Petzl 8007 Classic Backcountry Skiing Binding


This post by WildSnow.com blogger  

Pulled another binding out of the collection and added to the virtual museum. This time, an early Petzl 8007 without step-in heel.

This binding was known in the early 1990s as perhaps the most “alpine like” you could get in a randonnee grabber, and was favored by many ski professionals and ski alpinists who wanted something they perceived as safer and more solid than other bindings of that era. Please check out the virtual museum display and leave comments here. Did you tour in any version of this binding? Your impressions and experience?

Petzl backcountry skiing binding.
Petzl 8007 backcountry skiing binding, circa 1993.

Comments

28 Responses to “Petzl 8007 Classic Backcountry Skiing Binding”

  1. adam olson July 31st, 2008 5:54 pm

    The 8007 was the first AT binding I owned. I still have a set of crampons that worked w/ this binding! (You are welcome to them if you dont already have a set for the museum). They always got me home, even if they broke on the way to the skiing. They were easy to repair and adjust, if you could get parts. France seemed alot further away in those days. They might have been cumbersome but they sure beat the Alpine Trekker.

    At the time I used Salomon SX90 boots. Scott Schmidt style. The Blizzard of Ahhhs….. playing in the background made for some “scrappy” skiing for sure!

    ao ;)

  2. Dongshow July 31st, 2008 9:18 pm

    I love all the binding history Lou. I couldn’t find another place to post it, but I still have a friend that uses the Secura-Fix Touring Adapter, and they work incredibly well, at least 10 X better then current Alpine Trekkers. We give him a hard time for them constantly but they still haven’t broken down in the 2 years since he’s bought them.

  3. Lou August 1st, 2008 7:27 am

    Thanks for the comments guys. I like this stuff as well, but have an insecurity complex about posting the things as blogs. So good to get support.

    I’m trying to acquire more of the Petzl and Sk’Alp models, especially the original dark colored Petzl, and the first production Petzl that had a metal plate. Aspen Expeditions is hopefully helping out with this, but I thought I’d put the word out.

    Summer is a good time to get this done, as acquiring the bindings, mounting on demo boards, photographing and writing them up is fairly time intensive. Wouldn’t want that to cut into ski time!

  4. Lou August 1st, 2008 9:23 am

    Hi Altis, thanks, we’ve got a pair of Emery in the collection, same model but different colors. I’d make the guy an offer but don’t want to pay postage from UK for something we pretty much already have… my budget is pretty low for this endeavor…

  5. Mike Kelly August 1st, 2008 11:42 am

    Lou,
    I have a pair of the black Petzl 8007(with couteaus) that I bought in Chamonix in 1985 for the Haute Route.
    Actually used them twice this spring on Mountain Boy.
    The bindings worked fine but the Dynastar Dynalites that they are mounted on now leave something to be desired.

    Planning on replacement before next season.

  6. Simon August 1st, 2008 11:58 am

    As someone who has only been using touring gear for 6 or 7 years, its great to see the museum posts! This one is especially interesting for me… I can’t quite tell how the pivot mechanism works. It looks like the toe piece is fixed, and does not pivot with the rest of the binding. Is there simply enough play under the toe piece for the boot to move with the heel, and not pop out?

  7. Lou August 1st, 2008 12:51 pm

    Simon, you mean the touring pivot/hinge? It’s under the wire toe bail in photo above. See the museum display (link in post above), that should make it clear.

  8. Mark Worley August 1st, 2008 7:29 pm

    My first AT binding. Lost some screws while touring once so I had to tour with one binding in downhill mode. Pretty uncomfortable. They worked alright, but had too many parts that could fail.

  9. Steve August 2nd, 2008 12:03 pm

    Bummer you are looking for the Ski Alp. I sold 2 pairs brand new last year on ebay. They went to Canada. Will keep my eyes peeled for more.

