Sloppy Bindings = Crashes! --Heads-up!
I found something this year to really help ski skills: make sure your bindings are TIGHT! Not all bindings are the same. I use NNN. If I go around all my skis with a boot and click it into the bindings they all have differing amounts of slop. The Autos are the WORST. Basically, I don't think Autos are suitable for technical touring: their slop really contributes to crashing, I think. A little slop in the binding means 1-2" of slop at the ski tip: too much. A Manual (race type) binding often has ZERO slop. They tight. It's a huge difference! I don't know about NNN-BC bindings.
I also note that there are differences even between Manual bindings! I have two types of race bindings and one had zero slop while another still had a trace.
I used to crash a lot on the Potto Raid (and anywhere else that was technical). And I was baffled because I never used to crash. Well, this year I finally thought to swap out my sloppy Auto binding for my "pretty tight" Manuals (I left the best ones on my race skis -- don't want to fool with them) and I didn't crash at all on the tricky Potto downhills! (Some of our superstars biffed a few times bad so it was a challenging year.)
This is probably worth making more noise about as we reveal to the world that XC trail skiing is the winter version of Mt-Biking.
The convenience of Auto's is sure sweet -- especially for dismounting at stream-jumps and such -- but we have to insist on performance. Who knows, maybe some Autos out there are tight. SNS perhaps? What's the word?