online binding collection. Today, between attempts to play part time geek with our web hosting, I got our 1987 Salewa Tour display completed. Check it out and leave a few comments. Anyone ever use this binding? Did it work for you?"/>

History from 1987 — Salewa Tour Binding Joins our Online Collection

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One of our summer projects is to push as many rando bindings as possible into our online binding collection. Today, between attempts to play part time geek with our web hosting, I got our 1987 Salewa Tour display completed. Check it out and leave a few comments. Anyone ever use this binding? Did it work for you?

Backcountry skiing Salewa binding 1987.
Salewa Tour backcountry skiing randonnee binding, 1987.

Along with the supremely satisfying tasks of handling twenty year old machinery, I also dug out a 1987 Great Pacific Ironworks (Chouinard) catalog that’s been gathering dust all these decades.

Yeah, it seems kinda weird to collect catalogs when they’re new, but books from something you’re passionate about can be quite fun many years later. The captions alone get a chuckle, such as “Brian Robb rambo skiing…” Ever been rambo skiing? I’m thinking, yeah, I’ve been there, but I’m not sure I had skis on. So, below please find a nice excerpt from Great Pacific’s take on fixed heel skiing, way back when the televangelists were at the height of their influence but the power and grace of randonnee was niggling at people’s conscious like memories of a favorite mexican resturant during a 3-week wilderness backpack..

Backcountry skiing Salewa binding 1987.
Great Pacific (Chouinard Equipment) catalog, 1987, page 44.


17 Responses to “History from 1987 — Salewa Tour Binding Joins our Online Collection”

  1. Halsted July 15th, 2008 4:28 pm

    I was amazed to see that Chessler books has some of the old Chouinard catalogs for sale at $20 and up. So, my old catalog collection is increasing in value too…


  2. Powder Lover July 15th, 2008 5:29 pm

    I collect magazines, or used to when I worked for SPIN and Rolling Stone. They let us take from the archives. Taking a look back on history to see how ideas and technology have changed is always fascinating! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Lou July 15th, 2008 5:54 pm

    I think I used my original Chouinard catalog to start a fire at Camp 4, but I can’t seem to remember what exactly happened (grin). Not keeping that cool catalog was a mistake.

    I’ve got two copies of the 1987 Chouinard Cat., if anyone wants to trade another year of that vintage.

    (Powder Lover, note that your name is linked to the URL you entered when you did you post, so no need for more links.)

  4. cjw July 15th, 2008 6:10 pm

    I have a pair…mounted on Tua Magnum Sauvages (but you know that), they are my back up skis. Glad you found a pair. Did they work? Well, they certainly look sketchy. I did have one scary pre-release at the top of Longhorn at Taos once….

  5. Tim July 15th, 2008 9:31 pm

    That was my first rando binding, mounted to some Tua Excaliburs, and using Dynafit boots.

    Those bindings were heavy, but they worked awfully well, and I felt quite fortunate to use them.

    As I recall, there were a few issues with icing, but overall positive impressions.

    Of course now, it’s Dynafit…

  6. Randonnee July 15th, 2008 9:36 pm

    Yep, I skied that binding, on K2 lift skis. It was not real convenient when released, so I avoided releasing…

  7. George Laquian July 16th, 2008 10:26 am

    Hey I still have that catalog!

    I saw Chessler selling a 1972 Chouinard “clean climbing” catalog for $300.00 last month Lou, hold onto that one- it’ll be a collector’s item too someday.

    It’s got me thinking- maybe it’s time to retire my Tua Sauvage Magnums and Silvretta 404′s and get my creaky carcass into the 21st century….

  8. Pete Sowar July 17th, 2008 8:12 am

    Worst rando binding I ever used. The only thing holding the binding on the ski was that little rubber / plastic wheel. Needless to say it would prerelease often.

  9. Ken C. November 12th, 2008 12:29 am

    CJW & George L.:

    I am looking for a pair of Tua Magnum Sauvage skis. If you are considering selling, I would be interested.

  10. stephen curtis January 5th, 2010 3:51 pm

    Ah. err i admit I am still using these bindings as of 2010!. Purchased new in 1986. Used maybe 20times, including last week. The pros—–They release great. In all directions including sideways and backwards. They also accomodate all types of boots. I used to use them with plastic koflach mountaineering boots with laces. Not a leg breaker binding at all. Possibly still the safest binding ever made. (Will always release at all angles). You can test this by just ripping the binding off the ski with your hands. lightweight.Very easy to mount with included plate. I would not use these today if I did not think they were safe. DIN settings to 10!
    BUT cons. wobbles a lot. Limited power transfer to ski. prone to preleasing if torqued. almost requires a certain binding specific technique ( ie parallel with edged turns jump turns for example)Partly fragile . difficult to mount plate to ski after a release. typically had to take boot off plate first. Tight clearances can become iced. Long discontinued, no parts available

  11. wendell garvelink January 13th, 2010 10:48 am

    Still have a pair today. They routinely get mounted on soft $3 Goodwill skis I use along the sand dunes of Lake Michigan. Paid $100 for them when I was a student at Univeristy Of Utah. Despite owning them for 20 years I still feel riped off. Wacky design with great machined parts mixed in with cheap hardware. I got so tired of prereleasing I mounted the plate permitately to the ski. Everytime I look at the design I can’t help but think of the engineer on the Simpsons who over designs everything and it always blows up. Currently used a modern set up when out west, the new stuff works so nice. Wendell G.

  12. wendell garvelink January 20th, 2010 8:48 am

    I think if you stared at them long enough they would prerelease

  13. Lou January 20th, 2010 10:24 am

    One of the worst falls I ever had was taken due to a pre-release while testing this binding. Taught me a lesson. I now “test” bindings very carefully.

  14. Jim January 25th, 2010 2:51 pm

    With great snow this week in So-California I’m sorely tempted to break out my 20+ year old Tua Excaliburs with Salewa Tour bindings and climb Mt. Baldy. Just doing some online searching to decide if current opinion says they’re safe or not.

    It seems a lot nicer to skin up the bowl vs carrying my alpine skis.

  15. Harvee Jarvi January 27th, 2010 4:00 pm

    Bela,Mimi,Tom and myself used these bindings with our plastic climbing boots when we skied Moosestooth , Barille and Dickey.They worke fine sorta.

  16. Wild Isle November 2nd, 2012 7:47 pm

    These were my first touring bindings mounted on a pair of Tua skis and I tip my toque to them for getting me into the whole backcountry ski thang!

    The main problem I found was the lack of strength in the mode change lever at the back. It is made from folded metal and was simply not strong enough. Mine and my buddies both wore and eventually snapped at the corner.

    Still I have great memories of truckin’ around on these puppies.

  17. Pam May 12th, 2013 5:04 pm

    I have a pair of skis to sell they are tua comic sport gray with tua letters in red can any one give me a good idea on how much to sell them Thanks Pam

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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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