Recommended Telemark Gear in Vermont

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Recommended Telemark Gear in Vermont

Postby J.Spin » Wed Aug 26, 2009 5:53 am

icelanticskier wrote:jeesh j, we gotta get you on some new skis. are those really rossi hellgates yer sportin there? i'm thinkin atomic rt 86 for you.

I’d already been thinking Atomic for adding to my Telemark quiver, since I’ve owned many Atomic alpine skis and back in 2002 I’d really enjoyed Telemark skiing on the Atomic TM 22s. So, based on your recommendation and a bunch of reading, I picked up a pair of RT 86s and some Voile Switchbacks from the Outdoor Gear Exchange in Burlington on our Vermont tax free day. The RT 86 dimensions are 127/86/113, which, compared to the Hellgates, should be more conducive to the usual skiing we do. I looked up the dimensions of the Hellgates for comparison, and they’re 107/70/97. I had no idea that the waist on the Hellgates was so narrow! After skiing on those for the past two seasons, it should be fun to experience the 86 mm of the RT 86s. I think they’ll be a decent midfat for around here, and that 127 mm tip is also supposed to give them some nice powder performance. In addition, I knocked off ~10 cm in length with this pair because I’ve found that the typical stance used in Telemark skiing gives one a notably bigger footprint over alpine technique, making things difficult if you want to work some tighter lines. With the Hellgates and the RT 86s, the next Tele ski I’d get would probably be something in a fat. We’ll likely kick off the swap season next Friday at Bolton Valley’s big sale, so I’ll be looking around to see what’s available. The problem is that the supply of Telemark (and AT) gear at the swaps is much more limited than the alpine stuff (part of the reason I ended up grabbing the Hellgates when I could). We have to get Ty his next pair of skis this season, so that will be top priority at the swaps, and we should probably be on the lookout for a set of everyday midfats for E, since her Volants are at a stage that the shops won’t tune them.

Having the extra set of Telemark skis is going to be nice though. I’m already alerting friends that have been inquiring about trying Telemark skiing with us over the past couple of seasons, that all they need to do is pick up a pair of boots and we’ve got a set of skis that they can ride. That’s one of the great things about Tele gear, aside from the occasional issue with wire length, anyone can jump on any skis they want!

-J
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Re: Vermont Snow Updates

Postby icelanticskier » Wed Aug 26, 2009 10:40 am

J.Spin wrote:
icelanticskier wrote:jeesh j, we gotta get you on some new skis. are those really rossi hellgates yer sportin there? i'm thinkin atomic rt 86 for you.

I’d already been thinking Atomic for adding to my Telemark quiver, since I’ve owned many Atomic alpine skis and back in 2002 I’d really enjoyed Telemark skiing on the Atomic TM 22s. So, based on your recommendation and a bunch of reading, I picked up a pair of RT 86s and some Voile Switchbacks from the Outdoor Gear Exchange in Burlington on our Vermont tax free day. The RT 86 dimensions are 127/86/113, which, compared to the Hellgates, should be more conducive to the usual skiing we do.
-J


i too had owned a couple of pair of atomics over the years and it's nice to be back on a ski with the light snappy feel that atomics are known for.
nothing dead feeling about an atomic and the more you push em, the more you get out of em. after skiing MUCH fatter skis 2 seasons ago, i've found that the rt 86 is just perfect for all and any kind of terrain, depth of and snow consistency. i love how light they are as well which really cuts down on the fatigue factor after a long day of resort or bc skiing. i love mine so much that i will ski the same setup this season coming. and as far as the deep side cut, i love it. i love to make fully completed round turns whether i'm in a wide open pow bowl, 55 degree rock lined chute, or a super techy brook bed. i'm not one to just "throw em out there" to control my speed. a turn is a terrible thing to waste imho. many folks that i ski with in the high steep places of the whites always ask me about side cut and steeps. i tell em that i like to carve round turns in the steeps as opposed to controlled hockey stops. hockey stop turns in the steeps and lots of side cut do not agree as well as a straighter ski. the 127mm tip floats plenty well in the deepest of snow and the 86mm under foot keeps em super quick.

