Dynafit New and Improved – Part 3 – Titan Beef Boot


This post by WildSnow.com blogger  

Rumors have been swirling since early this month about an even stiffer but still tour friendly boot from Dynafit. Yep, Titan is said to be same weight as Zzeus but with stiffer PU plastic. Dynafit claims “20% stiffer.” We don’t know how they measure this, so I’d translate it as “noticeably stiffer.” So try out a ZZeus. If it’s not stiff enough for you, wait for a Titan. Or hold off for the Goliath? (JUST KIDDING, but one has to wonder how stiff will boots get till they’re stiff enough…)

Backcountry Skiing

Dynafit Titan backcountry ski boot offers extra stiffness and downhill performance.

Again, what Dynafit is after with both ZZeus and Titan is to keep boots light and tour comfortable, but give you a stiff downhill mode in overlap construction. If you examine our weight chart, you’ll see that ZZeus does indeed compete in the mass category, while still providing overlap construction and a definitely stiff feel. Thus, if Titan continues that trend as claimed this should be a very interesting development in the beef boot wars.

More, Titan has the mongo Dynafit sole swap system that uses plentiful screws as well as interlocking plastic. I can testify that other boots with swap soles sometimes do experience some shift in Dynafit bindings, while I’ve seen none of that with the ZZeus attachment system, and expect the same from Titan. Liner has extra plastic so it is more alpine-like, and the shell has an extra spoiler (nice feature for customization). Also, liner is “strobel” lasted, meaning it has the sole area stitched and thus may end up with a better fit during heat molding as the sole area doesn’t tend to deform the way a full-wrap thermo liner tends to do.

A detailed comparo between this and ZZeus is probably in order, so we’ll put that on the WildSnow production list. Meanwhile, we’re figuring it’s just a matter of months before one of the beef boot companies finds a World Cup GS racer they can pay to run a race in a pair of AT boots, and make a YouTube video of this historic event. Who will be first? We are waiting and promise to embed immediately. And once that happens, will beef boots be stiff enough?

Comments

43 Responses to “Dynafit New and Improved – Part 3 – Titan Beef Boot”

  1. AJ January 20th, 2009 9:34 am

    sweet stuff from Dynafit! beef boot, race boot, skis, next winter should be good for a gear tester :-)

  2. Sam Reese January 20th, 2009 11:37 am

    Barely related comment.

    What is up with all these stickers? All the new boots I’ve seen these pics of (DyNA, LaSportiva, BD’s), are festooned with stickers and graphics. If my Scarpas are any indication, these stickers are good for about ten days, then start flaking and peeling.

    And even if they do last… Why? Has anyone yet in the history of Ski Mountaineering gone into a shop and said “Ya know, those F3′s fit my foot perfectly, but I just can’t say no to the stickers on the other boot…”

    Tribal patterns are so ’95, Dynafit. Catch on. Flames and stripes never go out of style on racing gear.

    Not to belittle the engineering and knowledge gone into these shoes. I’m sure they are amazing… I just don’t get the stickers.

  3. Kurt January 20th, 2009 12:04 pm

    It seems to me that the Titan would be definite overkill.

    I’ve spent ten days on my new ZZeus’s this season driving 186 cm G3 Reverends and would not require any more stiffness from my boots whatsoever. I’m 6’5″ and 220 lbs and consider myself to be an aggressive skier. In fact, the boots were so stiff that I loosened the velcro strap when skiing mellower terrain. If manufacturers want to move ahead with their designs, I’d say instead of focusing on stiffness, they should focus on responsiveness. Meaning, that an incremental forward flex in the boot provides a proportional incremental force to your turn. That’s not to say the ZZeus’ are not responsive. I found them to be quite responsive (much more than my old Spirit 4′s), but I’d rather see companies focus on control instead of overall stiffness.

    When I tried them on in the store, they felt good and stiff. When I clicked into my skis at home, they felt a bit softer and I questioned if they were really what I was looking for. Then I actually skied them and they got way stiffer in the cold and I was really impressed. (keep in mind I’m referring to the Zzeus, not Titan). In fact, they toured much better than my previous Scarpa Spirit 4′s, whith much more ankle articulation, and much less resistance in tour mode.

