SO I'm in conversation with a friend about re-establishing a ski program for his unit. He was focused on the deficiencies with the old equipment, and a belief that that equipment is no longer available. My focus was more on how the operational/training part of our old program sucked so much, that the equipment barely even mattered. As in the ski program was just another tool used once or twice a winter for PT. It had no operational role in our unit and that I am unaware of any tactical training events having ever occurred in the 20 plus years I've been around the unit, and even the PT benefit was debatable.

 

So to set the stage he has a pretty good material solution for Snow shoes currently on hand from courtesy of MSR and the USMC Assault Snow Shoes. For the ski's they used to have the white rockets: Ramer bindings aka NATO and ASNES ski's. Supposedly neither of these items are still in inventory for new procurement, I'm still researching that, but I believe both companies have gone out of business. The old Chippewa mountain boots also look to be out of inventory, but Chippewa is still open and makes a similar boot. We didn't really love our Chip's, but they were decent the few times I skied I them. just don't go for a long road march in them.

 

Looking around the internet I have found that the USMC has been looking for a new ski solution for several years and have issued several sources sought notices which serve as a good Requirements starting point. I have also seen the Canadian Forces put together a new ski solution and the Finn's have done some recent work,

 

I have found the following purchases on FBO and am also looking at them to inform the out line I'm working on.

 

10th Group

COTS ----- 

Scarpa MAESTRALE PRO (Tactical) Alpine Touring (AT) Ski Boot

Black Diamond Aspect Skis BD115048-186cm

Fritschi Diamer Eagle Bindings

Must have an adapter that will allow interface of an Inverno plastic mountaineering boot into a Alpine Touring ski Binding.

Black Diamond Boundary Ski Poles

Black Diamond Ascension Nylon STS Skins

  

USMC Mountain Warfare School

COTS -----

Garmont Telemark Excursion Ski Boot

TARGA Ascent telemark binding with WorldCup cartridge.

LEKI Haute Route SpeedLock

 

 

 

SOCOM also appears to have purchased the Bates Tora Bora Alpine Combat boots, which I've also found in images of troops from the Vermont NG 86th Infantry.

 

From the FInn's they seem to have developed an interesting new binding which makes for a universal binding. I believe they are the Finngrip EASY bindings, "The binding consists of flexible plastic cup and a steel wire base plate which hooks up from the heel. The binding is adjustable to European shoe sizes 36 to 48." Coupled with a ski like the Fiiber Cruiser 170 cm forest ski's or the Fiiber Patrol 210 cm Forest Skis (described as copies of the Finnish military skis) it looks like a good match for some of the readings I have had on ski requirements.

 

The Canadians put together a ski system based on Karfu ski's, Hummocks "boot wraps" and Salomon bindings. the Hummocks look like a Snow board binding clipped into a cross country ski binding. They allow the use of any boot and I see them referenced pretty often as being used for Ice Cap ski expeditions.

 

So lots of information there, but few answers on the material front. If this were to develop into a capability I'd expect it to be centered more on back country mobility than on Alpine down hill type sking. As such a more cross country set up like the Canadians might be more appropriate than what I perceive as the Telemark Ski's of 10th Group and the USMC Mountain Warfare Center. Would love to here more about the experts on here about material solutions.

 

On the employment level I'm rather of the opinion if they are to pursue it should be part of a specialization vs ski's for all. Mostly because of my perception that a ski program would need greater maintenance of skills. This might look something like X Company or Y BN are ski battalions, or scout plattons and Dismounted Recon Troops on skis, or ect. Everyone else is on snow shoes. While perhaps not optimal, it might be the best match for time and resources available. Make them get good at one thing and one thing only vs not good at either.

 

When I can bring the other files back together I will add them in. I look forward to the discussion.

