That's surprisingly well put, Evan and Matt.
I have reached the stage that although I have dropped about 15 pounds from my peak weight a couple of years ago and I crawl hilly trails about 150 days a year with a backpack full of heavy camera equipment (about 40 pounds worth) I'm still at the stage where the very last thing I worry about is a pound or two of extra weight on my feet on the uphill.
For the vast majority of front/side country/occasional backcountry tourer skiers like myself, the compatibility, ease of in/out and plain versatility of a Fritschi is quite frankly impossible to beat.  Unless I am wrong, that is exactly what you said you would be skiing.
Would I use a pair of Fritschi's in an AT ace ?  No, but I wouldn't be competing in an AT race to begin with.  But I have seen instances where my ski partner was frozen in fear struggling to get levered into her tech bindings on the top of a vertical 1000 foot icy chute (and I remember a post by Evan himself about some issues about fear of pre-release (Whistler Spearhead, I think, on his techs) that make me and Briar non-candidates for tech bindings.  Remember, Fritchi's adapt equally well to AT or regular alpine boots with a twist of a screwdriver on the toe piece - not so with techs.
Besides, I rather enjoy seeing the tech-noids heads explode when someone has the temerity to question their choice in gear.    (Reference:  search "LDIAI"  :-))


From: Vermont Skiing Discussion and Snow Reports [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Get Skied
Sent: Thursday, January 23, 2014 11:37 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [SKIVT-L] AT Bindings

I think Matt Duffy brings up two good points here which are worthy of further discussion.

1) The difference in feel and functionality between many AT boots and alpine boots isnt great on the uphill. That said, on long rolling or flat tours, or on long approaches, the comfort and efficiency difference will be very large. The lack of rearward flex on alpine boots becomes an annoying problem in that case.

2) Weight is an obvious factor, however dropping the weight of one's setup becomes a zero sum game at some point for most skiers. Consider the main benefits of a lighter weight setup:

a) makes you faster

b) makes you expend less energy to get to the top

c) should theoretically be more comfortable on the uphill (and theoretically less comfortable on the downhill)

With regards to a), this may not always be relevant. If you are skiing with a bunch of people on heavier setups and/or with less aerobic fitness, being faster on the uphill does nothing for you. If you have time for one run before work in the morning, is being faster going to save you 15 minutes on the uphill, or just four? Is it going to mean the difference between having time for one lap and two?

With regards to b), it is definitely beneficial to have more energy at the top. That said, it may not make a huge difference on that one run, or maybe two. Maybe expending more energy on the uphill is going to help you get a better workout and burn more calories anyway. 

I am an efficiency nut in all aspects of my life, and I also think that 90% of "backcountry" skiers around here use equipment which is unnecessarily heavy and cumbersome for them, but I'm also cognizant of the fact that different people have different requirements for their ski setups. For huge touring days its crazy not to put efficiency on a pedestal, but for uphill laps with a mixed crowd on various equipment setups and of varying aerobic fitness, YMMV. 

So I guess my main point is, decide who you will be skiing with and where you will be skiing first, and make some educated guesses about your strength and aerobic capacity relative to them and your touring goals, before you worry about becoming too too much of a weight weenie.

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