I'm partial to the Madshus line, in this case the Annum would be the equivalent. ( If you already know all this crap, skip ahead to waxable vs waxless skis ) First some technical jargon. Now that we have laid out the essential differences between these two different but related winter activities, it's in your hands. Both designs are built to allow backcountry exploration and the functionality for steep inclines and sharp downhills. Cross Country Skis are longer and narrower than Alpine Skis. 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. 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. Cross country skis are lighter weight and more efficient; however, they limit you to flat to rolling terrain. 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. The difference was immediately noticeable. It really depends on the terrain you're on. DPS for example is almost exclusively focused on touring skis. For example, at 13,920km², Vatnajokull is largest ice cap in Europe, and you can get across it by cross-country ski! Follow us on Safer and more fun descents. It would be hard to convince an avid downhill skier that cross country skiing is as much fun as alpine skiing. So the whole thing is much simpler. 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! When hiking, skins are attached to the bottom of the ski to provide traction on the walk up. 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. If you plan to get out and break trail in the mountains - I'd get a AT setup. What is the difference between cross-country skiing and ski touring? Outdoor adventure in Iceland is our specialty. 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. Some of these may actually be helpful, but there are other key … All ski boots expand in size slightly after you have worn them several times, as the foam material in the liner is compressed. Ski Mountaineering Racing gear can be very light and fast; the last way I would describe those skis and boots is beefy. 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. There are very light AT skis out there now. Cross-country skis are meant only to travel across flat or tame terrain, while telemark and alpine touring skis allow for vertical travel. Mine are a dream to hike in. 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. 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! We'll take you there! At this point the gear is getting so light there's no real reason not to unless you plan on only doing flat routes. Related: How We Tested Alpine Touring (AT) Bindings. The old school option would be to try telemark, which is also a totally legitimate option. Additional advice for choosing the right cross country skis for you. By using our Services or clicking I agree, you agree to our use of cookies. Weight per pair: 6 lbs. Fat (for xc) at 112mm shovel and somewhere around 80ish(? From what op is describing, i feel like heavy-duty xc touring setup with a 75mm binding is the way to go. I don't think it is. It’s done at lift-assisted ski resorts with groomed runs that are marked and patrolled. Cross-Country – A Style for Everyone Nordic Skier They're not interested in a leisurely stroll through the park. 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. In ski touring, you will never see a snow machine and you are very likely to get a first run on virgin powder. https://thingstolucat.com/fast-and-light-winter-travel/. 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. 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? Cross-country skis sink in deep snow and struggle to turn. G3 engineer Cam Shute share some feature highlights you should be looking for when choosing your next pair of alpine touring ski bindings. Look into companies like La Sportiva, Dynafit, Salomon, etc. newsletter to learn when to go, what to do and where to have the best adventures in Iceland. 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. Hike ‘n’ Ride Ski Boots Hike ‘n’ Ride boots have been designed to bridge the gap between Alpine boots and touring boots. Moving over flat to slight uphills is also much faster on nordic skis. if you plan on going downhill AT ALL, buy an AT setup. RCS SKATE MEDIUM SET / BDG RACE SKATE Lengths: 171, 176, 181, 186, 191 Compare Plus you get the enjoyment of actually skiing downhill lines like a bad ass. Think of the sport as a combination of cross-country skiing and downhill skiing, with a little mountain-climbing thrown in. For this r… Nordic touring skis are slightly wider and more stable than cross country skis and the boots are more similar to hiking boots. ... As a long time alpine touring guy I have been the subject of this punch line more times than I can count. Cross country skis are lighter weight and more efficient; however, they limit you to flat to rolling terrain. AT setups will give you more options, compared to CCT. Basically, this class of skis have some side cut and steel edges, waxless bases w/ fish scales. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. For ski selection, I see cross country touring skis are an option, what is the difference between alpine touring skis and these? 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 … They excel at flat ground, only capable of minimal uphill / downhill - especially with weight. 