  10. Lou August 2nd, 2008 3:41 pm

    Thanks everyone for keeping an eye out — I’m sure we’ll find more.

  11. Cam Spooner August 4th, 2008 9:53 pm

    I owned the Petzl 8007 but I thought it was early than 93, perphaps 1991 when I first got them. The bindings had a Salomon toe piece and Look, step-in heel, and performed well during that time period. They were certainly clunky, and soft laterally, but they appeared durable and secure for the descent. My largest complaint and ultimately its reason for its demise was that it relied upon a tiny, semi-circle bracket and triangular screw pattern to hold the binding to the ski, which would rip out with any great force. I’m sure a metal layer or reinforcement in the touring ski would help this but I destroyed a nice foam-core Rossi in the Himalayas this way and still carry emotional scars today.

  12. Lou August 5th, 2008 6:06 am

    Cam, with many of the bindings it’s tough to ID the exact time a particular model came out. So I use the “circa” on the date. If you’re sure about having the 8007 in these colors, I’ll move the date back. Let us know and thanks for your contribution.

    Agree about the three screws holding the heel unit on the ski. Should have been four like most other bindings of the day, and the screws should have had a wider pattern rather than being so close together.

  13. Gerry Haugen November 1st, 2008 6:33 pm

    I owned a ski alp step in, mounted to a 200 cm pr of Volko Snow Rangers, matched with a pair of Nordica TR9′s. Still have the skis and bindings, but the 9′s finally succumbed to mileage and UV. I backcountry skied that matchup around the northwest here until into this new millenium (including a lot of lift served new pow days) when I then switched to Alaska Launchers with the then new Fritschi Diamirs. Never had a lick of problem with the ski alps, though the touring mode definately set your weight back when shifted back into tour mode. It made those rising traverses on icey terrain pretty dicey, but once locked down, they seemed solid for downhill. And of course no ski brakes made you rely on safety straps – which have put at least 20 stiches in my scalp over the decades.

  14. Paul L. November 29th, 2008 10:57 pm

    Hey Lou, Let me say hi first of all. It’s a pleasure and an honor to communicate with you. I’d never been on your bindings link before. Pop in to the binding museum, scroll down through, and what appears but a newer version of my old Petzel touring machine. I’ve had this setup for about 15 years, and which was old when I got it. Mine indeed has the steel plate you speak of, with the toe-piece being a Salomon 222 with release being 1 through 3 or 4. The heel-piece is an old Marker Simplex (or something pre-Rotomat ?). I still take them out once a year in the Tuck’s area of Mt. Washington in N.H. Mounted on a pair of K2 TNC 200cm. Can’t forget your roots! Anyway, don’t know if I can part with them, but would gladly send some pics your way if you’re interested. Let me know how or where.

  15. Lou November 30th, 2008 7:59 am

    Hi Paul, no need for the pics, just keep your eyes open for another pair we could acquire for the museum.

  16. Shazia December 17th, 2008 5:53 am

    Thanks for the great information!

  17. Gil February 4th, 2009 10:28 am

    The Petzl 8007, first model of black color, was known in the early 1984/85, my first skimo binding.
    Now, and since 1995 I ski with dynafit TLT

  18. David George February 4th, 2009 11:07 am

    You should contact Alain @ skalp, he still had some 8007s (the naxo of its day) in stock until recently. I had a pair from 1991 until moving to Dynafits in the late 90s. They had Salomon 447 toes pieces back then. They were a bit of a PITA for ski touring though.

  19. Malcolm March 3rd, 2009 11:18 am

    I upgraded my petzl/skapl’s so an excellent pair is up on ebay right now. They are mint. Think I got them about 8-10 years ago from Aspen Expeditions. They are the last model year I guess. Feeling guilty about being a salesman! But someone might really be looking for a pair in mint condition. Are mounted to skiis, includes brakes, crampons, skins. If someone wants these and they think I’m asking too much, let me know.

