Madshus Glittertind Wax vs Asnes Amundsen

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Madshus Glittertind Wax vs Asnes Amundsen

Post by snow-mark » Wed Dec 16, 2015 10:38 pm

I'm ready for new skinny XCD skis. I have Madshus Epochs for days that involve a lot of up and down. I plan to use these new skis on rolling terrain focused more on tour than turn. They will be used in Colorado, so mostly dry powder, sometimes deep. I will very occasionally use them in a groomed track.

The local shop (Neptune in Boulder, CO) carries Asnes and the staff really tout them. I would get Asnes Amundsen. They also have the Glittertind, but not in the waxable version, they'd have to order them. I have been eyeing the Glittertind for several years but kept spending my money on other things. Now that I'm ready to buy, I'm trying to decide between these two.

The shop says the Asnes will be a bit stiffer than the Glittertind. Dimensions and side cut are pretty close. If it matters, I'll be using them with 3-pin and Alpina Alaskas (which I just bought).

The Asnes offers the skinlock system, but I doubt I would ever use skins on these skis.

Anybody have any suggestions on why i should pick one over the other? Thanks.

MikeK

Re: Madshus Glittertind Wax vs Asnes Amundsen

Post by MikeK » Wed Dec 16, 2015 10:56 pm

Welcome Mark.

I'll be upfront, I have no experience with the Amundsen, but I've skied on Glitts quite a bit. I've also skied some E99s, so we'll use that as a point of compare as well. Granted everything I've used for BC Nordic has been waxless, this should all translate.

Refer to this chart:
Ski_Chart.png
This is mainly a 2D chart, although there is some more info, but mainly the horizontal axis is touring speed/glide and the vertical steering ability. Higher vertically means better turning, farther to the right means faster gliding. These are generally not complimentary hence the shape of the points.

The Glittertind isn't on the chart, but the E99 would be the closest competitor. Strangely enough, I wouldn't rate the Glitt any better or worse turning that the E99. So on the vertical axis, about the same. It does seem to me to be slower, but in reality it probably isn't that much and I've not compared apples to apples in terms of that i.e. the skis were different length with different types of waxless patterns. With wax it might be more similar. I think mainly it's just a function of the Glitt having a really soft primary camber. The secondary camber (wax pocket) is still stiff, as stiff as the E99, and most likely why in most snow that you'd ski them in, they perform similar.

So really what I want you to see is how LOW the Amundsen is on the turn axis. They rate it under an E89, and I have a pair of those, and they are very poor for turning. So if the Amundsen is worse, they'll be a handful.

We've been yammering on about this in another thread and I suspect that most of this is due to the Amundsen being a Exped ski that is meant to be skied with heavy loads like a pack or pulk.

I think the ski that would outdo both the Glitt and the Amundsen for the kind of stuff you are talking about might be the Gamme, well at least according to the graphic above and the data. Should be a reasonably fast ski with some decent control.

I'd guess it will feel a bit stiffer than a Glitt, but that may be all initial tension. The second camber which will affect the glide may be similar. I can surely say that the Glitts I have in 200cm still have a healthy gap with 100lb on each ski. I didn't measure the gap length, as they would for a race ski, but on the Epoch I have zero gap with half my weight, so it's a bit difference in gliding.

Hope that helps!

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Re: Madshus Glittertind Wax vs Asnes Amundsen

Post by snow-mark » Wed Dec 16, 2015 11:37 pm

Thanks Mike. That's interesting stuff. I saw the Eon v Ingstad thread but, well, I didn't have the patience to read 12 pages!

So when people say/rate a ski on its turnability, is that typically for tele turns or ANY turns?

One problem is that Glittertind Waxable version is a little hard to find. Maybe they can order it, but he did point out that it depends on what's available. Wax is really nice on Colorado's typical snow conditions.

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Re: Madshus Glittertind Wax vs Asnes Amundsen

Post by bgregoire » Wed Dec 16, 2015 11:59 pm

Hi Snow Man,

From what I'm reading your not only going to have to choose a brand and model but a length as well! Although you want to emphasize touring, Steve Barnett did enjoy the Glittertind quite a lot for teleing but I understood he chose a much shorter length for his size. For touring I would go full nordic length.

As for your question about turning, both tele-ing and general turning will be improved by less camber and larger sidecut. these generally impact touring negatively.

I got Admunsens, Ain't easy to turn but they are FAST and stay on target. I agree with MikeK, The Gamme would be a nice ski for you. In the end though, so would any of the skis with these approximate measurements (E99, Gamme, Amundsen, Glitt...). Regardless, this type of ski would provide a whole other and improved touring experience in comparison to the Epoch (which I would love to own for xcD). Make it easy for yourself, grab an available ski and get moving!

