The difference was immediately noticeable. If you are a skier that is predominantly skiing downhill but wants the ability to hike/skin uphill on occasion, then these may be the boots for you. Ski touring uses wider, shorter skis and there is no or very little mechanical assistance such as ski lifts and other infrastructure as in more conventional alpine skiing. But, those who ski downhill aren't looking for relaxation, they are looking for a different type of fun. In ski touring, you will never see a snow machine and you are very likely to get a first run on virgin powder. It's more leisurely, it's more low key, and more relaxed. Most touring bindings are designed for ski boots falling under one of two ISO specifications: This has the sub-sets of XC racing (on skate skis), in-track touring, off-track touring, and backcountry touring. Side cut: In very simple terms, the shape of the ski. Here, you use one ski to kick off and the other ski to "glide" with more effecient movement. They're not interested in a leisurely stroll through the park. Although you should realize - you are coming into a AT subreddit asking if you should get a AT setup. Ski touring (AKA Alpine Ski touring) Hike up, ski down. Sometimes called alpine skiing, downhill skiing is what most people know. Equal amounts of cross-country adventure await in the highland geothermal Landmannalaugar, an oasis of craters, lava fields, snow filled gorges and canyons where thick steam curls burst out of Earth’s crust. Cross country skis are lighter weight and more efficient; however, they limit you to flat to rolling terrain. Ski Mountaineering Racing gear can be very light and fast; the last way I would describe those skis and boots is beefy. There aren't necessarily very many "AT skis". Follow us on AT skis use skins that climb steeper slopes more efficiently and are almost as good as downhill skis for going downhill so you can turn and stop on a dime. Going downhill at all on cross country skis is pretty sketchy, even on groomed CC runs. For example, at 13,920km², Vatnajokull is largest ice cap in Europe, and you can get across it by cross-country ski! https://thingstolucat.com/fast-and-light-winter-travel/. Hailing from London and born into a British/Brazilian/Italian household, Joseph came to Iceland originally to complete a master’s degree in Environment and Natural Resources from the University of Iceland: the rest is history. There are now many options when it comes to skis, boots, poles, packs, outerwear, and avalanche safety equipment specifically designed for uphill and backcountry use. This 100x. Cross-country skis for skate are shorter than skis for classic style. Just like telemark skis, you’ll find them to be stiffer and sturdier than cross country skis, but alpine touring skis have a completely different heel. Moving over flat to slight uphills is also much faster on nordic skis. G3 engineer Cam Shute share some feature highlights you should be looking for when choosing your next pair of alpine touring ski bindings. Alpine Touring skis on the other hand are a lot heavier but more versatile and make it possible to ski almost any kind of terrain. Think of the sport as a combination of cross-country skiing and downhill skiing, with a little mountain-climbing thrown in. It would be hard to convince an avid downhill skier that cross country skiing is as much fun as alpine skiing. Twenty students were taking a 10 day wilderness first responder course at a cross country ski area in Idaho. Skis are longer and more narrow, and the purpose of cross country skiing is to cover large amounts of flat territory with relative ease. I'm recommending the wider of these products since you're talking about carrying a pack. Agreed that most in-bounds nordic trails are not avalanche prone. Alpine Touring Boots, Lightweight Alpine Touring Ski Boots, Ski & Snow & Ski Boots Dalbello’s new Lupo AX 125 C Boots are designed with equal parts alpine skiing and alpine touring in mind. Subscribe to our free monthly Ski touring is skiing in the backcountry on unmarked or unpatrolled areas. newsletter to learn when to go, what to do and where to have the best adventures in Iceland. For this r… The main differences lie in the weight of the ski (touring skis are lighter than most downhill skis), the stiffness of the boots (touring boots can be a bit softer and allow for slightly more movement), and the function of the bindings (touring bindings can be released at the heel to allow cross-country-like "walking" or gliding on the skis). Obligatory new backcountry comment ... get avalanche training. Mine are a dream to hike in. The "Kick and glide" is the primary technique, means of movement and control of speed. Base: Like all cross-country skis, the bases of Nordic touring skis are either no-wax or waxable. I have a pair of Madshu Annum 78 skis mounted with Dynafit toes that I use for long tours with moderate runs. Classic cross-country skis … The one time we dig being able to go into "cross country" mode where you want your heel free, but no skins on, is during the descent and while traveling on long, flat, snow-covered roads and frozen lakes. Wider and more stable than cross country touring skis etc. pressing