  20. Lou March 3rd, 2009 11:39 am

    Leave your business guilt at the door when you visit Wildsnow.com. We’re evil capitalists! What’s the ebay link?

  21. Tony April 26th, 2009 1:18 pm

    Spring cleaning my garage and wondering what to do with my original black Petzl 8007′s so I googled. Dick Jackson gave the Aspen Mtn. Patrol a few pair to road test back in the day and I still have a pair with very low miles. Just stripped them off some old powder ski’s. Let me know if your interested.

  22. Kent November 8th, 2009 10:15 pm

    Hi Lou,

    I was recently handed a pair of Sk ALP 8007 bindings. I did a little research and wound up on your page. It says you are looking for a pair for your museum.
    I live in Grand Junction and can probably deliver them to Carbondale next time I come up that way.

    Let me know if you are still interested. These are white and in very good condition.

  23. Hansgerd Kramer January 20th, 2010 7:01 am

    Hi,

    I bought a Petzl 8007 in Grenoble, France, in autumn 1987. At this time I had the choice between the metal plate and the plastic plate version. I was told that the metal plate version was the version of the prior year and the plastic plate version was the new model. Therefore I guess that the last production year of the metal plate version was 1985 or 1986.
    I chose the metal plate version as it looked more solid and was some French francs cheaper. I still use the metal parts today, they are undestroyable.

  24. Jim December 16th, 2010 8:01 pm

    I bought a pair of Petzl 8007′s in Chamonix in 1990, mounted on Dynastar Vertical skis, which I used with orange Dynafit boots (double boot style with plastic shell and thinsulated inner boot). They worked well, but the plastic was brittle – the whole bottom plate of one of the bindings completely shattered when I fell on a cold day high in Crested Butte. It was challenging, skiing the rest of the way down on one ski!

    I’m a ski museum in motion – I still use the Dynafit boots, the Dynastar skis, (now mounted with Fritschi Diamar bindings), and Coll-Tex skins!!! What I give up in flotation, I make up for in light weight on the uphills and quick turning.

    I usually ski the Sierra, but I’m headed to Lassen after Christmas.

  25. Lou December 16th, 2010 8:13 pm

    Jim, museum in motion, I love it!

  26. Darrell October 4th, 2011 12:40 am

    I seem to remember reading about Pierre Tardivel using this binding and modifying it with a Marker MRR heel piece so that it would be easily removable on steep terrain. The Idea was that if on the descent you discovered ice or had to do a rap, you can tap the red release switch on the MRR heel piece and get out of the binding very easily. I actually saw a guy on that very set up in Chamonix when I was there (on my tele gear) in 2000.

  27. Yvan June 5th, 2012 10:44 am

    Hi Lou,
    I have skied many year in the Alps with various models of Petzl binding, great memories. I also started collecting AT binding for a future museum. Yours is fantastic! If you are interested in swapping Petzl (steel plate) or Emery models let me know. I would be looking for Ramer models difficult to find in France.

  28. Eric March 19th, 2013 11:55 am

    I had these on my second pair of AT skis, Dynastar Vertical (pink ones, a “promodel” by Pierre Tardivel !) in 192. Although the plastic plate had a tendancy to break in very cold weather (as its Emery Altitude collegue, but that did not prevented to ski downhill normally) I felt that these binding offered the best release and safety of all AT binding, including some more recent as Diamir Titanal. In dowhill mode, they really worked like an alpin binding and I have not found this again in any binding (but I haver not tried the Marker Duke).
    Due to interchangeable parts, some guys customized them with high end binding parts, as Salomon 555 toe pieces, or Look metal heel pieces.
    These were the skis I brought to the USA in 1991 to ski in WA: Mount Rainier summit, Mt Baker, and several peaks around Snoqualmie Pass where I teached ski at the UW ski club although I did not speak well english … ;-)
    My US friends who had heavy metal silvretta 404 were quite envious then …

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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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