B&D Ski Gear Tricks – OR Part 2

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | August 12, 2008      

B&D Ski Gear owner Bill Bollinger (new WildSnow supporter, see banner to left) hangs his shingle at the Yates climbing gear booth, because he does metal work for Yates. I always like stopping by and seeing what kind of trick stuff Bill is up to, along with checking the latest in climbing technology from Yates. I was fascinated by the Yates tactical gear. Along with a variety of elaborate harness for lowering and raising SWAT personal and soldiers, they were displaying a sixteen foot tall webbing “assault ladder” suspended from an aluminum pole toped by a hook. For “wall climbing” I’m told. Sort of medieval scary when you think about it. For some fascinating gear geek reading, check out the Yates tactical catalog. You might even do some shopping (I like the trouser belts you can rappel with in a pinch — perfect for showing up at mystery tours in Europe when you’re not sure you need a harness — or forgot it.)

Dynafit backcountry skiing.
Televangelists weep. This adapter plate is used to swap Dynafit bindings onto telemark skis with an existing 4-hole tele binding screw pattern.

Colorado backcountry skiing.

We beat Bill to the punch on this one as we’ve been making aluminum Dynafit top plates for several years now, but he one upped us with his fit and finish, then appealed to my ego by personalizing the thing. They’re made from 6061 alu, as are the ones we’ve been making. That flavor of aluminum has held up well for us, but Bill and I agreed that a big skier with a heavy pack could bend this plate in the area under the heel elevator post. Because the original plate is steel, replacing it with aluminum saves significant weight (18 grams).

These work on the Comfort model of Dynafit, and can be swapped on the TLT as well (though using the stock “volcano” heel post will result in a lower climbing lift that some users might dislike).

Dynafit backcountry skiing.
Bellows boots such as Scarpa F1 need a shim when used with Dynafit bindings. Problem is, said shim interferes with ski crampons. Not to worry. Bollinger came up with this integrated shim and crampon mount. Not only that, but this crampon has his latest adjustable height “post” that fills the space between boot and crampon, so it moves up and down without vertical slop. Nice!

Dynafit backcountry skiing.
Bonus image: While at Yates I noticed this climbing cam used by speed climber Hans Florine, who’s said to be quite the weight fanatic. People make fun of our “speedholes” but these have to take the prize for crazy. I hope this is just a hauling cam, and not something Florine staked his life on!

Reminder, B&D is the source for all sorts of ski crampons, including the much sought after wider but still Dynafit compatible versions (which are now made with a thicker aluminum that in our experience has held up well to abuse.)



23 Responses to “B&D Ski Gear Tricks – OR Part 2”

  1. scott nelson August 12th, 2008 10:37 am

    Nice! I need (or rather, really want…) a pair of those teleadaptor plates. How much weight does that adaptor add? The crampon / shim mount looks really cool too, seeing how I usually ski in the flexy F1’s. I’ll check those guys out. Thanks for posting.

  2. Steve August 12th, 2008 11:17 am

    Aren’t the mid-sole points for AT and the mounting points for telemark bindings in different places on the ski?

  3. Lou August 12th, 2008 11:44 am

    Steve, they’re different but that should be easy to compensate for with the position of the binding attachment holes on the plate. Perhaps Bill will chime in here. Bill?

  4. Bill August 12th, 2008 12:20 pm

    The mount positions have been established by comparing mount positions for Telemark and AT on several skis that I have.

    The plates allow for a total of 5 cm of for/aft adjustment on the toe piece and much more on the heel to allow for boot size. The plates are better suited for the TLT as the newer Comforts and Verticals have so much fluff added to them that tends to hang out and the plates add 1/4″ or 6mm height.

    The plates come in at 260 grams with screws. The F1 shim adds a little more.

    Mostly intended to be a way to try Dynafit on skis used as Tele skis and to experiment with for/aft position before drilling.

    I have done my spring skiing with them on Trab Sint Aeros and still have not decided exactly what I want to do but at least I have not been drilling holes all over a beautiful set of skis. I have some Low Techs I want to mount on the Sints but I am not really happy with the release scheme.

  5. Lou August 12th, 2008 12:29 pm

    Thanks Bill! And, can anyone order the personalized version of the plates?

