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PIPESTONE RIVER- back on one ski
Report Submitted by DEMOCRATIZE AB
(trip) Date: Saturday Nov 19, 2022
Submitted: Saturday Nov 19, 2022 at 21:26
Mr. Real Democracy skiing on one ski due to a Rottefella ski binding break
The Pipestone Blue 20 trail up to the Pipestone River horse/backpacker trail is double snowmobile packed and in fairly good to very good condition with nice mid winter snow.
The bottom 30 meters of the Blue 20 trail is in fair condition due to a little avoidable gravel chewed up by a truck that travel the trail or roadway. Once one gets by that, the trail is generally good with the exception of a 100 meter section further up the trail where there are about a dozen avoidable small rocks. Green Swix wax worked well for grip and glide. With another 7cm of new snow the trail could be trackset and provide very good skiing overall. It was fun fast skiing.
I was enjoying breaking easy trail up the Pipestone River trail, which had a nice dense layer above the ground with sweet silky dry snow on top to prance through, when I approached a fallen log. I went to side step over it and my ski fell off! I was unable to put it back on because the plastic plate broke directly under the toe pin area and I lost a few pieces. Talk about a ski buzz harshing Rottefella binding break! I have never broken a xc ski binding in my life (although I have torn bindings out of skis) which includes tens of thousands of kilometers of skiing. I was lucky it did not break up near the Camp Meadows which was my destination. I would never recommend automatic NNNBC Rottefella bindings to anyone as they are not durable. These bindings had under 7000k on them as compared to Rossignol manual bindings that I have with over 25,000k on- which have never had problems.
Skiing out on one ski was actually a fun challenge for the first few hundred meters until my right ski leg got tired. It was like a new sport. I had put my disabled ski on my pack and poled out like a regular XC skier. Going up hills in some cases was actually much faster with one foot on the Blue 20 trail. It took some figuring out on how to ski the packed trail but I managed and made it back to the car just as it was getting somewhat dark. I was lucky.
Total distance: 16.00 Km
6 comment(s) posted
2022-11-19 at 22:22 - comment by Mike W
Glad to hear you made it out safely. Incredible that a binding would break at under 7,000km of use; barely the distance from Calgary to Costa Rica! I prefer the manual NNN and NNN-BC bindings as well. I've never broken an automatic binding, but have found that they occasionally freeze in the open or closed position until they get thawed out. And as far as I know, the Rossignol NNN-BC bindings are just rebranded Rottefellas. If you're going to replace them with manual NNN-BC, I'd recommend the Rottefella "BC Magnum" over the "BC Manual". The Magnum's are a beefier version that should take you to at least Tierra del Fuego!
2022-11-20 at 12:19 - comment by DEMOCRATIZE AB
My automatic Rottefella bindings are from about 2012. I bought them at the old Lifesport store. I was suppose to get Rossignol bindings but they slipped on the Rottefella's instead. I remember being choked but figured that they could not be that bad. My mistake.
My Rossignol manual bindings were bought in 1994. There is a clear difference in terms of materials used. The Rossignol bindings have more metal parts than the Rottefella's.
I bought new manual Rottefella's last season to put on my Vidda's. They are mostly plastic and I do not expect they will be as durable as the Rossignol manual bindings from 1994. If I live long enough and survive all my ski trips, time will tell.
I am now in search of old lightly used Rossignol manual nnnbc bindings from the mid 1990's as I don't want to risk my life with the new crap bindings on the market.
I looked at the Rottefella Magnum bindings but they were a little too wide for my new used metal edge 48mm Madshus Viddas I bought last season. The Magnum stick out way to far on the skis. I could see these being a problem in tracks and just breaking trail. They would slow me down and be more susceptible to hitting rocks or stumps. Bigger is not better. I thought they were just a lousy marketing gimmick when I saw them. If my narrow Rossignol manual bindings have survived tens of thousands of kilometers, why would I need a big fat wide Magnum binding? It just does not make sense to me. This is just bad engineering by the manufacturer in my mind.
