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


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | January 10, 2006      

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 europeans on their short mountaineering 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.

Multiple views of Silvretta 300, click image for massive enlargement.

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 screwdriver required. Click image for massive enlargement.

New 07/08 Silvretta Pure Freeride is similar to last year's model but with significant improvements.

New 07/08 Silvretta Pure Freeride is similar to last year’s model but with significant improvements.

Comments

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. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring 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 ski touring news and information here.

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