Pick Your Poison – Methods of Ascent

| September 19, 2008
For ski mountaineering, there are three main methods of traveling over snow; skinning, booting or snowshoeing.  Of these three, skinning is by far and away the most efficient and versatile.  Booting works well when there is an existing boot track, or when the going gets steep.  Snowshoes are better than crawling, but not by much.  Regardless of which method you choose, a critical factor is that everyone in your group uses the same system as the pace and route selection is radically different with each one.  A skin track will wander much more than a boot track and snowshoes will be somewhere in-between.  If you find yourself in a mixed group, the first discussion you should have is where, or if, you will regroup when your party gets separated, because they soon will. 
Birds of a skinning feather... stay together.  Sol Mountain Lodge, Monashees, BC
Birds of a skinning feather… stay together. Sol Mountain Lodge, Monashees, BC


Continued tomorrow…

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Category: 05 Uphill

About the Author ()

Andrew McLean lives in Park City, Utah and is a gear designer, writer, photographer, ski mountaineer, climber, Mountain Unicycle rider and father of two very loud little girls.

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  1. Jim says:

    Great article. I aspire to less crawling this season.

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