 

I also looked at some of the available doctrinal references. FM 3-97.6 Mountain Operations doesn't mention ski'ing at all and FM 31-70 Northern Operations was written in 1971. ATTP 3-97.11/MCRP 3-35.1D (FM 31-70 and FM 31-71) Cold Region Operations offer this:

 

Skis

4-4.       Skis enable Soldiers and Marines to move quickly into remote areas that vehicles cannot access since they allow for much quicker infiltration and exfiltration than snowshoes. Skis work particularly well for missions such as raids and reconnaissance and surveillance. However, most individuals will not require skis. Specialized units such as Rangers, Special Forces, and Scouts will have utility for skis. The disadvantage to skis is that they take a long time to train on and require the purchase of special equipment. The Northern Warfare Training Center provides a standard estimate that it will take 40 to 50 hours for most Soldiers to attain proficiency using skis with the standard combat load. Skiing expertise is only maintained in a few Army schools. If commanders deem this as a crucial skill, they should contact the Northern Warfare Training Center, the Army's Mountain Warfare School, 10th Special Forces, or Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center to receive training for this task.

 

Kits and Sleds

4-10.   The Army and Marine Corps have recently started to field special kits to aid in movement. These kits aid in movement and maneuver in both cold and mountainous regions. Units that need these kits should contact the Army Mountain Warfare School, the Northern Warfare Training Center, or the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center for information on the latest version of these kits. These kits continually evolve so this manual will not discuss individual ones.

4-11.   Many units may find that using smaller sleds are desirable. For example, the Marines employ a four man sled design. There are many designs available for commercial off-the-shelf purchase. These sleds are well suited for squad movements and surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

As far as I know these kits do not include any ski materials, but several kits do include the "Assault Snow Shoes" from MSR. The ski problem seems to be related to Berry Compliancy issues.

Original Post
Asnes still makes their Combat NATO Skiis, just make sure you get a good set of bindings and boots (don't go for any plastic/downhill type boots as they aren't really suited for this type of work, go for a pair that you can use as a regular pair of boots as well)
 
 
I have seen the Finngrip EASY bindings before, but have no time with them myself, but an interesting concept..
 

For the ski's they used to have the white rockets: Ramer bindings aka NATO and ASNES ski's. Supposedly neither of these items are still in inventory for new procurement, I'm still researching that, but I believe both companies have gone out of business. 

Both the 10th Group and Mountain Warfare references use hard plastic ski type boots.

One if the reasons we were looking at the Tora Bora Alpines is we thought they were more boot like. But they are more rigid like a cross country ski boot of a technical mountaineering boot like the Kolflash Degrees.

Any binding recommendation. The only other one I've used is the FT-88.
I know, but still I can't come up with any good reasons other than a lack of understanding for using that type of boot.
 
I would want a boot that I can use while skiing, next I am driving a vehicle, next I arrive at an area with less snow or moving indoors on a target or at my bivy area or want to switch to snow shoes (Tubbs Military for me)...all situations I wear the same boot and remain mobile and not hindered by a stiff plastic boot (try running and gunning in pair) 

Binding wise: You have to pick something that is compatible with the boots you end up with, either something specific like the 75mm NN system, or maybe something more universal
 
A pair of boots like these (Lundhags will tailor boots to your needs, aka different width, length of the tip to make the more suitable for walking for example) 
 
And bindings similar to these..(The ones I have used are out of production (M98 Rottefella), but basically the same concept)
http://www.voile.com/voile-tel...elemark-binding.html
Both the 10th Group and Mountain Warfare references use hard plastic ski type boots.

One if the reasons we were looking at the Tora Bora Alpines is we thought they were more boot like. But they are more rigid like a cross country ski boot of a technical mountaineering boot like the Kolflash Degrees.

Any binding recommendation. The only other one I've used is the FT-88.

 

Found online:

 

TC 90-11-1 Military Skiing

 

It's dated 1981, and my hard copy is the same date if I remember correctly. Being in Alaska before Strykers, we used skis for long distance and would change to snowshoes if needed. I remember doing only one live-fire with snow shoes while there.

 

mercUSA

Joined: 12/26/02        

location:Retired 11B in southern AZ

The Mountain Warfare Center at Camp Ethan Allen is one of the very few places in the US military establishment that formally maintains, keeps, or teaches any kind of ski capability.

