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safe bc travel, the ability to perform assessments of specific slopes stability, and the knowledge and skill using your compain rescue gear, and what gear is right for you is something that takes years to refine.
Seeing as you are to stupid or lazy to search for commonly discussed questions reguarding AT/Touring guardians and avvy classes in the wasatch and seem real focused on your ability to shred the bc gnar brown eye first,
I wish you the best of luck in not dieing
if I sound like a custy old turn earner
fuck you I am
There's a cult for this now. (not positive this will be the right link)
But yeah, that's a lot of info. As for your specific three questions so far, here's my take.
1. If I buy Guardians, are AT boots an absolute necessity? Can I still use SPKs if I'm only planning relatively short, lazy-man tours? I realize I probably sound like an idiot parkrat but there's no way around how happy my feet are in mah SPKs :)
--No, you don't NEED At boots, if your feet are good in your alpines and you're short on cash, they'll work in a pinch. Once you get out though, you're going to want to upgrade. Trust. Just keep them buckled down enough to keep your heel in the pocket. If it's sliding around in the boot, you'll be covered in blisters in an hour.
2. Again, I probably sound like a parkrat so if you dont like it... fuck you. I heard that landing switch on Guardian's can make for a bad time, true or false? Do all AT binders have issues riding switch? I want to channel all that is Nimbus into my sidecountry shred, so switch performance is a must.
--NO FUCK YOU! *ahem* Now... Back to business. No, you should be fine landing switch on Guardians, Dukes, etc. It will of course increase the wear and tear on the binding and may lead to premature breakage, but just go in knowing that they aren't really built to take that. If you REALLY care about switch performance though, you'll just go MFDs and call it a day IMO.
3. Where in the greater SLC/PC area holds a good on-snow avalanche safety class? When are they available?
--Look it up. Literally google Salt Lake City avalanche course, Wasatchavi course, etc. until you find something you like and can make happen. Especially out there though, this is SO important. Also realize that no matter what you learn, you still don't know shit.
I read a quote once that was to the effect of :
"You start off in the mountains with a handful of luck, hopefully you gain a handful of knowledge before the handfull of luck runs out."
And that is very true. Stoked to hear you want to get out there in the right way, so just keep that up. Be sure to join up with the AT cult too. I'm sure discussion will grow, knowledge will be kicked, and stoke will be shared.
I did not know this. I guess they took that out to lower the stack height? That's pretty stupid IMO. Basically makes using 75% of AT boots a bad idea.
Jesus that's stupid.
Yeah, burl it up, market it to everyone as THE premier touring/AT binding and don't include the ONE THING that will make it safer to use desirable equipment with it. Classic Salomon. What the fuck.
That's probably why they did it, seeing as how they got their assholes fisted sideways in their last foray into AT equipment when their bubble gum tech inserts let go on the 1st gen Quest boot.
That does make sense though. I can't think of any other reason you wouldn't want to include a floating AFD. The toe height helps a little, but it is far from ideal in using AT boots with vibram.