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.

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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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