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#105346 - 10/25/08 09:06 PM Berwin Backcountry Ski Bindings
Trailrunner Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 1835
Loc: Los Angeles
Anybody use 'em? Experiences? Opinions? I'm not a Black Diamond skier. Just need something to get me to camp that my friends and family can use too.
_________________________
If you only travel on sunny days you will never reach your destination.*

* May not apply at certain latitudes in Canada and elsewhere.

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#105347 - 10/26/08 01:42 AM Re: Berwin Backcountry Ski Bindings [Re: Trailrunner]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Here's a thread on VFTT about Berwins.
vftt

There is some more stuff on Berwins if you search VFTT. Also read the info on the Akers site (they sell the Berwins. You have to have a flexible sole boot, otherwise you may break the binding from what I have read.

I looked at these and bought 3 pin Voile bindings instead. I don't think you can do anything approaching real skiing in Berwins, also based on what I read.


Edited by TomD (10/26/08 01:58 AM)

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#105348 - 10/26/08 12:08 PM Re: Berwin Backcountry Ski Bindings [Re: TomD]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Tom D

Interesting - Tom Metsky - one of the moderators of the group feels as I do that hiking or even climbing boots are NOT ski boots. I had Silvretta cable bindings that allowed me to ski in my LOWA crampon boots. BUT I ended up loosing some flesh from my heel. Ski boots were designed for the movements made while skiing, other boots are not. Do yourself a great favor and NEVER even contemplate skiing in crampon boots unless they were designed for Randonee, then by all means do go right ahead. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#105349 - 10/26/08 01:40 PM Re: Berwin Backcountry Ski Bindings [Re: Jimshaw]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
When I was looking at skis, I wasn't sure what to get. I looked at the Karhu Meta but never tried them. Steve did, but didn't like them as I recall. I even thought about skiboards, but eventually bought a "real ski" with tele bindings. There are several threads from a couple of years ago that cover this whole discussion about that.

The reason I didn't buy Berwins is that they are designed to be used with soft soled, flexible boots like Steger Mukluks. I think Will Steger (no relation to the Mukluk people) used Berwins, but he was basically just skiing on flats in supercold weather.

I am no expert, but I do know you can't turn a ski with wimpy bindings or soft boots. That's why downhill boots are so big, so stiff and essentially bolted to the skis by the binding.

Berwins are designed to flex with a soft boot and are a very different design from tele bindings. A stiff boot can tear a Berwin right off the ski or actually break it from what I have read. I had no interest in finding out if that would happen to me. The Akers people, the ones who sell Berwins warn you on their website not to use stiff boots.

Serious telemarkers wear big Alpine-style boots. Look at a Scarpa T1 or big Garmont boot. They are basically a downhill boot with a duckbill on the front. Even the new binding systems have big boots.

Not so serious skiers like me can do fine with Voile 3 Pins designed to work with either a leather or light plastic boot like a Garmont Excursion.

Unless you are planning to wear a moon boot or Baffin or a mukluk of some kind and don't plan on going downhill at all or turning your skis much, I don't think Berwins are what you want.

ps Jim, I think that's Dave Metsky, the guy with the funny hat in his picture.


Edited by TomD (10/26/08 01:44 PM)

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#105350 - 10/26/08 03:33 PM Re: Berwin Backcountry Ski Bindings [Re: TomD]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Tom D
Did you end up 3 pins?
I have old (of course) Merril Super Comp 3 buckle tele boots with 3 pins, for extreme telemark - never wear them. They are really big - tall and look like darth vadar boots, until I compare them to my modern downhill boots. Whoa - those are some monster boots. Anyway I can downhill by lift within 25 minutes of my house so why tele? <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

Not only does it take a rigid boot and a rigid binding, the width of the ski makes all the difference in the world. If you have a wide ski, especially with steel edges, you better have a lot of boot to get up on the edge with the leverage required, because the edge is further from your center of force.

My vote goes for the old NNNBC bindings as the best backcountry binding, but maybe not for tele. I don't use my tele skis anymore, I use old Atomic backcountry skis with NNNBC. They are relatively short and wide with some waist and I can pretty much ski in downhill form on them without using the very difficult telemark turn. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#105351 - 10/26/08 04:44 PM Re: Berwin Backcountry Ski Bindings [Re: Jimshaw]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Jim, I have Atomic Rainiers b/c skis with Voile cable 3 pins on the Voile release kit. I got the release kit in case I want to try some light tele skiing. PLus, if I want to change to a Voile hardwire, they will snap into the same kit.

I'm not wild about the 3 pins because they are hard to fasten with certain boots because of the thickness of the duckbill, but generally I like them.

