Let’s face it, these days in Niseko you have to do some work to get to and from the really good stuff. So when you’re trekking back to base or skinning up to Yotei’s summit, it’s nice to have a binding that lets your heel come up. “Marker’s Duke fits the bill perfectly for Niseko skiing”, says local pro Tom Costa. A high performance freeride binding on the way down and a telemark in transit. To switch from touring mode to ride mode, you must take the ski off, pop up the underfoot lever, then put the ski back on. This system guarantees the binding won’t inadvertently open in ski mode; a nice thing to know when you’re 50 feet in the air and coming down fast. ¥53,000, but sold out everywhere.