Cast Touring athlete Dorian Densmore spent 45 days this summer skiing and testing the system in Argentina. | Mike Hambone photo
Cast Touring is a company that creates an alpine ski touring system. It is designed to be the highest performing option for both the up and the down.
This year I used the system with look 14 bindings and had my lange xt 130 boots converted to be dynafit compatible and work with the cast system. I probably skied for a total of 45 days on this setup, in the resort and in the backcountry and put in a lot of time skiing long days, in all conditions. I was relitively hard on this gear as well, crashing, hitting rocks, and giving them lots of use. I used this setup throughout one season at the ski resort of Las Lenas, and on a high altitude mountaineering expedition in Cordon Del Plata (ARG). Read about that adventure here: http://snowbrains.com/riding-giants-argentina-super-canaleta-cerro-rincon/
Dorian at about 17,500 feet dropping into the Supercanaleta on Cerro Rincon with the CAST Touring system. | Lee Lyon photo
- Compatible with Look Pivot and Rossignol FKS 14 DIN alpine bindings
- Added skiing weight 180g per ski
- 7mm added stand height makes them among the lowest stand height touring bindings on the market
- Alpine toe removal reduces touring weight to less than the alpine bindings
- Forward offset of tech toe provides a better balance point for kick turns and improved traction when skinning
- Systems come with standard 10° climbing bails. Tall 14° bails are available upon request (rise based on 300mm boot sole length)
- Rubber tuning bands secure brakes when climbing
- Mount plates are CNC machined to precise tolerances from forged aluminum
- Slider plates are high precision laser cut aluminum with pressed stainless steel M6 inserts
- The Mount and Slider plates are anodized for a clean look and improved durability
- Laser cut stainless steel quick release slide lock mechanism ensures your toe pieces don’t go anywhere while in use
- CNC high density plastic heel risers bring the heel of your binding to an equal height as the toe assembly
- Wire formed stainless steel climbing bails are spring loaded for effortless pole activated engagement
Touring towards another coulior somewhere in the windswept mountains of Argentina | Alejo Sanchez photo
The touring system is simple, dependable, and extremely durable yet it also functions very well for efficient hiking. Basically you get the advantages of using a dynafit system for hiking uphill, and for the downhill, just put on your normal alpine bindings and ski. Cast mounts a plate on your ski, allowing you to exchange the toepieces on your bindings between dynafit, and in my case, look 14’s. This makes skinning easy with lightwieght skis, like with dynafits. Then the toepiece is removed and replaced with an alpine binding, that you carry in your backpack.
Hiking up a coulior with Cast toepieces in the backpack, also notice the ski pole-dong pose. | Lee Lyon photo
It is important for me to practice and get used to using any system, so it becomes comfortable and easy. It took about a week for me to become comfortably fast in transitions, but once I became competent at knowing how the system worked, I was actually able to be faster, more efficient, and more comfortable in all situations. There was a wide variety of conditions, including some very warm days with big temperature differences between the sun and shade. With lots of sticky snow accumulating and turning into ice, I try to learn excactly where the ice normally builds up on the bindings. Then I figure out how to clean the ice off, so the transition goes efficiently. The cast plates are very easy to deal with, usually using an old ski pass to scrape the ice out of the toepiece. On occasion, I would have to use a ski poll to assist with ice-chipping or to lightly hammer the bindings into place.
Doing some mountaineer-guy type of skiing, but faster. | Lee Lyon photo
One of my favorite parts of this cast system is that it enables me able to do everything with only one ski setup. I don’t use different skis anymore for the resort than I do for touring. While skiing the resort, I always carry my skins, and cast-dynafit toepieces. That way, if I decide I want to go hiking, I can just go, and I have all the pieces with me to skin and ski tour. The set up can handle super long ski tours, fit in during mountaineering and multi day trips, ski in the resort, moguls, terrain park, or any kind of skiing, and still be expected to last a long time.
Cruising out into the Argentine desert, but with powder. | Mike Hambone photo
Overall I am extremely impressed with this setup and feel like it can really handle anything you can put in its path. For me its the overall best option, I can have the easiest possible uphill combined with the best downhill ski setup. It’s super exciting to be able to ski that much better because of the high performance system Cast provides, and I would recommend it.
Chilling at base camp below a big mountain. | Lee Lyon photo