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Thread: Pimp my new/old Karhus

  1. #1
    Senior Member sardog1's Avatar
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    Pimp my new/old Karhus

    So, I'm shopping for wax yesterday and off in a dimly lit bargain corner, a garish yellow catches my eye. It's a pair of Karhu XCD Equipes -- single camber, full metal along the sides, 212 cm, about 60/55/56, and the bases look like they've been swaddled in skins almost any time that they've been used. I'd tell you what I paid for them, but you'd just cry if you heard. Okay, I can't resist: A single sawbuck. Thass right -- count to ten and stop.

    The quiver here already has:
    • Karhu Kodiak Kinetics (great on snowmobile trails, a little wanting on untracked deep stuff)

    • Black Diamond Boundaries with Hammerheads that cradle my Asolo Extremes very nicely and are great for untracked forays in the deep stuff in the woods and the semi-steep, occasionally icy stuff (don't start on me, Metsky )

    • Fischer Ultra Tours with the first generation Salomon binding that are good for any groomed tracks that I might stumble upon

    • hand-me-down Rossis with the same Salomon binding that I use for skating when the urge hits. (Which is not nearly so often as it seems to do around Waterville Valley with some frequency).

    So, what to use for bindings on my new friends? I'm thinking robust camping ski plus day trips off the beaten path. Candidates under consideration include:

    Rottefella Super Telemark -- currently on my Karhu Kodiak Kinetics and my all-time favorite binding

    Rottefella Super Telemark with the front-throw cable -- if I can find any.

    Voile counterparts to the two above.

    Rottefella NATO 120 -- This is the NATO binding with the front-throw cable, not the cable that's tensioned on the side of the heel. I could use my plastic double mountaineering boots. I don't have any serious hope of finding these on this side of the Atlantic, it seems.

    Something else that you can recommend? My foot has to pivot nicely for striding, and the binding must be "relatively" light in weight. Releasability is not much of a factor, if any, for me. Cost is a very big deal.
    Last edited by sardog1; 01-19-2010 at 11:53 AM. Reason: Added "XCD"
    sardog1

    "Å! kjære Bymann gakk ei stjur og stiv,
    men kom her up og kjenn eit annat Liv!
    kom hit, kom hit, og ver ei daud og lat!
    kom kjenn, hot d'er, som heiter Svevn og Mat,
    og Drykk og Tørste og det heile, som
    er Liv og Helse i ein Hovedsum."

    -- Aasmund O. Vinje, "Til Fjells!"

  2. #2
    Moderator David Metsky's Avatar
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    What boots do you have? Those are pretty similar to the old E99's or Karhu XCD GTs, good for touring, poor for turns, lacking in flotation, even at 212. I have Rottafella SuperTeles on mine, and I'd use either that or the Voile 3-pins with cable if you want a bit more versatility. I'd avoid the front throw cables, they're not much help.

    If you want a pair of skis to approach ice climbs or hiking, make these a single purpose ski and get bindings just for that. If you want to tour, get 75mm bindings and don't look back. You really can't have both, IMO.
    You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose. -- Dr. Seuss

  3. #3
    Senior Member sardog1's Avatar
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    I have Asolo Snowfield II and Extreme, and Lowa Civetta. The difference in control between the Snowfields and the Extremes is substantial.

    I can have it both ways -- touring and camping boot -- but these days it seems to require buying boots from Norway or Sweden at outrageous prices. Great boots, but outrageous prices to get them here.

    The front throw cable idea is really more for the idea of using the Civettas with the NATO binding. The Super Telemarks have been great for me for a couple decades now, and I should probably just let go of the idea that the cable would add some redundancy for the three-pin boots.
    sardog1

    "Å! kjære Bymann gakk ei stjur og stiv,
    men kom her up og kjenn eit annat Liv!
    kom hit, kom hit, og ver ei daud og lat!
    kom kjenn, hot d'er, som heiter Svevn og Mat,
    og Drykk og Tørste og det heile, som
    er Liv og Helse i ein Hovedsum."

