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Thread: Cross Country Bindings

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    Default Cross Country Bindings

    So I am sure I am not the first person to ever think of this so I will ask if anyone knows where I can find them. For the past couple of weeks I have been looking all over the internet for a backcountry cross country ski binding my leather crampon compatible mountaineering boots can fit into. I would like to be able to do ski in caribou hunts pulling a pulk and just use my hunting boots instead of having to hunt in ski boots or change boots whenever I want to ski. I know the old Army style should work but would like to find something a little more efficient. My thoughts are something similar to a Telemark or skiboard binding, if something doesn't exist I may venture into trying to develop a prototype of some Frankenstein cross between crampons and snowboard bindings but would rather stay away from that if possible. Any input or advise is highly appreciated.

    Thank You,
    Ryan

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    I started using BCN bindings and boots. Most of the BCN boots are more like a traditional hunting boot- heavier duty, taller, stiffer...no need to change boots, just pop the binding and start walking.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKChester View Post
    Or, depending on your boot a Voile Tele might work too: http://www.voile.com/voile-telemark-...k-binding.html
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    the best bindings are the backcountry SNS (Solomon)...Or NNN (rottefella). you can go with telemark/duckbill boot...these would be the lightest if you went with a single layer telemark boot....Don't re-invent the wheel...

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pipercub View Post
    the best bindings are the backcountry SNS (Solomon)...Or NNN (rottefella). you can go with telemark/duckbill boot...these would be the lightest if you went with a single layer telemark boot....Don't re-invent the wheel...
    He's not looking to change boots, he's looking for bindings compatible with his existing mountaineering boots....
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    If you're doing any descending you'll find doing so in mountaineering boots is absolutely miserable as they don't have the stiffness of a ski boot. I'd thought carrying a pair of mini skis that were compatible with my mountaineering boots would be a great way to enjoy some spring time descents from hikes, but it didn't take more than a few turns to make me realize the error of my ways. You don't appreciate how essential a true ski boot is to the performance of a ski until you try and make a hiking boot do a job it was never designed for.

    I finally broke down and got a set of AT boots and bindings. The boots are light enough and comfortable enough to hike in, but stiff enough to descend as aggressively as you want.
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    I also doubt how practical this solution is, but the slightly higher performance version of the military binding is the Berwin Binding. Here is one place that sells them: http://en.aventurenordique.com/berwi...-bindings.html

    Before spending $200+ on those, you might contact Richard Webber (Arctic Explorer and motivational speaker), and see if he is selling the bindings that he developed for trekking across Antarctica. http://www.weberarctic.com/contact-us/product-inquiry

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    Member BluNosDav's Avatar
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    Maybe some "splitboard" bindings might work? Split-boards are snowboards that split apart into skis. The idea is to split & "skin" them for climbs, then join them back together as a snowboard for descents. The bindings rotate/pivot longitudinally, so that they're oriented straight ahead while climbing/skiing, and then go back to a sideways orientation for snowboarding. Don't know how (or if) splitboards perform going downward still separated as skis. But, the bindings might work if attached to real BC/XC skis?

    I have a set of those Voile Switchbacks that iofthetaiga suggested. They're great bindings, but, require a 3-pin BC ski boot, unless you somehow modified the front metal bracket to fit the toe of your mountaineering boot?

    Just curious, what skis are you planning to use?
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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Check out Altai skis... the have a universal binding for their "Hok" ski. Works with a regular boot.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Member ripnlip's Avatar
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    As mentioned already, Silvretta...if you can find them! Heard they are no longer available to the US???? Might be able to find them used someplace. I use them with my Koflach Degre and they are an outstanding setup so far, but I do not do any tele or serious downhill. Mainly just use them instead of my snowshoes...all terrain style.

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    They're getting a little scarce but can still be found. There's a pair of Silvretta 404's mounted on some Atomic's on fleabay right now for a hundred bucks. You can still find old cable bindings around too, tho they wouldn't be my first choice anymore.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    He's not looking to change boots, he's looking for bindings compatible with his existing mountaineering boots....
    Most anybody who has spent anytime trying to ski in mountaineering boots has gone to either the AT setup or the lighter backcountry option...the whole point is TO CHANGE the boots...There is a good reason why you can't find bindings anymore...They are heavy clunky contraptions that don't function. The lighter end (racing) AT setups are very popular in Europe. I prefer the AT setup when skiing down challenging terrain... The lighter Salomon BC when traversing more or covering more distance...

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pipercub View Post
    Most anybody who has spent anytime trying to ski in mountaineering boots has gone to either the AT setup or the lighter backcountry option...the whole point is TO CHANGE the boots...There is a good reason why you can't find bindings anymore...They are heavy clunky contraptions that don't function. The lighter end (racing) AT setups are very popular in Europe. I prefer the AT setup when skiing down challenging terrain... The lighter Salomon BC when traversing more or covering more distance...
    Yea, but what do you choose when you need to do a ski approach to your climb, and you don't want to, or can't afford the extra weight to pack an extra pair of ski boots? Mountaineering boot compatible AT bindings like the Silvretta 404 exist for a reason. The fact that they're becoming difficult to find in this country is reflective of a very small, specialized niche market, not because they don't perform well at the task for which they're intended.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    Yea, but what do you choose when you need to do a ski approach to your climb, and you don't want to, or can't afford the extra weight to pack an extra pair of ski boots?
    I honestly don't think that you can ever not afford the extra pair of ski boots. The efficiency gained by using standard backcountry ski boots will dwarf the fatigue caused by carrying your alpine boots on your pack.

    If Silvretta 404 bindings are adequate for technical descents, allowing you to leave your modern tele boots at home, perhaps they have a place. And, if available ski boots aren't warm enough, but your alpine boots are, maybe the bindings have a place. But for terrain and air temperatures that are backcountry boot and binding appropriate, I really can't imagine choosing modern pak bindings that are boot compatible.

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