When you consider that a conventional cable telemark binding averages about 600 g (21 oz) per ski, and that the typical free-hinge (pivoting) telemark binding averages about 800 g (28 oz) per ski, and that the typical Dynafit alpine touring ("AT" or "randonee") binding averages about 400 g (14 oz) per ski, then you start to get some perspective about my excitement for the Dynafit Low-Tech Race Binding, which will cost you only 160 g (5.6 oz) per ski.
Now, the Low-Tech Race has some limitations, don't get me wrong. After all, it's designed for randonee racing, not long distance backcountry ski touring. However, those of you that know me know that I like to push racing gear in tough conditions. Noting that Dynafit designed the binding for racing, but "allows" for its use in extreme conditions (based on their marketing materials), I'm pretty enthused to put a pair of these on some carbon skis and head to the mountains.
Here's the catch.
You're going to need to mortgage something to be able to afford the bindings: MSRP = US$759. Ouch.
There is only one other limitation that might cause one to gasp at the thought of shelling nearly eight hundred bucks on something that seems to only barely grab your randonee boots: lack of a significant heel lift range for climbing.
In the photos above, the small yellow plastic piece is up for skiing and down for climbing giving negligible rise compared to the several inches gained from the climbing bails on other tele bindings, and even the adjustable rise on conventional Dynafit bindings.
However, if you absolutely want the lightest possible randonee setup available, these bindings are your ticket. They would certainly comprise one of the absolute lightest possible AT rigs possible:
- Goode Randonee Carbon Skis (New for 2008!) - Tip 92cm, Waist 64cm, Tail 78cm; Weight 815g/ski (28.7 oz/ski); Length 160cm - US$1000ish
- Dynafit Low-Tech Race Bindings (New for 2008!) - 160 g/ski (5.6 oz/ski) - US$759
- Dynafit TLT Race Pro TF - 1220 g/boot (43 oz/boot) - US$599
Your total package price, not including poles, skins, avalanche transceiver, probe, shovel, and Lycra tights: more than a reliable used Subaru.
The benefit of skiing ultralight - on the world's lightest gear at 2.2 kg (4.8 lb) per foot: