Emery A-LX 1990s Classic Ski Touring Binding

Without boot.

Without boot. The binding name is molded on the yellow AFD at the toe.

Emery of France had a significant run of plate based ski touring bindings throughout previous decades (see our Museum Index for most of them). They eventually shifted to making snowboard bindings, and were acquired by Rossignol in 1999.

This “A-LX” model was one of Emery’s later offerings. Quite nice. It includes a turntable heel unit sourced from Look that’s essentially an alpine binding. Toe cup is basic, with typical spring loaded side release yielding average travel. With care the A-LX could probably have been set up with chart “DIN” settings, though without a more sophisticated toe unit we suspect most skiers had to prevent accidental release by setting lateral release higher than what they’d use with a good quality alpine binding of the 1990s. Indeed, our museum piece arrived with the toe release adjustment screw bottomed out at maximum.

In the photos below, note how when the toe rotated to the side, it achieved spring loaded action by virtue of two small brass rollers moving against the steel “U” shaped bracket holding the toe height adjustment screw, an interesting solution. We assume the name is a combination of Emery’s “Altitude” nomer and the use of a Look “LX” heel, but the “LX” could stand for something else. Anyone have the definitive answer? Please leave comments here.

Emery A-LX with modern boot, in touring mode with heel lifter deployed.

Emery A-LX with modern boot, in touring mode with heel lifter deployed.

Emery A-LX ski binding in touring mode.

Emery A-LX ski binding in touring mode (with modern boot).

Clearly, including a Look heel unit  is excellent.

Clearly, including a Look heel unit is excellent.

Heel lift is a simple flip-up wire frame.

Heel lift is a simple flip-up wire frame.

Toe unit detail. Not the small brass rollers in the space between plastic to wing and the galvanized steel frame, these are spring loaded and provide lateral release.

Toe unit detail. Note small brass rollers in the space between plastic to wing and the galvanized steel frame, these are spring loaded and provide lateral release.

AFD is a simple plastic plate that comes off to the side.

AFD is a simple plastic plate that comes off to the side.

Toe as viewed from rear, showing clean simple height adjustment.

Toe cup as viewed from rear, showing clean simple height adjustment.

Around the 1990s, Emery bindings used this configuration of heel latching to switch from touring to downhill mode.

Around the 1990s, Emery bindings used this configuration of heel latching to switch from touring to downhill mode. The lever to right slide the U shaped rod arrangement forward and back out of the black receiver to left.

In latched downhill mode, slot in upper plate mated with slot in receiver, held by the pins sliding into corresponding holes.

In latched downhill mode, slot in upper plate mated with slot in receiver, held by the pins sliding into corresponding holes.

Another view of heel unit, perhaps we're attempting to inspire current binding designers?

Another view of heel unit, perhaps we’re attempting to inspire current binding designers?

Emery A-LX thumbnail.

Emery A-LX thumbnail.

Thanks goes to Peter Stout for the binding donation.

  Your Comments

  • Lisa Dawson: Pete H, Funny that scarpa means boot! I heard it's an acronym and t...
  • Brad Fowler: Bit of a nagging detail question L3, but does the velcro of the power strap...
  • Lisa Dawson: Gary, The boot sole length is the same as the previous Maestrales....
  • Mammut Dave: subscribing...
  • Mammut Dave: Thanks Lou and Lisa! I think most of the questions in the comments have be...
  • Brandon: Is that a ski leash attachment on the left hand-side in the image of the Ma...
  • Slim: I know almost nothing about ski mechanics/technique. Do most people prefer...
  • Pete H: I just learned last summer Scarpa means "boot" in Italian. So if youre skii...
  • benwls: Aaron, I'd love to see your F1 mod. I'd also like a slightly more upright s...
  • benwls: If you completely undo the top buckle on Maestrales the articulation is mor...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Andy, I think the deal with Maestrale was it peaked during a time when ther...
  • Eric Steig: Any updates to the F1?...
  • WestonD: Rad skiing with you Louie, hopefully we get to do it again sometime!...
  • AndyDangerous: Coming from a skimo fast and light background, I've wondered for years how ...
  • Matt: Hi Louie, Do the maestrale and maestrale rs keep the cuff alignment bolt...
  • etto: New RS looks sweet! Never wrong to shave off weight and have the same perfo...
  • Tom M.: Hi Lou & Louie, Do you have any thoughts on the Faction Vacuum skin?...
  • Scott Mellin: I tried on the new Alien RS at the OR Demo after stepping directly out of m...
  • Brad: In one picture I saw of the new Maestrale and the RS, it looked like the RS...
  • Scott Mellin: I think that for those of us that have skied the Alien 1.0 for years now, t...
  • Ted: Does the middle buckle fold up out of the way when released or hang out to ...
  • Louie Dawson 3: Mike - I agree! those Dalbello boots look sweet. We have a pair on the way ...
  • MIke: Better yet y'all seem to have some pull in the industry. Could you call up ...
  • MIke: Thanks L3! Any way you can call up Dalbello and get a pair of the new 17/...
  • Louie Dawson 3: I did get a look at the Alien RS, and tried them on quickly. They are stiff...
  • Travis: WANT! These boots are just what I am looking for. Very excited about the lo...
  • Kristian: Hope that I am wrong, but the S4 toe tech insert look scary dangerous for r...
  • Aaron: I'm part way through my F1 lean lock mod to lower it from 20 deg....why 16 ...
  • Gary: Will the boot sole length be the same? Hoping I wont have to remount bindin...
  • MIke: Thanks Scott, how's the wear on the tread after 3 seasons? L3, any chanc...

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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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