Ski-touring: Gear Review & Photos
Ski Touring AKA Alpine Touring / Randonée skiing / AT backcountry skiing
Like many other women that ski, mountaineer, backpack, rock-climb… I’m always frustrated with the lack of gear reviews available for us girls. So, I decided to write a blog post about this after having a bad experience with a pair of expensive ski touring boots .
Although I’m going to say a few words on the Dynafit Women boots I got, the advice below also pertains to MEN !
The ones I got were Dynafit TLT6, 2015. I bought them for 340€ on sale in the Spring. They were ULTRA lightweight and super comfortable on the way up, but came with some serious disadvantages in ‘ski mode’.
First, they came with a removable plastic part that one inserts in preparation for the ski mode- I hated it. Having an extra piece of gear to keep track of is very inconvenient because there is a huge risk of loosing it: it could slide down the mountain or even get blown away by the wind (these two things nearly happened to me !) . The other downside to having a removable part is that it’s often cold when you reach a summit and I kept having to take my gloves to insert it…
Secondly, the boots were very low on my shin which didn’t give me enough support to ski. In addition to this, the boots were rather flexible which also affects your ski control.
Last but not least, the buckles were very difficult to clip on. I didn’t noticed this in the shop because the plastic was flexible due to the heat, but in the cold weather I found myself struggling to bend down and clip them on. This was truly inconvenient when balancing on a steep slope in the wind at 3,800m elevation !
I got the boots because they were a great deal and recommended for the uphill part of ski touring. They felt a little tight in the shop but the shopkeeper assured me that the bootie would wear in . I personally think it’s better to have a little extra room so you can wiggle your toes if it gets cold.
- ask the shopkeeper if people ever complained about the boots and ask as many shopkeepers as possible
- Never buy boots with extra pieces that you have to add to your boot to go in SKi mode!
- Don’t buy ski boots that are low on your shin: you won’t get used to it and it can mess-up your knees
- Find a pair of boots that are as rigid as possible, without being overly heavy
- If they are women’s boots with a men’s model try to find online reviews about the guy’s model
- be cautious of end-of-season great deals on boots
- Buy an older model so that people have had a chance to test it, and nag the shopkeepers for sincere customer feedback
- preferably shop at a place that offers free moulding when you buy the boots
Luckily I was able to sell my boots on a Facebook forum !
I love my knew Black Diamond Link 90s. they aren’t ultra light but at least they hold well in the not-so-good snow. Super lightweight skis have a tendency to rattle you around .
A mix of synthetic & Mohair (goat’s hair) is best. Black Diamond is the go-to for skins. If you ever have to cut and fit your own skins here is a good video I found.
Best bindings ever: Dynafit Speed Radical . My Dad and I both have them and Dynafit really revolutionised the ease of the ‘heel riser’ mechanism.
Best snack ever
Patagonia Provisions Carbon Farming Buffalo Jerky.
~ In general, good place for Reviews: The Outdoor Gear Lab . AS you can see they have reviews for Men’s ski touring boots, but not for women~
Although I wasn’t too satisfied with my boots I still got to enjoy some epic Randonée skiing this winter in Chamonix :