Back in February here at WildSnow.com we blogged about our first look at the new super-beefy Naxo backcountry skiing binding when it was introduced at the Outdoor Retailer trade show in Salt Lake City. It’s now named the "Stomp," and appears ready for play — perhaps even play of the rough variety.
New 2005/2006 Naxo Stomp backcountry skiing binding.
A few days ago we received our WildSnow.production samples of the Stomp backcountry skiing binding. With the popularity of the Fritschi Freeride, it’s obvious a market for this sort of randonnee AT binding (strong, weight a lesser issue) exists — if for no other reason than having such grabbers allows you to own only one pair of skis for both backcountry and resort. I know that because I stood at the top of the lift at Alta last winter and counted how many Freeride bindings I saw. Not only were hundreds of skiers using them, but most had no backpack and appeared to be resort skiing with their "one rig" setup. More, with the market appeal these days of the "backcountry" image, in some circles it’s hip to march around with randonne bindings on your skis — even if the extent of the march is from bus stop to ski lift.
|One excellent feature of the Stomp is a mechanical catch called the d-lock that holds the tour/ski latch so it absolutely can’t go into touring mode while you’re skiing downhill. This occurrence is a an uncommon but known problem with Fritschi randonnee bindings, and while not a problem for the average skier, it can result in nasty falls for aggressive free skiers and extreme skiers. We won’t be surprised to see this feature appear on other one-rig bindings such as the Freeride, if for no other reason than the confidence it inspires. (Update 2006/2007, Fritschi bindings now have a feature to prevent this problem).|
|Our binding slop comparo setup. Click to enlarge.|
An issue with
this genre of AT binding is how solidly it sticks your boot to
the ski. We’re in the midst of a new test for binding rolling deflection and we’ll report that here soon on the blog. (Preview: the Stomp appears nearly identical to the Freeride in rolling deflection). Then we’ll go ski ’em on the bountiful harvest of spring corn snow that Colorado is blessed with this year. Meanwhile, the Stomp backcountry skiing binding appears to be an excellent contribution to the rando AT binding family.
|Detail of Stomp heel latch. Everything is reinforced, with nice billet aluminum caps on both the toe and heel release spring barrels.|
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.