After we re-worked our Bill Briggs article a few days ago, questions are coming up about the gear he used for his first ski descent of the Grand Teton in 1971. In my archives, I happen to have an original copy of Teton magazine, winter/spring 1972, with an extensive article about the descent, much of it a first person account by Briggs. On page 7, this ad for Spademan bindings used the descent as credibility.
As for the skis he used, Briggs had this to say when I contacted him today: “It was a K2 Elite. Very soft, light, 210cm, fiberglass ski. I added damping strips to both skis to reduce vibration, which worked very well, making it was a very versatile (an all conditions cheater) ski for its day.”
Spademans were an odd binding — and an odd choice for ski mountaineering. To use them you had to bolt a big metal fitting to the sole of your boots, thus reducing their usefulness for climbing. They looked weird as they had no toe unit — your boot toe just floated out there in the air above your ski. In any case, that’s what Briggs used and they got the job done.