Plum Tech Bindings 2012/2013 First Look — Stomp Blocks & Alu

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This post by WildSnow.com blogger  

A guy on a motorcycle zoomed by here for an espresso the other day. “Check out what I’ve got in this box,” he whispered, “Plum.”

Want this under your Christamas Tree? A box with every model of scrumptions mono-block machined Plum bindings.

The dance of the Sugar Plum Christmas Fairy. Want this under your tree? A box with every model of scrumptious mono-block machined Plum bindings. They look almost edible.

Plum for 2012-13 displays response to true consumer wants and needs. What might those needs be? Optional ramp angle. Wider mounting platform. Durability. Simplicity. The exact ethos of the original Lowtech and Dynafit tech bindings that Plum is derived from due to the expiration of patents.

Plum for 2012-13 displays nearly instant response to true consumer wants and needs. Wider base plates and mount platform executed by providing a separate mounting plate that is inserted under the regular toe unit. Stomp Blocks support under the heel, beef beef beef. Optional ramp angle. Durability. Simplicity. The exact ethos of the original Lowtech and Dynafit tech bindings that Plum is derived from due to the expiration of patents.

Another view of the backcountry skiing bindings from Plum.

Another view of the backcountry skiing bindings from Plum.

Badger and Yak models have significantly less ramp angle than most tech bindings.

By virtue of their toe mounting stack plate raising the toe higher, Badger and Yak models have significantly less ramp angle than most tech bindings, including other Plum models.

A hit of espresso at our Euro hang, to honor this totally Euro representation of aluminum craft work.

A hit of espresso at our Euro hang, to honor this totally Euro representation of aluminum craft work.

More backcountry skiing detail.

More backcountry skiing detail.

Guide XS (no climbing post) and Guide. The original head turners from Plum.

Guide XS (no climbing post) and Guide. The original head turners from Plum.

Difference in width of the Plum backcountry skiing bindings.

Difference in width of the Plum backcountry skiing bindings mounting plate systems. For most skiers, we feel differences in binding mounting width offer no more than a psychological advantage, but perhaps some riders need more width for one reason or another. Raising the toe unit up and having less ramp angle, however, can be important for many of us.

Plum Race includes a length adjustment track under the rear unit. Makes setup and mounting much easier.

Plum Race includes a length adjustment track under the rear unit. Makes setup and mounting much easier.

I begged for more information such as MSRP prices, exact weights, and specific model names. These arcane details were promised and will no doubt be added here eventually. For example, will we ever have a Plum ski brake to test? Or, will backcountry.com ever sell Plum? Mysteries of the universe. Meanwhile, nice stuff!

Comments

64 Responses to “Plum Tech Bindings 2012/2013 First Look — Stomp Blocks & Alu”

  1. Pablo September 12th, 2012 8:56 am

    Hi Lou!
    Last december, here in Spain, I made a first contact review of the Plum Guide for Barrabes, a well known mountain shop in Spain.

    For those who can read in spanish is here: http://www.barrabes.com/revista/noticias/2-7456/nuevas-fijaciones-plum-guide-alternativa.html

    Lately I use them on Chamonix with some Atomic Access 100mm wide, and I was very impressed on how well these bindings works even in a 100mm wide ski.

    With the new additions I think they actually have a complete range for every kind of skier.
    Unique objection, same as you: When we can see plum brakes?

    Real good stuff here!

    See you!

    Pablo

  2. Golgot September 12th, 2012 9:15 am

    A real good French stuff here! :p

  3. jpvallone September 12th, 2012 9:18 am

    Ski Brakes are coming, and the larger plate of the two bindings (not the Yak) is called the J’Envoie Du Gros. Which as was explained to me is kind of a slang expression and means something along the lines of (I’m a badass or I send big , I go big, ), something like that.

    There is more information on the website and you can use the English version of the site as well. Keep in mind folks, there is only going to be a very limited run of these this year, 100 pairs of the J’Envoie Du Gros and 300 pairs of the Yak.