 

Watching a company of SF dudes try downhill in GI ski equipment is hilarious.

 

The official Army position on ski and winter warfare capability is to ignore it and hope the requirement (however great or small) goes away.

 

The Marines used to work with the Norwegians extensively when they were aligned with NATO NORTHAG plans.

 

Say "BV 206" (US M973) to an American field planner and he will give you the hog staring at a wrist watch look. 

 

 

 

If you are introducing skis to a student population with no prior experience, a good tool in the early stages is to just do a regular range day with the skis staying on. It helps with the balance, shakes out the issues with binding adjustments, gives an important reference point in shooting position principles and is a good confidence builder with the skis before hitting the hills. Understanding where the poles go and how to go from prone to standing and back without compromising firearms safety etc is pretty important and easier to indoctrinate in the start-up phase. Also playing touch football or soccer with just one ski on or both tends to break the ice a bit... It's important to keep it fun and relevant and not just a form of physical punishment

My old psyop unit still does winter warfare training at Camp Hale in Colorado (training is a loose term here). I know they have skis and snowshoes. I couldn't tell you brands or anything. It was all quite old. We'd go for a little cross country skiing and snowshoeing, maneuver vehicles in the snow, and use our sweet loudspeakers. 

 

From what I remember, getting people familiar with the equipment was crucial to having a good day vs bad day. And making sure the equipment was functional. 

 

Roso makes some good observations.

----

 

Ditch Medic

Joined: October 2009

Location: Washington State

Good luck with that! Please post the results!!!! It's and unanswered question

After some trying, I think there is not a one size fits all solution. Countries like Finland which have mostly flat snowed terrain, do telemark style. It's nice because you can use any boot indeed. But once you get mountains, it's different. Especially when carrying a heavy backpack, everything goes overboard. That's when you need a real ski boot with strong bindings.

We tried Diamirs, Markers, dynafits, and some others I can't remember. All have their ups and downs. Some prefer diamirs, you can switch from walking to skiing with your pole only. Markers are way stronger but you need to step out of the ski to change. But you'll be breaking bindings every so often. I really wonder what we'd do in a real Op. 

Take a look at the Scarpa F1 boots. Our best solution so far. Also, in my area we have very dense woods, where you cannot ski, but still gets deep snow, so we have to carry both snowshoes and skis. 

Arcteryx is developing some cool double boots that may hit the nail, but when the terrain gets hard or you are really heavy, only real ski boots cut it.

I'd rather fight in garmonts or scarpas than ski in a leather boot.

 

Originally Posted by hk3172:

We tried Diamirs, Markers, dynafits, and some others I can't remember. All have their ups and downs. Some prefer diamirs, you can switch from walking to skiing with your pole only. Markers are way stronger but you need to step out of the ski to change. But you'll be breaking bindings every so often. I really wonder what we'd do in a real Op.

Do you think 3 pin bindings w/ cables might work out? Very old school and no auto release, but also the least likely to fail in the field.

 


 

The fanatic is always concealing a secret doubt. – John le Carré



Originally Posted by Mateo:
Do you think 3 pin bindings w/ cables might work out? Very old school and no auto release, but also the least likely to fail in the field.

They DO work, and we have them in bulk, but only work thru "non technical" terrain. Meaning, if you don't have to go down a mountain. 

Unless you train in telemark style... but I've actually never seen a telemark skier, civ or mil.

 

It's a very interesting subject, I'd like to see how this topic develops.

Originally Posted by hk3172:
Originally Posted by Mateo:
Do you think 3 pin bindings w/ cables might work out? Very old school and no auto release, but also the least likely to fail in the field.
They DO work, and we have them in bulk, but only work thru "non technical" terrain. Meaning, if you don't have to go down a mountain.
Unless you train in telemark style... but I've actually never seen a telemark skier, civ or mil.

I’ve only seen one skier on Telemark gear firsthand, and the classic Telemark turn looked every bit as sharp in execution and difficult to master as I had been led to believe.

