Salomon adds to their line of tech bindings with the MTN Summit series. We’ve had the MTN Summit 12 BR for roughly 24 hours; here’s a first look.
Next season, Salomon will begin selling the MTN Summit series of bindings. Think of this generally as a “beefed” up version of the Salomon MTN Pure. As this is a first look, and we’ve only had the bindings in hand for a bit more than 24 hours, we’ll populate this post with images and thoughts on what we perceive as some of the MTN Sunnmit 12 BR’s highlights and characteristics.
Let’s begin with the spec sheet from Salomon’s Fall 2023 catalog.
If you are familiar with the Salomon MTN Pure, the Atomic Backland, or the Armada Tracer (all identical bindings as Amer Sports owns Salomon, Atomic, and Armada), we see from the info above that the MTN Summit 12 comes in slightly heavier than the MTN Pure: these weights are unconfirmed. (The bindings came mounted on skis.) The MTN Summit 12 BR (with brakes) weighs 395g. We’ll be messing around with the bindings with the brakes on and removed. The brake unit weighs a confirmed 99g.
The Toe Unit
Items to make a note of; the MTN Pure has an aluminum base plate, whereas the new MTN Summit 12 has a fiberglass-infused plastic plate, perhaps to reduce the binding’s overall weight. The tow plate is more voluminous in appearance relative to the MTN Pure toe unit. The height of the boot toe above the ski topsheet is 3mm higher in the MTN Summit 12 than the MTN Pure; however, according to Salomon, the delta remains the same (at +8mm) across the board. In the final review, we’ll have more specs included.
The toe piece on the MTN Summit 12 has an easy-to-grip lever and, in most ways beyond the plate, resembles the Pure: four springs (two on each respective side); the wings appear similar, as does the click-in assistance bumper. The ski crampon slot is all aluminum and works nicely with the 100mm Plum ski crampons. The Dynafit ski crampons slide in fine yet move laterally — we’ll ask if the units will be delivered with a ski crampon holder (like the Pures).
The Heel Unit
Things get more complex with the heel unit. The spring retention system is mostly the same: a U-spring. The MTN Pure offers lateral/vertical adjustment via swapping out U-springs, labeled Women’s, Men’s, and Expert, respectively. The MTN Summit 12 adds a lateral release adjustment from 6-12 with a fixed vertical release.
The MTN Summit comes in this 12 version and a 9 and 5. We’ll confirm the U-spring values on those heel units. The 9 has an adjustable lateral release value from 4-9, and the 5, from 2-5.
The heel unit with no brakes weighs a confirmed 181g, whereas the brakes and assembly are 99g — thank you Gavin.
First, the brakes. An aluminum lever flips fore and aft from walk (skinning) mode to descend (ski) mode. Check the photos below, but with the lever pushed forward (to ski), the brake is detensioned: one stomps down on the black plate, engaging the pins in the boot heel and stowing the brakes up and off the snow. To stow the brakes for skinning, pull the lever back towards the heel unit and, with some force, lock it in place.
This is not a minimalist brake design, but it does appear robust. At a glance, it is very similar to the brake mechanism on the MTN Pure.
Beyond the SKI/WALK lever for the brakes, the U-spring, and high and low risers, the heel unit’s baseplate and tower appear to be fiberglass-infused plastic too. The heel unit has 50mm of adjustment in the BR models and 30mm with the leash, or LSH versions.
Pins and Risers
Like the MTN Pure, one can keep the pins forward and engage low and high risers. Like the Pure, you can twist the pins 90 degrees. The pins rotate independently of the risers (the risers are fixed on the tower in the forward position). With the pins rotated, this is your “flat” mode. In flat mode, you can also use both riser options. Flat is written in “” because it’s not super flat. The brake ski/walk lever keeps your heel above the heel baseplate. Without the brake installed, we are expecting a flatter flat.
And breaking news to some (like myself) although this might not be
manufacturer approved: you can skin in “flat” mode, pins forward, as the brake ski/walk lever keeps the pins from engaging. Although you feel an ever so slight bump on the rear heel insert. According to a reliable Teton source, you can skin, keep the ski on, disengage the brake, rip skins, lock in and go, in the pins forward orientation.
Risers heights are “flat” (with brake) 25.5mm, low 50.5mm, and high 70.5mm.
We’ll update this first look when we nail down info on pricing, general availability, spring values, and any other questions you might have.
Jason Albert comes to WildSnow from Bend, Oregon. After growing up on the East Coast, he migrated from Montana to Colorado and settled in Oregon. Simple pleasures are quiet and long days touring. His gray hair might stem from his first Grand Traverse in 2000 when rented leather boots and 210cm skis were not the speed weapons he had hoped for. Jason survived the transition from free-heel kool-aid drinker to faster and lighter (think AT), and safer, are better.