11 February 2008

The Moulton Journal: Skiing Right out of your Boots...

I never thought of myself as all that aggressive a skier, so when I bent the toe pin on a brand new pair of Salomon "Escape Pilot 7" boots I felt a mix of pride and disappointment. Disappointed that a brand new pair of fairly pricey boots was shot. Proud that I was setting a sub-11 minute pace on The Yankee Boy loop. Proud that I could ski so hard as to wreck a new pair of boots. But I try not to let delusions control my life, and have no doubt that Salomon is suffering some quality control/soft metallurgy issues. Here's a close up of the bent toe bar:

I've skied on a now beat up pair of Fischers for nigh on eight years, and everything BUT the toe bar is about worn out. I've been holding the soles to the boot with "Shoe Goo" this season, and was looking forward to new boots. So it goes. Here are the old boots:

Most of the time, I ski on the Fischer E99 "backcountry" skis with heavier boots anyway, but there are those perfectly groomed, fast snow days when its fun to combi-ski (wax for kick up the hills, but skating on the more or less flats) on the featherlight, skinny little Madshus classic skis. Although the cross country ski trails of The Moulton are Montana's finest, they aren't "overgroomed" like a lot of trails these days. And with the almost daily accumulations of snow this winter, it's hard for an awkward skier like me to get by on skinny, classic equipment--at least if I'm on the more challenging north area trails like The Yankee Boy and Big Nipper/Widow Maker.

Oh yeah, let me put in a plug here for Akers Ski, Inc., the "cross country specialist" business in Andover, Maine. Tim (Akers?) has offered me consistent, good advice for years (by phone), and I've bought several pairs of skies and boots from Akers. When I emailed the folks at Akers this morning about the Salomon failure, they were great! They'll take care of sending the boots back to the manufacturer, and I'm exchanging them for a comparable pair made by Atomic. If you're in the market for cross country skis, boots, or gears, check out Akers at www.akers-ski.com. Good people. Good prices. Good selection.


The Moulton: Montana's Finest Cross Country Skiing Area

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