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Old 10-24-2006, 10:06 AM   #2
ADKventures
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Lake George
Posts: 27
In the same boat

I don't know very much about backcountry skiing either. I have done a bit of research on it and there are a few types/methods of skiing the backcountry; alpine touring, telemark, randonee, and xc/touring. Each method of skiing involves particular gear (e.g. bindings, boots). From what i've read the free heel method (telemark) is by far the most versatile and most difficult. it allows you use various techniques (parallel, classical tele, jump turns...), u can climb uphills with kicking skins or full length skins as well as take on nearly any slope an alpine skier would chute. AT, IMO, seems the best option for those people looking to approach a serious slide/downhill on skis, hike to the top and bomb down the run. I"m still trying to figure out what randonee is exactly??? I think its some form of off-piste skiing that involves a specialized binding or boot for more flexibility/control. An important thing to note about backcountry from what i've read is that all of the skis (tele, xc, AT) are made for a specific purpose so they will vary depeding on what u r looking to do. Tele skis are usually longer, lighter and a lil skinnier. AT skis are sometimes fat, shorter, and more rigid for the steeper descents. And xc skis are very narrow and sleek. I'd recommend going to your local ski hill and demo some of the gear they have in teh rental shop so you can find somethign u like before making a purchase... Good luck and don't forget to check out the avalanche safety thread thats going on in the forum...lots of good info in there.
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