Shopping for Alpine Touring Gear

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Re: My video from today at Snowbird/Alta

Postby Tony Crocker » Thu Nov 04, 2010 6:05 pm

At the risk of stepping into it, I'm looking at the Quests also. Shop fit seemed good. I just had the Marker Barons (located by Garry Klassen in Telluride for $260) mounted to the BD Verdicts. I tried on a pair of Black Diamond boots but the fit was not right. Other AT boot suggestions are welcome.
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Re: Shopping for Alpine Touring Gear

Postby riverc0il » Thu Nov 04, 2010 6:50 pm

For what it is worth, I have the Garmont Radium and at 205lbs they are fine. I prefer the beef of my alpine boot but am willing to sacrifice some beef for tourability. Significantly less sacrifice on the down compared to the G-Ride. I ski pretty hard, too. I think Garmont's beefier end (which, as a touring boot, the Radium is not) should be more than doable for all but the heaviest and most aggressive skiers.

WildSnow.com just weighed in the Marker Tour F12 at just slightly more weight than the Fritschi Freeride Plus. I can't imagine that leaves much of a market for the Duke. Except for its current market... folks that want to look like they BC but really don't....

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Re: My video from today at Snowbird/Alta

Postby Marc_C » Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:40 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:At the risk of stepping into it, I'm looking at the Quests also. Shop fit seemed good. I just had the Marker Barons (located by Garry Klassen in Telluride for $260) mounted to the BD Verdicts. I tried on a pair of Black Diamond boots but the fit was not right. Other AT boot suggestions are welcome.

Just like in climbing shoes, fit is absolutely everything and overrides all other considerations. Brand is irrelevant.
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Re: Shopping for Alpine Touring Gear

Postby Staley » Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:29 am

Except when it's Salomon, which makes defective AT boots, destroys a person's leg and life, and then does nothing about it, except release the boot again the next year.

I need to figure out an AT setup for myself this year. I'll just keep my alpine boots: Garmont Shamans. Who cares if they don't have AT soles or a walk function, they fit and I won't ever be touring for more than a few hours.

I figure I'll either get Barons or Dukes for the bindings since they'll be going on my Lhasa Pows, which I intend to ski almost every day this winter. I'll probably only get a few BC days (and those will be partially lift accessed from June Mountain), so I want something that will perform best for normal resort use. The weight difference is small, so that doesn't really matter to me at all. Barons are obviously a bit cheaper, but after running my DIN at 8.5 last year on alpine bindings, then putting on at least 10 pounds (and certainly more in the future, as I'm still just 145 at 5'10"), and becoming a more aggressive skier, I worry a bit about the durability of Barons and the greater potential for prereleasing.

A big part of skiing is having complete faith in your gear, too. After ripping a binding out last year and prereleasing many times even as I turned up the DIN, I never really trusted the bindings and I know my skiing suffered as I grew more cautious. Would the Dukes simply provide me with the piece of mind that the Barons wouldn't?

And then I have to find skins. Something that'll fit a 191 cm ski with 140-112-122 dimensions.

Keep in mind I have to buy pretty much everything used, so durability becomes even more important.
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Re: Shopping for Alpine Touring Gear

Postby kingslug » Fri Nov 05, 2010 6:35 am

My main reason for getting the At bindings was to keep the rubber sole on the Garmonts which won't work with regular bindings. I don't want to change them back and forth. I have never done any skinning, would like to. I plan on keeping my Nordicas for east coast when I'm on my other skis. The Garmonts have 2 positions for lean , have to experiment with that. Hopefully they are enough boot for me at 225 lbs. Matt, which ones do you have??
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Re: Shopping for Alpine Touring Gear

Postby Admin » Fri Nov 05, 2010 8:35 am

Staley wrote:Except when it's Salomon, which makes defective AT boots, destroys a person's leg and life, and then does nothing about it, except release the boot again the next year.


