Category Archive: Skinning

Techniques for ascending with climbing skins

May 19 2014

Technique: Meanderthal Mind Games

A classic Tahoe track. Not ridiculously steep, not low angle either.

  More than anything, making and taking a low angle skin track is a mind game. The natural tendency is to go steeper, afterall that is the shortest line and the shortest line should be the fastest, right? Indeed it can be, for a short pitch or a single ascent with a small group. However …

Keep making backcountry turns

Apr 10 2013

Meanderthal Conversations

Gilski drops a knee and takes a powshot to the head.

  It had been a long time, too long, since we had all skied together. At least five years. Gilski and I had rendezvoused a few times at Mammoth in the interim but the last time I skied with Lou was at Onion Valley back in ’97 and with Rober’ it had been since ’05 …

Keep making backcountry turns

Apr 08 2013

Technique: Waxing Skins – How & Why

Glopped up! Time to stop and administer a waxy cure.

  Waxing skins is an essential part of taking care of your climbing skins which will also improve their performance. While skins are used for their climbing ability, their ability to glide when sliding between grip modes will help you climb faster. It does so two ways. Wax On? Most importantly it can prevent a …

Keep making backcountry turns

Apr 03 2013

Technique: Meanderthal avy assessment

Ooops. Guess Judah's east bowl wasn't as stable as last visit.

On a recent local lazyboy tour I hopped Sugar Bowl’s Judah chair for a fast slingshot into the backcountry. The summit chair wasn’t open, but that was fine, it’s only a 20 minute skin to the top and if you set the line right you can experience snow conditions from the northwest all the way …

Keep making backcountry turns

Jan 01 2013

TR: West Shore Lake Tahoe (31dec12)

The spirit of Dan floats down through Sierra Cement.

  Yesterday was a classic Powder Monday. Two old ski buddies were in town and the plan was simple — take a tour somewhere around Lake Tahoe. West Shore beckoned and we took the bait. Russ, Ethan and I rendezvoused at The Back Country then headed south on Hwy. 89. There were three parking pull-outs …

Keep making backcountry turns

Jun 27 2012

Technique: Steep Skinning

Keepin' 'er steeper - Scott Sady takes the straight line up.

  As much as I lobby for people to wake up to the advantages of setting a low angle skin track, the fact of the matter is most people prefer to set and/or follow a steep track. By steep I mean in the neighborhood of 20°. Without actually measuring it, how do you know you’re …

Keep making backcountry turns

Jun 05 2012

BC Technique: Downhill Kick Turns

A nice set of sharp edged switchbacks up an Alaskan face.

…the downhill facing kickturn is one of the first skills taught to a beginner at a Nordic center, thus it may be difficult for those who have no experience in Nordic gear to appreciate this turn. It’s a turn I’ve seen humble some pretty accomplished skiers in their first attempt.

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