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Old 01-21-2022, 09:10 PM   #21
stripperguy
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Gentlemen,
I only briefly looked at those Fisher S Bound skis...as you might know, I'm a BC downhill guy on AT gear.
I am God awful slow putting on and removing my skins.
I just looked at my favorite back country spot and I think the steepest section of my usual skin track is around 20 degrees.

So, two questions for Mr eater of fish and montcalm:
1. Do you think those S-Bounds can handle a 20 degree climb? In those steeper sections, there is no room to herringbone, and I surely don't want to stop and add skins or even mini skins.

2. Do you think those skis would be capable of the downhills? I might use them for lift served as well, but either way I would primarily ski powder, trees and bumps, in all sorts of terrain.
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Old 01-21-2022, 09:20 PM   #22
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Hope this helps:

1 - No. The S Bounds will not handle 20 degrees. Maybe 10-12 before you need to use the edge. The Objectives might be able to get up over 15. These are really rough guesses, I never actually measured the pitches on these things, and of course, with scales it varies with snow type.

2 - No. They won't take hard skiing in bumps or beat up crud. And definitely don't have the stiffness/edge hold for hard snow. The Objectives would do better, but they are still a little on the frail side i.e. I wouldn't hammer bumps with them. Voile makes two different layups now (not for the Objective, but for their bigger line skis), the Hyper and Ultra.

I don't have any direct experience, but the little I know from when these were released and what the reviews were, they'd probably do everything you want.

https://www.voile.com/voile-ultravector-bc-skis.html

Or you can get them with a smooth base:

https://www.voile.com/voile-ultravector-skis.html

Hard to say if the scales would make your climb...
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Old 01-21-2022, 10:23 PM   #23
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Some more info SG:

https://blisterreview.com/gear-revie...ile-charger-bc

That guy claims he can get up 20±1 degrees with those Chargers, depending on conditions (still need to carry skins). They aren't made anymore with scales, but they'd probably be pretty close to the Ultravector above in terms of climbing performance.

As everyone says though, the scales suck on groomers and flat run outs. It's true, they certainly don't coast like flat bases and especially on packed stuff. I don't ski patterned skis at resorts, so I can't really say much on it.
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Old 01-22-2022, 10:39 AM   #24
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I'm not exactly going to disagree with montcalm, but maybe elaborate a bit more:

1) No, but let's be honest about 20 degrees. When most people brag about the angle of a run they skied they are actually quoting grade, not angle. Even then there is an awful lot of exaggeration involved as well. This topic could be a long contentious thread all to itself. 20 degrees straight up is pretty steep. HOWEVER, in the link in montcalm's last post, the guy says he could climb to 20 degrees which is about where he needed the heel riser. I think I use my lifters a bit lower than that, but it's probably in the ballpark.

2) I think there is a BIG difference between montcalm's 98 s-bounds with Teleg-gear and my 112's with AT gear. I can ski the 112's at a resort on anything with no problem. If you were skiing next to me, you wouldn't know I was skiing anything different (aside from the noise from the scales). I know I am skiing something different as they feel and handle different, but you wouldn't.

I'll elaborate more later, gotta go shopping for a bathtub.
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Old 01-22-2022, 10:48 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrKawfey View Post
I'm not exactly going to disagree with montcalm, but maybe elaborate a bit more:

1) No, but let's be honest about 20 degrees. When most people brag about the angle of a run they skied they are actually quoting grade, not angle. Even then there is an awful lot of exaggeration involved as well. This topic could be a long contentious thread all to itself. 20 degrees straight up is pretty steep. HOWEVER, in the link in montcalm's last post, the guy says he could climb to 20 degrees which is about where he needed the heel riser. I think I use my lifters a bit lower than that, but it's probably in the ballpark.

2) I think there is a BIG difference between montcalm's 98 s-bounds with Teleg-gear and my 112's with AT gear. I can ski the 112's at a resort on anything with no problem. If you were skiing next to me, you wouldn't know I was skiing anything different (aside from the noise from the scales). I know I am skiing something different as they feel and handle different, but you wouldn't.

I'll elaborate more later, gotta go shopping for a bathtub.
1 - I'll agree with you there. 20 degrees is a pretty typical NY black run at a DH resort. I don't tend to climb straight up that - but I have, even steeper actually - not 100% by choice, but obstacles forced me to do so. I put skins on.