    On another note, Most folks out there need to understand that not all skis will be compatible with the mounting width of the hole patterns. For anyone out there that is lucky enough to get their hands on a pair of these, you need to check with your ski manufacturer to find out if your ski is compatible with the mounting pattern. It has nothing to do with how wide your skis are, so make sure your tech knows what they are doing. As Lou mentioned, and I concur to some level, the width is really more psychological in most peoples minds much the way folks think about needing 16 din to tour as well in my opinion. But nonetheless having the reduced ramp angle could be the most advantageous feature for folks looking for a different ride on a tech set up.

    Plenty of information here.
    http://fixation-plum.com/fr/

  4. m@ September 12th, 2012 9:23 am

    Lou, does the “mounting stack plate” also function as a swap plate of sorts?
    IE. Could a person purchase one set of bindings and extra plates for other skis?

  5. Patrick September 12th, 2012 9:26 am

    Yes! I have been waiting to see what you say about Plum. I have seen them and have a couple friends that ride them. Evidently very bombproof for a tech binding.

  6. Lou Dawson September 12th, 2012 9:36 am

    Don’t mean to put a damper on the awe, but the following should be mentioned. Patrick and all, while no doubt as durable as anything out there, Plum has had breakage problems as well. That sort of thing seems to come with the territory concerning tech bindings. In the case of Plum, the heel pins broke. This has happened to other tech binding makers as well. Thing is, expecting those heel pins to hold the forces of some modern skiers is unrealistic. Hence the stomp plates. Kudos to Plum for providing those.

    BTW, the stomp plate is not a new concept. It’s been custom made and used by various skiers for years.

    In the end, we NEED tech 2.0. Wider heel fitting on boot that accepts beefier pins. Who will be the first?

  7. Lou Dawson September 12th, 2012 9:38 am

    m, I don’t see why you couldn’t use the toe plate as a swap plate, perhaps combined with a heel base-plate. Good idea.

    As always with this sort of thing, the question will be what parts Plum will sell as separate pieces.

    Lou

  8. Patrick September 12th, 2012 10:18 am

    Agreed they are not perfect… but they certainly are sexy!

    Wider fitting in the heels would be huge! Seems like everyone has been playing around with the toe pieces in the last couple years…

  9. Lou Dawson September 12th, 2012 10:34 am

    Patrick, the key to tech bindings is in the boot fittings. They are the limiting factor now. Whomever is bold enough to make a never version of the fittings along with getting them into a boot, and a binding to fit, will rule a segment of the market, in my opinion.

    But for those of us who have been using the present tech system for decades now and had it work great for everything from Denali summit descents to mellow hut trips, changing things is not that important.

    Lou

  10. Steve September 12th, 2012 11:08 am

    The Guide XS is an awesome binding. Without the heel post you are forced to skin more efficiently (11 to 13 degrees up). This often leads to beating many people to the top who insist on using existing ski tracks that are too steep, but with much less effort.

  11. SaSSafraS1232 September 12th, 2012 5:00 pm

    I hope they make that detachable heel post availible as an option for the existing guide bindings. That plus a shim under the toe would make for an ideal ramp angle without going past horizontal skinning. It looks like you’d have to swap out the heel baseplate though…or do some machining.

  12. Birdie September 12th, 2012 5:03 pm

    Rumor on the chairlift is backcountry.com will be selling PLUM.

  13. Richard September 12th, 2012 7:25 pm

    Switching gears to sidecountry, have you had a look at the Tyrolia offering? Slightly lighter than the Salomon and Duke. Three way test coming up?

  14. Lou Dawson September 12th, 2012 7:56 pm

    Richard, sure, we’ll be messing around with all that stuff! A comparo is a good idea.

  15. jpvallone September 12th, 2012 8:14 pm

    @SaSSafra Yes you can buy the post separately and add it to your existing guide.

