To kicker skin or not to kicker skin that is the question?

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gitrinec
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Re: To kicker skin or not to kicker skin that is the question?

Post by gitrinec » Sat Jan 07, 2017 8:45 pm

Lilcliffy, the only other skis I have are these waxable ASNES usgi army surplus skis with the Voile 3 pin Traverse binding on them, aka the 210cm beasts, lol

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lilcliffy
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Re: To kicker skin or not to kicker skin that is the question?

Post by lilcliffy » Sat Jan 07, 2017 9:04 pm

I have many miles on the Asnes Combat USGI. It is an excelletn backcountry-xcountry ski- stable, decent flotation, awesome trail-breaking, excellent K&G- both on soft snow and hardpack. It is a serious challenge on steep terrain, however- UNLESS you have a lot of room to turn them. However, the Excursion plus the cable binding is enough to overpower that ski though.
Cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry.
Unashamed to be a "cross-country type" and love skiing down-hill.

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gitrinec
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Re: To kicker skin or not to kicker skin that is the question?

Post by gitrinec » Sat Jan 07, 2017 9:16 pm

Lilcliffy, are you saying that's bad overpowering them or that it's a good thing since they are beasts, lol I've also got some Fischer BCX675 boots but I was thinking being in the backcountry in all kind of conditions the plastics might be a better option, warmer feet.

MikeK

Re: To kicker skin or not to kicker skin that is the question?

Post by MikeK » Sun Jan 08, 2017 3:38 pm

GI - I've told this story before multiple times here, but I feel it's worth another go.

My wife skis Epochs and Excursions for difficult (for her) skiing. She loves that setup. She handles terrain that scares her with XC skis. Although I wouldn't call this steep or scary for most people, she doesn't have a ton of skiing background. In fact she started skiing only a few years ago. She doesn't rip turns like and advanced XCD skier might, but she can turn where she needs to and can control her speed in almost every situation, and when she doesn't, she can stay on her feet and get to safety. It's really remarkable what you can tackle with that skis and boots even with relatively little experience. I have tons more experience XC and Alpine skiing that she does, so I was not hesitant to give her every advantage I could to keep her moving. She hated Alpine skiing and hated XC at first. Now she loves XC skiing and can handle a lot of stuff with her leather boots but she'll always want that equipment when there is significant vertical or when condition are difficult.

Don't doubt the direction you've headed. You'll be able to cover terrain relatively easily with those skis and boots and only get better with more practice. You can try the USGI skis with plastic, but the attributes that are good about those skis will be masked with plastic IMO. They aren't turny skis and the boots will hinder their XC perfomance.

As you get skiing more, and get better, you'll also find your Epochs a real joy with leather boots, especially for covering ground and skiing in soft snow. I'll say it's not easy for a lot of people though, and my wife struggles to ski Epochs with leather boots even on flatter terrain. It's a wider, heaver ski that doesn't always want to go straight unless you have perfect K+G technique and strong ankles. On the down it can skid and buck or plow with little forgiveness with soft boots. The plastic really seem to prevent all that. Stout ankle support and superior (to leather) torsional stiffness really eliminate those issues, at least what I've seen with her. So get out and work on the skiing, and practice with both, but when you are going to be out for a long trip with unknown conditions, use your easiest setup and pack skins for the worst.

As far as STGs suggestion, you may want to go that route. I don't have enough experience with skins to help you much beyond having a cheap nylon pair as a safety net because that's all we have.

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lilcliffy
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Re: To kicker skin or not to kicker skin that is the question?

Post by lilcliffy » Sun Jan 08, 2017 6:38 pm

gitrinec wrote:Lilcliffy, are you saying that's bad overpowering them or that it's a good thing since they are beasts, lol I've also got some Fischer BCX675 boots but I was thinking being in the backcountry in all kind of conditions the plastics might be a better option, warmer feet.
I meant that the the Excursion combined with a cable binding is powerful enough to overpower any ski from the Epoch and narrower in size- it is even powerful enough to drive wider skis as well.

The Excursion + cable binding is enough to drive both of the skis that you have.

The Combat USGI is a xcountry ski IMO- period. It will DEFINITELY outperform the Epoch on the flats- but will be a serious challenge downhill skiing- without significant skill. NOW- if the elevations can be descended without having to turn down steep slopes- then the USGI would be fine. BUT- if coming down steep slopes is unavoidable, the Epoch may be a better choice.

My advice is to always work with your most limiting factor- ESPECIALLY on a multi-day trek- where you can get seriously injured and stranded in the wilderness.

The Epoch is a much more "manageable" ski than the USGI- by "manageable" I am speaking of steep terrain.

