In regards to balanced gear diets, here are my current favorites:
Superlight (15% of the time)
Skis – 160cm K2 Sahale (68mm waist)
Bindings – Dynafit TLT’s without brakes
Boots – Scarpa F1
Comments: In the right conditions, I love this set-up as it tours effortlessly. Because it is so light, you don’t have to be going very fast to feel like you’re haulin’ ass, so the thrill is the same as mach-schnelling downhill with a much heavier set-up. The disadvantage is that it gets knocked around in anything less than ideal (corn/powder) conditions.
Medium Light (45% of the time)
Skis – 167cm K2 Backouts (Euro skis similar to Chugoris/Summits – 72mm waist)
Bindings – Dynafit ST Verticals with brakes
Boots – Scarpa F3
Comments: I prefer this set-up whenever possible as I can ski powder, chutes, meadow skipping, etc. and it has it covered. It tours very well but is a challenge when the snow gets tricky. For expeditions, I take this set-up with the Scarpa Spirit 3 boots as the F3’s can get overpowered with a heavy pack or wind-jacked snow.
Medium Heavy (35% of the time)
Skis – 167cm K2 Mt Baker Superlights (88mm waist)
Bindings – Dynafit Comforts (no brakes)
Boots – Scarpa Spirit 3
Comments: I use this set-up for powder, shorter tours or when I’m going out with a semi heavy-metal crowd. I love the way it skis (especially powder), but there’s a weight penalty for longer tours.
Heavy Metal Thunder (5% of the time)
Skis – 167cm K2 Kung Fujas (twin tip alpine skis – 94mm waist)
Bindings – Marker Dukes
Boots – Scarpa Typhoons
Comments: I use this set-up for kiting as I get yanked around and land backwards (twin-tips help), as well as resort skiing. I like the Marker Dukes for this as they have excellent return-to-center abilities, a clean, predictable release and are brainless to step into. Weight isn’t an issue as I’m probably not carrying them more than 100′. Tourability is almost more of an insurance policy – it would be better than post holing.
An embarrasment of riches? Yes, but it is a job and somebody has to do it. :)
Category: 02 Gear