This week’s Get to Know Your Gear segment will focus on Climbing Skins.
What are Climbing Skins? – Climbing skins, also known as ski skins, are cross country skiing accessories which attach to cross country skis to restrict backward sliding of the skis.
How do they work? – When the skins are attached to the skis, the fibers in contact with the snow lay flat when moving forward allowing for unrestricted forward movement. Alternatively, when sliding backwards, the snow pushes against the grain of the fibers causing the skins to dig into the snow and hold the skis, and skier, in place.
When should you use them? – Typically, climbing skins are only needed when venturing into areas with hills, switchbacks, or any type of ascent where momentum will not carry the skier to the top of the next hill. While they are not always necessary to have on the skis, carrying climbing skins in a pack when cross country skiing is always advised.
Now that you know what climbing skins are, when to use them, and how they work, you are ready to get outside and try some cross country skiing! Remember, climbing skins for Tele Skis or Randonnee (Alpine Touring) are available for rent from the Outdoor Recreation Center. Enjoy the great outdoors!