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From the second Dynafit added Eric Hjorleifson to their pro team, the skiing community has anxiously awaited some new developments in boot technology. By using the tech developed in their widely successful TLT5 boots and marrying it with the ideas from Hoji’s Frankenboot, Dynafit has created the Vulcan. Intended for the aggressive freeride touring/mountaineering crowd, the Vulcan is one of the stiffest touring boots I’ve ever tried on (though I didn’t get to ski it). However, what impressed me the most—even more than its light weight (1590 grams)—is the range of motion in walk mode. When you pull out the removable tongue (much like the TLT5), this boot has near unmatched stride length (both fore and aft), especially amongst other aggressive, downhill-oriented boots. I personally am pumped for the arrival of this boot next season. It will do a big part to change the perception of what is possible in boot tech, especially in the tourability of aggressive AT boots.

Dynafit's New Gear

Between Bavarian pow turns and steins of weißbier, one editor got the scoop on some exciting new developments at Dynafit during a trip to that brand's homeland—including a new Eric Hjorliefson collaboration boot called the Vulcan.

John, Chris, and Jeremy in the backcountry sporting their Trew Gear.

Trew Gear (Gallery)

Tripp Frey and twin brothers John and Chris Pew grew up skiing and snowboarding together on garbage-mound mountains just outside of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Though life often took them in separate directions, they’ve recently found each other back in the snow.

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Life-Saving Gear

Skis and boots will only get you so far in the backcountry. Don’t forget all the other stuff you’ll need to get you in and out safely.

$435 We love the Marker Baron so much that we borrowed a fleet of them from Marker to mount on all of our backcountry test skis. When the Baron's predecessor, the DIN-16 Duke, debuted in 2007, it was the only alpine-touring binding that truly skied like a real alpine binding. Word spread, and shops literally could not keep it stocked. Marker released the Baron in 2008. It has the same alpine-style performance as the Duke—solid, secure, and confidence-inspiring—but is 150 grams lighter (thanks to the use of nylon instead of magnesium), and $60 less expensive. And with a DIN range of four through 12, it's more of an everyman's binding. If you're skiing the resort most of the time, but want touring capability for occasional side- and backcountry laps, you won't find a better binding.

Backcountry Bindings

Whether you're going on a day-long tour or just heading out the gates, you need a binding that works as well going uphill as it does going down. Here is a collection of some of the best AT and telemark bindings out there.