    I guess a good comparison of what I’m trying to say could be made with vehicle engines. Why build a bigger and more powerful engine when you’ve already got enough power? It’d be better to tune the power that’s available and and make it more controllable and refined. That’s the same as tuning your boot instead of making them stiffer.

    With the performance the ZZeus delivered to me, I wonder what the point of anything stiffer would be. If anything, I would want a slightly softer boot. Just make sure to keep them in the cab of your vehicle on the way to the trail-head. You’ll have one heck of a time putting them on at -12°C. I had to lay them on the defrost for ten mins before I could jam my feet in. I may have been able to ram them in cold, but I was afraid of ripping the liner on the plastic inside.

    Has anyone found a good way to attach safety straps to the ZZeus? I’ve got G3 leashes attached to Dynafit Comforts and then clip the plastic end of the leash to a cordelette loop on the ZZeus buckle. However, I think I might be better off reversing it, so the leashes stay on the boots and and clip to the binding.

  4. Kurt January 20th, 2009 12:08 pm

    Hey Sam,

    And what’s more ridiculous than the tribal graphics on the shell, is the tribal graphics on the liner! I guess that way they still look stylish wearing your liners around a hut. I don’t know what the cost of having graphics printed on a liner is, but I’d be really upset if I knew that I paid for than 50 cents for it.

  5. Federico January 20th, 2009 2:04 pm

    Hi Kurt and Sam,
    luckily you don’t rule the taste of the world you’re just telling your personal thoughts and taste.
    The graphics on the Titan are just more aggressive and fast looking than others in our small marketing. Who seen the boot at the moment are all in love with its look. Then of course if you don’t like them but you still would like the boots with just some paint remover and a cloth you can easily take them out in a second ;-)

    As regards performance and stiffness we did it stiffer as most of north american people wants it stiffer… ;-)
    anyway it’s not only a matter of stiffness, it’s quite difficult to explain, but the PU mix used as also more elastomer inside so it’s stiffer but has a more progressive flex. This means, after many tests, that it skis better than the zzeus. It also fit a little more wider on the forefoot area…but this upgrade will be done also on zzeus starting from next season as some commented that it fit a little too narrow.

    ON the PU vs. Pebax on what skis better… it’s quite a long story but the fact that PU gets stiffer on cold it’s quite irrilevant. The main difference is that PU, it’s much more progressive and “active” on the flex point of view than pebax. Many ski tests prooved that it skis better, but not for the stiffness. (N.B. all alpine WC boots are made in pu) of course Pebax is much ligher etc.etc.etc.

    Bye

    Fede

  6. Lou January 20th, 2009 2:10 pm

    I got grief for joking around about painting boots, now we’re bringing paint remover into the discussion? Things are getting rowdy around here!

  7. Rob Staudinger January 20th, 2009 2:31 pm

    Hmm, since you describe dynafits new racing “chopsticks” being white/red (seemingly matching the DNA boot), here’s wondering whether there will be a ski to go with this beast!

  8. Bob January 20th, 2009 2:41 pm

    So both the Titan and the ZZeus will be wider next year? Will this be a shell modification or just a liner modification?

  9. Tom G January 20th, 2009 5:33 pm

    I’m happy to see stiffer more alpine like AT boots being offered. As an alpine skier first, and having skied in alpine race boots for a long time, I’ve always been of the opinion that AT boots are really inadequate. I can ski moderate slopes with powder pretty well in them, but for me they just don’t offer the same level of control and stability as an alpine boot. I’m certainly willing to make some tradeoffs in exchange for lighter weight, but I’ve always felt that AT boots were too much of a compromise. So I’ve been quite happy to see the introduction of overlap shells and now more PU offerings. To each his own I guess, but I believe that there are a lot of skiers out there who have been wanting more from their touring set up, wanting a touring set up that skis more like their alpine set up. Thanks to Federico for his comments on the plastic. I’ve always felt that Pebax just wasn’t quite right in some way and this helps me to understand why.

