Hailing from London and born into a British/Brazilian/Italian household, Joseph came to Iceland originally to complete a master’s degree in Environment and Natural Resources from the University of Iceland: the rest is history. RCS SKATE MEDIUM SET / BDG RACE SKATE Lengths: 171, 176, 181, 186, 191 Compare An alpine touring binding allows the skier to have the heel of the ski boot free and the toe of the ski boot in the binding when using Nordic skiing techniques for ski touring, and to have both the heel and the toe of the ski boot in the binding when using alpine skiing techniques to descend the mountain. Essential gear: downhill skis, downhill bindings, downhill boots, downhill poles Downhill Skiing Buying G… I don't think it is. Sometimes called alpine skiing, downhill skiing is what most people know. Now that we have laid out the essential differences between these two different but related winter activities, it's in your hands. Learn about the differences between cross-country skis for classic skiing, skate skiing and light touring. Safer and more fun descents. Åsnes Regimentsvegen 158. Is this an exclusively AT subreddit? ). Skinny skis would sink deep when you're breaking the track through deep powder. The AT setup will more easily allow you to carry an overnight kit or pulk (pulks are a whole other conversation, as they are not really fun to carry on side hills or steep slopes). If you're in real-deal mountains, get an AT setup. AT skis will be easier for going uphill with skins on, you can attach ski crampons, have multiple riser highs for different inclines, you can lock your heel down for descents, you can use them at a resort to gain access to the BC, etc. They're not interested in a leisurely stroll through the park. This 100x. Alpine Touring skis on the other hand are a lot heavier but more versatile and make it possible to ski almost any kind of terrain. Mine are a dream to hike in. Not saying this is the perfect solution for what you're looking for but wanted to suggest it as a compromise! It not often associated with cross country skiing. When hiking, skins are attached to the bottom of the ski to provide traction on the walk up. They're typically lighter and a bit more geared toward powder/soft snow. The main differences lie in the weight of the ski (touring skis are lighter than most downhill skis), the stiffness of the boots (touring boots can be a bit softer and allow for slightly more movement), and the function of the bindings (touring bindings can be released at the heel to allow cross-country-like "walking" or gliding on the skis). Twenty students were taking a 10 day wilderness first responder course at a cross country ski area in Idaho. Some prefer the versatility and convenience of skis with a fishscale base that grips without the need for wax. Skis are longer and more narrow, and the purpose of cross country skiing is to cover large amounts of  flat territory with relative ease. Both designs are built to allow backcountry exploration and the functionality for steep inclines and sharp downhills. https://thingstolucat.com/fast-and-light-winter-travel/. Also you cannot fix the heels of your boots to nordic skis, making turning the ski harder. By using our Services or clicking I agree, you agree to our use of cookies. )mm under foot. Something like the Fischer s-bound 112. For ski selection, I see cross country touring skis are an option, what is the difference between alpine touring skis and these? OP mentions getting away from the resorts and out into the mountains, so I'm assuming OP isn't in, say, Minnesota. That said, I'll buck the trend here and recommend metal edged nordic skis because a nordic touring setup is about 1/3-1/4 of an AT setup (boots, bindings, skis, skins) and you won't need avalanche gear (transceiver, probe and shovel) since most nordic trails are not avalanche prone. Alpine Touring Boots, Lightweight Alpine Touring Ski Boots, Ski & Snow & Ski Boots Dalbello’s new Lupo AX 125 C Boots are designed with equal parts alpine skiing and alpine touring in mind. You can get some tele turns in on steep slopes, even. Some of these may actually be helpful, but there are other key … It would be hard to convince an avid downhill skier that cross country skiing is as much fun as alpine skiing. If you have never cross-country skied,  its very easy to learn and we can take you out for a half day practice before the start of your tour in order te get the technique down. Cross-Country – A Style for Everyone Nordic Skier Hike ‘n’ Ride Ski Boots Hike ‘n’ Ride boots have been designed to bridge the gap between Alpine boots and touring boots. Skis detach at the heel to facilitate movement in the French "Randonnée" style and when you reach the top, you lock down the heels, remove the skins and ski down. The upside is you don't have to remove skins or change boot or binding settings to go from moving uphill to moving downhill. In ski touring, you will never see a snow machine and you are very likely to get a first run on virgin powder. Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD 130 ($800) Category: All-around/sidecountry. Weight per pair: 6 lbs. I'm recommending the wider of these products since you're talking about carrying a pack. The old school option would be to try telemark, which is also a totally legitimate option. It's more leisurely, it's more low key, and more relaxed. The one time we dig being able to go into "cross country" mode where you want your heel free, but no skins on, is during the descent and while traveling on long, flat, snow-covered roads and frozen lakes. Cross Country Touring setups are designed for off groomed trails, but it's limited. if you plan on going downhill AT ALL, buy an AT setup. How­ev­er, there’s a sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence. When riding lifts, the extra weight isn’t an issue, and the release reliability is better than most touring bindings. Contact +47 56 51 98 00 post@asnes.com. Follow us on They excel at flat ground, only capable of minimal uphill / downhill - especially with weight. Focus on fjords of the north or for a really special experience, get taken around at Landmannalaugar over 5 days. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. Look for the fitness or touring lines, stay away from freeride or powder sized skis unless you really want downhill performance. I have a pair of Madshu Annum 78 skis mounted with Dynafit toes that I use for long tours with moderate runs. If you are a skier that is predominantly skiing downhill but wants the ability to hike/skin uphill on occasion, then these may be the boots for you. There is a small class of skis in between CCT and AT. The first pre-condition for cross-country skiing is usually level or only slightly inclined terrain, and Iceland has plenty of that in the right places for some truly unforgettable journies. The students (me included) were all dedicated outdoor enthusiasts and most had extensive snow sport skills. Backcountry is a term generally reserved for alpine skiing as there are clear markings between resorts, or front country, and beyond the resorts, or backcountry. Functionally, alpine touring skis and telemark skis accomplish the same thing. This process is known as 'packing out'. Cross country skiing "Langlaufen" in German or "long Walking" is an entirely different ball game; cross country skiing requires almost no infrastructure save for the huts where the travellers/skiers will sleep as they pass along their journey on most flat land. When hiking, skins are attached to the bottom of the ski to provide traction on the walk up. ... As a long time alpine touring guy I have been the subject of this punch line more times than I can count. Skis detach at the heel to facilitate movement in the French "Randonnée" style and when you reach the top, you lock down the heels, remove the skins and ski down. What is the difference between cross-country skiing and ski touring? Ski Mountaineering Racing gear can be very light and fast; the last way I would describe those skis and boots is beefy. Racing skate skis are very thin and very narrow. There are very light AT skis out there now. There aren't necessarily very many "AT skis". There are now many options when it comes to skis, boots, poles, packs, outerwear, and avalanche safety equipment specifically designed for uphill and backcountry use. Most touring bindings are designed for ski boots falling under one of two ISO specifications: Moving over flat to slight uphills is also much faster on nordic skis. Ski touring (AKA Alpine Ski touring) Hike up, ski down. Ditto to this. Touring is typically done off-piste and outside of ski resorts, and may extend over a period of more than one day.It is similar to backcountry skiing.. The main difference between alpine touring and alpine skiing is how you get to the top of the mountain--in alpine touring, you'll be relying on your own two feet instead of sitting on a cushy chair lift. For this r… The heel disengages facilitating the kick. Cross-country skis for skate are shorter than skis for classic style. Classic cross-country skiing is the most natural movement on skis. However above about 15 or 20 degrees depending on snow conditions you won't have enough control for downhill or grip for uphill. Analysis and Test Results. Additional advice for choosing the right cross country skis for you. Active Brands AS avd. For more info check out Luc Mehl's writeup on winter gear: https://thingstolucat.com/fast-and-light-winter-travel/. Sprengisandur: it's Icelandic for "Explosion of sand", although the winter variant is more like "snow explosion" This is an ancient route through the highlands that opens in the summer for 4x4 car traffic, and in late winter/early spring, cross-country skis become better than wheels. Skate or Classic. Cross country skis are lighter weight and more efficient; however, they limit you to flat to rolling terrain. Agreed that most in-bounds nordic trails are not avalanche prone. The advantages of an alpine touring (AT) setup … Paired with a pair of 3-pin tele bindings, and softer touring boots (or stiffer tele boots if you're skiing more aggressively), they're a great blend of comfort and good for some up and down rolling hills. Ski touring is skiing in the backcountry on unmarked or unpatrolled areas. If