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2006 Telemark Guide

2006 Telemark Guide

Gear
posted: 01/04/2006



Today's well-rounded skiers blur the distinction between resort diehard and crusty backcountry aficionado. Some like to charge the steeps, others might be fitness-obsessed long-tour nuts, but they share one need: a setup that balances touring capability with downhill performance—one that performs equally well inbounds and beyond the gate. Enter the top picks of our 2005—06 Telemark and Alpine-Touring (or AT) Gear Test. The following pages give the telemark results. (See the related articles for the alpine-touring results.)

For five days at Aspen Highlands, Colorado, we battered this year's skis, boots, and bindings during bell-to-bell test days with the help of pro skiers from both disciplines. We debated downhill and uphill performance. Then we crunched the numbers to come up with eight ultimate setups designed to do everything from dicing big-mountain lines to banging out lightning-quick ascents. So read, buy, and go skiing.

See page 8 for info on where to get the gear.DECEMBER 2005["Big Mountain Tele"]

BIG MOUNTAIN TELE
You're a bruiser—perhaps not physically speaking, but you love airing rock drops and pummeling long powder faces. You need a setup that'll stand up and take it without fighting back. This is it.

THE ULTIMATE SETUP
Total package weight: 20 lbs., 13 oz.
Rossignol Sick Bird
$539; 128/98/121; 9 lbs., 11 oz.
Testers—especially our big, powerful ones—raved about the solid edge hold, even flex, and aircraft-carrier float of Rossi's new retro twin tip, the widest telemark plank the company has ever offered. It has a bouncy and playful feel, and it cuts a serious furrow in junky snow. Gripes: It's the heaviest ski we tested—featherweight pilots may struggle to make it dance in tight spots. Props: Doesn't blink, even in the longest arcs at the highest speeds.
Crispi X-R
$685; 7 lbs., 7 oz.
With four buckles, a burly power strap, three forward-lean options, and a carbon-fiber stirrup that runs the length of the boot sole and wraps around the ankle, the brand-new X-R is Crispi's beefiest boot yet. And thanks to the carbon fiber, it's even lighter than Crispi's women's all-mountain shoe.
Bomber Bishop
$320; 4 lbs.
Two words: power transfer. The Bishop's plate system offers complete torsional rigidity. Unlike the inflexible toe cage of a cable binding, which tends to rock you forward, its toe bail lets your boot sit flat on your skis. And you can adjust its resistance for uphill touring or downhill charging. Not that you'd want to tour very far: These stainless-steel-and-aluminum traps are heavy (but for an extra $100, you can get the 3 lbs., 11 oz. titanium version).

THE BEST OF THE REST

G3 Reverend
$675; 126/93/114; 8 lbs., 8 oz.
Of the four skis G3 introduced this season, the Reverend is the fattest. But it's also responsive, snappy, and stable through all turn shapes. Gripes: A bit jittery when you mash the accelerator. Props: Versatile ski with enough surface area to sing hymns in the deep stuff.


K2 Hippy Stinx
$599; 128/95/118; 9 lbs., 4 oz.
The damp (but not dank) Hippy rafts over icy chunks, rock drops, and broken powder. Our heavier, more powerful testers found it sporty and easy to maneuver. Lightweights, not so much. Gripes: On harder snow and in quicker turns, it feels a little…burned out. Props: In deep powder, it's a floaty, happy Hippy.


Atomic Janak
$628; 123/99/115; 8 lbs., 10 oz.
In width and floatability, the Janak takes over where the TeleDaddy left off. It has the same Beta construction (similar to that of Atomic's alpine boards), but a new magnesium cap that dampens the ski without adding much weight. It locks into medium-radius turns and carves surprisingly well for such a chubby ski. Gripes: When a ski is both super-light and super-stiff like this one, it ends up feeling skiish. Props: Enough width underfoot for serious flotation.["All-Mountain Tele"]

ALL-MOUNTAIN TELE
Your skiing personality is split: You like bumps. You like trees. You could spend an afternoon ripping steep groomers—or dropping into chutes. Can't decide? These skis will take you anywhere.

