A Walk Around ISPO Munich


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | February 1, 2016      

It’s three times the OR show in impact, without dogs dragging leashes around your knees and just enough small children to be amusing. It’s Euro, it’s colors, it is so big you use escalators and people movers to get around. Luckily the complex is a decommissioned international airport. A few impressions from my three days at The ISPO.

When you walk into the repurposed airport, you know you're in for sensory overload.

When you walk into the repurposed airport, you know you’re in for sensory overload. Bigger than life, and also weirder than life, it’s like the brands are multiplying way past any Malthusian prediction to eventually populate the planet, pushing humans aside, filling the world with nylon and ptex.

I usually do my ISPO focus on hard goods, mostly ski gear. But every year my mix is different. My take on this 2016 show was driven by the realization that in the ski touring segment this is a time of incremental improvements in existing products. Even the new stuff is incremental, for example Arcteryx Voltair airbag pack being an electric unit following BD Jetforce. I honestly could not find anything supremely disruptive as has happened in the past with gear such as Dynafit Beast, Marker Kingpin and Fritschi Vipec. Not to mention what was perhaps the most disruptive ski touring product in recent history: Dynafit TLT5 boot introduced in 2010. Below are my impressions. I probably missed a few things as I’m only good for a few hours of mouth breathing gear blogging. But I tried.

I try to enjoy it but I'm really more cut out for being in the mountains, like when I took this photo of Louie just about the day before.

I try to enjoy it but I’m really more cut out for being in the mountains, like when I took this photo of Louie in Austria about 48 hours before.

First things first. Plumbing and balloon of Mammut airbag backpack are totally reworked.

First things first. Plumbing and balloon of Mammut airbag backpack are totally reworked. I met with the designer Michael Vollmer, responsible for the project. The bag, plumbing and carbon cartridge (based on the Snow Pulse removable airbag system R.A.S. Mammut purchased a few years ago) only weigh 1 kilo and take a tiny bit of room at the top of the pack. Bag is a lighter “silicon” coated fabric in a new neon color that’s said to be incredibly bright on snow. I had to see this to believe it, an amazing job of miniaturization, considering the CE standard has been updated to require a stronger fabric in the balloon. Full review coming from Mike Arnold.

WARNING, CONTINUE READING ON A GOOD INTERNET CONNECTION, LOTS OF PHOTOS. Click photos to enlarge.

Mammut packs with guts exposed. The system is easily swapped between bags, you can end up with a 4 pound airbag backpack that'll work for most ski tours. The 20 liter model rucksack only weighs 1.5 kilos, 3.3 pounds. (weights with carbon cylinder, alu cylinder adds about 350 grams.)  We are in trouble for not sending our samples back. I've mentioned before that changes in the airbag rucksack space are coming rapid-fire. It is  nearly impossible to shop without hesitating, wondering what's coming next year!

Mammut packs with guts exposed. The system is easily swapped between bags, you can end up with a 4 pound airbag backpack that’ll work for most ski tours. The 20 liter model rucksack only weighs 1.5 kilos, 3.3 pounds. (weights with carbon cylinder, alu cylinder adds about 350 grams.) We are in trouble for not sending our samples back. I’ve mentioned before that changes in the airbag rucksack space are coming rapid-fire. It is nearly impossible to shop without hesitating, wondering what’s coming next year!

Carbon nitrogen cartridge.

Carbon nitrogen cartridge. You can only get it in Europe, but 20 percent of our readers are in Europe so we’d better publish a photo! The aluminum cylinder weighs 700 grams with the carbon slightly less than half that weight, thus saving around 12 ounces! That is significant and makes it quite annoying that the carbon version is not available at retail in U.S., and essentially has to be smuggled into the country. Ship a few dozen to Mexico then across the border at El Paso?

Carbon cylinder compared to alu, Mammut.

Carbon cylinder compared to alu, Mammut. Less space and half the weight, but the alu is refillable.

This was weird. Just across the village square from Mammut was AVA BAG, using the same carbon cylinder and plumbing that looked nearly identical.

This was weird. Just across the village square from Mammut was AVA BAG, using the same carbon cylinder and plumbing that looked nearly identical. Don’t ask me, what’s at ISPO stays at ISPO?

Headed over to SCARPA, Freedom is just so beautiful, how do Italians do it?

Headed over to SCARPA, Freedom is just so beautiful, how do Italians do it?

New SCARPA F1, this version without Tronic automatic cuff lock.

New SCARPA F1, this version without Tronic automatic cuff lock. Don’t yawn, F1 is an excellent boot that’s formed along the low-volume low-mass form factor, only with a more ‘SCARPA” like fit. It’s available with Tronic automatic lock as well, we’re undecided on that. Worth a demo for sure.

Tronic problem is solved by making the metal tab thicker so it's less likely to fit into the wrong place.

