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.
A little Colorado cowboy throwback for all you Wildsnow readers around the world…
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?
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.OLDER POSTS »