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Looking out to Camel's Hump after skinning up Mt. Mansfield. Photo Credit: Jake Whitlock.

Alright so your cool skier friends have finally convinced you to give Alpine Touring or “AT” for short, a go. So, what should you do first? Well if you don’t have a set up then the first thing you should do is go to Skirack at 85 Main St. in Burlington to get your gear.

1. Boot Fitting & Ski Selection:

Take time to sit down with a Skirack boot fitter and let them help you decide what boot is best for your foot. Keep an open mind when it comes to brands and models. Even though your friends may have recommended an awesome touring boot, it may not agree with your foot profile. Listen to the boot fitters’ suggestions and work with them to get your fit dialed in. We can also recommend a great ski and binding that best suits your skier type. To start out, you can opt to keep your current skis and add a touring binding and boot combo. A lighter ski will make the uphills a little less strenuous, but that is up to you.

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Peering out across Colorado mountains from Leadville, CO. Photo Credit: Nic MacCulloch.

I remember setting down my first ever skin track in the shadow of Sugarloaf Mountain, Maine. We rode the King Pine lift up to the ridge that connects over to Burnt Mountain via a trail called Golden Road. From here, we transitioned our splitboards into touring mode and set out along the ridgeline. This first transition for me was unlike anything my normal snowboarding career had prepared me for. Moving my bindings around. Applying skins to my splitboard?! Riding skis?! I probably spent a solid 20 minutes on this first “transition”. That was 5 years ago, and since then I have dialed in my transition time and general skills as a backcountry traveler.

Here are 6 areas of focus to help you get more confident and efficient as a splitboarder:

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Looking out over the Green Mountains after skinning up Mt. Mansfield on the Stowe side for sunrise. Photo Credit: Jake Whitlock.

The clock strikes 4:00 AM and I awake to the ding of my alarm. With eyes closed my hand swats and taps at my nightstand hoping to touch down upon the snooze button. Finally, after a few failed attempts and a spilt glass of water I force myself to get up. I look out the window into the darkness. The only light I can see is the dim street lamp shining down on the row of parked cars outside my house. A perfect, untouched, blanket of beautiful snow sits below my window. The feeling of dismay is replaced with excitement. I run to my closet to quickly throw on my base layers and bibs. I call my friend Forrest to see if he’s still “in” but am greeted by a voicemail. I try once more and this time I hear a very muffled “I’m up.”

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Comments | Posted in Downhill Skiing Backcountry By Jake Whitlock

How to Select Cross Country Skis

Dec 30, 2019 4:42:00 PM

How to Select Cross Country Skis. Photo credit: Zach Walbridge.

Which cross country skis should I buy? This question has only become more difficult as more types of skis have been developed for every kind of skiing imaginable. Currently, Skirack carries 6 different categories of cross country skis. They are outlined below to help you get an idea for what you’re looking for.

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Preseason Skiing...and then Mountain Biking

Here at Skirack there’s not much that gets us more stoked than skis and winter – I guess you could say it comes with the name. We’ve been selling skis for 5 decades! In recent years, another growing outdoor sport has begun to capture our attention too. If you frequent the shop over summer, you’ve probably noticed our ever growing collection of mountain bikes on the second floor.

Mountain biking is the largest growing summer sport in the northeast and naturally Skirack employees are leading the charge. From events, trail building, group rides, and races - to say we’ve fully embraced Vermont bike culture would be an understatement.

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Comments | Posted in News Bicycling Downhill Skiing Backcountry By Charlie Kahn

Cross Country Ski Boot Overview. Photo credit: Guillaume Desmurs.

Nordic ski boots come in many styles, constructions, and bindings to accommodate a range of activities. From backcountry touring on the Catamount Trail to skate skiing the Craftsbury Marathon, there is a boot designed to maximize the skier’s performance and enjoyment. Weight, stiffness, and warmth are all important factors to take into consideration when you purchase a ski boot. The following breakdown briefly describes each type of boot, and should help guide the skier to the correct equipment.

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Cross Country Ski Binding Overview

Determining what cross country ski bindings you need can depend on your boot, ski / type of skiing, and terrain. Since there are many variables and options out there, it can be pretty overwhelming.

Fortunately, I'm here to give you an overview of the bindings available as well as how to select the correct one. If you have any questions, please let us know!

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Downhill Ski Boot Adjustment

Jan 25, 2019 8:00:00 AM

What do you do when your downhill ski boot is giving you pain or discomfort? Did you know that the our Downhill Boot Fit Experts not only fit new boots, but can make adjustments to any downhill ski boot?

When a customer comes into Skirack with an existing downhill ski boot, the first questions we ask are: what's going on, what are the problems, and what can we solve? Based on their answers, we assess the foot and the boot to confirm compatibility. We can then advise if a new boot is needed or make modifications to the existing boot to address their issue. 

Call or stop by for more information and pricing on an existing boot fit.

Learn more about Skirack's Boot Fit Guarantee

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Downhill Skiing and Touring with the New SHIFT Binding

The Atomic and Salomon Shift is brand new binding that combines the best of a traditional alpine ski binding, and that of a technical alpine touring binding. Being able to Shift from a technical pin toe piece, to a hard-charging driver toe piece that most alpine bindings have, it’s a new force to be reckoned with.

After a lengthy 7 years of R&D along with testing, the binding was finally released this season for purchase. One of the biggest draws to the binding is the fact that you can go uphill with the tech toe piece, then come downhill in a DIN-release binding. DIN is an industry standard for the amount of force it takes for the boot to release from the bindings. In a traditional tech toe piece, you just have two pins holding the boot in, lacking DIN. With the new combination of tech and DIN, it introduces safety where it heavily lacked before. This is why a fair amount of the Skirack staff has purchased the Shift, myself including.

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What's New and Hot in Snowboarding This Year!

This season has sure gotten off to a great start! We saw snow in the mountains early October, sparking us to get even more psyched about the winter season!

Derek Tiplady, Skirack's snowboard buyer gives his picks for what is new and hot this year in snowboarding and splitboarding.

Shop in store or online for a full selection of snowboarding gear including: snowboards, boots, bindings, clothing, and accessories.

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