NNC-BC or 75mm around Falls

Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by pegasusSki, Jun 28, 2016.

  1. pegasusSki

    pegasusSki Active Member

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    G'day
    I posted last year about an AT ski setup and didn't get a chance to get out last season :)

    I've been mulling over my approach and have decided that as I can't afford an AT setup that I might
    get some comfy boots for basic undulating BC around Falls : around the trails to huts and out across to the Plains. I'm looking more into touring and shallow descents, nothing major. I killed myself on a set of hired Excursions a few years ago - bad blisters, boot fit issues - put me right off tele gear.

    I'm now considering a soft boot Alpina Alaska with a NNN-BC binding - I tried on a softer similar boot in Bogong and they were very comfortable and they are on special from backcountry right now. However I am also considering the Alpina Alaska 75mm for the simple reason that I could go with a light Telemark binding and ditch the cable - Bogong sell a light tele without the cable. Also I am wondering whether ski hire shops in Falls/Mt Stirling are more likely to hire ski with teles on them - saving me from buying skis or bindings. The final factor is whether I can get a crampon for the 75mm duckbill.

    Is it people's opinion I should give 75mm one last chance, and that a choice of softer/lighter boot or lighter binding might help me out this time, and that 75mm is more versatile?

    Cheers
     
  2. skifree

    skifree Part of the Furniture
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    NNN if tour & distance is the goal with minimal off groomed track work.

    75mil if more off groomed tracks & going out in all weather is expected.

    Both will Tele, most folks find both very challenging to tele in, 75 mil would be a little easier particularly if you go the cable binding.
     
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  3. Hully

    Hully Dedicated Member

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    Drop into Rocky Valley Sports on the highway into Mt Beauty and hire to give it a go. Not sure if they do NNN BC or not but will shoot over and have a look today. You just want a medium duty track setup for what you are wanting to do.
     
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  4. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Active Member

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    I think either will work so long as the boot and ski combination work well together
    I think it is more important that the boots fit properly.
     
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  5. pegasusSki

    pegasusSki Active Member

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    Thanks Guys. It's the fit of the boot I am aiming towards. Part of my decision is what skis and bindings are on hire : EMC don't hire out NNN-BC with metal edges, only classic groomer skis so l might still angle for 75mm.
     
    #5 pegasusSki, Jun 29, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2016
  6. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Active Member

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    If comfort more than performance is the issue perhaps leather may suit you? Check out the Andrew Claut, it's the old Scarpa Nor-Tour and a very comfortable boot if you want to go duckbill I had a pair for 20 years, then passed them on to a beginner when I went to the T1 and T2
    http://www.bogong.com.au/andrew-claut-12.html

    You do need to wear gaiters with this boot, used I used Chouniard Supergaiters
     
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  7. Kletterer

    Kletterer Addicted Member
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    That would be Chouinard you meant ? Some of that old gear is quite collectable these days.
     
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  8. pegasusSki

    pegasusSki Active Member

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    Hi I tried those leather boots only the other day and the top of the boot where the laces end dug painfully right into the the top of my toes ..instant rejection I'm afraid! I get that boots need breaking in but I thought that ridiculous...

    Cheers
     
  9. currawong

    currawong Old And Crusty
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    Not sure what the situation is now but I'm pretty sure NNN-BC used to be available at windy corner. Rocky Valley had Tele skis for hire.
     
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  10. pegasusSki

    pegasusSki Active Member

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    Thanks all!

    ..I probably hold some sort of record for slowest poster, 1 post a year and very slow progress :) (and updates)

    I got a Alpine Alaska NNN_BC boot from backcountry and the things are like slippers. Also double up as my snow alpine walking boots that can take crampons.

    Last July -:- ) I hired a pair of fairly skinny Parvos 175cm from Windy Corner and had no problems tracking around Falls on the circuits with a pack. Nice and comfy. However, I discovered I had zero control and turn ability on the downhill narrow trails so couldn't get out on to the BHP that day - also vis was poor.

    So I've decided to look into Epochs at around 165cm even if I concede glide. Perhaps NNN-BC won't work.

    Next step is deciding whether I need a 75mm version of the Alaska, or Crispis, and something like Voille Switchbacks
    or whether to head out to AT (getting boots fitted) after all as I would prefer release ultimately.

    cheers
     
    #10 pegasusSki, May 19, 2017 at 6:57 PM
    Last edited: May 19, 2017 at 7:13 PM
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  11. satanas

    satanas Active Member

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    It is imperative that you try on the brand of boot you are considering, and preferably the model too!!!

    Fit is much, much more important than binding type if you wish to avoid sore feet. Somebody posted that Alpina boots are like slippers, and if they meant that they're wide and shapeless then I agree; I cannot wear them. There's quite a range of shapes catered to between the various brands out there, so it should be possible to find something workable. Buying unknown boots via mail order is a good way to waste money; ask me how I know this. :-(

    You will find that BC gear is lighter and more comfortable, assuming it fits correctly, but that plastic is more supportive, powerful, warm and waterproof. Leather 75mm is rare these days, INHO for good reason as the boots aren't cheap to make and leather can get soaked and freeze solid overnight; BC boots don't do this and can thus be much warmer and more comfortable on cold mornings.

    With BC you will also be limited to narrower skis, which may or may not matter to you, but there'sess chance rge boots and bindings will get hung up in tracks than with 75mm. I'd use a shim under the binding if you might ski in tracks with 75mm, and try to keep skis under ~70mm wide if there'll be much track use.
     
