Emery Medium Ski Touring Binding – 1980s?

In the ongoing attempt to make lighter weight AT ski touring bindings, an occasional ploy has been to eliminate safety release altogether, or more commonly, eliminate vertical release at the heel. These are sometimes called “approach bindings” due to their use with mountain climbing boots instead of ski boots as a tool for accessing climbing areas. When such bindings are used with shorter skis and softer boots, they probably resulted in less injury than one would at first suspect. Nonetheless, in certain situations this sort of binding could result in serious hurt, so they’re a specialized tool.

One such binding is the Emery Medium, a minimalist plate binding that does have non-adjustable side release, but no vertical release.

Emery Medium, all of it. Boot was held into the rear of the binding with a buckle and strap. The toe wire was compatible with DIN shaped AT boot soles. To use climbing boots, one had to hand-make different shaped toe wires.

Emery Medium, all of it. Boot was held into the rear of the binding with a buckle and strap. The toe wire was compatible with DIN shaped AT boot soles. To use climbing boots, one had to hand-make different shaped toe wires.

Boot in binding (modern boot, sorry). Rather than messing around with an over-center pivot latch or full-on release mechanism, the Medium holds the boot heel with a simple strap system. Not particularly stable and of course no release, but simple.

Boot in binding (modern boot, sorry). Rather than messing around with an over-center pivot latch or full-on release mechanism, the Medium holds the boot heel with a simple strap system. Not particularly stable and of course no release, but simple.

Plate system with pivot plate lifted to left. When removed due to release or other, Yellow anchor plate snaps in via tabs and ramps indicated by right arrow.

Plate system with pivot plate lifted to left. When removed due to release or other, Yellow anchor plate snaps in via tabs and ramps indicated by right arrow.

 Release plate at top of photo, removed from ski, arrows indicate where plate joins binding fittings that are screwed to the ski.

Release plate at top of photo, removed from ski, arrows indicate where plate joins binding fittings that are screwed to the ski.

Rotational release at both plates coming completely off the ski. To prevent ski loss a retention cord could be added using the slot visible at extreme left.

Rotational release at both plates coming completely off the ski. To prevent ski loss a retention cord could be added using the slot visible at extreme left.

Loop of metal (left) slides in and out under spring tension, controlled by lever on heel fitting. The loop engages the slots visible to right, thus latching the plate down for skiing, and releasing it for touring.

Loop of metal (left) slides in and out under spring tension, controlled by lever on heel fitting. The loop engages the slots visible to right, thus latching the plate down for skiing, and releasing it for touring.

Weight: 18.4 ounces, 522 grams (one binding, with screws)

These bindings were donated to our collection by Pete Swenson.

Emery Medium thumbnail.

Emery Medium thumbnail.

  Your Comments

  • Jim Milstein: Lou, I was referring to the threaded thingies glued into the skis into whic...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Jim, I just count the boot inserts as part of the boot weight, since most b...
  • Jim Milstein: My black Vipecs (from last year) weigh about 500g each, brakeless, screwles...
  • See: Aside from being an ounce lighter per binding(?), being easier to click int...
  • See: Tecton claimed weight is 550g per pair, no brakes? I’m guessing that’s supp...
  • Tom Gos: So, I purchased the new Mirage walk mode kit to replace the older style one...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Thanks Jim, yeah, I noticed on the Vipec we've got here that you can "cheat...
  • Jim Milstein: Actually, you can adjust further if you don't mind going past the "stop" ma...
  • Jim Milstein: My Black Vipecs have 25mm adjustment for bsl....
  • Lou Dawson 2: I'm working hard on the FAQs, but yeah, some of this info is hard to find. ...
  • Jeff: I am sure I am missing it somewhere do to poor search skills....does anyone...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Hi Shannon, thanks for stopping by, glad you enjoyed Aaron's post. There ar...
  • Atfred: Was in the valley Blanche two days ago, skied up to point heilbrunner, then...
  • Shane: I just read that this was previously covered . Thanks...
  • Katie: It was epic, I was there. Craving more.......
  • Julia Dubinina: Hey Kyle, Just found your comment - it is April, so not sure if you hav...
  • Jim: thanks, subscribed...
  • Eli: Just a last width point, I find the "98mm" of the Atomic Backland to be ple...
  • Trevor: Hey Lou, how would you compare the Helio 95 to the Blizzard Zero G 95? I h...
  • Allan: Lou, Do you have a full spread sheet/ chart you could link to us via googl...
  • Julian: It looks like you have the Onyx and the Ion crampons using the same base pl...
  • Miro: It's never happend to me unless -as Tom wrote- the red lifter wasnt stuck b...
  • Tom: ^^^Only a couple times on the non-magnetic side if I forget to "squish" the...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Working on adding more data to reviews today. Just got the ATKs back from a...
  • Shane: I have used this ski for 2 seasons (average about 10 days resort and 20 day...
  • John Baldwin: Louie, have you got a rough idea how many liters of water you could melt wi...
  • Al: Some of the more sober realists in climate scientists think we may be at or...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Old news. And...?...
  • Al: Closer to home, some estimates are that glacier park won't have any by as e...
  • Bob Berwyn: And it's not just the glaciers. Lou, I know you travel to the Alps frequent...

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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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