September 25, 2014
My new stuff is starting to flow in, and among the packages were two sets of Dynafit Speed Radical bindings.
The Speed Radical is the mainstay of fast-and-light ski tourists who choose not to use ski brakes, weighs 357 grams per foot, and retains all of the retention and designed-in safety features of the heavier Radical ST binding, including the toe piece "Power Towers" that take the shock load off the toe springs when chattering around on icy steeps. This year's version ships with a new anti-rotation device to prevent inadvertant twisting of the heel back into ski mode while skinning. This unwanted counterclockwise spin seems common in certain fresh, wet snow conditions found in the Pacific Northwest and is usually accompanied by some bad language when it occurs halfway up a steep skintrack.
The device, visible at bottom center in the photo below, mounts under the pivot post and is held in place by pressure from the base plate and mounting screws (if you are retro fitting the anti-rotation device with earlier Speed Radicals, you may have to add some thin washers under the base to add a bit of clearance - these are provided in the kit supplied by Dynafit). With the device in place, the heel is virtually impossible to turn counterclockwise from skinning position - my guess is that it will work fine. While it is possible to turn the heel clockwise PAST the device, it takes some strength - it's much easier to rotate the heel counterclockwise (the top plate still has the arrow indicating you should twist clockwise, but there's nothing preventing you from going the other way with this version of the binding). If you have an early version of the Speed Radical and you haven't removed the spring-loaded brass pins inside the plastic housing, now's the time to get rid of them and install the new device. If you've got the second generation version with the small ribs on the left side of the baseplate and under the heel housing and still get unwanted heel rotation on occasion, I think this mod will fix the problem.
September 7, 2014
It was only a taste of what's to come.
When Elissa and I stopped for lunch at around 8,700 ft. on the Paradise Glacier, we found small pockets of fresh snow left over from last week's storm.
Not really enough to ski on, it was still white and pristine. We used it to make some slushy orange Gatorade which proved the perfect drink under the late summer sun. Delicious.
Previous Incoming Pages:
China: Wandering in the Middle Kingdom
"Incoming" covers developments that have personal interest to me (ie. gear I might consider acquiring, or events I feel may impact the sport of skiing) - it is by no means meant to be a comprehensive enumeration of gear or events in the ski world at large. Feel free to contact me via the randosaigai.com link below with news or images that may be of interest . . .
© 2016 Gregory C. Louie