I do a lot of backcountry exploring on snow shoes. Sometimes I'll go in on groomed trails and then at the end of the trail strap on the snow shoes and take off. I'm wondering how much more efficient (time and effort) it would be to XC ski in and then hide the skies and go from there on snow shoes. Is there ski's that will work with regular boots? I'd like to avoid having to carry an extra pair of boots with me. Where is the best place in Anchorage to buy a XC setup? REI? I'd buy used but I have no clue on types, bindings, sizes or brands etc. I’m 5’8” and 180lbs (200 with gear). I've downhilled skied a lot and I don't think XC will be that hard to figure out.
Thanks in advance. All advice is appreciated.