25 votes
Accepted

Do electronics interfere with avalanche beacons?

Yes it does, especially mobile phones. I attended an avalanche course last year. The guide did a very simple demonstration. He powered his avalanche beacon on "send" mode, and put it on his ...
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  • 920
24 votes
Accepted

Is this image of a skier skinning up a very steep slope rotated?

On the right snow, you can ascend extremely steep (even if it probably isn't the most economical thing to do) - so from that aspect, I don't see a problem. Looking at the skiers center of gravity, it ...
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  • 21.6k
21 votes

Is this image of a skier skinning up a very steep slope rotated?

I agree that the mountains in the background look weird, but the crop is so close that it's hard to tell for certain without additional context. This image appears to be from an article on skinning ...
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  • 414
15 votes

Do electronics interfere with avalanche beacons?

I am the lead hardware engineer for Backcountry Access. Interference from personal electronic devices (PED) is very real, and it can range anywhere from minimal impact to severe. The reasons are a ...
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15 votes
Accepted

How steep of a slope can you skin up in AT gear?

The optimal skin track angle is a subject of much debate in the backcountry skiing world. There are generally two schools of thought on skin tracks. The steeper the better Slow and steady wins the ...
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14 votes

Is there a practical risk when wearing an avalanche beacon on your top layer?

Given that your avalanche beacon has the potential to be your partner's lifeline (or your own), it makes sense to protect it. Rocks, branches, skis, poles, ice tools, there's a lot that could ...
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11 votes

What's faster on packed, gradual terrain; skinning or booting up with skis on back?

6 of one, half dozen of another. A lot comes down to how easy it is to hike in the ski boots you are using. The problem with hiking is that it only takes a short stretch of unpacked trail to lose ...
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11 votes

Is this image of a skier skinning up a very steep slope rotated?

It cannot be that the image is rotated, and that this rotation is the only alteration to the image. The reason is simple: look at the straps of the backpack. They are hanging vertically, and they are ...
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  • 219
10 votes

What are the use cases for ski crampons over boot crampons?

The answer to this question at its most basic level is generally use your ski crampons until you would feel more safe using boot crampons. I suspect since you asked this question you aren't very ...
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  • 9,628
10 votes
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Backcountry Skiing Bindings compatible with soft boots

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 ...
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  • 8,368
9 votes

Are AT skis unsuited for downhill skiing at a resort?

There are two different norms for ski bindings (and their release characteristics): ISO 9462 for alpine ski bindings and ISO 13992 for touring ski bindings. The former is tested together with alpine ...
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  • 21.6k
9 votes
Accepted

Which ski binding for alpine touring?

There are two basic designs for bindings for ski-touring: tech/Pin bindings and frame bindings. All examples given are not a generally representative sample as they base on my experience here in ...
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  • 21.6k
9 votes

Is this image of a skier skinning up a very steep slope rotated?

I just wanted to give my input as an avid backcountry skier and general ski bum during the winters. As mentioned above, the straps seem like a pretty good indicator that the picture is real. Even if ...
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  • 91
8 votes
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Can you "kick and glide" and climb without skins in Alpine Touring ski gear?

You can, but how well you glide will vary depending on your skins. Some styles glide better than others, and you will glide more with a shorter skin opposed to a full length skin. There's a 2km ...
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  • 53.1k
7 votes

How steep of a slope can you skin up in AT gear?

I think I've gone straight up 30° on good snow, maybe steeper for short bits. This would be on old Diamir bindings and fairly stiff alpine boots. As Dakatine mentioned, not all snow is equal, powder ...
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  • 1,780
7 votes

What are the use cases for ski crampons over boot crampons?

This is an excellent article comparing the two. Use the ski when you need the grip but still want the flotation of the ski. You are limited to how steep you can go with a ski. This is a picture of ...
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  • 7,097
7 votes
Accepted

Protecting climbing skins without a protective mesh

What you did is not uncommon. Randonee racers fold their skins in half and stick them to themselves all the time. The mesh cheat sheets work great at prolonging the life of the glue on your skins, but ...
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  • 53.1k
6 votes

Backcountry Skiing Bindings compatible with soft boots

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 ...
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  • 53.1k
6 votes

What are the use cases for ski crampons over boot crampons?

Ski crampons are used on frozen crust, most often in springtime when the crust will melt into corn snow before the descent. They cannot be used on extremely steep terrain (over 25-30 degrees) because ...
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  • 61
6 votes

Is this image of a skier skinning up a very steep slope rotated?

The picture in the answer to that question you referred to here doesn't have a source listed for attribution. To me, however, it does look like the same picture as the one in the answer to the ...
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6 votes
Accepted

Is there a technique for downhill skiing with heavy backpack?

There is no special technique, there is only practice. Make sure you have a good technique without and with a small backpack. Slowly increase the size and weight of your backpack to get adapted to the ...
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  • 6,435
5 votes

Are "Dynafit"/tech ski boots compatible with frame-style touring bindings?

The short answer is tech binding compatible boots will work fine with non-tech AT bindings in the vast majority of circumstances. The more involved answer is (as always for safety gear) to check the ...
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  • 9,628
5 votes

Most comfortable way to adjust boots while in tour mode on AT skis?

Correct but unsatisfying answer: There is no boiler-plate configuration, you just need to try it out yourself. Even with proper AT boots, there is no single correct way - some people tighten more, ...
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  • 21.6k
5 votes

How to begin in alpine tours

If you have the equipment already, I would go back to the book and practice using the equipment. In the US the standard text is Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills; there may be equivalents in other ...
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  • 8,368
5 votes
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What is a tour book used for?

First of all I have to admit that the following is mostly not based on knowledge but more or less on educated guessing, so take it with a grain of salt. Alpine tours Let's first consider hiring a ...
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5 votes

Can you "kick and glide" and climb without skins in Alpine Touring ski gear?

I haven't tried it myself, but I know of someone who sometimes waxes the entire base of his AT skis with grip wax instead of putting his skins on. It works perfectly fine for exactly the same ...
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  • 4,976
5 votes

Is there a practical risk when wearing an avalanche beacon on your top layer?

Beacons are tough. Tougher than you if you get thrown against a rock or a tree or buried under the snow. With that in mind, if things were so bad that there was any concern about my beacon being ...
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5 votes

Is there a technique for downhill skiing with heavy backpack?

There is no special technique for skiing with a heavy pack, just suffering. Consider how much more difficult it is to simply walk downhill with a heavy pack---and that's for something as ...
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  • 3,813
4 votes

What is a tour book used for?

No one uses them as absolute evidence, as you could always fake them, but they can really help a tour guide get a feel for your level of experience and to understand which situations you felt ...
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  • 24.4k
4 votes

Backcountry Skiing Bindings compatible with soft boots

I don't think you can find them anymore, but ~10 years ago Scarpa was selling a light and pretty soft plastic AT boot with toe bellows (like modern telemark boots). They were great for my Dad to ...
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  • 9,628

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