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 Post subject: Tele or AT?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 2:02 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 3:12 am
Posts: 23
Okay, I realize this is a splitboard forum. I've posted here in the past and got a split in December and really enjoyed it. People here were pretty helpful, as well as at Couloir Mag's forums or somewhere else (can't remember).

I'm starting to spend more and more time in the backcountry. I started out alpine climbing and riding at the resorts, then moved into backcountry riding some this year. I've lately started some long-haul tours with a telemarking buddy of mine and some of his old-school skiing friends. The split doesn't work so well for these types of tours (Uintas, in Utah.....if you know what I'm saying).

Today was a 32 mile round-trip with 5K elevation gain in the Uintas, and the split had to stay at home. The skin track dug out by ten people in front of me was flat-out too thin and I'm not strong enough to break my own all that way. THe undulating nature of the terrain also prevents a split from being effective in this case. Also, the riding wasn't really the objective: the peak was. In fact, we didn't ride off the summit.....too scoured. The 14 mile approach was on skis. I used lightweight backcountry skis but I am terrible.

I'd like to learn how to ski next season, just so I have another option for situations like this. I fell probably 25 times on the way down from this god-forsaken tour. Should I learn to tele or should I stick to AT gear?

How have snowboarders who have tried skiing felt about either one? The tele turn honestly seems hard and not very natural, which is my main concern about it. Other than that, all these guys use tele gear and they're fairly serious, so there's a plus in that regard. Any thoughts on this? I'd want to become proficient enough to ski in somewhat tight trees on the exits and some moderate slopes but nothing crazy steep. And mostly for use to access high backcountry peaks like in the Uintas where skiing isn't the primary objective (hell, I'd stay int he Wasatch if that were the objective). Any thoughts?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 8:50 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2004 6:51 pm
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Location: PNW
I'm a snowboarder--I have no skiing background.

I have found that tele is tricky, although I've only tried it once, in challenging conditions.

I've spent two days riding lifts on a backcountry AT setup, and it felt surprising doable. I felt like I was hauling butt and not falling by day two. For learning, obviously the fewer degrees of freedom in the gear make it easier to pick up. It felt easy enough that I've decided to try said setup on some spring tours, mainly to benefit from the greater versatility of not having both feet pinned together.

The way I see it, telemark is stylish, but so is splitboarding. If you're going to skis because the conditions demand it, wouldn't you go with the more secure AT?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 12:57 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2005 3:11 pm
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
I've met people who spent 2-3 seasons getting used to telemarking, and still don't feel like they're 100% tele turning. Personally I have an AT setup and a split, and while I'd like to learn how to telemark gracefully, until I feel like it's a strong point, there's no way in hell I'm going to try it on a tour. Part of the trouble is that I have tried telemark and backcountry (beefy-nordic) skis in the past, with people who had skied that way their entire lives, and I have some appreciation for how hard it is to keep up while learning an entirely different turn. It's quite exhausting.

The telemark vs. everything else debate boils down to style vs. substance for many if not most people. Unless you're as good at telemarking as snowboarding and alpine skiing, it's hard for me to believe that you'd enjoy touring as much on gear that doesn't play to your strengths (and, with the exception of the newer free-pivot tele bindings, isn't as efficient as AT gear, due to the spring resistance). Of course, if you're looking for a challenge...

I have toured with some way-strong telemark skiers and they're amazingly graceful to watch as they lay down perfect tele turns in a five-foot-wide S, but it's also easy to forget how long many of them spent perfecting the art. (At least one guy that I've skied with is equally proficient on AT skis, tele skis, and a split -- he's one of the strongest skiers I have met, in fact) Try and keep this in mind when deciding what's best for you. :-)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 3:09 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 4:18 pm
Posts: 323
Location: NW/BC/Montana
I understand your desire to not splitboard for those sorts of tours.

Quote:
I'd want to become proficient enough to ski in somewhat tight trees on the exits and some moderate slopes but nothing crazy steep.


Although teleing is definitely harder, I would say that if you're not interested in the crazy steeps it will ultimately pay off in efficiency and grace. If you were going for hairier lines, I would maybe suggest AT gear, though having said that I've seen 60 degree lines go down on teles (Kyle).

Keep in mind that I have a very minimal skiing background.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 6:13 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 4:45 pm
Posts: 128
Location: Slackcountry, NH
Alpine skiing is much easier to learn then tele. In alpine your skis are part of you, the negotiation is b/w you and the mountain. In tele its a three way discussion b/w you, your skis and the mountain. ANd if you are used to skinning on a split then the frankenstride of AT gear wont bother yuo much.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 7:35 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2005 4:15 pm
Posts: 372
Location: The land of MO (SLC)
Funny timing for this topic, seems there are a lot of us knuckle-draggers experimenting with two planks as spring nears.

I too have been experimenting on tele gear lately, preparing for those touring days where a split just won't be much fun. I am learning there are tours out there where a split is not the right tool.

I alpined for a long time before picking up a snowboard, but haven't touched ski in the 8 years since. But now that I have been on big tele boots, burly bindings, and fat skis I am amazed how well you can make alpine turns on todays tele-gear. The new tele-gear alpines as well as the alpine gear I was on 8 years ago. Now the tele turn is a whole different problem, still flailing on those. But I just wanted everyone to keep in mind you can alpine turn on tele-gear and then learn tele turns as you go, just don't get in the front seat.