  10. Mike S January 20th, 2009 8:58 pm

    Woohoo – good to hear that the Titan has a wider fit and it looks to be punchable at the fifth metatarsal at the ball of the foot. Looking forward to trying on a pair. The DyNA Race looks like punching just below and back from the ‘acti-flex’ text could be a bit dogdy.

  11. Justin January 20th, 2009 9:06 pm

    I don’t understand anyone saying the Zzeus is narrow. I’ve skied it and the Factor both with my Intuition liners, and the Zzeus are undoubtedly wider and higher volume. I think the liner throws people off, but remember the liner will pack out and change, the shell won’t. Oh, and the Titan has to win the competition for ugliest AT available. White? Really? Are those Salomon rear entry boots from the Blizzard of Ahhs days?

  12. Lou January 20th, 2009 11:58 pm

    Yeah, when I measured the ZZeus it wasn’t particularly narrow, though the footboard is somewhat narrow compared to some boots. My conclusion is that it’s indeed the liner fit that causes opinion about boots being “narrow,” perhaps combined with a last that’s different from other boots people are used to.

    Boot measurements project.

  13. Federico January 21st, 2009 12:57 am

    Hi Bob,
    no shell modification, just the liners 4 mm wider, just a little “easier” for the first try on the shop.

    Tom G.
    If you’ll try a pair of titan on a piste with the Alpine sole set and you race skis you’ll be happy… surely they’re not stiff as Bode Miller wold cup downhill boots but quite enough to enjoy and make feeling save and fast 95% of all good alpine skiers.
    Plus you can use them for back country using the touring sole mounted ;-)

  14. Bob January 21st, 2009 8:41 am

    Can the ZZeus be stretched or blown out to add length for the big toe? It looks like the sole blocks would make this impossible. I am guessing that if you were to try this you would do it with the sole block attached and it would make swapping soles in the future impossible. However, it looks like there are a seires of support ribs on the inside of the toe block. Perhaps you could grind these ribs off and blow out the big toe on the shell to fill the area ground out on the toe block.

  15. Njord January 21st, 2009 9:44 am

    You can never have enough flames painted on your skiing equipment…

    (It’s just like cowbell…. needs more!)

  16. Todd January 21st, 2009 10:10 am

    Looks nice for a down oriented boot. Hope they hold up better than my Dynafit Aero Speed TF. Less than 40 days of touring in them, rivet failure in each boot on same outing where upper cuff connects to lower boot shell. Salewa North America’s (Dynafit) response: “Sorry, boot is out of warranty, no longer available and we have no way of fixing”. $600+ boots should last longer than 40 days of mellow, no hucking touring, IMHO. At very least Salewa should have means of repairing for a nominal fee, plus shipping of course. Back to tried and true Scarpa or maybe BD. End of rant. Love your site Lou! Just like black coffee, your blog/web site starts the day out right!

  17. Randonnee January 21st, 2009 10:27 am

    Todd,

    Sorry to hear of your Dynafit Aero Speed TF difficulty. I suggest going to your Dynafit retailer. I ordered the same boot early from Cham3s. It fell apart but my excellent local guy Caley at Pro Ski helped since I was his customer for other gear. Actually my blue TLT boots fell apart more than once, and finally the shell cracked apart beyond repair, but I am rather big. Caley helped also with a broken ski and Dynafit came through with a replacement. Of course, in return I spent quite a bit at that shop the next season on my quiver, all good in return for good service in my view.

    The other Dynafit boots that I have, TLT 4TF, Zzero3C TF, and Zzero4C TF have shown no problems. I also have had better fit with these.

  18. Lou January 21st, 2009 11:13 am

    Bob, I’d be careful with punching for length, but I don’t see why a good boot fitter couldn’t do it. Just operate with soles attached and bottom part of boot in a pan of water so heat doesn’t migrate to critical areas, or some similar procedure. But hey, compared to the pros I’m just a hacker, and perhaps they have even better tricks than that…

  19. Sean January 21st, 2009 11:53 am

    Re Federico’s informative comment —

    I don’t understand Dynafit widening a boot for Americans, that makes no sense to me. We already have a plethora of caveman-foot boots to choose from, it’s the narrow lasted boots that are in short supply for those of us who like to shove our skinny feet into snug spaces.

