jobrienI've been running king pin 13's on my Black Crow Atris all spring/summer. I've been pleased with them as a AT binding and have skied at the resort as well. I'm skiing in Oregon on cascade corn and slushy glacier pack when touring, I've also taken them up at Timberline and skied the frozen solid groomed conditions at 8am. As far as skiing soft conditions at a resort or in the BC you will be fine, but my experience with them on the frozen, salted, groomers was very negative. I was charging pretty hard but the vibration and chatter was unbearable, and caused me to pre-release 2 times at pretty high speeds mid-turn... I took a pretty big hit to my confidence pushing them in any condition that morning and went back to my car until things got sun and softened up. Given that you are in the East, I'm not sure I would want these as my primary ski binding. It the snow pack is hard and it's icy you're running the risk of injury (IMO). Also, I broke the retaining plate for the brakes on one of those falls, so there's that.
Finally, getting into these things like most AT bindings can be a total bitch. If you've got any snow accumulation on your boots or bindings it'll be a struggle to line-up correctly. Sometimes I'm right in, other times a fuss with the things for 2-3 minutes before I get my toe pins lined correctly and step in. For me being at a resort and dealing with this, is just too much work. I want to jump in the binding a go. Why don't you just drop another $200 on a pair of last years Marker Griffons or similar and have bindings you can count on?
**This post was edited on Sep 13th 2017 at 12:50:35pm
Thanks for the feedback jobrien - you mention my biggest fear, the pre-release at high speeds considering that is one of the few ways to have fun in the east between snow days. I have read in a few places that some people keep the AT toe in tour mode for the decent to prevent pre-release (likely at the peril of your ACL/MCL)
I do want to start touring more which is why I went with the kingpins in the first place, rather than a cheaper alpine option, as they came highly recommended as a great in-between binding - any thoughts on the CAST binding system? According to Blister that seems to eliminate any concerns on the descent (but priced accordingly)
I could always use my old Bacons as my AT option and re-mount my Jesters on the new skis - it sounds like the kingpins should be saved for BC, mid/late season resort conditions or fresh snow