I've also got skins which make a big difference when towing my sled.

I'm looking for a used pair of Garmont Excursion boots. I rented a pair in Yosemite last winter and really like them.

TR, Jim's point about edging is another reason to reconsider Berwins. No edging, no turning.


Edited by TomD (10/26/08 04:46 PM)
_________________________
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

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#105352 - 10/27/08 06:43 AM Re: Berwin Backcountry Ski Bindings [Re: Jimshaw]
ringtail Offline
member

Registered: 08/22/02
Posts: 2296
Loc: Colorado Rockies
Jim,

A couple of years ago I replaced the NNN-BC bindings on my fat skis with a 3 pin cable. I had a couple of ice plugs in the bindings and did not trust them in the backcountry.

I have NNN on my skinny skis and love them.

I suspect I fall a lot more than you - that might be the difference. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
"In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not."
Yogi Berra

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#105353 - 10/27/08 09:33 AM Re: Berwin Backcountry Ski Bindings [Re: Trailrunner]
alanwenker Offline
member

Registered: 02/04/03
Posts: 812
Berwins are great for what they are designed to do, which is basically shuffle along on skis on mostly flat terrain. If you need to ski on more challenging terrain, they are not a good choice. Lots of folks use berwins skiing across lakes in the BWCAW, the only hilly sections will be portages to get you to the next lake. Terrain is the real dictator of what to use, lots of hills and Berwins will not work well.

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#105354 - 10/27/08 04:33 PM Re: Berwin Backcountry Ski Bindings [Re: ringtail]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Food
quote
"A couple of years ago I replaced the NNN-BC bindings on my fat skis with a 3 pin cable. I had a couple of ice plugs in the bindings and did not trust them in the backcountry."
________________________________________

You mean the groove in the boot that holds the "pin" can ice up. Yes they do. I always scrape the ice out with the carbide tip from my pole then they lock in easily. I used to have a releasing pair (NNNBC), but we have all locking NNNBC bindings on our cross country and backcountry skis now. I wish I had some NNNBC snowshoes...

I have gotten rid of my 3 pins. BTW you can buy special 3 pin bindings that take a thicker boot. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />
<img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#105355 - 10/27/08 09:22 PM Re: Berwin Backcountry Ski Bindings [Re: Trailrunner]
Trailrunner Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 1835
Loc: Los Angeles
Thanks to all who replied. The bindings will be used on groomed, flat trails and unplowed roads. I thought they would be good as loaners for my friends/family since no special boots are required and they won't be going very far.

I found the bindings with a pair of steel edged Alpinas online for $200, mounting included. The bindings alone cost $110 so it sounded like a deal to me.

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#105356 - 10/27/08 11:50 PM Re: Berwin Backcountry Ski Bindings [Re: Trailrunner]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
TR, Where are you going to use them? I think they would be okay someplace like Glacier Point Road in Yosemite. Almost anything works there from what I've seen. In any event, probably more fun than showshoes.

Looks like you are getting your package from Akers. Those are pretty skinny skis, so I'm not sure how'd they do off track in soft snow. Mine are 88-60-78 and last year I was sinking into the fluff as soon as I got off track. If it gets really crunchy then I think they'd fare a lot better. Mine are kind of short for me (I got a great deal on them, though) so that doesn't help in soft snow.


Edited by TomD (10/28/08 12:02 AM)
_________________________
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

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#105357 - 10/28/08 10:56 AM Re: Berwin Backcountry Ski Bindings [Re: TomD]
Trailrunner Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 1835
Loc: Los Angeles
Yes, the Glacier Point road is on my list. The skis are for my rapidly growing teenage son whose feet are a 1/2 size larger every few months. Just keeping him in running shoes, track shoes and hiking boots is costing me an arm and a leg so I'm trying to avoid buying ski boots too. I just bought him some insulated snowshoeing boots so I'm hoping he can use them with the Berwin bindings. We'll be out enough this winter to justify buying vs renting.

And yes the skis are skinny but they won't be going off piste much. A couple of years ago I was able to ski to the Ostrander hut in fresh snow on similar skis, but with Alpina Boots, NNN bindings and skins. That wasn't the best setup for the job but most of my skiing is on groomed trails and roads.

We have a two night Glacier Point/Dewey point trip planned for early next year and I can't wait!!!

