UKC

/ How grippy is waxless?

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purplemonkeyelephant - on 06 Jan 2018
Going on 1.5 week trip with sleds - taking Fischer waxless skis, I have skins - my partner doesn't. I used my skis about 2 years ago and I remember the fish scales being very grippy, but I'm having a last minute panic that she won't be able to pull her sled without skins.

We're not going up mountains, just undulating terrain. Should we get the skins? Or just take the skis off if it gets too steep. Trying to save as much money as we can here!
Doug on 06 Jan 2018
In reply to purplemonkeyelephant:

I've never used a sled/pulka but have always taken skins when touring in Norway (also Alps, Pyrenees etc). That's maybe because I've always used waxable skis but skins seem to always work but in certain conditions waxes & fishscales have problems, and it doesn't have to be very steep for skins to be much less effort. How much does a pair of narrow skins cost compared to the cost of your trip?
OwenM - on 06 Jan 2018
In reply to purplemonkeyelephant:

Have you thought about kicker skins? Their short about 18 inch long and fit just under your foot.
Roberttaylor - on 06 Jan 2018
In reply to purplemonkeyelephant:

Where are you going?

I did a trip on undulating terrain last April, I took skins with me but rarely used them. There were no uphills significant enough to justify the time putting on and taking off skis; it was faster to simply take off my skis, stash them on the sled and walk up the hill.
purplemonkeyelephant - on 06 Jan 2018
In reply to Roberttaylor:

Yeah I was thinking the same about just walking up the hill, but had visions of deep snow and long hills! We are going to the Urho Kekkonen national park in northern Finland.

Were you on waxless?
summo on 07 Jan 2018
In reply to purplemonkeyelephant:

Depending when and where you go, you may wish to remain flexible. Many places have above average snow depths for the time of year and winter is not over yet. Spring thaw could be slower or longer, with greater chance of floods etc.. not to mention wading through a metre plus of snow with skis off would be torture.
Nordic - on 07 Jan 2018
In reply to purplemonkeyelephant:

If you're pulling pulks, then having skins would be a very good idea. If the terrain is very flat, then you might get away without them.

If you get temperatures around zero, you end up with sticky snow on the pulk runners, which can require a lot of force to pull.

Taking the skis off and walking will be exhausting, if the snow is deep, you'll struggle to progress more than a few km in a day.
Roberttaylor - on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to purplemonkeyelephant:

Waxless but I did have skins with me. I was on very gentle terrain though with only short uphills and the snow wasn't hugely deep (Hardangervidda last April, a poor snow year apparently).

R
oldie - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to purplemonkeyelephant:

Many years ago tried trekking in Pyrenees with hired totally unsuitable XC fishscale skis (too narrow). Luckily we were carrying light, smallish, fairly cheap snowshoes of T-section aluminium which were great in all except softest snow and good for quite steep slopes....apparently the local guides sometimes cut teeth in the bottom of the T for ascending hard surfaces.

wbo - on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to purplemonkeyelephant: for reference i use Fischer Bc E99 waxless, and i can imagine that pulling a pulk uphill could be a real horror, particularly if its icy.  Definitely take skins.  I have regular Colltex

i also remember a friend screwed hers on at the back when  she traversene Greenland in case the glue gave up.  So be prepared

 

 

Post edited at 17:10
purplemonkeyelephant - on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to wbo:

I've done the sensible thing and ordered some 50mm nylons from Braemar, with tail attachments too in case of mild glue issues.

I don't know why they are so expensive though, they must mass produce the  stuff and I'm not even buying 0.2 square metres of it. 

TobyA on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to purplemonkeyelephant:

> I don't know why they are so expensive though, they must mass produce the  stuff and I'm not even buying 0.2 square metres of it. 

I think ski skins are relatively speaking rather specialist. Most XC skiers will have never heard of them, it's really just the skimo market and very specialist touring. As I said you can buy XC skis, boots binding and poles in all big Finnish supermarkets, the cheap sets for less than €100, but there might have been three or four shops in the country selling ski skins. Back when I ski toured in Scotland in 90s I reckon there were 2 or 3 places in the UK that sold them.

Of course skimo is becoming way more popular in the Alps and N America, but gear prices have been coming down a bit in relation to this I think.

 

Doug on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to TobyA:

When I was a poor student I justified the price by comparing the N° of days touring during the life of a pair of skins compared to the price of lift tickets - I think at the time a pair of 50mm Colltex skins was equivalent to 3 or 4 day tickets at Glenshee or Cairngorm

wbo - on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to TobyA:they are pretty commom in Norway if you're going på fjell.  All the big shops inc. xXL, G-sport and so on will have them in a variety of widths and lenghs.  

 

I always find the price surprising though. And bejeesus - the price at Braemar!  Buy them in Finland

https://www.xxl.no/search?q=Colltex  - xxl in norway

 

Post edited at 20:17
purplemonkeyelephant - on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to wbo:

They are actually about £1 more expensive from XXL than Braemar. I don't think there's any way around it

OwenM - on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to purplemonkeyelephant:

Have you tried Conrad sports?

Nemo9 - on 16 Jan 2018
In reply to purplemonkeyelephant:

Possibly too late for you but I'm selling a pair of Colltex mohair skins for £55. They are brand new in box , 180cm x 68 mm.


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