New Fritschi Ski Touring Bindings for 2017-2018 — Tecton and Evo — Wow

Post by blogger | December 19, 2016      

Shop for Tecton

Fritschi Tecton lived for a while here at WildSnow HQ. He was sad to leave.

Fritschi Tecton lived for a while here at WildSnow HQ. He was sad to leave.

Sombreros off to Fritschi. When they entered the tech binding world with Vipec in 2013, the crew from Reichenbach, Switzerland did tell me “this is only the beginning.” I believed them, at least to the extent that you believe PR before you hold the evidence in your hot little hands. Which means I’ll admit to some skepticism mixed in with my optimism.

As Vipec went through iterations; defect improvements and overall positive changes, I became a believer in Fritschi because I saw their commitment. Only one thing held back my unquestioning fundamentalist faith in the Swiss way of product development: Vipec continued to to use a heel unit with no more vertical elastic travel than any other “classic” tech binding. The problem was obvious. Thus, I suspected those who toiled at the feet of the Jungfrau were cobbling a solution. I was right.

Enter Tecton

First, know that Fritschi will sell TWO very different tech compatible bindings during 2017-2018. First, they improved the Vipec toe (more on that below) to create the Vipec Evo 12. They then paired the new Evo toe with an alpine-like heel to create the Tecton. (Even the name is better, Vipec always begged questions, “Tecton” says exactly what it is, a tech version of power laden Ultron, and thus the adversary of all other tech binding companies!).

We’re excited. At 550 grams (Fritschi Tecton 12, per pair without brakes), Tecton is about 100 grams lighter than the other brand with similar configuration, and only 50 grams heavier than the new Vipec Evo. In terms of aesthetics Tecton looks sweet, and it performs on the bench exactly as I’d expect from this sort of configuration; a heel with alpine-like vertical travel. (Real testing must of course commence, bear in mind this is a first-look for a product that won’t retail until fall of 2017.)

Fritschi PR image, Tecton, our notes.

Fritschi PR image, Tecton, our notes.

So why stick with the Vipec instead of upgrading Tecton? Me, I can’t think of any good reason (though weight is always an issue even in small doses). Perhaps those of you who like the easy on-the-fly mode changes provided by the Vipec heel may want to stick with the tried and true (though Tecton does provide numerous ways to work with its heel, especially if you’re agile enough to simply reach down and yank on the heel unit cocking lever, see video below). Otherwise, unless you’re partial to ultra simple and low mass classic tech bindings, perhaps you’ll be interested in the only tech binding that releases to the side at the toe — and provides an alpine-like ~8 mm of vertical elastic heel travel.

Here in the WildSnow production studio, I enjoyed an intimate hands-on session with both Tecton and Evo. Ultron seemed to be comfortable with me, but I did glance over my shoulder now and then to be sure he approved. Read on.

Tecton in touring mode, heel lift deployed.

Tecton in touring mode, heel lift deployed. Heel-flat-on-ski mode is available. Mode change is done by a simple movement of the cocking lever, to configure position of components for uphill or downhill use.

Tecton heel ski flex compensation spring and length adjustment, same configuration as Vipec, works.

Tecton heel ski flex compensation spring and length adjustment, same configuration as Vipec, works. Screw patterns for Tecton, Evo and prior Vipec are said to be all the same, though I’m 99% on this, not 100%.

Tecton heel spring is beef.

Tecton heel spring is beef.

'Power Cup' is a bit of tricky business that helps the heel perform. Question rises about how this will behave with boot sole wear or.

‘Power Cup’ is a bit of tricky business that helps the heel perform like an alpine unit as well as preventing accidental lateral exit of the boot during aggressive downhill skiing. I believe this thing is forgiving in terms of boot sole wear, but one does wonder.

Secret sauce of the Power Cup are two vertical rails that integrate with the standard heel tech fitting.

Secret sauce of the Power Cup are two vertical rails (red) that integrate with the standard heel tech fitting. A known problem with alpine heel “cups” is your heel can slide out to the side during aggressive skiing, or just move enough to introduce slop. Not so here. This is an ingenious use of the boot fitting.

The question will be asked: Can Tecton change modes on the fly between downhill and uphill configuration? The process doesn’t appear to be as ski pole easy as the Vipec, but it appears a process could be developed — probably most easily for switching from locked heel to touring mode.

Video below shows how the Tecton binding heel is configured by moving the cocking lever in various ways. Note the the boot step-in being assisted at the heel by the demonstrator, this is not necessary with a person stepping in at body weight. At the beginning I left in a couple of boot toe “practice” insertions showing how the boot interacts with what is now a large pedal that triggers toe wing closure. Again, this works much better when you’re actually stepping into the binding rather than fooling around on a workbench, so don’t take what you see as meaning the toe is difficult to get into. It’s quite the opposite and the best yet. I carpet tested extensively. Now easily on par with other tech bindings.

Note, all Fritschi tech binding screw patterns are said to be the same, especially for the the toe. Easy upgrades. Heel screws might vary a bit depending on if you’re using a longer demo plate or the shorter consumer-retail version of the heel plate.

Now, what about the upgraded Vipec, Evo 12? Heel remains the same. Evo toe has a much better step-in function using a large beefy pedal under the toe of the boot, combined with an indexing wall you push your toe against as you step down. In carpet tests this system worked well, SNAP! But like all tech binding toe indexing systems this will be sensitive to boot wear and icing.

Evo and Tecton toes are improved versions of Vipec.

Evo and Tecton toes are improved versions of Vipec. No more swapping of spacers for different boots.

It amuses me that the Swiss would provide binding color customization, I'd have thought this would be the Italians, or French.

It amuses me that the Swiss would provide binding color customization, I’d have thought this would be the Italians, or French. Yes, I’m such a stereotyper.

In my view, the major Vipec change here is the Evo (Tecton) toe is NOT configured for boot toe shape size by swapping spacer clips on the toe lever. Instead, the binding works with nearly all touring boots, exceptions being obviously non-standard shoes such as Dynafit TLT-7. I should mention that part of the Fritschi forward (upward at the heel) system is the binding being shaped so the boot toe bumps against it and opens the toe wings — thus letting you out. Evo has a new configuration for this that appeared to work well, but this is a function that should always be bench tested before taking an Evo or Tecton into the wild. (The binding toe wing width adjustment is still present — Fritschi claims it is rarely needed.)

Available Brakes (Easily swapped or eliminated.)

  • Fritschi Vipec Evo 12: available widths: 80/90/100/110mm. Approximate weight: 80g each (per brake, not per pair)
  • Fritschi Tecton 12: available widths: 90/100/110/120mm. Approximate weight: 80g each (per brake, not per pair)
  • Ski Crampons
    Remain the same for both bindings, one of our favorite crampon systems, very easy to take on and off.

    At a claimed 550 grams (per pair, no brakes) Tecton is 50 grams heavier than Vipec Evo. Weight of Tecton compares favorably to other brand ski touring bindings of this type. Interestingly, the new 500 gram Vipec weight is significantly lighter than this season’s ‘Black’ Vipec at 612 grams verified. I’m assuming that’s because they used more reinforced plastic.

    Now that Vipec has been around a while, I asked Fritschi how long the various development processes have taken. They told me they engaged the process of making a tech binding beginning 7 years ago. I’m told the Tecton is considered the culmination of the Vipec project, and the concept of an alpine-like heel has been part of the project from the beginning — as Fritschi was already familar with such heels due to their Freeride and other frame bindings.

    Fritschi bindings are now called 'Fritschi" instead of Diamir, and a new logo.

    Fritschi bindings are now called ‘Fritschi” instead of Diamir, and a new logo. This photo shows how the boot heel rests directly on a solid heel pad, per the configuration of alpine bindings, for a solid skier-ski connection.

    You’ll notice the “Diamir” moniker has gone away. “Too confusing.” Note the new Fritschi logo, providing that Swiss red along with a white cross.

    Both Tecton and Evo appear mature in design and engineering, but the beta and consumer test cycles need to commence for the ultimate take. It’s not exactly child’s play to create this sort of ski binding. One example out of many: The tech binding type boot-binding interface can be sensitive to axial (forward back) pressure created by the ski flexing. Virtually all tech bindings have some way of compensating for this (Vipec & Tecton both do), but how well do they do? More, durability is always a question until a binding is thoroughly vetted.

