Marquette Backcountry Ski offers easy winter access

5:08 p.m. on January 22, 2012 (EST)
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This thread is for comments on the article "Marquette Backcountry Ski offers easy winter access"

Part ski, part snowshoe, the Marquette Backcountry Ski is intentionally more basic—and less expensive—than other backcountry skis on the market.

Full article at http://www.trailspace.com/blog/2012/01/22/marquette-backcountry-ski.html

7:24 p.m. on January 22, 2012 (EST)
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Hmmm...

This is either a ski designed by snowshoers or a snowshoe designed by skiers.  While this sounds like it has some of the advantages of both skis and snowshoes, I venture to say it doesn't have the best attributes of either transportation mode; meanwhile it does seem to retain the major down sides of both modes.  And nine pounds?! That’s more than my full on tele skis. My guess these boats are best suited for spring corn snow, but I wouldn't want them on hard pack where camber and edging are important virtues, or in fresh snow where flotation requires a bigger foot print than the MBS offers.  The fact they use a textured base makes them less capable of ascending inclines than snow shoes or skis equipped with skins.  The super short length and lack of camber means you really can't carve a decent turn or build any speed on the downhill.  Sorry but I am at a loss to identify the demographic this serves.

Ed

11:09 p.m. on January 22, 2012 (EST)
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Lemme check to see how much my beater skis and snowshoes weigh together... Any guesses?

6:28 a.m. on January 23, 2012 (EST)
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+1, Ed. Neither beast nor fowl. Basement fodder. THis kind of thing seems to show up every couple of years and then very quickly get forgotten.

11:38 a.m. on January 23, 2012 (EST)
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phraber said:

Lemme check to see how much my beater skis and snowshoes weigh together... Any guesses?

Who carries both on a trip?

Ed 

4:31 p.m. on January 23, 2012 (EST)
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"Who carries both on a trip?

Ed" 

I admit that in the past, on some winter climbs, BOTH were necessary. Twenty miles of logging road, then a steep ascent through dense forest, made the choice easy.

I agree that while unique, I'm not sure who is going to buy them. And the price is really not that low. Careful shopping at end of season sales gets you a real ski for not much more, and a lot less weight. I applaud the use of material that can be recycled, however, they still use plastics. A wood core would be lighter. They sound like they are made using similar technology to poly canoes, which is why they are probably so heavy.

6:56 p.m. on January 23, 2012 (EST)
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Erich said:

I admit that in the past, on some winter climbs, BOTH were necessary...

I guess I have been fortunate in my decades of trekking I have always been able to plot a route where either snowshoe or ski would get the job done, making both a unnecessary redundancy.  For example, Aspen can be a challenge when on skis, but I have always found either a viable trail through, or a means to circumnavigate Aspen stands altogether.  I may have not have made the fastest time possible, but being able to leave one of these transportation modes behind is a very significant weight saving.

Ed

1:14 a.m. on January 24, 2012 (EST)
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Ed, it sounds like you had the advantage of more open country. On the wet side of the Cascades, as you probably know, approaches can be quite long and second and third growth timber quite dense. Skis are so much faster on a logging road, but trying to slog up through densely forested slopes they can be a PITA. It is nice to do routes on the east side or further south where there is a chance of some open slopes and the timber is much less dense.

10:02 p.m. on January 24, 2012 (EST)
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This idea has been around for a while. I thought about buying a pair of what are often called "approach skis", but bought the skis you see in my picture instead-metal edge Atomic Rainier waxless BC skis with Voile bindings, the release kit and skins. Fischer and Karhu make similar skis. I got mine brand new from STP for $60 including shipping a few years ago (bindings, etc. extra). Granted that deal was unusual, but cheap BC skis are around at the end of every season.

I'm no great skier and in fact sold mine last winter, but if I buy another pair of BC skis, something like I had will be what I would look for.

From what I know, a ski this wide takes a big boot to turn, so no wonder he recommends a big tele boot. This is overkill for anything I'd be doing, for certain.

3:12 a.m. on January 31, 2012 (EST)
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Coming from mostly snowshoeing, I could see how this might be a possible introduction to BC skis? I don't live in the mountains anymore, but even I did, I don't think I'd want to hump around this weight. Like Tom said above, I think I'd just move into BC skis for some weight and cash.

5:07 a.m. on February 1, 2012 (EST)
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Erich said:

Ed, it sounds like you had the advantage of more open country. On the wet side of the Cascades, as you probably know, approaches can be quite long and second and third growth timber quite dense. Skis are so much faster on a logging road, but trying to slog up through densely forested slopes they can be a PITA. It is nice to do routes on the east side or further south where there is a chance of some open slopes and the timber is much less dense.

 My ski and snow shoe experiences have been the all over the Sierras, Front Range Rockies, various Alaskian ranges, Peruvian Andies, wilderness proximal the Whistler, the major cone volcanoes of the PNW and the Olympic Range.  Other places too but memory fails me.  But I do not brag, I know you have logged more time in the wilderness than me.  It goes without saying I have encountered aspen stands, fern and assorted thicket impassible by any means.  I rarely care to bushwack flora one can't walk through without enormous effort - I don't carry a machette - but otherwise I have always found a way to bypass these obsticles and get to Point B without too much effort.  In any case I never felt "big foot" style skis would be worthwhile, was satified with using full size skis or snow shoes, and never considered carrying both on the same trip.  JMO

Ed

1:08 p.m. on February 2, 2012 (EST)
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Ed, my experience carrying both, was not common, because, as you say, there are often ways to avoid that. Going in to Royal Basin in the Olympics one winter, we would have been days slogging up the road on snow shoes, whereas skis made it a day. But the snow shoes came in handy once we started to ascend steep forested slopes, so the skis got ditched. Every route is unique and dependent on the goals and conditions at the time.

11:54 a.m. on February 6, 2012 (EST)
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We have the opportunity to test the Marquettes. If an existing community member who has experience writing gear reviews is interested they should let me know asap (while there's snow on the ground).

You'd need to be an experienced backcountry skier/traveler, have your own tele boots and bindings etc, have suitable conditions to test in, and have written a number of helpful reviews on the site already.

November 26, 2014
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