Bootpacking into the backcountry will leave you a miserable wreck in a hurry, instead, an alpine touring binding is the answer. An alpine touring binding is a ski binding that allows you to go free-heel for the ascent and then lock your heel in place for the descent. One style of AT binding requires an AT-specific boot while the other allows you to use a standard alpine boot for your backcountry pow-fest. Either way an AT binding is the fastest, most efficient way to stay connected to your ski and travel in the backcountry while wearing ski boots.
An alpine-compatible AT binding offers an adjustable DIN, a burly construction, and accept a standard alpine ski boot without any special fittings. This binding can serve as a do-it-all backcountry and resort binding.
Ultralight and minimalist by design, this binding style requires a ski boot with TECH-compatible heel and toe fittings. This binding style places a premium on stride efficiency and low weight, rather than adjustability.
Heel risers or climbing wires can give you a boost under your heel for climbing steep hills. Keep in mind, adjustable release settings and brakes aren’t standard on some ultralight TECH binders—consider your options carefully.