    @Richard, in regards to the Tyrolia, I skied on it in Italy this summer while testing some Elans. I watched Glen Plake kick out of it after his first turn and land on his hip on top of the binding. He had a huge Hematoma that laid him up for a bit. It almost cost him his trip to Manaslu. Super close call. The rest of the test skis we were on all had this binding on it, and to be quite honest, I never felt comfortable on it. It really didn’t allow me to feel the skis, much the way a duke skis. I really could never tell if I was in it either. We observed many missing parts to the bindings throughout the course of the test. And there is one component of that binding that really needs to be addressed that could be really bad.

    I have never broken the plum heal pins and I put close to 80 days on the first generation batch that had some of the breakage. I didn’t have the heal post either during that time as we didn’t receive those until mid season last year. I skied, everything and anything in between. Park, Pipe, cliffs, hard pack, Frozen slide for life, resort, Mogul lanes at mogul camps and hitting uprights, and even the Eiger. I now have about 200 days or so over the last two seasons in plums sans ski brakes, and sans leashes. I still have all my skis and my bindings are still in all the skis that I run the plum on and all still in tact. All gear is breakable, Especially if bad technique is at the helm, or if someone disassembles the binding and puts it back together themselves to go ski December hard pack. I only say that because I know the first round of photos I saw with this breakage was under those variables. But for the percentage that broke in the first run, It was nothing compared to the competition. Hands down, this is the best binding I have ever skied on, but I guess that is my opinion and you should all try it and be your own judges.

    Psyched to see this binding make it’s way to the states, it’s long overdue.

  16. Noah September 12th, 2012 9:00 pm

    It wasn’t the first gen Guides that had the majority of the failures. TGR has a pretty good running tally of how many failures were reported of each generation.

    My pair failed on the first day. JP, you might be referencing my photos of the binding disassembled after the failure. Just to be clear, I only took them apart after the pin broke, not before.

    The more I ski tech binders, the more I feel that they all offer about the same ski performance with only variations in cosmetics and a handful of features. I also agree with Lou about the “wider base/more power” being mostly a metal reassurance.

    Anyway, I hope this generation of Plums has less issues. I am also interested to see if the Look branded Guides catch on a quickly as the Plums with all of the hype. For now, I’m sticking to my Vertical FT’s.

  17. Noah September 12th, 2012 9:01 pm

    *mental reassurance

  18. rangerjake September 12th, 2012 9:09 pm

    Not only have I seen heel pins break on the Plum Guides, but the whole length of the pins came exploding out of the top of the binding heel housing. This was because machine screws were used to thread into the polymer housing. They were either stripped out of the factory or stripped from force in the field.

    And BOOM. Binding explosion.

    Everything fails and everything succeeds. I have heard an equal number of horror stories about Dynafits, G3s, etc. And also many love affairs with Plums.

    But I must say I thoroughly dislike the fore/aft adjustment on the Guide. If you have to do much adjustment for different boots it is a royal PITA.

  19. Bob Perlmutter September 12th, 2012 9:43 pm

    To add more grist to the rumor mill, it is my understanding that for the 2013-14 season, Plum will produce a binding branded for the Lange/Dynastar/Look family of products to compliment the Dynastar Cham HM series of AT skis.

  20. Jailhouse Hopkins September 12th, 2012 10:15 pm

    Brakes are coming but will be extremely limited this winter. Dynafit’s fore/aft adjustment is certainly more convenient but does it hold the heel in place more securely? Close to $100 for a couple of heel support posts? Give me a freaking break (no pun intended).
    I remain utterly amazed that the heel pins do not break with much higher frequency amongst all tech manufacturers.

  21. Lou Dawson September 13th, 2012 6:22 am

    Jail, I’ve been told by insider engineers that the heel pins are indeed difficult to make strong enough. Word is that the slightest mistake in manufacturing can result in failure at the consumer level. There is virtually no room for error — no extra strength to provide a “cushion” that absorbs manufacturing errors. This is the same for ALL tech bindings since all have to have the same diameter. The tech binding actually work much better with slightly longer pins such as those of the Dynafit Radicals and Verticals, but the longer pins are even more sensitive to breakage due to increased leverage.