    As to the colors on the Titan –

    I think the boot looks stupid in that color scheme, and especially the very juvenile “tribal” graphics, but I’d ski any boot that worked for me, no matter what the color. I don’t see how the boot’s color makes any difference to its performance.

  20. Federico January 21st, 2009 1:45 pm

    HI Sean…
    the fit volume is still the same, much more precise than scarpa. The new liners are just wider hard to explain as I don’t know the correct english term of that area of the feet… on your little finger just to make it easy to understand. no volume change.
    Americna people has a very special feet… very very skinny as you said but very wide compared to europeans ;-)
    Anyway fit is very personal, we think Titan fit is really perfect, you should try a pair once available.

    About Titan graphics I still tell that it’s a matter of personal taste, I love that boot graphics and I think it’s the coolest, and many other people thinks the same ;-)

  21. Lou January 21st, 2009 2:29 pm

    Fede, we have a saying in English, “everyone has the right to their own bad taste.” Just thought I’d throw that out there , and after watching Italian television I have a MUCH better idea of what culture all this stuff comes from .

    Sean, what I gather is that the last they mold the liner on is now just a hair wider as it seems North Americans like boots that don’t feel tight while trying them on the carpet in the ski shop. Once the liner is custom molded this is a non issue.

  22. Andrew W January 21st, 2009 5:23 pm

    Todd

    I had the same problem with both my Aero’s, but my local ski shop was able to fix them with a combination of a screw, washer and T-nut. I’m not sure exactly what the full procedure is but shoot me your e-mail and I’ll send you a photo and the shops number.

    I will agree that for a “beef” boot the Aero’s don’t hold up well, I used them exclusively inbounds and out all last year and the start of this year and at 60 days I’ve had to replace both inside cuff rivets, the springs that keep the buckles flat against the boot have bent and broken, and the liner needed to be replaced.

  23. Lee Lau January 21st, 2009 6:01 pm

    Justin,

    FYI when I reviewed the ZZeus for Wildsnow last year, I found the stock liner to cramp my feet. I put in my own liners to use the boot and it was much better. So I would attribute the narrowness to the liner.

    Frederico, some people will love the graphics, some people will hate them. At least you know that people will have an opinion – which is better then the boot being called boring.

    I look forward to trying these out.

  24. Sean January 21st, 2009 7:34 pm

    Federico & Lou –

    Thanks for that clarification. I was gettting worried that neither the Zzeus nor the Titan would fit me.

    And Federico, I don’t mean to insult anyone about the design / graphics. I’m just saying it doesn’t work for me. No doubt it works for some, as there were people who created the design. And like I said, I’d buy and ski the Titan no matter what I felt about its appearance, if its fit and flex feel right to me.

    A more direct question re Dynafit boots — I’d like to be able to align the cuffs of my Zzero 4 CF boots. Is it possible to fit the Zzeus adjustable cuff rivet to the Zzero?

  25. Damon January 21st, 2009 11:02 pm

    Come on guys, are we really talking graphics. I’m excited to see how they ski. I love my Zzeros, but looking for more stiffness.

  26. Todd January 22nd, 2009 9:41 am

    Randonnee & Andrew W:

    Thanks so much for each of your feedback and relating of similar experiences. I’m a huge fan of Dynafit bindings, but this is my first experience with their boots and needless to say, I’m very disappointed. I agree with you Andrew, for a beefy leaning boot such as the Aero Speed TF, rivet failure at the cuff should just not happen on boots with less than 40 days of mellow touring. My boots have never been in the resorts. Also wish that Salewa North America was a bit more understanding and accommodating regarding the failure, especially when it is very evident that it is a manufacturing defect. Andrew, I’d appreciate it greatly if you could send me photos of your fix and who did it. My e-mail address is thopkins@xmission.com. Thanks once again and safe lines!