    Should you skip your planned purchase of Vipec Black for Vipec Evo (the bindings with classic style tech heel)? I’d say no. The Black version Vipec is excellent. But if you’re not in a hurry, Evo appears to be even better. And you freeriders out there who like Fritschi will clearly want to wait for the Tecton

    In my view, “safety” is the over arching issue here. Fritschi constantly harps on their binding being “safe.” What’s that mean?

    Me, I take ski binding safety to mean you’ve got a machine that you won’t ski out of accidentally, when set on fairly normal tension settings. In other words, RETENTION is job one. After that, you worry about protecting your legs from fractures and soft tissue damage.

    Prior to Tecton, only a couple of other brand tech or hybrid-tech bindings provided enough vertical heel travel to do a thorough job of retention at normal tension values. Both of the Fritschi competitors who provide advanced tech heels still attempt to couple side release with the heel mechanisms. That can be a challenge for numerous reasons, perhaps the most important being that the forces you apply to a ski in a turn can match the forces that trigger a lateral binding release, thus opening the heel to the side — and you go flying. Fritschi by virtue of their side-release toe unit manages to de-couple lateral release from the binding heel and still provide a frameless tech binding. Perhaps the holy grail? We shall see.

    Check our Fritschi Diamir Vipec articles and news.

    Shop for Fritschi Vipec.

    Shop for Tecton


    Please Enjoy A Few Suggested WildSnow Posts


    118 Responses to “New Fritschi Ski Touring Bindings for 2017-2018 — Tecton and Evo — Wow”

    1. Jason Killgore December 19th, 2016 8:43 am

      I just want to see more of a split in the tech market that mirrors the frame/tech split a few years ago (beef vs light). Seem like we are seeing some good innovation on the performance/beef side of tech, but not as much progress on the ultralight (100-200g/foot) but still reliable side. Only really one non-race light binding in the US (dyna superlight). Where are the responses to that binding from fritschi, g3, etc? Maybe the new salomon? Even in europe it seems like atk is the only one making a real effort. The preponderance on 400-600gm bindings is boring.

    2. Shawn December 19th, 2016 8:58 am

      Skied the Vipec Black for the first time on the weekend for a few runs. Hard to do a direct comparison since they were on new skis and with new boots but so far so good. Entry into the toe 10 tries/10 success…although I have had previous experience. I’d put it about 80-90% of the ease of the Ion on firm snow and equal or above the radical. Unfortunately no experience in soft deep snow. Ski/tour transition very nice…no need to bend and spin. Fritschi and G3 take the lead…and it looks like Fritschi may be running away with it next year.

    3. MarkW December 19th, 2016 9:41 am

      I saw a comment about questionable interface between the Vipec and the new TLT-7. I’ve got the new TLT-7e, and they seem to work well with the VIpec black bindings. I checked for forward release, and they seem to handle forward release on the bench (swapped toe release clip). What seems to be the problem?

    4. Tom December 19th, 2016 10:06 am

      Lou- You predicted Marker would come out with a lighter-weight Kingpin down the road. Any rumors of that happening soon? How would you compare the Kingpin and the Tecton so far?

      (A couple of typos: pedal vice peddle, culmination for culination. Feel free to remove my comment after any edits to the article.)

    5. Chris Beh December 19th, 2016 10:09 am

      550 grams with a brake and an alpine binding like heel…this is a quiver of one type binding.

    6. Pablo December 19th, 2016 10:22 am

      Compatibility of Tecton with boots like Alien, TLT6, Backlands and others??

    7. Eric Steig December 19th, 2016 10:44 am

      I take it you mean 500 g *per binding with brakes*? Might be nice to update the post to make that clear!

    8. Dan December 19th, 2016 11:28 am

      Great post Lou. Sounds like a real advancement in tech bindings.

      In terms of release/retention, elasticity and power transfer, this could be the goods. I ski ATKs and they are great, but I’d consider adding a couple of hundred grams for a binding like this.

    9. Lee December 19th, 2016 1:14 pm

      I remember seeing the first Vipec at ESAW as a plastic 3D print model. And then it was in production. After the live animal testing of the first versions, I bought the Black this past Spring. Easy step in and the few days I have been able to ski it this Fall has a great “feel” and very easy to step in. Hope they take their time with the heel to get it right and not turn folks off.

    10. Jailhouse Hopkins December 19th, 2016 1:28 pm

      Hey Lou,
      I’m about done my time in purgatory (coaching minor hockey). I’m looking for a new binding. Is there any reason to not grab something from a post Christmas sale or should I wait until next fall’s offerings? I don’t expect details on something that hasn’t been released yet – a simple WAIT would suffice.
      Thanks and Merry Christmas!

    11. Carl H December 19th, 2016 1:49 pm

      Do the toe pins have the notch like Dynafits for cleaning snow out of the boot tech pin holes? One first puts just toes in then shuffles a few times to clean snow out before locking down heel. If not, I wonder if the toe pins can easily be changed out to Dynafit brand pins?

    12. Lisa Dawson December 19th, 2016 2:13 pm

      Tom, thanks for alerting us to the typos. Another pair of eyes is always appreciated!

    13. Lisa Dawson December 19th, 2016 2:17 pm

      All, thanks for your comments. Lou is in the backcountry this week with limited internet access. I’ll research your questions with Fritschi and will report back, probably tomorrow.

    14. bob December 19th, 2016 2:36 pm

      thanks, subscribed

    15. Chris December 19th, 2016 2:39 pm

      Lou, It would be good to create a “Skiers Guide” to all of the touring binding options out there from the main players to understand the capabilities and target markets for each of the models. You obviously have more hands on experience with the models than most folks, even the “testers” in certain publications.

    16. DavidB December 19th, 2016 3:44 pm

      I like. I had years on Fritschi prior to going to Dynafit and have always been happy with there workmanship.

      I had been looking for a binding with an alpine type heel and thought all my prayers were answered with the Kingpin. This is better because it addresses the toe release issue, as had been the case with the original Vipec.

      It’s clear this is the way forward, as I’ve never been a fan of the heel pin set up. Sorry Fritz.

    17. Chris K December 19th, 2016 3:53 pm

      Wow, decisions, decisions.

      I had a gear failure over the weekend (already repaired TLT toepiece pulled out) that is making me consider new skis. If I do, I’ll probably go wider than the Atomic Charters I have now (and love) which are 100 underfoot. Which means I won’t be able to transfer my TLT Vertical ST because the 92mm brake Just Won’t Bend to span the (likely) 105-106 (the dps 106 Foundation and Pure3 are calling to me).

      So … Radical 2.0? I’m very happy with the function of tech bindings, and almost all of my adult inbounds skiing has been on a tech binding, so I don’t know what I’m missing by an alpine-style heel. Or I could go to Marker Kingpin and add weight (not happy about that). Or Vipec 2.0 (but that feels like being a guinea pig). Or wait.

      My RV is 7, I don’t need the extra beefy version.

      I’m relatively inexperienced in all this, suggestions/comments more than welcome!

    18. Jim Milstein December 19th, 2016 4:55 pm

      The Vipec guinea pig period is over, Chris. I was one of them. The current Vipec is solid and it weighs, as I recall, the same or slightly less than the Radical. I have over eighty days on mine. Happy.

    19. ChrisK December 19th, 2016 5:22 pm

      Jim – which model do you have 80 days on? I’m a bit lost 🙂

    20. atfred December 19th, 2016 5:33 pm

      Those vertical ST are great bindings; I have several pairs.

      Why not just get a wider brake for wider skis? They have them out to 120, I think.

      You could do a google search.

      A lot cheaper than buying new bindings.