    Shew, it is so much the time for tech 2.0…

  22. Jailhouse Hopkins September 13th, 2012 7:27 am

    Ain’t that the truth.
    Out of curiosity I measured the vertical distance from top of ski to the underside of my boot heel while in ski mode (Guide binding) =23mm. This, I assume, would be the height of the heel post support and as such the height of the boot heel while in the lowest touring mode.
    I then measured the vertical distance on my Vertical ST’s while in the lowest touring mode and the measurement was the same 9much to my surprise), this due to the brake being in the raised position. So the addition of the Plum heel post does not change your angle as compared to Dynafit.
    We’ll have to see what the rumoured to be Plum brake does to all this.

  23. Lou Dawson September 13th, 2012 7:35 am

    Jail, i assume you’re talking about the stomp block? With tech bindings, the “heel post” is usually another name for the climbing heel elevator…

    For the Plum or any tech binding to function properly, I’m pretty sure any sort of stomp block under the heel of the boot has to have a few millimeters of clearance, so it’s probably a bit below the 23 mm you measured, but not by much.

  24. Jailhouse Hopkins September 13th, 2012 7:42 am

    That’s what I’m referring to, Plum calls it a heel pad, my mistake.
    Isn’t the kid studying Industrial Design? Get him on the Tech 2.0!

  25. Mark Worley September 13th, 2012 8:55 am

    This post is gonna make me late for work! Plums look AMAZING. Briefly skied some last October. Very nice indeed.

  26. Lou Dawson September 13th, 2012 8:59 am

    Jail, yeah, let’s call it a “stomp block” or “heel pad.”

    Don’t worry, the discussions of tech 2.0 have been flying for quite a while now. If I had an extra $10,000 kicking around, I could have a prototype mounted on skis and skiing in 8 weeks, as I’ve got the resources and people to do it. It’s not that tough to design (ha ha). But actually, that’s kinda true, as the toe unit would remain the same for now, it’s just the heel unit that would change. Here are the main features of the tech 2.0 heel unit I envision:

    1. Heel post spindle would grow in diameter. Just a bit, perhaps 4 millimeters.
    2. Heel post base and spindle base would also get more beef.
    3. Heel unit in boot would widen 5 millimeters.
    4. Heel unit and pins would in turn match the 5 mm increase.
    5 Heel pins would grow slightly in diameter and lengthen one or two millimeters.
    6. Heel unit in boot would accommodate the thicker heel pins.
    7. Heel unit spindle base would rest on metal instead of ski topskin.
    8. Stomp block would be integrated with brake.

    Goal would be a boot heel fitting that could be retrofitted to existing boots by using a jig/router system. But that’s not essential other than for prototyping.

    The heel unit would weigh more, but the increase would be minimal.

  27. Lou Dawson September 13th, 2012 9:16 am

    Guys, you know what? When you really look at this whole tech binding situation, it appears most of the tech binding producers have done little more than just copy a design that went out of patent, with some incremental improvements to the engineering, but much simply cosmetic. The whole thing really looks kinda wimpy in my opinion. I mean, there are companies in China who if one has the money can copy anything and bring it to market… the only reason that has not happened with tech bindings is the market really isn’t big enough for those players to get involved. Yet, anyway.

    Not saying all the new tech bindings don’t look sexy — but look beneath the layer of cosmetics and there is really not much going on….

    Who has the brass cajones to bring something truly new to market? We be watching.

  28. Bob September 13th, 2012 9:32 am

    Whatever happened to the Trab binding? It looked like it had great elasticity in the toe and had a more “traditional” heel unit. It looked like it would be heavier than current Tech bindings, but the potential elasticity and retention looked great. I thought Scarpa had agreed to work on a new boot with the necessary heel fittings.

  29. Lou Dawson September 13th, 2012 9:48 am

    Bob, it just faded. Probably too expensive or else they ran into technical problems such as weight. The European market is much more weight sensitive than ours. It’s amazing how many charging skiers you see in the Alps who simply use tech race bindings on big skis. No safety straps, no brakes, dial it all the way up and charge. Looks like a good way to keep the knee doctors in business, anyway. But with universal health care, who cares? Yeah, now we know the key to the market. Get Obamacare fully functioning, and watch the binding market take off like a rocket since safety concerns will be a thing of the past!

