Climbing skins are relatively easy to maintain. The only three things which must be checked regularly are the stickiness of the skin and the state of the material and tail.
Examine carefully how sticky the glue is, especially around the tail as this becomes unstuck frequently. New glue can be easily applied on top of the old glue or, if you have plenty of time, the old layer can be removed before being replaced by a new layer. Sprays are great for emergency repairs on multi-day tours.
When not in use, fold the climbing skin on itself, along its sticky side. We recommend you forget about the plastic strips which accompany the skins - they are highly impractical in windy conditions and often the glue remains stuck on the plastic.
Specialised products can be used to treat the material of the climbing skin and ski wax is still highly effective at reducing friction and waterproofing the skin.
The tail of the climbing skin should be rounded off to eliminate edges which cause the skin to become unstuck. Many competitiors shave a the mohair at the tip and tail so as to reduce drag and virtually eliminate the possibility of the skin becoming unstuck (see photo).
1 multi-purpose knife with pliers, screwdriver etc; extremely useful for mending the bindings
2 wire; to fix a binding, ski boot or climbing skin
3 sticky tape; the tape illustrated is nautical and
4 wax; lightweight and easy to carry, these can save the day
5 ski wax; cheap and easy to use, this can stop the snow from sticking to the climbing skin
|Some helpul advice if...
the climbing skin becomes unstuck
- keep it warm; under your clothes or, in extreme cases, with a lighter
- check that the ski is dry and rub it to warm the surface
- use double-sided sticky tape if the glue doesn't stick anymore
snow accumulates beneath the skin
- the only solution is to wax and waterproof the ski as soon as possible
during the tour something breaks
- a small repair kit should always be in the bottom of your rucksack, especially if the tour is longer than just one day. Emergency situations can be dealt with effectively until you get back home. The photo shows the items which make up a basic repair kit