Hello, I live in Maine and for ther past few years have been using Rossignol BC 60 skies with their tradiation bar bindings. They have been good for the groomed and/or lightly used trails I normally have been using. Now I'm looking to go and explore futher then those trails and am having trouble narrowing down the best options for this upgrade. Can anyone help me?
Conditions: Widly varied
Part of my issue is that my conditions vary with the exception that I do not plan on duing anything super difficult/extream downhill on skies yet. The snow depth and compactness vary wildly as the woods tend to have soft, deep snow, while the clearings and mountains are slighty more packed but this of course varies with the weather. I will have a varied terrain of flat, up hill, and downhill, both open and in woods, mostly on either lighty used trails or no trail. I do both single a multi day cold camping expiditions so the simpler the binding the better.
If anyone can suggest a set/brand of skis and bindings from their personal experience for the variety of terrain and conditions I'm looking to explore I would greatly apprectae it. Currently for skis i'm looking at the 90mm width range, with mental edging, and hybrid profile, waxless, such as the Rossignol BC 90.
Great question! I'm a big fan of off-trail XC skiing, but it can be tough to find a setup that is sturdy enough for that terrain without switching to a full plastic-boot alpine touring setup.
I think you're on the right track with the BC90. Steel edges and extra width along the whole length of the ski are going to make all the difference in the world when you get into variable snow conditions off of groomed trails. That extra width comes with a need to stiffen up the boot/binding setup that you're using; a wider ski takes more leverage to maintain edge contact in turns and when sidehilling.
For a binding, I'd recommend the Rottefella NNN BC Magnum. NNN-BC is a larger, more stiff version of the classic nordic XC bindings we're used to, and they are only compatible with NNN-BC norm boots. For the type of setup you're describing, I'd recommend either of these:
They are compatible with NNN-BC bindings, and offer features that are designed specifically for the type of expedition-style use you're describing. They are stiff, sturdy XC boots that are designed to move larger BC-XC skis through a variety of snow conditions and terrain.
Hope this information is a help to you!
Thank you very much for the suggestions, I will look into them. I am starting to lean towards a binding that allowes me a little more control downhill though.