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post #1 of (permalink) Old 11-16-2013, 08:42 PM Thread Starter
Headed for the Mountains
 
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Location: Poco, BC, Canada.
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Default Cross country skiing and winter camping

Hi - I'm looking for some advice about Nordic skiing.

I enjoy winter camping and want to find a way to get a little further and a little faster. For instance, the elfin trip would be a lot nicer without the long 6 km down from red heather. I don't enjoy down hill skiing so I have no need or desire for speed.

Does anyone else use Nordic skis for winter camping?
Would cross country skiing be an option for me to replace/augment snowshoeing?
Would the skis have enough float with a 30lb pack, and traction to travel up gentle slopes, like those found on the garibaldi Neve (I plan another Neve trip this year and would prefer to ski rather than snowshoe, if possible)
What about side hilling with xcountry skis?
Is there anything I'm missing that could cause problems with this as an option?

Thanks for the time!
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 11-16-2013, 08:47 PM
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I've done some trips on my "BC" nordic skis. They have metal edges for better control. As for flotation, they're better than boots by far, but no where near as capable as AT skis.

I have some skins for mine.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 11-16-2013, 11:02 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by gdichasaz

Hi - I'm looking for some advice about Nordic skiing.

I enjoy winter camping and want to find a way to get a little further and a little faster. For instance, the elfin trip would be a lot nicer without the long 6 km down from red heather. I don't enjoy down hill skiing so I have no need or desire for speed.

Does anyone else use Nordic skis for winter camping?
Would cross country skiing be an option for me to replace/augment snowshoeing?
Would the skis have enough float with a 30lb pack, and traction to travel up gentle slopes, like those found on the garibaldi Neve (I plan another Neve trip this year and would prefer to ski rather than snowshoe, if possible)
What about side hilling with xcountry skis?
Is there anything I'm missing that could cause problems with this as an option?

Thanks for the time!
If you're talking about xc track skis, then I'd strongly advise against it. It has been done though. Trailbreaking will take far more effort because with a smaller ski base area you'll sink deeper into the snow, especially with a pack. Turning will be almost impossible. Sidehilling on hard snow would be problematic because you wouldn't have metal edges and the boots lack ankle support compared to backcountry ski boots. While the waxless grip pattern on track skis is nice, there are slopes on the Neve steep enough to require a lot of switchbacking if you don't use skins. Not that switchbacking is the end of the world, but you'll be breaking trail because no one uses wax anymore for places like the Neve. So you won't be able to use the broken uphill tracks.

You can get backcountry skis with a waxless grip base. You can also get gear that's a few years old, cheap. There's no need to shell out $2000 for the latest backcountry gear. Being from a trail skiing background you'd probably enjoy the outdated gear more than the latest stuff with skis that resemble waterskis and boots like lower leg casts.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 11-17-2013, 12:22 AM
High on the Mountain Top
 
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Your best bet for a "utility ski" is one of the new wide patterned skis - Voile vector bc, rosignol bc 125, madshus annum, etc. Pair them with plastic 2 buckle at or telemark boots and light bindings. The traditional "Nordic backcountry" skis just aren't very suitable for our climate because they aren't wide enough to offer decent floatation.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 11-17-2013, 10:50 AM
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If you can find an old pair of leather tele boots at one of the many 2nd hand shops (or even charity shops) or 2 buckle plastic tele boots (these you should be able to find for @ $25-$40), couple it with a 3 pin binding (@$50 new from mec I think), and almost any light ski with metal edges (again, look in the 2nd hand shops). You should be able to get set up for under $130. This gear is great for mellow traverses, easy backcountry, and rolling meadows. We skied all over Algonquin park growing up in Ontario on set ups like this. Had a blast with it.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 11-17-2013, 09:08 PM
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a couple years ago I went skiing in manning with another guy with Cross country skis. he ended up hiking up some of the hills. he was just sliding backwards. and not that steep.

going from red heather to the parking lot on CC skis would probably scare the crap outa you. (and everyone else hiking up) normally CC routes have very small hills (like 20') are those are scary enough for me. and that's with no pack.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 11-17-2013, 10:05 PM Thread Starter
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Wow - a huge thank you to everyone!

My follow ups:
Skins? On xcountry skis? Do they help with climbing? Can you pm me a note about this hack?

What about tape? There is xcountry tape available. Does it help with climbing?

Having trouble finding used gear at a reasonable price. This makes me sad.


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post #8 of (permalink) Old 11-17-2013, 10:28 PM
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My "backcountry" X-C skis are 65mm wide and have metal edges. Skins are available in the right size for those skis, it's not a "hack."

http://www.mec.ca/product/5034-194/r...10+50006+50656

Skins: (65mm)

http://www.mec.ca/product/5029-040/b...10+50006+50644

Or a cheaper, lighter alternative:

http://www.mec.ca/product/5029-041/b...10+50006+50644
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 11-17-2013, 11:02 PM
tu
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I have a pair of the voile vector bc's mentioned above, that has a 'waxless' base pattern for grip.

During Spring with warm soft snow, I can go to Elfin Hut from the parking lot no problem.

Any colder then I put on skins unless there's a fresh clean smooth skin track.

The part of the trail from the parking lot to Red Heather especially is usually too busted up to allow for smooth progression without skins.

Another advantage is that it's much easier to recover losing grip on skins than with grip wax or waxless.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 11-18-2013, 02:43 PM
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FYI Nordic BC skis (like the ones johngenx linked to) usually quote the width at the tip (the widest part), whereas AT & telemark skis typically quote the width at the wait of the ski (the narrowest part).

Also if you want to be able to edge your skis effectively in harder snow, you need to match the boot to the width of the ski. Narrow skis can be edged with soft low cut boots, but big wide skis demand a stiffer, taller boot.
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 11-18-2013, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by scottN

FYI Nordic BC skis (like the ones johngenx linked to) usually quote the width at the tip (the widest part), whereas AT & telemark skis typically quote the width at the wait of the ski (the narrowest part).
True! Those BC65s are about 50mm underfoot. The reason they use the shovel width is for track set. A 65 just fits tracks. Just.

I use:

90% - AT skis
5% - BC X-C skis
5% - snowshoes

For backcountry winter travel.
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 11-18-2013, 11:00 PM
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I use Atomic Selkirks, 78/60/70 with my Nordic setup and I also use skins. It's a good choice for old logging roads, heading up to Baker's Artist point area, or perhaps the trip up to Elfin Shelter but I wouldn't recommend it for something like the Neve Traverse.
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 11-19-2013, 10:53 AM
Headed for the Mountains
 
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Just to give you some more ideas, a setup like this one I sold a few years ago would be perfect for what you want to do:

https://www.clubtread.com/sforum/topi...TOPIC_ID=18631


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post #14 of (permalink) Old 11-19-2013, 12:43 PM
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There's a whole website/forum out there dedicated to this topic: www.wintertrekking.com.

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post #15 of (permalink) Old 11-19-2013, 05:25 PM
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Yo. Glen. You know you want to do this... carry a BFAirHorn if you're coming down the Barrier Trail!
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