Friday, May 6, 2011

Mounting Silvretta 555s

Spring time.  To many it signals the end of ski season.  Time to break out the mountain bike and bikinis.  However Spring is the best season for backcountry skiing.  Warmer weather, longer days all contribute to making backcountry turns more enjoyable.  Earlier this season a friend came by to have me help him mount up a pair of  Silvretta 555's.  These are the most modern of the 500 series of bindings and yet rarely seen these days.  The 500's niche is their ability to use mountaineering boots.  The 555 is the top model in the 500 line-up, combining the step in heel from the 505 plus an auto centering toe bail shroud. They are still compatible with mountaineering boots and in fact the step in heel has a wider heel engagement tab, which result in great contact area. 
When this friend asked for an inexpensive resort friendly backcountry bindings I knew of a pair for sale.   These were actually the same pair that were pictured here in my main Easy Go article.  I then retired a pair of my skies to him.  Here is the real funny part.  The skis and the bindings at one time were mounted on each other.  Thus remounted was super easy.  All that needed to be done was to drill out the hot glue which filled the old holes, fill the most recent set of holes and epoxy the binding screws back in.  The Tahoe Silvretta community is very small indeed. 

One thing I noticed is that the 555s come with a riser plate.  All other easy goes are mounted directly on the ski's deck.  Riser plates are typical on resort bindings.  The increased height increases edge pressure.  One other thing to note is that one of the binding holes were over lapped on another.  This is typically a mounting no-no, and no action was taken, such as inserting a hardwood plug.  The skis were used in this condition for two resort seasons by aggressive skiers, and this last season mixed BC/Resort with no ill effect.   Nick has been rocking the 555's and Atomics all season, and has made the conversion from snowboarder/split boarder to skier .