Mike

Mike

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Michael's Passions

Alpine Touring
Trad Climbing
Mountain Biking
Trail Running
Road Cycling
Mountaineering
Alpine Skiing

Michael's Bio

Mike

Mike wrote a review of on February 28, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size

I've used these pants now about a half dozen days, all ski touring.

In general, they're very good touring pants. They are pretty warm for softshell pants, but I can wear them comfortably without long underwear in CA winter conditions, so no big deal. The vents are a very nice feature when you're getting hot on the skin track. For spring conditions, I would wear something lighter. They'd be a bit warm for me on corn days.

The fabric sheds water well. The pockets are well thought out. I like the cargo pockets for stashing hats/snacks. Easily accessible this way. The belt works well and the suspenders also function nicely. Minimalistic but functional. Like most Arc Teryx products, they seem very well made.

My only gripe is the cuffs/gaiters. They're pretty small and quite tight. It's tough (although not impossible) to fit them over touring boots with the buckles open for skinning. Even with the boot buckled for skiing, the cuffs/gaiters are a bit on the tight side. If this was corrected they'd be perfect IMO.

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Mike

Mike wrote a review of on February 18, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've got Alpinist skins on all of my touring skis save 1 pair. I've also used Pomoca and BD skins for comparison (both mohair mix and nylon).

I think G3s have the best combo of grip/glide/durability. They glide much better IMO than nylon BD skins, which is a big plus. Even if you're not doing long/flat approaches, the glide makes ever step a little more efficient. Grip is totally adequate. A bit less than BD nylons, but I try to focus on improving my skinning technique before complaining about the plush. I've never been shut down by the grip on any skin really. I've had no durability issues after 40-50 days on a pair.

The glue is fine as well. Sticky enough for pretty much any condition. I've had them out in -25C temps and they worked (the awesome tail clip helps here I'm sure). But it's not so sticky that you can't rip the skins off the skis with the skis on your feet.

The new tail clip is awesome as well. The best in the business if you ask me. Way more secure than the BD version. I also appreciate the tip connectors. They work with any tip shape, with no need to modify the tip connection because of tip shape.

Finally, they're super easy to cut and set up. Just center them, stick them on, and use the killer G3 skin cutter to trim the skins. A couple of minutes per skin.

Highly recommended.

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Mike

Mike wrote an answer about on September 24, 2013

I haven't skied either, but they look like 2 very different skis to me. E98 has mild tip rocker, no tail rocker, and no taper. Much more traditional ski for the more carving oriented skier. Better for going fast on groomers. Soul 7 has tip & tail rocker as well as tip & tail taper. It's fatter too. It will be much easier to ski in soft snow, more playful, more smeary. East coast, lots of icy groomers - E98. West, lots of soft snow - Soul 7. Blister gear reviewed both of these skis and I don't believe they make them sound alike.

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Mike

Mike wrote a review of on May 11, 2013

4 5

Me: 5'10" 175 lbs, tour in the Sierra Nevada and some Cascade volcanoes
177 GTs with tech (Plum) bindings and Scarpa Rush boots

Pros: Light! Man, these things are light, but you still get a solid construction. Medium stiff in the tail and underfoot, medium in the tip. Full wrap edges (except for the tail insert which makes attaching skins a piece of cake) and ABS sidewalls underfoot. Construction is top notch. They hold an edge well on hardpack for a ski of this weight. I've been on icy groomers and in firm chutes with them and they've held. The tails don't wash out. They ski corn very well and do fine in good powder, but most skis do. The do well in anything firm. This and the light weight makes them a good ski mountaineering weapon.

Cons: They're a traditionally cambered ski with traditional sidecut (no taper). I found them a bit difficult to ski in bad snow, especially tough breakable crust and wet mank (granted, this was really bad snow - thick mashed potatoes and thick, breakable crust). But this isn't surprising to me given the shape, camber, and weight. I found the tails difficult to release in bad snow. I recently de-tuned the tails more aggressively, we'll see if this helps without compromising edge hold.

Overall, a very solid choice for spring touring in primarily firm snow and corn conditions. Very lightweight and solidly built. Not a quiver of 1 touring ski in my mind - I'd want something with a bit of early rise or rocker for that position.

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