A 3-pin set-up seems like it would be a great choice for dedicated ski troops. My understanding is that short of having mastered the Tele turn it is still relatively easy to learn to get down the mountain with shallow turns and snowplowing if you’re using a set of cables and stiff plastic boots. But is my understanding that the US Army and USMC doesn’t so much have dedicated ski troops as they train up some number of troops to be good-enough skiers in the case that the capability should ever be needed? If that’s the case, AT bindings definitely would be the way to go.

Originally Posted by hk3172:
It's a very interesting subject, I'd like to see how this topic develops.

Me, too, especially since I’m trying to save up to put together a first set of skiing gear for this coming winter. I’ll sit down at some point and try and organize all the research I’ve done and recommendations I’ve received and see if any of it hasn’t already been touched on in this thread.

As far as snowshoes go, I noticed this morning that MSR’s new snowshoes that combine their injection molded bodies and traction frames are available for purchase for purchase now.

 


 

The fanatic is always concealing a secret doubt. – John le Carré



I could make several deck chairs with all the skis I've owned in my lifetime.

Not a .mil, but skiing and backcountry travel is the middle of my lane, and I'll try and offer some opinions.

 

There is no one perfect setup for skiing or backcountry travel.  That's why most serious skiers have a "quiver" to choose from, depending on terrain, conditions and intent.

 

If we're talking about controlled descent, nothing beats having a fixed heel.  Snowplow turns are much easier to control and teach when your heel is fixed and you don't feel like you're going to pitch over the front of your skis.

The fixed heel also usually means a plastic boot, in one of the randonee/AT setups already mentioned.  Plastic boots are great in that they give you excellent control of your skis, keep your feet warm and reasonably dry, and the liners are removable.  But plastic alpine boots can also be very clunky, heavy, and don't really transfer well to other activities, like snowshoeing or hiking.

 

Freeheel gear can look appealing, but it's benefits can be deceptive.  A 3-pin binding with cable does not actually tour very well: that cable causes the ski tip to dive.  So you get the tour option which allows a frictionless pivot point, but now you're essentially right back to a randonee/AT setup.

And mastering the telemark turn can take a LOT of time, as in several seasons.

 

At this point in my career/recreation, my quiver is down to 2 pairs of skis: 1 heavy telemark setup with big plastic boots, cable bindings with tour option, and skins for earning my turns.  I use this setup for big mountain skiing.  But if I'm trying to cover miles with a pack, I go with lightweight skinny skis (as in 75mm at the tip) with a 3-pin binding (no cable), and a lighweight hybrid boot.  I have enough days on skis that I can negotiate most terrain with this setup, though it isn't always pretty.

 

But if I had to teach a bunch of 20 year old guys with no previous experience whose sole purpose was to negotiate terrain with large packs in unknown conditions, I would pick a randonee/AT setup.  And if someone complained about walking in heavy plastic boots, well suck it up buttercup - if you want the lightweight stuff, you can spend the years it takes to be proficient at skiing.

 

Hope that helps.

Originally Posted by Mateo:
Originally Posted by hk3172:

We tried Diamirs, Markers, dynafits, and some others I can't remember. All have their ups and downs. Some prefer diamirs, you can switch from walking to skiing with your pole only. Markers are way stronger but you need to step out of the ski to change. But you'll be breaking bindings every so often. I really wonder what we'd do in a real Op.

Do you think 3 pin bindings w/ cables might work out? Very old school and no auto release, but also the least likely to fail in the field.

And one last thought: 3-pin bindings, with and without cables, fail in the field all the time.  Probably more so than fixed heel bindings.  The cable attachments break, the plate breaks, the plate rips out of the ski (this is the worst), etc etc.

Originally Posted by HazardZetForward:

 

 

But if I had to teach a bunch of 20 year old guys with no previous experience whose sole purpose was to negotiate terrain with large packs in unknown conditions, I would pick a randonee/AT setup.  And if someone complained about walking in heavy plastic boots, well suck it up buttercup - if you want the lightweight stuff, you can spend the years it takes to be proficient at skiing.

 

Hope that helps.

