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Need binding recommendation - worth going to an AT binding?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I just bought a new pair of skis that I plan to use primarily for powder days - I got the 4FRNT Hoji's to complement my existing pair of Lib Tech Freeride's.

 

Here's my basic question: Will I hate skiing on a set of Alpine Touring bindings semi-regularly in a resort? 

 

More info: Although I have yet to do any backcountry ski trips, I aspire to take a backcountry ski trip (perhaps one of the organized trips through The Clymb) and hopefully do some more sidecountry trips in the resorts, but I probably won't be able to take a backcountry trip until 1-3 years down the road. Since I'm getting these skis for powder, they would ideally be the right ski to use for backcountry.

 

For now, I'm planning on bringing them out west and using them for power days - I plan to use the Lib Tech's for normal days. I live in Minnesota, but I usually make it out west 1-3 times per year. 

 

I'm wondering if it will make sense to get AT bindings for them now? I know the main trade-off is weight, so perhaps it is a bad idea. I'll be using the usual alpine boots, so I think I'd need a "frame" style AT binding. I know I could always get regular bindings now and have AT bindings re-drilled and mounted in the future, but I also know that re-drilling mounting points compromised the strength of the ski. 

 

My skiing ability: I'll ski basically anything, and I like a challenge. I don't do many jumps any more, but I don't mind attempting cliffs up to ~10 feet or so. 

 

Let me know your thoughts...perhaps I'm way off-base in my thinking and should just get regular bindings! 

post #2 of 6

For your application and locale I think a plate/frame binding is the way to go, I don't believe they ski much differently from their alpine versions and the hinge gives you the flexibility to don skins if you get the chance. Ned

post #3 of 6

Yup - frame type AT bindings ski just like regular downhill Alpine bindings.  Salomon Guardian / Atomic Trackers, Marker Duke / Barons are essentially the same downhill heel and toe piece mounted to a frame.  I ski 50 - 60 resort days per year on Atomic Trackers and also use them for backcountry days.

post #4 of 6
The two potential down-sides to a frame binding are weight, and increased stack height, both of which you might barely notice. (but then you might)

Personally, I don't know if I'd want to carry the extra height/weight for three years on the chance that I might eventually want to tour, but that's just me.

One extra set of "speed holes" shouldn't significantly weaken a ski. My touring pair got an extra set of holes (plugged) when I decided I'd like to ski them 1.5cm back of the recommended line, with no ill effects. That was three years ago, and I've since backed way off touring, so thinking I might be happier with a lighter alpine binding, but realistically this pair only get used a handful of times a year, so maybe not worth the trouble to "fix".

FWIW, they're currently mounted with barons which have performed flawlessly, and if I replaced it would be with a pair of Griffons, which have a similar hole pattern, nut not identical. This means they'ed have to be drilled a third time, and I could be forced to mount ahead or behind of the current mount so the new holes aren't too close to the old ones.

Just some things to consider. In my case, I'm probably better of leaving well enough alone.
post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1TMF View Post

I'm wondering if it will make sense to get AT bindings for them now? I know the main trade-off is weight, so perhaps it is a bad idea. I'll be using the usual alpine boots, so I think I'd need a "frame" style AT binding. I know I could always get regular bindings now and have AT bindings re-drilled and mounted in the future, but I also know that re-drilling mounting points compromised the strength of the ski. 

If you don't plan on doing any touring for 2-3 years just get regular bindings. A second set of holes won't compromise the ski, unless the old set are left unplugged. We sell quite a few skis to experienced bc skiers and rarely do any of them want a ski wider than 100mm. I'd advise taking an organized tour that provides skis. We've sold several pairs to guides who do just that. That way you can find out if you really want to continue touring. If it turns to be something you really like, then just commit to it and get real bc boots like Scarpas and tech bindings like Dynafit.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the advice everyone, I greatly appreciate it. 

 

As far as drilling extra holes, I was told by a shop at one point that you don't want to exceed 3 sets of holes, so this is all in line with what I thought. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post


If you don't plan on doing any touring for 2-3 years just get regular bindings. A second set of holes won't compromise the ski, unless the old set are left unplugged. We sell quite a few skis to experienced bc skiers and rarely do any of them want a ski wider than 100mm. I'd advise taking an organized tour that provides skis. We've sold several pairs to guides who do just that. That way you can find out if you really want to continue touring. If it turns to be something you really like, then just commit to it and get real bc boots like Scarpas and tech bindings like Dynafit.

You make some good points here. Although I really would like to get into backcountry touring, I think my reality is that it really is a long way off, and even then, it might only be one touring trip per year. And like you mentioned, some of the touring groups have equipment that I could utilize. Building further on what you said, I haven't even skied on these new skis yet to know if I'll like them in the BC. 

 

 

All of this said, I'll go for regular alpine bindings this time around. Thank you all for helping me to get to that conclusion! 

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