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  1. #1
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    OT: Recommend me some Homer approved Randonnee gear.

    I'm finally sick of riding lifts. It's lame having the whole city go with me to the mountains.

    So! I'm saying F-U to snowbording and going all-out back country skier.

    Any advice on what's considered good quality in the mid to low price ranges? Also recommend high-end stuff, as I will likely advance pretty quick and need stuff to spend money on.

    I have Alpine boots, but would prefer to have some softer Randonnee specific ones.

    I'm an experienced alpine skier and back country snowboarder and am willing to spend around $1000. Will that be enough for some decent gear?


    For those who don't know, Randonnee is like alpine skis but the heals of the bindings can be unlatched allowing for XC ski type movement for going into and up the back country.

  2. #2
    Moosehead
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    YP, there are many good deals now on solid AT/Randonee setups which will allow you to get into higher end gear for your $1k budget. There are too many solid AT dedicated firms to list but you likely have heard of them all including Black Diamond, Garmont, Scarpa, etc. K2, Dynastar, and Marker also getting into the AT scene with decent and cheaper gear than the core manufacturers.

    If you are truly going into the PNW backcountry vs. skiing resorts, first suggestion is to make sure to budget additional costs for proper avalanche preparedness with a modern avy beacon, collapsible shovel, probe pole, and dedicated daypack with all the above squared away. Need to keep our fellow Homers around for summer riding season.

    If you want to sample AT on the cheap try these Alpine Trekkers, which will allow you to convert your existing alpine/downhill gear before laying down more coin for specialized gear.

    http://www.backcountry.com/store/BCA...-Adaptors.html

    Despite above, if you do get serious about the backcountry, AT dedicated gear is definitely the way to go as it is much lighter weight, more comfortable, and efficient when working hard for your turns. One of my favorite all-time outings was an AT trip up and down Mt. Adams, enjoy.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by moosehead
    YP, there are many good deals now on solid AT/Randonee setups which will allow you to get into higher end gear for your $1k budget. There are too many solid AT dedicated firms to list but you likely have heard of them all including Black Diamond, Garmont, Scarpa, etc. K2, Dynastar, and Marker also getting into the AT scene with decent and cheaper gear than the core manufacturers.

    If you are truly going into the PNW backcountry vs. skiing resorts, first suggestion is to make sure to budget additional costs for proper avalanche preparedness with a modern avy beacon, collapsible shovel, probe pole, and dedicated daypack with all the above squared away. Need to keep our fellow Homers around for summer riding season.

    If you want to sample AT on the cheap try these Alpine Trekkers, which will allow you to convert your existing alpine/downhill gear before laying down more coin for specialized gear.

    http://www.backcountry.com/store/BCA...-Adaptors.html

    Despite above, if you do get serious about the backcountry, AT dedicated gear is definitely the way to go as it is much lighter weight, more comfortable, and efficient when working hard for your turns. One of my favorite all-time outings was an AT trip up and down Mt. Adams, enjoy.
    Thanks for the info!

    I want to possibly get a good deal on some AT gear for spring riding this year.

    I'm going to start off in tame terrain to learn and then advance. I have a lot of experience in the backcountry with my snowboard and snowshoes.

    My "thing" is to ride safe ridges with trees and relatively shallow slopes. I like the steeps, but when hiking for my vertical, I hate blowing a two hour hike in 4 turns back down.

    I think I will go with a light setup, as I am more into the exploring and adventure than going to hit the gnarly lines. There's plenty of that stuff at the resorts and it's getting old for me.

    Considering lift prices these days, the Randonnee gear will pay for itself in two seasons.

  4. #4
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    Splitboarding is also a great option if you are a snowboarder. I have a Voile Mojo 166 and absolutely love it. I've logged a lot of hours in the Wasatch backcountry on my Voile. The key is light bindings and boots. For me, nothing is better than snowboarding in pow, especially untouched stuff.

  5. #5
    mr. wonderful
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    I think it's going to be a challenge to get under your $1k mark with boots, skis, and bindings alone. Doable? Yes, but challenging. With your BC experience, presumably you already have a transceiver, probe, and shovel. You'll need skins too, which will set you back one to onefitty.

