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Spraylord_Boltey

idea Cable bindings for Mountaineering Boots

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I know the silvretta/mountaineering boot skiing question gets asked from time to time. I know from personal experience that fixed heel skiing in mountaineering boots is horrifying. Mountaineering boots are soft enough than if your weight moves backwards, your ankles bend backwards and down you go. Its a workable concept for touring gentle terrain and I would argue still better than postholing or snow-shoeing. I was curious if anyone has experimented with making binding similar to Telemark or 3pin cable bindings for mountaineering boots? I'm imagining a wire bail similar to the silvrettas grafted in the place of the telemark toe. The benefits I'm imagining are the efficiency and touring capabilities of a 3pin or tele set up and I'm inclined to think that I could ski steeper slopes free heeled than fixed heeled with Mountaineering boots. Thoughts? Comments?

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I skied cable bindings with mountaineering boots back in the seventies and eighties, before AT bindings became available -- used the old "beartrap" style toe.  If you want to ski free-heel with mountaineering boots, why not just use the silvretta without the heel locked down?  I've skied 'em this way, and it works, but it changes the pivot point from under the ball of your foot to out in front of your toe, and you have to accommodate that change in your telemark technique.   Other solutions that accept mountaineering boots include a plate AT binding that Fritschi produced for the Swiss military back in the eighties, the  Colorado-based Ramer (plate very similar to previous Fritschi;  long out of business but you can find them at ski-swaps and estate sales...), and some of the AT "adapters" that permit free-heel touring in modern standard downhill bindings.  And I have to take exception - skiing in mountaineering boots is not much different than skiing in the leather downhill boots in which I learned to ski back in the sixties.   Skiing in plastic mountaineering boots like Koflach or Lowa is similar to skiing in older generation plastic alpine downhill boots -- far from "horrifying".

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Couldn't you just leave the heels free when descending on some 404s to give you that tele feel?  (edit:  Just saw that @montypiton said the same thing!)

It isn't likely that anyone is going to produce a binding like what you are thinking of, given how well modern AT boots climb.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

https://www.voile.com/voile-mtn-plate-kit.html

blob.png.2dbe17d66c40b691924c6c4b602f878f.png

 

 These work well with mountaineering boots, Use t-nuts to put into your ski so you don't throw a shoe, and replace the "pin" part of the system with a nut and bolt and some loctite. Non releasable in a fall (unless its a really big one....) These work great for approach ski bindings, I don't know why Viole doesn't market them as such.

 

I bet you could fashion a telemark cartridge to these to make a reactive feel like modern tele bindings.

Edited by christophbenells

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19 minutes ago, christophbenells said:

 These work well with mountaineering boots,

:lmao: I'd forgotten about the Voile option...... and I've approached with plastic mountaineering boots with those exact bindings (I have a splitboard)! 

Still, unless you are climbing really hard stuff I think AT boots are better in all respects.

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yes this is ideal for an approach ski to get to ice and mixed climbs.  Also works well as a uber rugged XC/bushwacker setup! Not really for downhill use, for volcano climbing and peak bagging use an AT boot.

 

I have done some nice turns in the mountain plates though...

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For skiing steep terrain, a good AT set up is unbeatable. AT boots climb ice and snowy rock pretty darn well to. I guess I was looking more to bring mountaineering boots to nordic backcountry skis. I'll probably end up keeping the silvrettas as they aren't the limiting factor in my skiing (Hint: I'm the limiting factor!) but they are clunky and heavy. A cable binding seems like a nice way to knock off a bit of weight. I totally get that this is a super small niche and kind of dumb... I guess @montypiton I was wondering if anyone had made a "beartrap" style binding with a wire bail in the front instead of straps? Thanks for all the responses too!

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if anyone ever produced a "beartrap" style toe with a wire bail instead of a strap, I've never seen it.  However, if you have access to the beartrap housing itself, seems like modifying it would be fairly simple -- drill a couple holes and install heavy wire for toe-bail and -- bobsyeruncle.   the trick will be to find a pair of beartraps that aren't mounted over someone's fireplace as art...

I'd say stick with yer silvrettas...

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