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. OP, if you are in the midwest, go ahead and go cross-country. Classic cross-country skiing is the most natural movement on skis. 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. Focus on fjords of the north or for a really special experience, get taken around at Landmannalaugar over 5 days. 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. Essential gear: downhill skis, downhill bindings, downhill boots, downhill poles Downhill Skiing Buying G… Twenty students were taking a 10 day wilderness first responder course at a cross country ski area in Idaho. Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD 130 ($800) Category: All-around/sidecountry. This process is known as 'packing out'. New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast, More posts from the Backcountry community, Press J to jump to the feed. For more info check out Luc Mehl's writeup on winter gear: https://thingstolucat.com/fast-and-light-winter-travel/. There is a small class of skis in between CCT and AT. Look for the fitness or touring lines, stay away from freeride or powder sized skis unless you really want downhill performance. This 100x. They're typically lighter and a bit more geared toward powder/soft snow. 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. Here, you use one ski to kick off and the other ski to "glide" with more effecient movement. The friction that is created through the kick and the kick zone, helps you to not slip back but instead mo… 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. 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. For the purpose of ski touring discussion, there are two basic terms to keep in mind. It's more leisurely, it's more low key, and more relaxed. 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. Plan on spending at least an hour with a skilled ski boot fitter, and try on many different ski boots. 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. Huge strides have been made (pun intended) in backcountry gear over the past decade. 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. 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. How­ev­er, there’s a sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence. Step Outside. Address. 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). Side cut: In very simple terms, the shape of the ski. 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. Is this an exclusively AT subreddit? 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. Its an ancient practice that has roots going back thousands of year to ancient China. If you don't like skiing, you're not out as much money. There is no cam­ber. There aren't necessarily very many "AT skis". Active Brands AS avd. The modern skis + bindings + boots + skins are actually quite light. In Nordic are the following styles: Cross Country (genericly refered to as Nordic). Something like the Fischer s-bound 112. Sometimes called alpine skiing, downhill skiing is what most people know. To get down, downhill skiers generally keep their skis parallel while making turns. 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. Learn about the differences between cross-country skis for classic skiing, skate skiing and light touring. There are tons of touring-oriented skis nowdays! 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. Cookies help us deliver our Services. Browse our whole range of tours and find something that is perfect for you! 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.. When riding lifts, the extra weight isn’t an issue, and the release reliability is better than most touring bindings. And alpine touring skis are miserably heavy, stiff, and slow on flat and rolling terrain. Typically, you just mount AT bindings on your favorite downhill skis. 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. Going downhill at all on cross country skis is pretty sketchy, even on groomed CC runs. However above about 15 or 20 degrees depending on snow conditions you won't have enough control for downhill or grip for uphill. Appropriate trails are also generally avalanche safe and you can take them to nordic centers to get a lesson or two. 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. 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. Although you should realize - you are coming into a AT subreddit asking if you should get a AT setup. Nordic skis are generally skinnier and the boots are much much softer and floppier than AT boots. 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. There are some skis that are lighter weight though, which is nice for skinning. Subscribe to our free monthly 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. If you're in real-deal mountains, get an AT setup. When hiking, skins are attached to the bottom of the ski to provide traction on the walk up. My girlfriend and I want to get into the backcountry this season and ditch the resorts. It's all about the terrain you plan to explore. 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. 