With Fritz’s okay, I can report on this prototype for a Dynafit telemark binding. Fun stuff, perhaps for five minutes I can get more traffic than Telemarktips. (All, please don’t rip these photos and publish elsewhere. They are copyrighted.) This is totally a prototype with no plans for production (the unit shown here was made 12 years ago, and in possession of Scarpa for quite some time before being returned to Fritz. So this is mostly just a fascinating glimpse into the mind of a mechanical genius. Also a testimony to what one person can do during their spare time in a workshop — makes NTN look kinda overcooked, no? And 12 years ago!?
|The concept is quite simple. Use an articulated boot, but with the articulation damped by adjustable springs mounted on the boot instead of a cable (which Fritz dismissed as “old fashioned.” The boot shown here was an experiment in making an articulated model, and does not have the springs attached.) In touring mode you’ve basically got a Dynafit toe unit, with free pivot as well as articulated boot. To switch to tele, you throw the touring lock down and this engages a set of hooks that hold the boot down to the ski at the articulated point.|
|Shown in touring mode, the hooks that engage the boot for telemarking are clearly visible.|
|When it’s time to look hip and drop a knee at your chosen telemark mecca, you just engage the hooks into the mode shown above, and away you go. There you go Tipsters, yet another concept for that Grail floating just out of reach (grin)!|
Seriously, Frtiz and Dynafit are working hard on boot designs. As far as I know they’re not planning on entering the telemark world, but they are working on more designs for AT backcountry skiing boots, and Fritz is trying to break out of the traditional mold and do some extremely innovative things that, yes, I’ve signed a blood contract not to reveal. I can say that today he was riveting carbon fiber cuffs to custom rando race boots, and says we’ll see more of such super lightweight concepts in coming Dynafit production boots.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.
Amazingly simple with sparse hardwear–just like a Dynafit should be. By the way, I watched my Ski a la Carte DVD (1978 Warren Miller) and it showed many people with Dynafit alpine boots. Remember those?
You forgot to state the obvious. Just add a Dynafit heelpiece and boot fitting and you could have one boot that does it all!
Let the TTips traffic begin! 🙂
Hope they can make those underboot springs beefy enough to take the full range of extension and punishment that a tele turn will dish out. The prototype springs don’t look like they’d last two turns … lemme see, the rods in front of the boot are part of the spring system (right?) giving it a longer spring (same concept as Hammerhead and Pitbull springs in front) …
At first glance it looks like the entire forefoot of the boot would be locked down by the hooks, but that can’t be right, since one turn would rip that little plastic block right out of the ski … so the side cables must pull through some sleeves on the side of the block as the boot (forefoot included) rises off the ski … so the boot feels a force towards the ski at the “Power” location of bindings like the Hammerhead. Except the force is applied at the back of the boot forefoot, not at the heel.
I think I get it. Now make it strong enough and releasable and light.
Gahhhhhhh I want that tele setup to develop further!
Add on a Dynafit heel piece and you’ve got an all-in-one AT tele Touring setup. That would be wikkid rad!
I’ve got a pair of t2’s I just retired. We should get an old dynafit set up, hack and chop and see if we can’t create the true “holy grail” all in one boot/ binding set-up. I think the bellows of the boot could provide the spring-back for tele mode. We’d have to make a tele mode lock down and modify the rest of the boot to work with dynafit set-up. Sound interesting?
Sometimes we find ourselves in sketchy conditions (threat of small/shallow slides) where releasabliity is desirable-AT. In the hero snow, on low angle slopes, along short billy goat traverses, etc., many of us really want to tele. The NTN’s reportedly descend well(with the wimpy springs for wild snow), but kinda stink for touring. Dynafits tour and work well overall, but don’t tele. I’ve been stewing on ‘the grail’ ever since Scarpa put dynafit plugs into its NTN boots. It is almost possible for a little guy to create a binding accessory, but not a new boot. I’m hoping somebody can soon create a Dynafit / NTN binding accessory to fully accomodate the NTN/Dynafit boots (minus releasability, excessive weight, and complexity for tele mode). If this happens, I’ll be selling off a good amount of obsolete gear.
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