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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 ...


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

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 ...


5

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. You might get hypothermia really ...


4

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 ...


4

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 ...


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 ...


3

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. ...


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 ...


2

AT (Alpine Touring, aka-randonnee) is quickly rising to be the most popular form of downhill skiing. There are still those die-hard telemarkers that will never switch, and they will out distance you on the flats, but hands down AT is best for back country downhill. Buying skis is like buying shoes nowadays, what type you get depends a lot on what type of ...



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