Learning to skin is like learning the alphabet-something you have to do before you start spelling words or linking tours together. It’s a lot like walking, but a bit different. Booting is walking, but unless you are on firm snow, your range will be severely limited as nothing saps your energy like post-holing in deep snow. Snowshoes can be learned via The Twelve Step Program (take twelve steps – now you are an expert), but they lack any sort of glide and don’t climb very well, or if they do, then they don’t float very well. Snowshoes are popular with snowboarders, but eventually, if the boarder is serious about getting deep into the backcountry, she’ll switch over to approach skis or split boards.
- Skin if you can… boot if you must. Greg “GVD” VonDoersten punching out the final feet to the summit of Mt. Damavand, Iran.
Skinning is the most complicated method of the three, as it requires not only the skins, but a touring binding as well and a tad of technique. Still, these are very small prices to pay if you are planning on touring more than once or twice.
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Category: 05 Uphill