THE ULTIMATE SETUP
Total package weight: 18 lbs., 6 oz.
Völkl T-Rock
$650; 119/87/111; 7 lbs., 4 oz.
"Perfect weight, perfect width" is how one tester put it. "Forgiving, fluid turns," wrote another. The T-Rock is what you want in a one-ski quiver: a wide enough waist for first tracks, a deep enough sidecut to hold an edge on hardpack, and a willingness to make all turn shapes in most conditions. Gripes: A bit chattery at high speeds, and the snappy tail can get bucky in the bumps. Props: Easily the most versatile ski in the category.
Garmont Ener-G
$679; 8 lbs., 2 oz.
Though the Ener-G is Garmont's stiffest boot, it's still a touch soft for driving the fattest skis. But it's the perfect counterpart to an all-mountain board: Built with three different plastics, the burly shell has a progressive, predictable flex. Backcountry features include a sole designed to clean itself of snow, and "tour clips—additional hooks on the buckles that loosen the boot for hiking.
Rottefella Cobra R8
$165; 3 lbs.
While the three-pound Cobra might look positively minimalist compared with the Bishop (see previous page), it holds its own when matched with burly boots and fat skis. Credit rigid steel cables (that minimize lateral sloppiness), the stiffest compression springs Rottefella makes (to drive pressure to your tips), and 30 milli-meters of rise. All of which help you get your skis on edge—and keep 'em there.

THE BEST OF THE REST

K2 Piste Pipe
$449; 118/85/109; 9 lbs., 1 oz.
If your idea of "all-mountain" involves hitting the terrain park and skiing switch—after straightlining a couple chutes—these twin tips are for you. Turn initiation is a snap; edge hold is solid. Gripes: When it comes to tight maneuvers, they're a tad sluggish. Props: There's no better tool for aspiring tele jibbers who want to carve and huck.


Karhu Kodiak
$479; 117/80/105; 7 lbs.
Karhu's mid-fat is unchanged from last season. It still has a big sweet spot, makes smooth arcs in all conditions, and excels at lightning-fast edge-to-edge transitions. Gripes: Powerful skiers might overpower its relatively thin waist and forgiving flex. Props: Said one tester, "It's lively and stable, which is hard to accomplish."


Atomic Tacora
$493; 113/80/104; 6 lbs., 6 oz.
Do you tend to spend more days in tight bumps and wide-open slopes, with only the occasional dive into powder? Atomic's new Tacora, with bomber edge hold and a light, agile feel, is best suited for piste skiing—the steeper, the better. Gripes: Takes some effort to lock it into turns. Props: Likes to go fast and stays stable at high speeds.["Resort/Corn Tele"]

RESORT/CORN TELE
So you spend most days at the resort, with an occasional creamed-corn tour? You want a ski that's svelte enough to zipper through bumps but thick enough for the occasional stash? These four bell-to-bell skis do just that.

THE ULTIMATE SETUP
Total package weight: 16 lbs., 11 oz.
K2 World Piste
$489; 119/78/105; 6 lbs., 13 oz.
Introduced in 1990, and continually updated for the past 15 years, this multifaceted mid-fat is stiff enough to blast through concrete while carving all turn shapes well. Its secret? A deep sidecut, and a wood core sandwiched between two sheets of rigid metal. At 78 millimeters underfoot, it works hard for its size. Gripes: Washes out in the steeps. Props: A huge sweet spot—and a wide enough shovel to bomb powder.
Scarpa T2X
$559; 6 lbs., 15 oz.
Meet the brawnier new brother to Scarpa's classic T2. The difference: Its spoiler—which increases the boot height for more power and backseat support—is now integrated into the shell, and it sports a higher, overlapping cuff. The tradeoff: The T2X is heavier and stiffer than its predecessor—but still substantially softer (read: more comfortable on long tours) than Scarpa's T1 or T-Race.
Black Diamond 03
$178; 2 lbs., 15 oz.
With a lightweight, no-frills design and a neutral feel, the O3 is at home on corduroy or in a powder field. The forward positioning of the cable pivot point eases hiking resistance, and the underfoot cable routing system creates a progressive flex. Be warned: It's light and torsionally lax. Stay centered and think finesse.

