Classic Rando Binding — Fritschi Diamir Titanal added to WildSnow online collection


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | July 12, 2007      

Latest addition to our Online Museum of Backcountry Skiing is the Fritschi Diamir Titanal binding. First sold around 1995, the Diamir is arguably the first “modern” randonnee binding that approached the downhill performance of its contemporary alpine bindings. This design is the foundation of what’s become quite the amazing string of binding models from Fritschi, all based on the original design first seen in the Titanal. Museum display here.

Complete Fritschi Diamir Titanal binding. The design revolution with this binding was in using a single lightweight rail to connect heel and toe units. This rail was ostensibly made from Titanal, a very strong aluminum alloy. Nonetheless the rail bent too easily and was strengthened in later models. In all, the binding was very lightweight and had a modern look and feel.

Complete Fritschi Diamir Titanal binding. The design revolution with this binding was in using a single lightweight rail to connect heel and toe units. This rail was ostensibly made from Titanal, a very strong aluminum alloy. Nonetheless the rail bent too easily and was strengthened in later models. In all, the binding was very lightweight and had a modern look and feel.

While the first Diamir Titanal was revolutionary and effective, it was not without sometimes amusing problems. When the earliest production model first arrived here at WildSnow HQ, we headed out to the shop for mounting and bench testing. About the third time we switched the heel to boot-latched mode, it flew apart in a cloud of high-speed shrapnel that could have taken out an eye. Black Diamond was distributing the binding (as they still do), and the ensuing scramble to get stronger heel units out and keep me quiet was amusing to behold. To BD’s credit, the defective plastic was immediately swapped out for all bindings, and didn’t become a big problem in the consumer realm.

Another ongoing and eventually amusing issue with the Titanal and several models that followed was that the boot heel sat slightly lower or at least level with the toe. Compared to most other randonee and alpine bindings, this created what’s known as “negative ramp angle” which made many users of the binding feel like they were in the “back seat” while skiing. Experienced skiers figured this out right away and implemented various solutions such as shimming the rear of the binding higher or grinding rubber of the toe of the boot. Nonetheless, I wish I had a dollar for every email or phone question I’ve had over the past decade asking me “why do I feel like I’m in the backseat when I ski on my Fritschis?”

Diamir, thumbnail.

Diamir, thumbnail.

Ramp angle is not an issue with latest model Fritschi bindings (they all put your foot in good position), but the lessons learned from this can be applied to any ski setup. Some bindings have more ramp, some less, and the amount affects the way they ski.

In all, the Fritschi bindings helped create a revolution in skiing, that being the resurgence of muscle power as an honorable if not sexy way of getting your turns. Proof: It’s now considered high style at the resort to sport a pair of Fritschi bindings — even if you’re riding ski lifts.

Comments

7 Responses to “Classic Rando Binding — Fritschi Diamir Titanal added to WildSnow online collection”

  1. Matus July 12th, 2007 1:04 pm

    Here in Slovakia, Europe, Fritschis are usually owned by those who ride lifts (99%) and only very occasionally earn they turns (1% of the skiing time). However, when someone has a Dynafit binding, it is the true sportsman and real mountain skier :o)

  2. Mark July 13th, 2007 4:55 am

    I skied on Titanal 2s for about seven years with lots of resort days and some great backcountry ones too. When I first used them, the toe height was WAAAAAAY too high such that as I came down the hill, my boot toes would click up and down disturbingly, but never pre-released. After a couple runs I found a screw driver. They’re great bindings that never gave me trouble.

  3. palic July 13th, 2007 2:35 pm

    Check this http://palic.ho-vsetin.com/skialp/jak-se-lamou-vazani-a-lyze-na-skialpinismus Titanal I photos are the last three ones. It happened during skin up around Dizin ski-resort in Iran. It was “repaired” with appropriate strength and used for skin up on Damavand (5671 m) and several rour-thousand-meters peak in Iran. This binding is still working without any problem.