  6. Bill August 12th, 2008 1:00 pm


    The show was a attempt to get an idea of the sale-ability
    of the product. If it gets a good response I will be able to keep the
    price down.
    I am also trying to get comments as colors etc.
    I have some blacks in stock and a couple of reds.
    Anodizing costs keep me in limiting the colors.

  7. Bill August 12th, 2008 1:09 pm

    I wanted to say thanks for the blog and the added bog about Yates.
    Yates has been a cohort of mine for almost 30 years.
    He is especially known for his big wall gear for places like Yosemite.
    Some in the climbing comunity have been offended by his building tactical gear for the US government and other US agencies.
    The tactical and rescue gear has enabled John to provde 60 quality jobs in a business hostile California while still providing top level gear to the climbing community and supporting the climbing comunity.
    I am constantly been hearing from people that it is the best gear they have ever had.
    John has also been a great friend to me.

  8. Lou August 12th, 2008 3:25 pm

    Next thing you know, they’ll be boycotting Yates for driving a car that burns gasoline. PC stuff is bitter…

    SWAT has saved countless lives over the years, people need to balance that into the equation. And our military does all sorts of things, not just war.

    Sure, it would be great if the existence of either was not necessary. But.

    P.S., Please ask Yates what that cam device was used for…

  9. scott nelson August 12th, 2008 4:09 pm

    Alright, I’ll go there….. having used some of Yates gear in the past when I used to climb a lot, its nice to hear that their products go towards helping our military and tactical agencies (okay, maybe not the ATF….) do their jobs, which probably has resulted in protecting our freedom (which includes the freedom to climb, ski, etc…) to lead the lifestyle we do in this nation. If we didn’t have a military nor keep it supplied, then it is fairly possible that the freedoms we enjoy now would disappear.

  10. Lou August 12th, 2008 5:26 pm

    Oh uh, politics in the blog comments!!!

    I’ll have to watch this one like a hawk, err I mean dove (grin).

    In all seriousness, anyone have any comments about the ethics of what a gear maker makes and sells?

    That’s an interesting subject, as jumping through minefields is quite exiting (grin).

    If you comment, keep it civil, no name calling or spewing.

    Thanks, Lou

  11. Bill August 12th, 2008 5:58 pm

    In response about the cam device.

    Hans was using it in the belay of his partner in
    a manner which I lost an understanding of in talking with
    John and I did not want to expose my ingnorance of climbing.

    Lou, you may give John a call and talk to him about it.
    You two could have a much better discussion then
    with me involved. 530-222-4606

    John and I are planning on building a superlight system for Hans
    that should end up a little more sophisticated.

    Boy, I thought I was a gram counter with my trabs and race bindings for the backcountry.

  12. Jonathan S. Shefftz August 12th, 2008 8:40 pm

    Slotted screw heads?

  13. Mark Worley August 12th, 2008 10:05 pm

    Comfort top plates are great. Price?

  14. Lou August 13th, 2008 7:10 am

    Jonathan, I don’t know what the deal is with all the slotted screws. No doubt the ones used with the “weeping televangelist” adapter plate are machine screws, and may not be available in posidrive, but why Bill used slotted screws to mount the F1 shim on the ski, now there is a question for the man.

    Mark, prices coming.

  15. Bill August 13th, 2008 8:53 am

    It would be nice if every screw associated with skiing was a #3 posidrive as it would be nice that you would only need one wrench for your truck.

    I made every attempt was made to utilize a #3. However, the stagger of screws along the side have to be, when multiplied, equal the longitudinal distance between the side screws on the toe piece to allow for the 5cm of adjustment, along with being inside the 6mm of adjustment on the heel piece, and, the head on the screw must be able to get through the front hole of the Dynafit toe piece. This eliminates the use of a 6mm screw. 5 mm or 10-32 screws utilize a #2.

    I experimented with cross head, socketed and slotted screws and found that of the three choices the slotted were far better at delivering needed torque. Also, being much easier to clear ice from. The plates utilize a 10-32 screw that being we are in America are easier to come by then 5mm and I feel provide a stronger fix then 5 mm. It is a debate within me over 5mm or 10-32, but the availability and cost issues have me currently with 10-32.

    The comfort plates are currently being sold at an engraved price of $37.95 a set to individuals directly. I have a limited number of plates available currently and pricing will probably change when I am able to evaluate production costs better.

