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Making the transition

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I posted this on an Australian site but would love to hear from a much wider audience so hear goes.

After having had my first taste of freeing the heel way back in 1988, I have sadly been locked in since.

I never really progessed very far but did actually make a trip out to Mt Kosciuszko from the top Thredbo and then on the return skied the Supertrail (approx 2klms - 700m vert) on ex-rental skinny tele skis and leather boots with 3 pin bindings.

Now more and more I see myself crossing over (probably due to the knees getting much older and sorer ) but am sort of stuck in a void limited by my in-resort commitments and alpine equipment. This equals no time or spare $$$$ to make the change during our season.

I have booked a 10 days trip to Japan for January and that might be the right time to make the leap and break free.

I am thinking of converting my current gear (K2 Axis X skis in 170cm) as it will probably be the cheapest way out for me atm.

I have been trolling through the forums and see a lot of discussion on Fritschi bindings etc.

If I changed my alpine bindings to these could I still use my alpine boots or would they restrict me dropping down when I want to do telemark turns (which I think are going to be scarily rusty )?

Also would they be suitable to use in bounds back in Australia and stand up to the demands of patrolling approx 20 days per season?

When in Canada 18mths ago I saw a lot of "mature aged" skiers on tele setups. Is this due to it being much kinder on aging joints or are we all just purists at heart trying to relive to good old days of the 60s & 70s leather boots and free heel bindings.
post #2 of 5
The Fritchi's are AT (randonnee) bindings, and cannot be used to make tele turns. They will enable you to skin up in the backcountry, and then lock down your heels for the descent (using conventional alpine technique, and you can use either downhill or AT boots, although the latter will be more comfortable on the climb). If you want to tele, you need the real deal- tele boots and bindings (which can be successfully mounted on alpine skis, but they may not have the ideal performance and flex pattern that you want, especially as a novice). There is no cross compatibility between the two.
post #3 of 5
It sounds like you want a free heel while skiing down the mountain, which means you want tele bindings and tele boots. The tele boots that are as high as alpine boots these days have come along way in the last few years.

If you want a free heel while on the flats or up hill, and you want to lock the heel for downhill, then you want an Alpine Touring binding like the popular Fritschi Diamir. Perhaps this link may help:

post #4 of 5
Fritschi are alpine tour (AT) bindings. Your run on Supertrail was the pinnacle of your telemark experience. It's all downhill from here!

Hook up some releasable telemark bindings (I like Voile) on the K2s. They will rock. You'll need plastic boots to power an alpine ski like that, T2 or bigger for example or similar from garmont or crispi depending most on fit. If you can't try these on first, just buy one and go. Beware of odd (UK) sizing on the scarpas.

Old guys ski freeheel because we are stronger than the young 'uns.
post #5 of 5
Its not easy on the knees, but will make your legs stronger, thus knees more stable, less prone to injury, I think. Use safety release bindings.
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