Marker Duke PT 12 Alpine Touring Binding
The Marker Duke PT 12 Alpine Touring binding is the next step forward for the world of freeride touring. This binding blends together the two worlds of freeride skiing and alpine touring. The binding operates just as a traditional downhill alpine binding with an ISO Alpine and AT toe (an adjustable DIN rated toe that accepts both styles of boots) and Inter Pivot 3 Freeride Heel (a heel unit with forward pressure and adjustable DIN).
But wait! When ready to head uphill, one can transform the binding into uphill mode by removing the toe unit housing to reveal a tech-style toe piece. This toe piece drastically improves touring efficiency by removing 300 grams of weight per ski coupled with the minimized friction experienced when touring on a tech-style toe. In uphill mode, the heel unit has both flat and inclined mode to accommodate to different angled pitches along with a brake that locks into a stowed position. The Marker PT's transformation between uphill and downhill mode allows it both the efficiency of uphill tech-style touring and the performance of a traditional alpine style binding. A dynamic duo if you will. The Duke PT 12 is the less-stiff-springed version of the Duke PT 16. It is recommended for skiers between 80-250 lbs. It has a DIN that ranges from 4-12 to accommodate lighter riders who still like to ski hard.
The PT in Duke PT is Marker's move away from a frame style touring bindings which remain to be heavy and inefficient. Frame bindings are tough because for uphill touring one must lift the full weight of the plate and heel unit, all while pivoting on a friction-filled, energy-sucking toe bushing. For the downhill, the skier sits abnormally high on the ski because of the height of the frame underfoot. This added binding height hampers the original intent of improved downhill skiability effectively making frame bindings a big ol' lose-lose situation. Cheers to Marker for moving away from this system in exchange for their new Pin Technology (hence PT). The Duke PT is a perfect downhill resort binding that has the option to access lift-accessed backcountry skiing. It could also be the ideal binding for expert-level freeride touring (look up La Liste - Jeremie Heitz for inspiration on that front). Either way - the Duke PT is ready to provide bottomless downhill ski performance for the addition of a little bit of added weight. Think of it as a quiver-of-one binding: high-speed resort skiing capable and backcountry touring competent.
Weight: 1180g (downhill), 880g (uphill)
Sole Compatibility: ISO 5355 (ALPINE) & ISO 9523 (AT)
*Tech inserts needed for hike function
DIN Range: 4-12
Recommended Skier Weight: 80-250 lbs
A terrific binding to do it all in the backcountry and in the resort. Easy to get going up hill and bomber confidence in downhill performance.