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Author Topic: AT vs Alpine in the Resort ???  (Read 1937 times)
dave095790
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AT vs Alpine in the Resort ???
« on: 02/14/18, 08:05 PM »

Problem:  after many years of Tele and Rando Racing, with almost no give-a-fuck for locked-heel downhill form or technique, I am very interested in bringing myself back into top locked-heel downhill form. 

Complicating Factors:  I have ultralight AT gear (TLT5, TLT6 boots, RT bindings, LaSpo skis) and some mid-weight AT gear (Vulcan boots, Ion LT 12 and Kingpin bindings, DPS skis).  I do not have any resort specific, downhill focused equipment. 

Possible part of solution:  I am considering taking advantage of the current available sales to get a real alpine boot, binding, and ski combo to utilize inbounds instead of skiing the Vulcan/Kingpin/DPS combo. 

Hesitation:  The Vulcan/Kingpin/DPS combo is damn good, boarderline as good as any downhill alpine combo and am not sure the price, hassel is worth it ...

What does the TAY collective think?

Will it matter? 

Will the improved performance in bounds translate to better performance in the AT gear? 

Do all of you have your touring rig and then your resort rig?

I have been working with some professional instructors at Stevens to get rid of years of bag habits ..
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filbo
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Re: AT vs Alpine in the Resort ???
« Reply #1 on: 02/15/18, 08:49 AM »

Interesting ? Dave and I am looking forward to reading replys.   I am leaning your way in respect to resort skiing but only because my age 71 has changed how keen I am to tour compared to say just ten years ago.   I am not a hard pack skier at the resort, but I am still a powder hound any day it snows, as well as a much more frequent side country guy compared to all day touring.
My resort and side country set up is a bit old but solid for any resort skiing I care to do.
Scarpa Spirit 4's==4 buckle boots at about 4lbs per boot.  This is my one quiver boot.
Marker Barons with a Din range up to 12 if you want it.
Hart Outbacks  178   132-105-123
My tour set up is another pair of Outbacks with Dynafit Vertical St's.

My 4 buckle AT boot and AT binder handle all I wish to ski at the resort and then some, but I am not bump or speed skiing and keep my skis down in the pow and not hucking anything these days.
Best on your finding a solution.
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altasnob
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Re: AT vs Alpine in the Resort ???
« Reply #2 on: 02/15/18, 09:18 AM »

Have not skied Vulcan/Kingpin/DPS but I have skied resorts for several years on Scarpa Maestrale RS/Dynafit Vertical ST/Voile V8. In powder good, everything else, not good. So not good that I bought a snowboard and now prefer to snowboard when I am in bounds (snowboard setup is way cheaper than alpine ski gear). I am envious of other skiers' heavy, stiff, alpine gear but can't justify buying alpine gear for the limited days I ski in bounds.
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ridngoofy
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Re: AT vs Alpine in the Resort ???
« Reply #3 on: 02/15/18, 09:24 AM »

My wife and I like to do a mulitple days in Whistler where we spend a day in bounds and a day out of bounds.  So I upgraded my boots this year to Atomic Hawx 130 and I am liking them.  A little stiff but they work work for the dual purpose coupled with Marker Kingin.  However, I bought the Tecton for my wife and these did not work out.
http://www.turns-all-year.com/skiing_snowboarding/trip_reports/index.php?topic=39645.0

So now I am getting re-educated on bindings. 
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skibacks
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Re: AT vs Alpine in the Resort ???
« Reply #4 on: 02/15/18, 10:09 AM »

I switched from Dynafits to Kingpins after a couple
slide for lifes on hardsnow Middle Ferks at Crystal. 
The heel retention on the Kingpins is superior for my
72” 210 lb 7 din skiing - both on and off piste.
I use the Tecnica Zero G Guide Pro boot as a daily driver and the weight and traction
Are awesome on the Southback hikes.  Based on my read, I would try a few resort days on your Kingpins before you blow some dough on a new setup.
And.... I’ll be 70 next week.
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skibacks
Randy
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Re: AT vs Alpine in the Resort ???
« Reply #5 on: 02/15/18, 10:37 AM »

Many of the resorts have "Demo Centers" where you can rent high performance alpine gear.    Why not give that a whirl ?

FWIW: My resort / sidecountry setup is Scarpa Freedom SL 130s and Vipec bindings.   More solid feel than regular Dynafit heelpieces and I do like the toe release. 
« Last Edit: 02/15/18, 10:41 AM by Randy » Logged
Jim Oker
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Re: AT vs Alpine in the Resort ???
« Reply #6 on: 02/15/18, 12:48 PM »

yeah, try demos. I really enjoy  having full-on alpine gear for the resorts but then my AT gear is on the light side so not comparable to  your heavier setup. So  I don't have  a relevant  personal comparison to  offer.