have fun on em. won't be long. maybe some snow up high in the days coming. temps in jackson nh should lower to the 30's the next few nights.

rog
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Re: Recommended Telemark Gear in Vermont

Postby Tony Crocker » Wed Aug 26, 2009 12:15 pm

many folks that i ski with in the high steep places of the whites always ask me about side cut and steeps. i tell em that i like to carve round turns in the steeps as opposed to controlled hockey stops. Hockey stop turns in the steeps and lots of side cut do not agree as well as a straighter ski. the 127mm tip floats plenty well in the deepest of snow and the 86mm under foot keeps em super quick.


Semi- :hijack:

Adam and I had this discussion when were first demoing shaped skis in 1999. He wanted more sidecut for quicker turns and thought just tip width was important for powder. I thought (and still do) that a lot of sidecut would tend to make the ski hook into new snow that was less than ideal (wind affected or high water content). I will admit to relying on hockey stop turns to control speed in the steeps. The sidecut of my everyday skis (first Volant Power Ti's, now K2 Apache Recons) is not enough to bother me there, though the Recons have less grip on firm steeps since they are 14cm shorter.

With regard to the powder argument, I have the late Shane McConkey on my side there: http://unofficialsquaw.com/words/2009/0 ... mber-skis/
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Re: Recommended Telemark Gear in Vermont

Postby icelanticskier » Wed Aug 26, 2009 9:13 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:
many folks that i ski with in the high steep places of the whites always ask me about side cut and steeps. i tell em that i like to carve round turns in the steeps as opposed to controlled hockey stops. Hockey stop turns in the steeps and lots of side cut do not agree as well as a straighter ski. the 127mm tip floats plenty well in the deepest of snow and the 86mm under foot keeps em super quick.


Semi- :hijack:

Adam and I had this discussion when were first demoing shaped skis in 1999. He wanted more sidecut for quicker turns and thought just tip width was important for powder. I thought (and still do) that a lot of sidecut would tend to make the ski hook into new snow that was less than ideal (wind affected or high water content).


the reason a ski with a bunch of sidecut may hook into new snow or wind affected......snow is because many skiers try to ski new snow or variable snow like they ski groomers. doesn't work too well. all snow types take different tools from the technique bag of tricks to ski properly and easily. sidecut is great in all variable and deep new snow as you don't have to pressure the skis nearly as much as the skis like to make the arc for you. if yer light(er) on yer feet and let the skis do the work, sidecut makes all things slideable so much less effort imho. light pressure? no pressure.

rog
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Re: Recommended Telemark Gear in Vermont

Postby J.Spin » Thu Aug 27, 2009 9:56 am

Tony Crocker wrote:I thought (and still do) that a lot of sidecut would tend to make the ski hook into new snow that was less than ideal (wind affected or high water content). I will admit to relying on hockey stop turns to control speed in the steeps.

With regard to the powder argument, I have the late Shane McConkey on my side there: http://unofficialsquaw.com/words/2009/0 ... mber-skis/


I can remember a few years back when I first started hearing about skis coming out with reverse camber and reverse side cut, and in an effort to describe the new skis, someone said to think of a shape more like a water ski. That made since, since the dynamics of skiing on/in powder seemed somewhat akin to skiing on water. The surface of the water gets pretty hard as you increase your speed, but it still seems like more of a malleable powder snow-style surface than hard pack or ice. Even beyond the comparison to water skis though, the whole concept of reverse camber and side cut just seemed to make sense to me based on years and years of skiing in powder.