THE BEST OF THE REST

G3 Baron
$599; 116/81/104; 7 lbs., 8 oz.
With the category's fattest waist, the Baron performs bigger than it actually is. A mellow sidecut allows it to naturally fall into longer-radius turns, but it's light enough to zip through bumps and tight spaces. Gripes: Not enough beef for a powerful, advanced skier. Props: Soft and playful enough for the occasional eight-inch dump.


Karhu Grizzly
$429; 112/75/101; 7 lbs.
Our testers all agreed: The Griz is the top carver in this category. As long as you don't floor it, or make AK-style turns, it holds a strong edge and makes turn-to-turn transitions like clockwork. Gripes: Push hard and it bottoms out. Props: Very stable for such a thin platform.


Black Diamond Ethic
$560; 112/79/102; 6 lbs., 14 oz.
The Ethic's core—a combination of wood and hard foam—theoretically brings both liveliness and dampness to the same package. In reality, it's a fluid ride, with good balance between rigidity and responsiveness. But it doesn't feel especially quick. Gripes Could use more sidecut. It's tough to get the edge pressure you want. Props: Good choice for anyone ready to start venturing off-piste.["Women's Tele"]


WOMEN'S TELE
There are more women's telemark skis on the market than ever: Now the discerning female freeheeler can find anything from a super-fat pillow surfer to a svelte carver—flower graphics included. Here are our top four.

THE ULTIMATE SETUP
Total package weight: 15 lbs., 2 oz.
Karhu Betty
$479; 117/80/105; 6 lbs., 7 oz.
The brand-new Betty is a lively, all-mountain addition to Karhu's women's line. Designed by ski mountaineer and instructor Naheed Henderson, and based on the same design and construction as the Kodiak's (see page 162), the Betty features a springy poplar core and stiff titanium "claws" for underfoot rigidity. Gripes: Not enough heft to handle challenging off-piste conditions. Props: A light and whippy turner perfect for moderate to aggressive skiers.
Garmont Venus
$570; 6 lbs., 7 oz.
Unchanged from last year, the Venus's lower cuff is designed to fit the female calf. The middle-of-the-road flex is forgiving enough for the backcountry yet beefy enough for hardpack ripping. Choose between a standard liner (with a rubber sole for wearing around the hut), and a lighter, thermo-moldable one (for a custom fit).
G3 Targa T/9 Roxy
$186; 2 lbs., 4 oz.
Introduced in 2002, the Roxy is one of the only women-specific tele bindings on the market (the cable fits super-small boots). Available in three cable lengths, it features a choice of three spring cartridges of varying stiffness (World Cup, X-Race, and All-Mountain) and G3's proprietary Tour Throw, which decreases the pressure exerted on the boot by the cartridges for low-resistance, high-efficiency touring.

THE BEST OF THE REST

Big Mountain: K2 Dawn Patrol
$519; 125/89/112; 7 lbs., 6 oz.
The Dawn Patrol impressed testers with its forgivingness, nimbleness, and edge grip—it carves surprisingly well for its dimensions, and it floats like a d brother to Scarpa's classic T2. The difference: Its spoiler—which increases the boot height for more power and backseat support—is now integrated into the shell, and it sports a higher, overlapping cuff. The tradeoff: The T2X is heavier and stiffer than its predecessor—but still substantially softer (read: more comfortable on long tours) than Scarpa's T1 or T-Race.
Black Diamond 03
$178; 2 lbs., 15 oz.
With a lightweight, no-frills design and a neutral feel, the O3 is at home on corduroy or in a powder field. The forward positioning of the cable pivot point eases hiking resistance, and the underfoot cable routing system creates a progressive flex. Be warned: It's light and torsionally lax. Stay centered and think finesse.

