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Backpacker Magazine – Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010

Winter Hiking: Master Winter Travel

Quick tips for your transportation of choice.

by: Kristin Hostetter



SKINS

These mohair or synthetic strips stick to the bottoms of your A.T. or tele skis and provide the traction needed to ascend slopes.

>> As you glide uphill, don't waste energy by picking up your feet too much with each step; instead, skim the ski just above the surface as you move it uphill.

>> Another common mistake: trying to skin straight up a supersteep slope, which is inefficient and draining. Instead, switchback up slopes of more than 35 degrees. (Keane's rule of thumb: If the slope is steep enough to require using your skis' riser bars, it's too steep to beeline.)

>> Separating skins is often like pulling apart Krazy Glue. Speed up the process by buying "cheat sheets" (like Voile's $18 ones, voile-usa.com). Press these long, thin mesh sheets onto a skin's sticky side, then fold the skin in half like a sandwich. This makes it easier to separate later and also preserves the glue's adhesiveness, extending your skins' lifespan.



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