  30. SaSSafraS1232 September 13th, 2012 9:53 am

    @jp

    My guides are the original version. They don’t have the undercut and screw hole machined into the front of the heel pieces’ base plates. So I’d need both the post AND new base plates. (Or I could take them to a local machine shop, which might be cheaper than shipping from Europe anyways.)

  31. jpvallone September 13th, 2012 11:58 am

    @SaSSafraS1232 It is very easy to make your own heal post. Mr Plake gave me a pair of Elans with a guide on them that he had installed his own posts on before Plum started making the posts for us. All my other pairs now have the factory post, but it’s just as good to make your own. It’s quite simple. You can find most every thing you need from the hardware store. Using a piece of aluminum with a cap that can take a wood screw, you can measure and cut the piece to length from an old ski pole, or any thing similar for that matter. I will try and dig up a picture for you of what it looks like . Other wise my skis are in La Grave right now and I am in the states so I won’t be able to take a picture if I can’t find one.

    Lou mentioned it above, but it is very important that you leave similar space between the Heal Post (Stomp Pad or whatever you would like to call it) That you would leave between your AFD and Boot in a toe height adjustment of an alpine binding. A credit card or ID card with slight resistance is a good rule of thumb.

    As far as the brake goes, I don’t want to give too much away, but it’s probably not what most are thinking and it will be a small innovation in tech binding thinking IMO.

    Also for about €60 You can just buy the Plaque pour skis large if you already have a guide and just want to widen up and lift yourself a bit from the ski. You will be adding about 220 grams to your skis, but you will be widening your plate to 110mm.

    http://fixation-plum.com/fr/accessoires/33-plaque-pour-skis-larges-des-105mm-au-patin-3700693400220.html

    @Lou Can I email you a photo of homemade posts somewhere?

  32. Lou Dawson September 13th, 2012 12:17 pm

    jpvallone, I’ll send you an email per the one you left for your comment. Moment.

  33. Lou Dawson September 13th, 2012 12:20 pm

    Some of the names for Dynafit and other tech binding parts…

    http://www.wildsnow.com/articles/dynafit_faq/heel-breakdown.html

  34. SaSSafraS1232 September 13th, 2012 4:34 pm

    I’d love to see pics of what you did. Was it mounted directly to the ski itself?

    I was thinking since my bindings are on inserts I could put a thin metal sheet under the heel baseplate, mounting the binding through it. It would extend forward and I could mount a post on it.

  35. Lou Dawson September 13th, 2012 4:59 pm

    Sass, unless you’re using brakes you don’t need any of the junk in front of the Dynafit heel unit. Just cut all that stuff off and mount your stomp post on the ski. That’s all you have to do.

    I should add that I’m curious if you’ve had some experiences that indicated you needed a stomp post. Ever broken any pins?

    You need a bit of space between stomp post and the bottom of your boot sole, so it’s not going to do much for torsional if that’s what you’re after. Besides, tech bindings have more torsional stiffness than even many alpine bindings, so thinking you need even more is perhaps illusion?

    Curious.

    Lou

  36. See September 13th, 2012 11:04 pm

    If I were going to mount a stomp pad I’d be tempted to cut the afd off an old alpine toe piece and shim it to the correct height. But I don’t really understand exactly what the thing is for in the first place.

    Re. tech 2.0: how about a toe piece with a consistent, field selectable range of tension settings (Sportiva?) as opposed to the current locked or unlocked design?

  37. Skian September 14th, 2012 8:37 am

    You dont have to go far on the Web to know Joey knows his Shi?. This video I always use for early season stoke. I never get tired of it.

    http://vimeo.com/15315278

    Hope posting a link to a video is ok Lou?

