Black Diamond Skins

Black Diamond Skins

England, Mike
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Ascension STS Climbing Skins–Black Diamond

A good pair of skins can make the difference between a stellar day in the backcountry and the raging renouncement of all things winter. After one too many days slipping backwards down a skin-track, piercing the alpine silence with curses while my friends top out a quarter-mile above, I decided to bite the bullet and pick up a pair of Black Diamond Ascension STS skins. What a difference. These beauties stick securely to my skis regardless of temperature, grab the snow like lynx paws, and have a handy rear-clip mechanism that lets me peel off the skins without removing my skis (the reverse technique of attaching skins with skis still on is inadvisable, unless you enjoy being laughed at). And although cutting skins to size is arguably an art form, the Black Diamond instructions and sizing kit make it a heck of a lot easier for first-time cutters. $113-$168, depending on size; bdel.com.

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