Silvretta Backcountry Skiing Bindings — You’ve Come a Long Way Baby! (1-10-06)

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Our randonnee binding collection here at WildSnow world headquarters holds a number of interesting classics and antiques. Silvretta 300 is beautiful — a simple and elegant plate binding designed for hard-core alpinism such as climb approaches or ski tours where weight is critical. (Thanks goes to Mark Worley for donating the 300s). To save weight and bulk, the 300 binding didn’t have a lateral (side) safety release. That always seemed a bit iffy to me, but then, just imagine those expert skiing Euros on their short AT skis, flitting about the Alps and beyond. They never fell, so why was release necessary?

Fast forward to 2006. The Pure model line is Silvretta’s state of art offering to the rando world. They are beautiful — and they release. Enjoy these photos comparing old and the new. They both look so tasty I don’t know which one I like best. The Pures are so NOW, but the 300s have a retro mechanico look that’s too sweet. (But don’t worry, the 300s will stay hung on the wall, while the Pures are on snow.) Weights are interesting. The Pure Freeride (their top line model) weighs 28.8 oz 816 g, while the 300 weighs 28.6 oz 810 g (one binding, no screws). Of course you give up side release for the light weight of the 300, but it’s cool that in terms of weight the retro steel of the 80s could match space age plastic and carbon fiber of the millennium.

Silvretta 300

Silvretta 300 backcountry skiing binding has been available since the 1980s, and is still used for combination climb/ski trips as it works with welted boots, and is relatively light in weight. Not recommended, however, because it has no lateral safety release. I love the retro mechanicals of this machine. Check out the brass wingnut for changing boot length setting. No screw driver required. Click image for massive enlargement.

Silvretta Pure X-Mountain

Pure X-Mountain is a slightly more economical model in the Pure line. The Pure Freeride (not pictured) is top of the line, and features carbon rails to save weight. I liked the shiny aluminum of the X-Mountain rails for the photo, as they harken back to days of the 300 model. Pure is easily the lightest randonee binding offering full step-in step-out in all modes, as well as safety release in all modes. Click image for massive enlargement.


2 Responses to “Silvretta Backcountry Skiing Bindings — You’ve Come a Long Way Baby! (1-10-06)”

  1. maelgwn January 11th, 2006 5:19 pm

    The 300′s look nicer, cleaner lines less complicated. Anyway are we getting on snow reviews of these?? Compared to the other AT bindings …

  2. Lou January 11th, 2006 7:03 pm

    Doing on-snow review of the Pure models, just including the 300 for fun comparison.

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Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information opinion website and e magazine. Lou's passion for the past 45 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about backcountry skiing and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free back country news and information here, and tons of Randonnee rando telemark info.

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Backcountry skiing is a dangerous sport. You may be killed or severely injured if you do any form of ski mountaineering, skimo randonnee and randonnée skiing. The information and news on this website is intended only as general information. While the authors and editors of the information on this website make every effort to present useful information about ski mountaineering, due to human error the information, text and images contained within this website may be inaccurate, false, or out-of-date. By using, reading or viewing the information provided on this website, you agree to absolve the owners of Wild Snow as well as content contributors of any liability for injuries or losses incurred while using such information. Furthermore, you agree to use any of this website's information, maps, photos, or binding mounting instructions or templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow its owners and contributors of any liability for use of said items for backcountry skiing or any other use.

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