It helps! and I agree! Actually some of us end up carrying  Scarpa Invernos  in our packs. Heavy, but terrain is technical enough to prefer the extra weight. We use a kind of ad hoc team of assault climbers for the rougher stuff.

The SNS-BC / NNN-BC: bindings paired with the Hummock's binding the Canadians use is keeps looking like the "best" solution

 

Or the Finn Grip Easy model:

 

 

 

Seem like the best general fit for our application. These Icetrek have also come highly recommended, although there is some debate between which model is the best match.

Icetrek Bindings

 

In all the debate about ski bindings is tough to sort through. Generally speaking we expect to be confined to a binding that works with issue flexible soled boots and those damned mickey mouse boots that won't go away. This means that we need either a binding like the Hummocks which gives you a little more ability to turn. Just figuring out the pro's and cons of binding selection is a huge gap, so if anyone can push any references they have on some of the bindings above it would be great.

 

We have a pool of Telemark skiers here and looks like we may do some talking with the USA Biathlon Team which is relatively local and we have contacts with for some more info. Problem is most are used to sking with AT Boots/dedicated ski boots or the old NATO bindings. Still need to see what PPI or one of the other Canadian Units can send our way. Also now tied in with the other Army proponents loosely.

 

one of the guys found a interesting Altai Hok ski that is shorter then normal "two sizes, 125 cm. and 145 cm." The ski has a built in climbing skin and is quite wide. Seems like it would be very hard to turn in a soft boot. But interesting ideal. You can order them as a set from LL Bean with universal bindings for $299..........

 

http://altaiskis.com/products/the-hok/

 

On the other end of the spectrum are skis being marketed by Serket USA. They have three different models the Holy Cross, Hemlock and Huntsman.

 

http://serketusa.com/the-holy-cross/

 

Any how, we are continuing the research look forward to additional comments. Still mostly looking at a flat to rolling hills ski/binding combo that can also do some light down hilling.

 

Think of the requirement you would use to select your ski as what is used for the 25 km CISM Patrol event, except you will be doing it in your issue kit, issue carbine and caring a 40lbs pack off track:

http://www.puolustusvoimat.fi/.../Competition/Patrol/

 

The skiing distance in military patrol race is 25 kilometres (women 15 km). The dispatch interval of patrols is either 1 or 2 minutes. The second half of the race includes a shooting round (at 10 km for women and 20 km for men). The total climb must be 500–1200 metres (300–700 for women). Each patrol is composed of four members. The patrol officer does not carry a gun, while the other members carry small-bore rifles. The officer does not participate in the shooting round. The shooting round uses a target group consisting of three targets. Each shooter has three rounds. Each missed shot carries a penalty of one minute.

 

 Reference CISM Patrol, if anyone has anything to share on doing a similar type event with issue gear would love to hear about it. Going to see if we can do something similar this winter, but need more than just an ideal to work with. Course of fires, ect would be useful.

 

Thanks

 

 

 

Randonees just means bad Telemarker.  Now that that's out of the way, do you have a ski area with PSIA instructors?  If they are anything like instructors I worked with, you will learn something.

On ski boots though, not all manufacturer s are the same sizing.  Nothing worse than Ill fitting ski boots.  Safety should be as big of concern in skiing as it is in parachuting.  Given that, walking in plastic boots sucks, but the stability and increased control they give can be worth the weight.  I guess this falls on METT TC and if you want great skiers or skiers able to get to the objective.

Rustin,

 

I looked through the PSIA and they have some interesting options I missed on the first look. I will have to pass these on to our lead instructor who has been through most of the .mil schools and is a long time back country skier:

 

http://www.psia-e.org/ed/accreditations/backcountry/

 

and this

http://www.psia-e.org/ed/nordic-education/

 

Previously I had provided him with these links for the "NATO" North American Telemark Organization:

http://www.telemarknato.com/eventpage.html

 

Our local ski resorts have a great many telemark skiers as do some of the colleges but I have not seen a local class on telemark. My ski hill has several telemark guys and gals on the ski patrol also so I will have to find them to see what they can pass on.

