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Marker Alpinist tips and tricks

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
For various reasons including weight saving, previous mount dodging, low DIN and small size (of me), I have these bindings mounted on my Superguide 95s. Can’t fault the weight of them – I was boot packing a short section earlier and just held them up in my hand without hardly noticing, but there are a few quirks which I need to iron out.

1. Brake retainer – the little clip which you push in and out to retain and release the brakes is a bug to move. I’ve tried repeatedly moving it while indoors to try and loosen it up, but have still been putting it into retain mode (in) before I leave the house. Pulling it out still involves some swearing, but I don’t know what I’d do if I needed to transition more than once coz I can’t get the damn thing back in again Confused

2. Stepping in – getting the pins in the right place so that they clip is something that seems to require more time than it should. Is it just practice?

Does anyone have any tips for smoother transitions with fewer expletives?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Scarlet, no idea re brakes but on my Dynadit Speeds I find it works best if the ski is a bit behind me so that I naturally have my boot rather angled...
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Scarlet, one of the lads on my last trip was using them. He found that clip to be a PITA too. He pulled so hard the tag thing broke.
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Mosha Marc wrote:
@Scarlet, one of the lads on my last trip was using them. He found that clip to be a PITA too. He pulled so hard the tag thing broke.


I put the ski on its tail and push down with my thumbs - can’t use the pull tab as it bust ages ago Very Happy

I did struggle with putting the brakes into walk mode, thinking that I had to judge pushing the retainer forward simultaneous to pushing the brake down, but in fact you just need to clip the baraka into the retaining rods once they are through the binding heel pad . Don’t find the pins harder than Dynafit etc to get into - a magic marker line on the boot can help to locate “pin centre “ as well.
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@mishmash, I don’t think my thumbs are strong enough. I also have really short digits, so reduced leverage Confused

I worked out the thing with the brakes not needing to be simultaneous though. I do that just before I step in, or they’ll be off down the hill. Not had pin bindings before, so nothing to compare to.
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@Scarlet, throw them in the bin and buy a pair of Salomon MTNs instead
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
In the end I lent my mate a screwdriver to lever the clip open.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Sharkymark, don’t let @Spyderjon hear you say that! Also, see the bit about hole clash.

@Mosha Marc, I do carry a penknife so that would probably work (see also: for adjusting @admin’s bindings Toofy Grin ). Dunno if it could be used to push it back in again, which I have just as much trouble with.
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Sharkymark wrote:
@Scarlet, throw them in the bin and buy a pair of Salomon MTNs instead
. But

Oh I don't think you need to go that far! I have a pair without brakes which I think is probably a better way to go because I believe the brakes, as are the ones on ATK bindings, are rather ineffectual. Obviously a bit more faff with leashes but you just need to practice the routine. One slight irritation is the riser has a tendency to lower itself to cover the heel pins and you don't notice when you try and stamp in. Overall I think they work OK and are definitely light when going uphill
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@Sharkmark why do you say buy a pair of salomon mtn's? I have only experience with alpinists which I didnt like on a 2 day intro (since bought a pair of shifts for my directors and r108) but thinking about what to put on a pair of superguide 88"s that a bought after a few bottles of wine Embarassed
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WASHOUT wrote:
@Sharkmark why do you say buy a pair of salomon mtn's?

It’s the only pair he hasn’t managed to lose a ski on a kick turn with? Just guessing...
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
I sell a lot of both the MTN's and the Alpinists. The MTN's are superb and are soooo bomber, especially for aggressive skiers/big guys. But for value for money the Alpinist just can't be beaten and many folks like their low delta and longitudinal elasticity in the heel.
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Scarlet wrote:
WASHOUT wrote:
@Sharkmark why do you say buy a pair of salomon mtn's?

It’s the only pair he hasn’t managed to lose a ski on a kick turn with? Just guessing...

Harsh but fair Toofy Grin
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Scarlet,

I think the Alpinists are great but like you I really struggle with the brakes. Getting them to stay up is a total PITA. Getting them down is not really a problem. The whole mechanism seems really fragile and I would worry about using them on a multi day tour. It’s the first time I have used brakes on a touring binding and I’m going to swap mine out for an old fashioned piece of cord!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
My issues where with the pins (problem getting into them and locking the level) probably all user error than equipment. The brakes seamed to operate fine.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
WASHOUT wrote:
My issues where with the pins (problem getting into them and locking the level) probably all user error than equipment.....

