Grail Quest – Could Silvretta be Sir Galahad?

Post by blogger | December 18, 2006      

I was doing some fitness uphilling this past weekend and spied nordic jumping bindings (Winner SL) that have an elegant and simple torsional release mechanism. Got me thinking…

Winner SL ski jumping binding
Winner SL ski jumping binding has release system that looks like it would work for telemarking.

The safety release mechanism of these jumping bindings could easily be adapted for telemark skiing. This binding is made by Win.Air, a company that used to be part of Silvretta and no doubt still cross pollinates with them. Silvretta already makes their excellent telemark touring adapter for backcountry skiing — why not a radical telemark binding based on the concepts of jumping equipment, but with grail-quest virtues like free touring pivot and stepin/stepout?

If Black Diamond can spend millions on developing a new telemark binding, and Rottefella is no doubt doing the same, might there be another big player with a binding under their hat? We wouldn’t be surprised if Silvretta (Salewa) or Win.Air were working on something.

Nordic ski jumpers land in the telemark position and were thus keeping the tele alive long before the great tele revival excavated the turn from the sands of history. Thus, wouldn’t it be fitting if the grail binding ended up being based on jumping equipment? If you’re going to reinvent the wheel, you might as well start with a wheel.


Please Enjoy A Few Suggested WildSnow Posts


17 Responses to “Grail Quest – Could Silvretta be Sir Galahad?”

  1. Mike Marolt December 18th, 2006 9:17 am

    Lou: You’ve been doing a lot of tele-thinking lately……


  2. Derik George December 18th, 2006 9:33 am

    Can someone please explain to me the economics of spending millions to develop a new tele binding? Maybe I just don’t understand the money to be made. It doesn’t seem like the market is there to justify this kind of R&D. Could airline CEOs be running Black Diamond?!

  3. Lou December 18th, 2006 10:59 am

    I just like gadgetry, especially when it’s in development… back to rando gear this week. Gotta get the skins working on the Trab skis, been duct taping them on till I figure out how I want to tail fix etc. with the Trab tip and tail shape.

  4. Mike Marolt December 18th, 2006 11:58 am

    Hey, what is the best AT skin these days for 24 hours of Sunlight?

    On the Trab tip, not sure what that is like, but on some oversized tips in the past, I used a wire hanger and formed a kind of hook or cage.


  5. Daigan December 18th, 2006 12:03 pm

    To me, that looks remarkably similar to Karhu’s 7TM line release sytem.

  6. Daigan December 18th, 2006 12:04 pm

    here’s a closeup of said system, courtesy of TTips

  7. Lou December 18th, 2006 12:15 pm

    Wow, that really is similar!

  8. Drew December 18th, 2006 5:32 pm

    Hey Lou,
    I’d be psyched to see a whole post on jumping skis- they are huge and fat with no sidecut, right? I better other folks would be interested, too?

  9. Lou December 18th, 2006 5:34 pm

    Trab tip and tail have a nice fitting for the skin, but it doesn’t tension the skin and I don’t like that, so I’m trying to rig something that does, shouldn’t be too tough.

    As for skins for Sunlight, the up route is mostly low angled, so you definitely want mohair if you can find it. Don’t know a source at this time, anyone else? Waxed mohair will really save some time over the duration of the event. Remember you also need two pair of skins if you’re going solo, so one can be drying while the other is being used.

  10. Lou December 18th, 2006 5:44 pm

    Derik, according to an inside source at, telemarkers spend an immense amount of money on gear and making ski equipment specific for telemarking can be a good business move. Witness the number of so-called telemark skis that are simply re branded alpine or randonnee skis. There is some question in the industry about how may telemarkers will buy new boots to go with a new binding system that requires a special boot sole, but from what I’ve seen and heard I’m thinking it won’t be a problem. Whoever did the market research for Black Diamond appears to agree.

    By the way all, I’m familiar with the other release tele bindings, knew this one was similar in concept, just a good example of how the technology is out there and just needs to be brought up to speed. Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if the release mechanism I’m writing about was on jumping skis long before concept was used for 7TM.

  11. Mark Worley December 18th, 2006 7:29 pm

    Nordic jumping has always held my attention. That’s a nice looking and simple binding.

  12. Grant December 18th, 2006 8:10 pm

    last year I got some Trab mohair skins from Mark at Wasatch ski.
    The trab tip and tail system works well once you dail it in, but no tensioning is a small draw back. By accident I cut a pari of skins a few mm short, they ended up working really well, lots of tension!

  13. Derik George December 18th, 2006 8:17 pm

    Lou and all-
    Reference the rebranded alpine skies: My all around backcountry skis are Rossi T3s (dynafit mounted ofcourse), that are just Bandit B2s with different graphics.

    Yes, I guess I underestimate the amount of money the consumer is willing to spend. I did assume that most companies (except airlines 🙂 ) have marketing people that figure this stuff out before they undertake the project. Interesting developments.

    For 100% mohair skins, there is a certain overseas retailer that has the coltex version. I won’t endorse them because they don’t advertise here, but customer service has been good, and with the falling dollar, prices are okay.

    As alwasys, thanks for the info.

  14. Lou December 19th, 2006 6:47 am

    Derik, thanks for being sensitive to the advertising issues. Since my advertisers don’t sell 100% Mohair skins (a search of yields a mohair benie hat), it’s fine to share the source.

    But please shop our advertisers here at if you can…

    Mohair skins really are incredible. They glide like crazy.

  15. Lindsay December 20th, 2006 12:36 pm

    Lou, Looking for any info on your site for Karhu’s TM 7 line, this is the only thread that comes up – any other info? I’m ready to pull the trigger on getting this binding and thought I’d check the local

  16. Lou December 20th, 2006 4:57 pm

    Well, Mitch over at covers randonnee as well as telemark, so I guess here at we can talk about telemark as well as rando. But seriously, I’d head over to for tele info. Say hi to Mitch for me.

  17. BrianRS January 6th, 2009 8:59 am

    I didn’t know there was so much technology behind bindings, you live and learn.

  Your Comments

  Recent Posts

Facebook Twitter Email Instagram Youtube

WildSnow Twitter Feed


  • 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