    -- Aasmund O. Vinje, "Til Fjells!"

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    Senior Member J.Dub's Avatar
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    Regardless of which bindings you go with, at least paint some flames on the boards. (Maybe something in a nice metalflake.)

    And chrome the hell out of the bindings.

    "Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball."

    ADK46: 25/46 W5
    NH48: 26/48 W8

  5. #5
    Moderator David Metsky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sardog1 View Post
    The Super Telemarks have been great for me for a couple decades now, and I should probably just let go of the idea that the cable would add some redundancy for the three-pin boots.
    I disagree. The Voile 3-pins with cables are a nice binding, and I use those now instead of the Rottefellas because of it. They also offer more torsional control for the descents.
    You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose. -- Dr. Seuss

  6. #6
    Senior Member spencer's Avatar
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    For an all-around bc, touring, junking-around binding, what more could one ask for than a Voile 3-pin, with the cable for when it gets fun?

    It's really simple, kind of cheap and won't break. If it does break, it's redundant, but it won't.

    Get them and go skiing...

    Nice find on the Equipes!

  7. #7
    Senior Member sardog1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Metsky View Post
    I disagree. The Voile 3-pins with cables are a nice binding, and I use those now instead of the Rottefellas because of it. They also offer more torsional control for the descents.
    Which is EXACTLY why I love the Hammerheads. So, you've talked me back into the cable route. Now, if I could just let go of my Norwegian heritage and accept the French option, life would get simpler in a big hurry. C'est la vie.
    sardog1

    "Å! kjære Bymann gakk ei stjur og stiv,
    men kom her up og kjenn eit annat Liv!
    kom hit, kom hit, og ver ei daud og lat!
    kom kjenn, hot d'er, som heiter Svevn og Mat,
    og Drykk og Tørste og det heile, som
    er Liv og Helse i ein Hovedsum."

    -- Aasmund O. Vinje, "Til Fjells!"

  8. #8
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spencer View Post
    For an all-around bc, touring, junking-around binding, what more could one ask for than a Voile 3-pin, with the cable for when it gets fun?

    It's really simple, kind of cheap and won't break. If it does break, it's redundant, but it won't.

    Get them and go skiing...

    Nice find on the Equipes!
    I'm going to disagree here kind of. The only thing IMO that is good about this binding is it's redundancy. In almost 30 years of mounting Tele skiis in a Ski Shop I would have to say that the hooks on the Voile cable have been one of the most consistent failures I've seen. Although the forging is better now than the earlier generation cables and therefore less failures than 15 years ago. Also I find this binding to be very hinge like and lacks in dynamic flex. Again only my opinion not the Tele Gospel.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  9. #9
    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sardog1 View Post
    The Super Telemarks have been great for me for a couple decades now, and I should probably just let go of the idea that the cable would add some redundancy for the three-pin boots.
    Quote Originally Posted by David Metsky View Post
    I disagree. The Voile 3-pins with cables are a nice binding, and I use those now instead of the Rottefellas because of it. They also offer more torsional control for the descents.
    My vote is for the STs.

    I have both STs and Voiles. (I generally use the Voiles without the cable.) Both work perfectly well when skiing, but I find the latching mechanism on the STs to be easier to operate. If I want a Tele binding, I use a Tele binding with a fixed cable and no pins.

    Also been using STs for several decades...

    Doug

  10. #10
    Senior Member sardog1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiguy View Post
    I'm going to disagree here kind of. The only thing IMO that is good about this binding is it's redundancy. In almost 30 years of mounting Tele skiis in a Ski Shop I would have to say that the hooks on the Voile cable have been one of the most consistent failures I've seen. Although the forging is better now than the earlier generation cables and therefore less failures than 15 years ago. Also I find this binding to be very hinge like and lacks in dynamic flex. Again only my opinion not the Tele Gospel.
    Tusen takk for dette! (Norwegian for "To hell with the French bindings!")

