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Mar 26 2013

1st Look: K2′s Pinnacle 130 for AT

 

K2′s Pinnacle 130. Powerful, comfortable, tech ready.

For their first foray into the world of ski boots K2 is making a big splash in a pond teaming with established competitors. What’s more, they’re making a big deal of the freeride, go-anywhere-you-want aspect of their line. Which means they deserve a closer look.

At the WWSRA demo day in February I stuck a foot into a Pinnacle 130, and one that fit relatively well out of the box. No tight spots, and my flat foot was held in place well, with a comfortable, pre-lasted LUX-Fit Intution® liner.

The liner is tongued, with optional lacing and a grippy rubber sole on the bottom for hanging around camp or a stroll to the sauna. It has a nice finish on the inside, and is prelasted to conform to the shell, and an “average” foot.

The buckles did a good job of holding my foot tight in turn mode. Technically you might think of the Pinnacle 130 as a 3-buckle boot, but it really has four. Admittedly the fourth buckle is on the velcro’d power strap, but since it is a buckle, that power strap is super secure, thus powerful.

What I like even better is how easy it is to loosen the upper strap, without it flopping around, when you want to switch to tour mode. Resetting velcro power straps is annoyingly time consuming. Flipping open a buckle is easy and fast. When you need to get out of your boots, you don’t need to unzip the velcro, just unhook the buckle and the top of the cuff is wide open.

 

Walk mode delivers a respectable 10° range of rear cuff motion.

Walk mode is your standard flip up lever with a mechanism K2 calls Synchro Interlock. It locks the cuff to the lower shell without rivets by inserting or retracting a wedge (reminiscent of the XT’s V-lock only more solid looking). The result is a smooth flex that also delivers a rock solid grip. When freed, the cuff moves with most of the resistance coming from the liner, or limits imposed by buckles not being fully loosed, not resistance in the movement of the cuff. With a foot in the boot rearward movement of the cuff is around 10°. It doesn’t break any records, but it has plenty of freedom for flat skin tracks. You’ll notice the rear flex limit a bit when walking a long dry trail. It is far better than a boot that skis this well has a right to do.

In ski mode it was indistinguishable from a Lange XT, which was on my other foot. It had a smooth, progressive forward flex and held my foot snug through any speed or shaped turn, transferring leg commands with precision.

Two things stand out with the Pinnacle that the XT lacks: Dynafit inserts for saving serious weight with an AT binding, and more range of motion in the cuff. The Dynafit compatible toe is also DIN compatible, so it can be used in any alpine binding.

What gets sacrificed are the lug soles at the toe, making this a great boot on snow, especially when attached to skis, but not so good if the approach is long and dry, or you need to scramble over rocks.

Do they fit? My guess is high volume (high instep and wide) feet will not like ‘em, but you’ll just have to try ‘em on to know for sure. Also available in a softer 110 flex model.

K2
Pinnacle 130
MSRP: $850
Weight/pr (sz 27): TK
Sizes available: 23.5 – 30.5 (mondo)

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