(This post sponsored by our publishing partner Cripple Creek Backcountry — check them out if you’re shopping for Tecton or Evo.)
Going toe to toe with a Fritschi Diamir Tecton Evo toe, a few pin punches and a torx bit got us to the guts. In pictures. (Since this toe is identical to Fritschi Evo, for the purposes of this article we’ll often term it as “Tecton Evo.”)
Overall impression: Clearly the most intricate touring binding toe available — by a quantum jump. The complexity is due to Fritshi’s effort to combine use of toe pins with a lateral (side) release at the toe. It’s amazing they pulled this off, but not without compromises such as the lack of boot forward release while binding is locked in touring mode. Not only with the Fritschi models, but other companies as well, a tendency in binding design is the attempted integration of features (rather than separation). Examples being brakes that semi-automatically lock up when you go to touring mode, not to mention extra parts and pieces added to allow shifting between uphill and downhill mode without removing your boot toe from the binding. Considering all this, I remain impressed by the basic simplicity and proven performance of the “classic” tech binding form factor — even going so far back as to use the rear “U-pin” type heel springs. But those basic designs do have problems. Only question is it worth solving those problems by adding cost, extreme complexity, possible failure points, ice sensitive components and so forth? Only time will tell us what is what on that — as well as each skier’s needs being somewhat unique. Meanwhile, kudos to Fritschi for their leadership innovation with the Tecton and Evo toe unit, as well as the Tecton heel.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.