Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
126 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Didn't want to hijack the other thread, but I trust my fellow mtbers to give me some good advice. I want to spend more time in the backcountry in the winter. I have snowshoes, but mtbing has ruined the whole hiking/snowshoeing thing for me. Just not fast enough I guess - and not enough ground covered. When I go hiking now, I feel like I have ADD. I am a big downhill skier but have xc skied maybe twice in my life. Those experiences taught me that xc skiing is waaaay different than downhill skiing. I'm wondering if I buy some cheap used xc skis if that will get me out but give me a little more fun factor. I assume snowshoes are a bit more versatile and can give you access to more areas, but I've tried mine in deep powder and that got me about 2 very tough miles in an hour. For those of you who do both -- what are the advantages/disadvantages to each?
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,577 Posts
I'll tell you what, I just skied the peaks trail from Breckenridge to Frisco (a very popular and well known MTB trail) and back. The hills going up are a great full body workout, and the hills going down are fast and exciting requiring about three different turn techniques. I skied about 18 miles in about three hours. If I had been on snowshoes I would have simply been plodding along and I would have turned around well before I got to Frisco. On skis I was gliding, using skill, balance, and almost every muscle in my body. As far as what requires more attention, the is no question it's skiing.

While I understand the appeal of snowshoeing to a lot of people - it gets you out in the woods under your own power and it takes absolutely no skill. There is no learning curve with snowshoes. Although XC skiing does take a skill set, it's nothing anybody who is reasonably fit and coordinated can't learn. Personally, I can't imagine snowshoeing if I can ski instead.
 

·
trail waggler
Joined
·
1,425 Posts
Dude...

I used to 'tour' with tele gear, and that is the way I mtb. Get some comfortable plastic boots, cable bindings, cheap, short DH skis, some kicker wax, and have fun!!:thumbsup:
 

·
t.i.t.s.ceo/FR amoeba rep
Joined
·
4,765 Posts
Agreed, snowshoeing is fun as a family thing. But i would rather put on tele gear and move twice as fast up hill and get some turns on the downhill. I cant say much for xc skiing as i only have done it once in high school when someone got hurt and we needed the combined points for the meet so i was racing an hour after putting them on. Sketchy on the downhill (for me at least!) Now i havent been out at all this year so i really cant say too much other than you can find some pretty cheap used gear (tele or AT) at various places. Try Alpenglow in Golden for pretty cheap rentals.

REI has some avalanche classes and transceiver classes as well.

Edit: guess you were asking more about xc, i would definately like to give it another try as it was fun i just like the climbing aspect of tele more and if you really want to climb on xc guess you could become proficient in the herringbone!
Recreation Slope Winter sport Winter Ski boot


But this is more fun IMHO!
Winter Freezing Snow Glacial landform Terrain
 

·
Pivot Rider
Joined
·
1,088 Posts
I tend to go more for the snowshoeing aspect myself. Can go just about anywhere, can just be out and enjoy the snow. I've been XC sking a few times and figured out that there are two types of XC sking you can do -- traditional and skater type -- both are excellent workouts. However, I've somehow ended up on black XC runs every time I've gone and have scared myself silly trying to ski down a hill on skis that have no edges -- (what is UP with that!!) so I tend to just either board or shoe. I have also learned that there are certain skills I've learned from xc skiing that I apply to snowshoeing for going downhill. Now THAT is fun! :thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,429 Posts
You guys are using the wrong gear. X/C skiing can be just as fun as MTBing, goto your X/C ski store look into waxless X/C touring gear. It's lightweight, has "fishscales" on the base so the whole picking the right kickwax is taken out of the experence, and the boots give enough support to go down most trails, but don't weight 5#each so the uphills can be fast. The downhills can be sketchy, I'm not advocating taking this to big mountain ski terrain. I have had this type of setup for years and on our well packed snowshoe trails, I can fly up the hill, and ski back down without too much drama.

for compairison;

Skating,and Classic X/C skiing on a groomed track is like road riding, great cardio but you'll want to stick to the groomed tracks.

X/C touring gear is like an old unsuspended mtb, or a 'cross bike, fast uphill, and along the flats but not as much control on the DH so you really need to watch your line.

Tele gear is the suspended MTB of the ski world, the bigger your boots and skis go, the easier it is to control on the DH, but your be suffering more to get it to the top of the hill.

I do all three, I use the skate gear when I need a good cardio workout and have limited time. I use my Touring setup when i have 2-3 hours to go get a reasonable cardio/endurance workout. The Tele gear is used on the ski hill to crank powder days, and moguls or for slogs into the backcountry for those great untouched powder runs.

To be safe be sure to read up or take a class on Avalanche awareness no matter what your doing in the b'country, and get out there and enjoy.
 

·
feel the Force
Joined
·
546 Posts
I like to get out and run up and down the peaks here in the front range. It's cheaper - all you need is a $4 box of machine screws for the soles of your running shoes. You get a great workout going up to the summit, then slip,slide, and boot ski all the way back down. I tend to be time-crunched and can't dedicate a whole day to skiing, but still want to get in the woods for a little bit.
 

·
slow
Joined
·
7,484 Posts
My wife prefers snowshoeing because she feels more in control than she does on the XC skis. When with the family, the snowshoes are the tool of choice, but, like the OP, I get bored on them and prefer the relative speed advantage of skinny skis. To me, the comparison is between "trudging" and "gliding."

My entire XC ski package (skis, boots, and poles) is old rental gear that was purchased at a fall ski swap for under $30 (or roughly 1/10th of the cost of my snoshoes) from the Breck or Frisco Nordic center years ago. More smiles / dollar.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,577 Posts
mtbjedi1 said:
I like to get out and run up and down the peaks here in the front range. It's cheaper - all you need is a $4 box of machine screws for the soles of your running shoes. You get a great workout going up to the summit, then slip,slide, and boot ski all the way back down. I tend to be time-crunched and can't dedicate a whole day to skiing, but still want to get in the woods for a little bit.
About once a week I'll run on my neighborhood hard packed trails a little using yak tracks. I always wait for the trails to get enough traffic on them so I'm not postholing and making a mess for skiers of which I am one. NEVER! posthole a ski track. Very much a winter trail faux pas.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
125 Posts
Tele gear is the suspended MTB of the ski world, the bigger your boots and skis go, the easier it is to control on the DH, but your be suffering more to get it to the top of the hill.
This and the other analogies in that post are great!

I would even take it a step further and suggest you can dial things in just as you can on the bikes. I've got an older tele setup for mellower terrain touring, narrower and stiffer ski, designed more for distance/speed but with control on the downhills. And I have a beefier setup for true backcountry touring: fatter ski, springier binding, so as to float in powder, bust through crud, etc. The former setup is akin to my XC full-suspension bike with 4" of front/back travel and 2.3/2.1 tires. The latter is more like the full-mountain FS setup with 6.5" travel and chubby 2.5s.

I use the lighter, thinner setup when my wife and I go out together b/c a) she's on a true XC touring setup, so I can keep up better, and b) one of us (mostly me) has the baby on our back, so its nicer to go lighter.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top