That said, one of my perceived benefits of not trying to straddle  is  that I know my setup takes much more of  a pounding at the  resorts, both due to increased vertical  skied as  well as due to my  style of skiing at resorts where potential consequences aren't  quite as great. I like that  the gear I'm  counting on  to get me back out from  a tour hasn't been subject to said pounding.
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Andrew Carey
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Re: AT vs Alpine in the Resort ???
« Reply #7 on: 02/15/18, 03:31 PM »

I opted to go Alpine for for skiing hard-snow & shallow-snow groomers and bumps after having a serious leg injury with Volkl Nanuqs, Radical Sts, and Mercury boots.  I justed wanted to have as good as possible safety for me and the bindings :-), including release, shock absorption, flexing, etc.  I bought Dalbello Panterra 120s with after-market Intuition Liners and Booster straps, Tyrolia Attack binding, and Ficscher Motive 95 ti skis.  Works great for the groomers and bumps and does ok off piste and in the woods.  It is a heavy setup, esp. the Dalbellos [which I bought because I could micro-adjust the last width, the ramp angle, the flex, and buckle tension as well as cant}  and thus is not as nimble as I would like in the woods off-piste.  Often there are very good off-season buys on boots, bindings, and skis.

I have Mercury boots (with Booster Strap, but I don't use the accessory tongues leaving about a 100 flex) mounted with Kingpins to Fischer Ranger 98 ti as a softer-snow piste, off-piste, sidecountry, and sometimes backcountry outfit.  It is superb for the way I ski lift-served but, of course a little heavy bc, but I have 4 different bc-dedicated skis [Voile Vector BC, Movement Vertex-X, Dynafit Cho Oyu, and Movement Shifts] and 3 boots [TLT6, Scarpa F1, Dynafit Mercury--all with Booster Straps :-)]..

I also use the Mercs with Voile V8 skis with Plum Yak bindings for lift-served deep, soft snow--super fun, playful, quick etc.  I also use this outfit bc with really deep snow.

There are always trade-offs.  But IMHO it is worthwhile to have a dedicated alpine setup for the hard snow, fast speed groomer and bumps skiing.  Lots of discussion on Wildsnow and elsewhere of the limitation of tech bindings on-piste; YMMV.  Depending on skiing style and frequency, the new Tectons and the forthcoming Salomon Shift bindings offer more versatility.  I reallly liked the progressive flex of my Zzeus and a similar boot with a 100+ flex, with Techtons/Shifts, and Ranger 98ti might well substitute for the 3 combos I now use lift-served.  Not putting down other skis--I loved my Volkl Mantras, Kastle LX92s, Rossi S7s, etc but I've just have more fun on the Rangers and V8s but my V8s can be punishing in hard, icy snow.i
« Last Edit: 02/15/18, 03:36 PM by Andrew Carey » Logged

... want your own private skintrack? Better move to the yukon dude. (B'ham Allen, 2011).
...USA: government of the people by corporate proxies for business.

Andy Carey, Nisqually Park, 3500 feet below Paradise
mikerolfs
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Re: AT vs Alpine in the Resort ???
« Reply #8 on: 02/15/18, 04:35 PM »

Whenever I am in the resort with my touring gear, I fear injury from release followed by a slide into the trees. I usually use dedicated alpine gear in the resort and have way more fun. I see people skiing fast on pin bindings, but they scare me.
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dfhkvs
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Re: AT vs Alpine in the Resort ???
« Reply #9 on: 02/15/18, 05:16 PM »

At the resort, I only ski my tele rig, or my AT rig. I don't own dedicated alpine. My AT is Scarpa Maestrale with dynafit radical bindings. I don't find that I am limited at all by my gear.

I may be limited by my desire not to f&$k myself up, however. So, the way I ski in my mid-40s is a lot different than how I skied in my mid-20s. I take the bumps a bit easier, I avoid air, etc.

And my gear is GREAT for the way I ski.

D.
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dave095790
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Re: AT vs Alpine in the Resort ???
« Reply #10 on: 02/15/18, 08:07 PM »

Thanks everyone for the influx of helpful comments. 

The demo idea has been on the radar and is, in reality, probably the best option off the bat to see how green the grass might be on the other side. 

