Backcountry Setup: Quick-Hike
Ski: Volkl Shiro — $825
Boot: Tecnica Cochise — $735
Binding: Marker Tour 12 — $429
Skin: Gecko Glueless — $110-180
If you’re looking for an AT setup intended for 80-percent in-resort skiing and relatively quick uphill walks, the Marker Tour F12 binding is the place to start. Almost two pounds lighter than the Duke, the F12 still locks your foot in with a distinctive “clunk” and is almost undistinguishable from standard bindings when set for downhill.
Mount these on the Völkl Shiro because you’re most likely hiking for powder turns, right? The Shiro’s full rocker allows you to float and slash your way through the tightest of pow lines, while the bomber construction provides the kind of stability you expect from a Völkl. Drive this burly combo with the Tecnica Cochise 120. The ultrasmooth metal-to-metal contact between the cuff and lower shell allows you to keep your top buckle and strap tight while hiking nearly chafe-free.
Slap on Gecko’s Glueless skin to the base when going uphill and quickly shove them in your pack—as glueless skins don’t stick to one another like traditional skins—when you’re about to snake your buddies for first tracks.
Pros: Sacrifice almost zero downhill performance with this uphill-ready kit
Cons: Must step out of binding to change modes; heavy setup for longer, more involved hikes
About the author:
Damian Quigley is an Irish-born immigrant who traveled to the US with hopes of one day becoming an editor for Freeskier. Having accomplished his dream, he spends his days testing gear and sipping champagne.