The time, late 1980s. The place, shipyards of Gdansk Poland (where the Solidarity movement began that eventually liberated the country). The heavy hand of communist rule made Western European ski touring bindings difficult to acquire in Poland. Or if you could get them, bindings such as the Silvretta offerings of the time were too expensive. Solution, shipyard machinists and fabricators made about 250 surreptitious copies of the Silvretta 404, mostly by hand and assembled on kitchen tables. Binding donator D says they called it the Trawers (Traverse in English) and it used the heel clamp unit is from a Polish alpine binding named Gamma). Thanks D&W G for the binding, might be the best in the collection! Perhaps the Solidarity movement actually began with thoughts of skiing?
We’ve seen a few other apparently hand-made frame ski touring bindings over the years. Another one in our collection is the Nepal, a massive steel contraption that’s quite amusing.