 

We have made some progress over the summer and are sourcing some equipment from multiple venues now. Seems to be lots of great options for skies, but we are having the most trouble with the boot binding interface.

 

That and defining what the larger program should look like. I think this winter will be a period of experimentation and that we will evolve the answer from there. I remain off center of the work providing some tech info of various types so don't have a lot of details of the main work being done. That said they seem to be on the right track.

 

Also of note is I think we have agreed that a waxless "fish scale" base is the way to go.

 

I think I'll pull some more of my notes together on this for an presentation I need to do for my grad school class. I certainly have enough material now.

As your research showed, 10th SFG(A) still buys skis.  As in they have enough skis, boots, etc to give each and every Soldier in Group (Long Tabbed AND support) a full set of skis, boots, polls, snow shoes, over-whites, etc.  The OCIE issue makes CIF look like a mom & pop corner store.  Of any US Military unit, they are probably THE go to guys for Winter Warfare (from preventing cold weather injuries to patrolling on snow mobiles/machines and everything in between).  10th Still does their WET (Winter Environment Training) that culminates in a large scale exercise involving the entire Group, in one way or another, playing out in the snow up at elevation.  10th Still buys ski passes by the hundreds, that teams can come in and check out and go up to the ski resorts and do team training (if using a Group ski pass, you HAVE to be in Military "uniform" using Military ski equipment....meaning it's not for the snow gods to go up with their personal equipment and tear up the mountain during the work week).  It was NOT uncommon, when there was enough snow on the ground, to see teams skiing or snow shoeing for PT.

 

If I were trying to put together some kind of ski program, I would definitely contact 10th Group and try and pick their brains.  They generally have a core group of instructors that they put together each year as the Master Instructors.  It's also important to understand Tactics Techniques and Procedures in that environment; meaning there's more to it than just throwing on skis.  I know 10th runs a Mountain Warfare "Course" (as in they are the USASOC lead and have SF Soldiers from other groups come to Carson and learn technical aspects such as climbing.  The course culminates in a Technical climb of world class Mountains around the world.)  10th Group also gets to send Soldiers to the German Herresbergfuhrer Schule (or Military Mountain Guide School).

 

In short...if there was ONE US Military belly button to push, it would be 10th Group. 


If it's a Pain in the Ass....you're doing it WRONG

I don't make policy, only suggestions, take them as such.

 

Joined: 8/5/05    Location: 20 miles west of Gettysburg, PA

 

 

"Minnesota Guard Trains in Norwegian Winter"

http://www.minnesotanationalgu.../index.php?item=4352


"The day before the field training exercise, which was devoted to skiing from various locations and setting up and taking down camp to hone their skills, a lot of positive change was evident. One squad held an after action review with their Norwegian squad leader, Corporal Carl Einar Rasmussen.

"You learned and got a lot better from this morning to now. I'm a little bit proud, actually," said Rasmussen.

Though the troops did great on practice day, the real test would be out in the field. 1st Lt. Dustin Littlefield, Minnesotan counterpart to 1st Lt. Loen, showed his enthusiasm for getting out to the field with his troops when he said, "Tomorrow we're looking forward to putting our skis on and putting on our ruck and carrying the heavy loads. It should be a great time.""


http://www.minnesotanationalguard.org/norex/

See if you can get a PDF copy of the swedish army manuel "VinterSoldat", covers just about everything you need to know about fighting in the cold, plus google translate will work with it as it comes surprisingly in Swedish only.

R711

____________________________"Train for Peace, not war it is safer" Canadian Forces Light "You are on your way to visit death and destruction upon a village full of mouth breathers who would rather fuck their buddy than their uneducated toothless wife and who's most glorious moment in thier worthless lives is when they dance three circles around a meteorite and then cast stones at an imaginary devil. Ahhh, the simple pleasures", To quote GG

R711,

 

Thaks great book, would like to find an English version of it though. Google translate would not translate it, said the file was to large. Will need to play with it some more to see if I can translate it.

