Over at Telemarktips.com Rottefella’s space age NTN telemark binding got what’s easily one of the most extensive new product reviews I’ve ever seen published. (An example of using the web to its advantage, with no ink/paper costs and all the space you want).
Writer Mitch Weber and his cohorts pounded the new grabber for 100 days. Informed by no less than eight years of obsessive investigative reporting about the product and associated industry standards, their testing epic sets the standard for take on a new ski binding.
But how “new” is the NTN? The binding’s step-inn function is no doubt cutting edge, and since the NTN requires a proprietary boot sole shape it may very well lead the future in tele bindings since it will possibly set a new standard — yet according to Weber the NTN is “in fact a cable binding.” Oh well, steel cable is pretty amazing stuff, so it’s no surprise the latest in tele bindings is still using it. My take: This is indeed a NEW thing in telemarking, especially since it gets away from the fossilized duck-bill sole standard.
In one part of the review that made me chuckle, Mitch relates how their prototype bindings sometimes switched to free-pivot tour mode in the middle of a turn. In the AT world we call that “insta-tele.” Since the NTN switch happens while you tele, perhaps they’ll call it “insta-AT?”
One thing I found curiously lacking in Mitch’s review was information about the Rottefella NTN binding’s safety release function. If not to protect your legs from injury during a fall, safety release is key to increasing your odds of avalanche survival, and along with a free touring pivot is in our opinion the killer feature of tomorrow’s telemark binding. We’re assuming the NTN does have some sort of safety release…? Mitch or Big Tim, pray tell?
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.