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New to Touring, Binding Question

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Hello All,

 

As you can see I am a new member on this site, and I have a few questions. I am trying to get into touring this season. I have skied all my life and love powder and am looking to get out of the resort and into the backcountry. I have a pair of '06 Volkl Gotomas that I am going to convert into my touring ski, and I am wondering what AT bindings I should get.  I have heard Dynafits are excellent, and I have also heard that the Marker Dukes are good. Which should I get? I saw a thread on here about getting skins at 130mm, is that a good width for skins? Also, with At bindings can I use my regular boots or is it pretty much necessary to get new boots? Also, should I consider converting to tele skiing? Are there any benefits to doing that?

 

I know there are a lot of questions. Any help would be great.

 

Thanks!


Edited by malarky - 11/14/10 at 9:46pm
post #2 of 22

did you even try to research any of these questions?

 

Let's see:

Dynafit vs. Duke- apples to oranges. Dynafit is light, low to the ski and tours great. Duke is heavy and burly, basically an alpine binding w/ tour mode.

Boots- you can use an alpine boot in a Duke but not a Dynafit, you'll want touring boots if you get even remotely serious.

Skins- 130mm skins on a Gotama is overkill, I'd go 120 or even 110.

Should you Tele- do you take showers? Do you like them or are they a chore you'd rather skip? Do you like jam bands? how about bluegrass?

post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the help. And yes I have researched to an extent. I figured posting a thread would get me answers in a quicker fashion. I apologize for your inconvenience

post #4 of 22

I don't think it is an inconvenience or he wouldn't bother responding.  It is just that there have been a lot of similar posts lately with a lot of the same questions.  Your questions are good, but it would be easier if you use the search function or even just skim through the BC forum & then you will find some specific questions.

 

I don't know the dimensions of your Gotamas, but a general rule is to get skins close to the width of the skis tail & then trim to fit.

 

Like Whiteroom said, Dynafits & Dukes are at 2 different ends of the scale, there are other bindings in between, like Diamir Fritschi's.

 

There is no need to take up tele unless you want to learn a new ski technique.  I spent a number of years using tele for the BC.   When I went to upgrade to modern equipment, I found the weight difference negligible & went back to AT.  I actually find it more convenient, & I am a stronger alpine skier.  Also, crampons work better on rigid soles.

 

Knowing your environment & all that goes along with that is job # 1 !

 

Do some searches, & come back with more questions.

 

JF

post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thanks I am looking into Naxo Bindings now as well. I think I have the whole skins thing figured out. The Gotamas are 130-105-122. I'm thinking for what I want to do something durable like the marker baron or marker duke would probably be best.

post #6 of 22

Naxo bindings are not durable, and they aren't made any more.  IMHO, Dynafits are as durable as Barons or Dukes, but you need boots with the appropriate fittings.  

post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by malarky View Post

Thanks I am looking into Naxo Bindings now as well. I think I have the whole skins thing figured out. The Gotamas are 130-105-122. I'm thinking for what I want to do something durable like the marker baron or marker duke would probably be best.


I have Barons on one set, they mostly see lift served skiing with some sidecountry touring.  The Barons ski as well as any alpine binding, not so great for touring,  I have Fritschis on my dedicated AT setup.  I like them for the ease of use, but most hardcore BC skiers swear by Dynafits,  I would do some research on the Naxo's, have heard some negatives.  Marker has a new, lighter option this year.

 

Don't forget the BC awareness part.

 

JF

post #8 of 22
Have you ever owned a cat named "Sativa"?
Have you ever tried playing your vacuum cleaner like a musical instrument?
Have you ever tried to have your mail delivered to your car?

If yes to any of the above, go tele.


But on the binder question - go dynafit if you are serious about getting into the BC. But even if you ignore that do this if nothing else. When you buy some AT boots, make sure they are dynafit compatible. That way you can go dynafit in the future.

Speaking of making that mistake: I have a pair of Naxos, Fritchies and Garmont Adrenalines (28.5 mondo) if you are interested. Yep I learned the hard way.
post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Que View Post
Speaking of making that mistake: I have a pair of Naxos, Fritchies and Garmont Adrenalines (28.5 mondo) if you are interested. Yep I learned the hard way.


