On a more positive note, my extensive historical collection of Randonnée bindings has reached a mature stage of completion. Count is at 28 bindings and growing.

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Avalanche Accidents


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | January 7, 2005      

A couple of recent avalanche accidents have brought home the point that IF you get caught, you have a good chance of death or serious injury — despite gadgets such as locator beacons, probes, etc. More, an alarming analysis shows that most backcountry avalanche accidents occur when danger is obvious — and the people should know better because they are "experts."

Having succumbed to this syndrome myself, I’m on a tear to help new backcountry skiers I know (including family members) not to make the same mistakes. Only I don’t know how to go about it.

Fact is, most backcountry skiing and snowboarding entry-level avalanche education is based on the concept that self-rescue is what’s going to save you. Courses teach a smidgeon of decision making, but it’s rarely (if ever) conservative enough — and all to often based on snow pit voodoo. We might need a whole new paradigm of avalanche education. Stay tuned.

On a more positive note, my extensive historical collection of Randonnée bindings has reached a mature stage of completion. Count is at 28 bindings and growing. Recent acquisitions are the Salewa plate binding, and an original early 1960s plate/cable hybrid binder that came all the way from France thanks to Nut Story. The collection will be displayed at the Outdoor Retailer trade show in a few weeks, in the Couloir Magazine booth.

I’m in the midst of creating a virtual randonee binding museum here at wildsnow.com. If you know of any early randonnee AT alpine touring bindings that could be available, please let us know. We need the early adapter system that made a touring binding out of a Gertsch or Besser plate binding, and we need any early Eisers.

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  Your Comments

  • Lou Dawson 2: See, I'm with you, I like to get these technical threads now and then. I'm ...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Terry, that's an interesting and apparently easy way to use TOR, good to se...
  • 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...

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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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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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