Tag: uphill

Skinning in the Sandbox

Skinning in the Sandbox

| February 4, 2009 | 9 Comments

While skinning up Argenta today I was reminded of the term “skinning in a sandbox.”  About the only silver lining on this condition is the apt and funny mental imagery of actually skinning uphill in a sandbox, but aside from that, it is a very frustrating experience.  What makes it so annoying is that it […]

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Skinning Outside the Box

Skinning Outside the Box

| February 2, 2009 | 10 Comments

A common skinning malady is to turf face-first just as you are committing to an uphill kickturn on a steep, greasy switchback.  This can be fun the first few times it happens, but gets old quickly and can be easily remedied.  Over time, skin tracks get beat-out for a variety of reasons.  One of the […]

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Death by a Thousand Missteps

Death by a Thousand Missteps

| January 30, 2009 | 10 Comments

I’m always tormented when I see ragged skin tracks as I feel compelled to say something, yet at the same time it’s hard not to come across as being rude.  “Excuse me my friend, but do you know your skinning technique is all phucked up?”  It’s kind of like seeing someone with an open fly […]

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It’s All About the Up

It’s All About the Up

| January 29, 2009 | 22 Comments

Coming from an alpine skiing background, it took me a few years to warm up to the idea of backcountry skiing. It didn’t help that the guy I learned how to backcountry ski from was wicked-fast, which meant my early outings were exhausting efforts of trying to keep up where all I could think was […]

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Pick Your Poison – Methods of Ascent (part II)

Pick Your Poison – Methods of Ascent (part II)

| September 20, 2008 | 5 Comments

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 […]

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Pick Your Poison – Methods of Ascent

Pick Your Poison – Methods of Ascent

| September 19, 2008 | 1 Comment

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.  […]

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Winning the Uphill Battle – Part III

Winning the Uphill Battle – Part III

| August 13, 2008 | 2 Comments

Efficient ascents are a blend of pacing, route finding, technique and equipment.  Like rolling a ball uphill, your approach to skinning should vary according to conditions and terrain, but the underlying idea is to find the most expedient way possible, while not losing any ground.  Skinning isn’t always about mellow 12 degree shuffling. The fastest way […]

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Winning the Uphill Battle – Part II

Winning the Uphill Battle – Part II

| August 12, 2008 | 2 Comments

continued from yesterday… A good way to learn is to follow in the footsteps (or more likely, skin tracks) of more experienced skiers.  Try to match their stride, look where they plant their poles, get a feel for the all day ascent angle, mimic their posture, and generally try to absorb what they are doing, […]

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Winning the Uphill Battle – Part I

Winning the Uphill Battle – Part I

| August 11, 2008 | 4 Comments

Struggling uphill is an acquired taste that doesn’t come naturally to most people.  It’s hard, slow, sweaty, frustrating and at times monotonous, but if you can get over this, it is your ticket to backcountry bliss. The effort involved with earning your turns is the basic barrier that keeps the backcountry, being what it is […]

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2008 Hans Saari Memorial Fund Ski Mountaineering Camp

2008 Hans Saari Memorial Fund Ski Mountaineering Camp

| June 15, 2008 | 1 Comment

The second annual Hans Saari Memorial Fund Ski Mountaineering Camp took place June 9-13 in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  The camp is a unique program put together by the Hans Fund to teach kids how to go ski mountaineering.  Organized through Exum guides, the camp features two days of background training, then a trip into the […]

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