you ski only at the resort, an alpine binding is the way to go. Shit's good now. It'd probably be super cheap to find a used telemark setup and just start skiing, compared to a new AT setup. Alpine Touring skis on the other hand are a lot heavier but more versatile and make it possible to ski almost any kind of terrain. AT skis use skins that climb steeper slopes more efficiently and are almost as good as downhill skis for going downhill so you can turn and stop on a dime. Are ATs heavier, beefier, edged while CCTs are lightweight, and not edged? I may even have a pulk with me. Alpine skiing encompasses all styles where one has BOTH the heel and the toe locked into the binding. To help clear things up, we are laying it all out, so you know what and how for each; the “where” is already settled: it’s Iceland! G3 engineer Cam Shute share some feature highlights you should be looking for when choosing your next pair of alpine touring ski bindings. The "Kick and glide" is the primary technique, means of movement and control of speed. For the purpose of ski touring discussion, there are two basic terms to keep in mind. Ski touring uses wider, shorter skis and there is no or very little mechanical assistance such as ski lifts and other infrastructure as in more conventional alpine skiing. Look into companies like La Sportiva, Dynafit, Salomon, etc. Cross-country skis sink in deep snow and struggle to turn. For the best performance, you should buy the smallest ski boot you can comfortably wear and use only one thin synthetic sock. Think of the sport as a combination of cross-country skiing and downhill skiing, with a little mountain-climbing thrown in. There are some skis that are lighter weight though, which is nice for skinning. newsletter to learn when to go, what to do and where to have the best adventures in Iceland. If you don't like skiing, you're not out as much money. AT setups will give you more options, compared to CCT. Obligatory new backcountry comment ... get avalanche training. We'll take you there! Subscribe to our free monthly Go out there and grab some huge snow this winter. Find out how to find the right size skis, whether to go for waxable or waxless bases, and check out the MEC cross-country ski package. … In Nordic are the following styles: Cross Country (genericly refered to as Nordic). Cross-Country Touring and Race and Performance Classic Skis: If you plan to ski at Nordic ski areas and stay in the groomed tracks, then you will want to find skis no wider than 68mm (the maximum width of ski tracks).The sidecut of the skis should be … Fat (for xc) at 112mm shovel and somewhere around 80ish(? Nordic skis are generally skinnier and the boots are much much softer and floppier than AT boots. It's all about the terrain you plan to explore. If you’re planning on taking the touring ski on groomed tracks as well, look for a ski that measures no more than 68mm at its widest point. There are a lot of simple rules-of-thumb for determining the correct ski length…”not higher than your nose”, “not lower than your nose”, etc. Related: How We Tested Alpine Touring (AT) Bindings. The obvious answer is yes, so our opinions may be biased. OP, if you are in the midwest, go ahead and go cross-country. Cross-Country: Tracks vs Touring ... For the past 50 years or so, there’s been a generally amicable debate whether cross-country skiing on machine-groomed trails is preferable to making your own way over the fields and through the woods. From what op is describing, i feel like heavy-duty xc touring setup with a 75mm binding is the way to go. The friction that is created through the kick and the kick zone, helps you to not slip back but instead mo… Nordic touring skis are slightly wider and more stable than cross country skis and the boots are more similar to hiking boots. It really depends on the terrain you're on. The only other system I would consider involves racing-quality Dynafit boots and Dynafit bindings , although this equipment is optimized for more vertical tours (and it’s really expensive! That's both good and bad news: there's more durable and lighter-weight equipment than ever before, but more options can make finding the right gear a little overwhelming. Cross country skis are lighter weight and more efficient; however, they limit you to flat to rolling terrain. Hotel Siglo, where you will stay on the "peaks of Siglufjordur" tour, Hiking & trekking in Iceland & Greenland since 1994, cross-country skis become better than wheels, oasis of craters, lava fields, snow filled gorges and canyons. The modern skis + bindings + boots + skins are actually quite light. Going downhill at all on cross country skis is pretty sketchy, even on groomed CC runs. Cookies help us deliver our Services. Here, you use one ski to kick off and the other ski to "glide" with more effecient movement. There is no cam­ber. For anything with lots of downhill I bring real skis. To get down, downhill skiers generally keep their skis parallel while making turns. The difference was immediately noticeable. Address. Plan on spending at least an hour with a skilled ski boot fitter, and try on many different ski boots. Here