Getting Ready for Europe — Look What Dropped In!

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Packing for Europe, and look what dropped in from the sky to try and distract me.

Packing for Europe, and look what dropped in from the sky on my get-ready pile to try and distract me: Canadians. They're everywhere!

I can’t say much about the Ion binding yet, other than repeating info and rumor already out there in the wild. Yeah, it’s a tech binding similar to others, with a few of what appear to be cool features and of course some stunning industrial design that, can I say, appears more Italian than Canadian? Drink the Ion Koolaid here.

Bella Bella!


22 Responses to “Getting Ready for Europe — Look What Dropped In!”

  1. Jailhouse Hopkins December 27th, 2013 9:52 am

    They’re not giving up the hole pattern, tried to no avail!

  2. wutang December 27th, 2013 10:38 am

    you actually travel with a money belt?

  3. Eric Steig December 27th, 2013 10:44 am

    Any chance the Ion will have an easy-to-use switch to tour mode?

  4. Lou Dawson December 27th, 2013 11:14 am

    That’s just a passport pouch, but sure, I’d use a money belt in certain situations. What’s the big deal? Is it considered unhip or somehow uncool to travel with cash stashed in a more secure location than your pants pocket? I’d like to know, so I don’t look or feel uncool. Lou

  5. Lou Dawson December 27th, 2013 11:15 am

    As WildSnow Lou I am muzzled on the Ion, those with no name can speak freely. Anyone care to chime in on Ion features? Lou

  6. Jailhouse Hopkins December 27th, 2013 11:30 am

    They have brakes!

  7. Patrick Jackman December 27th, 2013 11:52 am

    Nice color. They’d match my boots!

  8. Jeremy December 27th, 2013 1:58 pm

    Looks like they have a spring loaded toe locator to position the boot correctly for the pins, to get around the Dyanfit tower patent. Also looks like Dynafit were not too clever in their patent wording for the flip heel raisers, as G3 would appear to have got round it by using a central mounting point.

    Compared to the functional Dynafit’s and the CNC starkness of the Plum’s these G3 Ion’s are a flowing work of art. We can only hope that function follows form.

  9. Jeff December 27th, 2013 5:28 pm

    Seems to have a step in toe piece.

  10. Tom Gos December 27th, 2013 6:10 pm

    Looking forward to a shootout review of the new Fritschi and G3 tech bindings. It appears that Dynafit may need to get the R&D guys working overtime.

  11. Andy M. December 27th, 2013 10:14 pm

    It’s a little thing, but I like how deep the brakes dig in compared to the Radicals. Just this week I spent a good 15 minutes boot slogging to retrieve a runaway ski with Radicals after the brakes did nothing more than scratch faint lines in the snow.

  12. Lou Dawson December 28th, 2013 6:32 am

    Andy, I’d agree that the brakes on Dynafits are not as beefy as some on other bindings. But they’re a compromise to save weight and can’t be expected to behave exactly like an alpine binding. But more importantly, let’s not forget that the _weight_ of the ski pressing the brake down into the snow has much to do with how it behaves. Lighter touring skis don’t behave the same way as alpine skis when the brake is deployed. That could have something to do with your experience.

    In other words, the brake arms could be a foot long, and if the ski isn’t heavy enough they’ll still just scratch the snow.

    Just stating this as a fact to add to the record.

    More, skis with alpine binding brakes also will scratch faint lines in the snow given certain conditions, speed of ski when you fall, weight of ski, that sort of thing. I’ve lost several skis over the years, and it just so happens that they were actually all alpine skis with alpine bindings and brakes.



  13. Billy jack December 28th, 2013 9:07 am

    Andy m. Stick to the groomers or low angle and your skis will stop when you are ejected, it will be easier to pick up the rest of your yard sale too.

    Hey Lou, did they send you one binding to try or is that a mock up of the binding they are going to produce

  14. Lou Dawson December 28th, 2013 9:46 am

    Billy, it’s a functional unit but not recommended for skiing. We have someone using them on-snow as well, in a different location. Due to my leaving for EU in a few days we didn’t want to hassle with turnaround shipping on the on-snow demo units. We’ll cover all the bases in terms of our first-look when the muzzle comes off. Lou

  15. Gavin December 28th, 2013 12:29 pm

    Doesn’t look like there is a crampon attachment as on Dynafits, do the Ions have an alternative method?

  16. Lou Dawson December 28th, 2013 4:12 pm

    Plenty of height off ski visible on their photos, B&D is the answer. But there might be something on Ion that’s not easily visible in terms of a cramp attachment — that’s my guess. Lou

  17. Dale December 28th, 2013 4:19 pm

    The orange anodized finish suggests aluminum toe wings as in the Plum bindings, not steel as in the Dynafit models. Anyone know details?

  18. JQ December 29th, 2013 10:03 am

    Rotating heel is design flaw #1 (IMHO) . Presumably better than my last season’s Radicals……… Can’t tell if brake is removable

  19. Scott December 30th, 2013 7:52 am

    Thanks for the teaser. Have a great trip to Europe! Where are you headed this time? How is the Euro snow pack?

  20. Lou Dawson December 30th, 2013 9:02 am

    Scott, it’s a work trip in that we’ll be hitting at least four different companies for in-person reviews of their products and facilities. The annual Dynafit Press event is the nexus for us as we go every year, but we’ll also be driving around Switzerland and Italy visiting folks such as Scott and Fritschi. As you might recall, I headed down to Asolo and Montebelluna Italy to check out the boot scene a few years ago. We’re headed down there again as well, mostly to visit the Scarpa folks for a product launch but we’ll also hit the boot museum again and perhaps do a bit of tourism out and about.

    As for the ski touring, we’ll try to do as much as time and health allow, so that’ll result in the usual fun trip reports. But the snow over there is not usually any great shakes in January, and probably isn’t this year. So who knows, it might be a month long tour of the most famous huts…. (grin). One goal is to spectate a World Cup skimo race, but that’ll have to fit into schedule.


  21. Pieter Groen December 30th, 2013 3:38 pm

    Hi Lou,

    Huge dumps in the Alps (Austria / Switserland /Italy) during the past weekend. Unfortunately, a weak/ icy and unstable baselayer so avalanche risk is high (4 or above).

    Stay safe and Enjoy your trip! Looking forward to your updates.


    (The Netherlands)

  22. Lou Dawson December 30th, 2013 4:20 pm

    Heard about that…. am figuring by the time we get there our favorite mellow terrain will be good for ski tours, though probably not the best snow conditions… Lou

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Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information opinion website and e magazine. Lou's passion for the past 45 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about backcountry skiing and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free back country news and information here, and tons of Randonnee rando telemark info.

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