  38. Lou Dawson September 14th, 2012 9:16 am

    Skian, sure. The subject of linkage can indeed be tricky. The spirit behind it is usually what counts. Sometimes people drop in here and leave a comment that’s obviously purposed simply to draw people away to another website. That’s annoying. But links that have a spirit of helpfulness and fun behind them are fine and good.

    Lou

  39. See September 14th, 2012 9:36 am

    To elaborate on the tech 2.0 toe piece comment: I reread the review on the Sportiva binding, and it is clearly not what I’m proposing (although some apparently claim otherwise). I am wondering about a design that would provide release tension adjustment over a useful range in ski mode (emphasis on “useful”). By “field selectable” I mean something perhaps like the current lever arrangement with multiple clicks (positions), but with each position corresponding to a consistent, reliable, quantifiable increase in toe release tension… say 2 to 6 additional “release value” units plus total lock?

  40. Lou Dawson September 14th, 2012 9:45 am

    See, yes, the Sportiva binding toe tension adjuster only works when the toe is locked in touring mode. I suppose for those who ski dowhill with the binding locked that might be considered a release “adjustment.” But considering the fact that with the toe locked, even at lower tension, the binding has no real safety release in the conventional sense, yes, the toe tension is not adjustable.

    But, there is at least one tech binding out there that has adjustable toe spring tension. I forgot which one, perhaps someone can refresh my memory, but the adjustment is done by placing tiny spacers in the spring area under the boot toe. It’s actually quite ingenious. Not that 99.9 percent of skiers ever need it… but that’s beside the point, it’s cool.

    Lou

  41. Lou Dawson September 14th, 2012 9:53 am

    See, more, G3 tried to do this with language, by calling their touring lock a “DIN Booster.” Since the Onyx isn’t TUV certified to the DIN standard, and the “DIN Booster” resulted in such high release values it effectively locked out release for perhaps all but the NFL line backer, and the “Din Booster” had only one setting, well, it isn’t exactly what we’re talking about either (grin).

    But G3 had a point, in that they saw people are wanting this sort of thing and they at least tried to respond to that need in their own way.

    Seriously though, giving the consumer yet another binding adjustment such as you are proposing, without any sort of industry standard on what that adjustment is, seems ridiculous when you think it through. Better to just address the inherent flaws in the tech binding system, such as accidental release at the toe, by making changes across the board that don’t require “adjusting on the fly” and stuff like that.

    Again, using G3 as an example, my impression from lots of communication with them is they indeed tried to solve this problem by adding more holding tension to their toe unit compared to many other tech bindings, and thus the Onyx could be much more resistant to pre-release caused by the toe wings opening to the side accidentally. but this is built into the binding, not adjustable.

    I mean, most people can hardly remember how to operate their beacon and GPS, not to mention their camera. So now we want to add more settings to ski bindings? (grin)

  42. See September 14th, 2012 10:06 am

    If it worked, I’d use it. But I also like to race sail boats, which is all about “adjusting on the fly.”

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge and insight.

  43. Skian September 14th, 2012 10:07 am

    “I love to see innovation of this category, It’s what will lead us to progress the sport”

  44. Pietro September 14th, 2012 10:28 am

    Question: why do you need clearance between the boot and the stomp plate? why not put a plate exactly under the boot sole to give more tortional rigidity? Does the plate have to be flexible? Can it be rigid?

    Thanks

  45. Lou Dawson September 14th, 2012 10:46 am

    Pietro, the tech binding is designed predicated on the boot being suspended between the heel and toe units. If the stomp plate was attempted to be “exact,” the slightest bit of ice or snow or dirt would cause you to possibly not even be able to enter the binding. More, if the boot heel is resting hard on a solid surface during side release, friction would compromise the release and could be very dangerous. Even more, as the ski flexes the distance between the plate and boot will change, and especially when the ski de-cambers (flexes away from the boot), the distance between the stomp plate and boot heel will become slightly smaller, if there is no space to absorb that, problems could result.