  16. Teletraveler October 2nd, 2008 10:02 am

    this plate issue got me to thinking, has anyone tried a single plate (or two plates – a heel and toe plate) mounted onto a pair of skis, like BD Verdict, that would allow you to switch between Dynafit bindings and Tele bindings. Someone has introduced a single boot that lets you do both and I am tired of carrying two sets of skis and two sets of boots when travelling. You have weight, distance of boot bed off of ski and flex of ski issues, but it seems workable. Boot location on ski can be accomodated by binding location on plate as has already been discussed. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

  17. Lou October 2nd, 2008 11:45 am

    Teletrav, isn’t that what Bill’s plate does? Please expound…

  18. Teletraveler October 3rd, 2008 2:37 pm

    Maybe I am lost on this since I have not mounted a pair of dynafit bindings before, which is what I am considering buying. Do they use the same hole pattern as say a pair of BD 01’s? I did not get this from the description from Bill’s web site or is this the three hole mounting that he refers to? It sounded to me like the plate was for moving tele bindings forward or back. My thought is that the plate goes down and either a tele binding or Dynafit binding mounts to the plate so you can change bindings whenever you desire. Maybe this is one of those DUH moments and I will owe you a beer.

  19. ScottN October 3rd, 2008 3:44 pm

    My understanding is that Bill’s adapter plates were designed for skis with binding inserts, a la K2 skis. Like you said, plate screws to the ski, dynafits mount to the plate. Email Bill for exact clarification. But when I did ( I was interested in mounting Dynafits to my K2 tele skis with inserts) I was told that that was what his ( Bill’s) plate is for. I don’t think they are available yet, but he is working on them. Also, look on Lou’s site for exact mounting instructions for Dynafits if you’re curious, he has got it wired, trust me. Dynafit and BD 01’s do not share the same hole pattern.

  20. Bill Bollinger October 3rd, 2008 4:52 pm

    To Clarify about the plates.

    There are 2 different plates.
    1- shift plate to shift a telemark mount for and aft so you can experiment with
    mounting locations with Telemark bindings without drilling additional holes in the ski. 300 gms/ set

    2- Dynafit adapter that allows you to mount a Dynafit binding on a ski that has
    been driiled or inserted for a 4 hole telemark binding.
    This also allows you to shift the Dynafit binding for and aft to get the needed position. It is especially good with drilled skis as it has a trimming adjustment
    that allows you to align the toe with the heel to get the proper position of the back of the boot to the Dynafit heel piece. wt-1/2 lb.

    The above are primarily intended to allow one to experiment without drilling
    holes in skis. I have been sking some sint aeros this past spring with the Dynafit adapters. Once satisfied that I want to go to Dynafit on the skis I will probably drill them.

    If I wanted to have a ski that I would swap from telemark to Dyanfit on a regular basis I would probably use inserts. I am too much of a weight weeenie, Although, 1/2 lb does not seem to be much to most people.

  21. teletraveler October 3rd, 2008 5:31 pm

    Bill, thanks for the clarification. aside from weight any comment on the concept of a plate or plates permanently mounted on a non insert ski that would have hole patterns for a dynafit and BD or similar tele binding? Maybe this is trying to make a single tool do to many tasks. But I hate schlepping and buying to much gear. On consecutive ski day outings (5+) my legs don’t hold up like they used to and I am not as effective with tele, this got me to thinking.

  22. Minot November 24th, 2009 10:01 am


    Do you or anyone know of an adapter that one can mount a Dynafit classic binding to that enables the binding to move and adjust to different boot sizes? I took a look at their rental TLT set up at a local shop that it and it appears the set up is too integrated to “plop” a classic heel piece into, not to mention I don’t know if Dynafit would only sell the track/mounting system the rental binding sits on. Thanks

    (BCA Northern Rockies Rep, work with Steve @ HQ)

  23. Lou November 24th, 2009 11:37 am

    Minot, they used to make a rental adapter for the original Dynafit. I’ve got a set of those in the WildSnow binding museum. They don’t make them any more. That’s the only thing I know of that would do what you’re asking.

    Best solution is to just use the Dynafit FT or ST rental binding versions. They have a huge amount of range.

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