Pre Production Prototype Low Tech (Dynafit) Backcountry Skiing Alpine Touring Binding circa 1983

Pre Production Prototype Low Tech (Dynafit) Backcountry Skiing Alpine Touring Binding — 1982 1983 1983 — 1st patent 1984

 first Low Tech (now Dynafit) binding that binding inventors Manfred and Fritz Barthel actually skied on, during 1982 and 1983.

first Low Tech (now Dynafit) binding that binding inventors Manfred and Fritz Barthel actually skied on, during 1982 and 1983.

This is the first Low Tech (now Dynafit, generic term “tech” or “pintech”) binding that binding inventors Manfred and Fritz Barthel actually skied on, during 1982 and 1983. It’s made using the basic concepts of the Ramer ski touring binding of the time, only the boot acts as the Ramer binding frame plate, and the ball/socket system of the Ramer is reversed so the balls are on the ski boot and the sockets mounted on the ski. (Later tech bindings would reverse this configuration, with smaller “pins” on the ski that mated with sockets in the boot.)

The boot is a Koflach Valluga, which at the time was the only shoe the Barthels felt might be strong enough to act as a binding plate. As it turned out, just about any plastic ski boot is stiff enough to do the job.

Detail of toe unit. The lever operates a cam used to lock and unlock the binding for downhill skiing or touring.

Detail of toe unit. The lever operates a cam used to lock and unlock the binding for downhill skiing or touring.

Toe unit detail showing retrofitted ball protruding from boot toe. This was later reversed to the present Dynafit concept of pins that seat in sockets at the toe of the boot.

Toe unit detail showing retrofitted ball protruding from boot toe. This was later reversed to the present Dynafit concept of pins that seat in sockets at the toe of the boot.

The heel uses a Ramer latch system, only with the rear part of the Ramer binding plate built into the boot heel.

The heel uses a Ramer latch system, only with the rear part of the Ramer binding plate built into the boot heel.

(Epistemology note: “Dynafit” bindings had no name when the prototype above was in use. Later, when the Barthels decided to make and sell the binding they called it “Low Tech.” When producing the binding themselves they chose the Dynafit Tourlite boot to be used with the binding, which led to the Dynafit company licensing and producing the binding, and calling it “Dynafit.”)

This binding is owned by inventor Fritz Barthel and was photographed by Lou Dawson in Austria, it is not present in the WildSnow.com physical binding collection. Thanks goes to Fritz for allowing us to provide this information and photos.

  Your Comments

  • Jim Milstein: Lou, I was referring to the threaded thingies glued into the skis into whic...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Jim, I just count the boot inserts as part of the boot weight, since most b...
  • Jim Milstein: My black Vipecs (from last year) weigh about 500g each, brakeless, screwles...
  • See: Aside from being an ounce lighter per binding(?), being easier to click int...
  • See: Tecton claimed weight is 550g per pair, no brakes? I’m guessing that’s supp...
  • Tom Gos: So, I purchased the new Mirage walk mode kit to replace the older style one...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Thanks Jim, yeah, I noticed on the Vipec we've got here that you can "cheat...
  • Jim Milstein: Actually, you can adjust further if you don't mind going past the "stop" ma...
  • Jim Milstein: My Black Vipecs have 25mm adjustment for bsl....
  • Lou Dawson 2: I'm working hard on the FAQs, but yeah, some of this info is hard to find. ...
  • Jeff: I am sure I am missing it somewhere do to poor search skills....does anyone...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Hi Shannon, thanks for stopping by, glad you enjoyed Aaron's post. There ar...
  • Atfred: Was in the valley Blanche two days ago, skied up to point heilbrunner, then...
  • Shane: I just read that this was previously covered . Thanks...
  • Katie: It was epic, I was there. Craving more.......
  • Julia Dubinina: Hey Kyle, Just found your comment - it is April, so not sure if you hav...
  • Jim: thanks, subscribed...
  • Eli: Just a last width point, I find the "98mm" of the Atomic Backland to be ple...
  • Trevor: Hey Lou, how would you compare the Helio 95 to the Blizzard Zero G 95? I h...
  • Allan: Lou, Do you have a full spread sheet/ chart you could link to us via googl...
  • Julian: It looks like you have the Onyx and the Ion crampons using the same base pl...
  • Miro: It's never happend to me unless -as Tom wrote- the red lifter wasnt stuck b...
  • Tom: ^^^Only a couple times on the non-magnetic side if I forget to "squish" the...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Working on adding more data to reviews today. Just got the ATKs back from a...
  • Shane: I have used this ski for 2 seasons (average about 10 days resort and 20 day...
  • John Baldwin: Louie, have you got a rough idea how many liters of water you could melt wi...
  • Al: Some of the more sober realists in climate scientists think we may be at or...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Old news. And...?...
  • Al: Closer to home, some estimates are that glacier park won't have any by as e...
  • Bob Berwyn: And it's not just the glaciers. Lou, I know you travel to the Alps frequent...

  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