That's both disingenuous and factually inaccurate. They're not the same boot. What failed was the tech insert in the toe lug, not the boot itself. Those toe lugs have been recalled and this year's boot is not Dynafit compatible as a result. As for the incident in question, I understand that the matter is currently being litigated by the injured party and we don't know what settlement discussions may or may not have taken place prior to litigation.
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Re: Shopping for Alpine Touring Gear

Postby Staley » Fri Nov 05, 2010 10:58 am

If you check out the website they are actually offering tech inserts as an option still. Also, settle negotiations did not break down, as Salomon never tried to settle, but instead tried to hide the situation as best they could. Quite simply, they took short cuts on engineering and testing, messed up really badly and are now trying to avoid the consequences (although I must admit, this is simply how most big businesses work). For more information, look at these threads:

The TGR thread: http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/show ... p?t=191256

The Wildsnow post that really shows how bad the Salomon tech fitting was: http://www.wildsnow.com/2888/salomon-qu ... s-failure/
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Re: Shopping for Alpine Touring Gear

Postby Admin » Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:13 am

Staley wrote:If you check out the website they are actually offering tech inserts as an option still.


Really? Where? Link, please.

Staley wrote:Also, settle negotiations did not break down, as Salomon never tried to settle, but instead tried to hide the situation as best they could.


I'd like support for this statement, too. Were you one of the parties involved?

Staley wrote:Quite simply, they took short cuts on engineering and testing, messed up really badly and are now trying to avoid the consequences (although I must admit, this is simply how most big businesses work). For more information, look at these threads:


You're making big assumptions here. They may be true, they may not be...that is the purpose of the litigation where a trier of fact will decide the issue, not you, me or TGR blow-hards. I hardly consider TGR forum threads to be a bastion of reliable reporting.

Staley wrote:The Wildsnow post that really shows how bad the Salomon tech fitting was: http://www.wildsnow.com/2888/salomon-qu ... s-failure/


Lou, on the other hand, is reliable and his testing clearly showed the failure that resulted in Salomon properly recalling the toe lugs with the tech inserts.

I return you to your original statement that I took issue with:

Staley wrote:Except when it's Salomon, which makes defective AT boots, destroys a person's leg and life, and then does nothing about it, except release the boot again the next year.


I agree that Salomon's tech inserts exhibited failure. However:

  • It has yet to be conclusively demonstrated that said failure was the cause of this plaintiff's injury;
  • It's untrue that Salomon "did nothing about it" -- they recalled the suspect tech fittings and have not reissued them; and
  • They did not release the boot again the next year. The boots that failed were pre-production test models that were handed out to barely more than 100 industry pros and media, including yours truly, to try before they went into retail production. They released the first production models of the boot this year without the suspect tech fittings.
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Re: Shopping for Alpine Touring Gear

Postby Staley » Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:32 pm

I saw that they were still offering the tech inserts yesterday in the TGR thread. I just looked again today and it has been removed. Here's a screenshot that someone took 2 days ago: Image

I'll admit I obviously have no inside knowledge of the settlement proceedings. All I know is what was posted on TGR; however, the guy who was injured, Dalton (thin cover) has posted a bunch in the thread. I wish I had the time to go through that thread and find quotes, but the thread is just way too long.

It has yet to be conclusively demonstrated that said failure was the cause of this plaintiff's injury


Come on... I don't know what type of evidence a court would need to prove that the poorly-designed fitting caused the injury, but we're not in court here. We all know what caused his injury.

They did not release the boot again the next year. The boots that failed were pre-production test models that were handed out to barely more than 100 industry pros and media, including yours truly, to try before they went into retail production. They released the first production models of the boot this year without the suspect tech fittings.


Not true: they sold these to normal consumers (such as Dalton). Even Salomon admitted this: "There are very limited quantities of these boots and pads in the market. While most of these products were distributed without charge for trial purposes, a very small number may have been sold." (from http://www.wildsnow.com/2899/salomon-quest-boots-announcement/). I'm not sure why they say "may have been sold" since there's plenty of evidence to show that they were sold.