Tronic problem is solved by making the metal tab thicker so it’s less likely to fit into the wrong place. One does not want to be fitting into the wrong place! Seriously, this looks much better than the original problematic version, but it’s obvious you’ll still need a correctly adjusted binding heel unit.

SCARPA craftsmanship is undeniable.

SCARPA craftsmanship is undeniable. You can change forward lean by flipping the lean-lock catch.

Check out these Grivel crampons with a specially shaped bracket for the Tronic.

Check out these Grivel crampons with a specially shaped bracket for the Tronic. Crampon fit is an issue with any boot having much bulk in the walk-ski latching area, F1 is no exception.

Of course you've got your SCARPA Alien carbon, with nice serviceable cuff rivets.

Of course you’ve got your SCARPA Alien carbon, with nice serviceable cuff rivets. What should we predict for carbon boots, 90% market penetration within four years? They’ll have to figure out how to do boot fitting on composite scaffo for that to happen. Perhaps thicker dual-density liners are the key, that’ll mold but still feel firm in a wider last.

I did pass by the Snow Leopard numerous times, where my Lumix seemed to jump of of  my pocket and take photos of the colors without any human intervention.

I did pass by the Snow Leopard numerous times, where my Lumix seemed to jump of of my pocket and take photos of the colors without any human intervention.

Can you see Mountopia in this guy's eyes?

Can you see Mountopia in this guy’s eyes? he’s a legit badass.

No secret Pomoca is owned by Oberalp along with Dynafit.

No secret Pomoca is owned by Oberalp along with Dynafit. Frankly, the only thing that interested me about Pomoca is if they’d fixed their slipping tail clips. Skin are only as good as their hardware. The problem is said to be cured and carpet testing verified it to probably be so. The tail strap is stretchy and seems to lock nicely.

Speaking of climbing fur (skins), check out this G3 low-bulk mohair guy!

Speaking of climbing fur (skins), check out this G3 low-bulk mohair guy, Mohair LT! That’s more like it, nylon skins as thick and heavy as Jeep tires are so 1987.

The camera lept out and snapped these G3 ski crampons, so sweet.

The camera lept out and snapped these G3 ski crampons, so sweet.

Next stop Petzel, where they've got  a non-dynamic "aramid" fiber glacier cord and rescue kit.

Next stop Petzel, where they’ve got a super lightweight non-dynamic “aramid” fiber glacier rope and rescue kit. Here at WildSnow we’ve gotten a lot of criticism for using our 5 mm Dyneema cord for glacier travel. You need to be careful with this and know what you’re doing, but it’s real, as Petzel thinks as well. I still think anyone tied to non-dynamic rope should have some sort of shock device on their harness, like those used on via ferrata rigs, watch for that.

Petzel was offering this thong crampon as well, would it look good as lingerie on your  partner?

Petzel was offering this thong crampon as well, would it look good as lingerie on your partner?

Remember the Dynafit TLT-7 shark nose ski touring boot? Without a crampon 'ledge?'  Dynafit will supply an adapter but how about a crampon that's ready to use the toe fittings for attachment? Kreuzspitze.

Remember the Dynafit TLT-7 shark nose ski touring boot? Without a crampon ‘ledge?’ Dynafit will supply an adapter but how about a full crampon that’s ready to use the toe fittings for attachment and doesn’t need a ledge? Kreuzspitze crampon could fit the bill.

Hearing that Lange would make a tech compatible boot was like hearing Caterpeller would start making hybrid 2-seater Euro cars -- the boot is more like a lorry on the A-12, I'm sure it skis well.

Hearing that Lange would make a tech compatible boot was like hearing Caterpillar would begin making hybrid 2-seater Euro cars. The boot is more like a lorry on the A-12, I’m sure it skis downhill well. I’d probably get a hundred meters trying to tour uphill in it.

Lange has swap soles. Didn't I predict those would go away like the boys of summer?

Lange has swap soles. Didn’t I predict those would go away like the boys of summer?

This uber-tech binding check machine has a method of doing heel release tech bindings, I don't even want to know how much it costs, though I'm trying to scam one for my garage.

This uber-tech binding check machine has a method of doing heel release tech bindings, I don’t even want to know how much it costs, though I’m trying to scam one for my garage. They offered one to us as show swag, but it’s too big for my Lufthansa luggage.

Fischer Travers boot, as predicted some time ago the market has moved away from beef boots and companies are following.

Fischer Travers boot, as predicted some time ago the market has moved away from beef boots and companies are following. You’ll still get your biggie boots if you want, but the innovation and excitement is in getting the most out of the least. Travers is elegant, simple. Lash yourself in with one buckle and a Boa, walk-ski is the classic external flip lever that’s known to, simply, work. Carbon version (to right) has a carbon cuff, weighs slightly less and is probably stiffer. Scaffo is Grilamid, the plastic we love to warp. Non carbon version weighs 1,050 grams in size 26.5, carbon ver is 980 grams. Notice the ski to the left? Carbon skimo race stick “Verticalp,” about half a kilo, has a set of weights attached so you can tune the mass if race officials decide to enforce the weight rules. Is the 1/2 kilo ski the new target?