    I’m sure some folks with home made stomp plates have made them quite close to the boot, and perhaps figured out the optimal fit by using experimentation. Stock ones such as those of the Plum would have to have clearance if for no other reason than different brands of boots will have different thicknesses of soles, since the DIN/ISO standard for ski touring boot soles allows a variation of several millimeters in thickness.

    I’m not convinced these stomp plates would make skiing any easier (which I’m assuming is why most people would think they needed them), and in terms of preventing problems such as downward ejection from the heel pins or breakage of the heel pins they’re probably necessary for about .00001 percent of the skiers out there.

    Fun to talk about though, and the mod does have a place. It’s been in use for quite a while around Europe from what I hear.

    Lou

  46. jerimy September 14th, 2012 12:35 pm

    From the pictures it looks like there are two width options available for the adapter plates? The text isn’t clear on this point.

  47. Jailhouse Hopkins September 14th, 2012 1:17 pm

    If there has to be space between the boot and heel pad (2mm ?) is that unsupported tiny distance of “play” enough to break the heel pins? If so, what’s the point of having a heel pad?

  48. See September 15th, 2012 10:43 am

    While I don’t have any experience with power tower equipped Radicals, I haven’t heard anything that would indicate that they make a big difference as far as undesired release at the toe is concerned. I’m not aware of an across the board change that would address this flaw.The adjustable toe idea is just the best thing I’ve managed to come up with to take some of the uncertainty out of using tech bindings without totally locking the toes.

    And I guess I just like stuff I can adjust.

  49. SaSSafraS1232 September 17th, 2012 4:11 pm

    @Lou

    No, it would be purely to avoid negative ramp (i.e. heel below toe) when skinning, assuming I move to a shim under the toe to correct skiing ramp angle. Convieniently enough it seems that you reviewed this exact item today!

  50. Lou Dawson September 18th, 2012 5:57 am

    Jailhouse, the heel unit and the pins have enough flex to allow your foot to stomp down on the pad before the heel unit gives up the ghost. That’s the theory, anyway. Stomp pad also is used in touring mode to give a different angle during that lowest heel position.

  51. Lou Dawson September 18th, 2012 5:58 am

    Jerimy, yes, two widths are available. I never got clear on what options they’ll be selling as combinations, stand-alone add ons and such, but yeah, two widths. I’ve been waiting for the Plum rep to give me a concise list of the models, names, and available combinations. When that comes I’ll publish right away.

  52. Mark October 6th, 2012 12:52 am

    A boarding pal of mine has used these and rates them highly, thinking of investing myself!!

  53. Dustin Curtis October 16th, 2012 7:45 am

    Hey Lou.. Currently climbing in a set of Dukes.. Looking to invest in a lighter binding, and thinking about the Plum Guides. I’m 200 lb’s and ski hard, what’s the chance of blowing the Guides out. Also wondering if you’ve got any idea when a tech 2.0 might grace us with it’s presence. Thanks for all the killer info man.

  54. Lou Dawson October 16th, 2012 8:16 am

    Hi Dustin, thanks for dropping by! If I were you, I’d go ahead and get the latest Plum binding if that’s what’s looking good to you. Be sure whoever mounts them does an excellent job using epoxy, and so forth. You’ll have to make a decision whether to lock out lateral release or not while skiing… experiment and start out easy. Only problem that’s tough to solve with any tech binding is if you come out vertically at the heel when landing air or skiing bumps.

    Tech 2.0 might be a while… it might be up to us gear modders to make it happen.

    Lou

  55. Dustin Curtis October 16th, 2012 9:34 am

    Right on Lou thanks. Your opinion is widely respected around here, and I’ve been using Wildsnow for most of my research lately. Plum bindings are brand new thought for me. The more I’m looking at them the more I’m diggin em. I’m in north west Montana, and so far havn’t met anyone skiing them. Don’t mean to sound like a dip s*** here but what exactly is the difference between the yak’s and the J’ envoise du gros? Din’s look to be the same, and like I was saying this is all new to me. Also wondering if you have any thoughts on the on3p pillowfights, other than the most beautifull top sheets on the planet….lol

  56. Skian December 18th, 2012 6:31 pm

    @Dustin

    The difference between the Yak and the Phat boy is the Yak is a 50mm ctr to ctr and the Phat Boy is 70mm ctr to ctr on the mounting hole pattern. Other than that they are exactly the same system. Both have the added toe elevation and the additional integrated touring pad in the heel.

  57. kenton peters January 30th, 2013 11:03 am

    Thanks for all the info on the Plum bindings!

    I’m putting a pair of Plum Guides on my new BD Aspects (90 mm waist) and need to purchase a pair of ski crampons. Which B&D crampon style fits the Plum? Do Dynafit crampons work with the Guide binding?

    Thanks

  58. Steve Schneider February 1st, 2013 9:41 pm

    FYI, I purchased a pro deal pair Guide bindings a couple weeks ago directly from the factory in France – Felisaz Sas – Fixation-Plum. No VAT, no customs costs to the US, just $51 US for packing and shipping through FED EX.
    The folks at Felisaz Sas were very helpful in communicating by email and answering my questions. Their R&D person, Mathieu Fritsch (spelling?) said that brakes are being tested this winter, and expect to see them available for next season. They can be retrofitted on the Guides that I purchased.
    Now the website has been down for about a week, so I don’t know what is going on with it?
    I have not yet skied these bad boys- but they sure look clean and well engineered.

    Steve on Mt Baker Ski Patrol

  59. John July 11th, 2013 1:17 pm

    Hey Lou,

    I just purchased a pair of the 1st gen Guides off TGR. Super stoked, but I wanted to know if there was a DIY option for the heel pad? Im a big guy (175 5’11 but 21) and I was hoping there was to relieve the stress on the pins.

    Thanks

  60. Scot January 8th, 2014 1:00 pm

    Good day, I have the Plume Mtn. Spirits, I love them, wish there were brakes but there great. Question: recently, when pulling up on the toe lock lever its soo tight I feel like ill break off the lever, do I put some grease on it? bring it in to a tech???

    thanks,
    S

  61. Lou Dawson January 8th, 2014 1:17 pm

    John, make stomp blocks out of cutting board material if you want. Scot, I have no idea, better contact Plum customer service or a dealer. Lou

  62. Rick Shaw January 8th, 2014 8:07 pm

    Lou,
    I’m looking all over the place and can’t find where you should position the Plum heel pad relative to boot sole clearance, obviously in descent mode ..

    Thanks

  63. Rick Shaw January 8th, 2014 8:18 pm

    Edit to my post at 8:07,

    I guess I should clarify why I’m installing the heel pads on my Guides is because I shimmed the toes up with the 1/4″ B&D shims.

    Without the pads, when skinning on flat terrain, seems like there’d be a lot of leverage on the toe piece.

    Thanks again

  64. Lou Dawson January 8th, 2014 11:56 pm

    Rick, I’m several thousand miles away from workshop etc. but can say that if you’re installing a stomp block under heel, you want it set so that when the boot is in the binding in downhill mode there is perhaps 2 mm or space between the boot sole and the stomp block, when in touring mode, the boot heel rests on the stomp block unless you’re using your heel risers. If you don’t care about the stomp block for downhill mode (for most people it’s psychological nothing more) just set it up so it works in touring mode to keep your heel high enough, but allows some clearance when boot is in downhill mode. 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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Backcountry skiing is a dangerous sport. You may be killed or severely injured if you do any form of ski mountaineering, skimo randonnee and randonnée skiing. The information and news on this website is intended only as general information. While the authors and editors of the information on this website make every effort to present useful information about ski mountaineering, due to human error the information, text and images contained within this website may be inaccurate, false, or out-of-date. By using, reading or viewing the information provided on this website, you agree to absolve the owners of Wild Snow as well as content contributors of any liability for injuries or losses incurred while using such information. Furthermore, you agree to use any of this website's information, maps, photos, or binding mounting instructions or templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow its owners and contributors of any liability for use of said items for backcountry skiing or any other use.

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