& if a 28.5 is too big, I have some Garmont Endorphines size 27 mondo, brand new for $250.  My mistake was getting the wrong size.

JF

post #10 of 22

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Que View Post

Have you ever owned a cat named "Sativa"?
Have you ever tried playing your vacuum cleaner like a musical instrument?
Have you ever tried to have your mail delivered to your car?

If yes to any of the above, go tele.


biggrin.gif

 

 

post #11 of 22

Que FTW!

post #12 of 22

Do any of you ski Dynafit's inbounds?  If so, what boots and skis are you driving?

 

Perhaps the newest generation of boots will make a difference, but I've never seen anyone that could really charge on Dynafits?

post #13 of 22

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

Do any of you ski Dynafit's inbounds?  If so, what boots and skis are you driving?

 

Perhaps the newest generation of boots will make a difference, but I've never seen anyone that could really charge on Dynafits?


You probably don't see people 'charging' on Dynafits because you aren't in the right places.  But the boots and skis are limiting factors.  Dynafits are a touring binding and so they're used with skis and boots that are suited to touring (softer and lighter).  You can get much cheaper and less fussy bindings for inbounds.  But I've seen people hit it hard OB with them, but charging OB is different than charging inbounds.  You may be right about new generations of boots, but even Dynaft Titans, BD Factors, and Scarpa Mobes are softer than most stiff alpine boots.  I think one the main reasons for the popularity of Marker touring bindings is that you can use burly alpine boots in them.  

 

To answer your first question I rarely use my Dynafit setup (Spirit 4 boots, Bro model skis) inbounds because I tele pretty exclusively inbounds.  If I wanted to fix my heel I wouldn't hesitate to use the Dynafits, but maybe I'm not what you'd call a charger.

 

post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

Do any of you ski Dynafit's inbounds?  If so, what boots and skis are you driving?

 

Perhaps the newest generation of boots will make a difference, but I've never seen anyone that could really charge on Dynafits?

In Europe you see it quite a bit. In the states, less common although here in Crested Butte I see a decent amount of locals inbounds with them. The biggest issue IMHO isn't the binder it is the boot. Only recently are you seeing AT boots that come in the same ballpark in terms of stiffness and support as a good alpine boot. Even then, let's face it, the stiffest AT boot is still a 'meh performance Alpine boot.

 

I ski mine inbounds quite a bit - 10 - 15 days a year in some pretty burly terrain in bounds at CB. I'm on Garmont Radiums and they're driving 188 Bros (stiff). As far as the binding goes - I've found them to be on par with my Dukes in terms of torsional stiffness. Wildsnow did some testing on them and they scored just below the Duke and well ahead of the other hybrid or AT binders out there. 

 

http://www.wildsnow.com/379/backcountry-skiing-binding-flex-tests/

 

NOTE: READ that article. The Marker F12 Tours just graded out ahead of the Dukes. FKNA. Diamar/Fritchie - The End is on the phone and he wants to speak with you.

 

I've never had a problem with pre-releasing out of them as long as I do a good job clearing the ice from the toe holes. That's the biggest issue with them - that and I think they only have a 12 DIN. I don't need all 12 so it isn't an issue.  I guess the only other thing is that landing something big in them  will result in an eject based on how the binding works. So if you are into hucking things take a pass inbound.

 

That's just my two cents. I have yet to hear an owner of Dynafits say differently.

 

Oh ya, one other thing. Nothing says "steal me" like a set of Dynafits. Gotta keep them separated.

post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post


To answer your first question I rarely use my Dynafit setup (Spirit 4 boots, Bro model skis) inbounds because I tele pretty exclusively inbounds.  If I wanted to fix my heel I wouldn't hesitate to use the Dynafits, but maybe I'm not what you'd call a charger.

 

Bob,

 

How do you like the Spirits? A buddy of mine is stuck on a pair at one of the local swap stores.
 

post #16 of 22

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Que View Post

Bob,

 

How do you like the Spirits? A buddy of mine is stuck on a pair at one of the local swap stores.

 

I like them.  They're a bit high-volume in the forefoot.  Not too stiff unless you use the black tongue that comes with them (at least with the new ones) but stiff enough for me - they're my big-boy set-up.  I've used them on some pretty steep stuff - like in the Tetons - on 100mm-ish waisted skis (Bro model) and had no complaints.  I think they hike, climb and ski really well.  