Free the heel man............ and eat granola..............and ski Alta brah........ :roll: :lol:

What have I done? :shock:

Still nothing beats the surfy feel of a snowboard on a deep day.

UB

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 8:35 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 3:12 am
Posts: 23
Ah, Commander, I was hoping you'd chime in, since I had seen you mention you ski some so you can hit Alta. Looking to join you next year in the Powderkeg as well.

I may look for more opinions, but I suppose I can always rent gear on separate days (or borrow) to see what I like. My understanding is that it's fairly easy to find cheap AT gear, right? Which would be cheaper to acquire? Not exactly looking to break the bank here, and would like to buy used at the REI/BD garage sales or some similar source if at all possible. No interest in spending a lot of money for something I'll use a couple times a year.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 8:32 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2005 9:24 am
Posts: 155
Unfortunately I'm also feeling the alure of the Darkside (2-planks). Spliboarding is a fun way to snowboard but frankly it sucks for the touring part of lots of trips compared to skiing.

I bought a pair of "light touring" skis last year (Fischer Outtabounds), their basically fat, shaped, xc skis with a fishscale waxless base pattern that I mounted with 3-pin bindings. They're a blast in rolling hilly terrain that isn't steep or high enough to be fun on a split (no fussing with skins at all). In the soft snow the tele-turn wasn't too hard to pick up although mine needs a lot of refinement.

However, I'm finding myself wanting to ski steeper stuff and also, most of my partners ski. My plan is to rent some alpine gear next season and try to re-learn skiing. I used to be ok at it but that was 15 years ago. Then if that goes well, I'll invest in a AT set up since they tour better than tele and have a release mechanism (I'm getting old lately). I'll probably go with Silveretta Pures on some sort of lightweight ski.

The plan would be to use the split for short approaches and more difficult descents with the skis being used for longer trips with more mild descents.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 10:07 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2005 7:43 pm
Posts: 869
Just curious where in the Uintahs you went, where you felt you split really put you at a disadvantage? I have personal goals for the Uintahs partly because alot of that terrain has never been touched by boarders due to the long approaches, many 1st descents to be done. I love that idea.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 10:58 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2006 9:44 am
Posts: 136
Location: cascades
oooo...tough call. here's my experience:

i started out snowboarding, bought alpine skis last year on a bit of a whim (and because i was tired of getting stuck in the trees/traverses when riding with my skier friends), and then tried tele this year. it took two runs. i'm hooked.

although elusive for a beginner like me, the tele turn is super cool...it almost feels like you're turning nose-side on a snowboard...it's also smooth and graceful and dynamic and fun. BUT, you can also make alpine turns on tele equipment...which is the beauty of that gear- it's so versatile.

so anyway, i sold my alpines, bought teles, and did my first super mellow tour this weekend. i sucked out there...but it was still a riot. no switching the bindings, no putting the board back together, super lightweight, etc. skinning on teles is really easy...the boots are super comfortable. (another advantage over alpine = comfy boots) and like i said, you can make alpine turns on tele equipment, which is what i did- all day.

good luck!

i.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 11:03 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2005 4:15 pm
Posts: 372
Location: The land of MO (SLC)
fowweezer wrote:
Ah, Commander, I was hoping you'd chime in, since I had seen you mention you ski some so you can hit Alta. Looking to join you next year in the Powderkeg as well.



FYI,

Please don't confuse "Unruly Baker", me, with "Commander Baker", I am a mere mortal that flails and sucks wind on short and medium tours, Commander Baker is a superhuman marathon tour machine and confusing the two of us is a large insult to him.

Thanks,
UB

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 3:37 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 3:12 am
Posts: 23
UTAH: The tour was to King's Peak from the Mountain View, Wyoming side of the range. It was the Wasatch Mountain Club's annual "King's-in-a-day" tour. Not sure on the stats, but it's over 30 miles roundtrip, 5 am start, maybe 4,500 feet of elevation gain (mostly all in the last 2 miles or so). With skiers breaking trail all the way, the skin track was deep and narrow. I don't think I would have even made it as far as I did on a splitboard, since the skin track was so narrow (lots of folks on xc skis with wax). I didn't make it anyway (became violently ill before gunsight pass), but the split would have made it MUCH worse than my rented xc skis with a metal edge. As much as I'd like to ride off the top of King's, I know the added width would have made it impossible. 7 people summitted out of 30 I think. If you had a couple of splitter friends to share with trail-breaking and/or you were really strong, you could probably make it.


Baker: Sorry, won't happen again.

I appreciate the input everyone. Is tele gear and AT gear fairly similar in price for used stuff? Also.....someone mentioned the "frankenstride" of AT gear when skinning....what is the problem with the stride? I'm sure I won't notice, having learned how to skin on a splitboard, but still...

How long does the transition from skin to ski mode on the new AT gear generally take (not including time to remove and pack skins, since you'd have to do that on tele gear anyway)??


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 4:37 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2005 1:48 pm
Posts: 86
Location: Evergreen Land
My observation of skinning is that it is a sufferfest. But so much so that it drives you to skiing???? My suggestion is GET NEW FRIENDS or FIND SOMETHING ELSE TO DO!!

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