Yep, probably, but also check that the edges of the vibram sole of your boot (at the sides &/or across the front) aren't contacting the binding before the pins align with the boot inserts. If there is contact then trim/grind off a bit of the rubber.

There's such a wide tolerance in boot sole profiles/dimensions that many makes/models of boots need 'tuning' to the bindings and if this isn't done then the bindings are branded as difficult to click in to.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Scarlet wrote:
WASHOUT wrote:
@Sharkmark why do you say buy a pair of salomon mtn's?

It’s the only pair he hasn’t managed to lose a ski on a kick turn with? Just guessing...


Nope! At the time, they had the lowest delta for a lightweight pin binding with a very sensible heel unit and effective brakes*

I had to run 10mm of toe shims on my old dynafits to get anywhere near flat.

I haven’t tried or fiddled with the alpinist but I recently heard they’re a pain in the butt to re-engage or wot not Wink

* From year 2: the original design stuck in ski mode in spring snow.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@inspark, I ran the MTNs with leashes for a few trips...I now run brakes again!
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WASHOUT wrote:
@Sharkmark why do you say buy a pair of salomon mtn's? I have only experience with alpinists which I didnt like on a 2 day intro (since bought a pair of shifts for my directors and r108) but thinking about what to put on a pair of superguide 88"s that a bought after a few bottles of wine Embarassed


They’re a superbly well engineered binding. Simple, well built, reliable.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Brakes are for pussies! I run Plum stretch leashes on my Alpinists so if I lose a ski on a steep, hard slope, I won't lose a ski......
Probably less faffing than sorting the brakes out while transitioning than on most pin bindings too Very Happy
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Was planning to replace my dynafit Rad 1‘s with Marker Alpinists, not too sure about that after reading this thread. Maybe I will just have to shim up the fronts of the Rad 1‘s. Are the shims (and screws) available off the shelf?
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@DB, don't believe everything you read on the internet as the Alpinists are excellent. Yes the brakes are 'quirky' but everyone want lightweight but still wants brakes! I'd ski the Alpinist everytime compared to the Rad 1. I do shims for every binding on the market.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
spyderjon wrote:
@DB, don't believe everything you read on the internet as the Alpinists are excellent. Yes the brakes are 'quirky' but everyone want lightweight but still wants brakes! I'd ski the Alpinist everytime compared to the Rad 1. I do shims for every binding on the market.



Thanks, was thinking of shimming up a pair of Rad 1's to see what difference it makes (with shims from you) - do the skis need to be quiver killered or could I fit the shims myself? i.e. would it be just a case of whipping the old bindings off and then installing the shims with longer screws?
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zzz wrote:
I think the Alpinists are great but like you I really struggle with the brakes. Getting them to stay up is a total PITA. Getting them down is not really a problem. The whole mechanism seems really fragile and I would worry about using them on a multi day tour. It’s the first time I have used brakes on a touring binding and I’m going to swap mine out for an old fashioned piece of cord!

I can get the brakes to stay up ok... once the clip is in properly in. Then it's fine, but cold hands, cold bindings and ice and snow seems to make it incredibly difficult. Has no-one come up with an engineering solution for this?

Releasing the clip is slightly easier as I can get my finger in the loop to pull it. It could break though, so I should add some spare cord to my bag for a quick fix.
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@spyderjon, any experience with the ATK range?
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BobinCH wrote:
@spyderjon, any experience with the ATK range?

I don't sell them (it's just not possible to offer every make/model I'm afraid) but I've mounted loads of them 'em and they're durability is now well proven. The release values can be a bit off when torque testing them so I prefer to calibrate them on my machine and I charge a bit more for that. There's a lot of 'fashion' in bindings and the ATK's are currently the flavour of the month but there's really nothing special about their design. They do have a lot of models which is confusing and IIRC their delta is pretty steep (ie 8/9mm) so I've had to shim quite a few.

Pretty much every design of tech binding will ice up at some point and the brakes (if fitted) are even more prone to this - the rise'n'fall of your boot when skinning is basic compacting snow in to every nook'n'cranny with every stride so it's not surprising. Cycling the toe mechanism and using a pick/brush ( https://www.thepisteoffice.com/index.php/the-piste-office-store/alpine-touring-bindings/touring-binding-de-icing-tool.html ) will minimise this but sometimes the snow conditions are such that it just happens.

If you're thinking of ditching your Xenics then your choice is limited to which binding will mount without hole conflict and the last thing you want in a lightweight construction ski is lots of plugged holes. The toe lever problem appears to be a tolerance thing so I'd just the warrant the broken toe and ski 'em.


