TR: Ski day trips near Tahoe, ski reviews and questions.

Discussion about winter adventure sports in the Sierra Nevada mountains including but not limited to; winter backpacking and camping, mountaineering, downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, etc.
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John Dittli
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Re: TR: Ski day trips near Tahoe, ski reviews and questions.

Post by John Dittli » Sat Mar 09, 2013 8:21 am

I haven't skied the Vector skis yet, but I have been eyeing them! There is a good chance I will replace my current waxless skis with them when the time comes. That said, the width is a bit of overkill for spring touring on corn. A wider ski not only adds weight, but the wider skins are heavier as well. But for transitional snow, powder and crud the wide ski is preferable. The dimensions of the Vector are similar to that of my all-around backcountry ski that is 97cm under foot.

As for the Dynafit binding being "futzy", my inference is this; I don't like the fact I have to take my skis completely off to go from downhill mode to touring mode. With a full pack on this means taking my pack off, taking both skis off, turning the binding, put the skis and pack back on etc. With the tele setup I get to the bottom of a hill and ski away!

One can, and I do, ski down easy slopes in good snow in touring mode, but it is not recommended by the manufacturer. A fall with only the toe piece engaged can break the binding or pull it out of the ski.

It should be noted that there are other AT bindings that don't require removing the ski to transition from downhill to tour, but they are significantly heavier.

This is why I only use my Dynafits for ski mountaineering where it's up all morning and down all afternoon. BUT, I ski with many people that use the Dynafit for touring, so it's really a personal preference. As I mentioned earlier, I can ski each setup downhill with equal confidence so I prefer the transition efficiency of the tele setup for touring. For those the feel more comfortable downhill with the heel locked, then AT by all means makes sense.

Regarding ski crampons. I take them on all my winter tours, I have never taken them on a spring tour (though there have been times I wished I had). I have crampons for both my tele and my AT setups. I find ski crampons the most useful for "dust on crust" situations. If the snow is really firm I prefer booting. In spring touring the snow is regularly supportive and if I need crampons it's usually due to getting on the slope to early. But as I say, there are exceptions.

Also, ski cramponing takes practice; kick turning on a firm 45° slope with a full pack can be harrowing and a fall much worse! Booting with crampons is much more secure.

Walk the Sky: Following the John Muir Trail

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Re: TR: Ski day trips near Tahoe, ski reviews and questions.

Post by fishmonger » Sat Mar 09, 2013 11:38 am

The Vectors are the lighter of the two fishscale ski Voile makes. When looking for a good deal on them, I first found the Charger BCs on sale but at 114mm they are clearly too wide for my needs. Later I found the Vectors at Mammothgear for 30% off, and that made me pull the trigger.

In terms of weight, even with a 96mm waist, they are two pounds lighter than my "lightweight" Atomic Kailas I've been using for two years, and those are just 88mm wide and show their age. I'm sure some of the more skinny fishscale ski are even lighter, but I needed a one size fits all ski.

I see what you mean with the transition delay using Dynafit, and it was the reason I got the Vectors, to reduce the need for transitions. If you're careful and respect the fact that you really don't want to hike out 20 miles on a single ski, I think you can still ski easy terrain with the toe-piece only, especially if you unlock them so they can release when forces get too high. Also, you only have to get out of the bindings to go from down to up mode. Definitely something you don't have to worry about with the tele setup.


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Re: TR: Ski day trips near Tahoe, ski reviews and questions.

Post by Harlen » Sat Mar 11, 2017 11:25 am

Well done Tomba!
An excellent, informative post; and timely, as I am just now looking to tour about the Carson Pass region. Thanks a lot, Harlen.

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Re: TR: Ski day trips near Tahoe, ski reviews and questions.

Post by LightRanger » Mon Apr 03, 2017 2:45 pm

John Dittli wrote:I've done some backcountry skiing over the years.
The understatement inherent in this quote amuses me. :)

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