PS: you are so fortunate to have a place like Neptune NEXT DOOR!
I live for the Telemark arc....The feeeeeeel.....I ski miles to get to a place where there is guaranteed snow to do the deal....TM

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Re: Madshus Glittertind Wax vs Asnes Amundsen

Post by MikeK » Thu Dec 17, 2015 10:58 am

Yeah if you want a good gliding ski, especially with wax, you should have it fit. They do this with all the racing xc skis to make sure you have the proper wax pocket.

Problem with the net or ordering anything in is that doesn't happen much anymore. Probably another reason waxless is so popular.

Turning should relate to any turning - but none of these double camber skis are going to be easy turning. Some are worse than others. If I'm skiing on wild snow, I like to have a decent amount of control over the ski - even if I'm not swishing back and forth I like to be able to avoid obstacles. It's not like what I'd tolerate on groomed trails - there I can just plow my way down anything and they usually have runoff anyway if you go too hot.

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Re: Madshus Glittertind Wax vs Asnes Amundsen

Post by Cannatonic » Thu Dec 17, 2015 3:00 pm

The Glittertend is similar to the Gamme54, you can stay w/ Asnes and get the same ski. Amundsen is like an XC ski with edges. If you like to mix in tele turns I would go with Glittertend/Gamme 54. Pure trekking and kick and glide, the Amundsen might be better. For an edged ski I like the Glittertend/E99/Gamme 54, they ski fast and track well in XC mode but can be fun making turns on lower angle terrain. (my big purchase this year was 210cm Gamme 54's btw)

The skins might come in handy some time, they're light to keep in a backpack, like 1/3rd the weight of full skins.
"All wisdom is to be gained through suffering"
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Re: Madshus Glittertind Wax vs Asnes Amundsen

Post by lilcliffy » Thu Dec 17, 2015 9:23 pm

snow-mark wrote: I plan to use these new skis on rolling terrain focused more on tour than turn. They will be used in Colorado, so mostly dry powder, sometimes deep. I will very occasionally use them in a groomed track.
Hey man!

Isn't it just awesome to be ready to buy a new pair of skis and have to make this kind of choice?! Love it.

So the terrain piece makes part of your choice clear: XC-focused backcountry skiing. Which as Ben points out leads to one clear point- focus on K&G performance- which equals get a traditional xcountry length (i.e the longest length that you can effectively engage the wax pocket for your weight). From that perspective the lack of inherent "easy-turnin" of the Amundsen shouldn't be an issue.

The sometimes "deep", "dry" powder may be a serious issue though...

None of these skis are designed to offer good performance in deep, dry powder snow. They are designed for skiing on a dense, stable base.

First of all they are too narrow to offer enough flotation in deep pow...(the Finns compensate for this by making crazy long (up to 300cm) soft-flexing, single cambered skis- for performance K&G in deep pow)

Secondly, stiff, double-cambered skis do not effectively work in deep pow (not IME anyway). Without a dense base, there is nothing to support the tips/tails- when you push down to engage the wax pocket- you will simply drive the tips/tails deeper into the pow without effectively engaging the wax pocket.

Personally, in truly deep powder- I find a soft-flexing single-cambered XC ski will perform better than a double-cambered ski. I predict you will continue to prefer the Epoch in deep pow- even on the flats. Depending on how much you weigh- you may even prefer something wider than the Epoch (at my weight I would like a 205+ Epoch for XC-skiing in deep pow...because the max length is 195cm, I get better K&G performance out of my Annums, than my Epochs)

If you are often going to be skiing in powder- have you considered the Ingstad instead of the Amundsen? At first glance- perhaps the Ingstad doesn't seem far enough removed from the Epoch (in terms of width). But the Ingstad is a very different ski than the Epoch- it offers true XC performance.

Occasionally skiing in track? You are right on the money- these skis you are looking at are at almost the limit of what will fit in a groomed track. (but obviously the Ingstad is too wide)
The local shop (Neptune in Boulder, CO) carries Asnes and the staff really tout them. I would get Asnes Amundsen.

I have been eyeing the Glittertind for several years but kept spending my money on other things. Now that I'm ready to buy, I'm trying to decide between these two.

The shop says the Asnes will be a bit stiffer than the Glittertind.
I would predict the Amundsen to be MUCH stiffer than the Glittertind. (the Glitt is a bit of a legendary ski- I finally had a chance to test them at the end of last winter- my impression? A double-cambered ski designed for skiing on fresh snow over a dense stable base (kind of like a double-cambered version of the Eon). The Glitt has distinctly soft-flexing tips/tails for a double-cambered ski)

As Ben observes, the Amundsen is potentially very fast with exceptional kick for a backcountry ski- as long as there is a firm enough base to engage the wax pocket.

