Just a quick note to folks about what type of ski works well for late season skiing: icy crust, hard crust that you can’t break through, several inches of snow that would make great snow cones and clumps like crazy on most skis.
My out the door skis for the last two seasons have been the Hok from Altai Skis, Altaiskis.com.
They are a metal edge short fat board bushwacking ski with mohair in the kick zone.
The Hok is my out the door ski. Even when there are only a few inches of snow I can still ski. The base and mohair are tough so rocks, roots, when the snow is shallow aren’t an issue.
The mohair gives excellent grip and tracking even on shallow snow or icy crust, but it also glides well. Unlike the LL Bean Boreal skis which need at least 7cm/6in of track depth and the Boreal is a fish scale no-wax so grip can be an issue.
The mohair also gives a bit of drag on the downhills so speed is much more controlled during bushwack/off-track descents.
For 0 C skiing one may need to use a SwixNordic Zero spray – anti icing spray.
Nils Larsen, Francois Sylvain, helped designed the original TRAK Bushwacker skis so they have experience designing bushwacking, out the door, skis.
I have both the Hok 125 cm with Universal/Xtrace Binding, and 145 cm with a Solomon XADV, SNS BC, binding. I am getting a 2nd 145 cm and adding a 75mm binding.
The Xtrace Binding works with up to a boot length of US 12/13 or size 43 75mm duckbill. Changing the binding is easy since the Hok have inserts matching extended 75mm spacing. On altaiskis.com is a mounting plate for System bindings – NNN BC, SNS XADV. The Boreal’s Universal binding has a standard 75mm spacing.
With the Xtrace binding one needs a really stiff soled boot, torsional rigidity, to have good downhill control. With a 75mm duckbill binding and a good pair of boots one can Tele with the Hok. With a System binding, great extension for kick and glide but not much downhill control – toe box isn’t anchored, just a pivot rod in front of the toe.
“Time for some corduroy on the snow” with Human Powered Trail Grooming http://www.humanpoweredtrailgrooming.com/ I am glad that I got both the Skate Lane and Classic Tracks models. There has been just enough snow, again, to pack tracks with the Skate Lane model without the wings out. Not enough snow yet to set a classic track. Thanksgiving was the first good snow and I was also able to pack that snow. The AltaiSkis.com Hoks with a skin base work well for pulling an HPTG. Maybe when the temperatures gets above -20 C to -10 C (-4 to 14 F) I will see how my 29’er works on the packed tracks. HPTG also makes a Fat Bike model. For weights I got a number of the rectangular 12.5 lb weights from a Weider Home Gym when the Ithaca Sears closed. I removed the 2 dividers in the HPTG weight box, the inside of the weight box inside is the width of two plates and is two plates deep. For this snow I am using 2 plates, 25 lb, and filling in the rest of the weight box with scraps of blue board Styrofoam.
Altai Skis Hok
HPTG trail 2
HPTG trail 1