Yesterday Jared, Eric and I met and worked in some vertical before meeting up with Andy, Courtney, Noah, Tom and Nick, to put in more up in a blizzard and wind. I ended my morning with 7,000 vertical. I then cruised home for breakfast with Santa. Besides being in great company, what added to the fun was the fact that I am finally on a super light set up. My history is as follows: For years I tele toured with a series of different set ups then several years ago saw the alpine touring vision, purchasing some heavy Dynafit TF boots, big skis and Dynafit Vertical binding. I skied with some of my key lightweight influencers with this monster set up and knew that I had to go on a gear diet. The issue like always for a family man is cost. Light gear is expensive and from what I discovered yesterday there is a reason.
So about 2 years I took the intermediate step and bought some BD Gurus, mounted my Verticals and purchased the Scarpa Maestrale boot. With this set up I shed some weight, improved ski performance and was able to more fluidly travel in the high terrain. On this set up I have skied some dreamy lines throughout the Wasatch Range, Timpanogos Range (still Wasatch I guess) and the Tetons. I have even done a couple skimo races. All and all it is a great set up unless you are trying to chase down super humans for hours on end (for which I need a jet powered flight suit).
Enter the new realm. Just recently I ultimately caved and took the plunge and it has opened my eyes super wide. I have shaved nearly 2 full pounds in boot weight, 2.7 pounds in ski weight and 1.5 pounds in binding weight! This is what tips the scale for me.
Yesterday we started the morning in icy corduroy then as time passed ulitmately we skied in 6" of powder. Important to note my entire set up was brand new. Hagan X Race skis 160 cm, Dynafit TLT performance boots and La Sportiva RSR binding. Let me begin by saying climbing in the set up felt like a massage to my legs and mind. Does it still hurt to go up? Yes but it is a heck of a lot more fun.
Hagan X Race Ski
The descent was quite amazing. I found the Hagan ski to ride fast, and smooth whether I was making super G turns on the groomer or powder. Their performance to weight ratio is impressive. You do weight the ski bit more sensitively but the sweet spot is vast. While skimo really is about the up, Hagan has not forgotten the down. I look forward to putting them down steeper terrain in the very near future. Although you can expect a lightweight racing ski to handle a bit differently than a big mountain ski, the truth is the Hagan X Race ski rips. For more information on the Hagan Ski quiver check em out at: www.haganskiusa.com.
La Sportiva RSR Binding
The RSR binding is a minimalist racing binding which is a rapid in out and does everything you'd expect a racing/touring binding to do. Perfection. In fact the binding cost more than my first car. It is worth it right? The touring mode has a clasp that folds over the prongs of the rear entry keeping you forward for the climbs. The ski mode is super slick. Simply fold over the clasp and you are in.
Dynafit TLT Performance Boot
You can imagine the amount of research that goes into buying a boot. Yep, you need to try things on, measure the weight and performance to value. Lucky for me I have friends that know just about everything about gear. I bought one of the more tried and true light weight ski mountaineering boot of our time. The Dynafit TLT Performance (carbon cuff/black and yellow and white). The boot easily drove the Hagan ski and from what I can already see it will drive a bigger ski as well. It rides stiff on the down and smooth and slipper like flexible on the up (if the extra tongue is removed for the up). The boot has been raced for years and although there are others out there that shed even more weight, the boot is race ready. For the things I enjoy doing in the mountains I think it will be perfect.