THE BEST OF THE REST

G3 Baron
$599; 116/81/104; 7 lbs., 8 oz.
With the category's fattest waist, the Baron performs bigger than it actually is. A mellow sidecut allows it to naturally fall into longer-radius turns, but it's light enough to zip through bumps and tight spaces. Gripes: Not enough beef for a powerful, advanced skier. Props: Soft and playful enough for the occasional eight-inch dump.


Karhu Grizzly
$429; 112/75/101; 7 lbs.
Our testers all agreed: The Griz is the top carver in this category. As long as you don't floor it, or make AK-style turns, it holds a strong edge and makes turn-to-turn transitions like clockwork. Gripes: Push hard and it bottoms out. Props: Very stable for such a thin platform.


Black Diamond Ethic
$560; 112/79/102; 6 lbs., 14 oz.
The Ethic's core—a combination of wood and hard foam—theoretically brings both liveliness and dampness to the same package. In reality, it's a fluid ride, with good balance between rigidity and responsiveness. But it doesn't feel especially quick. Gripes Could use more sidecut. It's tough to get the edge pressure you want. Props: Good choice for anyone ready to start venturing off-piste.["Women's Tele"]


WOMEN'S TELE
There are more women's telemark skis on the market than ever: Now the discerning female freeheeler can find anything from a super-fat pillow surfer to a svelte carver—flower graphics included. Here are our top four.

THE ULTIMATE SETUP
Total package weight: 15 lbs., 2 oz.
Karhu Betty
$479; 117/80/105; 6 lbs., 7 oz.
The brand-new Betty is a lively, all-mountain addition to Karhu's women's line. Designed by ski mountaineer and instructor Naheed Henderson, and based on the same design and construction as the Kodiak's (see page 162), the Betty features a springy poplar core and stiff titanium "claws" for underfoot rigidity. Gripes: Not enough heft to handle challenging off-piste conditions. Props: A light and whippy turner perfect for moderate to aggressive skiers.
Garmont Venus
$570; 6 lbs., 7 oz.
Unchanged from last year, the Venus's lower cuff is designed to fit the female calf. The middle-of-the-road flex is forgiving enough for the backcountry yet beefy enough for hardpack ripping. Choose between a standard liner (with a rubber sole for wearing around the hut), and a lighter, thermo-moldable one (for a custom fit).
G3 Targa T/9 Roxy
$186; 2 lbs., 4 oz.
Introduced in 2002, the Roxy is one of the only women-specific tele bindings on the market (the cable fits super-small boots). Available in three cable lengths, it features a choice of three spring cartridges of varying stiffness (World Cup, X-Race, and All-Mountain) and G3's proprietary Tour Throw, which decreases the pressure exerted on the boot by the cartridges for low-resistance, high-efficiency touring.

THE BEST OF THE REST

Big Mountain: K2 Dawn Patrol
$519; 125/89/112; 7 lbs., 6 oz.
The Dawn Patrol impressed testers with its forgivingness, nimbleness, and edge grip—it carves surprisingly well for its dimensions, and it floats like a dream in powder. Gripes: The tip gets floppy at high speeds; powerful, hard-charging women will overpower it. Props: Want a fat ski that can handle bumps? You got it.


All-Mountain: Rossignol Rip Chick
$510; 120/83/110; 7 lbs., 1 oz.
According to tester Karen Reader, the new Rip Chick is a "no-brainer. The sweet spot is enormous, the flex is fluid, and it's damp enough to absorb the worst rumble-strip chatter. Gripes: Sluggish in short turns. Props: The tip engages easily; underfoot stiffness makes for good edge bite.


Resort/corn: K2 Schi Devil
$489; 119/78/105; 6 lbs., 10 oz.
If your dream day involves bumps at Mary Jane followed by groomers at Sun Valley, reach for this ski: A deep sidecut and two sheets of metal cleave hardpack and make tight turns a snap. Gripes: Too narrow underfoot for deep snow. Props: A great medium turner at medium speeds. Says tester Karen Reader: "This is a playful ski, but it doesn't mess around. It delivers the turn you want."["Tele Bindings"]

TELE BINDINGS
No longer flimsy rattraps, tele bindings now come in an array of designs. Plate or cable? Compression springs or hard wires? Releasable? Tour-friendly? Check out these rigs—and the ones in our ultimate setups—to figure out which is right for you.














