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Backcountry Basics: Tech Bindings

Welcome to the second article in Backcountry Basics, a helpful series of short instructional videos and tech tips to get you going for your backcountry skiing adventures! In this edition we will be focusing on tech bindings.

These are lightweight bindings that allow you to go from lock-down downhill skiing to freeing your heel for the uphill.  They rely on spring-tensioned pins to hold your toes and heel in place.  It’s a tricky mechanism to figure out at first, before it becomes your best friend in the backcountry later.  Watch the short video to learn how to step into your tech bindings for backcountry downhill skiing.

Tech bindings

Next up is a video of stepping in and out of your bindings for uphill travel.  This time, the heel piece is turned/ moved back, so that the heel pins are not engaged and the ski can pivot freely from the pins that hold your toes.

Tech bindings

A few details to note:  Make sure the pin holes in your boots are clear of snow and ice.  You can use your ski pole tip to clear them out if necessary.  Also, be sure that there is no snow or ice packed under the spring of your binding toe pieces.  When your tech bindings pre-release, it’s often because of user error:  Keep ‘em clean!

Tech bindings

 

Tech bindings

You can practice using your tech bindings at home before heading out on the slopes.

If you have questions, please comment on our website!  Ready to give it a shot? Check out our Backcountry Skiing program at on Feb 1-5 is the best place to get start earning your turns in the backcountry.

Backcountry Basics: Climbing Skins

Welcome to our very first Backcountry Basics, a helpful series of short instructional videos and tech tips to get you going for your backcountry skiing adventures! This month we will be focusing on climbing skins.

Climbing skins are the tools of the trade for backcountry skiing.  They are strips of material that stick to the underside of your skis or splitboard and give you traction for walking uphill.  Watch the short video to learn how to put skins onto your skis for backcountry skiing.

puttingonskin

A few details to note:  The wired loop should be sized to fit over your ski tip.  The width of the skins should be just narrow enough to show your metal edges.  Work from the top down along the length of the ski.  You can always pull the strip up a foot or two and correct your alignment if necessary.  Wet skins don’t stick:  Keep them out of the snow!

tip attachment

Tip attachment

Backcountry ski tail clip

Tail Clip

Our next video shows how to remove your skins when you are ready to ski downhill.

Removing backcountry ski skins

 

 

A few more tips:

Line your skins up carefully, so you don’t expose the glued side to dirt or other things in your pack.  You can use a small stuff sack to carry your skins.  If you store your skins for a longer time, use a mesh protector to keep the glue of your skins fresh.

long term storage backcountry ski skins

storing backcountry ski skins

Long term storage of skins

If you questions, please comment on our website!  And stay tuned for more backcountry skiing tech tips in our next newsletter.