Sam Atkins

Sam Atkins

Colorado, Utah, and SW Montana

Sam's Bio

Tele alpine and nordic skier, mountain biker, trail runner, hiker, photographer, artist, explorer, adventurer.

Sam Atkins

Sam Atkins wrote an answer about on May 24, 2010

I am 6'2", and I will ski with my poles between 110 cm (in bounds, for teleing and bouncing around) to 125 cm (for touring and back country) that would put my ski pole length to height ratio between 0.585 and 0.662. If you are five feet tall, these poles will drop to 100cm, which would make a ratio of 0.650 . This is still very skiable, and it more closely fits a traditional ski pole length. I would say that you should not have problems with these poles.

That being said, if you would like more adjustability without major changes in weight or functionality, check out the BD boundary pole:
http://www.backcountry.com/outdoorgear/Black-Diamond-Boundary-Ski-Pole/BLD0469M.html?RSC_ID=WR_BLD0469

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Sam Atkins

Sam Atkins wrote a review of on May 22, 2010

5 5

The Peak XC is a truly impressive shoe in its accomplishment of achieving light weight, cushioning, stability, and traction. The framework of the heel box is built around a material called skydex, which is used in military helmets and climbing crash pads, which uses layers of opposed hemispheric high grade polymers(read about it here: www.skydex.com/) to absorb large impacts in small spaces. By using small amounts of this stuff, the shoe makers over at PI were able to produce the same absorbing and cushioning effects of foam with less material, and therefore less weight.
I put around 450-475 miles on trails with this shoe last summer, and I have no complaints about it. I did use a pair of orthotic inserts, but these shoes will promote the growth of stabilizing muscles in your legs (as with any shoe, don't jump right into doing big weeks with this, ease your way in) which will make you a more fluid and efficient runner. My first timed 10k with these shoes dropped me under 38 minutes, and that was on a hilly course.
Two thumbs up.

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Sam Atkins

Sam Atkins wrote an answer about on May 22, 2010

I wore these from when they were brand new to the point where they more closely resembled sandals than tennis shoes, quite literally, my toes were poking out. I received the shoes in May, 2009, and put consistent 20-50 mile weeks in on them through out the summer (except for July - I was out of the country and didn't take these shoes), then certainly less after September, as running season was winding down (probably about 10-15 a week). I used them only as runners during this time, and I have no complaints with the support or other functionality, but they were a spectacular shoe both for training and racing. If you average 30 mile weeks for half of May, June, August, and September, 14wks x 30mi ~ 420 miles in the summer, plus a few weeks of fall running puts you at around 450-475 for when the shoe had the most amount of life. Towards the end of the fall I could feel that the skydex material in the heel was beginning to lose its pop, but the durability is equal to that of any other trail shoe I have used.
In December, I purchased a new pair of shoes (With slightly more cushioning for increased miles on pavement) and retired the Peaks to kickaround status, where they served valiantly until about two months ago.

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Sam Atkins

Sam Atkins wrote a review of on May 22, 2010

5 5

These are great shoes. Had them for about two months now, and they are a lot of fun to wear. I honestly don't use them for trail running, because they are really not that light (the Pearl Izumi peak XC is my benchmark for a lightweight trail shoe, and a size 10 pair weighs ~510g compared to this at 772g) When I am not wearing a pack or running in loose technical rock, this shoe is overkill, but for bagging talus peaks or a multi-night backpack, these shoes do very well, the scarpa tread even hold their own on the rock!
If you are really looking for a lightweight minimalist trail running shoe, I would look at another pair of shoes, but if you want a good shoe that will take you anywhere you want to go in the mountains while retaining reasonable weight and good stability, this would be my top choice.

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Sam Atkins

Sam Atkins wrote an answer about on March 31, 2010

These skis don't have any rocker, so if that is what you want, I would click on some other skis. Ones to look at might be like an Armada JJ or ARG, Atomic Bent Chetler, 4FRNT CRJ, or Rossi S7. The hellbents are cool, but unless you are balls deep in pow, they are not the best choice. As far as length goes, I would hesitate to dip below 185 with a rockered ski, at 6ft, anything shorter will feel very squirrely.

Mounting position depends a lot on your style of skiing, how much switch riding, buttering, etc. you want to do, as well as the ski itself. If the ski is symmetrical, then a true middle mounting will work best, otherwise anywhere between +2 to +5cm will allow for a good mix of stability, flotation, and maneuverability.

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Sam Atkins

Sam Atkins wrote an answer about on March 24, 2010

The shells are quite similar in terms of flex, however, there are a few key differences between the boots. The Comp has no fittings for TLT bindings, thus limiting it to NTN only use, where the Pro can be used with TLT bindings. The comp also has no "Touring/Walk" mode, meaning it is largely designed for charging inbounds, whereas the lighter weight Pro is more of a hard skiing boot with hints of touring. The liner for the Comp is the Intuition Speed Pro. It has a traditional style tongue, and it is substantially thicker, but it is heat-moldable, meaning fit should not be problem. The Pro has the Intuition Precision High wrap around liner. And because the liners are different, the shell size that is best with one liner may change between the speed and precision liners.

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Sam Atkins

Sam Atkins wrote an answer about on March 10, 2010

The bindings themselves will fit ok, however, the necessary monster ego that comes along with these would not in a million years fit into the confined space of snowlerblades. You definitely would need something stouter.

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Sam Atkins

Sam Atkins wrote an answer about on March 10, 2010

Investigate this chart: http://www.alpinasports.com/Alpina_detail/Alpina_detail.php?product=73#, or perhaps visit your locally owned ski shop, and they can instruct you further

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Sam Atkins

Sam Atkins wrote an answer about on March 9, 2010

This is significantly less stiff than the Legends, it is also much lighter. As a result, this may feel somewhat skittish underfoot, especially when the snow gets firm. At 185lbs, and having skied for 20some years, you will learn quickly, and may want to lean more on the beefier side of the tele ski set up, rather than go for a very soft beginner ski - because after your first season, you will really appreciate extra stiffness when skiing in bounds. You may consider the 174 BD Havoc, or the K2 Backslash, which comes in a 174 or a 181.

As for boots, I would recommend the Scarpa T2X, or the Garmont Ener G (its not nearly as stiff as they make it sound). An ideal binding would be a 22Designs hammerhead, because it has adjustable stiffness, so it can match your skiing abilities across a wide range.

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Sam Atkins

Sam Atkins wrote an answer about on March 8, 2010

The Ascensionist is thick polyester coated with Deluge DWR for wind and weather protection as well as water resistance. The result is a fabric slightly heavier than the Schoeller Dryskin(which I have borrowed for a day of skiing, and also found it to be a bit breezy), which would provide more insulation against air movement. It would be comparable to the Polartec Powershield (I have used both) and I don't believe there is a tangible difference in practicality for either fabric. One thing to consider may be the new Powershield Pro fabric introduced at the Outdoor Retailer's Trade show this year which may be an impressive leap forward in weather resistant soft shell fabrics.

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