From the day in 1995 these bindings entered the inventory at Summit Canyon Mountaineering in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, I had my eye on them for addition to my selection of samples that would eventually become the WildSnow binding collection. Around 2001 they were still kicking around the shop, with six orange sale tags stuck to the box, each with a lower price. I told the owner I’d give him $25.00 — he groaned and said “done.” I should have paid less.
Until recently, these are the only binding that ever tried to knock Dynafit off their throne of lightweight bindings for skiing the backcountry. While an interesting effort, durability problems made the Silvretta SL hard to market, and they have little provision for ski flex under the foot. More, changing between tour and downhill modes not only requires exiting the binding, but involves a transform that resembles the most challenging mechanical intelligence test you can imagine. Nonetheless they’re interesting. (Binding above is shown in alpine mode.)
Indeed, what prompted this display was an email from someone at Marker, asking me if I had any photos of the SL — hmmmm, I wonder what Marker is up to? Are they working on something to compete with Dynafit? Check out the museum display.
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.