    21. Lou Dawson 2 December 19th, 2016 5:50 pm

      Thanks everyone for the comments. I just got back online for a brief stint, then up to the Opus hut here in Colorado for two nights, to learn about new Salomon touring gear! With Lisa’s help we’ll try to make sure all questions about Tecton get answered, and apologies for any typos, I’ve been at wit’s end trying to do a press trip and blog posts when we should just be enjoying Christmas. Lou

    22. Chris K December 19th, 2016 5:50 pm

      atfred – best I’ve been able to find is 100. And I agree with some comment I saw during the search, that the arms are awfully short and brakes only barely effective…

    23. Jim Milstein December 19th, 2016 6:17 pm

      Chris, I have the “black” Vipecs, which are much improved over their immediate predecessor (2nd gen “white”), which I also had. Mine, with screws and inserts, weigh 1095g the pair. I suppose they are the current version. Lou is reporting on the next great thing (actually the next two great things).

      About brakes: maybe okay for resort skiing, but not so great for backcountry. Get the super-stretchy B&D leashes. You’ll never lose a ski in the backcountry unless you want to. That would be when a serious avalanche is in progress. I clip the leashes on at the trailhead and leave them on until I return. Brakes are a mechanical complication which you don’t need. Many a ski with brakes has been lost in deep powder or has skittered away down steep hard snow surfaces. There is only one screw to remove or put back each brake. I say, lose the brakes.

    24. Jonathan Moceri December 20th, 2016 12:39 am

      I applaud the evolution of the Vipec binding.

      However, while I think the lateral release at the toe, and more vertical elasticity at the heel is a step forward, until they figure out how to allow lateral heel release, like Dynafits, to preserve my reconstructed ACL’s, I’m not interested.

      Rick Howell, where are you when our knees need you..

      Also, I agree with Jim Milstein about the B&D ski leashes. I’ve had a few Cat and Heli ski runs delayed because we spent an hour looking for a lost ski. Total bummer. I always use B&D ski leashes in deep snow.

    25. Wookie197 December 20th, 2016 4:24 am

      brakes are a thing….I think most people use them because leashes seem so…old. I have had one eggbeater fall though – but in the grand scheme of things, I think this is nothing to worry about.

      those guys with no leashes, and no brakes. Thats confidence!

    26. Lee December 20th, 2016 6:41 am

      First year on Vipec and first year with brakes after 7 with the BnD leashes (the new breakaway clip is money and worth getting for any leash system). The Blacks are so easy to step in and not doing the leash is nice. May go back to a leash for my BC trip. Anyways posting because I got in touch with Fritschi about removing the brake (easy brake swap is something I like in the design) so I can go with leashes. Scott Smith at BD wrote me this:
      ” You will want to remove the brake and re install the brake plate. What you will want to do is remove the brake platform that holds the brakes on. You will then remove the brake and re-screw the brake platform onto the binding. The reason that you will want to re-screw the platform onto the binding is that our Vipec is not a free floating heel like the Dynafit. Our brake is designed to be flush against the bottom of the boot while in ski mode.”

      Great to see them shave another 100g off the Black. I am guessing a lot of plastic was removed.

    27. Lou Dawson 2 December 20th, 2016 7:38 am

      Yeah, the easy brake removal and subsequent configuration are truly good features of Vipec. So many people ski tour without brakes, worldwide…

      Heading up to hut now, with brakes on the upgraded Salomon (Atomic) MTN binding. I can’t share details for a few more days but pretty much the same as Atomic only with some nice changes.


    28. Lee Lau December 20th, 2016 9:11 am

      Echo other peoples observations. I’ve had 60+ days on the 2nd gen and 3d gen (Black) Vipecs over the past 2 seasons without anything but minor issues. That binding is now dialled.

    29. Jim Milstein December 20th, 2016 9:50 am

      Tecton comes from the Greek for builder. More trivia.

    30. Pablo December 20th, 2016 10:05 am

      Lou, brakes for Salomon MTN and Atomic Backland bindings are already on sale in Europe:

    31. Ryan December 20th, 2016 11:03 am

      Great review. I am very excited to see this advancement. Fritschi is what started me in the backcountry, I would love to get back to supporting this company.

      When can we get them in the united states?

    32. Lisa Dawson December 20th, 2016 11:05 am

      Carl H,

      Dynafit has a patent on the notched pins and they cannot be swapped. With the Fritschi Tecton 12, when you click in and and give a quick knee lift to cycle the binding, the snow gets cleared away.

      Good reminder! It is super important to clear ice and snow from the pins before skiing.

    33. Lisa Dawson December 20th, 2016 11:09 am

      Eric Steig and all,

      Fritschi clarified that the weight of the Fritschi Tecton 12 is 550g per unit/each without brakes. The brakes are 80g per unit.

      Apologies for our confusion about this.

    34. eggbert December 20th, 2016 11:13 am

      Just noticed the modified toe for both Tecton and Evo. The photo caption implies that the toe with work without spacers. Does that mean they will work with the shark nosed TLT 7?

    35. Klinkekule December 20th, 2016 2:38 pm

      Sweet baby jeebus – first the Lib Tech wundersticks and now these, surely the gear gods have my covered this year! Too bad i just bought three sets of vipec blacks…

      Any news on when one will be able to acquire these bad boys? Meaning, should i mount the blacks, or sell them and wait for the tectons to arrive?

      and yes, thank you for your excellent coverage of all things ski/ski touring 🙂 Keep up the good work

    36. Lisa Dawson December 20th, 2016 5:54 pm

      Fall 2017 in US for both Vipec EVO and Tecton 12. I’m checking to see if the release date for Europe is the same.

    37. Lisa Dawson December 20th, 2016 6:07 pm

      eggbert, Unfortunately, the TLT7 is stepping outside of the compatibility of some bindings. While the TLT7 is able to release properly laterally and tour fine in walk mode, but it will not release in a forward fall due to its new nose shape. Testers at Black Diamond (the US distributor for Fritschi) have not found any other boots on the market that have issues with Fritschi’s new toe.

    38. See December 20th, 2016 8:38 pm

      I’d really like to see some binding “teardowns” (like ) of the various Vipecs.

    39. paal December 21st, 2016 5:18 am

      Great post!
      Is the ramp angle known?

    40. Lisa Dawson December 21st, 2016 1:13 pm

      Company specs for the ramp angle is 1.5 degrees.

      Previously, Lou blogged about Fritschi Diamir ramp angle. Here’s the link in case you’re interested:

    41. Klinkekule December 21st, 2016 3:05 pm

      ah, ok – too bad. I obviously want them right now 😉 Thanks for the swift reply 🙂

    42. Patrick December 21st, 2016 4:19 pm

      Hey y’all, what do you think the chances are of just the Tecton heel piece being available? As an “upgrade” for Vipec Blacks? I’ve got my Blacks mounted with Quiver Killer inserts and think it would be pretty cool to just swap the heel for lift service or just cause I’m cheap and don’t want to have to buy ANOTHER upgraded Vipec. Thanks

    43. Klinkekule December 21st, 2016 5:11 pm

      at patrick – yeah, i’ve been thinking the same, but then again selling just the rear just does not makes sense as it promotes rear bindings being unused or thrown away, rather than being re-used as a pair. It is not like the vipec will be obsolete over night, so only selling the tectons as complete bindings assures that the vipecs will still be used. I dunno, have anybody ever heard of somebody just selling the front or the rear of a binding? I guess some kind of damage replacement scheme might be in motion already, i have no idea.

      The seemingly cheapest way to upgrade is propably to get the tectons, replace the rear while keeping the vipec black front bindings, and then to sell the new front and the vipec black rear binding as evo’s – under the assumption that the evo-rear is basically a unchanged vipec black rear binding.

      I think i will go down that route to hopefully save a bit on the rather substantial investment 🙂 Or i might not and go full retard, yeah, prob full retard 😉

    44. Pablo December 22nd, 2016 4:46 am

      Patrick, I don’t think they sell just the Tecton Heel piece.
      It’s just a matter of safety and lawyers.
      If they’ll sell just the heel, someone would consider to mount them paired with a Dynafit Toe piece. In this case that frankenbinding will not have any lateral reléase so it will be pontentially very unsafe…

      Lisa, do you know if Tectton will be compatible with modern touring boots like Backland, TLT5/6/7 or Alien??

