The MFD ALLTIME: Trekker Slaughterer, Duke Killer?
A dilemma exists for alpine skiers who want to access the untouched expanses of backcountry terrain but don’t want to sacrifice the performance of a high-DIN alpine binding. Yes, the release of Marker’s Duke and Baron bindings several seasons ago presented an attractive option. Yet for those of us who either can’t drop the cash on a pair; have issues with their notoriously low elasticity; are concerned with weight; or are looking to adapt an existing resort setup for touring, the options are very slim.
Backcountry Access makes the Alpine Trekker, which are adaptors that click into regular alpine bindings, creating a free-heeled platform designed to fit any alpine boot. Granted, depending on your boot size, using them with bindings with a tall heelpiece (most new Marker and Look/Rossignol bindings) may not work so nicely. The heel of your boot will rest on the binding, not on the bottom trekker platform. Regardless of these minor compatibility issues, Trekkers (or “Day-rekkers” as they’ve sometimes been called), can get the job done. I have been on a number of tours using them with only the slightest inconvenience. And yet, given the Trekkers’ heavy weight, bulky construction, lack of torsional rigidity, awkward 3″ stand height, and a build-quality that doesn’t seem to justify the $180 price tag, they make for a less than ideal AT setup. Soon, however, there might be a better way.
MFD Inc., a Salt Lake City based company, has announced their plan to release a new AT binding system to retailers in fall, 2011. The MFD ALLTIME, the company’s flagship product, aims to satisfy alpine skiers looking toward the backcountry while minimizing the drawbacks of an adapter system. A machined aluminum channel with releasable heel is mounted to the ski. From here, almost any high-performance binding from Salomon, Rossignol, Look, Atomic, Marker, 4FRNT, Tyrolia, or Head can be used. The ALLTIME comes in four different models to accommodate different binding mount patterns.