While due for retail in fall of NEXT year (2012), Salomon has gone public with their rumored AT binding. They say it’ll be sold in two cosmetic versions, Salomon Guardian 16 and Atomic Tracker 16. The binding features a lower stack height than many other AT bindings, and an “oversized platform” that if nothing else will yield the impression of greater power and will probably have the definite effect of better screw hold for those of you who rip bindings out of skis. It’s unknown if the wider form factor will solve the twisting-rolling instability problem that plagues this sort of design both in alpine and tour mode, but it could help.
Perhaps most importantly, this appears to be another AT binding that’s biased to downhill “freeride” performance, yet in this case has a walk/ski mode switch that does not require removing your skis. The engineering required to achieve this is impressive. Hero or casualty? It’ll be fun to watch how the new soldier does.
More on their Salomon Guardian backcountry skiing binding minisite.
Weight, MSRP and so forth are unknown at this time.
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.