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Xc skis for mountaineering boots??
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Jan 5, 2013
Does anyone use a system where they can use their xc skis (with a kind of tele style binding) with ice climbing/ mountain boots? Something I've been thinking about doing for a while. Any thoughts or experiences?? Thinking long approaches and trips in the dacks

Or is this question totally off the mark.
From Red Hook, New York
Joined Apr 1, 2012
285 points
Jan 5, 2013
look into silveretta bindings clay meier
Joined Dec 24, 2008
385 points
Jan 5, 2013
Some AT bindings (like Silvrettas) will accommodate ice climbing boots as long as your boots have both toe and heel lugs. Take your boots to a shop with a decent selection of AT bindings and see which ones work. There are lots of good wax less touring skis to mount them to.

Otherwise, use cross country skis with some,lightweight cross country boots, then change into your ice boots at the crag.
Dave Wise
Joined Jun 18, 2006
56 points
Jan 5, 2013
There has been some talk from La Sportiva about placing tech inserts on their modern ice boots to be used with tech bindings. As far as tele goes, you would need a 75mm duckbill on the front of your boot, so that's a no-go. Silvretta made a series of bindings that work with ice boots: Silvretta 300, 404, and 500. The 500 is the modern binding and still available new, but you can find 404's on ebay most of the time.

My recommendation would be to forget all of it and go with the previous idea - ski in ski boots and climb in ice boots. I used to have a 500 setup on Karhu 10th mountains and they were nightmares to ski on and very heavy with the silvrettas and ice boots. If there was any downhill, technique was limited to leaning back, keeping your skis together and hoping that you don't have to make a turn. Better carry the boots to the crag and ski in on real boots.

I primarily ski and climb in the daks, my setup is the Maestrales on Dynafits and rossignol bc 125's. I can ski anything in them, light for approaches, and long simul-climbed trips are done in my Maestrales, ie. trap dike, nf of gothics, etc. Otherwise I carry my trango primes in the pack.
From Carlisle, PA
Joined Oct 20, 2010
70 points
Jan 5, 2013
BW...sent you an e-mail regarding your AT setup. Alpinisto
From Connecticut
Joined Mar 16, 2011
30 points
Jan 5, 2013
I talked to a guy from Sportiva NA a couple months ago. He said not to expect to see tech binding inserts in any of their boots any time soon, maybe in 5 years or more.

I have a silvretta setup that I like to use with my ice boots. They are not the lightest thing but it beats having to bring an extra set of boots and then having to put those cold boots on when I get to the climb.
Joined Jan 20, 2012
52 points
Jan 5, 2013
Agree with ski boots and ice boots. Skiing in the ice boots backcountry is ridiculously hard*.

  • especially if you suck at skiing
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Joined Jan 1, 2001
1,680 points
Jan 5, 2013
Skiing downhill in the woods with light nordic gear is no bowl of cherries either, even with a pack and plastic boots in it. I know folks with short approach skis that take the randonee bindings. Also know folks with alpine touring boots that take crampons.

I also know that W. Bonatti would ski to his climbs way back when. He was using the same boots for skiing and climbing.
John Husky
Joined May 10, 2011
8 points
Jan 6, 2013
Silverettas and ice boots for approaches. Find a good waxless ski to mount them on and just learn to ski in your ice boots. If you're headed into the backcountry in winter you're probably wearing a beefier boot which will ski better than the lightweight one you use for roadside stuff.

Carrying and extra pair of boots around on a day trip in the Adirondacks is just foolishness unless you enjoy putting on frozen boots twice in one day. No, this set-up will never ski as well as the rig you use riding the lifts but seriously, what sort of terrain are you descending in it? Avalanche Pass trail? People ski out of Avalanche Pass every nice weekend all winter on X-C gear they bought at Dicks Sportinggoods.
Joined Jul 25, 2012
8 points
Jan 6, 2013
BWIce wrote:
technique was limited to leaning back...

This was your first problem.
Devin Krevetski
From West Woodstock, VT
Joined May 3, 2008
55 points
Jan 6, 2013
Chouinard used to make a pair of lightweight inserts that could be used to adapt plastic ice climbing boots to tele bindings. I bought a few pairs in the late 1980's as they were hard to find back then and no longer being manufactured. Mine worked with Riva cable bindings and I still have them. I used them on a 30 day ski traverse of the Wrangell Mountains in Alaska. They worked fine. I'm surprised that a modern version hasn't been re-introduced. bargainhunter
Joined Sep 30, 2012
5 points
Jan 6, 2013
My dad had a pair of old elm skis from the '30s-'40s. They were 7'-8' long with no finish, just raw wood, one piece of elm steam bent into a ski shape. Though they were carefully shaped and had camber. The binding consisted of a single strip of leather that you would stick your toe under. You can see guys ski with this kind of ski in the documentary Fire on the Mountain (netflix). They would improve the binding by using a large Ball jar rubber gasket, girth hitched to the leather strap, as a heel bail. He would have a handfull of gaskets in his pocket in case of a release. He used them on early descents of Nose Dive @ Stowe before there was lift service. In the early '80s he tried to explain to me, a lift service hard man, how to make a telemark turn, which he said was easier than a stem christie in deep snow. I thought he was a total dork.

I later cut his skis in half to make a chair sled for dragging behind a car. Teenagers suck.
John Husky
Joined May 10, 2011
8 points
Jan 6, 2013
The Fritschi style bindings work with ice boots.

Yes, it is hard.
Stephan Doyle
Joined Jan 5, 2012
0 points
Jan 8, 2013
This topic has come up a few times before.

Up to WI4 I find it's easier to climb in my AT boots (Dynafit TLT5s) than to try and ski in my mountaineering boots.

A new pair of Silvretta 500s may be hard to find, I don't know if they're still sold in the US.
Martin le Roux
From Superior, CO
Joined Jul 16, 2003
281 points

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