How would you repair a cracked duckbill 50 miles into the wilderness?

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bgregoire
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Re: How would you repair a cracked duckbill 50 miles into the wilderness?

Post by bgregoire » Sun Oct 11, 2020 4:39 pm

@trite,

Sorry, I'm not going to publish their complete gear list, that would be too long to type up. But if you have questions, I can answer them.

I found a little write up in their gear list about the Alfa Mordre and Kristen's Meindel Profi Expedition boots. I think you will enjoy (translated by Google translate):

Alfa Mordre
Alfa Mordre is an incredibly warm and comfortable ski, but not very durable. The holes under the saddle, for the binding, are quickly worn so that the shoes come loose from the binding if you do not go with cable. An advantage of full-coverage gaiters to prevent wear and tear.

We had pile socks outside the wool cart tanks to make them more durable. Unfortunately, neither wool cartons nor pile socks held the template and we got big holes way too early. We recommend wool cartons that are firm and very well processed, as these last longer.

(read more about liners here: https://www.telemarktalk.com/viewtopic. ... 152#p24028)

Meindel Profi Expedition
On Kristin's one ski boot, the sole detached from the rest of the shoe after 60 days on tour, otherwise Kristin was very happy. The shoe is slightly stiffer than Alfa Mordre and provides better support for the foot. It worked well with Bc binding, even in very cold conditions.
Last edited by bgregoire on Sun Oct 11, 2020 5:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.
I live for the Telemark arc....The feeeeeeel.....I ski miles to get to a place where there is guaranteed snow to do the deal....TM

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bgregoire
Posts: 1308
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2014 9:31 am
Ski style: Nordic backcountry touring with lots of turns
Favorite Skis: Fisher E99, Åsnes Ingstad & Cecilie, K2 Wayback 88
Favorite boots: Crispi Sydpolen, Alico Teletour & Alfa Polar
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Re: How would you repair a cracked duckbill 50 miles into the wilderness?

Post by bgregoire » Sun Oct 11, 2020 4:53 pm

Ben Saunders, I remember reading about him.

"Plymouth-born Saunders, 30, aimed to complete the 478-mile trek in 30 days, covering around 16 miles a day over shifting pack ice and defying temperatures as low as minus 50C. Despite a good start, during which he covered nearly 60 miles, his adventure was brought to a premature end after the bolts attaching the binding of his boots to the skis sheared off."

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2008/apr/05/arctic

"The main bolts which attach the binding of Bens boot to the skis have sheered off and the degree of damage is beyond repair, reports the home team. The unprecedented, appalling conditions of the ice, coupled with Ben exerting his absolute maximum effort to achieve the speed record, have clearly impacted this crucial equipment failure."

Sounds like the binding attachement failed (screws), not the boot.

Ok, so now he's got to work out a solution for take 2:


I remember this video where he finally visits this unheard of shop in a strange and far-away (sportnett.no in Oslo, lol) and finds HIS boots! Guess what: Alfa Polars. :)


"One of most difficult balancing acts is figuring out how much spare kit to take with you. Speed and safety are dictated by how much weight we’re pulling. It’s a tough balancing act. The trip with the broken binding was as ultralight as I could go for a traverse of the Arctic Ocean from Russia to Canada. It was a trip where everything stripped down to nothing. Antarctica will be a longer, slower trip. We have two sets of skis each. We’ll have spare poles, maybe even spare boots."

Here are the very boots, now souvenirs in this living room and still looking relatively good:
http___com.ft.imagepublish.upp-prod-us.s3.amazonaws.jpg
https://www.ft.com/content/8dd4c332-42f ... 0c2bf34a0b
Last edited by bgregoire on Sun Oct 11, 2020 5:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I live for the Telemark arc....The feeeeeeel.....I ski miles to get to a place where there is guaranteed snow to do the deal....TM

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bgregoire
Posts: 1308
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2014 9:31 am
Ski style: Nordic backcountry touring with lots of turns
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Re: How would you repair a cracked duckbill 50 miles into the wilderness?