    45. Lou Dawson 2 December 22nd, 2016 7:38 pm

      Hey Jailhouse, I think shopping sales this year will be fine, but you’ll need to be careful. As I think you know, not every binding is for everyone. Personally, I keep liking the simpler stuff. It’s funny how with so many choices out there it’s gotten more difficult to get the right tech binding. In general we like the G3 offerings, but the Dynafit Superlite 2 has been serving me well and is my daily driver when I’m not doing press trips and gear testing. If you want a more freeride oriented rig I think getting a Kingpin or Beast this year would work, but I have to admit that I’m totally fascinated by the potential of Tecton for freeride. Whew. ‘best, Lou

    46. Cody December 23rd, 2016 6:41 pm

      Noticed the Evo brake only goes up to 110. But of course knowing what a cluster f*** the brake sizing on Vipecs is, who knows what that will actually fit.

      Lou you didn’t notice or Fritschi didn’t say anything about the brake arms being the same? I don’t like using leashes when I take my 115mm waisted powder boards inbounds and they have Vipecs on them…

    47. klinkekule December 25th, 2016 12:30 pm

      at cody: evo and vipec black rear binders are the same, and such, getting a hold of 115mm brakes should be a breezer 🙂

    48. Ryan January 10th, 2017 7:50 am

      I just reread this post…for like the 5th time. Funny how I pick something new out each time. This time I read that the hole patterns for all Vipecs through the Evo and Tecton are the same… THE SAME! I couldn’t be more tickled pink. I have a couple pairs of skis that could use a little more beef than what the Vipecs that I’ve got mounted on them provide. Should be a simple swap once I get my hands on the Tectons.

      This also makes the use of bindingfreedom/quiverkiller inserts a logistical option if so desired. One more reason to luv Fritschi. I hope the experience Fritschi has had with their frame bindings over the years translates to the durability of the Tecton’s heel piece. Seems that they have got the Vipec toe dialed at this point…

    49. Gustav Olin January 11th, 2017 3:53 pm

      Ok maybe I’m missing something but if I like using brakes, what does this binding add compared to Kingpin except 100g less weight? Anything or is it just another brand?

    50. Jim Milstein January 11th, 2017 6:41 pm

      To Gustav. Lateral release is at the heel for the Kingpin and at the toe for the Vipec family. So, for what it’s worth, the Tecton should behave more like an alpine binding, and it is another brand.

    51. Lou2 January 11th, 2017 7:02 pm

      Thanks Jim

    52. Ryan January 17th, 2017 7:01 am

      Hey Jim Milstein,

      I know you abhor ski brakes. Also know you are sporting a number of Fritschi Vipecs… I just mounted up one of my spare sets on my old Rossignol BC 125s and the XL 120mm brake span is ridiculous. Was wondering if you still had a spare set of stoppers around to fit the width of my planks (90mm under foot/95mm brake) I believe they would be considered the medium sized brake. Let me know if you do and we can connect otherwise and work out a deal…


    53. Jim Milstein January 17th, 2017 9:27 am

      Ryan, I think my Vipec brakes are sized to fit the Dynafit Mythics (97mm waist). It looks like they are 110mm, on the advice of BD customer support. Let me know whether you want them.

      I abhor brakes, as you say. Simpler is better.

    54. Ryan January 17th, 2017 11:36 am

      Hey Jim…

      Yup – the 110 is narrower than the 120 that I currently have, but still a smidge on the wide side for my 95mm waisted skis. Just spoke to the folks at BD and they said get the 95mm brake and bend it out slightly. HUH… I may just carefully bend in my 120mm.. C-A-R-E-F-U-L-L-Y…

      Thanks though – muchly appreciated Jim.

    55. Bruno Schull January 30th, 2017 12:26 am

      Hi. I have a general question about this family of bindings (Vipec/Tecton). When you are in touring mode, how do the brakes stay up? Do you have to manually press them down? Do they lock when the heel piece slides back for touring? Thanks.

    56. Dave February 1st, 2017 11:22 am

      Do we have a retail price for this binding I will be forced to buy this fall? Thanks!

    57. Fudgey February 15th, 2017 1:42 pm

      Any idea if the Atomic Backland Heel will work with the Tecton heel piece? Or strictly pin only? Cheers!

    58. Lou 2 February 15th, 2017 10:28 pm

      I’d go 50/50 on that. We’ll need to test an actual boot in an actual binding. Could happen within 4 or 8 weeks. Lou

    59. Ryan March 10th, 2017 6:56 am

      Lou –

      Any real world testing on the Tecton yet? I think there are few of us pretty stoked to hear the scoop. Obviously the less snow here in the NE the more I over obsess on gear. Next week a 2 footer is predicted so I’ll be out using gear instead of talking about it…

      Keep us updated.


    60. Lou Dawson 2 March 10th, 2017 8:10 am

      Ryan, on tap. We’re making sure we pound on one that’s not too much of a pre-production proto. I’ll let the other mouth breathing gear bloggers take care of that (smile). Meanwhile, I’ve certainly given it a once-over on the bench and have not found any issues. My biggest concern is that it’ll be pressed into service as a full-on alpine binding. While it’ll probably work for that in terms of retention and performance, one has to wonder if it’ll be as durable as, say, using a Salomon or Atomic full-on alpine binding. And if not, are people going to freak out or realize it’s still at “touring” binding? Which leads to me guessing that the Swiss binding guys and gals will eventually make another version that’s heavier, that can stand up to things like being skied 100 days a year off cliffs at Squaw. Or, perhaps this version will hold up? Stay tuned. Lou

    61. Marc March 24th, 2017 11:49 am

      These Tectons look to be just what i wanted.

      I have broken my left knee twice and now it is a bit unstable.Last season i switched over to snowboarding/splitboarding (i surf,badly 😉 .I like the snowboard/split in perfectly smooth+even conditions,perfect pow,perfect corn and even fresh groomers because it feels very similar to wave surfing …but as soon as it gets variable,bumpy etc it really sucks (for me).

      I just spent 4 days splitboarding around the Chamonix area and the limitations of a split vs skis were driving me crazy.Terrain i would have waltzed over on skis (variable spring snow,traverses,avy debris,tight trees,tracked route exits,flats) felt like chaingang work on the split.
      Methinks it is better adapted to US west than Euro conditions.

      Anyway,i want back into skiing,bum knee and all,and the pin bindings scare me with the side heel release thingy.
      I was looking at the 1kg frame offerings and the Trab TR2 but on paper the Tecton looks just perfect…toe release ,elasticity at toes/heels and dyna boot compatible.Cool.

      Hope they bring out a well tested product,the toe is pretty much done on the Black so that should be fine,and they do have a ton of experience on heels with the Diamir so my hopes are high .

    62. Ari April 11th, 2017 3:20 pm

      Has the mount pattern on the upcoming EVO and Tecton changed from the original Vipec and Vipec Black? I’m curious if either of these new bindings would fit into the Volkl V-werks H reinforced mounting area? Thanks!

    63. Ari April 11th, 2017 3:26 pm

      Nevermind. Saw above that the mount patterns are all the same for Vipec, EVO and Tecton.

    64. Lou Dawson 2 April 11th, 2017 3:57 pm

      The screw pattern width is the same, but Tecton HEEL might use different holes than Vipec in terms of forward-back layout. I have Tecton here and actually mounted them on a ski that previously had Vipec, so I verified the width of the screw pattern, but I did not get a read on how the pattern of the screws in a forward/back direction matches up as I wasn’t sure if I had a demo heel plate or a regular one.

      Here is the Tecton template I made.

    65. Pau Lohnes April 12th, 2017 11:59 am

      I did not see an answer to a boot specific question..In a Vipec video I saw a Scarpa F1 boot on the bench. Can you confirm if the EVO and Tecton will be compatible. Also, what is the final say on Vipec Black compatibility. Seems like a lot of confusion. Thanks

    66. See April 22nd, 2017 7:14 pm

      Tecton claimed weight is 550g per pair, no brakes? I’m guessing that’s supposed to be 550g each? And the Evo would be 500g each + 80g for the brake = 580g, compared to 611g for Vipec black? I’m trying to decide if I should and get Evo’s next season, or save some money and go with the Blacks.

    67. See April 22nd, 2017 7:32 pm

      Aside from being an ounce lighter per binding(?), being easier to click into, and not requiring different bumpers for different boots, are there any other advantages to the Evo toe compared to the black? Is the toe release after a vertical heel release improved? I understand it’s early days, so hard to say.

