With shop aprons on, we set up the Marker jig to mount my new Marker Tour AT bindings. A proper jig makes the job easier, but Marker gives thorough details with a paper jig you can tape in place. Just make sure you find the boot mounting mark on the skis!
With a brand new pair of women’s specific backcountry touring skis — K2 SideKicks, a box of Marker Tour bindings, and snowy Alaskan peaks right out my backdoor, I was on the lookout for a guru to help me assemble my shred sticks. Long time Alaskan local, Gary Stambaugh, was the man and I entered his garage/warehouse/condo cave for a tutorial on mounting skis. Gary has been skiing Juneau’s local resort, Eaglecrest, for 37 years, was around for the heli-ski beginnings up in Haines, helped pioneer glacier mountain guiding with Juneau based helicopter companies, has worked in ski shops long gone, and has patrolled the ski area. Now that he’s “retired,” he runs a “ski shop” out of his garage for fun. Business is word of mouth…”Hey Gary, I got your number from so and so…” His work is bomber. Not only did I glean information about the best skiing in southeast Alaska from a man who’s seen it all, but I learned the ins and outs of mounting AT bindings.
It is imperative to find the mounting marks on the skis, and make sure they're in the same location. It's smart to double check with a measuring tape and carefully mark so you can see it with the jig on.
Next find the proper drill bit, size 9.5 as stated in the paperwork with the bindings.
Time to start drilling! I was so nervous, but the step drill bit and jig leave little room for error.
The holes are drilled, now add some glue and one ski is done!
Concentrating on the task. I don't want to mess up these beauties!
Gary checks my work. What a great experience learning this hands on. I now have a greater understanding for my ski setup and an appreciation for the fine details in ski tuning.
After the bindings are in place, we set the AFD gliding plate to the right height using Marker's specialty tool. Red means the height is too tight and your toe won't release easily.
After careful pulling, and adjustment of the forward screw, we got the green.
Here you can see the gliding plate in action. This feature is something new to me, as I come from a tele background.
Torque check to ensure proper release of the toes and adjustment of the DINs.
After testing the release, Gary says this setup is good as gold.
Perfectly mounted bindings if I do say so! We add 6 layers of soft yellow wax to ensure these new skis stay tuned for the early season. It's important to impregnate new skis with wax to ensure their long life.
If you’re in the market for Marker Tour bindings, find them here.
For a sweet pair of women’s AT skis with perfectly pre-cut skins, check out the K2 SideKick.