    BTW, I disagree with Matus about only 1% of AT people with Diamir in Slovakia. In our group in spring High Tatras, there were 2xSilvretta 404, 4xDiamir (different models), and 6xDynafit TLT. Check photos in this article with TOPO of ski descends: http://palic.ho-vsetin.com/skialp/skiextremy-vysoke-tatry-2007-treti-rocnik

  4. Jordan July 13th, 2007 7:03 pm

    Well that would make a good commercial with the Ford towing the chevy, but I bet that toyota of yours is doing alright.

  5. Lou July 14th, 2007 5:25 am

    Jordan, don’t rub it in

  6. Lou Dawson 2 February 11th, 2017 11:18 pm

    Hi Rainer, I saw someone yesterday on those bindings at Kelchsau Austria, was that you? Lou

  7. Rainer Venture February 12th, 2017 10:44 am

    I got this one 1995,
    after I had the Silvretta 300 for a couple of years.
    amazing high ramp.

    well 22years ago this binding is still in heavy use and nothing broken,
    ever now and then it needs some oil and a carefull eye on it.
    But nowadays other bindings are a quarter of the weight – so
    it might be its last season…

Got something to say? Please do so.





Anti-Spam Quiz:

You can subscribe to comment notification by checking the box to left, but 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.
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

  • Lou Dawson 2: Hi Greg, I did have a graphic at one time but I don't recall it having reso...
  • Greg: I remember there being an image of the D scale at some point – with resort ...
  • Hans D.: Great advice. I hadn't thought about the "quickstep" notch, but now that y...
  • Dean Gagnon: Hello, Does anyone know where to get spare hinges for the tounge of the ...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Billy Goat, IMHO the Amer (Salomon) binding is not a done deal, it will be ...
  • Rod Georgiu: Good idea...
  • zak: Any idea on if/when Scarpa will update the F1 to include the tech from the ...
  • Lou Dawson 2: I'll say it. Many Dynafit ski models are built to be lightweight and not pa...
  • Tomas: Destruction topsheet - only 2 days during normal telemark skiing. I'm wait...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Glad you liked the photos, was a fun day with you guys. Main thing, just gi...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Agree, someone needs to forget about TUV and all that sort of thing and jus...
  • szaraz levente: I do not need a TUV certificate brake, I only hate the wire wich connect me...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Hans, the best thing to do is put your boot-binding combo on a release test...
  • Hans D.: Regarding touring boots with swappable soles for alpine use: I have Lupo TI...
  • Dave Johnson: My mind is blown at the binding technology going on today. Imagine, in '76 ...
  • Bar Barrique: Jason; If you choose to replace the liners, I would advise speaking to the ...
  • BillyGoat: Convertible alpine bindings will defiantly have a market (aside from the fi...
  • Lou Dawson 2: My bad Dan, trying to be brief, I'm talking about the boot locator things, ...
  • Dan: I'm reading wildsnow religiously but I don't know what's the deal with the ...
  • XXX_er: I used to think that I MUST have a cuff cant adj at the outside cuff pivot ...
  • Lou 2: Tom, a canted cuff really helps me as well, sigh.... Probably still somewh...
  • Tom Gos: Lou, thanks for confirming that the new Maestrale will not have cuff cant r...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Dynafit has packs with the same thing, just a compartment on the bottom of ...
  • Rod Georgiu: Can you explain the lower compartments with the flap? Also , have you se...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Sounds like they are incompatible, or perhaps grind off the TR2 metal tabs ...
  • William Häni: Hi, I have a pair of dynafit beast 16. I want to combine them with a pai...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Information I'll add to blog posts about this Salomon brake stopper: It's v...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Nice info Flo, thanks for helping out! Lou...
  • See: Maybe try rebaking (thermo molding) the bad liner?...
  • Flo: Me again, in case, anyone is interested in the purpose of these little plas...

  Recent Posts


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.

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. While the authors and editors of the information on this website make every effort to present useful information about ski mountaineering, due to human error 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