Jul 15 2013

Profile: Yvon Chouinard

If you don’t stick your neck out, don’t leave the ten essentials behind, you’re never going to have an adventure.

Yvon Chouinard - more than a mountaineer.

Yvon Chouinard – more than a mountaineer.


After a six-plus year hiatus, Yvon Chouinard is back in the backcountry — on skis that is. Felled by a broken arm injured during a beach-side bouldering session, Chouinard’s prodigious, storied freeheel career ground to halt through the residual discomfort associated with the injury. While guaranteed a permanent position in the pantheon of America’s ice, rock and mountaineering greats, as well as in the annals of rags to riches business success stories through his founding of Patagonia, the ever-growing number of young, backcountry and telemark initiates may need a refresher on his background and accomplishments.
Keep earning your turns

Apr 23 2018

2-pin Tele Springs: Size Matters

Size matters. J Nicol checks to see if these springs measure up.

Size matters. J Nicol checks to see if they measure up.

While the effect of cable pivot location tends to dominate the sensation of a tele tech binding, the next strongest binding component of the tele sensation comes from the springs used. To some extent you can trade one for the other; meaning a stiff spring and a forward pivot are somewhat equal to a soft spring with a pivot farther back. It’s not an exact replacement, but more importantly, the further back you put the pivot the longer spring you need so it doesn’t compress too far too fast. Therein lies the limit with a real heel 2-pin tele binding — springs that limit how deep you can tele. So let’s take a closer look at the cable rods, heel throws, and springs.
Keep earning your turns

Mar 25 2018

DIY 2-pin tele: Fixing the Cable position

Now we get to the crux of building your own DIY 2-pin tele binding — the cable system. Being satisfied with the downhill performance of a tele tech binding is determined by:

  1. Position of the cable pivot (distance behind 2-pin line)
  2. Connection to the boot (real heel or 2nd heel)
  3. Springs used (stiffness and travel distance)

Mixing up a bit.  2-pins by Dynafit, cable block by Fritschi, BD cable assembly, G3 heel post.

Mixing it up a bit. 2-pins by Dynafit, cable block by Fritschi, BD cable assembly, G3 heel post.


Keep earning your turns

Mar 24 2018

DIY 2-pin Tele: Use the Force (Luke)!

Before venturing any further in chronicling tele-tech bindings, it is important to understand the forces at play in a telemark turn. For the average telemarker, this article fits in the too much information category but for do-it-yourselfers, this should prove helpful in determining the critical sweet spot of the cable pivot position.

Activity

The key to control with the telemark turn is balance. Balancing between your two feet when dipping the knee is made easier with a spring tensioned cable attached to the boot. How much that helps, or doesn’t, is commonly referred to as binding ‘activity.’ Charlie Ziskin, a Colorado Front Range tele guru with decades of experience defines activity as “the ability of the binding to ‘actively’ help break the bellows of the boot, so you’re feeling pressure through the ball of the foot, not the tip of your toes.”

The effect of cable tension is a binding that actively helps to flex a plastic tele boot.

The effect of cable tension is a binding that actively helps to flex a plastic tele boot.


Keep earning your turns

Mar 05 2018

Technique: Skins On with Skis On

Putting skins on with skis on (free pivot binding advised)

Shaggy said come over early and we’ll go on a tour the day before. A foot fell on an older foot so we hit the road early. Perfect.

Getting to the “gate” involved two-stroke smoke. Saw my first snow-bikes in action. Those guys are destined to lead the avalanche fatality numbers in the future. That’s a lot ‘o uphill hog power where you can get in way over your head before you realize it. Totally worth it for a Snapchat and a Tweet though.

Steamboat backcountry. Tele by Craig Rench.

Steamboat backcountry. Tele by Craig Rench.


Anyway, after going mobile to the boundary we switched to skis and skins and proceeded to lap up a sweet 500-foot gladed slope that bobbed down between 40 and 25 degrees to a creek below. After sinking to my hips putting skins on I looked up to notice Craig Rench calmly putting his skins on with his skis on, his boot firmly connected via the green one, an O1 in free pivot mode.

“Whoa, Whoa, Whoa,” I said. “Did you just put your skins on your skis with…..?” I didn’t even need to finish the question. “You did!” I exclaimed. “You badass!!!”
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Feb 15 2018

Picking a 2-pin tech toe for telemarking

 OMG's telemark tech toe.

OMG’s telemark tech toe.

When selecting a tech-toe for a tele tech binding keep in mind that they were not designed for the stresses of telemarking, they were designed for use in a locked-heel alpine system. In an AT binding the pins only provide side-to-side clamping power, there is no forward pressure. With tele there is also forward pressure on the rear half of the pins from the tele cable tension. This forward pressure means the pins cannot open up without overcoming the friction it creates. The long term effects of this will probably mean the inserts will eventually wear through at their rear wall, hopefully not before you decide you need new boots.
Keep earning your turns

Feb 13 2018

Review: Red Fox Duffels

Staying organized, at least for me, is a constant struggle. Whether on the road, or at home, when it comes to keeping my gear-life under control, too often I feel like the little Dutch boy with his thumb stuck in the dyke, staunching a sea of equipment ever ready to gush out across the floor, the cargo area of the car, or the campsite. Consequently, duffel bags of all sizes have become near constant companions. And, even with as many as I have, I always seem to be on the hunt for more—especially of late, a large capacity rolling duffel.

Red Fox Duffels - built for the abuse of adventure.

Red Fox Duffels – built for the abuse of adventure.


Keep earning your turns

Feb 12 2018

Skeats — Strap-on ski crampons

Skeats™ - strap-on ski crampons.

Skeats – strap-on ski crampons.

Skeats are small crampons that connect to the bottom of your skis, over and in addition to a pair of climbing skins. They’re attached via a bungee strap around your skis, with the cone shaped teeth pointing down and puncturing the surface of hard snow. The video I saw on Facebook was undeniable proof they gave an extra measure of grip as the skier put his climbing post on high and bee-lined up the fall line.
Keep earning your turns

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