Know About Climbing Skins

Climbing skins are stripes which are attached to the underside of the skis while going uphill. It provides traction while ascending to the mountain's top. It prevents back sliding which helps you to take a direct slippery uphill route and offer extra control over yourself. You can remove it when you slide downhill. It was previously made of animal skins, but now it is made of synthetic material like nylon or mohair or a combination of both. Nylon offers better grip than Mohair, but Mohair is lighter and easier for forward movement. So, if the region has soft powder snow, then mohair is preferred and if it has slippery ice, then nylon is recommended. 

Climbing Skins can either cover the entire underside portion of the skis or just the middle area called kicker skins. They are attached to the ski using adhesives, buckles, loop on ski tip, hook on the ski tail, etc. the skin should cover the width but the edges should be free. Before you attach the skins, make sure that the ski is clean and dry. If the ski is freshly waxed, scrap the wax because wax residue may destroy the adhesive properties. Once you are back home after skiing, dry the skins at room temperature. Do not use heater or too much heat, because it may damage the adhesiveness of the skin. Make sure that while skiing the adhesive does not get in touch with dirt, pebbles or grass.

If it is too steep and icy, then skins alone may not provide enough traction. In such a situation, ski crampons are added and attached to the binding hinges, which provides extra traction. If the skin constantly gets wet, it may lose its waterproof feature and snow may clump to skin. To prevent the wet snow from sticking, use glob stopper wax with nylon skins. So keep it in a dry place allow it become dry after skiing. Fold and store them only after drying it

When you use a ski lift such as T-bar ski lifts or any aerial lifts, you don't have to worry about the climbing skins, because the ski lifts will help you to reach the hill top. Climbing skins are popular for backcountry skiing. However, it is safe to use an extra equipment which protects you from slipping down while moving uphill.