Now I have minimal experience with climbing skins. Only a few trips on them because I don’t actually own them. They are definitely on my list though for this year. In fact a whole backcountry set up is because there is just way too much good looking terrain around that isn’t accessible by chairlift, and it’s in my exploratory nature to go see it. So, from my limited experience with skinning I can absolutely tell you two things that are fact and indisputable by anyone. 1. Skins make life easy. There is no comparison between post-holing to snowshoes to skins. Skins trump them everytime in any condition. Get a pair of skins. 2. The glue on the bottom of your skins is dumb. Granted, its what is keeping the skins attached to your ski. But its like dealing with a super long piece of duct tape when they get stuck together. I remember trying to separate the skin from itself the first time and thinking “Holy sh#t are you kidding me!” There was actually a brief moment of thought that maybe I wouldn’t be skinning because I can’t get them apart. Not only that but if you get snow on the bottom then they don’t stick very well. Then there is the wasted time spent making sure they’re clean and sticky in the field so they’ll attach to your ski. Which isn’t half as bad as when they get coated in dog hair and have to be stipped of the glue and then re-glued. Booooooo. Regardless of all the hastle though, #1 above still stands. Get a pair of skins.
So why doesn’t anybody make skins that don’t need glue, and say I don’t know, clip onto your skis or something? Well now somebody does. Enter Clip Skins out of Nelson, BC (our friends to the North). Invented by Kaj Gyr and now out of their beta testing phase, Clip Skins are availible to purchase on the Clip Skins Site and are shipping FOR FREE to anywhere in North America. Their $150 and have a 1-year satisfaction guarantee. So for a comparible price to pretty much every other skin on the market you get to save time (more turns), less hastle (more smiles), and if you don’t like them you can ship em’ back (piece of mind). All shipped FOR FREE, in a lovely box, to your doorstep. I love Canadians.
So is there any downside? Depends on how you look at it. According to the website, Clip Skins will take you about 20 minutes longer than traditional gluerskins. But I’m gonna say who cares because in the long run you’ll end up wasting less time on the hill and won’t ever have to re-glue them.
Currently, while you can order on the site, the site is pretty rough. There is a note on it though that says a new one is in the works. But until then, here are a couple of videos that will show you the process of trimming and getting your skins ready for the snow, and then another of them in action.
So here’s to a glueless hastle free life. Thanks Kaj!
Trimming and Installing