28 votes

Skis versus snow shoes - when to choose which for travelling the backcountry?

First off, I want to make clear that this applies to skiing and snowshoeing as a means of long-distance travel. It doesn't directly apply to skiing in specifically for the descents. Skis are better ...
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  • 4,976
14 votes
Accepted

Skis versus snow shoes - when to choose which for travelling the backcountry?

Summary from a winter spend in Winnipeg long ago compared to Central European conditions: there are probably good reasons why native North American people went with snowshoes while native Europeans ...
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12 votes
Accepted

Skis or Snowshoes for Colorado

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 ...
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  • 22.5k
11 votes
Accepted

Inexpensive ways to learn cross-country skiing

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 ...
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  • 4,199
10 votes
Accepted

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
10 votes
Accepted

Ski set that does both downhill and backcountry?

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 ...
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  • 10.7k
10 votes

Skis or Snowshoes for Colorado

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 ...
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  • 53.1k
8 votes

Should I wear a fleece while cross country skiing?

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 ...
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  • 8,620
8 votes
Accepted

NNN (front clip) vs. telemark style bindings for backcountry XC skis

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 ...
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  • 53.1k
8 votes
Accepted

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
Accepted

Why don't cross-country skis have edges?

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 ...
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  • 8,620
7 votes
Accepted

Should I wear a fleece while cross country skiing?

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 ...
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  • 12.1k
7 votes

First Time Skiing - Only my feet were freezing

Try thinner socks. If you're too tight in the boots, you'll be cold. It seems counter intuitive but blood circulation is what keeps you warm, just like what @Fenophter wrote in the comments. An ...
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  • 4,976
6 votes

Ski set that does both downhill and backcountry?

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 ...
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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

How to choose length for backcountry touring skis?

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 ...
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  • 53.1k
6 votes

Keeping water from freezing while cross country skiing

Both sugar and alcohol will, of course, lower the freezing point somewhat (but may add other issues, particularly the alcohol, and sugar really doesn't help much - see this question). The best bet ...
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  • 1,590
5 votes

Adjustable cross-country-skiing poles vs trekking poles

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. ...
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  • 53.1k
5 votes

Should I wear a fleece while cross country skiing?

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 ...
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  • 562
5 votes

NNN (front clip) vs. telemark style bindings for backcountry XC skis

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 ...
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5 votes

Skis or Snowshoes for Colorado

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 ...
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  • 2,614
5 votes
Accepted

Waxing cross-country skis

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 ...
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  • 53.1k
5 votes

Keeping water from freezing while cross country skiing

Use warmer water to begin with (even hot. possibly tea if you don't like drinking hot water) Use a thermos or an bottle insulation sleeve (typically made of neoprene, it will help a bottle stay warmer ...
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  • 2,614
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
Accepted

First Time Skiing - Only my feet were freezing

It's most likely too much insulation on your feet, which can be best addressed by changing socks. People unused to cold and/or snow will often put on "warm socks" without realizing that they'll ...
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4 votes

Waxing cross-country skis

ShemSeger has a pretty good answer for kick wax; I would just add that you probably don't need that many layers unless you are skiing 20k+, and that your kick zone should be fixed (go to your local ...
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  • 59
4 votes

Ski set that does both downhill and backcountry?

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 ...
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  • 53.1k
4 votes

How can I prevent my sun glasses from fogging up when skiing?

Hockey players have the same problem and will use specialized products, but many find rubbing the lens (inside and out) with shampoo works just as well and is much less expensive.
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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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