Aug 29 2012

Review: BCA’s Alpine Trekker


Trekker’s are easy to adjust, affordable, and effective.

One of the more overlooked tools for resort skiers planning to stick their toes in backcountry waters is the Alpine Trekker. It’s a simple adapter plate that allows you to enjoy the freedom of a free heel for skinning back in-bounds while using the resort equipment that you know and trust for harvesting freshies out-of-bounds. This makes perfect sense for those who don’t have the cents to buy a dedicated binding to log backcountry turns, or for those who simply don’t trust anything but their macho caliber, 16+ DIN bindings.

If you only make occasional forays away from the lifts this is a super cost effective way to go. Don’t forget, you need a pair of climbing skins to go with the Trekkers. The other option for adding a free heel while insisting on using your race bindings is something like the MFD plate. The Alpine Trekker has several advantages over the MFD plate.

For starters, you don’t need to drill new holes in your ski to mount the plate to the ski, or transfer the bindings to the plate. To use the Trekker, simply adjust the length of the ovalized shaft so the Trekker snaps in to your alpine binding. Then you need to adjust the pivoting metal frame so it holds your boot snug.

A good way to add free heel mobility to an alpine rig for the short term or a small budget. Don’t forget to get skins too.

To use it, either snap your boot into the pivoting metal Trekker frame, and then the Trekker base in to your binding, or reverse the order. The Trekker suffers from putting you about 40mm above the base of your skis. This provides a fair amount of leverage for edging on an icy traverse, but the metal cage holding your boot doesn’t really enhance the sense of stability in this situation. The good news is that when you’re skinning you’re only lifting the weight of the light metal cage and your boot with each step. With all plate bindings you are lifting the weight of your boot, the binding plate, and the binding heel with each step. You may be dragging the same amount of weight with the Trekker as heavier AT bindings, but at least you don’t have to lift the weight of the entire binding with each step.

The Trekker also comes with two heights of climbing post so you can keep up with your aggro buddies who like charging uphill as steeply as they slash the downhill.

Be aware that the Trekker will save you a few bucks, and is a great short term tool for backcountry skiing. However, even though you don’t have to lift the weight of your binding and boot while skinning, the overall weight is still a lot to bear, especially when logging big vertical. When you realize you like earning your turns get a tech binding and save the Trekkers to loan to curious friends who have never been out-of-bounds.

Backcountry Access
Alpine Trekker
MSRP: $180
Weight (pair): 2 lbs. 11 oz. (1228 g)

© 2012