only meaningful to me.
phoenix wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2023 9:09 pm
"Try some leather boots on the 3pin falketind. Really get to feel the ski and snow."

And then try the Excursions with cables on the Objectives; I think you'll find that sort of kit better suited to you than any other combinations you've tried so far.

To quote myself from another post here earlier: "I'm now skiing on my 4th mount on my Voile Objectives; four hole standard spacing and even an added pair for a 6 hole binding. I've done all the mounts, and know how they feel when I set the screws, I fill the old holes properly. I have had no issues and don't expect any, and I've bridged 'em and buried those freakin' low rise tips on a number of occasions rather abrubly (as in stopped dead in a stream bank). Results may vary depending who's doing the mounting, but that could be true with any skis." Granted, I'm around 130 lbs, and heavier skiers may want to be more conservative, but still..
My initial desire was to put the cable bindings on the Objectives. I'm not against it but Voile is. Though, from all I've heard, it won't be a problem. I am heavier than you but not heavy in the sense of dudes I know that are heavy and I'm not a particularly aggressive or powerful skier. I'm running about 180 lbs right now, fully-geared, base weight around 165. Can I ask where you mounted the 3-pin on the Objective? Consensus seems to be balance-point which is what I did with the FT62. I've got the screws and inserts and am ready to go!

I am using inserts on everything so going back and forth is easy. In fact, a lot of this experimentation is just that, experimentation. As I have said before, I don't have any experience through the evolution of equipment. I'm just trying to catch up on some of that. I'll put that Voile riser on the Objective tomorrow and hope to try it out this weekend as we're 'supposed' to be getting between a few inches and several feet depending on who and when you ask.

I agree with @lilcliffy, these tests aren't equivalent in any regard. Definitely not apples to apples. It was just a first time out on new-to-me configurations. So, while not apples to apples, they were apples to oranges as opposed to apples to corn, or apples to steak. These were all just the impressions of someone who's never skied 3-pin of any kind before. And I liked it! I do plan on the more direct comparisons as I acquire gear. Think of this as a contemporary physics student recreating the Michaelson-Morely or the Millikan oil-drop experiment. It was first done a long time ago but there is value in the doing, even if the value is just in appreciating the difficulty.

I'll also clear up some confusion I created. I'm pretty sure that I can tell the 3-pin will provide more control over the Xplore even though the snow I was on combined with the ski I was on didn't provide many opportunities for a fair evaluation. Likewise, the Objective, being a lot wider, even with Xplore, provided better control because I wasn't plunging through the snow every time I tried to turn so the superior performance had a lot more to do with the ski than with the boot/binding in that instance. I also think the slope I was on with the Objective had fewer bushes and so provided a more uniform surface.

I'm looking forward to better testing over the coming winter if and when we get more snow.
Veni, Vidi, Viski



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Re: First Time Out On 3-Pin FT62X!

Post by phoenix » Wed Nov 29, 2023 1:11 pm

I think that after various attempts, I ended up about 5cm back from Voile's recommended point. What I do recall is that on my Hyper Vectors, after experiments with the Objectives, I went 3cm back from Voile's point... but I'll probably move back another 2cm; haven't skied those enough yet to be sure.



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Re: First Time Out On 3-Pin FT62X!

Post by JohnSKepler » Wed Nov 29, 2023 2:55 pm

phoenix wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2023 1:11 pm
I think that after various attempts, I ended up about 5cm back from Voile's recommended point. What I do recall is that on my Hyper Vectors, after experiments with the Objectives, I went 3cm back from Voile's point... but I'll probably move back another 2cm; haven't skied those enough yet to be sure.
Are you using 3-pin cables on your Objective with or without the riser? I currently have Xplore mounted with inserts. There are some interesting positions with both the straight 3-pin or the riser using the existing xplore holes. I think one of then is 5cm back from recommemded.
Veni, Vidi, Viski



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Re: First Time Out On 3-Pin FT62X!

Post by Stephen » Wed Nov 29, 2023 10:31 pm

@JohnSKepler, I’m guessing if you don’t know what’s going on with the back foot, that you may be skiing with most of your weight on the front foot.
That was the technique I came up with decades ago to get 220cm woodies to turn.
Since transitioning to current equipment (anything from Mountain Race 48s to 195 Armada Tracer 118s, and lots in between), I have been trying to retrain myself to “proper” technique and weighting of the back foot.
On heavy gear, the learning curve has been relatively easy, since the boots and bindings really support and encourage that.
On light gear (essentially non-active NNN BC and Xplore), I often *think* I am weighting the back foot enough, but in reality, am not. This causes me to “loose” my back foot. I’m in a telemark “pose” but with less than ideal technique.
This has really been driven home to me by watching and reading the recent videos and discussion around Telehiro, and his “B-Tele” telemark style (here and at Backcountry Talk — I don’t get the B-Tele designation, but whatever).
He has a very tight stance (fore and aft) and skis very skillfully.
If you haven’t followed these discussions, they might interest you — but it did take me a while to really start to understand what is different about the way he skis.
But, even without that, earlier on, LAA encouraged me to have a tighter stance, but at the time I didn’t really understand what he was getting at.
Now I do and am looking forward to working on that this winter.



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