After trying a few other approaches, I finally pieced together a touring set-up for our six year-old daughter, Mira. It turned out to be more complicated than I expected, but in the end it seems to work well and was cheap.
We originally tried just having her “tour” in her alpine set-up with the buckles undone, but since kids boots only have two buckles to begin with, that didn’t work very well. Roadside car shuttles worked, but the terrain was limited. Dad nixed the idea of going up on XC gear and then switching over to Alpine gear for the way down as being too gear intensive and cold.
The crux of a kids touring set-up is definitely the bindings, because as far as I know, nobody makes touring bindings for kids, which need to have a range of about .5 – 3 DIN. I ended up using a pair of Slivretta Pure bindings that a neighbor kindly donated to the cause, but they had to be modified.
The bindings are a size “small” but they are still intended as an adult binding, which means they only go down to 3 DIN, which is still too high for Mira, but she’ll survive. I also think I need to remove the ski brakes as their stiffness makes it hard to get a kids boot in. The binding plate overhangs the edge of the ski a bit and the screws bubbled the bases a bit (kids skis are quite a bit thinner than adults), but this is nothing a few princess stickers can’t help you overlook.
For boots, we are just using her alpine boots as she’s not going far anyway.
For skis, I had to search around quite a bit, but I finally found a pair of 110cm used skis (Rossignol Vipers) with straight tails for $10. Most used kids skis come with the bindings attached, which bumps the price up – it was actually kind of hard to find an unmounted pair.
For poles, K2 makes a great adjustable kids pole which she uses for resorts, XC and now touring.
For skins, I recycled an old, old pair of skins and fitted them with a rubber tip attachment, which is easier to get on and off – not that she has any intention of doing that herself as long as Dad is around to do it for her.
Overall, satisfaction is pretty high.
Out first tour was about 1/2 mile and 300′ vertical feet up an access road behind our housing development. Ample amounts of chocolate bribes were required to keep moving, but Mira had a good time and quickly got the concept of sliding her skins along. We haven’t explored the top climbing peg yet, but I’m sure that will come soon enough.
Category: Skiing with Kids