    68. Jim Milstein April 22nd, 2017 7:51 pm

      My black Vipecs (from last year) weigh about 500g each, brakeless, screwless. With screws, 548g.

      Here’s a picky question: When mounting with inserts, do the inserts count as ski weight or binding screw weight? I think inserts become part of the skis.

    69. Lou Dawson 2 April 23rd, 2017 1:02 pm

      Jim, I just count the boot inserts as part of the boot weight, since most boots have them now. FYI, toe and heel inserts, combined, add about 32 grams (1.1 ounce) to weight of boot. Lou

    70. Jim Milstein April 23rd, 2017 4:37 pm

      Lou, I was referring to the threaded thingies glued into the skis into which the binding screws screw, e.g., Quiver Killers. Their weight is probably similar to Dynafit type boot inserts. Not much. Anyway, they replace some ski material, so slightly less.

    71. Lou Dawson 2 April 24th, 2017 8:19 am

      10 grams for 8 Quiver Killer inserts, so after subtracting somewhat negligible weight of ski material you could probably figure roughly 1 gram per insert.

    72. klinkekule September 20th, 2017 12:49 am

      to clear up a couple of points mentioned above:

      1) the mounting holes on the vipec and tecton are identical

      2) the new 120mm brake is seemingly identical to the old 115mm brake. At least, i can discern no difference, but it might be that i have bent the 115mm ones out a bit.

    73. Chris October 6th, 2017 6:24 pm

      Anyone have any release problems with the Tectons and TLT5s??

      I just severely dented/crushed the toe box of my TLT5s when I tried to release the toe piece (DIN was set at 8)

      Worse, as the toe box crushed, the release bumper at the front was not being pushed down enough to release the pins.

      This was a carpet test so no flesh was harmed, but I imagine the front would not have released had this been on the snow.

      Anyone experience this before? Any ideas to fix this, short off buying new boots?

    74. Lou Dawson 2 October 7th, 2017 9:10 am

      Hi Chris, I have to tell you that IMHO using a TLT5 with Tecton is ridiculous. If for no other reason than the “sag” caused by the metatarsal flex could cause the heel of the boot to pull forward out of the binding heel cup and in turn cause accidental release.

      This combined with non-standard toe and heel shape, it’s just an entire recipe for disaster. Add to that a philosophical component, as in, using a “speed touring” boot in a “free touring” binding. That should be a clue right there.

      Regarding the boot toe specifically, in my tests most TLT5s and other “non standard” boot toe shapes actually do release out of the toe unit in forward release (this problem was more prevalent with earlier Vipecs). It seems to depend on the boot size and brand. This has to be tested for each specific boot-binding combo. Most will work fine, some will not, apparently like yours. I tested quite a few, as doing so only takes seconds.

      I’ll add more info about this to our Tecton FAQ


    75. Lou Dawson 2 October 7th, 2017 10:42 am

      Chris, one other thing, please don’t tell me you bought your bindings at a ski shop, and they mounted then gave them to you without testing you boot in the binding? Lou

    76. atfred October 7th, 2017 5:55 pm

      would your (rather harsh) comment be the same for a TLT 6?

    77. Lou Dawson 2 October 7th, 2017 6:08 pm

      Atfred, dad was just tryin’ to be firm (smile). I wouldn’t be as harsh on the TLT 6 though I’d be concerned about both the toe and heel shapes. I wouldn’t use it myself. Main thing, this is a freeride binding designed for boots with DIN shell shapes. If you want a touring binding for non DIN boots, that still has the Fritschi side release at the toe, get an Evo.

    78. Chris October 8th, 2017 2:35 pm

      Thanks for the reply Lou – guilty as charged on the “buy-the-skis-and-bindings-site unseen” front!

      i am not as sanguine as you on the metatarsal flex issue though (locked mine out with a mod i read about somewhere on your site), but i guess i will find out one way of or another!

      and my TLT5s are on their last legs anyway, so ill probably be swapping them for something that won’t have any metatarsal play (probably some La Sportiva Spitfires).

      But where you completely lost me was on the whole free touring binding vs speed touring boots. I used to have TLT FT bindings on large Movement Trust skis (108 wide if remember and around 1.9kg per ski) – they were definitely not suited for going up, but went rather well down the mountain. The problem was that I came out the bindings if i went fast enough on hard groomed runs.

      So I switched to some Fischer Hannibal 100 (a lot lighter), a pleasant, floppy, but somewhat lazy ski. Would never go fast enough to be an issue.

      Basically I look at bindings not from the point of view of marketing category, but purely in terms of weight and robustness. So something with the weight of a Radical that would behave similar to a beefy Marker? well that sounds just peachy!! and if i can do that with a boot that walks as wells a TLT5 (am not too hung up on flex), then that is even better.

      ill keep you posted (hopefully not from the hospital..) how it works out, and thanks again for the great site – always a good read!

    79. Chris October 8th, 2017 2:57 pm

      Actually, your metatarsal flex issue got me a little intrigued, so i did a little maths.

      Fritschi, in their wonderful 4 point boot compatibility check video, recommend a clearance of at least 3mm between the sole of the boot and the plastic base of the binding (the bit where the release scale is), and this is roughly what i get with my TLT5s.

      So if my boot flexes down by 3mm, I calculated that it will move forward out of the heel cup by 0.4mm (i have a BSL of 317 and used a distance from tip to point of flex of 115mm)

      The upper lip of the heel cup is around 5mm at its thinest and, when set up properly (flush adjustment screw after repeated opening/closing cycles), so there seems to be enough leeway here to deal with a TLT5 flex.

      But with the huge variety in boot sole shapes, I dont think this applies to all boots. And i think the reason for the Fritschi recommended 3mm clearance is precisely to prevent the issue you highlighted.

    80. Chris October 8th, 2017 3:28 pm

      Sorry… me again…

      what about adding a Marker DIN adapter to the TLT5? do you think that would work? it would not do much good for the Power Rails though…

    81. Lou Dawson 2 October 8th, 2017 5:48 pm

      Hi Chris, in my view the mets flex issue (cool math by the way) is not a big deal if everything is static. Where the uncertainty lies is when the ski is flexing, both cambering and de-cambering, and the binding heel is trying to move forward and back on its track, and then you throw in a boot that’s changing length by .4 mm in a system that’s designed for boots that do _not_ change length. I think you get the gist (smile). But with flex locked out, you’re clearly in better shape. Though even then I’d prefer to see a normal sized heel shelf.

      As for adding an adapter to the boot, it would have to be shaped so it fit in the heel cup same as a normal boot heel and fitting. Either the Beast horseshoe or the Marker Kingpin adapter, probably the latter?

    82. Lou Dawson 2 October 8th, 2017 5:51 pm

      And yeah, we’re getting to a point in the ski touring gear universe where one has to be careful how boot-binding combos are purchased. It’s not a done deal like alpine gear, though it was somewhat that way for a while… Lou

    83. Chris October 9th, 2017 1:09 am

      Thanks for that Lou. Totally agree on the unpredictabillity of everything once you get going – my pretty maths may not save me from something else flexing in an unpredictbale way

      (although i do take comfort in the fact that the 10mm tech pins on my old are TLT verticals supposed to bet set up with a 5mm gap – i.e. the pins are inserted roughly 5mm into the hell of the boot, which is probabaly the same as the grip of the heel cup of the tectons on my TLT5 shelf)

      I have emailed Fristchi and asked them point blank whether TLT5s are compatible with the Tectons, but I am not holding my breath for an answer (when I had asked a question about Freerides a couple of years back, they fobbed me off to the dealer, and said dealer was not clued up! Ill share whatever they tell me.

      And ill also try to get a marker DIN adapter and mess around with – maybe I can install it without making the Tectons’s power rails useless.

    84. Chris October 17th, 2017 2:04 am

      UPDATE: so i took my questions an worries to Fristchi and, to my pleasant surprise, they came back with thoughtful and reasoned responses. Specficially, for the bits we were discussing they camae back to me with the following:

      – HEEL PIECE & TLT5 COMPATIBILITY: they explcitily said to me that DIN soles were NOT required, and that although every boot needs to be looked at carefully, they DID test the TLT5 and felt fine with it. The reason cited for not needing a DIN heel shelf was the fact that the rear binding does not rotate and that there was addtional hold from the power rails.