With the onslaught of so many new ski models featuring varying amounts of reverse camber or side cut, and the way these models are talked about with regard to revolutionizing skiing in the new gear issues of the ski magazines, I began to wonder if I should even buy the RT 86s with their standard camber and side cut. Was it worth spending money on new skis and not getting in on the latest effective designs? Sure, a lot of the discussion about the new skis may be advertising hype, but it’s pretty clear from skier’s comments that these shapes work. Ultimately I decided that if the RT 86s are going to be my all around Telemark skis, and would probably see some time on groomed slopes, then a standard design was probably the way to go. Also, since I do love that fabulous snap of a nice pair of Atomics on groomers, and the RT 86 seems like such a good match for my purposes, I stuck with my initial thoughts. The decision was made easier by the fact that I knew I’d be able to really focus on incorporating the new designs into whatever fatter pairs of skis I got down the road that would be biased for more specifically for powder use. I’m still not sure which and to what extent these new aspects of ski design are going to be practical for an everyday ski, even for those of us that are focused on powder, but I suspect some of the reverse camber/early rise aspects are going to work their way into the less powder-centric skis. It seems that some of the new tweaks like early rise aren’t necessarily as detrimental to skiing on groomed slopes as some of the other modifications. I now laugh to think about all my pairs of skis that were “dead” because they’d had the camber beaten out them and featured tips that splayed apart if you put the bases together. When the shop guys were telling me to get new skis, they hadn’t realized that my skis were simply well ahead of the times. ;)


With regard to powder skiing, it was interesting to see this section of the McConkey Spatula guide that Tony referenced:

“…take most everything you have ever learned about skiing and stick it where the sun don’t shine. Or at least in the garage next to your shaped skis. Why? Because: Sidecut is not good in powder. Camber is not good in powder. Carving is not necessary in powder. Simply put, if you want to maximize your abilities in soft snow you do not want to use the same tool as you would on any kind of hard, groomed, or compacted snow.”

Changing our approach to skiing when it came to powder was never a problem for me and many of the guys I grew up with, since back when we were kids, for the most part we just wanted to ski moguls. With that mindset, we generally slipped our turns more than formally carving them, our knees and skis were pinned together, and our weight was toward the back instead of being centered or forward. Whenever we encountered powder, there wasn’t much to think about in terms of technique because we just skied like we always did in the bumps and the whole process was pretty effortless. Even though we were on skinny, 200 cm skis, having fun in the deep snow never took much work (in fact I’d say it took less effort than skiing in the bumps). People can ski powder differently now with the newer designs, but many of the old techniques for powder can still help. I can remember that we used to have to sneak our way into the trees to ski powder because many ski areas weren’t really on board with letting you ski in there. Gradually I guess they figured out that we weren’t going to kill ourselves in the woods, although there are (amazingly in this day and age) still ski areas that don’t let you venture off the trails. Nowadays we don’t have to sneak around like criminals anymore at most ski areas just to do some tree skiing, so that’s nice and a lot more people can get into skiing powder. Coming from our bump skiing lineage, I always found it interesting that people had to “learn” to ski powder, because from our perspective it seemed as natural as falling off a log. I remember when we were first teaching E to ski powder; it was a little difficult because we’d never experienced not knowing how to ski powder. We didn’t think too much about what we were doing. Eventually we were able to articulate some techniques like “keep your feet together”, “have your skis work as one”, “don’t rush things”, etc. but for us, it was carving skis on groomed slopes that we actually had to learn. We ultimately taught ourselves how to really “carve” when we got older, but for people coming directly from skiing through carving, I guess they might have to throw out some of what they learned when it comes to powder. From my perspective, it was interesting to read some of the stuff that McConkey wrote because smearing and slipping turns, skiing sideways and all the sorts of things you can do more easily in powder on the new ski designs sound really fun. To some degree we’ve been doing these things on our straight and/or shaped skis, so I’m very curious about how things will feel on the new designs. Now I just have to demo or get my hands on some of these skis with the new design features.

-J
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Re: Recommended Telemark Gear in Vermont

Postby Tony Crocker » Fri Aug 28, 2009 12:16 pm

joegm needs to read JSpin's above analysis. It might encourage him to broaden his horizons. At any rate, this is one of the more fascinating paragraphs I've ever read on FTO, because lots of skiers probably view mogul and powder skiing as diametrically opposed. I suspect that JSpin's learning process in powder was far from the norm, or perhaps it's a subset of what we hear from icelantic and Adam.

