5 Responses

  1. avatar
    Bill Goslin at |

    In my experience the Marquette turns real well in powder and they float like a dream. They are great for tele turns or parallel turns in tight timber on steep slopes with fresh snow. On narrow trails that are too steep for skinny skis – with no room to turn with tele skis the Marquette ski slows me down so I can really enjoy the trip. There is another brand of sliding snowshoe called Altai. It has the permanent skin like the Karver. It would be interesting to read about (or do) a comparison of the Boreal, Marquette and Altai skis – all with 3 pin bindings and Garmont Excursion boots. My guess is that you might recommend the Altai for extended backcountry trips. (Steel edges, good turning, slow when going downhill on trails) I would much rather have a setup like that then the Europa 99’s and low cut leather boots that I skied many miles on.

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  2. avatar
    Rick Hesslein at |

    My playground is the backcountry of Maine, mostly western mountains/hills of Brownfield, Greenwood/Bethel area (Grafton Notch/Mahoosucs and surrounding foothills) and the White Mountain National Forest! I have not tried the Marquette BC, nor the Altai Hok (but will likely very soon) but I have both the Karhu Meta and Karver and the L.L.Bean/Rossignol Boreal 130cm. I have converted both the Karhu models to flat based waxable bottoms to get rid of the terrible drag from the built in skin and so now they ski really excellent set up with 75mm tele norm 3-pins (but, of course, now require wax &/or skins to climb; which I have).

    I also have several pairs of the Boreals set up with either the same as above 3-pin tele or even better, a light Riva or Rottefella 412 cable binding ( unfortunately no longer marketed/ made; until we convince Rottefella to revive them the Voile’ 3-pin cable works well). These are truly great fun, responsive skis for soft snow conditions and some skiing ability.

    The Boreals climb as well or better than average as any no-wax pattern ski, and much better on average than Rossignol’s bigger brothers, the BC 110 or BC 125 due to their much softer flex and lack of big camber that the larger Rossi’s have (though Rossi may have softened that camber some in later models and I highly enjoy my BC 125’s (165cm) as well, though I may enjoy my Viole’ Vector BC’s (160cm) the most!). Anyway the Boreals will not climb like a skin but will take a skin and can ski with great agility! For exploring trees or tight trails they can hardly be beat; if you want to SKI. But not for hard frozen snow or ice except, perhaps, for very moderate terrain. I am using the Garmont (now Scott) Excursion plastic BC/Tele boot (the BEST).Let’s also get someone to resurrect the Rossignol Boreal in two lengths and a slightly beefier binding plate! The Boreals, set up with light cable binding and using very supportive boots such as the Garmont (now Scott) Excursion, are an absolute hoot to ski the POW!!! (admittedly not quite the hoot of a true full size powder, rockered ski such as Voile’ “Charger”, “Vector”, “Drifter”, or likely their new “V” series models). Raisin’ Heel! BC & Tele Equip. rhcastorh3@gmail.com

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    1. avatar
      Tim Jones at |

      Rick,

      Thanks for the perspective! We, too, are leaning toward bindings with more edge control–but not just for playing in the POW (though we’ve sure had it this year!). Interesting concept about turning the Karhu’s into waxable skis. There are times, though, that we really appreciate the “speed governor” the built-in skins provide.

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      1. avatar

        I can appreciate the desire to have the “speed governor” effect in some conditions or for some ability levels, but I found that the resistance of the built in skin also detracts from turning performance that is highly undesirable for actual skiing. This is probably the reason for market failure for the L.L.Bean Boreal since they really do ski, and are definitely not a snowshoe! The other problem I saw with the old Karhu’s built in skin was that with extensive use they wear out or start to peel off. Don’t know how the Altai’s will compare…hope to try some today….(They have the L.L.Bean guarantee…. tho I’ll be going to: http://www.akers-ski.com to try some in each length )

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        1. avatar

          Here is some feedback from a recent purchaser of the Boreals set up with 3-pin cable bindings: (Alan T.) “Tried them for the first time yesterday, had a blast. Conditions were about 4 inches of new snow on a foot of firm base. So maneuverable through the tight woods and up and down short drops. I didn’t get around to shortening the cables on the bindings yet, so skied them with just the toe pieces (with Scarpa t4s), but they were fine. Surprised how good they were in kick and glide mode, and climbed better than my Karhu bc skis. I skied with a friend with regular bc skis who is a much better alpine skier than me, and he struggled with downhills I had no problems with. I don’t know why this type of ski is not more popular, anyone would benefit from them outside of set tracks.”

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