    Quote Originally Posted by DougPaul View Post
    My vote is for the STs.

    I have both STs and Voiles. (I generally use the Voiles without the cable.) Both work perfectly well when skiing, but I find the latching mechanism on the STs to be easier to operate. If I want a Tele binding, I use a Tele binding with a fixed cable and no pins.

    Also been using STs for several decades...

    Doug
    Thanks for your input!


    And so the saga of the hunt for Super Telemarks with cables continues. I know that Rottefella used to list the cables, etc. as spare parts in their 07-08 catalog, but they seem to have disappeared in the current version.
    sardog1

    "Å! kjære Bymann gakk ei stjur og stiv,
    men kom her up og kjenn eit annat Liv!
    kom hit, kom hit, og ver ei daud og lat!
    kom kjenn, hot d'er, som heiter Svevn og Mat,
    og Drykk og Tørste og det heile, som
    er Liv og Helse i ein Hovedsum."

    -- Aasmund O. Vinje, "Til Fjells!"

  11. #11
    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sardog1 View Post
    And so the saga of the hunt for Super Telemarks with cables continues. I know that Rottefella used to list the cables, etc. as spare parts in their 07-08 catalog, but they seem to have disappeared in the current version.
    If your interest in cables is only for emergency use, there is an old technique called a "Lapland binding" for attaching the boot to the binding with cord, replacing a lost bail. It is described in "Winter Hiking and Camping" by John A. Danielson, ADK, Glens Falls, NY, 1972. The book also describes a similar technique for improvising snowshoe bindings, wrapping a ski with cord to slow it down, and how to make rope climbers (mentioned in another thread...).

    Google, unfortunately, doesn't seem to know about Lapland Bindings. Unfortunately the technique is a bit hard to describe--I'd have to photograph the illustration and post it.

    FWIW, here is the book: http://www.amazon.com/Winter-Hiking-...3936794&sr=8-1

    Doug
    Last edited by DougPaul; 01-19-2010 at 03:34 PM.

  12. #12
    Senior Member una_dogger's Avatar
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    Well, well...I'm venturing into this little discussion on BC ski pimping because I just acquired a pair of Karhu XCD GTs in near perfect shape. Lacking in the funds to buy SNS XA boots -- I took some sage advice from CBCD and found myself a pair of Silvretta 404s on Craigslist....to pimp it all up with my Koflach Vertical's to create forest service road bombers... planning to use this set up to get to winter trailheads...hoping Sardog1 won't be peeling me off any trees any time soon...LOL.
    ADK 46'r NE115'r NEHH NH 48 x 6 NH48W NH 331/576
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  13. #13
    Senior Member sardog1's Avatar
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    Lots and lots of folks have skied the Silvretta 404/mountaineering boot combo over the years. Most of them have survived.
    sardog1

    "Å! kjære Bymann gakk ei stjur og stiv,
    men kom her up og kjenn eit annat Liv!
    kom hit, kom hit, og ver ei daud og lat!
    kom kjenn, hot d'er, som heiter Svevn og Mat,
    og Drykk og Tørste og det heile, som
    er Liv og Helse i ein Hovedsum."

    -- Aasmund O. Vinje, "Til Fjells!"

  14. #14
    Senior Member spencer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sardog1 View Post
    Lots and lots of folks have skied the Silvretta 404/mountaineering boot combo over the years. Most of them have survived.
    and few are still on that combo I wonder what happened to the guy who bought mine on ebay for his Denali trip. I hope he made it...

    Those GTs are mighty fine skis, though! Joanna's pair in a 17-something are great in the trees.

  15. #15
    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Lou Dawson has a nice little write-up on the 404 (in his virtual museum...): http://www.wildsnow.com/backcountry-...ckcountry.html

    Doug

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