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touring/alpine binding rig?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
In a few warren miller films, I have seen the guys using a combo touring/alpine binding rig that allows them to skin up a hill (hinged at the toe) then lock the binding and ski down with alpine turns. Anybody know what these are called and where to get them? Are they platforms that can accomodate regular bindings, or are they specific binding systems?

I am thinking about equiping a pair of older straight skis with a similar system to allow me to nab some early season and late season skiing in Dolly Sod's Wilderness in WV, where XC trails can be used to skin up and then alpine turns are possible on the way down at an old ski area (Weiss Knob) that has become an XC/back-country ski center (Whitegrass). Last fall, there was a nice October snow dump that many tele people jumped on. I'd like to be ready for this fall with the special bindings and some skins...

thanks,
Craig
post #2 of 21
ask at TGR they might help


they are called an alpine touring binding, diamer, dynafit and BCA (naxo) make them.
post #3 of 21
I smell a new victim for the maggots....
post #4 of 21
If you do head to TGR, I suggest you get acquainted with the term "jong" as it will likely be the nicest thing that is said.
post #5 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by mntlion
ask at TGR they might help

they are called an alpine touring binding, diamer, dynafit and BCA (naxo) make them.
Actually I think what you call Diamer are actually made by Fritschi, Diamar is the model.

This would be better received on the tele backcountry forum, or go there and look at past threads to get an idea of what it's all about.
Here's some info to get you started..

There are 2 ways to do it, the first is a binding adapter (Alpine Trekkers are the original and best, but there are others) which fits into your alpine bindings, and is a cheap, cumbersome way to do it. IMHO, this system is really only good for very short hikes off lift served.
The other is a dedicated binding such as The Fritschi Diamar binding, or the Naxo, which are the 2 most popular. Both these bindings accept alpine boots and work identically to alpine bindings, but having Alpine Touring boots make the climb that much easier. You would also need climbing skins. Unfortunately, the popularity of Backcountry these days have made these bindings expensive (about $350 plus $100 for the skins). The adapters are a lot cheaper.
If you ask elsewhere, DO NOT SUGGEST USING OLD STRAIGHT SKIS. since you're using this system to go off trail, (ie. ungroomed) suggesting using straight skis will only invoke flaming.
post #6 of 21
There is some information here in the tele and backcountry area of epicski (do a search for AT or randonnee bindings) , but I would suggest looking at a couple of other sites (I don't think TGR is a great place to ask because they can be kind of snotty with the uninitiated- too much adolescent testosterone). www.couloirmag.com is the Couloir Magazine website and has lots of information (as does the magazine- I tihnk its the best ski magazine out there). There is a link on that site to Lou Dawson's site (www.wildsnow.com) that has lots of information, and I think he has a discussion somewhere about the plusses and minuses of using AT bindings both in and out of bounds. www.skimountaineer.com has a good section explaining equipment.

If you are interested in using your alpine boots you basically have only 4 choices: Alpine Trekkers (as were described above- I have a pair that I will be willing to sell if you want to go that route). Their advantage is that you use your familiar alpine equipment, and they are cheaper than a full-bore AT rig. Disadvantages are weight, stand height when skinning and the need to click in and out. They are a good option for getting started if you do not plan to cover a lot of mileage. The Fritchi (Diamar, Freeride, Express, or Explore models) or Naxo bindings can be used with both AT and alpine boots and are really great (you will find advocates for each). They are expensive so look for a used pair to save money, or you might get lucky and find some on sale. Do NOT get the first generation Naxo 01's- they had some problems with cracking. BCA was very good about replacing them, however. The lightest weight of the rail type AT bindings are the Silveretta Pures, and I think (but am not 100% sure) that they will accept alpine boots (DIN standard). Dynafit are the lightweight champions, but cannot be used with alpine boots- only with AT boots that are Dynafit compatible (the bindings hold you boot by these little metal fittings embedded in the toe and heel of the boot. It looks absurdly flimsy and precarious, but they work really well, and a lot - maybe most- of hardcore ski mountaineers use them.)

And most important, you need some avalanche training and gear so you you don't kill yourself and your partners!! It sounds like the terrain you are interested in accessing is low risk, however.

EDIT: although the explanation of equipment is really excellent on the skimountaineer site, some of the information on specific equipment is outdated. Couloir and Wildsnow has much more recent gear data.
post #7 of 21
Great info and explainations from DP and 2turn (certainly more useful and to the point than my post or the two that preceeded it). As someone who is interested in putting together an AT setup, this has helped me make my decision (of particular interest was the information on Dawson's lateral flex tests).

My general jong or newb question is how much would I be hurt by AT with alpine boots on an AT setup (likely Freerides)? Are you much better off than going with Trekkers on an alpine rig or do you need to go the distance and get the AT boots? FWIW Most of my AT work to begin with would be skin from lift to expand the accessible terrain. Thanks in advance for comments/consideration.
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info guys, I really appreciate it. I do have reservations about using an old pair of skinny skis for this, as wider would surely be better. So I might look for an inexpensive/used pair of wider skis (can't bring myself to modify my Karmas or M666 for this). Then again, if I was doing this 15 years ago I would pretty much only have skinny skis available so it's not like the end of the world.
post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by mooseknuckle
My general jong or newb question is how much would I be hurt by AT with alpine boots on an AT setup (likely Freerides)? .

