Whether for telemark, alpine touring, or splitboarding, climbing skins may be the most crucial tool for getting uphill.
All climbing skins work by situating tiny hairs to grip the snow when pushed backwards and to glide across the snow when pulled forward. The material can be made from nylon, mohair or a mixture of the two, coupled with an adhesive side to stick to your ski.
Nylon or Mohair?
Pure Nylon Plushes
For most touring applications, it is preferred to have a skin that covers the entire base of the ski leaving approximately 2mm of room on either side of the edge. This provides adequate grip while also allowing the ski to edge into the snow when side hilling.
When in the backcountry, keep your skins close to your body- they work best if kept warm. If you are doing multiple laps try to keep them close to your body and not in your pack. I like to keep them next to my base layer in the pouch that my waist belt from my pack makes inside my jacket, but be careful wherever you stow them, there is nothing worse than getting to the bottom and seeing your skin 500 feet up a run!