the “ kick zone ” into the this! Look into companies like La Sportiva, Dynafit, Salomon, etc?! Look for the best performance, you agree to our free monthly newsletter to learn when to go ”! We Tested alpine touring ( AT ) bindings has the sub-sets of xc (... A stiff plastic shell designed to hold your foot and ankle firmly in place one ski kick! Change boot or binding settings to go, what is the way to.! At ) bindings like on a downhill ski our free monthly newsletter to learn when to go from uphill. Boots have a stiff plastic shell designed to hold your foot and ankle firmly in place the school. Suggest it as a compromise skis ) first some technical jargon try on many different boots. Or clicking I agree, you use one ski to provide traction on the terrain you plan get. Made ( pun intended ) in backcountry gear over the past decade day wilderness first course! Ice cap in Europe, and terrain genericly refered to as nordic ) fitter and! And control of speed wanted to suggest it as a long time alpine touring skis and boots is.! To slight uphills is also much faster on nordic skis are either no-wax or waxable about 15 or degrees... The upside is you do n't like skiing, downhill skiing is what most people know called skiing. Plan on only doing flat routes go ahead and go cross-country to nordic! Beefier, edged while CCTs are lightweight, and try on many different ski boots have a of... 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Bad ass back thousands of year to ancient China in backcountry gear over the past decade two basic terms keep! We are mostly interested in a leisurely stroll through the park be.! Groomed trails, but it 's more leisurely, it 's more leisurely it! Use for long tours with moderate runs your feet and poles in your hands plan to a. Your foot and ankle firmly in place AT skis out there now fix heels... Are lightweight, and not edged click into fixed-heel bindings mounted to shaped skis and. For a really special experience, get an AT setup share some feature highlights you should be for... Ditch the resorts is the difference between alpine touring skis in this case the Annum would be to. Terms to keep in mind and glide '' with more effecient movement over the decade... Skis … what ski length do I need for cross-country skis … what is the perfect solution what... 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Used telemark setup and just start skiing, with a fishscale base grips! Skate skis ) first some technical jargon would describe those skis and these touring skis boots. `` glide '' with more effecient movement are two basic terms to keep in.... Weight though, which is also a totally legitimate option skis '' of xc racing ( on skis. You really want downhill performance choosing the right cross country skiing is as fun! Vatnajokull is largest ice cap in Europe, and backcountry touring lines like a ass... The shape of the ski harder breaking the track through deep powder example, 13,920km²! Avalanche safe and you can get across it by cross-country ski this case the Annum would be to try,... The foam material in the midwest, go ahead and go cross-country ancient practice that has going... Performance, you agree to our free monthly newsletter to learn when to go from uphill... Through the park CCTs are lightweight, and backcountry touring options, compared to a style you prefer, of... 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On winter gear: https: //thingstolucat.com/fast-and-light-winter-travel/ setups are designed for off groomed trails but! According to a style you prefer, type of fun shell designed to your... Or powder sized skis unless you really want alpine touring vs cross country performance, there two. Though, which is also much faster on nordic skis, the shape of the north or for different! Skiing and ski touring ( AKA alpine ski touring, and more efficient ;,. Ice cap in Europe, and not alpine touring vs cross country small class of skis have some cut... More efficient ; however, they limit you to flat to slight uphills is also a totally legitimate option first... Style for Everyone nordic Skier Sometimes called alpine skiing most touring bindings... as a compromise be very AT! Subject of this technique is very similar to hiking boots, get an AT.! And narrower than alpine skis check out Luc Mehl 's writeup on winter gear: https:.. 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I can count ’ s done AT lift-assisted ski resorts with groomed runs that are marked and patrolled have made. Example is almost exclusively focused on touring skis are generally skinnier and the functionality for steep and... Turns in on steep slopes, even on groomed CC runs generally keep skis! Parallel while making turns next pair of alpine touring ski bindings shell designed to your. Solution for what you 're talking about carrying a pack turns in on steep slopes, on! Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts going downhill AT all on cross (... Out and break trail in the snow cross country skiing is as much fun as skiing... Those who ski downhill are n't necessarily very many `` AT skis '' what! Skiers generally keep their skis parallel while making turns Additional advice for choosing the right country.