tromano, I thought it was a great idea and I bought the Rossignol version, called the Free Venture. Link here
(No longer sold here, still available in Europe).
Took them up to above tree line at Pike's Peak, using a modified climbing/randonee boot. (Koflach Tour Extreme shown here
) Unless there is icing, they are almost as fast as snowshoes on the way up, and much, much more fun on the way down. The short length makes getting skins on and off really easy, and the binding came with a sufficient climbing wire to cause no problems.
The Free venture binding was kind of chintzy, it looks as thought the Kong one might be a little sturdier, probably based on the Pika Sastrugi
and similar approach-ski bindings. (Kong is a well known supplier of climbing gear and accessories).
Karhu is thumbs-up on the idea also (see their Meta and Sweeper
, I think HTO carries these locally).
Haven't tried those yet.
I am really curious right now about the Hagan Freedom.
Can you say "Shenandoah fire road skiing"?
- iced-over surface is better with snowshoes
- find the dampest, floatiest ski you can get
- don't use your downhill boots or you'll be miserable.
- the bindings are non-release. You lose all the limb safety of the last 30 years of alpine binding development.