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KneeBinding — Part 1 — Unboxed

By Lou Dawson | July 25, 2016  
Knee Binding unboxed.

KneeBinding unboxed. Intended to prevent certain types of knee injuries.

Many of you WildSnowers have asked about creating a ski touring binding that truly releases to the side at both toe and heel — ostensibly to better protect against knee blowout. We don’t have that in the touring world — yet. But in the alpine skiing world, KneeBinding is one of the first* with a modicum of lateral heel release specifically designed to defend your ligaments.

(We are a bit uncertain as to how we should be writing the name of this product. The binding has what appears to be the word Knee printed on it, while the company name in the documentation is KneeBinding Inc., and the name is written as KneeBinding in all the product literature. I’ll use “KneeBinding.”)

These sorts of “new” knee protective bindings (see notes below) are not the first ski bindings to provide lateral release at the heel. Older version of Tyrolia Diagonal comes to mind, though its lateral heel feature was not intended to mitigate ACL injury but rather to assist in protecting against spiral fractures. Current model Tyrolia Diagonal model releases upward at the toe in a mode and is indeed claimed to protect against knee injury. Other various bindings over the decades have provided side release at both toe and heel, examples being Moog, Miller, and Alsop. While such bindings possibly did mitigate the chance of a knee ligament injury, they were next to impossible to ski aggressively at normal release settings without accidental release.

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Throwback Thursday: 1971 Marble Ski Area Chairlifts, Colorado

By Lou Dawson | July 21, 2016  

A little Colorado cowboy throwback for all you Wildsnow readers around the world…

Marble chairlift as it looked about 15 years ago.

Marble chairlift as it looked about fifteen years ago. I’ve heard the cable is still hanging. They should start it moving again! Click images to enlarge.

The year was 1971, anyone with a golf shirt and a friendly banker could start a ski area in Colorado. A resort near the town of Marble was one such endeavor. Marble fizzled for various reasons (see below). For fun, check out this nifty report from the Aspen Times, 1971. If you know what it’s like up there, you’ll see the humor in this article, perhaps tongue-in-cheek repeating the downright weird plans of the developers. Paving the “airstrip” might be the winner pipe dream. If you saw it, you’ll know why. Ending in a lake, short, tall trees and power lines to either side and constrained by the Crystal River. It’s still used for small plane hobby flights, but paving it?

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Goal Zero Nomad 7 and Venture 30 Solar Charge — Review

By Louie Dawson | July 20, 2016  

Late this spring, a few friends and I did a ski traverse and ski mountaineering trip on the Monarch Icefield, in western British Colombia. This was a somewhat new type of trip for me; rather than a stationary aircraft assisted camp, we were fully self-sufficient for 15 days of rough travel through glaciers, thick forests, and high peaks.

Although such an adventure is an escape from civilization, we couldn’t leave all our modern devices behind. We brought along a number of battery operated tools to make the trip smoother, and to add a bit of comfort. A lightweight solar charging setup was needed to keep everything running.

Charging up in the solar oven of the Monarch Icefield.

Charging up in the solar oven of the Monarch Icefield.

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  Your Comments

  • Terry: Lou, a little off topic here, but being anonymous on the internet is actual...
  • See: With the understanding that this is a skiing website, so some knowledge of ...
  • See: Lou, you make the rules, of course, but I think the discussion is interesti...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Everyone, I totally understand reluctance to use real names on web forums. ...
  • JCCJ: Mr. Howell, I am not employed by any binding manufacturer, including ‘M’. I...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Okay, I'll keep an eye on things. Everyone take it easy. Lou...
  • Rick Howell: @Lou: It's not a troll attack against me, personally: JCCJ has written a ...
  • Lou Dawson 2: I guess I need a technical troll detector (smile)? I didn't see any persona...
  • Rick Howell: @JCCJ: Regarding your "Point 2": You are incorrect about strain across t...
  • Rick Howell: Also @ JCCJ: p.s. — the Andriacchi study that you link is part of my refer...
  • Rick Howell: @JCCJ: Sorry to disappoint your attempted assassination (Lou — you might c...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Thanks JCCJ, appreciate the interesting input. Lou...
  • Lou Dawson 2: I made a mistake in evaluating the binding and didn't notice that the toe c...
  • JCCJ: I applaud Mr. Howell for his efforts and passion for improving skier safety...
  • Lou Dawson 2: See, regarding the early Tyrolia Diagonal, I liked the concept and skied th...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Rudi, the lateral release of the boot heel at the KneeBinding heel is to th...
  • Rudi: Why does the action of the Look binding not count as a lateral release, bec...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Thanks Frame, we had some problems on the admin side of things due to the n...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Frame, the pivot action is limited, just enough to let your boot out near a...
  • Frame: All looking good on the mobile site Lou.Went straight to mobile version. An...
  • Frame: Lou, When the heel unit is pivotting, what happens to the brake arms? Wi...
  • Ed: This is fascinating having seen the KneeBindings in Europe the past few sea...
  • mtnrunner2: Thanks Lou, a sober, scientific appraisal as always : ) I seriously cons...
  • Rick Howell: Scientific proof regarding the interaction between ski bindings and knee in...
  • Rick Howell: Hello See: You are correct. Best regards, Rick Howell, Howell Ski Bind...
  • Rick Howell: Hi Lou: The U.S. Patent Office disagrees. Kindest regards, Rick Howell, ...
  • See: I skied for a while on early Tyrolia Diagonal bindings and my recollection ...
  • Lou Dawson 2: P.S., this might be too geeky, but it should be said we now have "server si...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Ok, that sounds pretty good. Appreciate you messing around with it. It's...
  • Jim Milstein: I cleared History and Website Data, which incidentally cleared all that for...

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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.

All material on this website is copyrighted, the name WildSnow is trademarked, permission required for reproduction (electronic or otherwise) and display on other websites. PLEASE SEE OUR COPYRIGHT and TRADEMARK INFORMATION.

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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