10 Comments

  1. Hi Luc, I was wondering if you might weigh in on some gear related questions. I am putting a ski quiver together for doing traverses (e.g., Anchorage to Valdez, Juneau to Skagway, etc.), the AK Wilderness ski classic, and skimo expeditions (e.g., Sanford) and have three ski/binding combinations in mind using a LaSportiva Spitfire 2.1 boot with Intuition Pro Tour liner and 40 Below overboots. 1) Asnes Nansen (200/76-56-66) with Plum race 150 tech binding 2) Volkl Inuk (170/120-83-106) with Plum Guide Binding, and 3) Fischer Hannibal 96 (169/125-95-113) with Plum Guide binding . Does this sound about right? Can I dump either the Volkl or Fischer and just use one or the other or would both serve a purpose? I thought the skinnier AT ski would be better for warmer weather trips when snow is more consolidated and the wider AT plank would work better in a mid-winter snow pack when the snow is cold and dry. Am I on the right track here? Thanks. Curt Pollock, Anchorage, AK

    1. Hi Curt. Sounds like you are basically asking if you should have separate setups with 56, 83, and 95 mm underfoot. The answer depends on what trips you want to do. For a mostly xc trip, where the downhill sections will be terrifying, even if only 20 degrees… the 56mm ski will be great. If you want to make turns, get on technical terrain, the 95 would be good. I would be pretty comfortable cutting the 83 out of the running… not as fast for xc, not as turnable for ski mountaineering. I hear great things about the Blizzard Zero G for a mtneering ski at 95 mm.

      If you install inserts, you can easily swap bindings between the skis. This system works really well for me. I like binding freedom inserts better than quiver killer inserts.

      You probably won’t need overboots with the intuition liners.

  2. Hi Luc, I was assuming that a ski that is 95mm underfoot is adequate for ski mountaineering ascents of peaks like Mt. Sanford, figuring that the 95mm width is a good compromise between sufficient float in powder and maintaining a reasonable weight for skis and skins. Or should I be thinking of something more along the lines of 100-105mm underfoot? I am starting to doubt my original assumptions and would like to pick up a pair of skis while the year end sales are on and there is still some inventory. I am looking for a ski around 170 cm in length as I am 5’9″ and 162 pounds and an advanced skier. Thanks, Curt Pollock, Anchorage, AK

    1. Yeah, I think 95mm is a great ski mtneering and bc ski width. 88 is the ‘classic’ mountaineering ski width. I think the reality of skiing at altitude is that the snow is crap, crust or sastrugi, and in those conditions people seem to prefer the ~90mm widths. If you go 100-105 you will have more fun on powder but less fun on sastrugi.

  3. Got it. I think I will stick with the 95 underfoot. As always, thanks for your help. Curt

  4. Hi Luc, Well I ended up with the Fischer Hannibal for my winter expedition ski (169/125-95-113). Weight is 1253 g per ski. I will be using La Sportiva Spitfire 2.1 boots sized up to accommodate a heavier sock. Now I am trying to decide whether to put the Plum Guide on it or the Plum Race 150 . The Plum Guide has a three position riser (0mm, 59mm, 84mm), a skier weight range of 50-120 kg, a built in crampon slot, and a din range of 5.5-12. Per foot weight for the Guide is 345 grams. The Race 150 has one riser position (36mm), a non-adjustable DIN of 8, a skier weight range of 70-90kg, and the crampon slot (weight unknown) must be added if ski crampons are to be used. It weighs a scant 150 g per foot. Which binding would you suggest and why? All best, Curt Pollock, Anchorage, AK

    1. Hi Curt- I don’t have any experience with the Plum bindings other than seeing them break early in their evolution. I assume they are more durable now. Unless you are actually racing, seems like the extra weight of the Guide is worth the heel riser and din.

  5. Hi Luc, I was thinking the same thing, as the heel riser seems pretty darn important. Thanks for your guidance. Curt

  6. Hey Luc,

    We’re heading out to do the same route you did in Iceland in a couple days. I was hoping to have more time to plan the route over the Icecap. Any chance you’d share your Iceland route just so we have an idea of where not to go (ha ha). Would be much appreciated. Also, understand if it’s too late of notice. BTW…another member of the group also contacted you…

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