  27. Marc January 22nd, 2009 12:27 pm

    Federico-
    The problem is not that PU gets stiff with cold, it’s that it gets soft when warm!!! Gaining stiffness, in my opinion, is never a problem as long as you have a good touring mode. The problem comes when temperatures rise and the PU gets mushy and your “beef boots” start feeling like sneakers. I’ve commented several times on here about how the Zzero PU boot got mushy when things warmed up in the spring. Not a good feeling when your standing atop a 50 degree couloir with firm snow. Hopefully the Titan has a better blend of PU and resists the mushy feel.
    How about a slightly beefier version of the Zzero C4?
    -Marc.

  28. Mike S January 22nd, 2009 9:25 pm

    Plethora of wide fitting boots? Please tell me which ones. I tried on most of this season’s boots for a shell fit (ie with no liner) and they were all too narrow (my feet rate a ‘D’ width – wide at the ball of the foot, towards the outside). The BD Method and Factor were the widest ones I found. Radium, ZZeus, ZZero, Spirit4, Axon, etc. were not viable. My perspective is that all the boots are for skinny footed people. You’d think making them a bit wider and letting the TF liners fill in extra space for those with narrow feet would be a better plan.

    Stickers? Graphics? Who cares. However, white for any snowsport gear seems goofy unless you’re in the military…

  29. Lou January 23rd, 2009 5:23 am

    Mike, when you try shell fit for width you might want to try placing a footbed under your foot. Some shells taper quite a bit down towards the footboard and you get an inaccurate idea of how wide the boot is if you just stick your bare foot in there without it being raised up. Also, any of the beef boots are easily punched out at the ball of the foot, so I don’t see why this is an issue. It’s impossible to make a rigid boot shell that will fit every foot perfectly, but so long as a boot fitter can make it work, fine. In fact, if you have a wider or larger volume foot and do get a boot fitted, sometimes you end up with an even nicer “performance” fit than a person with an average foot and associated extra volume.

  30. Sean January 23rd, 2009 9:57 am

    Mike S, are you sure your D width forefoot was accurately measured? I have a really hard time believing your story.

    I’ve been skiing a long time — over 20 years. I worked as a ski boot fitter while in college and grad school. I have fit hundreds of ski boots, maybe thousands, on a huge variety of feet. I have tried on hundreds of ski boots for my own informational purposes.

    My foot is a D width at the ball and an A/B width at the heel. The D width forefoot is because I have huge bunions on both feet. I size down from a 10.5 or 11.0 US street shoe size, to a 26.0 or 26.5 Mondo shell boot for alpine and for AT. I always fit shells. I have never tried on a single boot in shell fit that couldn’t accommodate my D width forefoot. Not one single boot. However, when adding the liner boot to the mix, I did have forefoot problems with the Scarpa Laser, which pinched my foot from the sides at the forefoot. Otherwise the problems I encounter are too-tall instep (most every boot) and too voluminous heel pocket (every boot I’ve tried).

    If you’re unable to shell-fit at D width forefoot, something is very strange with your shell fitting process. D widths are easily accommodated in every manufacturer’s line. Even Scarpa, which has a narrow-ish forefoot compared to the rest of its last, will fit a D.

    You probably need a better-qualified bootfitter to help you, or perhaps your D width measurement was off and you’re actually wider than that at the forefoot, which would explain your described problems a whole lot better.

  31. Federico January 23rd, 2009 11:27 am

    Hi Marc,
    don’t worry, titan use a much stiffer materials mix then ZZero 4U, I would add an “insider” comments… we can’t do transparent PU too stiff as they might crystalize and brake when it’s too cold this is why 4U might gets a little softer when it’s very very warm. in normal winter/spring condition it perform very well.
    Titan/ZZeus which are full colour boots doesn’t have this limit so we made them very stiff. Also the shell thickness i higher so the performance on downhill are really different… I mean, they are two different categories of products… Ski mountaineering versus freeride.

