Hot answers tagged

10

I don't have the time to give a truly complete answer here, but a good choice for you might be metal edged, waxless, backcountry cross-country skis. Other options might include: Snowshoes (which you don't like) Telemark or Alpine Touring skis (which are heavy, and downhill focused) Postholing (no fun) XC skis are far lighter than a telemark setup (~1.6kg, ...


9

By engaging in winter sports (where there is significant snow on the ground) you are already greatly reducing your impact. The biggest impacts to back-country areas from non-motorized recreation come from vegetation disturbance: boots grinding up plants and breaking topsoil, tents compressing vegetation, camp activity destroying vegetation, fire scars, etc. ...


9

I am willing to take the time to learn what I need to, so I don't want to go with the "easier to use at first" option. If you really mean that, then you can't not try skiing. There are many trails in Colorado where it is no easier to go uphill on snowshoes than to go uphill on skis, given even modest technique on skis -- but with even the smallest ...


8

If you have no experience with either, then I recommend getting some snowshoes first (I'm not recommending you don't eventually get into everything else as well). There are many different styles of snowshoes out there, the most popular types on the market are the hiking snowshoes with the crampons, but if you're going cross country on flat terrain, then you ...


8

In addition to telemark, there are randonnee, aka alpine touring bindings. These are basically regular alpine bindings, where the heel can be released, for climbing. When going downhill, the heel can be clipped back in, for greater support during steep alpine descents. Telemark skis usually aren't super great for climbing on their own, and usually require ...


8

Always bring plenty of layers, so you can add/remove as necessary. When I cross country ski, I often end up very warm. Even if it's only 20°F out I may be skiing in a synthetic T-shirt. The important thing is to have the warm clothes available to put on when you stop or if the weather worsens. Should you bring a fleece jacket? 100% yes! Do you have ...


7

Various anti-fog products will work. I actually use the Rain-X anti-fog fluid (I had it for the car anyway and tried it successfully) You just need to clean the inside thoroughly, then apply it and it should last an entire season.


7

Yes and don't even think about leaving your fleece at home... Even if you are moving fast and therefore producing a lot of warmth by the exercise there is always the possibility to get into bad weather. And if not, what are you doing when you stop for a break? You are wearing wet clothing and it is cold. Maybe even windy. This will feel really cold and you ...


6

The cheapest ways to try cross country skiing are borrowing equipment, yard sale equipment, craigslist, or rentals. If you like it, and rent frequently, that stops being cheap. If you make friends who run or are otherwise active, ask around, and someone might have a spare set of skis and poles they can lend you - you can find them for a few dollars at yard ...


6

Ventilation is your friend. I hate to say it - but the glasses I've found that have this dialed are usually a little more expensive. After suffering through fog, wind sheer, and poor optics, I found a high end pair of glasses in the back-country, and my eyes were opened. As a second option, removing your glasses immediately when you stop (or even sliding ...


6

This is a fairly subjective thing, but I think you may be a good candidate for a pair of simple Telemark skis, configured in a ski touring fashion. The advantages for you: Telemark bindings fit nearly any alpine-style ski, so you have many options for length and width to fit your height and weight. Telemark setups are typically very lightweight, challenged ...


6

I think those were the original 3-pin Nordic Norm bindings. From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ski_binding#Cross_country: 75 mm (Rottefella, Nordic Norm, 3-pin) This is the original, classic system found on cross country skis, invented by Bror With. These bindings, once the standard, are no longer as popular as they were but still hold a significant ...


6

It isn't the bindings that give you the control you're looking for as much as it is the boot. What you're looking at here is the crossover from old-school to new-school technology. Telemarks with the toe bails and heel cables have been around forever. The cables reduce heel friction, and do offer more down hill control, but there are newer technologies out ...


6

I believe the answer to your specific question is no; the only boots I know of with tech fittings are hard boots made of plastic or carbon fiber. However, I think you may be underestimating those boots. AT boots are hard plastic but can still offer a soft feel. Transitioning to skinning uphill consists of not just unlocking the heels but also switching ...


5

Many cross country skis do have metal edges – I've owned many such skis. They tend to be backcountry XC skis though, not trail skis. Newer backcountry skis are fat and often practically indistinguishable from downhill skis other than for the bindings, but metal edges skinny skis used to be quite common. For groomed trails or relatively flat, ...


