Project Vipec — Free Templates and More

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We’ve got a pair of Fritschi Vipec here, destined for… Our plan, hit the new binding with the full WildSnow treatment. I’ll make this an ongoing blog post. Today, a link for our own mounting template as well as a few more thoughts about the binding.

Vipec with our new paper template. Home mounting is next.

Vipec with our new paper template. Home mounting is next.

Interestingly, our Vipecs don’t have the “green” indicator dot that Fritschi is said to now be including on the outside of the adjustable binding pin, to indicate it’s been thread locked at the factory. Ours do check out with visible Loctite as well as apparently being adjusted to fit most tech fittings (I tested with a few boots we have lying around.) Rubber band keeps things from coming apart before the mount.

Main question here is how do you determine distance between toe and heel units without the OEM mounting jig or templates? Simple, dry mount the toe unit first in position so boot falls on the ski where you want it. Next, be sure heel unit is in downhill mode, adjust fore/aft position midway on the mounting plate, set heel unit on ski behind boot and slide pins into boot heel so you approximate where the heel unit will end up when mounted. Mark where a pair of screw holes goes then match up with the paper template. I’ll update this post with some mounting photos to make it all clear.

Meanwhile, if you need a Vipec mounting template you can download ours here (be sure to match up with your bindings to make sure it’s printed to scale as well as not being off due to mistakes on my part, as this is a beta version of the template).

Also, we have quite a few Vipc blog posts with a ton of information.

Weight of retail Vipec we have here in our hot little hands:
Total single binding with brake and screws, 595 grams.
Toe unit with screws, 254 grams.
Heel with brake and screws, 340 grams.
Heel with screws and without brake, 268 grams.
Brake, 71 grams.
Toe screws, 14 grams.
Heel screws, 8 grams.
(Slight discrepancies in total weight are due to rounding of single grams by the scale.)


20 Responses to “Project Vipec — Free Templates and More”

  1. Andy March 18th, 2014 2:20 pm

    I tried to find an article on Wildsnow and on the internet in general on where to mount bindings (fore / aft vs the center of ski). Nothing hit close to that topic on Wildsnow and the internet was full of conflicting information. Some just say go with ski dead center all the time (even if the mfg mark is not there). Others say further back of dead center for powder skiing, up to 8 cm! Some say certain manufacturers are off and mount it forward of there center mark by a prescribed amount. Some say it is the #1 factor in ski performance. And many other recommendations.

    Is there any chance of you sharing your knowledge on the topic in an article? Sorry for not posting on a more appropriate article, just couldn’t find something that hit the mark and the conflicting advice from the internet tells me it is more nuanced than a forum will be able to answer.

  2. Jason Gregg March 18th, 2014 3:32 pm

    I’ve got 4 days on my Vipec’s now and am extremely happy with them, definitely prefer them to the a Dynafit’s I’ve owned. In rough order of importance to me here’s a list of what I like. Toe elasticity and side release, ski/walk mode change, riser height change, ski brake operation. Ramp angle is also something nice since no modding is necessary. I have mine mounted on 2.2kg 120mm waist Rossi Squad 7′s.

  3. Rich Rowley March 18th, 2014 3:46 pm

    I purchased a pair of Frischi Vipec 12, January 13, 2014, and have not been able to locate a 95mm crampons. I have been requesting the crampons since the day I purchased the binding from my local backcountry store.

    Black Diamond, the distributor, does not have any 95mm brakes and does not know when they will be available! You would think Black Diamond would have better customer support…

    I leave next week, March 26, for an Albula Alps ski mountaineering trip.

    Two questions:
    Do you have any idea where to find Vipec 12 ski crampons in 95mm?

    Is the Vipec 12 heel compatible with a Dynafit toe piece?

  4. Lou Dawson March 18th, 2014 4:22 pm

    Andy, I could write an article about where skis are mounted, but it wouldn’t help anyone, as every ski is different and there are multiple methods of figuring out the position. More, every skier is different. The rule of thumb with a mystery ski is to find the exact narrowest part of the sidecut and mount your boot center on that. But what happens in real life is they start with this as only a beginning, they have groups of folks such as x World Cup racers ski on the skis using bindings that are easily shifted fore and aft, then they reach a consensus. Even with that, depending on the skier and type of snow it’s sometimes better to mount a centimeter or two forward or back.

    What would be more concrete is if you have a problem figuring mount position on a specific ski, as a focused question about that and perhaps we can all figure it out.


  5. Lou Dawson March 18th, 2014 4:23 pm

    Rich, sorry, but no, and no.

  6. Rich B March 18th, 2014 5:40 pm

    Rich – I got a pair of crampons online from telemark-pyrenes. There were none to be had in chamonix, and the shops weren’t happy about it! I low the bindings though.

