Emery Chrono 1991

As early Dynafits came on the scene, other binding makers attempted to enter the lightweight game. Fact of the matter: when skiers buy touring bindings the scale rules. In 1991 the Emery Chrono ski binding was a contender in the weight game, and somewhat popular among the fanatic light-and-fast crowd. While basically a plate (frame) binding, the Chrono had one incredibly innovative feature: A vertical heel release that was built into the heel clamp lever, with spring tension provided by rubber bands. Check it out.

Complete Emery Chrono binding shown above. Binding is in tour mode with climbing lift in up position.

Complete Emery Chrono binding shown above. Binding is in tour mode with climbing lift in up position.

Heel clamp shown above. Note black rubber band that provides safety release tension for backcountry skiing. You add rubber bands to increase release tension. I doubt anyone has ever invented a ski binding vertical release mechanism this light.

Heel clamp shown above. Note black rubber band that provides safety release tension for backcountry skiing. You add rubber bands to increase release tension. I doubt anyone has ever invented a ski binding vertical release mechanism this light.

To change between touring and downhill with latched heel, these pins slide in and out of holes in the bottom of the binding plate. The same system is used on Emery's other model binding from the same period. Video below shows how it works.

To change between touring and downhill with latched heel, these pins slide in and out of holes in the bottom of the binding plate. The same system is used on Emery’s other model binding from the same period. Video below shows how it works.

This backcountry skiing binding's toe jaw couldn't be simpler -- just an aluminum wing that you raise and lower using shims.

This backcountry skiing binding’s toe jaw couldn’t be simpler — just an aluminum wing that you raise and lower using shims.

Plus-minus adjustment shown at top is for side release tension that uses an ingenious combination of ramp and vertical compression spring. When the jaw rotates, it climbs up a ramp and thus meets resistance from the spring, creating release tension. While not ideal in terms of elasticity and friction, this weighs a fraction of most other toe-wing style release systems.

In all, we’re still amazed that a plate frame binding could be made this light in weight. While probably not suitable for high energy extreme skiing, the Chrono no doubt stood steed for many excellent tours in the early 1990s.

Weight (one binding with screws and adapter): 17.2 oz, 488 gr

Thanks goes to David Erskine for donating these bindings to the WildSnow collection.

Emery Chrono thumbnail.

Emery Chrono thumbnail.

  Your Comments

  • Carl: I have found how the boot is buckled has a huge flex impact as well. Boots...
  • Carl: looks like a great thing to have in the pack. Site looks like it works, di...
  • Jack: hmmm. I wonder how hard it would be to instrument the boot liner to measu...
  • Omekim: Ummm.... The machine looks to be at room temperature. They should probably ...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Tom, it would be easy to do something crude using a torque wrench on an art...
  • Lou Dawson 2: From what I know, unlikely all the boot flex ratings in the industry are an...
  • Tom Gos: Lou, I seem to remember that back in the '80s Ski Magazine (the American on...
  • Bill H: Maybe SkiAlper can rent some time on the machine for next year's issue :)...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Hi Greg, I did have a graphic at one time but I don't recall it having reso...
  • Greg: I remember there being an image of the D scale at some point – with resort ...
  • Hans D.: Great advice. I hadn't thought about the "quickstep" notch, but now that y...
  • Dean Gagnon: Hello, Does anyone know where to get spare hinges for the tounge of the ...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Billy Goat, IMHO the Amer (Salomon) binding is not a done deal, it will be ...
  • Rod Georgiu: Good idea...
  • zak: Any idea on if/when Scarpa will update the F1 to include the tech from the ...
  • Lou Dawson 2: I'll say it. Many Dynafit ski models are built to be lightweight and not pa...
  • Tomas: Destruction topsheet - only 2 days during normal telemark skiing. I'm wait...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Glad you liked the photos, was a fun day with you guys. Main thing, just gi...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Agree, someone needs to forget about TUV and all that sort of thing and jus...
  • szaraz levente: I do not need a TUV certificate brake, I only hate the wire wich connect me...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Hans, the best thing to do is put your boot-binding combo on a release test...
  • Hans D.: Regarding touring boots with swappable soles for alpine use: I have Lupo TI...
  • Dave Johnson: My mind is blown at the binding technology going on today. Imagine, in '76 ...
  • Bar Barrique: Jason; If you choose to replace the liners, I would advise speaking to the ...
  • BillyGoat: Convertible alpine bindings will defiantly have a market (aside from the fi...
  • Lou Dawson 2: My bad Dan, trying to be brief, I'm talking about the boot locator things, ...
  • Dan: I'm reading wildsnow religiously but I don't know what's the deal with the ...
  • XXX_er: I used to think that I MUST have a cuff cant adj at the outside cuff pivot ...
  • Lou 2: Tom, a canted cuff really helps me as well, sigh.... Probably still somewh...
  • Tom Gos: Lou, thanks for confirming that the new Maestrale will not have cuff cant r...

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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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