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slacker
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Re: AT vs Alpine in the Resort ???
« Reply #11 on: 02/15/18, 09:23 PM »

Interesting questions and replies. I have been  through the process so I can throw in.


There are a few questions to ask but I would ask what conditions you are going to be skiing inbounds?

IMO if you are a dedicated resort SOFT snow skier your mid weight AT set up will ski the pow as well inbounds as out of bounds.  Having a light and easy swing weight is terrific in the pow Especially in the trees because they turn so much quicker and easier than a heavy set up.

If you’re going to be skiing groomers, chundery snow (that’s a thing right?)
and/or  hard pack a super light AT set up is going to get thrown around.
A heavier and stiffer set up will give you more control and confidence in those conditions.

Since Resort skiing is usually a pretty mixed bag of conditions you almost need a setup that can handle it.

I have two dedicated set ups. Ultra lightweight AT for touring.
Ion 12, DPS Wailer Tour 1,  Atomic Backland Carbon.

Mid weight AT  for soft snow resort and side country skiing.
Kingpins on Soul 7 HD with a stiffer AT boot.

I tend to ski faster and a little more aggressive inbounds so I was a little nervous about a prerelease when I started skiing with a tech set up inbounds. But,  I haven’t had any issues with the Kingpin. The heel piece does a great job holding it all down.

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natefred
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Re: AT vs Alpine in the Resort ???
« Reply #12 on: 02/16/18, 09:52 AM »

Always a good call to demo, but beside that I'd say without a doubt get dedicated alpine gear for resort skiing unless you're pinched for $. Don't torment over the hypothetical details. You won't regret it if you're going to ski more than a few days a season in bounds.

From a practical standpoint you can get a great pair of last year's or used skis that work great in all conditions for not much money & bindings are cheap and extremely durable so why put the wear and tear on your pricey and less durable (inarguable) AT gear which is not going to ski as well anyway?

Spending the time and money to find boots you love is a bigger investment, but once done you will get at least 5 years out of them.

Inbound skiing on any sort of gear will improve your AT skiing, you'll just have more fun doing it on alpine gear.
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sgertz
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Re: AT vs Alpine in the Resort ???
« Reply #13 on: 02/16/18, 10:24 AM »

If your Vulcans have a sole that meets the ISO 9523 standard, you could use them inbounds with a binding like the Marker Squire ID that is designed to work with touring boots.

That's what I did with my Maestrales. Works like a charm.

Just don't take the bindings to REI to get mounted, they don't know shit...
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Bird Dog
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Re: AT vs Alpine in the Resort ???
« Reply #14 on: 02/17/18, 08:36 PM »

Due to too much kid stuff, I've done very little backcountry in the last few years. For the 5 past seasons I skied mostly resorts in Washington & Colorado; on Dynafit Titan boots, G3 Onyx bindings, mounted on 186 Atomic Charter's. Never had a pre-release; only popped out a couple of times in major crash events.

Really happy with the package at resorts.
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flowing alpy
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Re: AT vs Alpine in the Resort ???
« Reply #15 on: 02/18/18, 07:37 PM »

If I’m at a resort, say Bachelor or The Southern Resort,
I would have no concern about riding tech gear daily.
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Scottk
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Re: AT vs Alpine in the Resort ???
« Reply #16 on: 02/19/18, 05:55 PM »

I use my alpine touring tech gear in bounds about 10 days a year with no issues.  Although I ski pretty fast when conditions are smooth and/or soft, I don't pound through bumps or catch air on a regular basis.  Having the right skis is important.  I mostly use K2 Hardsides in bounds, which are pretty sturdy skis.  I haven't' skied with alpine boots and binding in many years so I may not know what I'm missing.
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OregonDead
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Re: AT vs Alpine in the Resort ???
« Reply #17 on: 02/20/18, 09:47 AM »

Take advantage of the sweet sales and get yourself another set up!  I recently bought a brand new pair of fatty pow skis and brand new Warden bindings for about $280 total. I've been liking the Tyrolia Attack 12 and 13 bindings lately ( they ride nice and have a sturdy looking metal piece where the heel mounts to the ski) but found the Wardens for a way better deal so going to give them a try. The fact that they are still unmounted in my living room is probably what brought in the sweet powder over the past few days but luckily I have a couple other pairs of pow skis.  Moar Skis!   
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Rainypm
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Re: AT vs Alpine in the Resort ???
« Reply #18 on: 02/20/18, 12:39 PM »

I used my touring set up (maestrale rs/dynafit/G3 tonics) both in-bounds and back-country for several years.
While I found it worked just fine, I noticed it was more of who I was skiing with that mattered.

