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Mark from Seattle

Mark from Seattle

WA: Alpental, Stevens Pass; BC: Red Mtn, Monashee Powder; ID: Schweitzer, Silver Mtn; VT: Sugarbush (former home mtn)

Mark's Passions

Telemark Skiing
Camping
Mountain Biking
Snowshoeing

Mark's Bio

I am an avid tele skier and a gear geek. I am a product manager, so features / functions / specs come naturally. I love talking about this stuff.

6', 200#, very athletic, avid Crossfit athlete. I have been a serious road and mtn cyclist since '85.

Ski Quiver:

- K2 Work Stinx w/ BD 01 binding (touring setup)
- Line Prophet 100 w/ Hammerhead adapter plate
- Armada JJ w/ Hammerhead adapter plate
- Line Prophet 130 w/ Hammerhead adapter plate

NOTE: The Hammerhead adapter plates are great if you need to swap bindings among multiple skis. It requires a 5mm T-handle Hex wrench and 5 minutes.

Scarpa T1 (replaced Garmont Ener-G's)

Mark from Seattle

Mark from Seattle wrote a review of on March 7, 2012

5 5

I purchased the Influence 115s to replace a pair of Armada JJs that I really did not like. I am a tele skier and found the JJs to be too poppy (I like a lively ski, but the JJs are poppy in a disconcerting way), and the rather extreme tail rocker does not provide enough back-foot support.

I already owned two other Line skis: the Prophet 100 and the 130. The Influence 115 has replaced the 100s as my go-to ski. The 115 has incredible edge hold when the Pac NW snow gets packed out, and incredible float when the snow is deep. They blast thru crud like none other, and are surprisingly quick edge-to-edge in bumps. And unlike other fat skis, they do not chatter at high speed: AT ALL!

I disagree with the comments that these skis need to be driven hard: today I practiced skiing on one foot, and I was able to control them with no problem (on tele gear, mind you). They are heavy, but they ski much smaller than their size.

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Mark from Seattle

Mark from Seattle wrote a review of on October 23, 2011

3 5

First off I am a tele skier, so my feedback is a bit specific, but I have skied it in both alpine and tele turns, and I am a certified instructor. It is a very "poppy" ski, which can be fun, or it can be terrifying, depending on the snow conditions. I would not recommend this as a one-ski quiver: it is squirrelly on groomed, and downright unpleasant on hardpack. You can never relax on these skis, because the uber-tight sidecut makes them very prone to edge-catching, especially on long, fast cat-tracks.

They are definitely NOT good for skinning: the dual-rocker reduces the effective surface area of the ski, so it can be hard to get traction. They are also not good for stomping landings: they sink in more than a conventional ski.

As far as tele skiing is concerned, the reduced surface area creates similar issues when you need to put extra weight on your back foot: it just seems to "fade" away. Very unforgiving.

For powder skiing, I strongly prefer my Line Prophet 130's: they are just as quick in trees and they have more flotation.

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Mark from Seattle

Mark from Seattle wrote an answer about on February 19, 2011

I am an expert level, 195# very fit male and the 185 is plenty of ski for me, so I thinkit would be too much ski for someone your size. Talk to ski mechanic about possibly mounting the binding a couple of centimeters farther forward than normal, which will make the ski easier to turn in the bumps and trees. That said, the elf-shoe-rocker technology really works - they are very easy to turn/smear/surf.

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Mark from Seattle

Mark from Seattle wrote a review of on January 29, 2011

4 5

22Designs used to sell mounting plates for skis with inserts (K2) and as a spare ski kit so you could easily swap your bindings among your quiver. They kind of dropped the ball with the Axls: although the mounting pattern is the same, the Hammerhead screws won't work.

If you want to use your Axls with the mounting plates, you will need a very specialized screw, which I found after quite a bit of digging:

Industrial Depot
678-904-5000; you have to call to place the order as the part is not on their website.
Item#: 999604
M6-1.0 x 8mm Low Head Socket Cap Screw A2 S/S (stainless)

$1.06/screw x 16 screws = $16.96. Shipping and handling was an exorbitant $18.

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Mark from Seattle

Mark from Seattle wrote a review of on January 29, 2011

4 5

22Designs used to sell mounting plates for skis with inserts (K2) and as a spare ski kit so you could easily swap your bindings among your quiver. They kind of dropped the ball with the Axls: although the mounting pattern is the same, the Hammerhead screws won't work.

If you want to use your Axls with the mounting plates, you will need a very specialized screw, which I found after quite a bit of digging:

Industrial Depot
678-904-5000; you have to call to place the order as the part is not on their website.
Item#: 999604
M6-1.0 x 8mm Low Head Socket Cap Screw A2 S/S (stainless)

$1.06/screw x 16 screws = $16.96. Shipping and handling was an exorbitant $18.