2 - Some difference, yes. I could ski those skis with better bindings and plastic boots, and they'd be easier to edge, but it wouldn't change the fact that they are a pretty light, not-so-stiff ski with a fair bit of camber and not much damping. That makes for a not-so-fun ride on groomers, especially if you're used to skiing a heavy ski with metal in it. I Alpine ski as well, although not in a few years now, but quite a few years in before I put it aside. My last resort skis were very heavy, very damped, and had a lot of shape. I thought they were good on groomers, but I hated them in everything else i.e. crud, bumps, trees, etc... But anyway, the point is people gain certain expectations based on what they have skied and their technique. Tele definitely slows me down and limits me, but in fact a lot of it is self imposed. The fact of the matter is I can go ski stuff no one else is even looking at, and have a blast doing it. That's the magic of skis like S Bounds or Objectives. If I want to ride lifts I'd honestly rather ski a pair of rentals as they really do perform better for groomers. It's hard to find one ski that can do everything well. JMO from owning lots of skis
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Old 01-22-2022, 12:24 PM   #26
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Just to elaborate on some of my telebabble and relate it to Alpine resort skiing.

These are my old Tua Heliums:



An AT ski from the 90s. As you can see, pre-parabolic craze. Still really light. A touch heavier than my S98s, but about the same weight as the 112s. Dimensions similar to the 98 but a touch more waist and a touch less in the tips and tails.

I have a simple cable binding with a riser on them.

These can be skied anywhere at a resort with decent boots. I've used a boot called a T2 in the past. For Alpine guys, it's a 3 buckle, light boot similar in flex to probably like a beginner Alpine boot, but with a decent cuff height.



I've skied both the T2 and leathers at a ski resort back to back. With the leathers I'm working hard even on a green run Put those plastic boots on and suddenly you're a pro. Much more like skiing rental Alpine skis.

Those old, light skis hold an edge well enough though. They are a touch stiffer torsionally than the Fischers and have a lot less camber. The camber is also much softer. The Tuas also have thick edges that are easy to tune. Not-so-much the case for S Bounds. Actually, tuning edges on any waxless ski is not easy. But at any rate, those Tuas aren't gonna feel great at 35+mph and you'd probably snap 'em in the bumps if you're an aggressive skier. Carving - not gonna happen. Powder - meh, they work, a little weird. Crusts they suck.

But that's why we've progressed to wider platforms with better tips and tail shapes, more tuned sidecuts that aren't necessarily parabolic, and stiffer, lighter carbon layups.

I can't tell SG what to do, but I tend to get the feeling from his pics and descriptions what and how he is skiing, and I don't think I'd push the S Bounds to that level. I also have a feeling of what he is currently on, and going to a ski like the S Bound would be a big jump in a different direction. A ski like the Ultravector, while not a great resort ski, certainly is tuned for ripping hard in powder and variable BC conditions. There are a ton of skis out there more on the end dedicated to backcountry hard rippin' and there's some that are more tuned to sidecountry/resort skiing. SG is currently on the latter. He might appreciate a bit less weight and some scales, but I'm sure he'll feel the compromise in how they ski.

Last edited by montcalm; 01-22-2022 at 12:36 PM..
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Old 01-22-2022, 03:51 PM   #27
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Struck out on the bathtub, inventory problems abound!

