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

  • Thom Mackris: Nice teardown, Lou!...
  • See: Thanks for the science, Lou. I couldn’t believe those screws would hold in ...
  • XXX_er: I think steel is likely to be more hardy and aluminum looks purdier but at...
  • Alex: Dabe, Thank you! I really like the spitfires. Sportiva boots fit my feet su...
  • Cody: sooo....when are we going to get a topless on snow review? :P...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Zippy, thanks for your patience. Jim, please go easy on the attempts at hum...
  • Dabe: How do you like your spitfires? Great report & photos!...
  • Jim Milstein: A longitudinal line runs lengthwise along the ski. There can be no dispute ...
  • Frame: Zippi, I think it comes down to interpretation. I interpret longitudinal ce...
  • atfred: How about "ski width midpoint"? Points should be the same wherever measured...
  • trollanski: High five to Roman Dial and others for proving this...Great vids on youtube...
  • Thom Mackris: In case any Coloradans are interested, I just learned that the 1st Annual C...
  • Joe John: Looks like fun. Someone should send one to the German that swims to work i...
  • zippy the pinhead: Hi Jim, I fail to understand why you insist on using a word which relate...
  • Jim Milstein: Longitudinal center line is exactly the term you want. No ambiguity. If you...
  • zippy the pinhead: Exercising my search-engine-fu, I came up with a couple of antonyms for lon...
  • Sedgesprite: AKA: Poor Man's Supercub. Roman Dial has been advocating them for years. Eq...
  • Lisa Dawson: Sure looks like fun. My achy knees agree!...
  • Alex: alas....if only a kayak could fit in my packpack, yes I would have a melt d...
  • biggb: Shhhh ... don't tell this guy about whitewater kayaking ... he might have a...
  • Crazy Horse: Lou, the thing is, solutions that actually have a chance of solving the hou...
  • Jim Milstein: Center line...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Crazy, I keep thinking that if the political will was there, then the land ...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Bill, re the waste disposal, it's handled just like any other hook ups....
  • Lou Dawson 2: Zippy and all, I agree, longitudinal is probably not the best word. I did a...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Afox, yeah, the way most ski graphics are applied to skis is not inherently...
  • Matus: I usually measure the real width on the base side of the ski. Much quicker ...
  • Torquil: 1) print off Wild Snow paper template. 2) trim the template to fit on t...
  • afox: The binding freedom self centering guide block is worth every penny! htt...
  • afox: I use the paper method. Its a PITA but works well. If a ski manufacture...

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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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