Black Diamond O2
$190; 3 lbs., 5 oz.
The O2's cable routing system is similar to that of its lighter cousin, the O3, but it's reinforced by an under-heel yoke that boosts torsional rigidity and power transfer. Choose among three cartridge options to vary stiffness.












G3 Targa
$157; 2 lbs., 11 oz.
The unisex version of the Targa T/9 Roxy (see page 165) is one of the best-selling bindings in the business. It's reliable, simple, and durable. It's not as rigid as a plate binding, but its natural flex and light weight make it better for touring—and the option of a super-stiff Race cartridge gives it mas beef for its buck.










Karhu 7TM Power
$269; 3 lbs., 3 oz.
Karhu's third iteration of the 7TM features a pivot point set an inch farther back, improving downhill performance and edging capability. There's also a lighter, touring version, the 7TM Tour, and a neutral-flexing standard version, the 7TM All-Mountain. All three are made with a virtually indestructible Kevlar underfoot strap and feature Karhu's side-release system. If you biff, the toe plate pops off the mounting plate.










Linken
$310; 3 lbs., 15 oz.
At almost four pounds, the Linken is heavier than most cable bindings, but weight has its advantages—like a bomber underfoot plate, a true step-in system, and think-and-you'll-carve power transfer. If you dare take them touring, the forward hinge helps offset all that heft.











TwentyTwo Designs Hammerhead
$210; 3 lbs., 1 oz.
The HammerHead's best feature is that you can adjust the flex point to six different settings. If you're touring, bump the guides toward the tip and you approach zero resistance. Heading down? Move them back toward the tail and the binding becomes powerful enough to strong-arm the brawniest ski/boot combos. One caveat: Most tele bindings have a common four-hole mounting standard. These—inexplicably—have six holes. And they don't match up with four-hole skis, so you'll have to drill your boards.











Voilé Hardwire CRB
$175; 3 lbs., 9 oz.
Voilé claims its releasable setup (CRB stands for "Complete Release Binding") is the only rig that'll let go during backward, twisting falls. The secret? The whole binding—stiff wires, compression springs, and all—pops off the shim. Want fewer moving parts? Opt for the traditional Hardwire. Easy length adjustments and a neutral flex made the hardwire our binding of choice for this year's ski test.







["Tele Boots"]

TELE BOOTS
If none of our "ultimate" choices seemed like your perfect match, check these out.




BIG MOUNTAIN
Scarpa T-Race
$625; 8 lbs., 9 oz.
With a bomber overlap cuff, stiff "beams from instep to heel for torsional rigidity, and asymmetric bellows for natural flex, the T-Race is one of the brawniest boots on the market.













ALL-MOUNTAIN
Scarpa T-1
$598; 8 lbs., 9 oz.
Unchanged from last year, the benchmark Terminator is stiff enough to power fat skis on descents, and it comes standard with a weight-saving, thermo-formable liner.












Crispi CXR
$620; 7 lbs., 14 oz.
With four buckles, a beefy power strap, and stiff plastic in the instep, heel, and arch, the CX R is Crispi's tried-and-true workhorse. The toe box is roomier than the Scarpa T-1's, and the cuff hits slightly lower than the beefier X-R's.











CROSSOVER
Crispi CXP
$520; 8 lbs., 2 oz.
The tour-friendly CX P takes Crispi's buckle count down a notch and softens the bellows significantly, but it still has a rigid instep and high cuff for downhill control. The CX P Lady ($520) has a slightly softer plastic and a modified liner.