 

If they fit, I'd say go for it, especially if the price is right.  I guess it depends on what/how your buddy skis.  
 

tetons051012.jpg

post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 

For the going down the hill part of touring, I'd like it to be as much like using a regular alpine binding as possible.  I'm leaning towards marker bindings for their burliness. Also I'm am going to be doing as much side country and back country.

 

As far as BC awareness, I've taken a class and have a beacon, probe and shovel. I'm also going to be going out with some guys who really know their stuff, so I'll learn along the way.

post #18 of 22

with that burliness, you get weight, so consider that. If you insist on going w/ a traditional looking AT binding, I would say either fritschis or Dukes, but I hate fritschis, so go w/ dukes. There is absolutely no reason to go w/ barons instead of dynafits, besides a pre-concieved notion that the traditional looking binding is better.

 

As far as boots go, there have been some big advances lately in terms of the lightweight, stiff, good touring performance boots. Dynafit titans and BD Factors seem to be leading the way, and both of these come with removable sole blocks to be either Tech fitting (dynafit) OR alpine binding compatible. I'm in the Titans and love them. Crazy range of motion (40ish degrees) and an actual flex index of about 120 (they claim 130).... These are plenty stiff to drive my big skis.

post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by malarky View Post


For the going down the hill part of touring, I'd like it to be as much like using a regular alpine binding as possible.  I'm leaning towards marker bindings for their burliness.





Define burliness. Higher DIN? Durability? More plastic?
post #20 of 22

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Que View Post

Define burliness. Higher DIN? Durability? More plastic?


biggrin.gif  Markers totally look burlier.  

 

rolleyes.gif

post #21 of 22

My two cents:

 

Bindings:

 

Go for Dynafit (TLT Vertical ST or something like that). My first reaction to them were also "they look whimpy. I'm an aggressive skier, therefore I will go for for the ones that look more solid". Thankfully that is not the case and people managed to talk me out of it. Two Dynafit bindings weight less than ONE Marker Duke. Remember that 1 kg on your feet is 5 kg in your backpack. I yet have to see someone who has gone from Marker Duke or Fritschi to Dynafit who regret it. 

 

Rando vs Tele:

 

If you haven't done any telemark skiing, don't go there. At least not yet. It takes LOTS of practice to get really good at it, and at least in my opinion, I would (or am) stick to Rando while in the backcountry. Most groomed pists in my area bore me, so whenever I'm there I borrow some telemark skis. When I eventually (in some years) perfect the technique, I might get telemark skis to go touring with. Stick to what you are good at when whith others. It makes the trip more fun for you and for the people you are with. 

 

post #22 of 22

I have no complaints about my Dynafits (definitely can't be called whimpy), I have skied them in and out of bounds in almost any snow condition I can imagaine and I have not had any problems.  I've been skiing the Dynafit Titan boots, and in all conditions they have never once left me wanting more stiffness (I have been super stiff alpine boots as long as I can remember, most recently Technica), the only thing that would get my back in my alpine boots would be if I had to get back in a race course for some reason.  The advantages to AT boots are many...they are lighter, rubber soles are way better for boot packing, rock scrambling, or the steps in the lodge at the resort, walk mode, and as a general rule they seem more comfortable and warmer.

 

The bindings are great too...I have always been a hard and agressive skier (but on the lighter side since I'm only 165 lbs), but have never had any prerelease issues (toe or heal), including a brutal decent of the couloir des cosmiques in Chamonix with refrozen snow, crust and death cookies.  I have skied steeps, trees and bumps on them inbounds without problems as well.  Bottom line, unless you are dropping off pretty big cliffs or spending time in the parks, you can get away with something lighter than the Duke/Baron.  If committing to Dynafit is too big of a step, or you want to keep the versatility of Alpine or AT boots, then take a serious look at the Marker Tour F10/12 (same basic design as the Duke, but much lighter and with some improvments to the touring mechanics.

 

Just as a side note, I skied with some guys in the alps over the last few years, and they are as "hard charging" (or whatever) as anybody I've seen over here, and most ski some sort of "tech" binding/AT set up in all conditions.

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