    Lou – mine had a green dot sticker on the white toe piece near the trigger wire not on the pin itself.

  7. RANGERJAKE March 18th, 2014 7:07 pm

    I think the binding skis very well, better than Vertical or Radical series of Dynafit. The more neutral ramp is a big plus and the toe elasticity helps to absorb more of the bumps and chatter running through a ski and yield a very smooth ride.

    The resistance tolerances of the levers (toe for tour lock mode and the lever for the heel sliding/locking) need to be increased. I have had dozens of times the toe knock the lever down especially skinning in deep powder trailbreaking. Not sure if it’s from the “over the top release” bump out piece that gets added on for some boots or what. But it’s a pain and not something experienced in years on Dynafit. Also have gone into tour mode mid techy descent once that was scary. But just one time I will chalk up to my novice error of some sort.

  8. RANGERJAKE March 18th, 2014 7:16 pm

    green dot stickers near the trigger are the marking now, havent seen the green on the pins yet

  9. See March 18th, 2014 7:23 pm

    Rich, I expect you’ve thought of the following, but just in case… could larger brakes be bent to fit? Would fixed crampons (like Voiles) be acceptable?

    I like the Voiles, but I find that you need to check every so often to make sure the oval plastic part hasn’t shifted to the point where it ceases to secure the crampon.

  10. etto March 19th, 2014 7:43 am

    See, the Voile crampons themselves are okay, but the attachment system is fickle. Too easy to break, or ruin the threads. And anyway doesn’t stay securly in place.

  11. See March 19th, 2014 8:05 am

    Busted. Actually, I cut some ovals out of 1/4″ delrin when I first mounted mine because the oem parts looked a little weak. I also staked and epoxied the threads. And I have my doubts about the strength of the single mounting bolt.

    Definitely not perfect, but I’ve also seen the pivot type break, bend or fail to bite on steep slopes when using heel elevators, so I guess I’m not totally sold on ski crampons overall.

    But my general rule is to switch to boot crampons before it becomes necessary. I generally don’t use ski crampons for anything dicey.

  12. Gentle Sasquatch March 19th, 2014 1:24 pm

    I’ve been happy with my Vipec this season. I think the ergonomics of using the bindings (switching modes, raising or removing elevators) are better than Dynafit Verticals or Radicals. But tha doesn’t mean that the Dynafit bindings are in any way deficient. They work perfectly fine for any kind of skiing that I do.

  13. Joe K March 20th, 2014 12:08 am

    There’s basically no parts/accessories available in North America yet. Kind of dumb. I put Voile crampons on mine, for better or worse.

  14. Rich Rowley March 20th, 2014 8:27 pm

    Follow-up to my March 18, 2014 post…
    Black Diamond found some ski crampons they had in testing. My ski crampons will be at Mountain Outfitters in Breckenridge on Monday, March 24.

    Fritschi AG Swiss was most helpful. Trudi Moshing gave me the contact information to there distributor in Austria for the crampons. Fritschi did note they rate their ski crampons at 90mm & 115mm not the U.S rating of 95mm & 120mm.

    Bill Bollinger of BND Ski Gear has ski crampons that will work.

  15. ph March 21st, 2014 4:46 pm

    On one ski tour I could not block one of the heels in ski mode for the descent. It would go 98% there but would not make the final click.
    Only thing I wanted to do but didn’t have the right tool was to clear out some visible ice in two little grooves in black plastic near the heel din markings (two metal pins back there slide in the grooves). Skied with a loose heel then. During the climb the snow was initially powdery but a warming day. Later after skiing down for 15 min, and putting binding in the sun for 15 min, problem solved itself.
    Now I’ve got a stiff piece of wire (or small screwdriver could work) that I take in case I need to clean that area out. But since it hasn’t happened again, I don’t know for sure if that was the problem or the tool would help. While a potentially important issue, so far it is rare, and possibly the solution is simple and easy.

  16. rangerjake March 26th, 2014 1:42 pm

    120mm Vipec crampons in stock at

  17. Jason Gregg March 31st, 2014 4:34 pm

    Are Vipecs not okay with TLT5P boots? I think I read that somewhere but it seems hard to believe the flex in that shoe is enough to create a problem.

  18. Lou Dawson March 31st, 2014 5:39 pm

    Jason, I really doubt the TLT5 would be a problem… what does Fritschi say?

  19. Alin April 10th, 2014 10:49 am

    Is it a bad idea to spray rubbing alcohol when experiencing icing problems, like the one described by ph, or freezing ski/walk mechanism in Maestrale for example?

  20. Lou Dawson April 10th, 2014 11:56 am

    Never tried it, interesting idea. Perhaps they should sell some boots with a jug of de-icer? Works on car windshields too!

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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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