["Where To Get It"]

WHERE TO GET IT
Atomic: atomicscnow.com
Black Diamond: bdel.com
Bomber: bombertele.com
Crispi: alpinasports.com
Dynafit: life-link.com
G3: genuineguidegear.com
Garmont: garmontusa.com BR>Fritschi: bdel.com
Karhu: karhu.com
K2: k2skis.com
Linken: linken.com
Lowa: lowaboots.com
Naxo: bcaccess.com
Rossignol: rossignol.com
Rottefella: rottefella.com
Salomon: salomonsports.com
Scarpa: bdel.com
Silvretta: garmontusa.com
TwentyTwo Designs: twentytwodesigns.com
Voilé: voile.com
Völkl: volkl.com

m in powder. Gripes: The tip gets floppy at high speeds; powerful, hard-charging women will overpower it. Props: Want a fat ski that can handle bumps? You got it.


All-Mountain: Rossignol Rip Chick
$510; 120/83/110; 7 lbs., 1 oz.
According to tester Karen Reader, the new Rip Chick is a "no-brainer. The sweet spot is enormous, the flex is fluid, and it's damp enough to absorb the worst rumble-strip chatter. Gripes: Sluggish in short turns. Props: The tip engages easily; underfoot stiffness makes for good edge bite.


Resort/corn: K2 Schi Devil
$489; 119/78/105; 6 lbs., 10 oz.
If your dream day involves bumps at Mary Jane followed by groomers at Sun Valley, reach for this ski: A deep sidecut and two sheets of metal cleave hardpack and make tight turns a snap. Gripes: Too narrow underfoot for deep snow. Props: A great medium turner at medium speeds. Says tester Karen Reader: "This is a playful ski, but it doesn't mess around. It delivers the turn you want."["Tele Bindings"]

TELE BINDINGS
No longer flimsy rattraps, tele bindings now come in an array of designs. Plate or cable? Compression springs or hard wires? Releasable? Tour-friendly? Check out these rigs—and the ones in our ultimate setups—to figure out which is right for you.














Black Diamond O2
$190; 3 lbs., 5 oz.
The O2's cable routing system is similar to that of its lighter cousin, the O3, but it's reinforced by an under-heel yoke that boosts torsional rigidity and power transfer. Choose among three cartridge options to vary stiffness.












G3 Targa
$157; 2 lbs., 11 oz.
The unisex version of the Targa T/9 Roxy (see page 165) is one of the best-selling bindings in the business. It's reliable, simple, and durable. It's not as rigid as a plate binding, but its natural flex and light weight make it better for touring—and the option of a super-stiff Race cartridge gives it mas beef for its buck.










Karhu 7TM Power
$269; 3 lbs., 3 oz.
Karhu's third iteration of the 7TM features a pivot point set an inch farther back, improving downhill performance and edging capability. There's also a lighter, touring version, the 7TM Tour, and a neutral-flexing standard version, the 7TM All-Mountain. All three are made with a virtually indestructible Kevlar underfoot strap and feature Karhu's side-release system. If you biff, the toe plate pops off the mounting plate.










Linken
$310; 3 lbs., 15 oz.
At almost four pounds, the Linken is heavier than most cable bindings, but weight has its advantages—like a bomber underfoot plate, a true step-in system, and think-and-you'll-carve power transfer. If you dare take them touring, the forward hinge helps offset all that heft.











TwentyTwo Designs Hammerhead
$210; 3 lbs., 1 oz.
The HammerHead's best feature is that you can adjust the flex point to six different settings. If you're touring, bump the guides toward the tip and you approach zero resistance. Heading down? Move them back toward the tail and the binding becomes powerful enough to strong-arm the brawniest ski/boot combos. One caveat: Most tele bindings have a common four-hole mounting standard. These—inexplicably—have six holes. And they don't match up with four-hole skis, so you'll have to drill your boards.











Voilé Hardwire CRB
$175; 3 lbs., 9 oz.
Voilé claims its releasable setup (CRB stands for "Complete Release Binding") is the only rig that'll let go during backward, twisting falls. The secret? The whole binding—stiff wires, compression springs, and all—pops off the shim. Want fewer moving parts? Opt for the traditional Hardwire. Easy length adjustments and a neutral flex made the hardwire our binding of choice for this year's ski test.







