Among many other Dynafit projects, Fede supported and pushed the development of the Dynafit Dy.N.A. and subsequently TLT-5 boots. He was instrumental to innovative Dynafit ski boot features many of us enjoy such as the use of Grilamid plastic, low volume lasting, the one-motion ‘Ultra-Lock’ cuff closure system and so much more. In short, Federico and his team of boot developers were what the industry terms “disruptive” to the backcountry skiing boot industry, and things have not been the same since.
I’ve enjoyed quite a bit of interaction with Federico, and call him a friend. Last year he helped out with my Montebelluna boot factory trip, we’ve skied some peaks together, and he’s been a regular commenter here at WildSnow.
One of the things I liked most about Fede was his total disdain for boot modifications. I’d show up at Dynafit press events with my modified Green Machines or TLT-5s, and when we’d first see each other his eyes would immediately track to my feet, to check out what horrible travesty I’d committed to his boots. He’d see hack work such as a missing buckle and just shake his head, frown, then smile and say something like “Americans — they have to modify everything.” I’d laugh and he’d proceed to tell me about what amazing product was in the pipeline — that perhaps I wouldn’t modify?
Two favorite stories about Fede:
Federico is known to be particular about food (some sort of Italian thing, I guess). We’d be at these Teutonic diet huts and the dinner buffet might feature something he liked, mainly meat, or perhaps they’d have some stranger dish that he didn’t approve of. One such time I was serving myself next to Fede. I could tell he wasn’t impressed with the selection. “What do you think of the food, Fede?” I asked. “It’s hell,” was his two word reply.
But the best story happened when Fede was introducing the Dy.N.A ski boot in January of 2009. Our bunch of bloggers and journalists were packed into a mountain hut consuming pastries and beers (Dynafit’s trademark press seduction technique), while Fede stood in front going over all the then quite interesting and even amazing features of the boot. But it did look expensive. Finally one ski writer shouted out something like “how much will they cost?” We all knew the boot looked pricey with carbon cuff and so forth, but how expensive?
Fede’s one word answer enunciated with Italian cadence and flair, including hand gesture: “Mille.”
A few gasps and wows followed that, as Dynafit was setting a new price-point for a mass market ski touring boot. I’ll never forget the moment. Thanks Fede and best wishes on your new job.
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.