    I’m really sorry to hear so many negative comments on Aero boots… unfortunately that boot line was not really perfect, sombody liked it, some hated it and technical wise it has some problems.
    What I can tell you is that the full development team of Dynafit ski boots have been changed after Aero… so starting from the ZZero line it’s a full different world. Right now our returns and failure rate is very close to 0% … actually it’s 0,8% so a record on our industry.
    So if somebody had negative experiences with Aero feel safe to trust the new product lines.

  32. Brian Clason January 24th, 2009 5:43 pm

    A group of friends and I are planning to hike Troopers Traverse in mid-July. From what I see you have done this trip in the winter by skiing, but do you have any advice on water sources along the 30 mile trek that can be utilized by water filtration systems so that we do not have to bring in our own water? Or is this a trip that does not provide any water sources along the way to filter?

    Thanks,
    Brian in Denver

  33. Lou January 24th, 2009 7:33 pm

    Brian, it’s the alpine of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Water everywhere.

  34. Valerie January 25th, 2009 7:10 pm

    Can anyone help me? I have Dynfit bindings and the screw on the back of my garmott boot got lost. I need to order that part or they won’t fit into my binding? Help me so I can get back on the hill soon..

  35. Lou January 25th, 2009 9:25 pm

    Valerie, try a Garmont dealer first, then go directly to Garmont.

    http://www.garmontusa.com/

  36. Alex March 4th, 2009 11:48 am

    Nice boot! I hope the Titan will come in sizes (32 or even more) for people who really want and really need such a boot: 2 m Titans who weigh > 100 kg. There is a market for large sizes, especially for stiff boots, and Dynafit and others should recognise this fact.

    Valerie, I just saw your comment: The screw in one of my boots (Scarpa Laser) broke. I drilled the remaining part out and used a slightly longer screw + epoxy. It has been working for 13 months now.

  37. Dave March 6th, 2009 4:37 pm

    Hah! I’m gonna get a pair of Titans just ’cause Justin thinks they are so ugly. Wide? Sign me up. I’ll still need to blow out the PU in the toebox to make room for my fat American flippers. I was actually just about to get a pair of Zzeuses to replace my Zzeros. Maybe I’ll wait for next year’s wider Zzeus.

    Federico – any chance you’ll make a stiff boot like the Titan that doesn’t have the heavy interchangable soles? Seriously, I’m worried that I won’t be able to do much to widen the toebox enough for my EE-width foot (yup, grasso americano).

  38. Chris Weber April 12th, 2009 7:02 pm

    Searched for anything related to painting ski gear, and saw this.
    So, I have the old G3 El Hombre skis with the wrestler graphics and want to paint them a bit…one because they’re ugly and two because they scare my wife (and I like skiing with her). I’m thinking I’ll do the same as a bike paint–couple coats of primer, then top-coats, then clear coats. Stickers don’t hold and don’t look great, so paint seems my best bet.
    Any recommendations or tips?
    :)

  39. Bob October 8th, 2009 2:09 am

    Anyone know where to test dynafit setups in Verbier or Chamonix? I get no response from the contact email on the website and the dealer locator includes shops that I know don’t rent dynafit. Tks Bob

  40. Lou October 8th, 2009 10:20 am

    Bob, it’s weird you get get anywhere with that… sorry I don’t have a definitive answer. Anyone else?

  41. Bob October 8th, 2009 10:34 am

    Apparently there are some test days in Austria but that’s a bit far to travel! Given we’re practically on the Haute Route and have the Patrouille des Glaciers this year I would have thought there must be somewhere to try out Dynafits latest range before buying?

  42. Bob October 11th, 2009 10:46 am

    Can anyone compare the Titan (or Zzeus) to the Garmont Endorphin MG? Particularly related to downhill performance in challenging conditions? Are they significantly more responsive? Tks Bob

  43. Sam D December 14th, 2009 12:00 pm

    I tried on the Titan yesterday and loved it. Only problem is the toe was just a bit too short. I saw the other post about punching out the toe, given the interface with the interchangeable toepieces. My question is how much toe space should I expect to gain as a result of thermomolding? That is, how much will the calf/heel area relax and let my foot slide back into position? I have never thermomolded a liner before.

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