Post by bgregoire » Sun Oct 11, 2020 5:06 pm

trite wrote:
Sun Oct 11, 2020 4:28 pm

Here’s another trip report of a Greenland crossing where a 75mm binding ripped out of the ski — yes, ripped — but the guide fixed it rather quickly (epoxy, etc.) Everyone else had NNN BC with no issues. They weren't all pulling totally full sleds, though. This was a trip with Ousland Expeditions with Bengt Rotmo as guide along with dogs. The author’s account is actually kind of amusing, and he’s a bit clueless that the 75mm squeak is a standard sound effect. :lol:
That report is actually very funny, here is an extract with some comments:

"On May 11 (Day #6) my boredom was replaced with panic when my left ski, which had been feeling slightly wonky for a couple of days, abruptly fell off my boot. The bad part was that the binding had also parted company with the ski and was still hanging on to the boot. Upon examination it was apparent that the front-most of the three screws that held the binding to the ski had sheared at the head. This put strain on the other two attachment screws and made the body of the binding work like a lever against them with each forward step. Eventually the screws tore loose. Visions of disaster danced in my head. We were barely 55 miles (89 kilometers) into the crossing and my skis were in ruins. My stomach churned at the thought of having to abandon the crossing and being ignominiously dragged off the ice by helicopter. I have seldom felt quite so awful."

The man had a wonky binding FOR A COUPLE OF DAYS and seems to have done nothing about it! OUPS. He probably could have avoided the whole situation by checking up on the wobble when he first felt it. Probably only a screw to retighten with epoxy at that moment.

It gets funnier:

" I thought that there was no binding on earth simpler than the three-pin Voile. Yet, it had failed.

I instantly became a fan of the New Nordic Norm (Backcountry) bindings that all the other members of the group (except for Lisa) were using. I eyed them enviously at every stop. Meanwhile I was stuck with the Voiles and every time I clicked down on the lever that cinched the duckbill of the boot into the binding I was stressed that the whole thing would come apart again. This horrible vision never left my consciousness until the trip was over and all skiing was done."

No need to comment this one. Except to say the 3-pin is not as bad as he is portraying it either. He's just scarred.

Thanks for the links @trite, this is fun!
I live for the Telemark arc....The feeeeeeel.....I ski miles to get to a place where there is guaranteed snow to do the deal....TM

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lowangle al
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Re: How would you repair a cracked duckbill 50 miles into the wilderness?

Post by lowangle al » Mon Oct 12, 2020 7:12 am

trite wrote:
Sun Oct 11, 2020 1:36 pm
@lowangle al
I agree, but let us know if you have any input on robust field repairs as new boots fail on expedition too.

I never thought about it, but here is an idea. Take a piece of plastic about 75mm wide and at least as long as your boot. Predrill one end to match the screw hole pattern of your binding and drill holes along the edge of the plastic for lacing your boot to it after you have removed the binding screws and screwed this piece of plastic on top of the binding.

I remember there was a binding, or maybe it was a binding accessory that had a piece of plastic attatched to it similar to what I described.

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bgregoire
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Re: How would you repair a cracked duckbill 50 miles into the wilderness?

Post by bgregoire » Mon Oct 12, 2020 7:56 am

lowangle al wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 7:12 am
trite wrote:
Sun Oct 11, 2020 1:36 pm
@lowangle al
I agree, but let us know if you have any input on robust field repairs as new boots fail on expedition too.
I never thought about it, but here is an idea. Take a piece of plastic about 75mm wide and at least as long as your boot. Predrill one end to match the screw hole pattern of your binding and drill holes along the edge of the plastic for lacing your boot to it after you have removed the binding screws and screwed this piece of plastic on top of the binding.