If you are still exploring all of your options you may want to consider a mid-width XCD ski- with similar width to the USGI- but with a flex pattern better suited to hilly/mountainous terrain. Some excellent options include the Fischer E-109, Fischer 78, Madshus Eon, and Asnes Ingstad/Combat Nato. The Fischer and Asnes also give you the integrated kicker skins. Even a ski like the current E-99 is quite manageable on the downhill, and it flies on the flats. A ski like the current E-99 has a much more forgiving flex than that USGI.

I have to admit that I did not even examine the elevation profile you posted- please forgive me- I should have, especially if I am going to try and give you and useful "advice".

Again- the Epoch is a great Nordic touring ski- soft, smooth, stable, and manageable- especially with the boot-binding you have.

In the future, I would urge you to consider a narrower XCD for a long-distance tour. And the narrower the ski gets- as long as the camber and flex is not too stiif- the more powerful that boot and binding is going to feel.
Cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry.
Unashamed to be a "cross-country type" and love skiing down-hill.

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lilcliffy
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Location: Stanley, New Brunswick, Canada
Ski style: Nordic backcountry touring
Favorite Skis: Asnes Ingstad BC; Asnes Gamme 54 BC; Asnes Storetind Carbon
Favorite boots: Alpina Alaska; Scarpa T4
Occupation: Forestry Professional
Instructor at Maritime College of Forest Technology
Husband, father, farmer and logger

Re: To kicker skin or not to kicker skin that is the question?

Post by lilcliffy » Sun Jan 08, 2017 6:39 pm

MikeK wrote:GI - I've told this story before multiple times here, but I feel it's worth another go.

My wife skis Epochs and Excursions
Excellent points as always my friend.

What does your wife think of the Eon/S-78 versus the Epoch?
Cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry.
Unashamed to be a "cross-country type" and love skiing down-hill.

MikeK

Re: To kicker skin or not to kicker skin that is the question?

Post by MikeK » Sun Jan 08, 2017 6:59 pm

She loves the Eon - she has yet to use the S78 yet. I wonder if she will like them. She doesn't always seem to respond well to stiffer skis.

She has never skied her Eon with the Excursions though. She skis them with the Svartisen 75mm and thinks it's a perfect match.

I bought her the Country Crowns for local XC'ing and trackset at BREIA. She has yet to use those, but I think she'll love them for flatter stuff. They are SUPER light (no edges), have a nice camber that is not too stiff, and a nice soft tip that should handle some light ungroomed/spring conditions. Her only leathers are the Svartisen now - overkill for those skis, but she likes the support. Plus they really are no less restricting than the Alaska.

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lilcliffy
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Posts: 2218
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:20 pm
Location: Stanley, New Brunswick, Canada
Ski style: Nordic backcountry touring
Favorite Skis: Asnes Ingstad BC; Asnes Gamme 54 BC; Asnes Storetind Carbon
Favorite boots: Alpina Alaska; Scarpa T4
Occupation: Forestry Professional
Instructor at Maritime College of Forest Technology
Husband, father, farmer and logger

Re: To kicker skin or not to kicker skin that is the question?

Post by lilcliffy » Sun Jan 08, 2017 7:28 pm

My wife loved the Eon too- though I think she now loves the E-109 even more!

Would be interested in what your wife might think of the Eon mated with the Excursion on terrain she would normally ski the Epoch...
Cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry.
Unashamed to be a "cross-country type" and love skiing down-hill.

MikeK

Re: To kicker skin or not to kicker skin that is the question?

Post by MikeK » Sun Jan 08, 2017 7:33 pm

lilcliffy wrote:My wife loved the Eon too- though I think she now loves the E-109 even more!

Would be interested in what your wife might think of the Eon mated with the Excursion on terrain she would normally ski the Epoch...
I think she could handle it fine but the extra 10cm might make her struggle a bit. Her Epochs are 185, her Eon are 195.

She really needs to get out and learn some more fundamental techniques with those skis, but she's not so much interested at the moment. Perhaps when the boys get old enough and we take them to a rope tow she'll bring those skis and boot sand have lots of time to practice and learn new things.

If she could telemark effectively, I have no doubt she'd be able to handle the Eons on more difficult terrain.

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lilcliffy
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Posts: 2218
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:20 pm
Location: Stanley, New Brunswick, Canada
Ski style: Nordic backcountry touring
Favorite Skis: Asnes Ingstad BC; Asnes Gamme 54 BC; Asnes Storetind Carbon
Favorite boots: Alpina Alaska; Scarpa T4
Occupation: Forestry Professional
Instructor at Maritime College of Forest Technology
Husband, father, farmer and logger

Re: To kicker skin or not to kicker skin that is the question?

Post by lilcliffy » Sun Jan 08, 2017 8:54 pm

But- don't you think that the Eon might be even "easier" to handle than the Epoch with her Excursions? The Eon is ligher and narrower...I have only tried it once, on my old friends XCD GTs (same version as the Eon)- with my T4s- and I could seriously overpower that ski.
Cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry.
Unashamed to be a "cross-country type" and love skiing down-hill.

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