Also, they' must have taken shortcuts of some sort while designing the fitting. Here's a quote from Lou, who I agree is the most trustworthy person in all of this: "I applied a reasonable amount of force to the pry bar and boot, nothing extreme. The fitting almost immediately deformed and pulled part way out of the boot, then the boot ejected from the binding due to the fitting going out of alignment. In other words, a skier could easily do this by simply leaning back in a pair of ski boots."
Edit: Photo Removed

Here's a comparison of the Dynafit vs Salomon fitting. Considering Dynafit is so obsessed with keeping weight down, you'd think they wouldn't make the fitting beefier than necessary.
Edit: Photo Removed


Another MAJOR issue: Salomon knew there was something wrong with the tech fittings BEFORE Dalton's accident occurred. Here's a page in French: http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=fr&tl=en&u=http://www.skipass.com/forums/sports/ski/sujet-105712-100.html&anno=2
I'm not good enough at French to translate is well. Maybe someone like Patrick can help out. Here's a translated excerpt from that page:
On a French ski forum, a Salomon rep has been publicly stating that the Quest shoes indeed have problems with its Dynafit fittings, that this was something known but that the products won’t get recalled b/c there was not so many people using the shoes with tech bindings. He also stated that you would be able to “fix” the problem by locking the bindings. Eventually he mentioned that the shoes sold this year were a pre-serie and you cannot expect a perfect product from a pre series.
Last edited by Staley on Fri Nov 05, 2010 1:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Shopping for Alpine Touring Gear

Postby Admin » Fri Nov 05, 2010 1:01 pm

Staley wrote:I saw that they were still offering the tech inserts yesterday in the TGR thread. I just looked again today and it has been removed. Here's a screenshot that someone took 2 days ago: Image


Note the country: Sweden. I'm guessing that someone failed to remove the pads from the Swedish version of the website, which makes even more sense now that the link is gone today. Also note that the boots are pictured with touring pads mounted and that those touring pads do not have tech inserts. There's no evidence at all that they could have been successfully purchased at the time. No one bought them via that link and had them delivered in hand. I discussed this very issue with the appropriate parties at Salomon in July and was advised at that time that the boots would enter retail for 2010-11 and touring pads with tech inserts would not be available.

Staley wrote:
It has yet to be conclusively demonstrated that said failure was the cause of this plaintiff's injury


Come on... I don't know what type of evidence a court would need to prove that the poorly-designed fitting caused the injury, but we're not in court here. We all know what caused his injury.


No, we don't. It's possible, for example, that he hit a rock and the sudden deceleration ripped the boot from the ski, which could happen with any binding/boot combination. Neither you nor I, nor anyone else at this time, has an analysis of the forces involved in this incident to determine if the same injury could have occurred with Dynafit's tech fittings. You and I both know that there are numerous other possibilities as well. The fact of the matter is that we do not know with even the slightest degree of certainty what caused the injury.

Staley wrote:
They did not release the boot again the next year. The boots that failed were pre-production test models that were handed out to barely more than 100 industry pros and media, including yours truly, to try before they went into retail production. They released the first production models of the boot this year without the suspect tech fittings.


Not true: they sold these to normal consumers (such as Dalton). Even Salomon admitted this: "There are very limited quantities of these boots and pads in the market. While most of these products were distributed without charge for trial purposes, a very small number may have been sold." (from http://www.wildsnow.com/2899/salomon-quest-boots-announcement/). I'm not sure why they say "may have been sold" since there's plenty of evidence to show that they were sold.


Let's see now...is it possible that someone who was given a demo pair, for example a shop, simply resold them? Others, for example, could have put their pair on eBay. That's the gist of Salomon's statement. Do you know where Dalton purchased his boots? Do you know for a fact how the seller of Dalton's boots acquired them? No, you don't, and neither do I. The irrefutable fact is that at the time of the incident Salomon had not input the boots into the retail chain. I discussed this at length as well with the appropriate parties at Salomon in the aforementioned July conversations.

Staley wrote:Also, they' must have taken shortcuts of some sort while designing the fitting. Here's a quote from Lou, who I agree is the most trustworthy person in all of this: "I applied a reasonable amount of force to the pry bar and boot, nothing extreme. The fitting almost immediately deformed and pulled part way out of the boot, then the boot ejected from the binding due to the fitting going out of alignment. In other words, a skier could easily do this by simply leaning back in a pair of ski boots."


Which is why the touring pads were recalled prior to retail production. Clearly, if Lou was able to do this test -- and I trust him implicitly -- adequate product testing did not occur during the design phase of the inserts, I agree with you there. However, I return you to your original statement which I've tried throughout this thread to correct you on -- they didn't simply release the same boots to retail this year, it's not clear that the design resulted in Dalton's injury, and you have absolutely no evidence whatsoever that Salomon didn't attempt to make good on their design shortcoming. The fact of the matter is that Salomon's tech fitting design has absolutely no impact whatsoever on the Quest boots put into retail this season, so this whole mess has no bearing at all on Tony's consideration of this season's Quest boot except that he can't use them with Dynafit bindings, which he's apparently not thinking of doing anyway.