Time for a "Rott"efella binding burning ceremony.
2022-11-20 at 13:53 - comment by Mike W
DAB - I remember you first brought up your concerns about the Rottefella NNN-BC binding in your 2021-Apr-28 Assiniboine trip report - http://skierbob.ca/trip-reports-april-2021/#comment-798277 . I think the most dependable touring binding would be something like the 75mm Riva cable binding - https://thumbs.worthpoint.com/zoom/images1/1/1110/11/riva-black-diamond-telemark-ski_1_681a7fdfc72e95cf82cb3cd46ebae823.jpg. But you'd have to switch to 75mm boots and then the system failure point would probably just change from the binding to the boot sole! The replies to your 2021-Apr-28 post reported ski failures, binding failures, and boot failures as well. I think the take-away is that eventually the weakest point in the system will fail: the skis, the bindings, the boots, or your legs! Be thankful you've got 25,000km on your Rossignol bindings (and same skis and boots?). I expect most ski touring equipment isn't designed to last beyond at most a couple of thousand kilometres over simple terrain, because the vast majority of skiers never ski anywhere near that distance or on challenging terrain.
P.S. It would be great if you could provide a photo of your 1994 Rossignol NNN-BC bindings!
2022-11-20 at 20:53 - comment by DEMOCRATIZE AB
Unfortunately I do not have the technology to post a picture of my old 1994 Rossignol TMS Mountain Series metal edge xc skis with the original bindings on them. There must be COVID-19 supply chain issues as I can't buy film for my SLR camera! I blew out a sidewall on these skis last spring and a metal edge previously so I think I have finally retired them, unless I can fix the sidewall. I don't like skiing with exposed wood. It might ruin the wood!!! I have a lot of great memories night skiing with owls and wolves on muskegs up north with these skis.
The budget does not allow me to buy new 75 mm bindings and boots as I just bought new Alpina Montana boots last week. I was just thinking how bad my new Montana's felt compared to my old ones when my ski binding broke on the Pipestone River trail.
You pulled an old Skier Bob report up about me skiing Assiniboine Pass where I pulled screws partly out of my automatic Rottefella bindings which are mounted to Rossignol BC59 skis. I was lucky I could still ski out that day. Last spring I had a shop remount the bindings and that was the ski I was skiing on when the binding broke. I believe I skied on the remounted skis 4 days. I noticed the toe of the binding had a little toe screw movement after the binding broke. I don't know what role, if any, that played in the binding breaking. I noticed no binding movement before skiing. I am considering getting new bindings for these skis but I am concerned about the ability of the skis to hold bindings.
I was just viewing my 205cm Madshus Voss skis with manual Rossignol bindings on them, thinking these 60 mm metal edge skis will be my choice to ski the next ski day out until the snow gets good 'n deep. I got these used so I have no idea how many kilometers are on the bindings. Judging by the wear, I would guess at least 3000km. That is almost like new!
2022-11-20 at 21:50 - comment by Mike W
DAB - You should be able to repair the sidewall with a low viscosity glue such as Hot Stuff - https://www.leevalley.com/en-ca/shop/tools/supplies/adhesives/glue/20022-low-viscosity-glue-hot-stuff - that will penetrate the exposed wood and seal it. Then optionally follow up with a slow-cure epoxy such as G2 - https://www.leevalley.com/en-ca/shop/tools/supplies/adhesives/glue/20011-g2-epoxy - to cover and protect the wood from abrasion. You're welcome to bring your skis over to my place and we can fix them.
2022-11-21 at 19:47 - comment by DEMOCRATIZE AB
Thanks for the Lee Valley tip. This is where I buy my grape vine pruners from. The glues look good to fix up the old Rossignol TMS Mountain Series skis. A flexible glue is exactly what is needed for the side wall.
These skis will live to ski another day.
Recycling ski equipment is important in this era of "skinflation". Now I won't have to hang them on the wall or trash them.
Thanks for your help, Mike.
Keep your ski tips up.