Travers walk-ski lock.

Travers walk-ski lock, elegant.

Now we bow to Volkl, and they added some white topskin.

Now we bow to Volkl, and they added some white topskin. That’ll be interesting for icing experiments that Stian and I can discuss while adequately buzzed at the next trade show.

Volkl touring skis, you can't go wrong here.

Volkl touring skis, you can’t go wrong here.

Marker Kingpin, only change is a wider tab on the heel lifters, easier to flip with ski pole basket.

Marker Kingpin, only change is a wider tab on the heel lifters, easier to flip with ski pole basket.

ISPO awards are mostly BS, but the Arcteryx Voltair deserves kudos.

ISPO awards are mostly BS, but the Arcteryx Voltair airbag rucksack deserves kudos.

Louie gets the full Voltair run by Arcteryx head industrial designer Gord.

Louie gets the full Voltair run by Arcteryx head industrial designer Gord. The shows this year featured mostly incremental gear changes, Arcteryx is an exception with their debut of Voltair as well as Procline ski touring-mountaineering boot.

Arcteryx footwear maven Federico Sbrissa  gets us up to speed on the Procline.

Arcteryx footwear maven Federico Sbrissa gets us up to speed on the Procline. During early winter I attended the media launch of Procline and Voltair, exciting. Defining feature of Procline is the unlatched cuff having some “roll” action when unlatched, so you can do things like ice climbing and kitchen work without the rigidity of a ski boot cuff (we assume Federico wanted a boot he could wear while cooking dinner). The rolling cuff is also said to help with ski skin climbing, to that end it’s actually tuned so it’s slightly stiffer on the inside, for help with edging.

How light can skis get?

How light can skis get? This proof of concept by Moonlight is a 166 cm plank, 70 mm waist, 616 grams, 750 grams with a little tiny binding. What did I say about the 1/2 kilo ski being the new target? Some kind of special foam core is said to be the secret.

Now we head for Plum. They still have the best ski brake, divorced from the binding, manually operated storage and deployment.

Now we head for Plum. They still have the best ski brake, divorced from the binding, manually operated storage and deployment.

Plum gets into the ski game. Are boots next?

Plum gets into the ski game. Are boots next?

I crawled in on my knees and backed out while protrating myself to the  great one.

I crawled in on my knees and backed out while protrating myself to the great one, later apologizing to the Great One.

Lunchtime at Marker Volkl.

Lunchtime at Marker Volkl. You heard of logo shirts, and logo gear, how about a logo pretzel?

La Sportiva has incrementally improved all their products, their full carbon Quadrant boot  now has the upper internal liner cuff attached to the shell cuff, eliminating grams and making things work better together. Better performance includes how easily you can get your credit card out of  your wallet.

La Sportiva has incrementally improved all their products, their full carbon Quadrant boot now has the upper internal liner cuff attached to the shell cuff, eliminating grams and making things work better together. Better performance includes how easily you can get your credit card out of your wallet.

Last thing, beef boots tend to be a yawner, but man the 2016-2017 Dalbello Lupo should get a prize. I can't wait to ski these things on a big plank.

Last thing, beef boots tend to be a yawner, but man the 2016-2017 Dalbello Lupo should get a prize. I can’t wait to ski these things on a big plank. Can one run change your life, like one night can change your life? I’ve got some guest bloggers researching these overarching philosophical questions.

Lupo tongue attachment is easy to work.

Lupo tongue attachment is easy to work.

No ISPO visit is complete without a visit to the jewelry store of ski bindings, ATK.

No ISPO visit is complete without a visit to the jewelry store of ski bindings, ATK.

ATK owner and artist Giovanni  Indulti shows of the goods.

ATK owner and artist Giovanni Indulti shows of the goods. It’s actually quite stunning how much ATK has grown, now with a thick catalog including everything from the 88 gram RCA World Cup ski binding to the 420 gram Rental, along with a bunch of accessories such as titanium springs and screws for those of you who spend the summer shaving grams of your bicycle and want something to do in winter while you’re not skiing.

World Cup ATK, 88 grams.

World Cup ATK, catalog weight 88 grams. This seems to be the weight standard in race bindings, as at least one other competitor offers a similar binding. In any case, catalog weight 88 grams, scale weight lower !? I don’t think even Fritz Barthel ever imagined his binding could get that light.

Random, claimed at the 'world's lightest sleeping bag.'

Random, claimed at the ‘world’s lightest sleeping bag.’

This is ISPO on a clipboard.

This is ISPO on a clipboard. I think you know what I mean.

The walk is finished. My feet hurt. Meet you next year, eating pretzels at Marker-Volkl.



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Comments

79 Responses to “A Walk Around ISPO Munich”

  1. Patrick February 1st, 2016 10:35 am

    Lou said “Can one run change your life, like one night can change your life?”
    Made me laugh. Years ago, in Telluride, one night changed my life; we’re still together 36 years later.

  2. Lou Dawson 2 February 1st, 2016 10:51 am

    Awesome! Just awesome.

  3. Travis February 1st, 2016 11:33 am

    I am curious about those Lange boots for no other reason, but that I could take my Dynafit mounted powder boards for a ride in the resort with minimal fuss.

  4. Lou Dawson 2 February 1st, 2016 11:40 am

    Travis, they’ll be available next fall for sure. But there are lots of boot options for you. If you really want something well thought out check out K2 Pinnacle for example. Lou

  5. Paul S. February 1st, 2016 11:46 am

    As a splitboarder, I was already excited about the new Scarpa F1, but seeing your photos here, I’m even more excited. Looks like I can unscrew those lean lock bars without doing major surgery to my boots? Sold! And a talented individual with a machine shop can build some custom angle forward lean bars?!?! TAKE MY MONEY NOW!

    I don’t expect AT boot companies to make a splitboard-specific hard boot… We will never be more than a niche of a niche of a niche. But, keeping the design flexible so that it can be easily modified and reverted back to factory-intent is just fantastic product design.

  6. Marcus Peterson February 1st, 2016 11:55 am

    Hey Lou, you should have gone over to Ortovox and asked them about the inflation system that is the same as the Swiss model

  7. Lou Dawson 2 February 1st, 2016 12:01 pm

    I noticed lots of cloning going on… can’t hit everything as one person, thanks for the heads up. Lou

  8. Lou Dawson 2 February 1st, 2016 12:03 pm

    Paul, I think modding the boot will be quite easy. I love those external lean lock bars, so elegant. What about Atomic Backland for your mods?

  9. Dave Field February 1st, 2016 12:15 pm

    Looks like you cloned Louie in the Arcteryx airbag shot!

  10. Jason February 1st, 2016 12:20 pm

    @Paul S. – check out the Atomic Backland boot for splitboarding. The plain version without carbon rides really well without any modifications and they are easy for a boot fitter to work with to fit just about any foot. Another plus for us is that the BSL is really short.

  11. Rich February 1st, 2016 12:32 pm

    Do you know if Mammut will be offering discounted upgrades to the new airbag for existing RAS pack owners?

  12. Marcus Peterson February 1st, 2016 12:41 pm

    Lou, ortovox is trying to increase their turnover through increase clothing sales unfortunately the prices are high and the sizing chart is euro skinny.,good luck to them.

  13. Lou Dawson 2 February 1st, 2016 1:09 pm

    Rich, no idea, we need to know if the RAS is changed so it’ll only work in newer packs. Lou

  14. Scott February 1st, 2016 2:12 pm

    Any data on forefoot last width on the new scarpa f1?

  15. Martin February 1st, 2016 3:19 pm

    Seems like the people who invent fancy but non-web-searchable brandnames don’t want to sell any of their precious products.
    Good luck googling “random sleeping bag” or “kreuzspitze crampon” (there are about a dozen mountains called Kreuzspitze).

  16. jasper February 1st, 2016 3:40 pm

    Thanks for all the work Dawsons!

  17. Lou Dawson 2 February 1st, 2016 3:47 pm

    Martin, huh?

    I guess the “Random” brand of sleeping bags could have been better documented by me (grin).

    As for Kreuzspitze, when I google the word “kreuzspitze” here in the U.S., their skimo equipment website is #1 in the SERP. No problem there, are you getting different results?

    Lou

  18. Lou Dawson 2 February 1st, 2016 3:51 pm

    Jasper, they needed people to eat the logo pretzels and drink that clean German lager, hard job but WildSnow is up to the challenge!

  19. Martin February 1st, 2016 4:11 pm

    Try “Kreuzspitze” on a device set to german and connected to an Austrian provider… 😉 I went as far as page 5 of the search results and all I got is tour descriptions up the various Kreuzspitzen.
    You find the Skimo guys of course when you do “kreuzspitze bindung” or something like that.

    Still interested in those sleeping bags though…

  20. Doug Hutchinson February 1st, 2016 4:13 pm

    Wow, another thorough, super-detailed write up. Thanks Lou.

    The new binding that I am most excited about is the Kreuspitze TTS (gulp, telemark) binding pictured left of the crampon above. My favorite tech binding maker (Kreuspitze) releases a tele binding with their beautiful machining that is lighter than an AT binding.

    So much innovation in tele bindings right now, it is where the real excitement is IMHO right now.

    Moonlight, ATK, M equipment, and 22Designs all turning out some revolutionary products.

  21. Lou Dawson 2 February 1st, 2016 5:01 pm

    Gulp, I forgot about the regional Google, Martin! I should remember as every time I’m in Europe I spend lots of time trying to get Google to deliver me results in English, amazing how poorly it’s set up.

    In any case, yeah, key with any sort of Google work is to use phrases not single words. That’s search engines 101. Try finding Black Diamond by typing in “Diamond.”

    As for the sleeping bags, they shall remain a mystery until a kind reader solves the mystery.

    Tele bindings have always been where all the excitement is, it’s a telemark boom that never ended, why not when you’ve got so many telemark meccas to enjoy?!

    Google “telemark mecca”

    Lou

  22. Louie III February 1st, 2016 5:12 pm

    The sleeping bags are from Malachowski, a polish company. Looks like a 480 gram (1 lb) 5 Celcius bag.

    Took me 30 seconds on google…the power of being a millennial 😉

  23. Lisandro February 1st, 2016 5:45 pm

    Hi Lou!
    Do you know if this New brake for pluma are compatible with older yak jedg? Maybe changing base plates?

  24. Lou Dawson 2 February 1st, 2016 5:54 pm

    I’ll bet you can change base plate or it’s already compatible. It’s not so new, they showed it to me last year as well. Lou

  25. TimZ February 1st, 2016 6:44 pm

    Nice looking atk heel there, looks like adjustable lateral release and 2nd riser height flapper. What’s that one called?

  26. David Aldous February 1st, 2016 6:52 pm

    Is that a redesigned RAD system from Petzl or did they come out with another variation?

  27. Lou Dawson 2 February 1st, 2016 7:16 pm

    Tim, that’s the SLR Release, yes, side release version of SLR Lightweight. It looked quite nice.

  28. David Aldous February 1st, 2016 9:01 pm

    Looking at it more closely I think it was a zippered crampon case for the leopards I was seeing.

  29. trollanski February 3rd, 2016 8:33 pm

    Great new stuff. Thanks. Now, if I figure right, a Denali 42 pack and the new Snowpulse system with Carbon tank weigh a total of 4.95 pounds. The Great Lou was guessing just over a year ago (Dynafit Rollout gathering) that we may see something along those lines this year? All the components are out there now, except for a convenient, refillable carbon tank…..Less weight and good usable volume….Anybody know when we get this?

  30. See February 3rd, 2016 8:36 pm

    wtf

  31. Lou Dawson 2 February 3rd, 2016 8:39 pm

    See, are you referring to our server meltdown?

  32. See February 3rd, 2016 8:44 pm

    among other things

  33. JCoates February 3rd, 2016 9:37 pm

    Apparently your photo of those sexy La Sportiva boots broke the Internet, eh?

  34. eggbert February 3rd, 2016 11:31 pm

    Dude, who’s hosting your site?

  35. Andreas February 4th, 2016 2:10 am

    Hi Lou.
    Do the new tronic system fit on boots with a previous version?

  36. Pieter Groen February 4th, 2016 4:54 am

    So Plum stepped away from the forward facing brake!

    Interesting!

    First thought is… would you still be able to use their under-heel-stump-pad?

  37. Lou Dawson 2 February 4th, 2016 5:21 am

    Andreas, I doubt it. Lou

  38. Lou Dawson 2 February 4th, 2016 5:27 am

    Eggbert, at this point their name shall not be named, I’m fuming… but look in lower right sidebar. They’ve been a good company up to this point, I’ve been with them something like 9 years, usually host around 8 websites with them, and pay them pretty good coin every month for a managed virtual server that can barely handle our traffic. Clearly, something has changed in their company and I’ll be transferring to a different host. Difficult process, as I need to put only one site on the new host, and test for a month or two before moving everything. I’ve got a lot of experience with web hosts and they nearly always over-promise and under-deliver, so no way I’m going to spend the time moving everything at once. What I really need is someone I can hire to move sites, as I simply run out of time.

  39. Frame February 4th, 2016 7:00 am

    Lou, sounds like you need an intern to work on the server issue! Shame I know nothing about moving servers and may not be allowed near Wildsnow HQ until I throw away my alpine sole blocks (that i’ve only swapped twice in 4 years…). I don’t have telescopic poles though ;o)

    Glad you are back online.

    The Mountopia dudes moustache, on it’s own, is badass.

  40. Lou2 February 4th, 2016 7:51 am

    Frame, actually, I want to hire a pro that can whip through the job. I can do it myself if I have the time… We’re to the point where we need to throw more people at the back end issues on occasion. It’s all gotten pretty complex if you do more than the most simplistic stuff possible. This meltdown is a good example. I was going to sit down and write a blog post, instead I’m still dealing with issues.. Lou

  41. Tom Mason February 4th, 2016 12:51 pm

    Greetings Wildsnow.
    Tom from ORTOVOX here. Yes, AVA BAG is our new airbag pack. Looks like some of the comments (thanks Wookie) tying it to ORTOVOX were nuked in the server meltdown.
    @ Lou, maybe the BCA Koolaid from this past fall season has side effects ? 😉

    If you look closely at the posted AVA BAG picture (lower right) that is the ISPO Product of the Year award in the ski category. Highlights : AVA BAG will be the smallest (1.8L) and lightest (640g) airbag system on the market, 160L welded seam airbag, system is removable/modular, 5 pack models, unlimited release training without a canister.

    Regarding the “plumbing” similarities: Often in engineering history 2 separate parties have come up with similar solutions at the same time, working with/around existing patents. The difference in our system is the activation unit sits inside the venturi, creating a tiny, completely closed, and robust “engine” which is safer. ( Don’t worry Wildsnowers, we’ll get an AVA BAG in the proper hands for formal review 🙂
    AVA BAG will be released in Europe next season, North America the following season…’17-’18.
    Please be safe out there everyone !
    Cheers,
    Tom

  42. Lou Dawson 2 February 4th, 2016 2:46 pm

    Yes, comments got nuked. Sincere apologies for that. I already started a new server account somewhere else and we’ll be migrating everything over the next few days.

    Well, thanks for the clarification but you guys need to work on your communications, your stand at ISPO was super confusing. The pack looked good.

    Another weird staggered release for North America!? You have to be kidding. I guess we need to get an affiliate link up for Sport Conrad, I know they’ll appreciate the business.

    Important, is the carbon cartridge the same one used for Mammut? It looked exactly the same…

    Lou

  43. pietro February 4th, 2016 2:52 pm

    Hi there, does the new Scarpa Freedom SL weight less, and what is the range of motion (the same (27 degres)) ? Thanks

  44. Gabe February 5th, 2016 8:01 am

    Lou,
    Did you see the new deuter airbag backpacks?
    I hear things are a changing.

  45. Tom Mason February 5th, 2016 9:40 am

    Lou,
    I guess not all the Euro booths quite make the “translation.” No such worries here in the states, we’ll make sure smallest, lightest comes through when it’s our turn. Just to be clear, I’m the US brand manager, located in Longmont, CO.

    I checked with the AVA BAG designer to verify and our carbon cartridge is slightly different. Hopefully, in the states, this becomes a ” problem ? ” meaning, we have access to carbon cartridges !

    Be careful and make conservative decisions out there this weekend.

  46. Lou Dawson 2 February 5th, 2016 5:20 pm

    Tom, what in tarnation will it take for you guys to supply the carbon cartridges in North America? Someone flying to Mexico and shipping from there? Lou

  47. See February 5th, 2016 6:28 pm

    What’s the hurry? These systems are designed to be as light as possible while being pressurized to, what, 4000+ psi? In my opinion, the manufacturers should take the time to get it right. And I’m ok with letting some one else pay the money and take the chances associated with getting first generation product.

  48. Daniel Dunn February 6th, 2016 8:22 am

    Lou, I skied the new Lange FreeTours at Copper, during the SIA demo days. As you assumed, they ski incredibly well going downhill. Like a Lange alpine boot. I didn’t get the chance to do any touring in them, but I think they’ll be a hit. A lot of skiers (myself included) are looking for this product. They’re more concerned with the going down part of skiing, and will make concessions on the going up. I’m a fan.

  49. Paddy February 6th, 2016 9:25 am

    Daniel, that’s a LOT of concessions on the up (90% of touring) part. Like Lou, I predict the vast majority of the touring market going the exact opposite direction in the next few years, once people realize they’re out touring for good snow, and don’t need “alpine boots” to ski well.

  50. Lou Dawson 2 February 6th, 2016 10:00 am

    Hi Danial, I understand the desire for beef boots and Lange looks like they easily nailed the category. But there are plenty of choices now (from K2 Pinnacle to Tecnica Cochise), so Lange is a yawner other than perhaps it fits differently and will help with boot fitting issues. What I wonder is how the walk mode is. Its pretty easy to stick tech fittings in an alpine boot… quite a bit harder to make it ski good while still having a truly functional walk mode. That’s where the K2 Pinnacle really did a good job. BD Factor on blowout sale is always an option as well, those things are massive! Lou

  51. Lou Dawson 2 February 6th, 2016 10:50 am

    Paddy, exactly, the trend worldwide is to optimize for the up, and that gets easier and easier as the gear does both up and down much better every year. Freeride touring is valid, especially in the big freeride centers of the world with cable assistance, but it’s not how the vast majority of ski touring is practiced. Lou

  52. XXX_er February 6th, 2016 12:40 pm

    what does “a lot” mean ?

    To me it means the boot maker has to make money selling a lot of boots mostly to euro land, cuz the sales figures in north america only account for what they sell to one euro country and I don’t think many euro’s are gona tour in euroland with a 4 buckle overlap boot

  53. Dale February 6th, 2016 4:11 pm

    Is that Plum Guide heel track new for next season? It looks like it has a Dynafit lengthwise screw type adjuster, instead of the set screws in tracks previously used by Plum.

  54. Bruce Moffatt February 7th, 2016 2:30 pm

    Did you see this at ISPO ?? Not trying to promote it just saw it at Kickstarter.
    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/pomocup/pomocup-the-ski-mountaineering-device

  55. Lou Dawson 2 February 8th, 2016 11:58 am

    Bruce, apologies for a few comments getting deleted while moving server. I was saying that I didn’t like sticking ever more stuff to my skis! But I’ll pay attention to the Pomocup and see what happens. Thanks, Lou

  56. Bruce Moffatt February 8th, 2016 12:09 pm

    Lou,
    Thank you. It only weighs an ounce they say. I am not a fan on anything on my ski tops either except me and the bindings. After expending my money on light skis it does seem counterproductive to pay money to add weight back unless you are an obsessive racer or Stravafile. I enjoy the website and it helped tremendously when I transitioned from telemark (leather boots, 55 cm waist skis) to AT. Big fan of the ease comfort and simplicity of my Dynafit system. Thanks for all you do.

  57. Lou Dawson 2 February 8th, 2016 2:04 pm

    Yeah, adding any weight is anathema to a lot of people. But then, if Pomoca can come up with a feature set we can’t refuse, then more power to them. Lou

  58. Dylan Currie February 8th, 2016 5:50 pm

    Lou, I was put onto your site and wealth of knowledge today by a work colleague. Thought I’d see what your thoughts were on “skinny” skis. I’m looking to get a pair of skis in around the 94mm range specifically for spring touring. I’ve been looking at the Black Crows – Camox – Freebird, Volkl – BMT 94 and the Dynafit – Cho Oyu.

    Thanks,
    Dylan

  59. Lou Dawson 2 February 8th, 2016 6:03 pm

    Dylan, the Black Crow is the hippest and the Cho Oyu has a great reputation. BMT 94 might ski the best of them all but is heavier. For spring corn I tend to grab lighter sticks as the snow is so easy to ski, who cares? Your pick (grin)!

    Anyone else? Is Black Crow the new DPS or is Fischer the new Volkl?

    Lou

  60. uysy February 10th, 2016 2:11 pm

    @Lou,
    “Random” sleeping bag is called Malachowski company from Poland 🙂
    http://malachowski.pl/web/pl/4-spiwory

  61. Lou 2 February 10th, 2016 6:34 pm

    Uysy, I can’t blame you for not reading the comments above, but Louie did share the information. I’m glad my little “random” incentive resulted in one more comment (he he he). They look like nice sleeping bags. Lou

  62. Pieter Groen February 11th, 2016 5:46 am

    @Dale: good spot! Looks like it :-). Their website doesn’t show this new adjuster screw (yet) though…

  63. Dale February 12th, 2016 10:39 am

    Lou: any info on the Plum heel adjuster track as seen in that photo?

  64. SkimoSky February 12th, 2016 6:52 pm

    Since I graduated in exercise science I’m looking forward to geeking out on the PomocUp, Extra 50 grams on one ski is worth it for nerds like me, it spits out some fun data.
    Lou I’m curious whether you might get some time in that Lange boot and be doing a review. I’m always in a tech binding while working inbounds but prefer a beef boot, not too worried about a killer walk mode. Have been in most tech compatible beef boots and not totally satisfied with traditional four buckle style tech boots. Have enjoyed Khion carbons and Vulcans though.

  65. See February 12th, 2016 8:30 pm

    Hi Skimo. I’m curious about your experience with tech bindings inbounds. Since you prefer a beef boot, I assume you ski pretty hard. Have you been using tech bindings for inbounds skiing for long? Do you lock the toes? What bindings do you use? Since you don’t care very much about walk mode, I’m interested in why you want tech compatible alpine boots. Why not just use alpine boots and alpine bindings?

  66. haske February 14th, 2016 11:28 am

    Hey guys, you might have missed something really innovative on the ispo:
    http://www.bavarianalpinemanifest.com

    For me this was the most impressing product related to freetouring! Who needs the Kingpin if this really keeps the promises? Why did nobody else think about that before?

  67. powbanger February 21st, 2016 11:41 am

    Hopefully someone at Lange will send you a Freetour to test. It is lighter than a Freedom SL (which has “swap” soles as well) and in my experience skis and tours better (more articulation rearward), oh and it has Dynafit tech fittings. The Cochise saw a much needed update for next year, while the heavy Pinnacle stayed with 4 year old technology.
    Just because Lange waited for the market to define itself doesn’t mean they were late to the party.
    Obviously there is a lot of bias towards super lightweight, soft snow, touring boots on this site, but there is growing market for those who want use a tech binding with a lightweight boot but do not want a laterally flimsy boot when they use it on the resort or in variable conditions in the BC.
    Black Crows, is the new Volkl, DPS Tour is the new Wailer(let’s face it DPS skiers are lifers), Fischer is the new BD.

  68. carlos February 22nd, 2016 12:30 pm

    Hi lou,
    writing you from the north of Italy (north west), which in backountry skiing is kind of the silicon valley. We are ahead.
    Your new year predictions here are usually 2-3 years late 😉
    We are ahead of ISPO too obviously as product development take one or two seasons from when trends start

    So I can tell you that uphill and light is a bit 2014 here, now skis and boots go back in weght a bit, for much more performance downhill; bindings are lighter

    to explain better, as nobady has yet got it:

    Black Crows is the new Movement
    atk raider is the new radical
    (105 is the new 89)

    as regards boots there still is lot of confusion, trial and error, but TLT5 are now second pair of boots (just for long tours or waiting for spring firn)
    khion didn’t breake through…
    la sportiva spectre (with intuition liners 😉 ) is a direction..

    freedom sl, cochise are also always ready for big days..

    PS Black crows now really ahead, but probably they took a shortcut by error and while being on the wrong path 😉

  69. Lou Dawson 2 February 22nd, 2016 1:21 pm

    Thanks Carlos, Black Crows are, from Urban Dictionary: Cooler than cool, the pinnacle of what is “it”. Beyond all trends and conventional coolness.

    Not sure about the boots, but what about ski poles, you guys still adjusting them (grin)?

  70. Jim Milstein February 22nd, 2016 4:40 pm

    Just checked Urban Dictionary for Black Crows: “Term for jews in Poland during, before, and after world war 2.”

    Now I’m confused.

  71. Lou Dawson 2 February 22nd, 2016 4:50 pm

    Weird. I’m sure it’s unrelated. Urban dictionary is pretty strange sometimes. My definition is the one for “hip.” Lou

  72. carlos February 23rd, 2016 1:46 am

    ha ha
    adjustable poles free since 2008 😉
    carbon poles free since 2011 (almost)

    hint from future you americans: best backcountry poles are one piece, aluminium, race basket but with longer tip and short (downhill regular size, long poles don’t make you faster), not expensive

    best and first poles with all this are leki cima titanium ( from around 2010, way before dynafit, trab atk which now all have good poles),

    But again for freeride, free-rando or steep skiing days the Black Crows oversized, optical, one- piece aluminium poles are so cool you need extra gloves (BC yellow oxus) 🙂

  73. uysy March 1st, 2016 9:03 am

    Lou 2 ah sorry for that :).
    I love to read wildsnow and i know that all info @ website is true and double checked. That’s why i added my comment. For the future readers 🙂

  74. Lou Dawson 2 March 1st, 2016 9:12 am

    Uysy, no, no, we need help from all readers, can’t do it all ourselves. Our information is subject to human error, becomes dated, and sometimes we just don’t have time to find out all the facts. So thanks for the help. Lou

  75. AJ Schirack June 8th, 2016 4:55 pm

    Hey, Whats the story on those Moonlight Skis? I checked their site, which I assume will be updated in the fall with them. That weight and length are ridiculous! Would love to get my hands on a pair!

  76. Brad Fowler November 3rd, 2016 12:53 pm

    Lou, FYI carbon cartridge based Mammut RAS system is now available closer to the US, in Canada: http://www.altitude-sports.com/en/mammut-removable-airbag-system-30-mam-2610-01230-en

  77. Lou Dawson 2 November 3rd, 2016 12:58 pm

    Super! They used to haul Acapulco Gold to Canada, now they’ll be hauling Canadian Carbon down to the U.S.!

  78. Tom December 1st, 2016 4:45 pm

    Lou, this appears to be your most recent mention of ATK. I want to buy the new ATK Raider 2.0 in 12 or 14. Do you have any experience with them? They look great, light, nice brake design, etc. Thanks.

  79. Mike January 4th, 2017 5:42 pm

    I’ve called Mammut NA and spoke to Avalanche Safety Solutions in Golden BC (large distributor of all things airbag/transceiver/sled. Very knowledgeable folks) and they have both told me the Carbon Cylinder is not for sale in Canada. The fellow at mammut thinks that some one at altitude copy a pasted the info off the mammut website. I’ve called Altitude and asked for clarification and they say they will get back to me. Until then I think its just the alloy cylinder for us North Americans.

    I’ve been skiing the Lupo Carbon for the season so far and it is the best touring boot I have ever owned. Might be too heavy for the people that frequent this site, but for the TGR people I think its a great option. Skis almost exactly like my KR2 but tours well enough for everything I think.





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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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