And FYI it's seriously uncool to hotlink someone else's images as you did with Lou's. That's why Lou has implemented hotlink protection and the images failed to appear here. Doing so uses Lou's bandwidth to pay to display the images here. I have implemented similar hotlink protection at FTO for the same reason.

Staley wrote:Another MAJOR issue: Salomon knew there was something wrong with the tech fittings BEFORE Dalton's accident occurred.


That's one person's Monday morning quarterbacking. Neither you nor I know if this individual has any reason, beef or grudge to fabricate or exaggerate his story. You may also note that his indication is that there were "problems" with the tech inserts that remain unspecified, and that this "problem" only occurred for him in touring mode, not skiing mode. He also accurately points out that, counter to your assertions above, the tech inserts involved were a pre-production demo unit and not on a retail boot.

The bottom line here is that you're jumping into the TGR lynch mob without knowing the facts first.
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Re: Shopping for Alpine Touring Gear

Postby Staley » Fri Nov 05, 2010 1:37 pm

Sorry, I had no clue about about the hotlinking of images.

I know major retailers were actually selling the boots last year: at least Backcountry.com and Bent Gate Mountaineering. That's probably the biggest issue here. Not many boots were sold, but a few definitely were.

The best known failure of the tech fittings prior to Dalton incident did occur during while touring: some guide in Alaska ripped the fitting out of the boot while touring during a mountaineering guide exam. From that event, you would have thought that Salomon would have performed some kind of test like Lou did and discovered that the fitting were extraordinarily weak.

Concerning what caused the accident, from Dalton we know he was skiing on a moderate angle slope at slow speed when the boot ripped out of the binding. Dalton said he didn't hit a rock, and considering other people also saw the accident, it seems reasonable to trust him.
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Re: Shopping for Alpine Touring Gear

Postby Admin » Fri Nov 05, 2010 1:46 pm

Staley wrote:Sorry, I had no clue about about the hotlinking of images.


No worries, that's why I took a moment to explain it. A lot of folks don't realize the effect of doing so.

Staley wrote:I know major retailers were actually selling the boots last year: at least Backcountry.com and Bent Gate Mountaineering. That's probably the biggest issue here. Not many boots were sold, but a few definitely were.


And how do you know this and when was this occurring? Do you know with certainty that they weren't 2010-11 retail units shipped in advance (which were different from the demo units that Dalton had)? Do you know for a fact that they included touring pads with tech fittings? Are you sufficiently so certain in each of these convictions that you'd be willing to testify under oath in court to their accuracy? If not, they're not certain, they're a belief rather than fact.

Staley wrote:Concerning what caused the accident, from Dalton we know he was skiing on a moderate angle slope at slow speed when the boot ripped out of the binding. Dalton said he didn't hit a rock, and considering other people also saw the accident, it seems reasonable to trust him.


Perhaps it is. But we also have not seen a biomechanical reconstruction of the accident to know with a reasonable degree of certainty what forces were involved, what specifically caused the injury or how it might have been prevented. How do you know, for example, that it wasn't a result of a failure in the Dynafit bindings to release as they should? And before you give me some eyewitness account to the contrary, this is only one of a plethora of possibilities. I really don't care to go back and forth each time you think that you're refuting one of those possibilities. The fact of the matter is that we have absolutely no confirmation whatsoever that Salomon's tech fittings directly resulted in the injury sustained. That has yet to be determined as the matter is adjudicated and tests are conducted during the discovery process. And until that occurs, everything else is merely conjecture.
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Re: Shopping for Alpine Touring Gear

Postby Staley » Fri Nov 05, 2010 2:37 pm

And how do you know this and when was this occurring? Do you know with certainty that they weren't 2010-11 retail units shipped in advance (which were different from the demo units that Dalton had)? Do you know for a fact that they included touring pads with tech fittings? Are you sufficiently so certain in each of these convictions that you'd be willing to testify under oath in court to their accuracy? If not, they're not certain, they're a belief rather than fact.


