B&D Ski Gear owner Bill Bollinger (new WildSnow supporter, see banner to left) hangs his shingle at the Yates climbing gear booth, because he does metal work for Yates. I always like stopping by and seeing what kind of trick stuff Bill is up to, along with checking the latest in climbing technology from Yates. I was fascinated by the Yates tactical gear. Along with a variety of elaborate harness for lowering and raising SWAT personal and soldiers, they were displaying a sixteen foot tall webbing “assault ladder” suspended from an aluminum pole toped by a hook. For “wall climbing” I’m told. Sort of medieval scary when you think about it. For some fascinating gear geek reading, check out the Yates tactical catalog. You might even do some shopping (I like the trouser belts you can rappel with in a pinch — perfect for showing up at mystery tours in Europe when you’re not sure you need a harness — or forgot it.)
|Televangelists weep. This adapter plate is used to swap Dynafit bindings onto telemark skis with an existing 4-hole tele binding screw pattern.|
We beat Bill to the punch on this one as we’ve been making aluminum Dynafit top plates for several years now, but he one upped us with his fit and finish, then appealed to my ego by personalizing the thing. They’re made from 6061 alu, as are the ones we’ve been making. That flavor of aluminum has held up well for us, but Bill and I agreed that a big skier with a heavy pack could bend this plate in the area under the heel elevator post. Because the original plate is steel, replacing it with aluminum saves significant weight (18 grams).
These work on the Comfort model of Dynafit, and can be swapped on the TLT as well (though using the stock “volcano” heel post will result in a lower climbing lift that some users might dislike).
|Bellows boots such as Scarpa F1 need a shim when used with Dynafit bindings. Problem is, said shim interferes with ski crampons. Not to worry. Bollinger came up with this integrated shim and crampon mount. Not only that, but this crampon has his latest adjustable height “post” that fills the space between boot and crampon, so it moves up and down without vertical slop. Nice!|
|Bonus image: While at Yates I noticed this climbing cam used by speed climber Hans Florine, who’s said to be quite the weight fanatic. People make fun of our “speedholes” but these have to take the prize for crazy. I hope this is just a hauling cam, and not something Florine staked his life on!|
Reminder, B&D is the source for all sorts of ski crampons, including the much sought after wider but still Dynafit compatible versions (which are now made with a thicker aluminum that in our experience has held up well to abuse.)
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.