I think you can be reasonable comfortable if you are skinning a steep pitch from the start. If you hike or ski some flats the AT boots are much better. You might try a search...we've had this subject before.
post #10 of 21
One thing that no one mentioned- if you are skinning up with your alpine boots, don't forget to loosen both the buckles and the power strap! I also know of people that pre-emptively put athletic tape on their heels to help prevent blisters from the rubbing that may occur with skinning.
post #11 of 21
Alpine Touring bindings at Backcountry.com

I have a pair of Fritschi Diamir on Rossi B3s that I use with normal downhill boots.
post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by dp
(I don't think TGR is a great place to ask because they can be kind of snotty with the uninitiated- too much adolescent testosterone).
Sounds kind of snotty to me, and by the way most are much older than you think. Just don't ask stupid questions or you will get stupid answers.
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spanish Armada
Sounds kind of snotty to me, and by the way most are much older than you think. Just don't ask stupid questions or you will get stupid answers.
Just lurk around TGR and you may learn something useful.
post #14 of 21
I post on there alot and they are good people a sort of ying to your yang. I have had limited experiance with the Naxo, it worked great for skining and regular down hill skiing but I have to believe it would fold up on hucks or super agrresive big mountain skiing.
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spanish Armada
I have had limited experiance with the Naxo, it worked great for skining and regular down hill skiing but I have to believe it would fold up on hucks or super agrresive big mountain skiing.
My Naxo nx01's have way too much upward flex in the toe for aggressive big mountain skiing, and they like to release on hucks even with the DIN cranked up.

My Naxo nx21's, however, are a far beefier binding with minimal play and hold up well on aggressive lines and hucks. Haven't pre-released on me either, even when I tore my ACL/MCL, which was my own fault for having the DIN set nice and high .
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwbc
My Naxo nx01's have way too much upward flex in the toe for aggressive big mountain skiing, and they like to release on hucks even with the DIN cranked up.

My Naxo nx21's, however, are a far beefier binding with minimal play and hold up well on aggressive lines and hucks. Haven't pre-released on me either, even when I tore my ACL/MCL, which was my own fault for having the DIN set nice and high .
Lou Dawson (www.wildsnow.com) did some testing on AT binding flex and confirmed your observations. Look here: http://www.wildsnow.com/backcountry-...-017-flex.html
post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by dp
Lou Dawson (www.wildsnow.com) did some testing on AT binding flex and confirmed your observations. Look here: http://www.wildsnow.com/backcountry-...-017-flex.html
Of course Lou Dawson also thinks only 1 in 3 in a touring group needs a probe: http://www.wildsnow.com/?p=247#comments

But I agree with his assertion that the dynafits, freerides, and 21's are the beefier 3. I personally like my nx21's better than freerides. But plenty of people will argue for either binding here. I just happen to sense better responsiveness using my naxos.
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwbc
...

Of course Lou Dawson also thinks only 1 in 3 in a touring group needs a probe: http://www.wildsnow.com/?p=247#comments


...
To be fair to Lou, kwbc, it might be nice to give the full context of that recommendation.

Lou was saying that groups touring IN THE SPRING probably don't need to have a full complement of probes.

When I go spring bc skiing, I debate even taking ANY of my avi gear (shovel, probe, and even BEACON, omigosh : ) because I always make it a point to get off sun-heated slopes before they get too warm. I always end up taking the stuff, but I've never had any need whatever for it.

To be honest, I only take the crap because if I ever DID get slid, I don't want the second-guessers at my funeral to be able to cluck their tongues and say "Not only was he skiing something he obviously shouldn't have, HE DIDN'T EVEN HAVE ANY GEAR!".
post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters
When I go spring bc skiing, I debate even taking ANY of my avi gear (shovel, probe, and even BEACON, omigosh : ) because I always make it a point to get off sun-heated slopes before they get too warm. .

I skip the gear too in many places, such as ski areas after closing.. Heck, there are two kinds of spring slides, slow jellyfish-like sloughs, which are usually small fairly predictable, and massive down-to-the ground slides of wet cement which will pulverize you so thoroughly there will be no point in looking.

Bob's right though, get the heck out of there before it gets too warm. And don't copy me, carry all that gear.
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog
...

...And don't copy me, carry all that gear.
I love that.

Definitely. Do as I say, not as I do.

In all seriousness, probably the best advice is to carry all that gear until you've carried it enough times in similar terrain and similar conditions that you can be certain you won't need it on the next outing.
post #21 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters
To be fair to Lou, kwbc, it might be nice to give the full context of that recommendation.

Lou was saying that groups touring IN THE SPRING probably don't need to have a full complement of probes.
You're right, and he's far more experienced than me. Just seems silly to me not to carry avy gear if you have it--it's very light, it *might* come in handy, is a good habit, and in the unlikely event you come across someone in trouble even if you don't save them you won't spend the rest of your life wondering if you could have if you'd brought gear. Just my $.02. But this has been rehashed countless times. Different strokes.
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