 

Some interesting items I noted.

 

1. The Gummistövlarna (Rubber overboots with felt liners) are their cold weather boots. They look like the heals are cut for their ski cables and the toe looks a little like it is shaped also. But they only rate them to -10 C, 14 F.

 

2. The ski's and bindings they show look like they are older than the white rockets. Would realy be interested in more information on those.

The German and Austrian Gebirgsjaeger (mountain warfare) schools use the Dynafit binding interface for their students. The Dynafit system uses a pivoting toe hinge system that is built into the boots, and interfaces with toe and heel locking pins that are mounted into the skis. This system is half the weight of rail or plate bindings like the Marker, Fritschi Diamir, or Silvretta, but is soild and robust and has a DIN rated binding release system. The only downside to the Dynafit is that you have to buy boots with the Dynafit fittings already built in.

"Well, thank God we all made it out in time... 'course now we're equally screwed."

We discussed a Dynafit compatable type of solution with a boot interface. Not sure that it would save weight, but makes the boots generic. That said I don't think they would be good for carving the slopes in.

For general issue, not in the mountains, keep going back to a Nordic type of ski and binding.
Originally Posted by Desert01:

R711,

 

Thaks great book, would like to find an English version of it though. Google translate would not translate it, said the file was to large. Will need to play with it some more to see if I can translate it.

 

Some interesting items I noted.

 

1. The Gummistövlarna (Rubber overboots with felt liners) are their cold weather boots. They look like the heals are cut for their ski cables and the toe looks a little like it is shaped also. But they only rate them to -10 C, 14 F.

 

2. The ski's and bindings they show look like they are older than the white rockets. Would realy be interested in more information on those.

The rubber boots and our combat boots are cut for bindings. In the swedish army there are several systems for skiing, and the one covered in "Vintersoldat" is probably the oldest, being wooden skis with a leather/steel cable binding. Thats a fairly good system once you have adjusted the bindings, and crosscountry is no problem. Going downhill with them might pose som difficulty but it´s doable. The army rangers are using snowshoes for combatmissions, but the older skis are still in active service.
There are some modern skis for special forces, but I have had no experience with their systems.

 

Regarding the operational doctrine for use of skis in combat I´d say "Vintersoldat" covers it all, but one should be clear about one thing, -fighting with skis on is never a good idea. We use skis to take us to the ambushpoint, but leave them well behind the fightingline. Skis are a fast way of getting out of a place, much faster than the snowshoes. The skis are also better in real deep snow, where snowshoes tends to make soldiers lift their legs awfully high just to move one step forward.

When it comes to wich type of ski, I´d say technically advanced isn´t always better. A good wooden ski combined with a universal binding with a lifting heel is a viable option. The Jörnkängan is probably your best bet for a shoe for arctic climate and universal binding. The Jörnkängan is in the link below.

 

http://www.promoteq.se/index.p...tuemart&Itemid=1

[Swedish, -and extremely conservative]

Originally Posted by Scattergun:
 
The Jörnkängan is probably your best bet for a shoe for arctic climate and universal binding. The Jörnkängan is in the link below.

 

http://www.promoteq.se/index.p...tuemart&Itemid=1

That’s a nice looking boot. Is it all leather, or is the lower rubber? Looks like it has a removable felt liner. That’s cool. I like the removable liners in my pac boots, but the nylon upper gives no support, so they’re not fun to climb in (I live in a hilly locale).

 

Jornkangan winter boot

 

How do the Jörnkängan compare to this model of Lundhags?

 

Lundhags Husky boots

 


 

The fanatic is always concealing a secret doubt. – John le Carré



The lower part is rubber, and the boot is fairly close to the lundhags line. I have however always held the Jörnkängan as a better performer. The seams are better, and overall rigidity is higher. The wintermodel has a removable felt liner, but even without it (wearing thick wool socks) it´s a solid winter performer.

The other big difference is the front hookdesign, wich makes the jörnkängan hold on to bindings better.

[Swedish, -and extremely conservative]

Originally Posted by Scattergun:

The other big difference is the front hookdesign, wich makes the jörnkängan hold on to bindings better.