If I was with my back-country friends then the touring set up was just fine in-bounds. However if I was skiing with my resort friends, I just didn't feel as comfortable skiing as hard/fast as the group with resort set-up.

So I put together a set up for in-bounds. I use the same boots as my fit is really dialed in. I went with Marker Griffon ID binding(compatible with touring soles) and picked up some Blizzard Bonafide's.

For myself I have found the resort set up is better suited for what the resort has to offer, whether groomers, tight trees, short stashes and skiing laps.

In the back-country, I find I want to enjoy the effort I worked for, so I tend to ski slower and enjoy the ride.

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DG
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Re: AT vs Alpine in the Resort ???
« Reply #19 on: 02/20/18, 01:45 PM »

My experience has been very similar to RainyPM.

Since there is no real weight penalty with resort skiing, if you do it enough, it makes sense to ski with a different set up that can be heavier to handle different conditions.

I know that everyone's preferences are different, but I couldn't imagine skiing only backcountry. Lift skiing on a storm day is just so much fun, and being able to ski aggressively inbounds is a different experience to me then the cautious approach required for backcountry skiing. By the same token, I wouldn't want to be restricted to what's lift-served since there is so much more around here that is only accessible with touring gear.
« Last Edit: 02/20/18, 01:51 PM by DG » Logged
Kiddch
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Re: AT vs Alpine in the Resort ???
« Reply #20 on: 02/21/18, 04:52 AM »

As an East Coast guy I’ve found that hardpack and ice don’t play well with tech bindings (in my case Dynafit Radical FT).  Fortunately for me the K2 Marksman/Dynafit Radical setup was purchased as a lighter weight touring setup for West Coast/Backcountry trips.  My previous entry into the touring world was an AT setup consisting of Nordica El Capo with Marker Baron frame bindings.  This is what I use for in bounds resort skiing on anything but a full on powder day.  Yes, the frame bindings are heavy and have their own limitations, but you can charge them hard in any conditions.  Being an AT setup it has the added benefit of supporting sidecountry laps that a dedicated alpine setup wouldn’t provide.  I use the same boot (BD Factor MX) with both setups.  The boots are plenty stuff for in-bounds days, although swapping the sole blocks is a minor inconvenience so my next pair of boots will be one of the many good boots with integrated tech fittings that will work in both setups without having to swap anything.
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hillybilly
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Re: AT vs Alpine in the Resort ???
« Reply #21 on: 02/21/18, 05:41 PM »

I've been riding and skiing resort in Vulcan's boots and older radical FT bindings sending the same airs, hitting the same cliff bands, straight lining the same chutes, skiing the same ice and charging just as I did with my old resort setup. Its taking some warming up to the idea but after the past two years I usually forget I'm even in a tech setup by mid-day. I am now more worried my touring setup is getting too much wear while my resort setup sits idle.

I have yet to have an issue. My bindings have released when they should. There are guys sending and skiing harder than me in the same setup. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I am trying to save the cash so I was actually about to go the opposite and stop funding my resort lineup. My plan was to buy two liners for my Vulcans. A powerwrap and a pro-tour intuition. With the saved cash I can now invest in a better mountaineering setup. Climbing volcanoes with 120 underfoot is a bit excessive.

I am 5'8" and 170#. Hope this helps.
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ron j
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Re: AT vs Alpine in the Resort ???
« Reply #22 on: 02/22/18, 08:47 PM »

About 15 or 20 years ago I gave up on maintaining separate lift serviced skis and boots. At the time I had K2 Explorers set up for both downhill on Marker binders and the same on Dynafits for backcountry. Everyone else had light backcountry skis but Martin Volken (who was kinda new to the area - at least to me) had suggested that the heavier, shaped skis were really the superior tool for the backcountry, pointing out that if your were going to labor for hours on the upclimb to attain the line you saught, why not have good skis on which you could really enjoy the descent. Thus I bought into his argument and thus had the best downhill skis I could find for both downhill and backcountry. The Explorers under the Markers were the last resort set up I ever had. They're still here gathering dust (and free to anyone that might want to pick them up and buy me a beer or a cup coffee).

At the time my Dynafit bindings seemed to hold up hell for stout so I finally just started using my dynafit boots and the skis under my Dynafit bindings for all the lift serviced skiing I did. When I saw skis for sale with the Dynafit bindings I liked and the seller was asking what I would pay for the bindings I'd just buy them and give the ski away unless I liked them. So I have maybe 4 or 5 sets of the older Dynafits, which for me is probably a life's supply.

Anymore I usually just have a quiver of two; a pair of fatties for fresh dumps, and some skinnier, turnier ones for hard snow and summer skiing both used for resort or backcountry. I just use different poles and a helmet inbounds.

I did get a painful lesson the hard way and it cost me a pair of boots to learn it. At the time I was covering a lot of ground and time in the summertime chasing lines in my dynafit ski boots. And the mileage was taking it's toll on the soles of the boots... especially at the toes. I did notice that there was starting to be a fairly good sized gap between the toe sole and the binder toe cross piece between the pincers. I didn't much care though because the pincers held the boot toe cups in position. So with the toe pincers closed on the boot toe and the heel pins snapped in the boots were properly positioned regardless of how worn the boot soles were.

But after a year or two of skiing hard all year, I starting realizing that particularly hard turns to the left would cause my right ski to come off. After a couple of heinous crashes, I thought I'd better look into it. While watching the inboard right boot pincer pin/cup interface while in a hard left turn (not that easy for a geezer to do without crashing) I saw that the extra pressure was forcing the right boot down (no support underneath because the sole was worn down) and the pin up in the cup. Upon further investigation, I realized that the pin had worn a huge groove in the upper wall of the cup. I could partially mitigate the problem by skiing with the toe piece in tour mode, which I did for a bit, but to the detriment of releasabilily. Being a geezer, chose not to go for the lack of releasability long term. I built the sole back up to stock thickness at the toe with freesole so that it rested on the crossbar like stock, and that helped a bit, but the cup on the boot was trashed and I couldn't figure how to replace it without replacing the boot, so it was new boots for me.

So the moral of that story is make sure your boot toe has some support beneath it when locked in, so you don't wear out your boot toe pincer cups.

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"When I stop having fun I'm turnin' around"
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TN
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Re: AT vs Alpine in the Resort ???
« Reply #23 on: 02/23/18, 11:40 AM »

So much good info in this thread, maybe some enterprising individual could compile in a pros and cons chart!?
On lifts I ski the Vulcan on an Atomic Vantage 100.  For a short "sidecountry" tour I have LaSpotiva High 5s with a Fritche frame AT binder.
Touring, I ski the Arcteryx boot now after being on TLT6 since I switched to pin tech.
I cannot imagine being able to ride lifts repeatedly in those tour boots.  I demoed the Atomic Backland Carbon recently and would say the same about it. I would have to fiddle buckles at the top and bottom of every lift ride to get into walk mode for the ride up! (Too cold and uncomfortable in ski mode)   I've seen folks riding lifts in these light, thin, lesser buckled boots, so some can make it work.  The compound problem is that these and a few other boots are"pin-tech only" boots.  In 'beefier' boots like the Vulcan or the new Atomic Hawx, the liner is thicker and stiffer materials distribute the buckle pressure better.  Those boots will stand up far better to repeated use on lifts.
One major problem with pin-tech on lifts comes when some find they must ski in walk mode on Dynafits because otherwise they pre-release.  In addition, many Dynafit models have way too much ramp angle.  This can be seen in the backseat stance of many users and their "dancing tips" in powder. (That backseat stance becomes even more of a problem on-piste.)  Older Dynafits have kind of a fake ski brake that I wouldn't trust anywhere.
I have three pair of pow tour skis with Vipecs, none of the skis are all that fun "in-area".  The Vipec and especially new models like the Techron, Kingpin and Salomon Shift have big advantages in both wear and safety categories.
While many have expressed that they have done fine lift skiing on their pin-tech so far, I agree with Mike Rolfs and many others that the safety is just not there.  Also, there is no way that the boot to ski connection is as positive with "pin" connections front and rear!   Additionally, It doesn't make sense to me to wear out the bindings and boots that I depend on for backcountry delight!

Totally agree with those who have expressed how much extra gear is out there at a good price, go get some!
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"Slow down!  Let ME break trail!  Save the turns and the steep stuff for the way down.  We'll get there sooner,  ski all day and you'll still be able to stand up after dinner tonight!"  The Trail Nazi
Pete_H
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Re: AT vs Alpine in the Resort ???
« Reply #24 on: 02/23/18, 01:28 PM »

Didn't read through this whole thread so sorry if this opinion is redundant.

I think that if you're planning to just ski the resort on powder days your should just stick with the DPS with Vulcans. If you want to go up whenever and will be skiing chop, bumps, groomers, etc. you may want to consider getting a burly more versatile setup.
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