Last edited by snowHeads are a friendly bunch. on Fri 21-02-20 13:48; edited 3 times in total
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@spyderjon, not thinking of changing for the reasons you mentioned - waiting on warranty claim. But as you say there seems to be a lot of love for ATK and interested in your informed opinion - which didn’t disappoint Very Happy
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
After my little foray onto the ice rink of death the other night (see Innsbruck thread), my skis were a beaten up as I was and in desperate need of a service. In doing so, I think I've found my own engineering solution in the form of these fancy brake retainers Toofy Grin They're a little large though because they're designed for standard bindings not the diddly Alpinist brakes, so I had to remove the orange bit and double up the loop to make them work, but I think they'll do in a pinch. I think the cheapo £1 ones Jon sells would work even better, but I'm bound to find some in a parcel or packaging eventually. A large cable tie would probably work too, but it's a single use solution.

I'll try not to think about the extra weight I'm adding Laughing
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You know it makes sense.
@Scarlet, Kilner jar seals, the orange ones, been using them for ski servicing for 35 years!

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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
And magic marker lines on your boots help line up the pins, that said, the higher toe piece retention of the Alpinist does require a little more positive step-in than my Dynafits, it helps to keep the boot as flat as possible to aid with this
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@KenX, I have Kilner jar seals, but they are busy sealing Kilner jars NehNeh And where do you put the lines on the boot? Got a photo?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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KenX wrote:
Brakes are for pussies! I run Plum stretch leashes on my Alpinists so if I lose a ski on a steep, hard slope, I won't lose a ski......
Probably less faffing than sorting the brakes out while transitioning than on most pin bindings too Very Happy


You’ve clearly never spent 6 days on the trot twatting about with leashes on multiple steep, windy transitions! The only time I’ve seen a ski disappear down a hill was without brakes and a surprising gust of wind...despite good leash ‘discipline’. They’re for hipsters and weight weenies; IMHO, stick to brakes Very Happy
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Scarlet,

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Sharkymark wrote:
You’ve clearly never spent 6 days on the trot twatting about with leashes on multiple steep, windy transitions! The only time I’ve seen a ski disappear down a hill was without brakes and a surprising gust of wind...despite good leash ‘discipline’. They’re for hipsters and weight weenies; IMHO, stick to brakes Very Happy


a post dedicated to me Laughing
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Arno, maybe...?

Embarassed
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I finally got round to mounting my alpinists on superguide 88s last week and took them out for a spin.
First time I've mounted bindings and did them with quiver killers courtesy of @spyderjon, (thanks to Jon for the QK kit and template - made life very easy!).
I've gone with leashes because the whole point of this rig for me is low weight at reasonable cost (got both the skis and bindings from slush and rubble when they were liquidating stock).

Have to say I found the alpinists very easy to use once I'd worked out where to line up the pins. Think the riser set up/heel piece is very simple and intuitive.
I was skiing them in a soft pair of touring boots so can't pass full judgement on the superguides but they seem to be impressively grippy and stable for their weight (I went with 178 which I think was the right call for me 74kg and 176cm). Very happy with width - more than enough float for what I need (I have R108 with beast 14s for sidecountry and skinning for powder on deep days but I wouldn't be worried skiing the 88s in knee deep powder)
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Oh - one little wrinkle on mounting the bindings - would welcome peoples' thoughts.
I can just see evidence of the QK sockets from the base - the base is a tad discoloured but not penetrated or noticeably proud.
I notice that the superguides specify 9mm depth rather than more typical (?) 9.5mm and I may have screwed a little deeper after countersinking too.
Should I be worried/do anything or just patch the bases if necessary in future?
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
jedster wrote:
Oh - one little wrinkle on mounting the bindings - would welcome peoples' thoughts.
I can just see evidence of the QK sockets from the base - the base is a tad discoloured but not penetrated or noticeably proud.
I notice that the superguides specify 9mm depth rather than more typical (?) 9.5mm and I may have screwed a little deeper after countersinking too.
Should I be worried/do anything or just patch the bases if necessary in future?

That's no problem - you're good to go.
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no love for the superlite 2's? me and the wife both have them, had no dramas with them at all and theyre light
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Yep, loads of love for the Superlite's. Problem was their price versus the Alpinist which only the true weight weenies would pay to benefit from the 70g saving.

However that's all about to change as Dynafit have drastically reduced their price for 20-21 to compete with the Alpinist and are aslo offering softer U-bows.
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