Anyhow, I think between montcalm and me, there is enough info to get a pretty good idea of what's possible. But here's an attempt to summarize (if I mischaracterize feel free to straighten me out):
  • Of course there is no "ultimate ADK BC ski", it all depends on what you want to do.
  • More specifically, there is no one ski that does everything "the best". There is always a tradeoff somewhere.
  • I have 0 tele experience and only a little true XC experience.
    I am (in the essence of full disclosure to be helpful and not immodest) an Expert+ downhill skier.
  • The S-bounds are my first and only true BC ski and as such, I am not advocating that you buy them over the Voile's. Simply sharing what I have experienced.
  • With a good boot and fixed heel, you would be fine skiing anything at a resort with these skis, but as montcalm implied, why would you.
  • I've used them at the resort as my kids were learning because it's fun and different and makes things "interesting". Skiing moguls in crud on a black diamond in the "leather" boots with the heels locked on these is "very interesting". But doable. The same run in my Scarpa AT boots is truly a no-big-deal.
  • Compared to my Rossi E88's and Atomic boots, these feel like toy skis at the resort. I would guess that ONE of the Rossi's with binding weighs more than both Fischers with bindings AND my soft boots combined.
  • I bought the Fischers because doing BC laps with my resort skis means ALWAYS using skins. I hoped that the lighter weight and scales would reduce the effort, get me more glide and reduce the skins on/off game (Like stripperguy I am SLOW at this too)
  • I also bought the Fischers because they were cheap and on-sale locally. Not because I concluded they were exactly what I wanted.
  • If you are really going UP I doubt you will find a ski that completely eliminates the need for skins.
  • If you are touring (which is more my speed these days) I love the improved glide over skins and the reduced weight. But they are not XC skis. And I still can't leave the skins at home, so there are always moments where you weigh side-stepping or switch-backing or hiking vs pulling the skins out. Just fewer of them.
  • In the BC, like montcalm implied, the conditions and boots will make as much or more of a difference on the down than the skis.
  • So, I don't know what you are skiing now, but I think for BC laps you will really see a huge benefit in the UP from a waxless base BC ski. You MIGHT even be able to avoid using skins, but you'll still need to bring them.
  • Going down with AT boots and locked heels, these will not perform as well as other skis that are more downhill oriented but not so far off. It's certainly not going to turn into survival skiing. But conditions will dictate.
  • Just a single point of reference, I have not been to Tuckerman's since I bought these skis. But I have thought a lot about what my setup would be. I'm sure I would not want to ski the headwall with these even if I carried my downhill boots. But I'm not sure I wouldn't either. Because, man! would I love to ski UP to lunch rocks on these in my "leather" boots.
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Old 01-22-2022, 04:04 PM   #28
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Also, just to address your more specific usage:
Trees: Depends on the snow, they are light and maneuverable and I love that in the trees.
Bumps: Depends on the snow, they are light and maneuverable and I love that in the bumps. But if you get in the backseat or get out of line, they are NOT forgiving. Better to hit the brakes and reset than to try to recover.
Powder: Depends on the snow (you see a trend here), I've yet to ski them in true fluffy sick-day type powder, but in slightly deep wet or heavy snow, or breaking crust, you will be fighting with these skis much more than a heavier, stiffer ski.

For me, I think the trade-off was worth it. Are the Voile's better at all of this? Maybe, probably. But the important point is I think the type of ski is worth it.
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Old 01-22-2022, 04:24 PM   #29
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Also, wik, I keep putting "leather" in quotes because I don't think either of my soft boots (the Bates or the Salewa's) are actually leather. They are some textile of the synthetic variety.

Also, Also wik, all this talk is making me itch to get out! Just not quite enough snow on the trails behind my house yet.
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Old 01-22-2022, 04:47 PM   #30
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Thanks, guys.
FWIW, that 20 degree number, I picked off the rise and distance from a USGS topo map of the specific section where the usual skin track is the steepest. I need to use the highest riser step on my Fristche Free Ride bindings. Depending on how slick that track gets, I have slid backwards with my skins in the past.
My only ski boots now are some Scarpa or other, a dedicated 4 buckle AT boot with a high cuff and stiff forward flex (120 IFRC). I can ski lift served with them all day anywhere and they work well for me.
I still can ski any terrain in any condition, but most definitely prefer powder, trees and bumps, in that order. As far as lift served goes, if all there was to ski was groomers...I would stop skiing.

I still have a pair of Rossi Scratch's, mounted with 2 ton Marker AT bindings, that I machined fish scales into the bases. That didn't work at all.
So I was hoping I could find a fish scale bottomed ski that had big mountain performance, and something a bit wider than my 84 Watea's, to handle breakable crust a little better.

After looking at the skis in your links above, I don't have much hope.
I guess that's fine, I'll practice getting better at applying and removing my skins!
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Old 01-22-2022, 05:15 PM   #31
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If you're sliding back on skins, ain't no scales in the world gonna git you up.
Have you thought about ski crampons? Somewhere in a buried mystery box I have a pair for my Silvretta's. I've never used them, but they are supposed to snap right on... I think.
I think they can be put on without even taking my skis off.