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Mark from Seattle

Mark from Seattle wrote an answer about on January 5, 2011

Hi Rob, I am 6'0" and weigh 210 and ski the 185s. I mostly ski in the WA Cascades, but I also ski eastern WA and ID, and I go cat skiing every year in BC. Fat, floaty skis are great in this environment, and the JJs turn very quickly for their size. Very quickly. As you would expect, they are not great on hardpack, and you have to remain alert on cat tracks as they have a tendency to catch an edge due to the relatively short length of sidecut. For that reason, I don't consider them a one-ski-quiver kind of ski for out here. For your weight range, I strongly recommend the 185's, but mount the bindings a bit fwd of where you normally mount.

BTW, I am a telemark skier and I have no problem riding these thru soft bumps - they are that quick. When I was cat skiing in BC last spring, the lodge owner's son was riding JJs...

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Mark from Seattle

Mark from Seattle wrote a review of on January 25, 2010

2 5

My current boots are '09 Ener-G's, which replaced '05 Ener-G's. The '05's were great for a couple of years: I love the progressive flex. However, the third yr, when I pressured the front of the boot, the instep would bow outward, and I would lose contact with the boot. So, I purchased the '09's, which supposedly had a better plastic. The 09's gave out after about 20 days: the shell just bows outward when I pressure the tongue.

So, I was pretty excited to try the Voodoo's, because I figured the new overlap cuff design might solve that problem. Like I said, there's a lot to like about the Ener-G's. Last night I tried on the Voodoos, and the same flex problem occurred as soon as I put them on. Actually, I had my Ener-G's on one foot and the Voodoo on the other. The bootfitter agreed: both the Ener-G and the Voodoo have the same problem, where pressuring the front of the boot causes the shell to bow outward across the instep.

The only positive comment is that the new buckles are an improvement over the Ener-g.

So, no Voodoos for me...

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Mark from Seattle

Mark from Seattle wrote a review of on January 4, 2010

5 5

Skier: Expert tele skier, 6' 210#, very athletic build.
Rig: 186 cm with Hammerheads set on #5 and installed 4 cm ahead of chord center, Garmont Ener-G's.

I skied them at Schweitzer, ID over New Years. Thurs was the perfect day to try them out: a mixture of deep crud, untracked snow and some hardpacked groomers. They carve surprisingly well on the groomers, even at super-hi speeds. Unstoppable in crud and deep snow, and VERY quick turning in tight trees. They required zero technique adjustment on my part: very intuitive. They go where you point them, with no need to worry about the texture of the snow. You can throw a turn wherever and whenever you need.

Other skis in my quiver include Line Prophet 100 and 130 and K2 Work Stinx. The JJ will be my ski of choice except when conditions are really firm.

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Mark from Seattle

Mark from Seattle wrote an answer about on December 10, 2009

Hi Jason,

I am 6', 210, very athletic and have been skiing the Line Prophet 100s for 4 yrs now. They are a GREAT one-ski quiver. I bought them on a tip from a friend who has been an equipment tester for BC magazine for over a decade. He tipped me to the Karhu Jak BC, and I bought it on a pro form. When it came time to fill the order, the company called and told me they ran out of the Jaks, and would I mind if they sent the Prophet 100 instead??? Same ski, different graphics. I accepted and I am glad I did!

I ski them with Hammerheads, which I feel is a very good pairing. I suggest buying the Hhead mounting plate, which allows you to adj them fore-aft by about 2.5 cm. I mounted them so in the fwd position they are 4cm ahead of chord center, which makes them super turny. I move them to the back position if it is a big snow/crud day. I also own O1s, which I have on a slightly narrower ski, and I don't like them. I would not recommend them for the Prophets.

As a final pitch, I liked the 100s so much that I bought the Prophet 130s as my big mtn/big powder ski for Mt Baker and BC snowcat skiing. Both are great skis.

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Mark from Seattle

Mark from Seattle wrote a review of on November 11, 2009

4 5

There were lots of comments earlier here about 'core center' vs. 'chord center'. Chalk that up to poor listening skills. (And slap the ski product manager who printed 'core center' on his skis...that's just lame.) The proper term is 'chord center', which is the balance point of a ski if you were to balance it end-to-end on a knife edge - without bindingsChord center is mainly a tele setup term. In the 'ole days, it was where the pins of a tele boot were mounted. Nowadays, chord center is just a point of reference: NObody mounts tele bindings at chord center anymore.For alpine skiers, you can easily equate tele boot pin location to your mid-boot measurement. Tele pins are located on the duckbill at the front of the boo: measure from your middle-boot line to approx 1/2 cm ahead of the front of the boot toe box.For skis that are ~ 90mm midfoot, you should mount tele bindings at least 3 cm ahead of chord center. The resulting more centered stance makes turning much quicker. I describe the difference as feeling 'on top of your skis' as opposed to 'steering' your skis, and it still leaves plenty of float up front.My main skis are 183cm, 100mm mid-foot Line Prophets, mounted 4 cm ahead of chord center. They work very well in Pacific NW deep, heavy snow, to tight, VT icy bump runs. If you ski in the park, you should consider mounting them 6+ cm ahead of chord center.You can gain a lot more versatility by purchasing binding plates such as the Hammerhead and Rottefella NTN mounting plates. These are thin (~2-3 mm thick) metal plates that get screwed to your ski. They offer at least 2 different fore/aft mounting positions: use the forward position for in-bounds/sidecountry skiing, and switch to the rear position for deep snow. The beauty of the mounting plates is that you can quickly swap the binding position: the plate remains mounted to the ski, but provides multiple fore/aft binding holes.You owe it to yourself to experiment with mounting position.I also have a pair of Line Prophet 130s for deep snow conditions that are mounted 2.5 cm ahead of chord center.I swear I am not a shill for Line Skis, but I have to say they are fantastic skis...

