Ski Touring Climbing Skins
Ski touring climbing skins are what grant you the ability to break trail through knee deep pow as you cut a beautiful skin-track up the slope, climbing higher and further toward your summit or ridge line. Climbing skins are your lifeline to another dimension, and you best have a grasp of their form and function, as they can make or break your touring experience.
First off, climbing skins are constructed with mohair (hair from the Angora goat) or nylon (synthetic fabric), or more often than not, a combination of both. Mohair is a supple material and offers smooth and efficient glide. Nylon is more coarse, and offers grip and durability. For most people, a climbing skin with 70% mohair / 30% nylon construction is going to be a great, all-purpose option. Full nylon or full mohair climbing skins are options if you're more of a specialist, and desire a specific feel on the skin track.
Climbing skins attach to the ski base through a combination of the adhesive-backed (glue or glue-less adhesive) skin and the tip and tail attachments, which latch or hook onto the tips and tails of your skis.
When considering what length and width climbing skin set to pair with your touring setup, you'll want to know your ski length (cm) and ski width (mm) at the ski's widest point. If your ski length and width fits within the climbing skins offered range (example: 120 mm width and 175-190cm length), then you're set. The skin can be trimmed to width using the supplied skin trim tool, and the tail clip has adjust-ability to fit the length range offered.
Lastly, you'll want to maintain your climbing skins so they last many seasons to come. First, keep your touring ski bases well waxed during the ski season. A dry ski base wrecks skin glue, causing it to ball and clump and peel off. Dry the skins after use by hanging them up away from fires and any dirt or hair that could collect on the glue. Avoid leaving you skins attached to your ski bases for prolonged periods of time. Utilize a 'skin-saver' for long term storage during the off-season. And lastly, always pet your skins to keep them happy.