The difference between having the time of your life and being absolutely miserable in the backcountry can be a few simple tricks. Donny Roth, a Dynafit athlete and professional ski guide sheds some light on the art of of the ascent. Here are some tips to keep in mind next time you are skinning.
1. Slow and steady wins the race. Focus on proper technique and keeping a solid pace rather than racing up to the top. Pacing yourself means more touring and most importantly, more turns.
2. Be mindful of how you set your track. You want a track that winds gradually with minimal kick turns.
3. Technique will save you. Make sure to keep your weight on your heels for the best grip, take small steps, and slide your skis along the snow rather than stepping up the mountain.
4. Keep your skins warm, dry, and free of ice or snow. Store your skins in your pocket on the descent to keep them warm and ready for the next climb up. Throw a scraper or a block of paraffin wax in your pocket to keep snow and ice from building up.
5. Take care of your skins. They are your lifeline to get out of the backcountry. Take care of them and they will take care of you.