    I would spend the coin on a decent pair of boots and bindings and mount up an old pair of light weight easy turning skis. And don't skimp on a good pack that easily carries your skis.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by surfhb
    Splitboarding is also a great option if you are a snowboarder. I have a Voile Mojo 166 and absolutely love it. I've logged a lot of hours in the Wasatch backcountry on my Voile. The key is light bindings and boots. For me, nothing is better than snowboarding in pow, especially untouched stuff.
    I thought of that, but don't like the idea of having to take it apart constantly.

    If I was doing epic 5 hour ascents, then it would make sense, but my future riding is going to be a little more XC, but with nice short runs thrown in.

    Luckily, MTB riding has desensitized me to high prices.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtbag
    I think it's going to be a challenge to get under your $1k mark with boots, skis, and bindings alone. Doable? Yes, but challenging. With your BC experience, presumably you already have a transceiver, probe, and shovel. You'll need skins too, which will set you back one to onefitty.

    I would spend the coin on a decent pair of boots and bindings and mount up an old pair of light weight easy turning skis. And don't skimp on a good pack that easily carries your skis.
    Good point. I will look for some cheapo or used shorter and wider skis to try out first, just to see where I want to go with a better set.

    Boots and bindings on the other hand are better off done right the first time correct? I've found that having sore feet for snow sports is one of the worst things regardless of skill level.

    My current Alpine gear is older than me, so it's not getting used again.

  8. #8
    gravity curmudgeon
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    For backcountry, dynafits and a compatible boot are the ticket. The touring is outstanding, and the skiing performance is darn good. If you want to crossover, Freerides are a good option with modest compromise both ways. Dukes/Barons ski closer to an alpine binding and tour OK. You can run alpine boots in Freerides or Dukes/Barons.

    Fit is king with boots, and boots are the most important piece of the pie. Garmont Radium, Scarpa Spirit4 or Skookum, and BD Method or Factor are a nice balance of ski performance with touring ability.

  9. #9
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    If you are going to be using your gear exclusively for BC, I agree with the recommendation for Dynafit bindings and a compatible boot.

    I was on Fritschi's last year and switched to Dynafit TLT Vertical bindings and Garmont Megaride boots this year. Dynafits work great and are light - I will never go back.

    There are not cheap, but neither was your Turner!
    "One often finds their destiny on the road taken to avoid it" - Master Ugway

  10. #10
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    All this for under a grand at my local ski shop.

    Dynafit TLT Vertical ST bindings
    Garmont Radium boots
    Atomic Kailas skis

    I was a Silvretta guy for the last 8 years or so but decided to give the Dynafit's a shot this season with no complaints.

    There are a lot of options out there and it's getting even better every year. We've got a lot more options in boots nowa days from the big beefy guys like the Scarpa Typhoon to the light weights like the Dynafit Zzero line-up, and it gets even lighter from here. There are even some pretty burly boots out now like the Garmont Axon and Scarpa Skookum that are Dynafit compatible. I'd say pick a boot in your price range that fits and you'll be set.

    Binding options haven't changed much over the years. Dynafit, Fritschi, Slivretta and Naxo are the big contenders but G3 has entered the AT binding market with thier knock off of the Dynafit line. Also, there's the Marker stuff but it ain't light weight nor cheap.

    As for skis...Pick your favorite brand and go for it. Options are endless from fatties with a reverse camber to skinnies with scales for the tours where turns aren't your main goal.
    I only ride bikes to fill the time when I'm not skiing.

  11. #11
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    Great thread.
    I use to ski a ton many years ago before I got married, had kids.
    Once I couldn't afford to work at ski shops anymore I pretty much stopped skiing. This winter I got a chance to do a little back country skiing and got hooked again. While slugging all my gear up on my back I started to admire all those around me skinning up with their AT and Tele gear. Few weeks later my 2009 bike budget was blown and I had a light touring Tele set up (Karhu Guides w/Voile 3 pin Hardwires) and later a heavier more DH oriented set up (Black Diamond Havoc w/Voile Switchbacks) Got both sets including some Scarpa T2x boots and Black Diamond poles all for under $900. The deals are out there you just have to look. The only bad part is that the season here in the New England is just about over and I was just getting really into it. I guess riding my bikes around isn't a bad alternative though.
    Egg

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