Gertsch Alpine Frame Binding with Touring Adapter 1971-1975

This ingenious ski touring adaptation of an alpine binding has no equal in the history of AT ski touring bindings. Gertsch was a well known Swiss plate binding in the 1970s, and their piston/spring release mechanism design is still in use for release telemark bindings. With the addition of a bracket and pivot, the binding converted to a touring rig. Whoever thought this up deserves an award.

Complete Gertsch binding with adapter installed shown above. Binding is in tour mode.

Complete Gertsch binding with adapter installed shown above. Binding is in tour mode.

Above binding is shown without touring adapter, in downhill alpine mode.

Above binding is shown without touring adapter, in downhill alpine mode.

Lateral (side) safety release is accomplished by the front of the plate sliding to the side off the spring loaded piston. Vertical release is a function of the rear of the plate pulling up from a tapered slot as the piston in the front compresses. I once used this binding in alpine mode, and found that having no independent adjustments for side and vertical release made it difficult to adjust the binding to a safe release tension yet avoid accidental release.

Adapter is installed by sliding the tongue through a tunnel under the binding toe unit.

Adapter is installed by sliding the tongue through a tunnel under the binding toe unit.

The adapter appears vulnerable to sliding back out during uphill skinning, so one assumes it had some sort of catch that prevented this.

Binding shown above with adapter installed.

Binding shown above with adapter installed.

Once the boot is latched in it holds everything together. One downside of this binding is that it locates your foot some distance back from the pivot while in touring mode, resulting in an unnatural stride. Check out our video for clarification of how the whole thing works.

According to some accounts, Fritschi ski touring bindings originated from the Gertsch (though we are not clear during which date range this occurred). The story is that Gertsch jobbed out their parts manufacturing to a Swiss company, Fritschi, that made precision drawing tables. This prompted Fritschi to enter the ski binding business themselves using ideas they’d developed while producing the Gertsch. Examination of Fritschi’s first binding, the FT88 (circa 1982), reveals many similarities between it and the earlier Gertsch, thus this story is likely fact. (source: Alpenglow.org ). As for the name, it is said to come from the binding’s designer Rudi Gertsch.

Weight (one binding with screws and adapter): 28.5 oz, 806 gr

Weight (one binding with screws, without adapter): 21.5 oz, 608 gr

Weight of touring adapter: 7 oz, 198 gr

Thanks goes to Tony Thompson for donating these bindings to the museum.

Gertsch thumbnail.

Gertsch thumbnail.

  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