 

Ah, that’s meant for a strap on a universal binding. Clever design feature!

 

Is the notch at the heel for a cable binding and/or crampon bail?

 


 

The fanatic is always concealing a secret doubt. – John le Carré



The heel notch works for both cable and crampons, I have used them with the Rottefella Cobra, wich in my experience is one of the best lowtech solutions. Basically, I would recommend simple stuff when it comes to military skiing, since you won´t be moving around in a slope that´s been prepared for downhill skiing. Climbing skins tends to come loose when you absoutely don´t want them to, and dedicated skiboots aren´t nearly as comfortable to use in day to day campwork as a more general boot. The same goes for bindings and other technical stuff... fewer parts means fewer things to break.

[Swedish, -and extremely conservative]

Funny this came in my news feed this morning also:

"Russia's Plans for Arctic Supremacy is republished with permission of Stratfor."

"http://www.stratfor.com/analysis/russias-plans-arctic-supremacy

The Norwegian Response

Although Russia's planned expansion in the Arctic may appear aggressive, military authorities in the Kremlin have no desire for an armed confrontation with Western powers. Moscow is aware of NATO's Article 5 agreement, which states that any attack on an individual member country could invoke a unified response from the alliance. Nevertheless, the increased Russian military presence in the region makes neighboring countries uneasy, particularly Norway.

Russia's actions in Ukraine, along with its military exploitation of the Arctic, forced Oslo to reassess Moscow's role and intent in the north, specifically in the area of the Barents Sea. Norway backed the Western application of sanctions against Russia, and subsequent motions from Oslo reveal a major shift in the country's strategic perception of Russia as a potential threat, in addition to highlighting the smaller country's inherent vulnerabilities. Yet, Norway is a leader when it comes to promoting NATO's role in the Arctic; it is the only country in the world that has its permanent military headquarters above the Arctic Circle. Although Norway contributed troops to the multinational force in Iraq and more than 500 personnel to the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan — and was one of only seven NATO members to actually carry out air strikes during the Libya campaign — the primary force driver for its military is Arctic security. The Norwegians have invested extensively in Arctic defense capabilities, but, in terms of size and means, they are dwarfed by Russia. Because of this, Norwegian officials, both military and civilian, want to see NATO play a larger role in the Arctic.

Despite a tenuous degree of military cooperation between Norway and Russia in the past involving visits of military officials and occasional joint exercises, conventional wisdom dictated that Oslo did not hold any military exercises near its border with the Soviet Union during the Cold War. This reticence continued after the fall of the Iron Curtain, yet the Norwegian government recently announced its intent to conduct large-scale drills in Finnmark — a territory on the Russia-Norway border — in March 2015. The proposed maneuvers will be the country's largest military exercises since 1967. There is a growing recognition in Moscow that Norway's policy toward Russia is going through a major shift as a direct reaction to Moscow's push to militarize the Arctic region.

I have an older model of the Cobra, wich is basically a pivoting heelstrap combined with a square holder in the front. I would say ít´s near a necessity to use a square front boot, but the heel notch isn´t really a requirement since most boots have a recess between sole and heel.

If you don´t have square fronts on your boots maybe a binding with a horisontal frontstrap is more appropriate. The Swedish military model works on boots with rounded front, however adjustment on those bindings are a pain in the ass.

 

Tegsnässkidan have generic bindings for normal boots. If you could find something like this, but more of a heavy duty style, that´s probably your best bet for normal boots.

 

http://www.tegsnas.se/tegsnass...atta-och-tarem-42-45

 

They also carry a special type of binding for any type of shoe. It´s fairly functional and cheap.

 

http://www.tegsnas.se/tegsnass...tegsnasbindning-epok

 

And as a comment on the Russian arctic capability, -Sweden is also somewhat uneasy about aggressive behaviour displayed by Russian aircraft and ships (both on and under water) and the debate is ongoing about Sweden possibly reinstating the mandatory military service.

[Swedish, -and extremely conservative]

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