Maybe I'm wrong, but I feel like a lot of people get into AT skiing using less than ideal gear and then invest in better gear as time goes on.
So, does anybody have an exact moment or trip where they were said to themselves "Ok, I really need to ditch these frame bindings and get a real set up!" or something like that.
For me, it happened a few weeks ago:
Did a pretty long tour in rmnp for my snow hydrology course (mentioned in another thread). Unfortunately, due to the purpose of our tour we didnt get to ski anything fun or even take our skins off for that matter. It was still a blast to be out there and far more satisfying than 90% percent of days I've spent on lift accessed terrain.
Anyway, halfway into the rmnp tour my toes were in a lot of pain. For context, my current AT set up consists of some full tilt seth morrisons (which i loosen to imitate walk mode) clicked into duke frame bindings attached to revision subtractions haha. Far from ideal, but doable. Sliding short dips in the trail with slightly glopped up skins eventually became extremely painful. The pain subsided by the next morning but my big toenails are slowly falling off now haha.
Said experience coupled with the unveiling of the Ikon pass has convinced me to invest in a better AT set up and maybe skip the resorts this year.
What made you guys realize that you wanted to get into the backcountry more regularly and ditch the lift lines?