How to ID the latest G3 ION 10-12 Ski Touring Bindings

By Lou Dawson | April 25, 2018  

G3 has made a few “in line” changes over the retailing history of the ION ski touring binding, not to mention a recall. In my opinion most of this is important — if you find bindings on sale this spring be sure you’re getting current hardware. Below shows how to ID the latest versions of the ION 10 and 12 (those with brakes).

(From what we’ve seen, the LT version of the ION (sold without brakes) is less subject to changes. Near as we can tell, most any LTs you find in retail are fine. If you’re looking at a pair of LT (new or used) be aware you’re not getting the latest unless the top plate/cap on the heel unit is grey plastic with a little metal showing on the edge where it mates with the lower heel unit housing. Overall, considering the sordid history of tech binding defects, buying used bindings of nearly any brand is problematic. If you choose to buy used, do the best you can with Google and enlist the help of knowledgeable shop employees who unfortunately bear the brunt of cracking metal and exploding plastic. See the bottom of this post for more about the LT version.)

The two most important differences, in my opinion.

The two most visible differences, in my opinion. Thickened cap on the heel unit, with exposed metal, and differently shaped brake retraction hook. Improvements such as rotation lock are not easily visible.

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Kokanee Glacier Cabin — Canadian Flurries Trip Report

By Julia Dubinina | April 24, 2018  
Can you spot the cabin tucked away in the trees by the lake?

Can you spot the Kokanee Glacier Cabin tucked away in the trees by the lake?

Oh Canada, would my country of origin disown me if I confessed my love for you? Shhhh, please don’t tell.

Louie and I were psyched to be invited on a trip up to Kokanee this March. After wrapping up a forever week at work, we headed out to Nelson, B.C. on a Friday evening. The next morning, after final packing touches, our whole crew headed to the safety briefing at Kootenay Valley Helicopters.

Kokanee Glacier Cabin is located next to Kalso Lake in Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park. The hut was built in 2002, with funds collected primarily from donations. There is an older cabin nearby, called Slocan Chief, that was built in the late 1890s and originally used by mine workers. Starting around 1922, as Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park was established, a group of outdoor enthusiasts volunteered their time to keep the cabin standing to be used by various backcountry travelers for many years. Now it is preserved as a museum and a cozy place for a quick stop during a tour around the area.

Due to the growing interest in backcountry skiing, one must enter a lottery to be able to snag a spot at the Kokanee. If you win the lottery, the only option is to book the whole hut for a week, which in the winter accommodates 15 people total. We are lucky to have some proactive friends, who snagged possibly the ideal week! (Thanks Chris and Theresa!)

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Mammut Barryvox S Avalanche Beacon – Review

By Jonathan Cooper | April 23, 2018  
BarryvoxS with larger icons. The running man tells you the victim is far away so get a move on!

Mammut Barryvox S.

The avalanche beacon has come a long ways since inception. I have only witnessed this process for a little over a decade, and even during that short span I’ve seen huge progress. Along those lines, when the Barryvox S Beacon hit the market last year it was apparent Mammut had achieved ever more leaps in technology and features — a slew of items addressing the needs of both recreational and professional users. Check out our first look post here.

Although age-old saying “the best beacon out there is the one you know how to use,” still rings true, considering the latest tech it may be time to learn how to use something new. To that end, I upgraded to the “S,” with resulting review.

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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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