Intro to BC?

Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by aframe81, Jun 26, 2017.

  1. aframe81

    aframe81 Active Member

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    Hi brains trust,

    It's been a few years since I've been out skiing (3 young kids will do that to you) and I'm keen to get back into it next season.

    As a way of trying to make things more affordable, I'm looking into hiking/skinning to earn my runs. To start off with I plan to hike the resorts and eventually step off into out of bounds areas.

    I saw some threads from a few years ago on adaptors like BCA Alpine Trekkers to use my current gear rather than spending a small fortune on new equipment and the idea appeals to me based on the fairly short climbs I'd be initailly doing while getting back into things. Are these still an option? Anyone know where to get some?

    Not really keen on spending a heap of money if I'm not going to like it. Any stores that hire touring gear that I'd be able to bring my boots for?

    Cheers.
     
  2. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

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    Only use BCA Alpine Trekkers if you hate yourself.

    Get fit, very fit. Hire some Dynafit gear (Bruce in Jindy has stuff), skins etc and see if you like it. If you do (like it) go straight to Dynafit, as light weight skis and boots as you can afford and save yourself equipment redundancy pain and many $$$$$.

    And don't hike inbounds, the resort will hate you and you will miss the point of going backcountry i.e to get away from the hoards and find some serenity.
     
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  3. aframe81

    aframe81 Active Member

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    Thanks Fozzie,

    Not sure at this stage whether I will stick with it, so near the resort and as affordably as possible will be critical components to start with.

    I've been thinking heading out from Guthega would be a good start as it's near the resort but not too far.
     
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  4. Astro66

    Astro66 Still looking for a park in Thredbo
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    Rhythm in Cooma hires touring gear and skins. You can easily do some resort sidecountry.

    I bouught some second hand touring bindings and skins. Fitted them to my downhill skis. And have been jumping the ropes to try some sidecountry over the back of Perisher down to Guthega and around Charlottes.. Also been playing in skinning areas when in Canada.

    Only cost me about $400 to fully gear up after trying by hiring.
     
  5. aframe81

    aframe81 Active Member

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    Good to know. Definitely the way I'm looking to do things. Will keep a lookout for second hand gear to save on set-up.
     
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  6. Bloke

    Bloke Dedicated Member

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    Yep concur with Astro. Given your budget and stated intentions, i would recommend trying to find a second hand pair of AT frame bindings. Then put these on your existing skis with either the help of the internet or a ski shop if you're not handy with tools. This will only be a touch more expensive than trekkers, but infinitely better. As Fozzie says, trekkers suck big time. You'll still need skins.

    Old frame bindings come up for sale pretty often so you shouldn't have too much trouble finding some.
     
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  7. Mister Tee on snow shoes

    Mister Tee on snow shoes Dedicated Member

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    If you are based in NSW then the true BC is the Jangungal wilderness. Access can be via a 1300 M ascent from Bradney's Gap picnic ground on the Khancoban to Cabramurra road. That is shut by two large gates in winter but the Bradney's gap track starts well before the gates. You will need incredible fitness with a full winter pack and gear , excellent navigation skills and bullet proof gear . Do not rely on finding any huts at all.
     
    #7 Mister Tee on snow shoes, Jun 26, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2017
  8. PMG

    PMG Dedicated Member
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    Some snow will help too.
     
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  9. aframe81

    aframe81 Active Member

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    I'm in Canberra (not too much different to NSW). Not too keen to head out on big trips so far, but interesting to know about Jagungal. Might leave that for a few years (if ever).

    The plan at this stage is to start close to Perisher/Guthega or Selwyn and work towards heading further out into main range once experience, skill and gear increases.
     
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  10. Astro66

    Astro66 Still looking for a park in Thredbo
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    Sensible approach. Just don't forget you can get into trouble even when sidecountrying. So if possible. Go with peeps who know what they're doing the first time at least.
     
  11. Team Weasel

    Team Weasel Active Member

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    I'm going to do this more myself - like this last weekend when the BC didn't have the coverage, or when the weather is too crap to be up high. It's great for fitness and it does feel different (in a good way) compared to just sitting on lifts. Of course I'd rather be in the BC, but I think resort touring has a time and place.

    Anyone know if there are policies around resort uphilling at the moment?

    For the OP, do you like walking up hills? Because that is going to be 90% of your day earning turns. As recommended above, hire and try it out. If you like it lash out on the light gear and never look back.
     
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  12. Astro66

    Astro66 Still looking for a park in Thredbo
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    Telemark Phat has always told me that the resort own the lifts, not the land. So unless National Parks is stopping you. You can walk anywhere you are not in danger of being hit by Resort peripherals. Eg. Snowplow grooming an upper area
     
  13. aframe81

    aframe81 Active Member

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    I do like walking up hills and have done things like the Main Range walk a number of times.

