Karha Meta Ski info
Hello, I am new to this board. I have been in AK since 01 (military). I have done a bit of snowshoeing in the eagle river area and arctic valley. I am looking at getting a set of these new ski/shoe things, they seem to offer a degree of flexability in the backcounty. Karha Meta backcountry ski 120cm. Has anyone used these before. Any info on them would be appriciated.
Thanks for the help
About 150 views and no replies..... that's got to be close to some kinda record.
Ya well you know how it goes, if your not known then no one knows you.
Doesn't matter though, I went ahead and bought a set of these things. I'll post up a report when we get home so others who have interest can read up on them.
You get your shotgun yet, I'm thinkin the bird hunting off of skis is a winner.
We talked about these last winter some but nobody had any to give a report. Looking forward to hearing how they perform, good luck.
Last edited by whitepalm; 09-10-2007 at 21:57.
I might be able to help out with this one. These things were a huge mystery to my brother and I as well until we took the plunge. It seems like noone has ever used them.
First, think of them as "sliding snowshoes" rather than skis. If you are crossing flat or rolling terrain and expect to travel as fast as you would on backcountry skis (my other skis are 98 wide karhu 10th mountains), you'll be disappointed.
That being said, the very first time I put them on and went out with them, I covered a mile as if I were out for a summer hike without once thinking about how I was crossing the snow. With snowshoes, it is "man, I'm sure sinking in more than I want to" or "time to knock the snowball off the bottom of my foot". With skis it is "I better slow down before this turn" or "I better snowplow down this hill". With the karvers, it is effortless. You just walk (or kick and glide a little bit) and cover country without thinking about it.
Going downhill is very controlled. I've had some good fun carving tele turns in the powder at a resort. The slow moving karvers made it seem easy. The one gotcha is that as the slope gets more gradual, the skin base on the karvers can suddenly grab. It is not a smooth transition. One minute you are gliding, the next you are stopped.
Going uphill is quite stable. You are not going to be able to use them as surrogate crampons like you would with some snowshoes, but you can easily climb most slopes. One argument is that if it is too steep to climb with skins, you should either be choosing a better route or wearing crampons and carrying an ice axe.
The traction of the skin bases is nice when pulling a sled.
I have mixed feelings about the bindings. I think they are very practical if you are wearing a non-mountaineering type boot. They depend on the flex in the toe of the boot to get heel raise. If you are just going to walk with them like they were snowshoes, no problem. They'll be the easiest moving snowshoes you've every worn. If you are in the habit of getting some glide in your step, and you're wearing boots with a stiff midsole and little toe flex, you'll probably find the limited heel raise frustrating. I switched out the bindings for a pair of fritschi hinge type step in bindings. This was easy to do because the karvers are pre-drilled and t-nutted like a snowboard in standard 3 hole pattern. Now I get the glide I want. What I've given up is the ability to just strap them onto any boot. They also need heel lifters for any serious climbing. Of course, heel lifters are easy to get and install.
A parting thought -- I sometimes think about various gear options with the question "if I had to cross the cascades in mid-winter, what would I take with me"? (I live in central oregon). I am torn between just taking the karvers as a great all around option, or taking my 10th mountains and a pair of snowshoes as a more specialized combo. I may not use the snowshoes much, but I wouldn't consider taking *just* the 10th mountains, so I guess that tells you the difference between the karvers and 10th mountains.
Man thanks for the input. Just the kind of info I was looking for. I plan to use these mainly on flat to rolling terrain pulling my son in his sled most of the time. Sounds like they'll work great for that. I imagine I'll eventually give them try on some more challenging terrain the more I use them. I get what your saying about the glide......kinda like our military skis with too much wax on the kickpad, good for walking up hill but they don't glide very well. I imagine they'll shine for over-snow movement and trail breaking in the back country. Can't wait to get back and give them a try, should be late Nov early Dec........interesting how 15 months doesn't really go by that quickly.
Thanks for the help.
Yep, over snow movement and backcountry trail-breaking. I'm surprised the military hasn't picked up on these and started using them. They seem like the perfect military item.
I actually want to try pulling a sled this winter with my waxless backcountry skis to see how it compares to the karvers. I have a hunch that it will be hard to get enough traction with my skis. That isn't a problem with the karvers.
I'd like to hear your thoughts on how they work for you up there after you've used them a bit.
I was also looking at these for hunting caribou, rabbits, and ptarmigan as well as trapping. Sounds like they would do the job well and would move along a little faster than snowshoes..........thanks for the info.