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  1. #1
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    Preorder our taller Heel Up! riser for Marker Alpinists

    Preorder time: Stoked to offer 20 pairs of Heel Up! Risers (got a better name?) at a discount for those wanting to try this Beta production run. link

    Background: the Marker Alpinist is a lightweight, reliable binding that Blister Gear, and Gear Lab, consistently have found to ski better than others in this category (incl ATK)….with one real flaw: the heel riser isn’t tall enough.

    Solution: With Collin’s machining expertise, last year I designed a retrofittable riser that has 4 advantages over the stock riser:

    Useful ‘medium’ and ‘high’ positions, at 42.5 and 55 mm pin delta respectively. Refer to https://skimo.co/binding-riser-heights to compare these heights to other bindings. As my proto testing team skied protos last year, I zeroed in on the right ‘medium’ height that is enough for a high ROM boot on moderately steep skin tracks:

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    Note that our Medium setting ended up being equal to the tallest setting of the stock riser. And our tall setting (with heel rotated) is great IME for skinning Wasatch, Sierras, BC etc:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Back in the day, big (size 29.0) boots with poor ROM benefitted from a 60+ mm pin delta, but with decent ROM and technique 55 mm works great on the notoriously steep skin tracks out there. And it remains useful for smaller feet (24.0 is the smallest tester so far). Note the large flat area that creates a VERY solid interface with boot sole. The stock riser doesn’t interface well with worn, rounded boot soles, and can force the heel piece backward when you weight the ski forcefully on skin track. Our riser solves this issue completely IME.

    As an added bonus, the pole insertion hole is deeper, and farther from the pivot point, which makes rotating heel piece easier so you don’t have to use your hands:

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    The beta production run (which I’m confident will be reliable based on all my use last year) will be black anodized & more durable at the spring interface.

    Note: adds only 9 g per riser, 6061-T6 aluminum. Designed & Mfgered in USA.
    Last edited by frorider; 01-11-2024 at 08:54 PM.

  2. #2
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    As with the Strap Off I designed for AT boots, this is not some hudge business venture but a side hobby of mine to benefit the mag community & make a few bucks for my friend Collin, our Director of Manufacturing

    Removing the stock riser pin is easy (a nail punch & hammer does it), and installing the Heel Up! riser can be done with channel lock pliers, or a vise, or a pair of Knipex pliers, or vise grips. We will post detailed instructions soon.
    Last edited by frorider; 11-17-2023 at 10:03 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2022
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    228
    At the risk of being corny, you could call it the upheel aid… but anyway


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  4. #4
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    Sep 2019
    Location
    Bay Area
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    782
    Ordered

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  5. #5
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    Sep 2020
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    Des Chutes
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    87
    Ordered and stoked!

  6. #6
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    If any of you are 210+ lbs let Collin at Trailtools know. These have a beefy cross section, I think you’ll find them stiffer than many heel elevators.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Last Best City in the Last Best Place
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    So you're selling them as singles, not pairs?

    Edit: oh now I see it says a pair. Good deal, thanks Collin!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    831
    Ordered sets for myself and jdadour -- stoked to see this come to life.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    LCC
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    617
    Ordered This wasatch skinner is looking forwards to this!
    People who live in Grass houses shouldn't get stoned ~Michner

  10. #10
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    My sources tell me the preorders are going fast.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    37N 122W
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    629
    Ordered!


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    "Kids today, all they talk about is big air. I say, stay on the mountain, that's where the action is. If you want big air, pull my finger." ~Smooth Johnson~

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    CA
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    Heel Yeah!

    Congrats. Can’t wait to Rise Up with these EZ Elevators.

    (Three cheesy product name options right there…)


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    sproing!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Livingston, MT
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    Damn, looks like the pre order is sold out…


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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    2,498
    Shax, I missed out.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    Chamonix
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    I'm not interested in more rise but if you guys made a heel riser that would give the stock low rise with the heel pins facing backwards so that it was quick to switch between flat and low, and the stock high rise after rotating the heel to pins-forward I'd be all over it.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Not in the PRB
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    33,264
    Cool project
    "fuck off you asshat gaper shit for brains fucktard wanker." - Jesus Christ
    "She was tossing her bean salad with the vigor of a Drunken Pop princess so I walked out of the corner and said.... "need a hand?"" - Odin
    "everybody's got their hooks into you, fuck em....forge on motherfuckers, drag all those bitches across the goal line with you." - (not so) ill-advised strategy

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by meter-man View Post
    Heel Yeah!

    Congrats. Can’t wait to Rise Up with these EZ Elevators.
    Actually Rise Ups was my second choice, with Rasta graphics but these don’t sell to the telemarking demographic so…

    For those of you that missed the preorder, use that link above to get on the email list for notification on the next (bigger) mfg run.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by LC View Post
    I'm not interested in more rise but if you guys made a heel riser that would give the stock low rise with the heel pins facing backwards so that it was quick to switch between flat and low, and the stock high rise after rotating the heel to pins-forward I'd be all over it.
    We could design that but we would want more evidence of customers out there. I know Thierry at Ravanel in Cham, he was considering being a retailer of our world famous Strap Off product; talk to him & if he sees a customer for your idea then let me know.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Alta
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    2,990
    Damn those went fast. I’d been waiting for this to come out and they sold out in a day.


