Any of you use ski touring tech bindings with zero tech gap at the heel, what we call the “kiss gap,” and had trouble clipping your heels down when you’re in deep soft powder? Here is the deal:
If you’re an average to smaller skier and don’t end up clicking in while standing on soft snow, you might have no reason to consider all the above. On the other hand: if you ever find yourself stomping your heels down over and over again without that satisfying tech binding click, wondering what the heck is going on, now perhaps you know.
My opinion about all this? I’m still a fan of the astounding simplicity in the basic tech binding that uses heel gap for ski flex compensation. I’m not quite sure why so many companies go to so much trouble ignoring that and creating various spring loaded machinery that appears silly in comparison. If you’re going for TUV certification to ISO-DIN ski touring binding standard, you do need ski flex compensation, but very few tech binding makers go to the trouble of TUV. One consideration is that the binding release/retention setting does slightly change when a classic tech gap widens or narrows as the ski flexes, but I’ve never seen that as a big concern. Mysteries of the universe, I suppose.
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.