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Mark from Seattle

Mark from Seattle wrote a question about on October 6, 2009

T1 or T-Race? I am an expert level tele skier, 6' 210#, and ski in the Pacific NW mainly on Line Prophet 100s, but I also ski the Prophet 130s when the going gets really deep. I am mainly a resort and side-country skier, but I go cat skiing every year, and this yr my buddies finally have their act together and we will be doing some touring.

I have been on Garmont Ener-G's for the last 2 pairs of boots. Last yr's model gave out mid-season - they bulge out at the instep when I put pressure on the tongue. I have had the liners re-formed, but it has not helped.

I am leaning toward the T1's because they seem to be more versatile. Any comments?

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Mark from Seattle

Mark from Seattle wrote a review of on September 28, 2009

5 5

I am a 6' 210 very advanced tele skier in WA. This ski rocks! (I have it in the 186 length) Don't let the 100mm underfoot scare you. The 17m radius rails hardpack; if it's icy I usually go with my 84mm Work Stinx, but I have skied the 100s on some of the iciest VT conditions ever. And, oddly enough, I hooked up w/ a local VT tele'er who was on the then-identical Karhus, and he was raving about his skis for all-around VT skiing.I have them mounted w/ Hammerhead bindings set 3cm ahead of chord center, and I don't have any problems with tip dive. These are great all-around skis. I am a very good bump skier, and these skis rock the bumps. I don't do much switch riding because it's kinda scary on tele's, and I am not a big park person.They devour WA crud. I loved them so much I bought the 130s for cat-skiing and big dump days. I agree with the comments that the top sheet could be tougher. I have taken a few chunks out of the top edge but nothing that impairs or endangers the ski.So, if I can rail these skis using tele gear, you alpine folks should have no problems at all.

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Mark from Seattle

Mark from Seattle wrote an answer about on March 12, 2009

Try Sno-Seal instead. This stuff is great: it is made from bees wax. Warm up the leather with a blow-dryer, rub the Sno-Seal into the leather, and watch it get absorbed. It darkens the leather slightly but leaves a nice rich sheen and lasts a long, long time. I use it on skates, hiking and hunting boots, gloves, shoes, anything leather.

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Mark from Seattle

Mark from Seattle wrote a review of on January 19, 2009

4 5

I bought this shirt after first ordering the Patagonia R1 Flash. I am 6' 200# athletic build. The R1 was WAY too long: I ordered both the M and L sizes and both were too long (below by butt). Although my primary purpose is for skiing, it'd be nice to be able to wear the shirt casually, and the R1 just plain looked dorky untucked, and too long to tuck into pants. I now have 8 days in the Prime and I love it. It wicks very well for such a warm shirt. I ski in the NW, and the Prime with a med wt underlayer is all the warmth I need 85% of the time. The fit and finish are excellent - better than the R1. My only complaint is that with it tucked into my ski pants, the backside of the pants zipper has abraded the fabric a bit, which did not happen to my prior med wt fleece shirt even after 8 yrs of use. The collar fit is good: snug but not constricting. The zippers are high-quality and easy to adjust with a gloved hand. This is the second Backcountry house brand garment I have bought, and I am pleased with both of them.

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Mark from Seattle

Mark from Seattle wrote a review of on August 28, 2008

5 5

These are bomber pants: by far the best I have ever owned. I have skied in these pants for the last 7 seasons, 4 of which I spent 70+ days on-snow. Very versatile: their light design makes it easy to dress for the conditions by varying the underlayer(s): thick fleece pants for bitter VT conditions, medium-wt for PacificNW winter conditions, and thin longjohns (or none during Spring) the rest of the time. I have done tons of NE tight tree skiing and they have yet to tear. The only problem is that the stitching inside one of the powder cuffs has torn a bit, but it is repairable. The pants breathe well, the leg zippers allow you to vent while hiking/skinning, and the low bib design kept me dry in chest-deep BC powder. I cannot say enough good things about these pants.

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