Ski Leashes

Dynafit bindings are arguably the greatest strength/weight randonee binding on the market.  But ski areas require some sort of braking or restraining device on skis.  You can get Dynafits with ski brakes, but the weight penalty climbs quickly and if weight savings isn't a priority, then you may as well be going with a Maker Duke or Jester binding instead.  You could, of course, use those big calf-manacle straps that come with the bindings, but there is a much more elegant solution: a skie leash.

Step 1:  Most randonee boots don't have the d-ring for leashes like a telemark boot does, so something has to be manufactured.  One of these days I'm simply going to add a D-ring under one of my buckles, but until then I simply add a loop of cord at the bottom of the tongue of my boot.  Note:  I have no idea what I would do without a boot tongue for this step.

Step 2:  A leash needs to be added to the binding.  I use the hole conveniently located just aft of the toe-piece lever, with a simple double overhand to tie the binding into one loop, and a second double overhand on the other end to connect it to the boot.

Step 3:  Some sort of clip needs to connect the leash to the boot loop.  It needs to be easy to work with gloves on.  The expensive solution is to purchase a pair of telemark leashes, cut off the leash cable, and use the clip - but metal clips tend to become annoying taps as you travel up hill.  G3's plastic telemark leashes might be the ticket, but you'd need to shorten the leashes and I don't have a swager.  Since I blew out all the old-school lite-weight metal telemark leash clips I had, this year I looked for something new, preferably plastic.  These S-carabiners seem to be good contenders, but the #0 was too small to work with, so I'm using the #2 size instead.

In the end, I want my randonee ski leashes to accomplish several goals:
  1. I want them to fail whenever the force on the released ski becomes to great, whether that's from a spectacular fall or getting caught in an avie.
  2. I don't want them to fail when I have a minor wreck in-bounds or when I drop into a crevasse.  Leashes can also keep the ski secure when you're forced to step off or mount up on steep terrain.
These S-clips are only rated to 10lbs, so we'll see.  I'm supposed to go out for a ski Christmas day!