      – METATARSAL FLEX: again, they did not find that it was systematically an exclusion factor, even if the boot did flex. They did however point out that sole flex would reduce rear vertical release flexibility – i.e. instead of having ~9mm of rear vertical flex before release, you only might get around 7mm, but they think that remains well within a normal range.

      – RELEASE IN WALK MODE: there is a lot of confusion here. Traditional pin bindings do not release in walk mode, and many people think Evo/Tecton wont either. But in reality Evo/Tecton, WILL release the front in walk mode, just not vertically. They will release the front horizontally at around 20% higher DIN rating than in ski mode.

      So in a nutshell, the behaviour of this binding, in terms of how and in what direction it releases, is very close to traditional alpine binding, which seems to be a good thing.

    85. klinkekule October 17th, 2017 5:52 am

      yeah, that mirrors my exact experiences with my Tectons thus far, and i am happy to have it confirmed by Fritschi that the vertical release – or lack of there of – is a design feature. As i mentioned in the binding list post, the Tectons release amazingly well, better than the Vipec Blacks, with very little force required at all. I guess that is why the vertical release is locked in the walk mode as the release function prob would be too easily engaged if not.

      I am very impressed by the Tectons thus far, though i have yet to try them. It will be interesting to see how Blister rates them in a test apparently to be published later this week 🙂

    86. Lou Dawson 2 October 18th, 2017 7:58 am

      Chris, I’m glad Fritschi was able to reduce your stress level (smile). Essentially, they’re saying what they’ve told me before, that any boot works, unless it doesn’t. Hence, in my opinion you should still proceed with caution. Accidental release is a quantum leap more dangerous than anything else, especially at modern skiing speeds. To introduce doubt about that due to concerns about protecting from lower leg fractures is perhaps something to look at. Though I’ll be the first to acknowledge that classic tech bindings do lack vertical elasticity, which thus can contribute to accidental release, and Tecton solves that. I guess what I’m saying is watch out you’re not just trading one thing for another. Overall, there are probably 3 people using TLT 5 in Tecton, so please report back once you’ve been on the system for a number of days, at normal RV settings, as your take will be valuable. Thanks, Lou

    87. Bruno October 24th, 2017 7:13 am

      Can anyone provide data on the climbing aid/heel lifter heights?

    88. Lou Dawson 2 October 27th, 2017 8:07 am

      Bruno and all, I added info re heel lifter heights to our Tecton FAQ:

      Let me know if that takes care of what you need.


    89. Delaney December 7th, 2017 12:24 pm

      Thanks for all this amazing info! One question: some skiers like to lock the toe out on pin bindings when skiing down something really exposed and technical because in those situations they would prefer to keep their skis on no matter what happens. Mainly this is because kicking a ski off unexpectedly could mean death… with the tecton it seems like putting it into walk mode increases the lateral toe din by 20%, but also eliminates “vertical release”. What is the vertical release? Is that the bumper on the toe peice that that pops the pins open when the boot swings forward out of the heel piece? So for someone using a kingpin or ion that currently once in a while locks the toe out on a burly descent, the tecton could be put into walk mode while skiing to get 20% more din, but they would be compromising safety in other ways… or is it even possible to click into walk mode when clicked into the heel?

    90. Ryan January 26th, 2018 6:25 am


      Just mounted up a set of EVOs for a friend. I am currently on Vipec Blacks and noticed that the new heel for the EVO is completely redesigned. I have been scanning the Wildsnow site to understand the differences between the EVO generation and all of the predecessors. At a glance the RV setting screw and readings are oriented completely differently and the movement of the pins appears to be completely different. Is there a breakdown of this and what those changes were and if they are significantly better/different than the previous versions.

      I get that the Tecton is the shiny new Carrera in the garage (well, maybe more like a (D90), but there looks to be some substantial changes to the Vipec and would luv to know more if there is any beta out there.


    91. Lou Dawson 2 January 26th, 2018 8:20 am

      Thanks Ryan, we have indeed been focused to a fault on Tecton because we feel it has huge potential. When I get home from the tradeshow I’ll look at doing a comparison of the heels. Lou

    92. Ryan January 26th, 2018 8:29 am

      Thanks Lou,

      It looks like some pretty major changes. Similar in scope to when they changed the toe wings from a radial spring to horizontal springs on V1 to V2. Have fun at the OR show – my sister-in-law is working one of the booths and said its a welcome change to SLC shows of the past.


    93. Ryan February 9th, 2018 5:21 am

      OK – I’ve seen 3 other reviews of the EVO stating that nothing has changed from the Vipec Black to the EVO in the heel. SERIOUSLY? just look at the pictures!

      Don’t make me go out there and buy a pair! I’d rather purchase the Tecton, but still want to know what is going on with the new heel. Rudimentary photos of the EVO has the impression that the pins are now functioning similar to what we see with the dynafit pins on sliders through a housing. Still don’t know what is up with the reorientation of the RV setting screw and view-finder for the RV rating. definitely some new inner workings though. Wonder if the changes were made to meet TUV cert or the likes…..

      Other than Lou – anyone else been tinkering with these new EVOs????

    94. John Yates February 14th, 2018 10:15 am

      I recently got a pair of Fritschi Evo bindings and have found several
      problems with them:

      Stepping In
      When stepping in to the bindings the jaws don’t close all the way
      sometimes. There seems to be a position about half way closed that
      the binding can assume after stepping on the trigger. This only
      happens outdoors, in the snow. The jaws snap shut completely, in a
      very positive way, indoors. I called Black Diamond and they say this
      can occur when the toe is set to a low DIN number. I have mine set to
      5, the lowest setting. BD suggested setting the DIN number to the
      highest setting and then back to the lower setting, but this didn’t
      seem to help. They also suggested spraying with silicone. This
      seemed to help a little, but didn’t really solve the problem.

      On one or two occasions when I stepped into one of the bindings and
      the jaws snapped shut completely, the front lever snapped up from the
      release position, past the ski position, and into the walk position,
      thereby defeating most, if not all, of the toe release capability. I
      never saw this happen outdoors, but is is worrying. It would be easy
      to not notice that I was not in ski mode after stepping into the

      Stepping Out
      Ordinarily, pushing down on the front lever opens the jaws. However,
      on several occasions, after skiing in deep snow, this didn’t work. On
      several occasions I had to switch from ski mode to walk mode, releasing my
      boot heel, and then wrench the boot toe free. Once this happened
      after a fall, and it was very difficult to get up, since I had to
      release my skis before I could get up. I can easily imagine falling
      in different way and not being able to reach my bindings with a hand
      to release them.

      I assume that this problem is caused by snow packing into the binding
      somewhere. Black Diamond suggested spraying silicone on the toe piece
      and I haven’t had the problem since, but it is worrying. Eventually
      the silicone will wear off and I might not remember to spray on more.
      Also, it’s not clear if the silicone has made the problem go away, or
      if I just haven’t encountered the conditions that cause it again.

      Switching Between Ski and Walk Modes
      One of the features that I like about these bindings is that it is
      possible to switch between ski and walk modes without taking off the
      skiis. I do this very often and it is one of the reasons I chose the
      Evo bindings. Switching from ski to walk mode is easy; it just
      requires pushing down on the mode switch lever with a pole. However,
      switching back to ski mode mode is almost impossible with a pole
      because the bottom of the mode switch lever is shaped in such a way
      that the lip of a ski pole handle tends to slide off when you try to
      pull the lever up. I should think that the mode switch lever could
      easily have been shaped to make it easy to grab with a ski pole
      handle. Not having it so defeats one of the major features of the
      binding. I hope Fritschi will make a redesigned mode switch lever.

    95. Jim Milstein February 14th, 2018 10:28 am

      Several points, John: Walk mode does not prevent a lateral release at the toepiece. As for operating the heel lever with a pole handle, many pole handles work fine (BCA Scepter, in my case, which has a bit of a rubberized nubbin for manipulating bindings). Consider trying different poles. Finally, your desire not to maintain your bindings is understandable, but it is not a prudent policy for something with real consequences.

