pins (3pin cables for me) and stout leathers (or lite plastics ) are THE unchallenged
gear for XCD/bushwhacking that softer snow on mellower ground!
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- Location: Quebec / Vermont
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(I trust you if you say it's bullshit... But I just want to feel what it's like, whether it's bullshit or not... : )
Welcome back Teleman! Even though I know the woods very well here around Sutton QC, I don't know much about the Vermont Kingdom... My exploration over there has just begun... You'll have to show me... (Of course I'll show you all the magic stuff here in return... )
Oh, do you know if it's possible to try some SNS/NNN BC stuff on your side of the border? Hazen's Notch maybe?
"And if you like to risk your neck, we'll boom down Sutton in old Quebec..."
marginally better..At least you would not sink out of sight maybe..But I just cannot see how that
floppy little plastic binding ever compares to pin offerings .. though I am sure parallels would be
ok on a few inches of snow over a solid base, but what cannnot be skied in those conditions?
We all skied a lot of ground inbounds and Sc out here with 3pin cables and smaller skis when the
KDT Boys came out last March..I cannot imagine bothering to have even tried on NNN or SNS..
If NNN offered some decent boots and a little "feedback" from the binding, then they could be an alternative to pins, BUT that little bumper does nothing when you go to make turns.
I have seen some spirited people make turns on NNN gear, but they spent as much time on their head and arse as they did riding, so I guess that proves how different strokes serve different folks.
When I get Wenatchee, skinnies (not too skinny) and pins are on my list
I don't know how you are going to do much of anything in the backcountry under varied conditions with an NNN BC setup, but I think you should should try it just to prove to yourself once and for all that there are better ways......
The final setup for me was Voile classic 3-pin cable or hardwire bindings and a canteen full of vodka. I feel that the Russians have made a very important and largely unheralded contribution to skiing. Liquid courage in an odorless form that most folks of the prudish sort would take for ordinary water and would rarely get you evicted from even the most conservative ski settings, and even if your skiing were not to improve in the absolute sense, in your eyes you are the hero and those who differ in opinion will not matter.
While NNN BC might work for some folks in a light tele setting, I would be more inclined to believe that they have also discovered my "Russian ski secret".
any circumstance other than skiing groomed Nordic trails, which is,
of course , not what they are advertised to be designed for..
They are useless for tele turns ..even on a groomed nordic trail they simply
tip you up on the toes..right where you should not be..and they do not offer
ANY binding activity, period.. I see some making good parallel turns on them on
basically good to very good conditions, but pins are far superior in how securely
they hold the boots down with the bail (lever the bail against the duckbill
when the boots are fully held down) ; they make for a far more powerful and
secure parallel turn than any system setup (NNN or SNS) can..
I you seem to fail to mention the odd category of XCD which exists
somewhere between the Nato ski types and skis perhaps suitable to
the local sledding hills or golf courses..For example, I would never
consider the Glittertind any sort of true BC ski..It's true purpose seems
to be for those who have need to kick and glide 20 miles to find 500 feet
of vertical fun
Another question that comes up is what to call the big skis that people
skin and slog up ( with 3 and 4 buckle boots ) some steep pitch to gain
a couple thousand feet of vertical in a days time ? Again, not truly BC
gear; can't imagine the 10th Mountain Division on that stuff..
I think one of the best tests for BC (of the gear you have in mind at least) is
whether or not it can be skied reasonably smoothly on steep icy
hard snow or deeper heavy conditions (take it to the lifts and find out..)
That may seem a bit odd at first , but think about it:
what can't be skied on lower angles and decent snow ? With this as
one criterion, a number of the skis you mention can be be tossed as BC
skis --the Rainier (worst "BC/XCD" ski I ever owned..useless on hard or
thick snow especially, glad they quit making it) and the Glittertind both and I
would also toss the old version of the 10 Mountain for the same reasons..
(BTW, the Alpina Lite terrain does make a decent BC ski)
The Rainier especially is stiff-flexing and too cambered to be of any real broad application ..
That Nato ski I suspect is pretty smooth-flexing and not overly cambered..
For instance, when I lived in northern Minnesota, the Glittertind would be an outstandimng ski for the backcountry there as you can ski 20 km and NEVER get to 500 feet of vertical. You might get 10 feet of vertical in a really deep drainage ditch. It was open fields, swamp land and flatland forest. The snow was windpacked from tumbling across open fields. One of the best ways to get distance was to get in the frozen riverbed and ski in the snowmobile tracks. The riverbank was your 10 feet of vertical, the most vertical for many miles around.
The Atomic Rainier is a lot like the Fischer Rebound Crown or Madshus Eon it that it skis consolidated spring snow really well and will work in a setting other than deep powder where the high camber would send the tips diving. It's not a good powder ski for the Rockies, but this type ski will work in heavy snow and it will carry a heavy load through a swamp for a long distance. That is still backcountry skiing, but not something western mountain skiers are familiar with. Northen Minnesota, northern Wisconsin, and the Michigan peninsula may be a good place for this type of highly cambered backcountry ski, where the snow is rather heavy and the terrain is flat to slightly rolling and you dodge a lot of trees, meaning you need the sidecut to steer around the trees. Northeastern skiers also seem to like this type of ski. But again, the tips are too wide to be controlled with NNN BC bindings and boots, and tthose looking for kick and glide will find these skis squirrelly, like my Volant SuperKarve I alpine skis that hunt around disconcertingly if you try to ski them flat instead of engaging the edges and constantly turning.