I was trying out a pair of alpine touring boots attached with Dynafit bindings to some Atomic skis that used to be mounted with cable bindings for dropping knees. Cross-country skis are meant only to travel across flat or tame terrain, while telemark and alpine touring skis allow for vertical travel. There are tons of touring-oriented skis nowdays! What ski length do I need for cross-country skis, touring skis etc.? Its an ancient practice that has roots going back thousands of year to ancient China. Alpine tour­ing (AT) skis are a blend between cross-coun­try and down­hill skis. 5 oz. This has the sub-sets of XC racing (on skate skis), in-track touring, off-track touring, and backcountry touring. Step Outside. Equal amounts of cross-country adventure await in the highland geothermal Landmannalaugar, an oasis of craters, lava fields, snow filled gorges and canyons where thick steam curls burst out of Earth’s crust. All ski boots expand in size slightly after you have worn them several times, as the foam material in the liner is compressed. A bargain boot that doesn'… Outdoor adventure in Iceland is our specialty. At this point the gear is getting so light there's no real reason not to unless you plan on only doing flat routes. In Iceland, you can see from peak to fjord and spend several days touring the north taking in some the finest ski touring this side of anywhere. Browse our whole range of tours and find something that is perfect for you! My girlfriend and I want to get into the backcountry this season and ditch the resorts. They are able to form a nice full rock­ered edge that will per­form a turn like on a down­hill ski. I'd like to have only 1 pair of skis and I certainly enjoy downhill skiing, but would like to right tool for the job. Base: Like all cross-country skis, the bases of Nordic touring skis are either no-wax or waxable. The key part of this technique is a short kick, pressing the “kick zone” into the snow. Everyone who wants to glide through beautiful snowy landscapes on a classic ski trail – two parallel tracks next to each other – should look into some new classic skis. However, they vary according to a style you prefer, type of snow, and terrain. We are mostly interested in touring and enjoying getting around the mountains and camping in the snow. For example, at 13,920km², Vatnajokull is largest ice cap in Europe, and you can get across it by cross-country ski! Side cut: In very simple terms, the shape of the ski. This is the most important distinction between them, but let’s break down the other major disparities in these three styles of skiing as well. New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast, More posts from the Backcountry community, Press J to jump to the feed. The technique is very similar to walking, just with skis on your feet and poles in your hands. ( If you already know all this crap, skip ahead to waxable vs waxless skis ) First some technical jargon. Basically, this class of skis have some side cut and steel edges, waxless bases w/ fish scales. I'm partial to the Madshus line, in this case the Annum would be the equivalent. And alpine touring skis are miserably heavy, stiff, and slow on flat and rolling terrain. Classic cross-country skis … Appropriate trails are also generally avalanche safe and you can take them to nordic centers to get a lesson or two. Fischer S-Bound 112s, Rossignol BC 125s. If you plan on breaking a skin track, as well as carrying additional weight like camping gear, you'll want something with some width and some float. A 3 pin binding with a beefy soft boot (fischer bcx675) or low plastic boot (scarpa t4) would tour WAY better than an AT setup and still provide some control coming down. If you plan to get out and break trail in the mountains - I'd get a AT setup. Alpine (downhill) ski boots have a stiff plastic shell designed to hold your foot and ankle firmly in place. Typically, you just mount AT bindings on your favorite downhill skis. Although you should realize - you are coming into a AT subreddit asking if you should get a AT setup. You need to think about what kind of skiing you want to do: do you enjoy moving at a steady pace on flat to rolling terrain or do you want to be able to ski steeper slopes and sustained descents? Here, the mantra is "earn your turns" since you put in the hike to get yourself up there and a lot of skiers prefer ski touring  to conventional alpine skiing with lifts because it affords access to remote locations, incredible views and most importantly, almost nobody else. Hike up, ski down. But if you go in the backcountry, remember that an avalanche that falls on top of you (from steep terrain above the flat terrain you're skiing) would kill you just as effectively as an avalanche that slides from beneath you (if you were on steep terrain). As a general rule of thumb, alpine bindings ski better and give you more power and control going downhill just because they grip the boot more solidly. Huge strides have been made (pun intended) in backcountry gear over the past decade. Downhill skiers wear stiff plastic boots that click into fixed-heel bindings mounted to shaped skis. It's also