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Gear Review

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It climbs and skis, but remember its purpose

The Silvretta 500 is an excellent mountaineering binding that can do occasional alpine duty. However, because of a somewhat dubious release mechanism for slow twisting falls and stiffness/durability issues, it should not be used routinely as an AT binding. For touring or mountaineering, it climbs effectively at all heel positions and should be used with the provided leash. The optional brake has limited application; the optional crampon is easy to install and very effective in icy terrain. For safety with leather boots, use the lowest release setting needed for retention under rigorous climbing conditions.