At Gear and Tele gear


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  1. #1

    At Gear and Tele gear

    Folks, I am hoping some of you can illustrate to me how At bindings and gear works and Telemark gear works. I stopped by some shops today and learned that this stuff is expensive, and some of how it works, etc...

    I just want to learn a little more about it continue the discussion.

    As a backstory, I have cross country skied into Baxter State park, pulling a sled attached with a work belt, full of gear to stay in the ranger's cabin. I enjoy skiing in, as opposed to snowshoes or microspikes, which we all had. The road in was often packed down by other hikers and snowmobiles. The few places where we had to break trail were not an issue.

    But..... thinking if I am going to, say, skin up Saddleback, my cross country skis simply are not going to do it. I have regular downhill skis. I'm just kinda interested in what works, how?

    Telemark skis, are attached only at the toe and the heel is free(?). Can the heal be secured for the downhill portions, and used like a downhill ski? What are the major differences between downhill ski boots and tele ski boots?

    Now what about AT boots and bindings? Are the boots essentially downhill boots, but the front of the binding is hinged and there is a release at the back? Can you tele in these bindings or are they a lock down heel only?

    What would you use for the skis? Any minimum recommendations on width and length? How much or little radius works?

    Skins? What can you tell me about them?

    Feel free to enlighten me to anything I may need to know, please.
    lovin life,


  2. #2

    To answer all your questions would require a book LOL. Video is tech bindings with boots that have metal inserts in the toes. Lightest of the setups but not the best for release if you fall. The toe pieces can foul with ice so take a small screwdriver to clear the bindings before downhill .

    If your going to do "once in a whiles " go with a rail binding ,heavy but safer release characteristics . They can foul as well.
    I don't believe Tele bindings have the adjustable cant angle for climbing with skins but someone will chime in if I'm wrong .

    Lots of techniques for uphilling , steep vs mellow .

    Have fun researching .
    "White Privilege ": The ability to suffer through life's universal indignities without blaming another group for them.


  3. #3
    lovin life,


  4. #4
    No, you can't lock tele heels down....but with modern tele gear there is absolutely no need to go down on your knee to turn. You can ski on them just like downhill gear. Modern equipment has made tele gear obsolete and the style is dying quite rapidly at this point. When my tele gear dies I will likely move on.

    And yes, some tele binds have heel lifters for climbing. Mine do and mine also have a release for the front plate that effectively removes the spring tension for climbing and then can be locked down for skiing.

  5. #5
    bigbog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Bangor and the state's woodlands
    AT bindings lock down for the's a competitive market. Good info from billo on tele and SiliconeBob on bindings... Both AT and hybrid downhill boots possessing walk-mode....with levels of range of movement all over the place. Skis - tele-skis, AT("touring")-skis and light downhill skis are out there.....
    Last edited by bigbog; Mar 18, 2019 at 10:04 PM.

  6. #6
    I was talking to a buddy and he said I would likely not enjoy klimbing the hill with AT gear and my regular boots.
    lovin life,


  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by uphillklimber View Post
    I was talking to a buddy and he said I would likely not enjoy klimbing the hill with AT gear and my regular boots.
    What did he suggest for boots?

    You don't use regular boots with AT gear. You use AT boots that have a pair of holes in the front that the binding locks into from the sides and allows the boot to swivel when the heel is unlocked. AT boots are getting just as big as regular downhill boots.

  8. #8
    I've seen those boots and had a salesman show me how they worked. My buddy was saying that I might want something that flexed at the ankle a bit, or I might like tele gear all the way (bindings and boots).

    Another buddy of mine used his regular boots to skin up to North Peak at the River. AT bindings. Essentially, the bindings worked .... well, let's see if I can describe this well enough. It had regular downhill bindings and the dins were set like any regular downhill binding and used regular downhill boots. But.... these bindings were 3-4 inches longer in the rear and had another clip/release. You pulled the handle and yanked them back, and then the remaining binding hinged in front of the toe piece. In pulling this handle, you could also flip .... a thingy... up that kept your heels in a raised position, useful for climbing. You regular downhill boots were still mounted firmly in the binding, despite it being hinged and released at the heel.

    Trying to find a picture of said bindings, BRB....

    Lessee if I can now find one with the heels raised off the ski....

    lovin life,


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