@Edukator. So what does that transale to in cm's please?
OP – re specific recommendations, I'm not a gear freak and don't change my stuff year on year so am happy skiing anything really. All I meant what you suggest would be more than enough down and up for a good skier. Most will be fine with lighter/cheaper options, unless you are a heavy skier and fancy yourself as the next Seth Morrison, incessantly charging huge drops etc, in which case you might benefit from going stiffer/bigger/heavier. From trying others' gear and my own there's doesn't seem much bad new stuff around so it's really down to preferences – which you won't know for a while but can make a good guess based on what you currently do downhill at least.
Re length of skis, like others I'd go a little shorter than you suggest but its totally down to preferences. For reasons given by others above, reasonably straight and not massively wide too. Other than reasons given above, for me the logic is that I'm skiing mostly in the UK where big skis aren't always best. I also prefer shorter skis on my back when inevitably ending up in silly situations, and I feel like for steep gullies (or anything narrow, trees – not often in the UK) that they are a bit easier to handle for someone of my abilities. Having said that if I was living on Hokkaido or in some shack in BC where it dumps feet of fresh for 6 months of the year then I'd go for a massive swallowtailed thing...
One practical or housekeeping note: if the huts you use are anything like the ones I've used, there will be nowhere for washing. This means you'll be using the bog then eating with unwashed hands; on the Haute Route I suffered with steadily worsening diarrhoea, which made me feel increasingly weak and was unwelcome on the final day when we had three cols and three glaciers to cross. Some antiseptic wet wipes would have solved that problem and it would have been nice to have a refreshing face wash every evening as we got quite sweaty during the days. Thin gloves are a must and if you buy a base layer, choose a white one because the traditional Helly top in dark blue soaks up a lot of heat from the sun when you're skinning up in a snow bowl in hot sunshine.
Sun block (100%) for your nose, lipsalve with sunblock, sun hat and very dark glasses are also vital.
What I remember from the Haute route is not the skiing, which was fairly easy, but the psychological difficulty of the diarrhoea, lack of sleep and living in stinking clothes! If the weather had been bad or I'd suffered with blisters or an injury, that would have finished me.
Thanks Gents. Yes, being in the Alps is a bit of an acquired taste. The huts are usually very basic. As you say, no facilities and either a chemical loo, a fetid pile to add to or a draughty long drop down the side of whatever crag the hut is on. I must have climbed in the Alps probably two dozen times and the scrap to get out onto your route is still a pleasure to behold....
I'm not you so I can't suggest a ski length for you. I'm 1m74/68kg, my Tour Guides are 176cm and my MX11s 165cm. My 55kg wife uses 155cm Elan Alaskas.
Well just to update this with the 'after' stuff.
Just returned from a 4 day hut to hut tour around Val d'Isere with a Guide and two chums. I've been climbing in the Alps many, many times and this was the first Guided trip for me.
Each day we skinned about a 1000m of vertical ascent and skied another 1000m of descent. Weather and snow conditions were absolutely shite. Very warm with strong southerly winds, very poor viz with flat light, wet cement to ski and very high avalanche risk....
I bought boots (Scarpa Maestrale RS's) before I went and picked up skis (Scott Cruise Airs), bindings (Dynafit Verticals), skins, poles, ski crampons and touring specific crampons/ice axe over there. I also picked up a decent transceiver/probe/shovel package a well. Prices are much cheaper than the UK especially in Albertville but choice was a bit restricted right at the end of the season.
Despite crap conditions, I'm really up for it again next year as I see it as a natural development to my piste skiing which is getting a bit routine. I'm going to concentrate on improving off piste as this is not something I've spent a great deal of time working on in the past.
Great stuff. Love ski touring but in reality of it done very little:several 4000m peak trips and quite a few day hits from here in Grenoble. Off to do the dome des écrins on the 14th and might pop up the barre on foot if time allows. Got some brand new waybacks and plum guides sitting in the garage.
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