I remember there was a binding, or maybe it was a binding accessory that had a piece of plastic attatched to it similar to what I described.
I believe your idea is based on the ICE TREK binding:
https://icetrek.com/shop/flexi-ski-bindings

Interested but the choice of plastic would be crucial and tha back up plate might end up weighing as much as the cables from a Voile 3-pin cable.
I live for the Telemark arc....The feeeeeeel.....I ski miles to get to a place where there is guaranteed snow to do the deal....TM

User avatar
bgregoire
Posts: 1308
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2014 9:31 am
Ski style: Nordic backcountry touring with lots of turns
Favorite Skis: Fisher E99, Åsnes Ingstad & Cecilie, K2 Wayback 88
Favorite boots: Crispi Sydpolen, Alico Teletour & Alfa Polar
Been liked: 4 times

Re: How would you repair a cracked duckbill 50 miles into the wilderness?

Post by bgregoire » Mon Oct 12, 2020 2:12 pm

bgregoire wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 7:56 am
lowangle al wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 7:12 am
trite wrote:
Sun Oct 11, 2020 1:36 pm
@lowangle al
I agree, but let us know if you have any input on robust field repairs as new boots fail on expedition too.
I never thought about it, but here is an idea. Take a piece of plastic about 75mm wide and at least as long as your boot. Predrill one end to match the screw hole pattern of your binding and drill holes along the edge of the plastic for lacing your boot to it after you have removed the binding screws and screwed this piece of plastic on top of the binding.

I remember there was a binding, or maybe it was a binding accessory that had a piece of plastic attatched to it similar to what I described.
I believe your idea is based on the ICE TREK binding:
https://icetrek.com/shop/flexi-ski-bindings

Interesting but the choice of plastic would be crucial and tha back up plate might end up weighing as much as the cables from a Voile 3-pin cable.
I live for the Telemark arc....The feeeeeeel.....I ski miles to get to a place where there is guaranteed snow to do the deal....TM

User avatar
bgregoire
Posts: 1308
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2014 9:31 am
Ski style: Nordic backcountry touring with lots of turns
Favorite Skis: Fisher E99, Åsnes Ingstad & Cecilie, K2 Wayback 88
Favorite boots: Crispi Sydpolen, Alico Teletour & Alfa Polar
Been liked: 4 times

Re: How would you repair a cracked duckbill 50 miles into the wilderness?

Post by bgregoire » Mon Oct 12, 2020 7:29 pm

trite wrote:
Sat Oct 10, 2020 4:19 pm
  • I’ve had bad experiences with slush freezing around the toe bar. Slush is a big problem beneath the snow on most lakes in mid-winter on the Canadian Shield. It hasn’t been a problem with pin holes, especially with anti-ice tape.
This is a good point @trite. The NNN BC (or any system binding really) is prone to icing up issues. This can become seriously problematic during multi-day trips where it is impossible to thaw out the bindings overnight. The ice that builds up inside the binding mechanisms can clog it up or even contribute to it breaking.

This reality might have been on Ousland's mind also when he chose the Alfa Polar (Mordre) & 3 pin binding combo for their North Pole expedition

By there way, a little naphta or hot water poured into the binding would be one way to free the mechanism if jammed shut with ice.
I live for the Telemark arc....The feeeeeeel.....I ski miles to get to a place where there is guaranteed snow to do the deal....TM

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Chick Maldonado
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Re: How would you repair a cracked duckbill 50 miles into the wilderness?

Post by Chick Maldonado » Tue Oct 20, 2020 9:32 pm

trite wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 12:00 am
Chick Maldonado wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 10:12 pm
Ahhh... what else but duct tape. Wrap a half roll on your poles. Acts as a second grip. Indepensible.
I needed a functional repair for multi-day use over a long period. While I don’t think duct tape would’ve actually worked, even if I had been able to completely tape my boot to the ski, this would’ve been impractical for long-term travel and camping.
Well. Ok. Harumph...

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