5

There is one often forgotten thing in skiing that can be harmful. The waxes. The racing ones contain a lot of fluorocarbons that can stay in the environment for ages. The pure racing fluorocarbons (mostly powders) are dangerous even to people applying them and special masks should be worn (see). Consider using just pure hydrocarbon waxes or other waxes ...


5

Here's based on my experience of bicycling in Toronto in winter (a daily 18km / one-hour each-way commute) ... Don't let your hands and feet (fingers and toes) get cold. They don't have a lot of fat and blood circulation and muscle (I guess they're mostly bone and tendon) so they need insulation. It's been decades since I last cross-country-skied but when I ...


5

First of all, trekking poles will change the way you hike forever. They are a luxury that saves your legs a lot of exertion, sparing you a lot of energy, allowing you to enjoy yourself that much more. Trekking Poles have a lot of features that XC pole lack. Many Trekking Poles have shock absorbers in them which dampen the load to your wrists when they ...


4

Snowshoeing is ridiculously easy, will get you everywhere, and is quite cheap. Where I live you can rent them for the entire season for, IIRC, 60$. Cross-country skiiing (off trail, that is) require knowing how to actually ski, and also specific material, like cross-country bindings, possibly shoes (with insert). I don't know much about cross country ...


4

The answer to this question depends a lot on your skill level. You say you want a ski that does a little bit of everything, so I'd recommend a ski with both camber and rocker, but you're going to have to balance length and width based on how you ski. The shorter ski you get, the more control you're going to have on the downhill, but you're going to have to ...


4

A lot depends on where you live and where you ski, but unless you've got solid enough skiing skills to manage ungroomed terrain at a resort, you'll struggle a lot backcountry skiing in a typical situation where AT or telemark gear would be used. There is an entire range of gear from relatively light XC touring gear to full on Alpine setups that can be used ...


4

This question had two answers that unfortunately didn't survive the migration. I'll post what I've found, as well as one of the links from @Refineo's answer (the other link was a patent description). Here's a folding ski used to climb mountains, so not cross-country compatible: http://www.mtnapproach.com/ In addition to @Refineo's links, I was also able ...


4

I haven't found any. Collapsible poles are usually too short for the long stroke necessary in cross-country skiing, and probably wouldn't stand up well to hours of double polling. My current Black Diamond poles max out at 130cm, but that's too short for pretty much anyone over 150cm / 5' tall according to this cross-country ski pole sizing chart.


4

Waxing skis is an art, it can get very complex and precise, you can get a kickwax for every 3 degrees of temperature change, but you only really need to be precise if you're super serious into it and do competition skiing. You only need an iron for hot-waxing, and that's typically for skate skiing, or for prepping/refreshing the bases on your classic skis. ...


4

You definitely need to be concerned if you are using waxless XC skis with fish scales under foot. Skiing over hard dead sticks can break off the edges of these scales (or wear them down over time) making them less effective on climbs. For smooth bottom skis, pine needles, roots, etc will likely do nothing more than scrape the wax off your skis (which if ...


4

What you might want to look at getting are some randonee boots and some Dynafit bindings. They're designed more for racing up ski hills than they are coming down, but still do a good job on the quick descent. Randonee Boots: They aren't super soft, you're never going to get the control you want on the down hill with super soft boots alpine boots, you'd ...


3

Some non-tested ideas: Put rubbers/galoshas (or any other huge size boots) on your ski boots. Remove the soles of your previous ski boots (or any other of your old boots with good grip) and glue them to a spare pair of NNN bindings. Click off your skis, click on your anti slip soles. Use the method of rubbers with spikes, but skip spikes. Again, you can ...


3

Having snow stick to the bottom of touring or telemark skis after removing skins is a common occurrence. You can mitigate it by bringing some glide wax with your or by using a liquid or spray. I keep a little a glide wax that looks like underarm deodorant in the bottom of my avy pack just for this purpose.


2

It is possible to get the gear relatively cheap. Search on ebay or the kind. Search on internet forums where outdoor enthusiasts hang around and offer their used gear on a market place. I know such forums for Germany and Austria but I am sure you will find the kind in Canada too. I have to say I trust those guys more compared to ebay because I think there ...


2

The accepted answer has lot's of useful info, but misses the mark. The problem is that the term backcountry is so overloaded, it can mean anything from a simple tromp through the woods to the most difficult ski mountaineering descents. My reading of the original question is the next step up from classic XC skis meant for groomed trails to a long skinny ski ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible