Backcountry Skiing Boot Issues, and Legal Issues for

Post by blogger | November 14, 2005      

I just got off the phone with a well respected industry bigwig who shall remain nameless, but who told me some things that validate positions I’ve had for years. Mainly, he mentioned release testing a variety of randonnee boots with various AT bindings, and that the test results were appalling. This due to excess friction of the rubber sole, lugs catching, asymmetric soles shapes causing higher torsional release values on one side, and more. This is exactly what I saw years ago when I tested various randonnee bindings on a Vermont release tester up at an Aspen ski shop.

Above is why every time someone asks me about using AT bindings at the resort I say something like: “if you’re planning on spending lots of resort days on them, forget it and buy a state-of-art alpine setup — it’s safer” This could change if AT boots were made with soles more compatible to safety release. Stay tuned.

Legal issue:A person with a great deal of wisdom told me that I was opening myself up for a liability lawsuit by publishing the binding mount templates here at If any attorneys reading this who have expertise in that area, and could provide me with some guidance, I’d appreciate it. Just use the email on my contact page.


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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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