Now you also have me wondering if I could take a pair of big mountain skis, mill out a pocket in the base, machine a patterned insert out of UHMW (or something) and pop it in.

I really need to stop looking at these posts while I'm trying to get some work done.
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Old 01-22-2022, 07:40 PM   #32
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Well I guess that explains it, I'm not nearly the level of skier you guys are. I'm an intermediate all-around skier, but I ski everything. These days I much prefer XC BC touring and XCD lapping on small, secluded verts. I still find myself riding a lift now and again and skiing in prepared XC tracks.

I should really stress how light the skis in the OP of this thread are. They are significantly lighter than S Bounds, which are fairly light skis. They don't even feel real. It's much like picking up a full carbon canoe vs. Kevlar. WTBS, you can kind of expect similar durability. S Bounds are easy to break, they have an air channel core which if over-stressed will split easily. Objectives are Paulownia, which is like Balsa wood, extremely soft and light.

For me lightness is a big deal because you can't use softer, lighter boots with heavy, wide skis. While being a challenge on firm snow, light boots can be great fun on fresh snow and a pleasure to tour in.

We are all obviously looking at skiing from very different perspectives. I spent a few years really refining my Nordic setups and technique once getting back into it. But I really enjoy it.

Last edited by montcalm; 01-22-2022 at 08:43 PM..
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Old 01-22-2022, 08:53 PM   #33
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I did try...
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Old 01-23-2022, 09:53 AM   #34
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Hahahahahaha! Oh man! You just made my day!
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Old 01-23-2022, 10:35 AM   #35
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Not to be degrading to the efforts above, but people have quite successfully both removed portions of the base and added scale patterns and machined patterns. Part of being successful with either is putting the pattern in correctly and in the correct position. WTBS, negative patterns that you get from machining just don't work that well compared to positive patterns.

I don't really have the the motivation or interest in this to go dig up everything I've read over the years on the trials and tribulations of scaling smooth base skis, but it's out there on various ski forums.
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Old 01-23-2022, 04:10 PM   #36
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Montcalm is right on the money, there are plenty of internet accounts of people making their own scales and getting them to work well. No reason to rehash it all here. Also at the risk of denigrating your efforts, I can see why your approach wouldn't work.

But I like the original post postulation (OPP?) and think it's worth getting back to it. But maybe there is a question to be answered first.

What is the ultimate job of the ultimate ADK back country ski? Or maybe what's special (or at least characteristic) of BC skiing in the ADKs?

Just to put a stake in the ground: One characteristic would be the long approaches with tight trails through the trees. Lots of up and down on the way vs just up.
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Old 01-23-2022, 06:15 PM   #37
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The OP title was a bit of a troll. You know, just something to grab you. I posed a question, then I put my opinion to back it up.

I really don't think they are the best - I certainly wouldn't use them for a number of ski trips in the Adirondacks. I'm also not of the motivation or ability to ski everything available in the Adirondacks. There are slides and chutes I wouldn't even attempt, no matter what ski.

Last edited by montcalm; 01-23-2022 at 06:25 PM..
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Old 01-23-2022, 09:32 PM   #38
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So my ultimate skis have been this, so far:



The Fischers on the left are the only skis I have left of that lot. They are an older E89 waxless. I use them on prepared tracks, usually at BREIA. They have metal edges but I'm not sure they are entirely warranted. When these wear out I might get something without in this skinny, double cambered type of ski.





These are my two bread-n-butter XC skis. S Bound 78 (waxless) and Asnes Ingstad (smooth bases). These are all-around non-prepared tracks trail skis. They have what's called camber-and-a-half. Not quite a track XC ski double camber, but not an Alpine camber. This is a big range. All the S Bounds have 1.5 camber, but in various weights. These are the stiffest and narrowest. I ski them the same length, both 200cm. It's as long as I want to deal with on a trail. There's some differences between these two skis but I largely ski the same sort of thing with each and use the wax base when conditions are favorable for waxing. I have taken these type of skis in deep snow for trailbreaking, but they aren't ideal. They do well in moderate trail breaking and skiing in their own tracks.

