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Ski Skins FAQs

Why were the first ski skins made of seal hide?

Seals fur is naturally angled towards the tail. This allows a seal to trap a pocket of air against their body, keeping them insulated from the freezing arctic waters. This angling also works to prevent anything in contact with the seal from moving from the tail up towards the head when in contact with the fur. The friction when going against the grain of seal hide, combined with the water resistant properties of it, made it an ideal solution for the problem that ski skins are designed to solve.

How is backcountry skiing different from resort skiing?

 The biggest difference is safety. A ski resort spends a good portion of their manpower in an around the clock effort to make their resort as safe as possible for the patrons. This results in a place with the avalanche danger removed. If there is avalanche danger, the resort closes until they can alleviate it. In the back country however, no such safety network exists. This means that cornices and other formations are of unknown stability, and the back country skier must be familiar with what signs signal a dangerous location, and how best to avoid the dangers presented by un-groomed conditions.

If backcountry skiing is so dangerous, why does anyone do it?

Every backcountry skier will have their own reasons, but some of the most commonly heard are for the love of fresh powder, for the beauty, the isolation, and the challenge. In the backcountry, there aren’t hundreds or thousands of other skiers competing with you for space. There is just natural beauty in its unmitigated splendor, and fresh, untracked powder as far as your eyes can see.

 

 

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