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  12. slotele

    slotele Just Registered

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    Hi, I ski the same area and have tried SBound and Epochs for the last three years. I don't know how heavy you are but 165 is pretty short. I'm 70kg and found the 169, & 175 to not glide well compared to a little longer. This year I'm using 185 Epochs. I found NNN-BC to be uncomfortably lacking in control to the extent that they were scary on icy traverses with steep drop offs.

    Hired boots are hit and miss, I have tried excursions ( one year bad the next brilliant ) and T4's ( painful ankle after 2 days ). Also different people will put you into vastly different size boots - I have been fitted 26.5 to 29 from the same shop.
     
  13. chriscross

    chriscross Dedicated Member
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    Mt Stirling could be a good place to try out some different hire equipment on mountain and see what works best for you.
     
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  14. pegasusSki

    pegasusSki Active Member

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    Did you prefer the Epoch to SBound? I'm 165cm tall and about 66kg and I struggle with 175cm skis - great on the glide I admit! It's my height not so much my weight. Excursions left me in agony so I do know I will need to get boots fitted.

    I said that the Alpinas were like slippers. I now have the perfect boot for lapping trails with NNN-BC and snow walking/camping plus crampons.

    The issue is that its hard to hire AT in AU. I might give tele another go and try to take more care with boot hire. I simply do not have the cash to visit EMC and drop a bundle on a light AT boot, tech and Epochs whilst I am still exploring options and know mail order will be a huge risk (for me).

    yup last year I was in contact with Falls Creek hire shops but will try Mansfield. I see that the shop at Telephone Box Junction hires 'XCD GTs' and 'Guides' (probably Eons and Annums).
     
    #14 pegasusSki, May 21, 2017 at 5:39 PM
    Last edited: May 21, 2017 at 5:57 PM
  15. chriscross

    chriscross Dedicated Member
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    Yes, that's "Stirling Experience" - a better range of touring gear than available in Mansfield (afair). Could be a good way to get an idea of what might suit you. Test it out on the lower trails or head up Bluff Spur trail and see how it goes coming back down.
     
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  16. pegasusSki

    pegasusSki Active Member

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    Yes I found that :). If I had known all that gear was available closer to Melbourne it might have saved some time. I don't see why I can't try out a range over the course of the day, including some steeper turns. Thanks again!
     
  17. slotele

    slotele Just Registered

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    Hi, I went with the Epoch because I was able to get a pair for a good price. The SBound 98, or whatever it is called this year was just as good it just happened the Epochs came up first. The old Boundless was not so, Initially I thought it was the base pattern but it was probably also due to skiing too short. Downhill with a 169 it was kind of slow, didn't run and didn't climb too well either. I tried other people skis on the same slope and was able to climb more directly with the SBound in 179 and Epoch in 175. The longer skis also went further on a straight downhill comparison.

    Finally, I tried the Epoch in 185 and found it was still manageable to turn and climbed and glided nicely. I suppose it all comes down to what you think you are going to do. If you are touring the BHP and huts then your light tele binding and boots would be suitable. But if you were going to trash every meadow you come across, you may find you lack the ability to get your skis to do what you want. My Brother has the Voile Hardwire bindings and uses the toe clip & pins for touring and going up but snaps the cables on for downhill. That seems to be a good compromise, I prefer to use the cables and have better control over the ski all the time.
     
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  18. satanas

    satanas Active Member

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    Different people are going to like different things - the best solution is to demo if at all possible. Also, sometimes the layup or other things change from year to year, so it's best to buy *exactly* the model you demo. I tried the Boundless years ago and then they softened the skis; I would've gone longer if I'd known.

    Be cautious about going too long, as if you do both grip and manoeuvrability are likely to be lacking. Too short/soft has problems too but they're easier to work around. If skis are too stiff they might not work except at warp speed, especially true with tele bindings; snappy skis are good, ones you can't bend not so much.
     
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  19. Chaeron

    Chaeron Active Member
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    I've just mounted some Dynafit Radical tech bindings on a pair of 178 Annums - keen to see how they go. Will keep you posted. I've gone for the wider Annums as they marry more easily with the Dynafit bindings & possibly give me more gain in icy conditions & might tour more easily. Planning to use them with kicker skins as needed.

    I've belatedly accepted one needs an Aussie BC quiver of at least two - patterned bases for them rolling hills, and an unpatterned set which will take full length skins along with ski crampons and do better on descents.
     
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  20. pegasusSki

    pegasusSki Active Member

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    Thanks guys.

    Yes the fact I now have a great NNN_BC boot means I can marry with say an Eon for shorter trips around the back of Falls towards the plains. So I suppose I am now investigating the next step or quiver arrow towards 75mm and AT with Epoch+ / patterned ski. It's the cost, plus the option of a comfy 75mm boot that is leading me to give 75mm another chance, plus whether I must have a plastic boot which I will try and solve this season at Stirling. :) Speaking as someone who hasn't tried!, not sure if a wider Annum or say BC-125 will tour (glide) better. There are people who swear by the wider patterns out here but I suspect they are the people chasing the steeps BC. My needs are more ski-mountaineering - ridgelines and ploughing/flotation.

    As I am a 'poor' skiier - never got beyond a red in Europe, I feel I need the shorter ski. At my height and a pack, in the past, 175cm feels plain awkward for turns. Of course, for a lot of downhill I'd remove pack and be lapping.
     
  21. Chaeron

    Chaeron Active Member
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    @Ziggy has great insights on these issues ( see his posts on the BC-125 vs. Annums. I think the BC's came out on top IIRC) Also - Go for quiverkillers/ Binding Freedom inserts and you can use the same bindings on multiple skis.... for an outlay of @$45.
     
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