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Touring boots in downhill bindings.

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Simon Duvivier

Monday 16 November 2009 6:45:53 pm

Last season I went for a weekends piste skiing and took my Scarpa Denali touring
boots but not skis intending to hire locally.
I chose some nice carving skis in the hire shop but the technician there was
very reluctant to fit my touring boots to the normal downhill bindings on the
skis. He said it was dangerous because the release system was compromised by the
sole of the touring boot - presumably something to do with the friction between
boot and ski ?-
Anyway I went ahead and used them without incident but does anyone know of
this problem and how one can get round it?

Michael Rae

Thursday 19 November 2009 5:07:32 pm

Simon, Not that I am an expert in this field but the ski fitter was absolutely correct.

This is why Garmont supply removable rubber touring soles and free supply plastic Alpine soles with their boots. You simply uncrew one sole and screw on the other.Thus you have two boots in one. They have two models that do this the Endorphin and the Ephidrin (or something like that) one red, one silver, one lighter than the other.

I have had the red Endorphin for the past two seasons and have used them on both tours and piste hols and they have performed just fine.

So if you value your legs either change your boots to the above or similar or always hire touring skis for your piste hols if you want to keep using your Denalis.

Andy Perkins

Tuesday 24 November 2009 9:40:00 am

I broke my leg VERY badly some years ago using touring boots in a downhill binding. I didn't know about the problem at the time which, as you rightly point out, is caused by the friction of the sole on the downhill binding base. Afterwards, people said "Everybody knows about that...." but I didn't. Result? Spiral fracture of the tib and fib, unbelievable agony in the hospital on numerous occasions, 15 months with a pin in my tib, 6 months of no climbing, 12 months of no skiing, hundreds of pounds on physio... shall I go on?

You do this at your own (considerable) risk.

Solution? Use downhill boots in a downhill binding.


have a good winter!