Pro Tip: Skin Rolling

Pro Tip: Skin Rolling

A guy I call Mustachioed Ray showed me skin rolling on the windy ridge above Turnagain Pass. He said it saves the glue and makes them easier to deal with in the wind. “I’ve been rolling this pair for five years.” he told me. Like everyone, I doubted him, so I decided to try it with a pair of skins I hated. After two years of rolling those dreadful skins 100 days a year, the glue was still so good I finally just gave up and threw them in the trash. Skin rolling works too well!

When taking off your skins, unclip the tail and roll them toward the base. Not tight or perfect, just loose. Then roll them back on, starting at the skin tip. The glue won’t stick to the plush unless the glue has already turned to bubble gum. Unfortunately, you won’t impress bystanders with a flashy rando skin rip, but you won’t be wrangling your skins in the wind, either. And while your skis are off, check your bases for ice so you can at least ski faster than those spandex-clad rando racers.

Joe Stock is an IFMGA mountain guide, an avalanche educator, a freelance writer, and author of the book, “The Avalanche Factor: Understanding and Avoiding Avalanches.” He’s based in Anchorage, Alaska, and he guides all over the world. 

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