      I suspect that some, maybe all, of your problems with this binding will go away as you get accustomed to them. That has been my experience with the Vipecs.

    96. John Yates February 14th, 2018 10:53 am


      I’m glad to know about the lateral release in the toepiece.

      My poles (old BD adjustable) also have a rebberized nubbin, although it is not as big as your BCA poles, and I can, by applying enough bending force on the pole, switch the lever. One of the people I spoke to a BD, who skis the Evos says he is about 80% successful at switching to ski mode with his poles. My point is not that it can’t be done, but that it shouldn’t be hard and that it shouldn’t be hard with poles in common use. It should have been easy to design the lever shape to make switching easy.

      As for the maintenance issue, it’s not that mind doing maintenance, it’s that it is unclear what maintenance is required and how often. Do I have to spray the bindings every day? That would mean taking a can of spray on hut trips. It’s also not clear if spraying silicone is completely solving the problems.

      Are your Vipecs the Evos? Is it possible that the lever on your binding is different from mine?

    97. Jim Milstein February 14th, 2018 8:44 pm

      I’m skiing on the black Vipecs, John.

      To eval maintainance, I play with the binding and run it through its tricks. If something seems loose, worn, or sticky, I fix it or, failing that, go for help.

      The black Vipecs, in my experience, have been very reliable and are notably better than their predecessors. I only wish that they were weightless. Same wish for the skis and boots. I haven’t yet seen the Evos.

    98. Jim Milstein February 14th, 2018 8:52 pm

      Scrutinizing Lou’s Evo/Vipec comparo article, John, the heel levers look the same. Maybe your nubbin is worn to nuthin’, Could you drill a hole in it and glue in a little piece of dowel?

    99. Bruno Schull April 17th, 2018 5:33 am

      Injury report. About two weeks ago I sustained a knee injury. From most to least serious: Partial ACL tear, partial MCL tear, bruised Tibia. Two orthopedists have independently advised against ACL surgery, and told me that I should gradually return to activity, with much physical therapy and strength training ahead. My season is over. My goal is to come back with stronger legs next year. I’m also going to take some lessons to improve my technique, so I have less chance of falling.

      I’m posting here because I was skiing on with Vipec Black bindings, and this is the most recent post about Vipec bindings I could find. I don’t think there is anything particular about Vipec bindings that contributed to this injury, although it is possible. There have been some posts and discussions on this site about how pin bindings that release sideways at the heel (classic pin bindings) might protect knee ligaments better than bindings that release sideways at the toe (like the Vipec/Tecton/Shift).

      I made several mistakes that day, nothing new, just a chance to reiterate good advice that has been stated before here.

      First, I fell. Poor light, heavy wet snow, tired legs, not really feeling “on.” Should have quit one run before. It’s always a good time to call it a day when you are not injured. I will be extra careful in poor light and heavy snow in the future. And I will try my best not to fall!

      Second, I was skiing with pin bindings and touring skis/boots on piste. Why was I riding touring gear on piste? I was on a climbing trip to Chamonix, waiting for good weather, and using the bad weather days to get some practice on my touring set up. Understandable, but probably not the best idea. I don’t think I would have fallen, or hurt my knee, or hurt my knee as badly, with my usual alpine set up.

      Third, I don’t know exactly how my injury occurred, but I think it was a slip-catch mechanism. Judging by what I can remember, and what I was told by my climbing partner (who was skiing behind me), I was turning left across the slope, I went over a small bump/mound and lost control, my left ski continued in the same direction, and my right ski got deflected to the right. I caught the inside edge of my right ski, my knee flexed and bent inward, and my weight came down straight onto my knee. There was no loud pop (maybe a small pop, or that could have been the binding releasing), but there was an immediate grinding/crushing/pain feeling. I knew I damaged my knee. It was an awful feeling, compounded by the knowledge that I had just ended my season, and perhaps skiing, biking, running, climbing in the future. When you get injured, your life changes.

      My right binding released at the toe to the left side. That’s one “advantage” of the Vipec; you can see to which side the toe releases after the carriage slides over and the toe wing folds down. So the binding did release. And the direction of the release is consistent with the fall I described above.

      I was skiing with Scott Cosmos III boots. I am ashamed to say that I never tested the release by hand, but I certainly will be doing so in the future. It’s definitely possible that the release was a bit choppy or sticky–these are my ski touring/climbing boots, so they have some wear from crampons, rocks, and so on. I can say that the binding seems to have released after the injury had already occurred, i.e. I felt that pain and injury before the binding released, but it’s definitely possible that the injury would have been worse had the binding not released at all.

      So to summarize:
      -Don’t fall
      -Be extra careful using touring gear on piste
      -Be extra careful in poor visibility and heavy snow
      -Check the release function of your boot binding system

      Higher level questions/thoughts.
      I understand that the principal role of bindings it to hold skis onto our feet. Yet it is extremely frustrating that the engineers/companies can not find a way to reduce the incidence of these quite serious injuries. Surgical techniques and treatments are improving, but the recovery for an ACL reconstruction (which my wife is about to have, yes, it’s been a difficult season for us) takes 6-9 months, without complications. The outcomes seem good, if you take it seriously and work hard, but it requires nearly a year.

      How can bindings, or other components, be improved to mitigate knee ligament damage?

      The knee binding? Rick Howell’s creations? Pin binding for the way up and then switch to an alpine binding on the way down with something like a CAST system? Do bindings need improved release functions? New release directions? Can boots be designed to flex in certain ways and absorb some of these rotational forces? What about knee braces that prevent undo rotation and bending but are still comfortable and practical to wear? What about public information campaigns and skills training to make skiers aware of the types of falls that lead to ligament damage, and how to avoid these falls? In short, how can the industry solve this problem?

      From what I understand, when somebody in a family sustains an ACL tear or other serious knee injury, often the whole family stops skiing. This cant’ be good for the sport.

      I always viewed this discussion with a certain distance, but now of course my view has changed.

      I wish this were more of a priority for the ski industry.

      OK, thanks for reading.

      Advice, encouragement, thoughts, questions, lectures, laughter, all appreciated.

    100. Ryan April 17th, 2018 5:58 am

      Bruno – I’ll keep this short and sweet… the injury you sustained sucks, no doubt about it. I’ve blown both of my ACLs and have had them rebuilt. It’s an arduous process but you do come back stronger if you put in the time and effort. Honest Abe!

      You should do yourself a solid and see how well your carriage travels with your boots. I’ve found that I’ve had to adjust the adjustable
      Pins for every pair of boots I own, including boots from the same company, too et smooth travel between the release points. It’s really worth the time to read how to set the Vipecs up and then carpet and bench test them. I’ve also found the RV on the Vipecs seem to be stiffer than traditional DIN numbers so that is worth considering.

      In the end, don’t beat yourself Up, learn from this and get back to it.

    101. Jim Milstein April 17th, 2018 7:16 am

      Bruno’s first point is the most important: Do not fall!

      I know skiers who believe that if you are not falling you are not learning. This is so wrong. And as for injury modes, most involve falling. Collision is the only one that doesn’t require falling. So, the second most important point should be Watch where you are going! Another piece of helpful advice is to Stay out of avalanches!

      These have worked for me over sixty-five ski seasons.

    102. atfred April 17th, 2018 8:28 am

      Bruno, don’t be too hard on yourself – stuff happens. The last injury I sustained was on an easy slope, going slowly over hard, chunky snow. I lost balance and simply fell over. The result was a dislocated shoulder that I’m still dealing with.

    103. Lou 2 April 17th, 2018 8:39 am

      Hi Bruno, sorry to hear about that. Wishing you fast healing! One thing to remember is don’t over-think it all, you can blow out a knee while hiking, though of course being in ski bindings makes it more possible. Put your energy into healing, and then yes improving your skiing as falling is indeed the problem (smile). I agree that the industry has really fallen short on making bindings better at protecting knees. It’s a constant source of frustration to see the emphasis on helmets, and virtually no attention to knee injury rates. As we’ve always mentioned, all binding/boot combinations should be at the least hand checked on the bench, and better, checked with a machine. I’m certain that could eliminate a percentage of injuries, though the actual physical mechanics of most bindings does not do much of a job of soft tissue protection. Lou

    104. See April 17th, 2018 8:42 am

      Sorry to hear about your injury, Bruno. For what it may be worth, I had a similar injury once (on alpine bindings). One orthopedist advised surgery but a second (very well known) doc advised against surgery. I focused on letting the ligaments heal for a few months and wore a brace for the better part of a year. But the point of my comment is that I did regain much of the lost stability without surgery and eventually ditched the brace. In the years since, I’ve taken a keen interest in how bindings and the human’s they are supposed to serve interact (a big reason I’m here cluttering up Lou’s excellent blog). And I make a point of maintaining leg strength to stabilize the knees. Best wishes for a full recovery.

