I can’t quite see the point of using skate skis with skate boots and then carrying some hiking books, I wonder if the saving made by using the light gear might be cancelled out by having two pairs of boots.
The usual point is that weight on your feet counts more (in reduction of speed + endurance) than weight on your back. Since one pair of was always on his back, he had less weight on his feet.
I think key for Pater Mayfield is that he had been skiing (and racing on the groomed tracks in the Tahoe area) all winter on light skate boots. So if he suddenly for one tour added extra weight to his feet, his leg muscles would not have been trained for it.
. (I on the other hand ski all season long with more weight on my feet, even though it’s often overkill for a particular tour, so on those days when I really want to be in my 4-buckle boots and metal-topsheet skis, it doesn’t slow me down much, because my leg muscles are trained for it.)
SNS BC bindings
I agree those were heavier—and so were the compatible boots. That’s why I never went for them. And that’s not what Peter Mayfield was using that day.
My view is that if you want to go light, use SNS track bindings. I don’t know if Peter was using Pilot track bindings instead, just a little more weight—but more important the 2nd pin of the bottom of the Pilot boot traps refrozen snow, not what I want to deal with after booting over a 3000 meter pass in the Sierra backcountry.
I don’t think what he carried was any lighter than what I use in the Jura.
Other than carrying light hikers (brought only because of lack of snow at lower altitude for start + finish) and an ice axe (which perhaps he didn’t actually use)—carried on his back—everything Peter used was lighter than the gear you mentioned:
* track skate boots lighter
* track skate binding lighter
* skate skis lighter
* no climbing skins
Looks like a brilliant trip he’s made though!
Also great (and more reliably do-able) on heavier gear with multiple days to enjoy climbs + descents of the many peaks along the way—which has the disadvantage of needing to carry tent, sleeping bag, stove, food, etc.
Given the way the snowpack in the Alps is going, I might be there again in early May.