Climbing Skins are one of the most important pieces of kit in the Backcountry. Having any piece of gear fail completely will likely ruin a backcountry trip, but having a skin fail could have some dire consequences if you are miles from the trailhead or in glaciated terrain. Like most things in life, preventing issues is a lot cheaper and easier than fixing issues.
Climbing Skin Maintenance
Keep your Skin Glue Clean
- Climbing Skin glue has a tendency to attract dirt, dust, grime, grass fibres, pine needles and everything else out there. Any contaminants to the glue will ultimately inhibit the skins ability to stick to your skis.
- Ski wax is a big contributor to skin glue contamination. Waxing your backcountry skis is important, but take care to scrape and brush all excess wax away before applying skins to them.
Keep Your Skins Dry
- Wet skins are heavy skins, ensuring you dry your skins completely overnight and treating them with waterproofing & skin wax will keep them light and fast.
- When drying skins, avoid close proximity to a heat source.
Keep Your Skins Cool
- Climbing Skins are designed to operate in temperatures from cold to super cold. Letting the temperature of your skins get above 25°C is bad for the longevity of skin glue.
- When drying skins go for airy and cool, avoid drying rooms and drying directly in front of heaters or fires.
- Long term storage through Summer (especially in Australia) presents a challenge for skins. The bottom of a cool cupboard is good for long term storage, else a fridge or freezer can be a good choice.