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#105358 - 10/28/08 04:15 PM Re: Berwin Backcountry Ski Bindings [Re: Trailrunner]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
I did Glacier Point Road and Dewey Point last winter. You've been out that way already, but there are a couple of trip reports posted from trips I have done up that way you might find interesting.
_________________________
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

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#105359 - 10/29/08 07:41 AM Re: Berwin Backcountry Ski Bindings [Re: Trailrunner]
alanwenker Offline
member

Registered: 02/04/03
Posts: 812
Quote:
Thanks to all who replied. The bindings will be used on groomed, flat trails and unplowed roads. I thought they would be good as loaners for my friends/family since no special boots are required and they won't be going very far.

I found the bindings with a pair of steel edged Alpinas online for $200, mounting included. The bindings alone cost $110 so it sounded like a deal to me.


For what you described here, Berwin's sound perfect. One really nice thing about this setup is once you are in camp you do not need to change boots into something you can walk in and something that will keep your feet warm.

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#105360 - 10/29/08 03:14 PM Re: Berwin Backcountry Ski Bindings [Re: Trailrunner]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
TR
Hey how bout a Dewey Point party for TLB guys?
Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#105361 - 10/29/08 04:07 PM Re: Berwin Backcountry Ski Bindings [Re: Jimshaw]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Jim, would you come down from Oregon?
_________________________
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

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#105362 - 10/30/08 10:46 AM Re: Berwin Backcountry Ski Bindings [Re: Jimshaw]
bmisf Offline
member

Registered: 09/15/03
Posts: 629
A Dewey Point get-together? Any time!

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#105363 - 10/30/08 11:36 AM Re: Berwin Backcountry Ski Bindings [Re: Jimshaw]
Trailrunner Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 1835
Loc: Los Angeles
I'm in. All we need now is some snow so we'll have something ski on <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
If you only travel on sunny days you will never reach your destination.*

* May not apply at certain latitudes in Canada and elsewhere.

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#105364 - 10/30/08 12:51 PM Re: Berwin Backcountry Ski Bindings [Re: Trailrunner]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
I'm in too. I've been up there in February a couple of times and plenty of snow then. January tends to be pretty darn cold.

Anyone heard the snow prediction for this year?
_________________________
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

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#105365 - 10/30/08 03:03 PM Re: Berwin Backcountry Ski Bindings [Re: TomD]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Tom D
If there was anyway to get my wife to let me go I would. Maybe if gas prices fall...
Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#105366 - 10/30/08 08:11 PM Re: Berwin Backcountry Ski Bindings [Re: Jimshaw]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
It's under $3 a gallon here right now. Bring her along. You've got that big tent.
_________________________
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

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#105367 - 10/30/08 08:41 PM Re: Berwin Backcountry Ski Bindings [Re: TomD]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Tom D
Oh I'd probably just sleep in the open in my goretex bag... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#105368 - 11/01/08 07:23 PM Re: Berwin Backcountry Ski Bindings [Re: Trailrunner]
300winmag Offline
member

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 1342
Loc: Nevada, USA
Yeah, I've got 'em & haven't used them in over 10 years. They are basically Canadian Army ski bindings for moderate terrain when troops must wear bulky, very heavily insulated boots. For edge control - forget it. Then again, Mickey Mouse military arctic boots ain't ski boots either.

They are great bindings when you don't want to change out ofwarm, -40 rated boots into ski boots.

That said my Scarpa T3 backcountry ski boots are pretty warm in below zero F temps to -20F (as long as I keep moving they're good to -30F). After that you shouldn't be out anyway, except to get more wood for the stove.They are not much fun to walk or snowshoe in, being a specialist boot.

Eric
P.S. Why do I still keep my Berwins?
Glad you asked "My Friend". It's in case
John McCain becomes president, antagonizes the Roosians
& I need to defend my ski area from the invaiding Commies.
(Well - I COULD happen if we vote for him.) Hee, hee


Edited by 300winmag (11/01/08 07:27 PM)
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"There are no comfortable backpacks. Some are just less uncomfortable than others."

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#105369 - 11/05/08 08:45 PM Re: Berwin Backcountry Ski Bindings [Re: 300winmag]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Eric, You've been watching way too many John Milius movies.

Hey, wanna come over for our Dewey Point trip?
_________________________
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

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#105370 - 11/06/08 10:48 AM Re: Berwin Backcountry Ski Bindings [Re: 300winmag]
Trailrunner Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 1835
Loc: Los Angeles
Quote:
I need to defend my ski area from the invaiding Commies.


If the invading commies make it to Nevada we're all in trouble. Of course once they sack 'Vegas they won't want to leave. We could bomb them with free tickets for Wayne Newton and that will stop their advance cold.
_________________________
If you only travel on sunny days you will never reach your destination.*

* May not apply at certain latitudes in Canada and elsewhere.

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