Marker TR Ski Touring Binding Mid 1970s

Marker TR is an interesting binding. It approaches the ultimate goal of all randonnee bindings in that it uses a state-of-art alpine binding of its day (mid 1970s to perhaps 1981), but adds a touring mode. Problem is that the touring mode only allows 3.75 inches of heel lift. This resulted in a truncated stride that was uncomfortable (and funny looking) at best, and could damage knee and ankle ligaments due to the jerking motion that ensued.

Complete Marker TR backcountry skiing binding shown above. It has no touring heel elevator post, and heel lift is limited.

Complete Marker TR backcountry skiing binding shown above. It has no touring heel elevator post, and heel lift is limited.

Heel unit in touring mode. Steel bar at front (right) fits under a slot/catch to lock down heel.

Heel unit in touring mode. Steel bar at front (right) fits under a slot/catch to lock down heel.

Heel unit in downhill mode, steel bar is located in the slot.

Heel unit in downhill mode, steel bar is located in the slot.

Another useful feature of the Marker TR is that since the toe and heel are separate, the toe could be upgraded to later models. Thus, the binding was sold for at least a decade with the same heel unit, but with the current Marker toe of the year it was distributed. Made with modern materials, this would probably be one of the lightest weight bindings available.

Weight: One binding with screws, 25 oz., 709 g

Note: For winter of 1969-1970 Marker sold three different adapters for their release binding toe, one of which was the Simplex toe. The binding was configured with a cable and side lugs on the ski. You’d release the side lugs for some heel lift. The Simplex toe held your boot toe down, while the adapters were mostly a side release lockout. You can see an image of the Marker touring adapters here, in a Garcia Corporation ski gear catalog.

Marker TR thumbnail.

Marker TR thumbnail.


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  • 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.

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