A person emailed me this morning because they were having trouble getting their WildSnow binding template to line up with the screw holes in their Freeride Plus bindings. I checked the template, and when printed on my laser printer at 100% scale it lines up perfectly, so I’m hoping the guy’s problem is simply printer scaling. If not we’ll get things right. As always, with any paper binding template always compare to your binding before drilling any holes in your skis. (Update: problem was indeed a printing error, see comments below.)
On the other hand, while checking the paper template I accidentally grabbed one of this year’s Fritschi Explore bindings for the comparo, and noticed that the screw holes in the Explore binding front piece are about 1/2 millimeter farther apart than those of the Freeride, in the ski tip/tail direction. We attribute this to manufacturing variation rather than any intentional change on the part of Fritschi, and don’t see it as a big deal. Nonetheless, we did make a new template just for the Explore (see link above).
If you’re retrofitting the 2006 Explore on a ski drilled for earlier Fritschi bindings, the slight difference in pattern should be easily absorbed by the screws shifting slightly as you run them in, and should NOT require re-drilling. Other than changing to the 2006 Explore, all other hole patterns should match up exactly.
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.