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Climbing skins for 14ers?

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Climbing skins for 14ers?

Postby GregMiller » Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:34 pm

Hey, I was wondering which climbing skins the people on here liked, especially for ski mountaineering on the 14ers.

Currently I'm looking mainly at the BD Ascension Nylon and the G3 Alpinist, although I'm open to suggestions. Generally, grip would be more important to me than glide, and having bomber attachment hardware that won't break halfway up is important. I've had 2 days on some BD Ascension Nylons, which I liked well enough, but they went away, so I wanted to ask what people on here before I invested in a new set of skins.

Thanks,
Greg
Still Here
been scared and battered. My hopes the wind done scattered. Snow has friz me, Sun has baked me,
Looks like between 'em they done Tried to make me
Stop laughin', stop lovin', stop livin'-- But I don't care! I'm still here!
Langston Hughes

Re: Climbing skins for 14ers?

Postby bergsteigen » Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:41 pm

I have 2 pairs of the BD Ascension Nylon skins. One with tail clips, one without. I've used other skins, and have had mixed results. I lost the little metal tail clips to some crappy skins within the first few hours up Quandary in 2008. So don't expect those type of non-BD type "attachable" tail clips to hold on sustrugi and rocks. Since you will beating the crap out of the skins on rocks, just go for the standard BD's. The mohair and other fancy(expensive) speed skins are good for regular BC, not for peaks.
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Re: Climbing skins for 14ers?

Postby Bean » Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:48 pm

If you want grippy and bomber (and as a beginner, you do), you want BD Ascensions. I moved to some lighter, glidier, more packable skins this year but spent a few years with the BDs for mountaineering. I also have some G3s that glide pretty well and have acceptable grip, though I ripped the tip attachment off one a few years ago.
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Re: Climbing skins for 14ers?

Postby RoanMtnMan » Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:13 pm

We own several pair of Ascensions and they are durable, but the new toe clip is a very bad design for modern day ski designs. I have gotten very good at the downward dog yoga position in the ski track. Which is annoying with a pack and for my partners. However I can't disagree that they are a good choice for cutting your teeth in the CO alpine. The G3's are totally comparable and I much prefer their end attachments.

I really like my BD Mohair for long trips and honestly there hasn't been as much of a durability issue as people seem to advertise. The glide is incredible, less weight, and less bulk. In the end, cutting your skins correctly and over-tightening the length matters more than the actual model. People seem to mess that part up and then complain about the product.
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Re: Climbing skins for 14ers?

Postby GregMiller » Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:25 pm

RoanMtnMan wrote:...The G3's are totally comparable and I much prefer their end attachments.
...In the end, cutting your skins correctly and over-tightening the length matters more than the actual model. People seem to mess that part up and then complain about the product.


Do you like the G3's tip attachments? Or just the tail?

And how much do people like to trim off on the side? I know the BD instructions say 1 mm (which is rather ridiculous distance to try to shift a skin over), but I know some people like more base showing, and some like less.

And what do you mean by "over-tightening"? Do you mean you should be keeping it taut, or are people over-tightening, and running into issues because of it?
Still Here
been scared and battered. My hopes the wind done scattered. Snow has friz me, Sun has baked me,
Looks like between 'em they done Tried to make me
Stop laughin', stop lovin', stop livin'-- But I don't care! I'm still here!
Langston Hughes

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Re: Climbing skins for 14ers?

Postby nkan02 » Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:39 pm

I got BD Mohair skins too this year - found a great price on them at Wilderness Exchange a few months back. Only used it on a couple of trips so far, but they glide very well and seem grippy. Last year I had K2 skins, and I have to say that I like BD better. I did not dare to do my own trimming, so Bent Gate did it for me for a very reasonable fee.

Re: Climbing skins for 14ers?

Postby Bean » Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:41 pm

farcedude wrote:And how much do people like to trim off on the side? I know the BD instructions say 1 mm (which is rather ridiculous distance to try to shift a skin over), but I know some people like more base showing, and some like less.

Get your hands on one of the G3 skin-cutting tools.
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Re: Climbing skins for 14ers?

Postby RoanMtnMan » Wed Jan 02, 2013 4:01 pm

farcedude wrote:Do you like the G3's tip attachments? Or just the tail?

And how much do people like to trim off on the side? I know the BD instructions say 1 mm (which is rather ridiculous distance to try to shift a skin over), but I know some people like more base showing, and some like less.

And what do you mean by "over-tightening"? Do you mean you should be keeping it taut, or are people over-tightening, and running into issues because of it?


I like both ends on the G3's, at least better than the BD's.

I trim mine to where I can see about the same amount of base as edge on each side. Though I error toward trimming more than less as side hilling on windblown snow often requires more edge and base. The G3 edge cutter is indeed the best out there. I hit up several shops for leftovers a few years ago so that I have a good supply. It saves a lot of time and frustration.

The tighter the length fit the better. I make sure that mine are really taut with the clip in the middle slot of the tail strap when I cut them. Then I sometimes find myself adjusting a slot shorter under some conditions, but always making sure it takes some muscle to clip. A little annoying on a cold morning but it will save you bigger headaches later. If you get them fit at most shops, I would still recommend reducing the overall length by a slot before using them.

K2 skins only fit K2 skis and it is a bad design. The same with Dynafit, though I like their overall design better.
Always follow the 7 P's. Proper Planning & Preparation, Prevents Piss-Poor Performance.

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Re: Climbing skins for 14ers?

Postby GregMiller » Wed Jan 02, 2013 4:06 pm

Thanks for all the info so far! Definitely helps.

Also, anyone have any experience with skins from climbingskinsdirect.com ? Apparently they don't use DWR on their skins, but rather rely on you waxing them. Anyone have any experience waxing skins, and is it anything at all like applying wax to skis?
Still Here
been scared and battered. My hopes the wind done scattered. Snow has friz me, Sun has baked me,
Looks like between 'em they done Tried to make me
Stop laughin', stop lovin', stop livin'-- But I don't care! I'm still here!
Langston Hughes

Re: Climbing skins for 14ers?

Postby Bean » Wed Jan 02, 2013 4:20 pm

RoanMtnMan wrote:K2 skins only fit K2 skis and it is a bad design.

Could you expand on this? I've got some la sportiva skins (same as K2) for my Lo5s and while I've only been out on them once so far, they worked fine. It's an unusual system for sure but "bad?"
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Re: Climbing skins for 14ers?

Postby RoanMtnMan » Wed Jan 02, 2013 4:39 pm

Bean wrote:
RoanMtnMan wrote:K2 skins only fit K2 skis and it is a bad design.

Could you expand on this? I've got some la sportiva skins (same as K2) for my Lo5s and while I've only been out on them once so far, they worked fine. It's an unusual system for sure but "bad?"


The DWR treatment that K2 uses decreases glide and seems to promote icing. The design is brand specific and though fancy, doesn't save application time and in fact, there is a terrible issue with snow getting under the tip of the skin due to the single connection point. This happens after more than a few trips as the glue begins to degrade. The glue is of different or lower quality than the BD and G3 skins. If you get a 100 days out of yours please post as it will be the first report I have heard. Everyone else seems to start carrying more duct tape and doing a lot of swearing after the first 20 days.
Last edited by RoanMtnMan on Wed Jan 02, 2013 4:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Always follow the 7 P's. Proper Planning & Preparation, Prevents Piss-Poor Performance.

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Re: Climbing skins for 14ers?

Postby EatinHardtack » Wed Jan 02, 2013 4:39 pm

I like my G3 Alpinist skins. They've held up really well for me the past four seasons.
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