Then it's my Tuas and Objectives which are my DH focused skis. I like my Tuas because they are like a light version of the skis I learned to ski on. They feel very familiar to me, but pretty limited. Basically for when I feel like messing with wax or riding a lift. The Objectives are no-nonsense go crank some turns because it just dumped skis. In terms of ski widths today, they are kinda skinny for this, but for our general snow densities I find them great. I'm not skiing beat up crud and my own refrozen stuff. I just have zero interest in that, so I ski something else if everything is refrozen. There's just too many lines in the areas where I go for me to ski off everything. They don't get enough use by others to either.
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Old 01-24-2022, 02:48 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrKawfey View Post
Montcalm is right on the money, there are plenty of internet accounts of people making their own scales and getting them to work well. No reason to rehash it all here. Also at the risk of denigrating your efforts, I can see why your approach wouldn't work.

But I like the original post postulation (OPP?) and think it's worth getting back to it. But maybe there is a question to be answered first.

What is the ultimate job of the ultimate ADK back country ski? Or maybe what's special (or at least characteristic) of BC skiing in the ADKs?

Just to put a stake in the ground: One characteristic would be the long approaches with tight trails through the trees. Lots of up and down on the way vs just up.
I have no issue with anyone rehashing anything, it's just simply not in my interests. For my needs there are hundreds of scaled skis that will do the job, and I linked the Ultravectors, which are probably going to be the best thing you can buy geared for scaled ski AT or heavy Tele. Voile used to make even bigger skis scaled, as can be seen by that old article I linked. They must not have sold well, or Voile decided it wasn't the direction they wanted to go. These guys are serious. They aren't skiing old ski resorts in NY, they are testing these skis on big, steep, scary mountains in the Wasatch. These are serious skis designed for people who ski up big backcountry lines. WTBS, that doesn't necessarily mean they are the right tool for NY.

I guess BC means a lot of different things to different people. Some it's skiing old, closed ski resorts - which there aren't many in the Adirondacks. Some it's skiing slides. Some it's skiing the old CCC ski trails or glades. Some it's simply XC skiing on unprepared trails.

That's a big range - and within each range is a myriad of different things to consider.

From what I know from being out-and-about and occasionally talking to people who are as weird, or weirder than I am:

- for BC XC, the two skis (S78 and Ingstad) in the previous post have a number of counterparts. They all are around 78/61/69 ±2-3mm and they all have different flexes. Cambers tend to be similar - I've measured them at around 30lbs to <1mm to flat. That's kind of that 1.5 camber range. Anyway, I tend to see a number of people with these class of skis, or the class below which tend to be double cambered and a hair narrower. I less often have seen people using the S98s and up for touring BC XC, but they can do it.

- for XCD, I've seen all sorts of stuff actually, but by far the most popular was the Excursion/T4 boot, switchback bindings and the old Voile Vectors. Some overlap here with other skis like the Annum, S112, Rossi BC110/125, etc... The Vector really is a different ski than any of those. The Objective was the successor to the old Vector where they split their line and made a smaller, lighter ski: the Objective and upped the Vector to be a cross with one of their bigger skis.

- for AT/Skimo - out of my wheelhouse really, but tons of superlight race skis out there, not scaled though. Pretty much all modern Tele is focused toward this ski as there's really no such thing as a "tele" ski anymore. Skis like the Ultravector would fall here, I suppose. They are for the lightest end of AT. And of course there are all sorts of hybrid resort/BC skis out there that try to give something that can handle both, or that is more stable for when you don't have long hikes. There's a million size classes and shapes here. 98ish in the mids seems to be the "norm" that I see for the low end. That's a big ski for me. I'd try something like that for riding lifts, but I don't do any BC skiing that really requires it. I'm not getting into avy terrain.


There's no one ski that can do all of those, but you could probably get after it with a S112. I believe the Objective would do it pretty damn well if you pushed it to. The Ultravector would be capable as well, but a big boat to push around for XC skiing.

It's sometimes better just to have a quiver...
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Old 02-01-2022, 08:57 AM   #40
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Probably a little inelegant of me to say "no need to rehash it".

Really what I meant was "no need to rehash it in this thread". I'm a gear modification junkie myself and it's kind of a running joke in our house. My wife even bought me a shirt that says "I void warranties" with a row of every tamper-proof screw head underneath.

I really considered making my own scales on downhill skis before buying these. It would be an interesting (separate) thread to discuss all the ins and outs of the tools, setup, angles, etc of cutting custom scales.

And also discuss why striperguy's setup wouldn't work.
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