New Gear

Black Diamond Drift Skis 

Plum 135 Race Bindings 

Dynafit TLT5 Mountain Boots 

Total Weight: 6.1 kg

After a long wait I finally have all the pieces of my new ski setup ready. So far I have put in somewhere around 32 hours clicked into the bindings, skinning or skiing. 

First impression is obviously the weight difference. My previous setup was a pair of G3 Baron skis, Fritschi bindings and old Garmont AT boots (Weight: 8.7 kg). The BD Drift skis are significantly lighter than the G3 skis but also significantly wider. The Plum Bindings are almost non-existant and really add no weight to the setup. The Dynafit boots are also much lighter.

The Drift skis are wider with more flex and seem to get thrown around less on the variable skied-out snow I have been skiing on the resort. In powder they float well and are easy to turn on tight steep slopes. I am a bit suprised to see that the tails are already starting to show some damage from being stuck in the snow. The top cap is starting to chip away from the base (see photo) and I am hoping a bead of superglue around the edge will prevent further damage. The metal skin clip attachment point seems to be nothing but added weight as it does not help at all to retain my G3 skins. Other than the seemingly fragile edges (which could turn out to be a deal breaker), I am happy with the skis.
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The Plum Race 135 bindings are light. No bells and whistles, nothing at all – exactly what I wanted. Clicking in is as simple as any dynafit style binding and they lock automatically. It takes a hard kick with the heel to lock into downhill mode. Ice can buildup under the binding and prevent them from locking. This can result in the ski releasing without notice. Making sure there is no ice present never fails to prevent this so I see it as a bit of a non-issue. The crampon attachment for these bindings does not seem to be readily available in North America so I will have to make do without for the time being. Overall I am extremely happy with the bindings. Definitely the star of the setup. Special thanks to Alexis and the folks and Plum for hooking me up!

The Dynafit TLT5 Mountain boots are incredibly light as well. A much greater amount of flex at the ankle in walk mode makes the lack of any climbing riser on the bindings no problem. I can tackle steep climbs without issue. Quick changeover between ski and walk mode is nice for transitions and after some breaking in the liners fit despite my difficult to fit feet (Flat, moderate width, right foot one size bigger) and have proven to be very comfortable with no blisters even when nearly running. The liners are not as warm as my Intuition liners but no suprise there. I can always put the old ones in if need be. I attached a key ring to the foot strap to clip the leash into. The foot strap does seem fairly quick to come undone when boot packing though snow. The boot skis great when done up, even without the removable tongue. I can’t really even tell the difference. They are much stiffer than my older, much heavier boots.

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For the time being, this will be my touring and race setup though I realize my ski choice is not ideal for racing. Next year I will look for a pair of race skis and switch the race bindings over while mounting a pair of Plum Guide bindings on the Drifts. Unfortunately I an income limited to one pair per year for the time being. 

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