    105. Andy Carey April 17th, 2018 2:11 pm

      I know how you feel. About 3-4 years ago on Easter Day, when the snow was very low in the lower ski area and I was “learning” my new AT setup (volkl Nanuqs, Radical STs, Mercury boots), I made a turn to the left and hit a rock under the snow on the downhill ski and had a twisting fall that either strained or incompletely tore everythling laterally from just above the knee to the second toe from the right. No surgery. But lots of physical therapy, which I sitll do almost everyday. Find one or two good sports medicine physical therapists (two is always better than one!) and realize as you recuperate everything in the legs is going to be affected. Here’s a good resource once you are reasonably well along 2 yrs after my injury I got 50+ bc days in, 3 yrs 80+ days, and this yr I have 63 days total and, I hope, another 30+ to come. So you are young and probably will heal faster than me–things are not too bad. I did buy a dedicated alpine setup for days in which I would be skiing on piste.

    106. Jim Milstein April 17th, 2018 5:39 pm

      There you go, Andy. The lesson is that ski resorts are dangerous! Stick to the backcountry. Fewer distractions, much better ambience, not to mention better snow and clean lines.

    107. Andy Carey April 17th, 2018 7:27 pm

      Well, Jim, the only reason we ended up at a resort is the grandkids were starting to ski! Trying now to get the 14 yr old into the bc, but we live in different towns, so it is tough.

    108. Jim Milstein April 17th, 2018 9:12 pm

      I was speaking generally, Andy. You clearly prefer the wild snow to the tame stuff. This is preaching to the choir here at Lou’s site. And, good luck with the kids.

    109. Bruno April 18th, 2018 9:53 am

      different Bruno here – I went back to F10 Tours this year for all but the longest of tours or where I need a proper ski crampon. I still have skis with Dynaits and Ion 12s that will certainly beat any frame binding on the up. My main reason for going back to the Markers is that the Tectons I put on my wife’s skis did not release test at consistent values (toe higher than indicated) so we eventually lowered the settings. She is a strong, technically proficient, and smooth skier, so very little concern about a pre-release. Both pairs of her boots are like new (Scarpa and Tecnica) so doubt it is an insert issue. It took a little getting used to the Markers again, but I do ski with more piece of mind, and the downhill performance is muy bueno. Heal fast Bruno S.

    110. Dominik November 1st, 2018 9:48 pm

      reviving an old thread now that a new season is upon us. I had heard that fritschi made adjustments to the toe piece release to accommodate certain boots like tlt7. any truth to this?

    111. Dominik November 1st, 2018 9:49 pm


    112. Per November 5th, 2018 8:15 am


      I have made my Vipec black compatible with Dynafit Hoji Boot.
      The process was easy, follow the instruction video from Fritschi,s website and change the “color clip” on the toe part of the binding.

      I will get a new pair of skis this year and want Vipec binding,s but my concern is the changed toe piece on the new generation Vipec (Tecton/EVO). Does anyone have any input regarding the issue?

    113. Lou Dawson 2 November 5th, 2018 8:38 am

      Don, you need to spend more time on (smile).

      Pretty sure the following makes it clear, but if not, the main thing is the changed toe does not have the Color Clip options. BUT, apparently, there may be some solutions with this year’s bindings (2018-2019 models). There has been a lot of confusion about all this. It’s been frustrating for sure. Main thing, from a safety standpoint, is any boot/binding combo with Tecton/Evo needs to be testing in the ski shop, to make sure the boot will release OUT of the TOE after an upward heel release occurs. This is super important.

    114. Per November 5th, 2018 9:17 am

      Thank you Lou, you nailed it.
      I have read trough the link you provided and my conclusion is that the Hoji/Tecton combo works with no penalty in downhill mode. The drawback is the the toe bumb in uphill.

    115. Lou Dawson 2 November 8th, 2018 7:15 am

      I was just told the for sure Fritschi will be doing some kind of change to the Vipec/Evo to to mitigate the “bumping” problem as well as allowing boots such as Hoji to have more range of motion. Probably more infos out there on the web… that’s all I can say for now. Lou

    116. Travis November 20th, 2018 7:41 am

      Lou, thank you for the update on the “:bumping” problems! Delighted to hear that Fritschi sees the problem for resolution in the future. Any other updates would be appreciated!

    117. Andrew Garcia November 21st, 2018 9:24 am


    118. Per November 23rd, 2018 4:54 am


      Good news, I got it confirmed from the Swedish distributor of Diamir the the Tecton/Evo bindings model 2018/19 have an updated toe piece and are now comtabible with Dynafit Hoji boot.

    Anti-Spam Quiz:

    While you can subscribe to comment notification by checking the box above, you must leave a brief comment to do so, which records your email and requires you to use our anti-spam challange. If you don't like leaving substantive comments that's fine, just leave a simple comment that says something like "thanks, subscribed" with a made-up name. Check the comment subscription checkbox BEFORE you submit. NOTE: BY SUBSCRIBING TO COMMENTS YOU GIVE US PERMISSION TO STORE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS INDEFINITLY. YOU MAY REQUEST REMOVAL AND WE WILL REMOVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS WITHIN 72 HOURS. To request removal of personal information, please contact us using the comment link in our site menu.
    If you need an emoticon for a comment just copy/paste off the following list, or use text code you might be familiar with.

    :D    :-)    :(    :lol:    :x    :P    :oops:    :cry:    :evil:    :twisted:    :roll:    :wink:    :!:    :?:    :idea:    :arrow:   
    Due to comment spam we moderate most comments. Please do not submit your comment twice -- it will appear shortly after approval. Comments with one or more links in the text may be held in moderation, for spam prevention. If you'd like to publish a photo in a comment, contact us. Guidelines: Be civil, no personal attacks, avoid vulgarity and profanity.

      Your Comments

      Recent Posts

    Facebook Twitter Email Instagram Youtube


  • Blogroll & Links

  • 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.

    All material on this website is copyrighted, the name WildSnow is trademarked, permission required for reproduction (electronic or otherwise) and display on other websites. PLEASE SEE OUR COPYRIGHT and TRADEMARK INFORMATION.

    We include "affiliate sales" links with most of our blog posts. This means we receive a percentage of a sale if you click over from our site (at no cost to you). None of our affiliate commission links are direct relationships with specific gear companies or shopping carts, instead we remain removed by using a third party who manages all our affiliate sales and relationships. We also sell display "banner" advertising, in this case our relationships are closer to the companies who advertise, but our display advertising income is carefully separated financially and editorially from our blog content, over which we always maintain 100% editorial control -- we make this clear during every advertising deal we work out. Please also notice we do the occasional "sponsored" post, these are under similar financial arrangements as our banner advertising, only the banner or other type of reference to a company are included in the blog post, simply to show they provided financial support to and provide them with advertising in return. Unlike most other "sponsored content" you find on the internet, our sponsored posts are entirely under our editorial control and created by WildSnow specific writers.See our full disclosures here.

    Backcountry skiing is dangerous. You may be killed or severely injured if you do any form of ski mountaineering, skimo randonnee and randonnée skiing. The information and news on this website is intended only as general information. Due to human error and passing time, the information, text and images contained within this website may be inaccurate, false, or out-of-date. By using, reading or viewing the information provided on this website, you agree to absolve the owners of Wild Snow as well as content contributors of any liability for injuries or losses incurred while using such information. Furthermore, you agree to use any of this website's information, maps, photos, or binding mounting instructions templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow owners and contributors of liability for use of said items for ski touring or any other use.

    Switch To Mobile Version