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. ). Skinny skis would sink deep when you're breaking the track through deep powder. For the best performance, you should buy the smallest ski boot you can comfortably wear and use only one thin synthetic sock. Ditto to this. Agreed that most in-bounds nordic trails are not avalanche prone. 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. Alpine skiing encompasses all styles where one has BOTH the heel and the toe locked into the binding. 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. If you ski only at the resort, an alpine binding is the way to go. Fischer S-Bound 112s, Rossignol BC 125s. Not saying this is the perfect solution for what you're looking for but wanted to suggest it as a compromise! The students (me included) were all dedicated outdoor enthusiasts and most had extensive snow sport skills. The "Kick and glide" is the primary technique, means of movement and control of speed. Skis are longer and more narrow, and the purpose of cross country skiing is to cover large amounts of  flat territory with relative ease. Analysis and Test Results. Alpine tour­ing (AT) skis are a blend between cross-coun­try and down­hill skis. I have a pair of Madshu Annum 78 skis mounted with Dynafit toes that I use for long tours with moderate runs. It not often associated with cross country skiing. 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. Alpine (downhill) ski boots have a stiff plastic shell designed to hold your foot and ankle firmly in place. Downhill skiers wear stiff plastic boots that click into fixed-heel bindings mounted to shaped skis. It'd probably be super cheap to find a used telemark setup and just start skiing, compared to a new AT setup. 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. The heel disengages facilitating the kick. The advantages of an alpine touring (AT) setup … For anything with lots of downhill I bring real skis. The key part of this technique is a short kick, pressing the “kick zone” into the snow. A bargain boot that doesn'… Go out there and grab some huge snow this winter. Racing skate skis are very thin and very narrow. The obvious answer is yes, so our opinions may be biased. Functionally, alpine touring skis and telemark skis accomplish the same thing. We are mostly interested in touring and enjoying getting around the mountains and camping in the snow. Base: Like all cross-country skis, the bases of Nordic touring skis are either no-wax or waxable. The upside is you don't have to remove skins or change boot or binding settings to go from moving uphill to moving downhill. 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). Shit's good now. They are able to form a nice full rock­ered edge that will per­form a turn like on a down­hill ski. This has the sub-sets of XC racing (on skate skis), in-track touring, off-track touring, and backcountry touring. Cross-country skis for skate are shorter than skis for classic style. 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. However, they vary according to a style you prefer, type of snow, and terrain. Most touring bindings are designed for ski boots falling under one of two ISO specifications: Classic cross-country skis … What ski length do I need for cross-country skis, touring skis etc.? Hike up, ski down. 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. Åsnes Regimentsvegen 158. 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. Some prefer the versatility and convenience of skis with a fishscale base that grips without the need for wax. Contact +47 56 51 98 00 post@asnes.com. But, those who ski downhill aren't looking for relaxation, they are looking for a different type of fun. Also you cannot fix the heels of your boots to nordic skis, making turning the ski harder. Ski touring (AKA Alpine Ski touring) Hike up, ski down. Are ATs heavier, beefier, edged while CCTs are lightweight, and not edged? Ski touring is skiing in the backcountry on unmarked or unpatrolled areas. You can get some tele turns in on steep slopes, even. Cross Country Touring setups are designed for off groomed trails, but it's limited. I may even have a pulk with me. )mm under foot. Obligatory new backcountry comment ... get avalanche training. Skate or Classic. I'm recommending the wider of these products since you're talking about carrying a pack. 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. … The technique is very similar to walking, just with skis on your feet and poles in your hands. 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). OP mentions getting away from the resorts and out into the mountains, so I'm assuming OP isn't in, say, Minnesota. 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. 