Efficient Uphilling Tips Low means long, steep means short.


Glide, don’t walk.

One of the main mistakes beginner uphillers make is lifting their skis between strides as if they’re walking on snowshoes, which expends a lot of energy. Keep skis on the snow and take advantage of the skin’s ability to glide forward. Simply push/pull the ski forward between strides.

Look uphill.

It’s easy to get fatigued and start looking down at the snow towards your ski tips. This inhibits breathing and can also break your skins’ contact with the snow as you begin to lean forward and push back on your skis instead of pushing them forward. Use longer strides on low-angle terrain and shorter strides when ascending steeper slopes. This also goes for pole length: When ascending moderate to steep-angle slopes, keep poles the same length as when skiing downhill. When traveling on low-angle or flat slopes for extended periods, lengthen poles by 5-10cm to get more propulsion.

Don’t fight the slope.

When skinning at the resort or setting your own skin track, it can be tempting to just charge straight uphill to reach your destinatio­n as quickly as possible. But when the slope gets steep, it’s more energy efficient to travel across the hill—you’ll end up making more switchback­s, but you’ll conserve energy and you won’t have to constantly adjust your binding’s heel riser height. If you’re tempted to adjust your riser to max height, you’re fighting too steep of a slope; if possible, adjust course and climb the slope at a lower angle.

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