Take the award-winning free pivoting TARGA Ascent, incorporate a stainless steel toe plate, and you have the TARGA Ascent S/S. A bomber high performance touring telemark binding at an economical price for skiers who put their gear through the wringer.
|Ability:||Intermediate, Advanced, Expert|
|Material:||Stainless steel toe plate|
|Weight:||3 lb 6.4 oz / 1580 g|
These are probably the best back country binding I've used. They are fairly light while still providing good support. I have these mounted on a pair of G3 Tonic and rock them round the Italian Alps for 7 days and they were terrific. Two others also had these binding and they all help up great. Probably one of the best parts is that because the way the binding bends, you're able to use the crampons while the heal risers are flipped up. Great for those steep icy hills. I haven't had the problems with the heal flipping downs, but I believe it's all in who installs the heal risers and if they do it right. Mine were just fine but another member in my group risers would filp down occasionally.
All in all this is a great binding all around binding.
Amazing binding! I've hardly had a problem with them for two years and my wife skis on a pair too. I've also got a pair of skis with BD 01s which I dread skiing on because I'm always wondering how many problems will I have with them today. These bindings rarely ice up, and if they do the mechanism is easy to free of ice, unlike the BD01s. The heal lifters are phenominal and smooth.
I bought the stainless steel Ascents because I wanted more durability. I thought these would be my favorite binding. At the shop, they tried to sell me Hammerheads, and I didn't listen.
After breaking three cables in one season, I decided to switch to the HH. Fortunately, I was working at Grand Targhee and the 22 Designs guys hooked me up with a pair. I have since tried Switchbacks, Cobras, Targas, BD's, and NTNs. The only binding I've found to rival the HH is the Bomber Bishop binding, which is no longer manufactured. Fortunately, I managed to sell my Ascents for $150, and cut my losses.
The Ascents not only broke, but they didn't give me nearly the power and performance of the Hammerhead. If you're looking for a backcountry, free pivot binding, get the Axl, from 22 Designs.
I would not recommend the Ascent to anyone. The HH or Axl, I'd recommend to everyone.