    I think this will end up alot like mountain biking. It seems like an awful lot of up to earn the smile from the downhill :D
     
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  14. Mister Tee on snow shoes

    Mister Tee on snow shoes Dedicated Member

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    We here in Vic. have many BC options, of which some require access via a resort gate fee ( Mt. Stirling , the Bogong High Plains via Falls Creek etc. ) and others just require top fitness and gear , slogging it up 1300 M. + ascents such as Mt. Feathertop and Mt. Bogong. Yes you will need some snow which we don't have at present.
     
    #14 Mister Tee on snow shoes, Jun 26, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2017
  15. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Part of the Furniture
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    This is very resort specific. In NSW Thredbo controls the whole area. In Perisher, Smiggins and Guthega the resorts used to only control the lift footprint. Perisher had some sort of franchise arrangement over the XC trails which allowed them to exclude competing XC instructors. Blue Cow has had a licence over the whole area which may (or may not) allow them to exclude people.

    But, in the back of my mind, I have a feeling that all of the Perisher occupancy rights were rationalised about a decade ago.
     
  16. Team Weasel

    Team Weasel Active Member

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    True...I was curious if there was anything written down about it (as in policy documents). Ski patrol seem mostly agreeable from my experience (as long as you are being smart and not skinning back up the middle of the run).
     
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  17. Bloke

    Bloke Dedicated Member

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    Also have to lol at the idea that backcountry is a cheaper alternative to resort skiing. Many before have suffered this delusion.

    Backcountry skiing will invoke in you an irrepressible desire to spend all your money on equipment, and will make resort skiing look like the bargain option in hindsight. It's an inescapable money pit :D
     
  18. aframe81

    aframe81 Active Member

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    I think that's just called skiing isn't it? Well aware of the money pit, for the short term it would be "cheaper" or at least that's how I can sell it....
     
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  19. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

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    Yeah... nah...... my biggest mistake and expense was not going direct or Dynafit. An eight year odyssey through frame bindings (Fritschi Freeride and Marker Duke), non-tech boots (Garmont Adrenaline) and beefy tech boots (Technica Cochise) before I settled on the current light weight quiver that has now served for 3-4 years (DPS Wailer 105, Dynafit TLT Vertical & Scarpa Maestrale) . Biggest expense currently is bikes, scuba gear and that I should get my private pilots licence as the GF is resurrecting hers.
     
  20. nfip

    nfip Part of the Furniture
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    This .
    See the footer to mine.
    And listen to Fozzie Bear he told me , he told me.
    But now I've nearly , only nearly !! , got half as much gear as him LOL;)
     
  21. CarveMan

    CarveMan aussieskier.com
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    I don't think
    I'm so glad I went direct to pins.
     
  22. nfip

    nfip Part of the Furniture
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    stay in touch here and I have spare pair of AT ski/binding at Guthega.
    If the planets align you're welcome to come play across the dam on them.
     
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  23. Bloke

    Bloke Dedicated Member

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    Me too!
     
  24. nfip

    nfip Part of the Furniture
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    I love the one I got recently...
    How many back packs do you need ?.
    Poker face....well actually need a bigger...
     
  25. Chaeron

    Chaeron Well-Known Member
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    I skied frame bindings, but so glad I uograded - not just to tech bindings, but to lightweight boots and light and wider BC skis. OK, so I got a quiver - patterned bases AND some light all-mountains -most defintely BC isn't cheaper than resort skiing once you get into it, but it's all about complementary pleasures....
     
  26. Chaeron

    Chaeron Well-Known Member
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    overdraft...


    BUT You can never have too many skis, backpacks, tents....
     
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  27. nfip

    nfip Part of the Furniture
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    Something about poaching them lines....:)
     
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  28. nfip

    nfip Part of the Furniture
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    He who dies with the most toys wins.
     
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  29. Chaeron

    Chaeron Well-Known Member
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    More Gain, less pain...
     
  30. Chaeron

    Chaeron Well-Known Member
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    @nfip - I identify with your signature and frequently quote it to +1. Forgiveness is easier than....
     
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  31. Annabuzzy

    Annabuzzy Addicted Member
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    Without getting too self referential here., I have some Salomon Q98s with Dynastar Early Tram AT bindings (rebranded Naxos and still sold by Bruce) on eBay at the moment with a starting bid of $175. Go for it
     
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  32. CarveMan

    CarveMan aussieskier.com
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    I have the opposite - when I get something cool the green eyed monster comes out and she has to have one too!!
     
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  33. CarveMan

    CarveMan aussieskier.com
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    Post the link.
     
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  34. zac150

    zac150 Well-Known Member

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    Once you get your kit sorted I'd still recommend at least a day getting used to it at a resort.

    There's nothing like the volume of turns you get at a resort to iron out the rustiness and get you used to the nuisances of your gear.
     