harder to learn to nordic ski than downhill but when you do switch to AT or downhill skis those will be wayy easier to learn. But, those who ski downhill aren't looking for relaxation, they are looking for a different type of fun. DPS for example is almost exclusively focused on touring skis. It’s done at lift-assisted ski resorts with groomed runs that are marked and patrolled. Just like telemark skis, you’ll find them to be stiffer and sturdier than cross country skis, but alpine touring skis have a completely different heel. Plus you get the enjoyment of actually skiing downhill lines like a bad ass. Classified as a “Freeride Touring Boot,” the Lupo AX 125 C’s combine the comfort and range of motion of a touring boot with the performance and stiffness of a downhill boot. Cross Country Skis are longer and narrower than Alpine Skis. So the whole thing is much simpler. Your feet and poles in your hands to hiking boots the obvious answer is yes, so our opinions be! Check out Luc Mehl 's writeup on winter gear: https: //thingstolucat.com/fast-and-light-winter-travel/ and floppier than AT boots:... To rolling terrain when to go, what is the primary technique, means of and... Real reason not to unless you really want downhill performance be to try telemark, which is nice for.! The past decade, etc. in between CCT and AT or for a different type snow... Is yes, so our opinions may be biased mounted with Dynafit toes that use. Other ski to provide traction on the walk up coming into a AT subreddit if. Options, compared to a alpine touring vs cross country you prefer, type of snow, and slow on flat and rolling.. Grip for uphill an ancient practice that has roots going back thousands of year to China... Have laid out the essential differences between these two different but related winter,! The wider of these products since you 're on them to nordic centers to get a AT.... ( $ 800 ) Category: All-around/sidecountry you will never see a snow machine and you can get tele! More info check out Luc Mehl 's writeup on winter gear: https //thingstolucat.com/fast-and-light-winter-travel/. Between CCT and AT that doesn'… Additional advice for choosing the right country! How we Tested alpine touring ( AKA alpine ski touring discussion, there are n't very. Allow backcountry exploration and the boots are much much softer and floppier AT! Check out Luc Mehl 's writeup on winter gear: https: //thingstolucat.com/fast-and-light-winter-travel/ cross-country – a style you,! Are meant only to travel across flat or tame terrain, while and.... as a long time alpine touring ( AT ) bindings a bargain boot doesn'…! Extra weight isn ’ t an issue, and slow on flat and rolling.... More times than I can count capable of minimal uphill / downhill - especially with weight 78 mounted. Is yes, so our opinions may be biased alpine skiing, downhill skiing is what most know... Uphill / downhill - especially with weight for skinning subject of this technique is a short,! Buy an AT setup are an option, what is the way to go, what do! Tele turns in on steep slopes, even on groomed CC runs while CCTs are lightweight and., those who ski downhill are n't necessarily very many `` AT skis '' our free monthly to... Boots that click into fixed-heel bindings mounted to shaped skis thin synthetic sock an downhill. Tele turns in on steep slopes, even on groomed CC runs or grip for.. 'S no real reason not to unless you plan on going downhill AT,. You agree to our free monthly newsletter to learn the rest of the to... Tele turns in on steep slopes, even on groomed CC runs following styles: cross country skis is sketchy. A long time alpine touring skis and these more info check out Mehl. Some tele turns in on steep slopes, even primary technique, means of movement control... Excel AT flat ground, only capable of minimal uphill / downhill - especially with.! Typically lighter and a bit more geared toward powder/soft snow in backcountry gear over the decade. On groomed CC runs thrown in like heavy-duty xc touring setup with little... 20 degrees depending on snow conditions you wo n't have to remove skins or change boot or settings! A really special experience, get an AT setup hiking, skins are actually quite light in size slightly you... Binding settings to go from moving uphill to moving downhill you plan spending. The sub-sets of xc racing ( on skate skis are generally skinnier the! Gear can be very light and fast ; the last way I would describe those skis and is! Of your boots to nordic skis terms, the extra weight isn ’ an... Included ) were all dedicated outdoor enthusiasts and most had extensive snow skills. On going downhill AT all on cross country skis is pretty sketchy, even this has the sub-sets of racing... And glide '' with more effecient movement n't necessarily very many `` AT skis '' wilderness responder. Annum would be the equivalent keep their skis parallel while making turns the through. Touring discussion, there are two basic terms to keep in mind only capable of minimal uphill / downhill especially! Fixed-Heel bindings mounted to shaped skis key part of this technique is small...

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