My view is that skiers like Adam and icelantic (and obviously Patrick) were so technically proficient at ski technique before they encountered much powder that they made the necessary adjustments almost immediately. They consider it a natural extension of what they were doing anyway.

The rest of us peons found powder a quite formidable barrier when we first had to deal with it. My first success was in 1980 on the Nevada side of Heavenly, which was practically empty since the top was closed, thus cutting off access from the more popular California base. The typical intermediate windshield wiper turn doesn't work. So at Heavenly I stemmed the beginning of most turns to make them more rounded and gradual. Since the snow (though dense) was completely untracked there wasn't much of an issue of irregularities pulling the skis apart more or throwing me off balance. So my view is that powder turns don't have to be carved, but they do have to be rounded. They certainly can be smeared as a means of controlling speed, escaping slough or redirecting around trees etc. as long the ensuing turn is initiated rounded and into the fall line. My success at Heavenly was repeated only intermittently over the next 16 years before fat skis. While I was soon more parallel in initiating turns I would still burn out within half a day if the snow was variable or once it became irregular chopped powder instead of untracked.

Some of the more typical eastern skiers (FTO skiers may have vaguely heard of them :lol:, the ones that plan their ski days well in advance and ski resorts where you have to stay on the trails) see powder so infrequently that they probably have entrenched techniques like Richard's windshield wiper turns that are a serious impediment to powder skiing. In those cases dedicated powder skis are almost a necessity to get over the hump, also demonstrated by Richard at Island Lake in 2004. And that experience didn't change his basic habits at all. He's gone right back to his prior technique and mostly sticks to the groomers in the resorts, as admin can attest.

Another semi- :hijack: to the Ski Technique section?
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Re: Recommended Telemark Gear in Vermont

Postby icelanticskier » Sat Aug 29, 2009 7:51 am

Tony Crocker wrote:My view is that skiers like Adam and icelantic (and obviously Patrick) were so technically proficient at ski technique before they encountered much powder that they made the necessary adjustments almost immediately. They consider it a natural extension of what they were doing anyway.


i was actually a snowboarder long b4 i actually ever skied and i attribute most of my crossover skills to skiing that a learned from snowboarding, especially powder. on a snowboard you just float around making subtle movements tipping the board on edge sometimes ever so slightly and other times very deeply depending on pitch, density of snow,and depth. when i started skiing (freeheel 1st), i just would always try to ski making a platform as if i were on a snowboard and make similar subtle movements, up unweighting, and basically keeping a pretty flat ski, especially when on skinnies. for me skiing deep pow, heavy or light, or corn, deep or thick has always been less effort all day than say skiing groomers or hard snow as in the soft deep stuff you take edging completely out of the equation and are mostly just steering through the turns. groomer days kill me in comparison. fat skis, skinny skis, cambered skis, reverse cambered skis. anything can be skied in powder as it's like skiing with training wheels. stand on yer skis and point yer toes where you want em to go and let the deep snow become yer luge. don't forget to breathe.

below are a couple of quick vids of me pow skiing on fat skis 140-105-130 and the rt 86 127-86-114. now, i know there isn't a ton of difference in the two skis, but the ride is quite different. since it's easy deep powder skiing i'm using the same up unweighting porpoising technique that i find to be fun and effortless all day long. actually when skiing powder i spend very little time actually pressuring the skis in the turn at all. pressuring is the only part of the effort of my pow skiing. the rest is just floating on air and letting the snow and ski do the work for me.

fat ski skiing: wasatch bc, 18 inches of fresh

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A89G7SLbRkE

skinny(er) ski skiing: mt washington bc, 20 inches of fresh and a slightly lighter density than the wasatch snow above.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rb7zMIFN ... ture=email

even more skinny(er) skis 70-60-65 xc skis, 8-10 inches of fresh seacoast nh, lace up boots nnn binders.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkBmDPia ... re=related

won't be long......

rog
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