Backcountry Skiing Bindings

Virtual Museum (collection index)

Through years of testing and product development, backcountry skiing bindings have progressed from simple cable bindings to engineered machines that represent state-of-art materials science and mechanicals. This collection of backcountry skiing bindings covers the full historical range of modern bindings.

Geze Touring Adapter circa 1968
Backcountry Skiing Alpine Touring Binding

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This early alpine touring binding blew our minds when we received it in 2009 from museum supporter Bill Kuestner. Harkening back to the late 1960s, this touring adapter system for the Geze alpine binding includes climbing lift for the heel, as well as an ingenuous catch/slide mechanism that moves the heel unit for and aft.

Complete Geze touring adapter and binding shown above. Binding is in tour mode with climbing lift in up position. The system did not allow much heel lift, and appears to need a fine tuning to keep the toe of the boot located in the binding toe jaws. We suspect the system was not user friendly, and required quite a bit of tweaking to function for more than short tours. Please click photo for larger version.

Stability during touring is achieved by using a flexible plastic plate under the boot. During alpine mode, this rests unused under the boot sole. Video below explains.

Geze alpine touring binding heel unit detail.
Heel unit detail shown above. Catch (indicated by arrow) is moved left and right to slide the binding for and aft on a track. The alpine Geze binding heel is attached to the track system with four machine screws. The rig is solid, with little of the play you'd expect.
Geze backcountry skiing alpine touring binding, 1960s.
Toe is a beautifully finished aluminum Geze Top Star, which is simply screwed over the bracket holding the flexible plastic plate. Only real downside to this system was that while touring, the boot toe would wear against the stationary toe unit wings, causing undue wear if the binding was used for frequent tours. Thus, we consider this more of a "temporary" solution rather than a full-on alpine touring binding.


Weight (one binding with screws): 42.7 ounces (with straps, which are essential to operation).

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Geze alpine touring binding adapter donated by Bill Kuestner. According to Bill, the binding was used by Nobel Prize winning atmospheric scientist Gabor Vali, at the Elk Mountain Atmospheric Lab in Wyoming.





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