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  20. #20
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    It was clear last season there was a huge demand for these, but before we trigger a big mfg run we’d like the peace of mind of getting 20 more skiers confirming the design ASAP. Meanwhile get your email on the list so you’ll be the first ones to get access to Round 2 Preorder: https://www.tahoetrailtools.com/prod...up-alpinist/14

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Da Norf Lake
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    Quote Originally Posted by frorider View Post
    We could design that but we would want more evidence of customers out there. I know Thierry at Ravanel in Cham, he was considering being a retailer of our world famous Strap Off product; talk to him & if he sees a customer for your idea then let me know.
    +1 for this feature. Has anyone tried just flipping the risers? It's super annoying to have to turn the heelpiece AND flip the riser when going in and out of medium rise. Because the stock highest rise is so low, I have typically gone from flat to high and back without using medium. But having a medium that gives the best angle for efficient climbing and is engaged simply by flipping the riser over the pins would be nice. Ideally, you are switching between medium and high while skinning, and flat on ski is the mode you use for an approach section so much less often and for continuous periods. I'm still not sold on the Alpinist, but I bought two pairs since they were deals and also the lightest tech bindings with dynamic heel travel. Might get a little more out of them with higher risers, but it's not something I would spend a lot of money on. After enough upgrades, you might as well have just bought the more expensive binding you actually wanted.
    Even sometimes when I'm snowboarding I'm like "Hey I'm snowboarding! Because I suck dick, I'm snowboarding!" --Dan Savage

  22. #22
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Posts
    341
    Quote Originally Posted by lepistoir View Post
    +1 for this feature. Has anyone tried just flipping the risers? It's super annoying to have to turn the heelpiece AND flip the riser when going in and out of medium rise. Because the stock highest rise is so low, I have typically gone from flat to high and back without using medium. But having a medium that gives the best angle for efficient climbing and is engaged simply by flipping the riser over the pins would be nice. Ideally, you are switching between medium and high while skinning, and flat on ski is the mode you use for an approach section so much less often and for continuous periods. I'm still not sold on the Alpinist, but I bought two pairs since they were deals and also the lightest tech bindings with dynamic heel travel. Might get a little more out of them with higher risers, but it's not something I would spend a lot of money on. After enough upgrades, you might as well have just bought the more expensive binding you actually wanted.
    The way the riser nests with the heel tower is constructed you can’t really flip the riser the way you describe.

    I’ve put a handful of days on these risers and am a fan. The high riser height is a good balance between being higher but not so high that the jump from flat mode to the high riser is too big. It’s burly enough that they feel solid sidehilling and doing sketchy early season skinning even with the higher height. Definitely worth it if you already have alpinists and the alpinist plus Rise Ups is still high up on my own shortlist if future bindings.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Posts
    341

    New riser high height versus the og ones.


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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by lepistoir View Post
    +1 for this feature. Has anyone tried just flipping the risers? It's super annoying to have to turn the heelpiece AND flip the riser when going in and out of medium rise. Because the stock highest rise is so low, I have typically gone from flat to high and back without using medium. But having a medium that gives the best angle for efficient climbing and is engaged simply by flipping the riser over the pins would be nice. Ideally, you are switching between medium and high while skinning, and flat on ski is the mode you use for an approach section so much less often and for continuous periods. I'm still not sold on the Alpinist, but I bought two pairs since they were deals and also the lightest tech bindings with dynamic heel travel. Might get a little more out of them with higher risers, but it's not something I would spend a lot of money on. After enough upgrades, you might as well have just bought the more expensive binding you actually wanted.
    As you can imagine I’ve given a lot of thought to this over the years. There are actually only a handful of zero gap AT bindings (Skimoco has a gap table https://skimo.co/tech-binding-heel-gaps )…all the ATKs are 4 mm for example despite having heel elastic travel. Xenic (1 mm gap) has one height heel riser, no Medium.

    The Heel Ups create a useful Medium height (equal to the stock Highest height) that I’ve used on moderate angle ski tracks many times, and that requires zero heel rotation so super fast transitions. From your post, it sounds like that’s exactly what you’re looking for but I’m not 100% certain?

    But regardless I cannot overstate how easy the Alpinist heel rotation is with our riser design and a ski pole. The hole is much farther from the heel piece rotation shaft, so you get more leverage, and the hole has flat vertical edges to better engage with your ski pole. I have plenty of bindings with floppy 2 piece risers, which work ok, but a large wide one piece riser is generally more rigid & stable, and doesn’t flop unintentionally between High and Medium while skinning like G3 and Salomon’s tend to.

    Again and again I hear from shops that the inadequate riser height is the only real issue they see with the Alpinist. I wouldn’t have bothered designing these with Collin if the Alpinist had a reputation for broken toe pieces etc etc.

    I hope everyone on the preorder list got Collin’s mfg update email.
    Know of a pair of Fischer Ranger 107Ti 189s (new or used) for sale? PM me.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    11,370
    Any ballpark idea when next round will come out? Winter 24 or not until spring/summer - I’m looking forward to not rotating my heels anymore!

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