You've heard hut trip stories and dreamed of human powered turns down powder hallways. We're so glad you're here! Let’s quiet the noise and get you set up. Here are the top 5 questions I ask anyone who’s building their first ski touring setup and looking for help:
Where you ski makes a difference! Long alpine tours might require a lightweight 85mm or 95mm underfoot option!
Where are you going to ski tour? What is the terrain like? Tight or open? Mostly below the treeline or venturing into the alpine? On-piste or off-piste? What is the snow surface usually like? Wider skis like the Havoc or Supernova do well on mixed snow surfaces and deep snow, while narrow lighter skis like the Superscout pair well with firmer surfaces and longer walks uphill. If the answer is a bit of everything, something that is ~95mm underfoot, like the Majesty Superpatrol may be a great ski to look at.
Who are you going to ski with? When you think about your current ski partners, what do they like to do? What sort of ski setup do they use frequently? Are they out for a lap or two, or do they prefer to be out all day exploring? It's really helpful to optimize your setup for who you will ski with as matching setup weight of ski, binding and skin will help match your paces uphill. The fitness uphill crowd might lean towards the Superscout while the ski alpinists should be looking at the Superwolf and Superpatrol!
What’s your ski background and style? Do you enjoy small playful turns or long high speed turns? What aspects of your downhill oriented ski do you enjoy? A lighter ski with a lower turn radius may be more playful than a heavier straight profile ski. It’s nice to mirror what you are used to skiing on that you like and Majesty makes a full line of ski shapes from 85mm to 110mm for touring, with and without carbon.
How are your boots? Do they fit and do make your feet happy? Do they have tech fittings? The best touring setups start with a well fitting boot that strides and skis well and accepts tech fitting bindings. The Majesty-ATK binding lineup offers the Crest 10 which is an excellent first touring binding and the Majesty Raider 12 for those about to rock big drops. Happy feet, happy life!
What's your goal for ski touring? Ideally you will enjoy this setup for 3-5 winters. As you ski tour more, can you grow with this ski? Can it become a daily driver – something you will still reach for as you add skis to the quiver that may be narrower, wider, shorter or taller. Or will it serve a specific purpose once you add others?
Big pillow drops are HAVOC 110 territory!
Take note of your reflections and this will help you hone in your first setup. Naturally, knowledge and gear evolve best together. Check out course offerings with your local avalanche center and mountain guide service. You can learn in a day with a credentialed guide or mentor what it would take years to learn on your own. The Majesty team is here to help with your first setup so drop us a message if you have some questions. We’re psyched you’ve found ski touring here and wish you many safe tours.
Even better - during the holiday season, check out our bundles page and if you grab a pair of touring skis, you'll get discounts on the bindings we mentioned above and a pair of poles!
Christopher “CJ” Carter is a Majesty Ski athlete based in Montana and can be found on Instagram @cj_nunataq.