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  35. zac150

    zac150 Well-Known Member

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    I'm glad I'm not the only one that suffers this! I announced I was getting the bc's off you and next thing I know +1 was upstairs checking out my quiver working out which ones she was taking for her powder / touring skis
     
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  36. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend
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    And it has to be a better one! Tell me about it!!
     
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  37. Chaeron

    Chaeron Well-Known Member
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    It ges worse - the oldest offspring decides which of your boots he fancies most when he gets to your foot size, and then the skis are next!
     
  38. zac150

    zac150 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah but I'm sure we are all proud to say our plus ones have more ski boots than high heels! I know I am!
     
    #38 zac150, Jun 26, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2017
  39. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

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    lel the GF showed me a go fast bike with curly handlebars to add to her quiver...... she didn't have a problem dropping $5k on a new bike :love: Now to get her skiing up to speed.
     
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  40. CarveMan

    CarveMan aussieskier.com
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    Mine also has an ice axe and crampons :evil:
     
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  41. nfip

    nfip Part of the Furniture
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    Like !
     
  42. Ajmit321

    Ajmit321 Active Member

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    Get decent boots and go from there... The difference b/t AT and ski boots is huge. I have done 1000m vertical in ski boots and it was hell, good blisters the next day. I honestly think you could buy a pair of AT boots now that are 95% as good as normal ski boots like MTN labs, pro guides, the new mastraele (could be wrong - something scarpa) . You don't need to spend a lot of money i picked up a second hand pair of nearly new line prophets with marker tours on them. Next biggest thing is fitness you can't be unfit and tour that well.

    Best thing is trial and error. You will work it out pretty quick when you are skinning up a steep slope.... ha ha .
     
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  43. aframe81

    aframe81 Active Member

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    Thanks for the offer Nfip, I'll keep it in mind if I can get a leave pass.

    Good to hear from alot of you that your +1's are right into skiing. I'm still working on that with mine, but already have Miss 6 asking when I can take her skiing, so I'm on the way to some snow time at least. Being in Canberra I'll take her to Corin Forest now they have snow making and a 100m long hill with magic carpet and put her in some lessons. 45min from home and half the price of the resorts can't hurt too much for her to try.
     
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  44. aframe81

    aframe81 Active Member

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    So thanks to someone at work, I'll have a set of BCA Trekkers by September. Will then look at sourcing skins before next season and then hopefully the journey in BC can begin. Like I said I'll stick close to resorts to start off with while i'm getting back into things and will probablt try for a few days in resort as a minimum to get my snow legs back before heading out of bounds. Looking forward to it :):emoji_cloud_snow:
     
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  45. Mister Tee on snow shoes

    Mister Tee on snow shoes Dedicated Member

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    On Mt. Bogong One does see BC ski enthusiasts and snow boarders not just using skins for the ascents but GRIVEL Crampons and an ice axe . That is quite wise. The Eskdale spur is steep and often very icy in the mornings in winter.
     
  46. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve Addicted Member
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    There would be a whole array of different approaches both in NSW and in Vic.

    We hear that you want to get settled with shorter trips before you disappear over the hill and beyond.

    Selwyn can be a good place to start......some marked trails ...then a chance to go further Sth on AWT to
    Four Mile ,Brocken Dam and Mt Tabletop.....but this will depend on snow fall....which must be limited at this stage of the season.So pretty easy car access to Selwyn.....then maybe a long day trip into Happy Jacks Plain checking out Happy Hut and Brooke's Hut :so you work up a bit of local knowledge that will make any subsequent trips much easier.

    And on a longer drive you may want to come and check out Mt Wills.Spending a night or two up in the hut.
     
  47. CarveMan

    CarveMan aussieskier.com
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    Won't go near the place without crampons and axe. Aim is never to use it, because as discussed elsewhere there's not much difference between needing them, and needing a rope as well, but with the prospect of icy mornings, and unexpected afternoon refreezes they are essential.
     
  48. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

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    Sheese, how many times do I have to say...

    If you have a big hoof I have a paid of Fritschi Freeride + you can have for a slab (or monetary equivalent) and postage.
     
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  49. aframe81

    aframe81 Active Member

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    Thanks Fozzie,

    Not sure how big they'd need to be. I'll have to check my boot sizing at home but wear US10.5-11 shoes depending on brand. May be too small if you have clown feet....

    I'll look at home tonight, but if they'll fit I'll definitely go for a set of bindings over the Trekkers if they'll work. Paying about a slab worth for the trekkers anyway.

    Where's postage from?
     
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  50. CarveMan

    CarveMan aussieskier.com
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    Friends don't let friends use trekkers. They actually put us as a group in potential danger on a Feathertop trip. It turned out fine but it seriously could not have been.
     
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