["Tele Boots"]

TELE BOOTS
If none of our "ultimate" choices seemed like your perfect match, check these out.




BIG MOUNTAIN
Scarpa T-Race
$625; 8 lbs., 9 oz.
With a bomber overlap cuff, stiff "beams from instep to heel for torsional rigidity, and asymmetric bellows for natural flex, the T-Race is one of the brawniest boots on the market.













ALL-MOUNTAIN
Scarpa T-1
$598; 8 lbs., 9 oz.
Unchanged from last year, the benchmark Terminator is stiff enough to power fat skis on descents, and it comes standard with a weight-saving, thermo-formable liner.












Crispi CXR
$620; 7 lbs., 14 oz.
With four buckles, a beefy power strap, and stiff plastic in the instep, heel, and arch, the CX R is Crispi's tried-and-true workhorse. The toe box is roomier than the Scarpa T-1's, and the cuff hits slightly lower than the beefier X-R's.











CROSSOVER
Crispi CXP
$520; 8 lbs., 2 oz.
The tour-friendly CX P takes Crispi's buckle count down a notch and softens the bellows significantly, but it still has a rigid instep and high cuff for downhill control. The CX P Lady ($520) has a slightly softer plastic and a modified liner.





["Where To Get It"]

WHERE TO GET IT
Atomic: atomicscnow.com
Black Diamond: bdel.com
Bomber: bombertele.com
Crispi: alpinasports.com
Dynafit: life-link.com
G3: genuineguidegear.com
Garmont: garmontusa.com BR>Fritschi: bdel.com
Karhu: karhu.com
K2: k2skis.com
Linken: linken.com
Lowa: lowaboots.com
Naxo: bcaccess.com
Rossignol: rossignol.com
Rottefella: rottefella.com
Salomon: salomonsports.com
Scarpa: bdel.com
Silvretta: garmontusa.com
TwentyTwo Designs: twentytwodesigns.com
Voilé: voile.com
Völkl: volkl.com

rdwire. Easy length adjustments and a neutral flex made the hardwire our binding of choice for this year's ski test.







["Tele Boots"]

TELE BOOTS
If none of our "ultimate" choices seemed like your perfect match, check these out.




BIG MOUNTAIN
Scarpa T-Race
$625; 8 lbs., 9 oz.
With a bomber overlap cuff, stiff "beams from instep to heel for torsional rigidity, and asymmetric bellows for natural flex, the T-Race is one of the brawniest boots on the market.













ALL-MOUNTAIN
Scarpa T-1
$598; 8 lbs., 9 oz.
Unchanged from last year, the benchmark Terminator is stiff enough to power fat skis on descents, and it comes standard with a weight-saving, thermo-formable liner.












Crispi CXR
$620; 7 lbs., 14 oz.
With four buckles, a beefy power strap, and stiff plastic in the instep, heel, and arch, the CX R is Crispi's tried-and-true workhorse. The toe box is roomier than the Scarpa T-1's, and the cuff hits slightly lower than the beefier X-R's.











CROSSOVER
Crispi CXP
$520; 8 lbs., 2 oz.
The tour-friendly CX P takes Crispi's buckle count down a notch and softens the bellows significantly, but it still has a rigid instep and high cuff for downhill control. The CX P Lady ($520) has a slightly softer plastic and a modified liner.





["Where To Get It"]

WHERE TO GET IT
Atomic: atomicscnow.com
Black Diamond: bdel.com
Bomber: bombertele.com
Crispi: alpinasports.com
Dynafit: life-link.com
G3: genuineguidegear.com
Garmont: garmontusa.com BR>Fritschi: bdel.com
Karhu: karhu.com
K2: k2skis.com
Linken: linken.com
Lowa: lowaboots.com
Naxo: bcaccess.com
Rossignol: rossignol.com
Rottefella: rottefella.com
Salomon: salomonsports.com
Scarpa: bdel.com
Silvretta: garmontusa.com
TwentyTwo Designs: twentytwodesigns.com
Voilé: voile.com
Völkl: volkl.com

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