These were available last year through retail stores. Here's a quote from Jonathan S., who seems to be a trustworthy guy: "If Bentgate really has at least two pair currently for sale (as the website would seem to indicate — sizes 26.5 and 28.5)..."

Another, albeit nonspecific, quote from Jonathan S.: "*MAY* have been sold? At least three U.S. retailers definitely sold them. (A very small number, yes, but they were definitely sold.)"

From Beyond in the TGR thread: "I just bought a pair of Quest 12's, so consider me and what's left of my knees educated by your experience."

Directly from Dalton: "a few retailers in the US had them, evo,bc, bent gate, maybe a few others. When I heard bent gate had a few in( 3 sizes) this spring, they were billed as this :http://www.bentgate.com/saqupropeatb.html

but said quest 12 of course

but they only have the pro left now, The 12 sold out I am sure due to the stiffer flex.

as you can see clearly not a test or beta, just early for next season is all"


You're right that we should end this debate, as there's no way we'll come to a conclusion. You want actual proof that would stand up in court. I obviously cannot provide that. I do not view this forum as a place where you can't say anything that you wouldn't be willing to under oath in court, but rather a place to voice opinions and spread skiing related news and reports.

Let's get back to the Duke vs. Baron question. Should I just get the Duke and feel totally secure or save a bit of weight and money to get the Baron?
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Re: Shopping for Alpine Touring Gear

Postby Admin » Fri Nov 05, 2010 2:47 pm

Staley wrote:
And how do you know this and when was this occurring? Do you know with certainty that they weren't 2010-11 retail units shipped in advance (which were different from the demo units that Dalton had)? Do you know for a fact that they included touring pads with tech fittings? Are you sufficiently so certain in each of these convictions that you'd be willing to testify under oath in court to their accuracy? If not, they're not certain, they're a belief rather than fact.


These were available last year through retail stores. Here's a quote from Jonathan S., who seems to be a trustworthy guy: "If Bentgate really has at least two pair currently for sale (as the website would seem to indicate — sizes 26.5 and 28.5)..."

Another, albeit nonspecific, quote from Jonathan S.: "*MAY* have been sold? At least three U.S. retailers definitely sold them. (A very small number, yes, but they were definitely sold.)"


I know Jonathan personally and appreciate his integrity. However, there's absolutely nothing there to indicate that they were 2010-11 retail units and not demo units, which was my point you quoted above, nor is there anything to indicate that they had touring pads with the recalled tech fittings.

Staley wrote:From Beyond in the TGR thread: "I just bought a pair of Quest 12's, so consider me and what's left of my knees educated by your experience."


Same response. Where did he get them and who did he buy them from, and how did the seller get them? You quotes don't answer that, and you're becoming deaf to my earlier points.

Staley wrote:Directly from Dalton: "a few retailers in the US had them, evo,bc, bent gate, maybe a few others. When I heard bent gate had a few in( 3 sizes) this spring, they were billed as this :http://www.bentgate.com/saqupropeatb.html


Same response.

Staley wrote:but said quest 12 of course


Which didn't come with the tech inserts or even touring pads. The Quest 12 came only with alpine DIN pads. The touring pads had to be purchased as an optional accessory, but that accessory was recalled before hitting retail.

Staley wrote:but they only have the pro left now


With touring pads that don't have the tech inserts.

Staley wrote:You're right that we should end this debate, as there's no way we'll come to a conclusion. You want actual proof that would stand up in court. I obviously cannot provide that. I do not view this forum as a place where you can't say anything that you wouldn't be willing to under oath in court, but rather a place to voice opinions and spread skiing related news and reports.


But you must exercise great care to avoid disseminating false, misleading or inconclusive information as fact, whether it's here or elsewhere. I'm merely fixing that.
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Re: Shopping for Alpine Touring Gear

Postby Staley » Fri Nov 05, 2010 3:33 pm

But you must exercise great care to avoid disseminating false, misleading or inconclusive information as fact, whether it's here or elsewhere. I'm merely fixing that.


Yep, you're right. I should have taken much greater care in choosing my words, especially in my first post on the subject. After all, it's because of the general trustworthiness of this forum that I prefer it over all others.
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