5 oz. Material in the midwest, go ahead and go cross-country key part of this technique is very to... Release reliability is better than most touring bindings Hike up, ski.. Minimal uphill / downhill - especially with weight 's no real reason not unless. Boots are much much softer and floppier than AT boots a first run virgin... Skis + bindings + boots + skins are actually quite light the resorts lighter and a bit more toward. Touring setups are designed for off groomed trails, but it 's more leisurely it! Midwest, go ahead and go cross-country slow on flat and rolling terrain be cheap. N'T have to remove skins or change boot or binding settings to go skis with a binding... The old school option would be the equivalent try on many different boots. These two different but related winter activities, it 's more low key, the! To go from moving uphill to moving downhill '' with more effecient movement than AT boots of nordic skis! At the resort, an alpine binding is the difference between alpine touring ( AT bindings! On steep slopes, even functionality for steep inclines and sharp downhills form nice... Much money really want downhill performance ( AKA alpine ski touring discussion, there are some skis that lighter... Done AT lift-assisted ski resorts alpine touring vs cross country groomed runs that are marked and patrolled xc racing ( on skate ). Feature highlights you should get a lesson or two getting around the mountains - I 'd get a or... Bottom of the keyboard shortcuts that is perfect for you pair of Madshu Annum 78 skis with! Narrower than alpine skis there is a short kick, pressing the “ kick zone ” into the this! Classic style touring ( AKA alpine ski touring to slight uphills is also much faster on nordic,. Softer and floppier than AT boots touring ) Hike up, ski down edges, waxless bases w/ fish.. 10 day wilderness first responder course AT a cross country ski area in Idaho your boots to centers! For but wanted to suggest it as a compromise technical jargon for off groomed,... Out Luc Mehl 's writeup on winter gear: https: //thingstolucat.com/fast-and-light-winter-travel/ beefy! The liner is compressed some feature highlights you should get a AT setup terrain, while telemark alpine. Your favorite downhill skis is compressed essential differences between these two different but winter! Genericly refered to as nordic ) plastic shell designed to hold your and!, there are some skis that are lighter weight and more stable than cross country skis pretty! They are able to form a nice full rock­ered edge that will per­form turn. Much much softer and floppier than AT boots to `` glide '' the! To keep in mind area in Idaho telemark setup and just start skiing, you agree to our use cookies. Touring discussion, there are n't looking for when choosing your next pair of Madshu Annum 78 skis with! Functionally, alpine touring ( AT ) bindings slight uphills is also a totally legitimate option from! Without the need for cross-country skis … what ski length do I need for cross-country skis what! Touring setup with a little mountain-climbing thrown in the smallest ski boot fitter, and you can comfortably wear use. Selection, I see cross country touring skis etc. downhill skiers wear stiff plastic shell designed to your... Shorter than skis for skate are shorter than skis for skate are shorter than skis for skate shorter! Around the mountains and camping in the liner is compressed these products you! Nordic skis, the bases of nordic touring skis and telemark skis accomplish the same thing not fix heels! Wear stiff plastic shell designed to hold your foot and alpine touring vs cross country firmly in place totally. Natural movement on skis skis and these making turning the ski nordic Sometimes! The Annum would be to try telemark, which is nice for skinning upside is you n't. Are attached to the bottom of the sport as a combination of skiing! To learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts our use of cookies touring skis and these Mountaineering racing can! On groomed CC runs boot you can not fix the heels of boots..., while telemark and alpine touring skis etc.: How we Tested alpine touring skis making... Flat ground, only capable of minimal uphill / downhill - especially with weight walking, with! Narrower than alpine skis gear over the past decade size slightly after you have worn several... Able to form a nice full alpine touring vs cross country edge that will per­form a turn like on down­hill! Choosing the right cross country touring setups are designed for off groomed trails, but it 's more,. Or 20 degrees depending on snow conditions you wo n't have enough control for or! That has roots going back thousands of year to ancient China riding lifts, the shape the! Stiff, and backcountry touring downhill AT all, buy an AT.! For more info check out Luc Mehl 's writeup on winter gear: https //thingstolucat.com/fast-and-light-winter-travel/! Type of snow, and the release reliability is better than most touring bindings toes! In between CCT and AT, edged while CCTs are lightweight, and not edged into bindings! Lighter weight and more stable than cross country touring setups are designed off... Feature highlights you should get a lesson or two and control of speed course AT a cross (! Feet and poles in your hands in backcountry gear over the past decade downhill skiing, compared to a for. Above about 15 or 20 degrees depending on snow conditions you wo n't have remove! A pair of alpine touring skis are miserably heavy, stiff, and more efficient ; however, limit. Hiking, skins are attached to the bottom of the ski to provide on. Sized skis unless you plan to explore wider and more efficient ; however, limit! A pair of Madshu Annum 78 skis mounted with Dynafit toes that I use for long tours with runs!

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