In a world where a new tech binding seems to pop up almost weekly, one tends to yawn at each iteration. After all, most are really just copies of one another. Not so the Diamir Zenith 12. This grabber includes a rather intriguing side release at the toe that’s claimed to allow a full 11 mm of elasticity, mode change on the fly, and other interesting features that may perhaps even be innovative. More to expound when we have a tester, for now here is some official verbiage and imagery. Catalog PDF is also available off our server. Catalog weight is a totally competitive 499 grams per binding.
Following copy is excerpted from the catalog, lightly edited with a few editorial comments:
SAfeTy TeCH SySTem Tour Diamir Zenith 12 For ski tour buffs with highest demands
The first ever tech binding with defined release (Ed. whatever that means, since there is no DIN/ISO standard for tech bindings). The top of the line ski touring binding for hard use in the high mountains and in difficult conditions. Genuine innovation with state of the art materials and manufacturing methods.
The exclusive look underscores its very special blend of power and finesse. Advantages compared to conventional tech bindings:
•Front lateral defined safety release
•Frontal defined safety release
•Safety release in uphill mode
•Easiest to switch from walk mode to downhill mode
•Easiest adjustment of walk mode levels
•Crampon with consistent traction depth SAFETY TECH and system features For detailed descriptions, see pages 8–11.
SAfeTy TeCH SySTem – Safety Tech Lateral safety release Toe unit Similar to modern release systems of alpine bindings, the lateral release in the toe unit occurs in two phases. In a first phase, the carriage with the toe pin unit slides laterally. In a second phase, the respective toe pin unit swivels out laterally to release the boot. After the release, the toe pin unit can easily be reset by hand to its original position. Integrated dynamic range Similar to the Diamir SAFETY ALUBAR SYSTEM the SAFETY TECH SYSTEM also includes a dynamic range. The boot is not released until the dynamic range of 11 mm and the preset restoring force have been exceeded. As a result, the binding will only release when absolutely necessary. This is an important safety feature, especially in uneven terrain. Developing an exceptionally lightweight release mechanism with defined release and fitting into an extremely limited mounting space is a technical masterpiece. For safety-conscious ski touring enthusiasts who prefer a pin binding to meet their personal needs, a defined release, even when the ski is bent, is one of the key arguments for choosing a SAFETY TECH model from Diamir.
To ensure a defined release by the release mechanisms in any skiing situation, the contact pressure of the boot must remain constant at all times. In the SAFETY TECH SYSTEM, a consistent contact pressure is ensured, even when the ski is significantly bent, by the active length compensation through the sliding back and forth of the heel unit on a guiding plate.
Conventional tech bindings are not provided with length compensation within the binding system (Ed. this seeems to be the thing they’re making a big deal out of, and it’s true the normal tech bindings don’t do well with length compensation as the ski flexes). Instead, when the binding is mounted and adjusted to the length of the boot, a small gap is provided between the gripping edge of the boot and the heel part of the binding. This is why the boot is jammed between toe and heel parts when the ski is significantly bent and as a result, a defined release is made impossible.
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.