From softest to stiffest flex I would rate these similar-profiled skis as follows (anyone- please correct me if I'm wrong):
1) Glittertind
2) Gamme 54
3) BC68
4) E-99
5) Amundsen
(Although I doubt that the flex of the Gamme, E-99 or BC68 is very different- but the Amundsen and the Glitt are at the opposite ends of the flex spectrum)


If you are going to save these for skiing on a dense base- I probably would consider the Amundsen: speed, kick- and the increased traction of the "skinlock".
The Asnes offers the skinlock system, but I doubt I would ever use skins on these skis.
I suggest not thinking of the "skinlock" in the same way as you would a climbing skin (although they will contribute to climbing ability). Think of them as an old-school kicker skin. If you were to get a long enough Amundsen, for your weight- the skin should stay off the snow during much of the glide phase- and engage during the kick.

Not only will the Asnes' kicker skin allow you to climb steeper slopes- and pull weight- it will give you exceptional traction in snow conditions that would otherwise require klister. Although I can't say enough about the performance of klister- I am not a fan of using klister in the woods!

Sure you can use a waxless ski on warm, wet, spring snow- but it won't help you on icy, re-frozen snow- this is the domain of klister or a kicker skin.

Having done much backcountry skiing in dry interior mountains (interior British Columbia), I typically encountered three types of snow:

1) deep, dry powder (time for the fat powder skis)
2) warm, wet snow (time for narrow, stiff, skis- waxless, kilster- or kicker skin)
3) icy refrozen spring snow (time for klister or kicker skin)

I think the Asnes will give you the best performance and the ability to greatly extend your season without adding another narrow, waxless ski. Whether the Amundsen, the Gamme, or the Ingstad depends on the typical snow you will be on...
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Re: Madshus Glittertind Wax vs Asnes Amundsen

Post by snow-mark » Thu Dec 17, 2015 9:58 pm

You guys really know this stuff. Wow.

It's quite possible that I would go to my Epochs in deep powder. It depends. Right now my skinny BC ski is an old pair of Kazama Mountain Highs that I bought for cheap on Ebay. They're ok I guess. As far as I can tell, they have a camber and a half. As my tele skills have improved, I have learned to turn them in ideal snow conditions (firm base with 4-6 inches of power on top), but mostly i snow plow with them.

The Epochs I tend to use when I'm chasing turns, like doing laps on some meadows or glades, or on long routes with a lot of elevation gain (and loss).

The new skis will be for moderate to long days on rolling terrain and in most cases there will be a track, but sometimes I'll be breaking trail. I am usually with a group (my wife, other friends) so it's rare that I try to go really fast.

The Gamme 54 seems interesting but a little pricey. I'm leaning toward the Glitts, assuming the shop can get my size.

Sometimes I wonder if I should just stick with those old Kazamas!

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Re: Madshus Glittertind Wax vs Asnes Amundsen

Post by lilcliffy » Thu Dec 17, 2015 10:27 pm

If you are trying to keep the cost down...

What about the Fischer E-99 waxable (now the the "tour xtralite")? Cheaper than the Asnes- stiffer and better K&G than the Glittertind.

Rossignol BC68CL? (waxable base)- cheaper version of the E-99...think they are even made in the same factory but with a cheaper base? Great ski- great value.

A non-steel-edged touring ski? Fisher Country Wax?

Or how about these?
http://gearx.com/atomic-motion-52-wax-ski

I have a pair of these in a 208cm. They are awesome on gentle terrain on a dense base and/or in track. Smooth, full-length, relatively stiff double-camber- designed for recreational K&G touring. They are not performance track skis- but they are fast!
Cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry.
Unashamed to be a "cross-country type" and love skiing down-hill.

MikeK

Re: Madshus Glittertind Wax vs Asnes Amundsen

Post by MikeK » Thu Dec 17, 2015 10:31 pm

Glitts are fine ski. The bases are better on the Wax version too.

If you shop around, which can be tough if you have snow and want to ski, then you can find them for less than $200. Because the wax models are difficult to find, you might just want to pay the extra 60-70 and order them through a retailer.

Another ski to consider, which also is available waxless is the Voss. It's a little narrower and less sidecut but I had both at one time and they aren't a lot different. Honestly if you put me on them blindfolded I'd have a tough time telling you which was which.

The Voss has a 3/4 length edge, which I never thought was an issue. It's flex is almost identical to the Glitt. It's a tad lighter but I don't know that I could feel it.

Make sure you get the right length for your weight, especially if you are light. You want to make sure you can get good grip with it. Like I said before the second camber is actually pretty taught.

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