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How Much Should I Pay For a Ski-Touring Setup?

How much should I spend on my first ski touring setup?

Tips and tricks on when to save money and when to spend it

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To get into your perfect first ski touring setup you should expect to pay $2000-$2500. If you have that kind of scratch you should do it! It will save you remounts, wasted climbing skins, and even money in the long run. But since that is a lot of loot below are some tips for what to look out for if you're buying used ski-touring gear!

At Cripple Creek and most small shops, you can save money on all new gear just by buying it as a package. This can save you anywhere from $200-$500 off a setup. In addition you save an extra $100 when the heat mold and ski mount are included.

Check out our website for staff picked packages where you can save even more!

Ski Touring Boots

First thing is the boot. A new touring boot will typically cost you in the range of $500-1000 depending on the technology and materials used, and it is worth every penny. These boots feature a lightweight construction and the ability to ‘articulate’ which allows you to walk infinitely easier. It is possible to tour in an alpine boot, you just won’t like the sport very much. We highly recommend buying a new touring specificboot that has been sized appropriately and matches your touring intention. We have some great deals on closeout boots, but don't sacrifice comfort for savings!

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Things to consider when buying used boots

Expect to have to replace the liner. A new intuition liner costs $200 and should be replaced around every 80-100 days of touring. Although a used boot can be remolded, this also breaks the liner down faster. Budget in a $40 heat mold and keep in mind that punching or expanding a boot can add up. Check buckles and the walk mode for play and wear. Make sure the boot fits like it should! If you’re curious as to the difference between how a tech boot and an alpine boot should fit, check out our blog post “How an AT Boot Should Fit”.

New Ski Touring Binding

Also referred to as ‘pin’ or ‘dynafit’ bindings, this technology is significantly more efficient than a ‘frame’ style binding. Tech bindings are lighter, better to walk in, and offer superior ski performance. Because your boot pivots on the toes, you are only picking up the weight of your boot every stride. This means that the entire weight of your ski is on the ground when touring uphill. Gone are the days of pre-releases and hip-flexer burning touring setups. Check out the Fritschi Tecton gear review to see the impressive performance and technology in modern ski touring bindings. Expect to pay in the range of $300-600 for a new touring binding- typically lighter more ‘techy bindings’ are the higher end of that range.

Shop Closeout Bindings!

If you buy used, here are some things to look out for

If you are buying a used binding, you should really trust whoever you are getting it from. There can be micro cracks in the plastic from hard falls that are impossible to see even with a trained eye. Buy your binding new and reduce the chances of warranty or replacement, and the associated costs.

New Touring Skis

Once you spend more time touring, you will quickly understand the value of touring on a lightweight ski. To give you an idea of weight difference, Alpine skis typically weigh around 2000-2500 grams per ski while touring skis can range from 1000-1800 grams. When all is said and done a touring ski could save you pounds in your setup, which translates to literal tons on the skin track. So if you want to get the most out of your touring setup, expect to pay somewhere between $500-1000 for a touring specific ski

Shop Closeout Skis!

If you go with a used or an alpine ski, here are a few things to consider

Touring skis utilize lightweight wood materials in their core. After drilling a ski more than two times it will be difficult to drill for a third time. Mounting holes need to be drilled a minimum of 1 cm apart (hole center to hole center) and so re-mounting skis can prohibit you from mounting your binding to your ideal location. Check out Gary’s Blog post “Go light, stay fresh, ski more” to see what is possible on modern lightweight skis.

Ski Touring Skins

The last piece of your touring setup is the skins. ‘Budget’ skins can be purchased brand new for around the $100 mark, while higher performing skins will push $200. The main differences you will find are going to be in the quality of the glue and plush. Cheaper skins typically will leave glue on the base of your ski and have a less forgiving plush. One of our favorite skins at the shop is the Pomoca TIPON skin. We believe it is where skin technology is headed.

If you buy a used skin, here are a few things to consider

The first thing to note is finding a used skin that is worth a damn, is rare. Its all too common to be stoked on a pair of used skins for 70 bucks only to find out the skins won't work because they are the wrong size or, more likely, the glue is shot. Bring your skis with you when you're getting skins and closely check out the glue. If you put your hands on the glue and you can feel glue on your hands after touching it, those skins are a no-go. That glue is going to do the same to your skis and ski bottoms covered in glue makes for some sad skiing.

See you soon!

Of course we don’t want you to go into the red to purchase a new ski-touring setup, but if you can swing a few extra dollars up front, buying the right setup the first time will save you money in the long run and quite a few headaches. Feel free to email us at info@cripplecreekbc.com. We look forward to getting you dialed!

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