Why we chose the Plum Pika: Solid aluminium machining.
A quick Google search of the name ‘Pika’ reveals a load of gerbil-looking mountain creatures. It turns out, after a bit more research, that a Pika is in fact a little cute mountain rabbit frequently found in North America and Asia. With that mind, what exactly are Plum trying to tell us by naming this binding the Pika?
You might take one look at this binding and think that it’s just another rehash of the original binding patent owned by Dynafit for so many years. And in some ways, you may just be right.
“Plum have built up a reputation for making some of the most solid, all metal bindings around”
The ‘Pika’ binding from Chamonix based company Plum continues with a classic tried and tested design, but with a few convenient features added on. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it – as they say.
Plum was founded by a family of CNC machinists who enjoyed ski mountaineering in their spare time, and wanted to create metal bindings; metal bindings that would be a more reliable solution than what was on offer.
Although the road to what we see today has not been a smooth one (their early toe-arms had a reputation for breaking), we’re now seeing Plum create some of the most solid ski mountaineering bindings in the industry. Just look on the feet of most Chamonix-based steep skiers and you’ll more than likely see a pair of these beautifully machined bindings gracing a range of skis – from full-on touring setups, to big mountain freeride planks.
Plum have built up a reputation for making some of the most solid, all metal bindings around. The latest refinements have led to the all metal Pika being brought down to a lightweight 280g per binding.
While favouring a simple approach, Pika have made it so that you’re able to buy a handy brake which can then be screwed onto the binding – without having to take the binding on or off. This makes switching between brakeless and braked skiing, depending on the type of terrain you’re planning to ski, an absolute piece of cake.
“The wings have been designed to sit closer to the boot … so that it’s easier to line up to your boot holes before stepping in”
Another handy addition to this tried and tested design is the use of Plum’s ‘Too Facile’ toe wings, a feature that makes stepping into the binding… well, too easy. The wings have been designed to sit closer to the boot when they’re opened up so that it’s easier to line up to your boot holes before stepping in – something you’ll be thankful for when you come to attach these bindings on a steep and icy slope.
Considering the amount of metal this binding is made up of, you’d be hard-pressed to break a component. However, if you do find yourself with a faulty Pika (of the binding variety, not the cute mountain rabbit variety) you can relax knowing that the binding comes with a rock solid three-year warranty.
As you can see, this is a solid binding that’s had a lot of thought put into it.
If you’re looking for a simple yet well-made binding that’ll be able to really take a beating, then the Pika, great for multi day trips, could be the one to go for.
“The Pika is a minimalist and versatile binding (280g per foot and optional brake system 85, 95 or 105mm width). Built (CNC machined) with the best aircraft aluminium (7075 T6).
“Its design and construction will support you in all your ski-touring activities (Free-touring, steep skiing, expedition). Made in France. 3 year warranty”
Johanna Stålnacke, Free Skier and UIAGM Mountain Guide
“The Pika binding from Plum is a great hybrid between a binding for Freeride and light ski touring.
“I trust my life to these bindings on a regular basis when skiing steep exposed lines around the world. They simply have to work without failure and so they do. They are the perfect choice for skiing big lines where you need to skin and climb to get in position for your descent. They are easy to step into in tricky places or on steep ground and the stomp pads provides for a good sensation when you charge around and take drops.
“Plum makes all their bindings in the family owned factory in Cluses France using a minimum of parts, all in metal, skilfully crafted to excellence. Now that’s pretty awesome if you ask me.”
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