Trawers Gamma — Polish Ski Touring Binding 1980s

The time, late 1980s. The place, shipyards of Gdansk Poland (where the Solidarity movement began that eventually liberated the country). The heavy hand of communist rule made Western European ski touring bindings difficult to acquire in Poland. Or if you could get them, bindings such as the Silvretta offerings of the time were too expensive. Solution, shipyard machinists and fabricators made about 250 surreptitious copies of the Silvretta 404, mostly by hand and assembled on kitchen tables. Binding donator D says they called it the Trawers (Traverse in English) and it used the heel clamp unit is from a Polish alpine binding named Gamma). Thanks D&W G for the binding, might be the best in the collection! Perhaps the Solidarity movement actually began with thoughts of skiing?

We’ve seen a few other apparently hand-made frame ski touring bindings over the years. Another one in our collection is the Nepal, a massive steel contraption that’s quite amusing.

Trawers, hand made copy of Silvretta 404.

At bottom of photo, Trawers hand made copy of Silvretta 404 shown at top of photo. Click photos to enlarge.

Side view in touring mode, heel lift engaged.

Side view in touring mode, heel lift engaged.

They only made a few hundred of these, the binding was called the Trawers with heel clamp units from an alpine binding called Gamma.

They only made a few hundred of these, the binding was called the Trawers with heel clamp units from an alpine binding called Gamma.

Side release is same machinery as Silvretta 404 type bindings.

Side release is same machinery as Silvretta 404 type bindings.

Release 'carriage' comes out of frame, as with Silvretta 404.

Release ‘carriage’ comes out of frame, as with Silvretta 404.

Frame is latched down with the small steel tab you can see between the two circular rollers.

Frame is latched down with the small steel tab you can see between the two circular rollers. You pull up on the nylon strap to engage or disengage the latch, which is spring loaded. There is very little provision for ski flex.

In the 1980s, skiers still wanted a return spring on the plate.

In the 1980s, skiers still wanted a return spring on the plate.

Heel lifter is basic, similar to many other solutions over the past decades.

Heel lifter is basic, similar to many other solutions over the past decades.

Wing nut and spring adjusts the side release tension, no numbers, at least that's honest.

Wing nut and spring adjusts the side release tension, no numbers, at least that’s honest as no bindings of this vintage had a release that was truly calibrated to any sort of standard.

Detail of lateral release spring. I could not figure out how the binding adjusted to large changes in boot length.

Detail of lateral release spring. I could not figure out how the binding adjusted to large changes in boot length. Perhaps all 250 shipyard workers shared the same pair of boots? I’m told that actually, the binding was made in several lengths, with fine adjustment at the heel yoke.

See our Polish translation, thanks Sebastian!

Polish Gamma binding thumbnail.

Polish Trawers binding thumbnail.


  Your Comments


  Recent Posts




Facebook Twitter Google 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 WildSnow.com 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