Apparently, in Europe Plum is now retailing a refined brake for their ski touring bindings. The lack of a Plum brake has been a major sticking point for skiers who otherwise dote on the confidence inspiring look of the Plum. We got a pair of brakes over here for a look yesterday. The distributor says they’re being evaluated for North American sales.
The engineering on these things is impressive. Plum’s retracted brake is held down when you lock the binding in touring mode via a series of small parts located under the binding wings. Less impressive is having a brake with prongs/arms facing forward. This is done to allow the use of ski crampons (“couteaux” if you’re French like Plum is). One can only imagine what might happen to a fast moving ski on hard snow when the prongs of the brake dig in. It’ll probably violently flip up in the air at best, bend the prongs on the brake at worst. I’m hoping they end up offering two brake versions: One version for use with ski crampons, and one facing rearward as all other ski brakes do.
Meanwhile, it’s troubling that G3 or another innovative and energetic companies such as Voile never went after the need for an aftermarket tech binding brake. For example, the G3 Onyx solution can easily be adapted to work as a stand-along ski brake. Or, perhaps a stand-alone brake will be offered along with G3’s new Ion tech binding? Aha, the world of ski touring is never dull.
I’m embargoed from saying much more about this backcountry skiing equipment, but comments are open for our esteemed readers! You use ski crampons much? Want some for your Plums? Did you already get some Plum ski binding brakes in Europe and have them on snow?
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.