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Triangle Traverse = Colorado Grand Traverse X 3

By Lisa Dawson | March 29, 2017  

The Grand Traverse race is a challenging ski mountaineering contest — a 40 mile push between the Rocky Mountain towns of Crested Butte and Aspen. The race terrain varies between alpine steeps, to resort downhills, to flats the competitors skate. Multiple skill sets required. This year’s winners, John Gaston and Max Taam, broke the course record with a spectacular 6 hour 37 minute finish. Bravo!

First place finishers with Crested But

First place finishers John Gaston and Max Taam with Crested Beautician and perennial race volunteer, Glo Cunningham.

The new course record of 6.5 hours is impressive. We were equally blown away after speaking with top ten finishers Rohan Roy and Travis Colber (5th place men’s, 6th overall). After crossing the finish line and casually stepping out of their bindings, they looked fresh and energetic, as if they could keep right on going. And indeed, they would. These hard men skied from their hometown of Leadville, to Crested Butte, completed the Grand Traverse to Aspen, and then would ski back to Leadville, via the Trooper Traverse — a magnificent tour totally about 120 miles. Pierra Menta of the U.S.?

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Atomic Salomon Backland-MTN Binding Heel Breakdown

By Lou Dawson | March 28, 2017  
Backland-MTN heel unit, in this case the Atomic version in orange and black.

Backland-MTN heel unit, in this case the Atomic version in orange and black.

Break it down! The Backland-MTN is a beautifully executed classic tech binding that combines both vertical and lateral release under the control of one U-spring. How do they do it? We dig in.

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Cuff Cant (Angle) Scott Cosmos III Ski Touring Boot

By Lou Dawson | March 27, 2017  

Classic WildSnow modshop crazy-ness. Take it as you will. First concept: Scott Cosmos III is VERY nice (available fall 2017). Second concept: Scott Cosmos III does not include cuff alignment. Third concept: Cuff alignment, as witnessed at Atomic FIS shop and as many of you readers know, is valid. Fourth concept: Atomic Backland and Hawx reversible cuff bushings will be available as a retail SKU. Fifth concept: We have the tooling. Sixth concept: We are bloggers. Enjoy.

Yes Virginia, this is a somewhat virgin (skied once) Cosmos 3.

Yes Virginia, this is a somewhat virgin (skied once) Cosmos 3. I like these boots. External lean lock, fit my feet (with a few tweaks), probably a 125 flex. Easy on and off due to tongue shell construction. But dang, the cuff alignment rivet present in version 2 is gone. Not so much of a disaster, actually, as those things are problematic (they move, come loose, etc.). What’s better is to simply drill the cuff pivot-rivet holes where you want them so the cuff aligns with your lower leg bone — otherwise known a the tibial shaft. Like they do for World Cup racers at Atomic in Austria. And we do here at WildSnow dot com in podunk Colorado.

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  Your Comments

  • See: Matus, I have some bindings that I don’t consider entirely trustworthy. I t...
  • Matus: What about just trusting that normal combinations work. And they do....
  • Lou2: See I'm leaving that to Skialper for now. Bear in mind that to be fair to t...
  • NT: bad ass. would be curious to learn the route taken to get to cb from leadvi...
  • See: In my opinion, Wildsnow would be providing a very valuable service by doing...
  • John Baldwin: Thanks for the link Ryana. Any experience using the bindings? They look rea...
  • Dan: @slcpunk: Check out Mountain Equipment Coop in Vancouver, BC....
  • Lou Dawson 2: See, yeah, all they have to do is increase toe spring rate and can thus end...
  • See: If Atomic chose to provide more options for lateral and vertical release va...
  • slcpunk: I was actually looking at these from one of the euro web sites (telemark-py...
  • justin: What's the expected MSRP on these babies?...
  • SteveR: I believe that Kreuzspitze have set their non-adjustable race binding up to...
  • Lou Dawson 2: PaulB, yeah, the Backland-MTN toe screws are on a 40 mm wide pattern, indus...
  • Lou Dawson 2: See, the U-spring steel bears on the shiny steel gliding surfaces. I exagge...
  • Matus: The heel is not stressed so much (the rotation forces cannot be effectively...
  • paulb: Any thoughts on how these will mount on the volkl bmt h-mounting zone? Tha...
  • VTskier: Just to be clear, the binding I mentioned above, (bought in Val) is the At...
  • XXX_er: " The spring controls both side and upward release, the two are not adjusta...
  • See: Another nice thing about helmets— you get to the top of the climb, it’s win...
  • See: I'm probably not understanding something, but it looks to me like the U spr...
  • Christian: Doh! Never mind, wasn't reading the descriptions of the different cuts clea...
  • Christian: Any experiences on straight skin all the way down on wider skis? eg a 110mm...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Seems what folks need to know is that if you do not need heel flat on ski, ...
  • Lee Lau: Alex - the downside to using the Expert spring is that you can't easily wha...
  • Matus: VTskier, what is considered wider ski? I ski on 107mm skis and have my Raid...
  • VTskier: Just picked up a set in Val d'Isere. Locals in climbing/guide shop there (M...
  • Matus: IONs are OK but not light enough....
  • Lou Dawson 2: Regarding helmets, while I was skiing uphill today and thinking (imagine th...
  • Jack: Jim, See. Thanks for the advice. The G3 IONs appeal to me (they look coo...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Xer, I guess I did need to do a video (smile). The spring controls both sid...

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Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring 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 ski touring news and information here.

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Backcountry skiing is dangerous. 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 templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow owners and contributors of liability for use of said items for ski touring or any other use.

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