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: Odd that wind power is not being mentioned; it's growing rapidly and is muc...
  • Lou 2: See, I totally agree, petroleum in general is clearly not sustainable, I'm ...
  • See: I don't think fracking is sustainable. I agree storage is key. I think it w...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Just about everyone I see skiing aggressive locks their toes. I locked mine...
  • Lou Dawson 2: See, I totally agree we need to adjust our way of life, already happening. ...
  • See: I think I get the point— we need to prioritize helping people effected by c...
  • See: In firm, high consequence situations, that is....
  • See: In my opinion, the major prerelease issue with tech bindings is related to ...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Ok, yeah, not the best example. Need something more extreme, or just imagin...
  • See: false dichotomy...
  • Lou Dawson 2: See, in my opinion it's not that simple. It's somewhat of a life raft dilem...
  • Joe John: Excellent pictorial!...
  • See: The question is not, “can we totally reverse the effects of centuries of co...
  • Naum: Thanks, that is a big minus......
  • DG: Hey guys, been following this for a while and about to pull the trigger on ...
  • Lou Dawson 2: No cuff angle adjustment in Sportiva ski boots new models. Lou...
  • Naum: I wonder if canting option is still present?...
  • Matus: The helmet holder from mammut is not good - too universal to be of any use....
  • Lynne Wolfe: Next I want to go. Been too long since a Canadian hut trip. Nice write-up, ...
  • Boris: @ Mammut Dave are you going to produce some 3.0. Alyeska Vest in the future...
  • Lee Lau: @Kristian - its' buried in the video but last week of January 2017 @Sedg...
  • Kristian: What dates/time of year were you there?...
  • Marc: Wow! These Tectons look to be just what i wanted. I have broken my left...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Lars and all! I got the sizing numbers, they're added to the bottom of the ...
  • JCoates: @BillyGoat, I'm sure you know this, but the PNW has a wetter, heavier (w...
  • Kristian: alfred +1 Amazing to watch what skiers did with lace up leather boots ma...
  • SedgeSprite: What sort of quivers were present? Did you focus on wide and light to maxim...
  • Lou Dawson 2: I ski with people all the time who do beautiful skiing in 1-kilo class boot...
  • atfred: Team Weasel +1 An old curmudgeon told me a long time ago that if you c...
  • Lars Löfgren: Does anyone know the Backland Ultimate boots sole length of the different s...

  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