Glide Waxing and Anti-Icing Backcountry Climbing Skins

As counter-intuitive as it sounds, glide waxing climbing skins improves efficiency while backcountry touring. By improving the glide and preventing ice build-up and snow clumping, wax may quicken your pace while reducing effort. On rolling slogs improving the speed you carry on slight downhills is a nice benefit and in some cases, you won’t need to spend the time to remove skins for a short slope and then need reattach them.

Rub-on solids, paste, liquid and spray waxes are easy to apply and coat the skin fibers, but are short lived compared to hot waxing solid glide wax. Like adding heat to wax applications on skis and snowboards, you will typically achieve higher durability (read, longer glide). Of course there is the concern of adding too much heat and possibly damaging your skins or melting the skin glue. But by using as low of a temperature you can to melt and apply the wax of the day (same as on your ski or splitboard bases) to the skin, you can benefit from the easy process as shown in this Toko video. Follow it with a light brushing against the nap after the wax cools to open the nap again.

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