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Resort Skinning - Do You?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
If you skin up terrain at resorts, check in and share what gear you're on and how well you like it.  Also don't forget what mountains you frequent.

I'm looking to do more of this, this year.

post #2 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Canyonlands View Post

If you skin up terrain at resorts, check in and share what gear you're on and how well you like it.  Also don't forget what mountains you frequent.

I'm looking to do more of this, this year.


This is kind of a touchy subject. 

Many ski resorts here in the West seriously frown on skinning up while the resort is operating.  It's considered to be a hazard because you're often skinning on roads or shallow runs where lots of downhill traffic is occurring. People going UP a ski run present a perception problem for those coming down, much like a driver going the wrong way on a one-way street.

Also, some resorts look on skinners as potential scam artists sans lift tickets who are trying to skin to a point where they can ride upper lifts where the lifties don't check tickets as often as the base lifts do. 

Finally, many resorts I'm familiar with REALLY frown on skinning up early in the morning if there's any avalanche control going on.  It's just plain dangerous to be skinning in an area where there are patrollers throwing bombs above you.

All that said, I've done it a few times here at Jackson Hole.  Usually I would skin for about an hour really early in the morning to get some exercise.  None of the patrollers or trail crew have given me a hard time, but I bet that wouldn't last if it was a common practice with a lot of people doing it.

Sorry I couldn't give you any more concrete info, but I thought I'd lay out some of the reasons people might not respond to this question.

As to gear, I skin with Head im95 OB skis, Scarpa Spirit 4 boots, and Dynafit bindings.  I don't just like that setup, I dearly love it.

Good luck.
post #3 of 16
Check this thread out for a fairly comprehensive list of resort skinning:

http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php?t=82945&highlight=resort+skin


Personally I have skinned at Sunshine Village here in Alberta and Kicking Horse in BC.  Granted though, I'm not skinning up the resort.  I usually get lift access and then skin out to the sidecountry when everything else is skied out.

I know in Alberta the patrol can't do anything about skinners since our resorts are located in a national park and as a result they are required to give right of way to anyone who wishes to hike, snowshoe, skin etc through the resort.  The only time anyone causes a fuss is if you start traveling through closed inbounds areas, but that's to be expected.

As for gear im on Black Diamond Zealots, Marker Barons and Scarpa Typhoons.
post #4 of 16
I will ocasionally skin up A Certain Place before sunrise to poach. I use skis with skins stuck to the bottom (I take them off for the decent). I also wear boots. I would strongly discourage anybody else from doing stuff like this. It's not very sporting.
post #5 of 16
Our resort closes the tram accessing the best offpiste when it's very windy, when there are technical problems, or when they just don't feel like letting anyone have fun. That's a good time to skin up. It's not a marked trail, though, it's an acknowledged "route."
post #6 of 16
Keep in mind when a resort closes the upper mountain because of high winds it can also indicate increasing avalanche hazard.  Many people have died because of mistakes made by lack of avalanche education. 

Also, resorts do not close the out of bounds because they don't want people to have fun.
post #7 of 16
This is very true. In our case, it is more linked to the age of the tram, of 1960s vintage and very wind-exposed.

"Also, resorts do not close the out of bounds because they don't want people to have fun"


Well, maybe not, but then again, you don't know the SkiareaValchiavenna.

Anyway, I didn't say they closed offpiste access (in Europe, that's generally not done, offpiste is at your own risk). I said they closed the lift serving the zone containing the major offpiste routes (as well as a few pistes).

Let's put it this way. The tram serving the best offpiste is (sadly) not "core" for our mountain's management. Opening it is generally an afterthought, regardless of conditions.
Edited by prickly - 12/11/09 at 6:21am
post #8 of 16
First off, the resort has to allow it - many in the US don't.  You have to avoid snowcats, snowmaking equipment (do NOT ski over cords or hoses), and patrollers doing avalanche control work.  Think of how it would ruin your day if the patrol was doing control work and dropped a slide or, perhaps worse yet, a charge on you.    I've been working control routes and had to wait for skinners to clear the area, which besides being dangerous for the people causes delays in opening runs.  Major PITA.  

You also have to avoid people going down the runs.  Early morning before the lifts start spinning (and no control work) is usually the best time if it's allowed at all.  

I just use the same equipment that I use to skin anywhere.  Depending on conditions/mood it's one of my tele set-ups (1) or sometimes my (gasp) AT rig (2) which I generally pull out only for bc runs.  

(1) K2 Work Stinx w/ G3 Ascents/Scarpa Terminators <- rock skis
    G3 Spitfires w/ G3 Ascents/Terminators
    Volkl M-Rocks w/ NTN/Scarpa TX Pros
    Black Diamond Justice w/ NTN/TX Pros

(2) Bro Model w/ Dynafits/Scarpa Spirit 4s

All have BD Ascension skins and I love them all.  The NTN rigs are maybe a little heavy.  I really should put up a picture in the shameless quiver thread, huh?  I don't own any regular downhill equipment.  
Edited by Bob Lee - 12/11/09 at 6:53am
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
I've seen the thread on TGR which is focused mostly on doing this without an area pass or "poaching".  That's not what I'm talking about.  I have a season pass for the areas, which allow uphill travel. 

I skin terrain with friends that are long time employees at these resorts and we've never compromised mountain operations.  We're generally skinning to access areas just inside the resort or just outside it that benefit from avalanche clearing by the resort.  These guys are hooked up with at least some of their gear and I'm not, which I'm glad for because I don't want to ski what they are skiing with.  That's why I started this thread, to see what folks are finding works for skinning, and skiing inside the resort.

Thanks.
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strolz_Boot_Guy View Post

Also, resorts do not close the out of bounds because they don't want people to have fun.


Man - I sure hope you fit boots better than you get jokes.
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Canyonlands View Post

... why I started this thread, to see what folks are finding works for skinning, and skiing inside the resort.

I'll be surprised if in-resort skinning gear differs markedly from bc skinning gear.  Well, I guess except you're likely to find more Marker Dukes and Barons and alpine boots.  But I think the idea of resort-oriented skinning gear seems a bit oxymoronic. YMMV
post #12 of 16
Jer...if you only new.
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strolz_Boot_Guy View Post

Jer...if you only new.


Mna - I sure hope you fit boots better then you spell.
post #14 of 16
The only in resort climbing in North America I have done is at Cranmore Mt in NH :) like 1200 vert tops.
Strolz boots, my old Kneissl white star gs skis with the plate taken off, fritschi bindings, same as for touring.  

My dad climbs like everyday for a workout, but he uses a logging trail just off the edge of the trails to avoid all the above issues, he's dragged me along before to prep for touring in Austria but I'm not a big fan of climbing to something I can take the lift to, I try to only climb if I get to ski something awesome that I other wise wouldn't be able to.

So yeah- my dad loves it for his workout, I think he does the climb in 45 min - hour and its 1000-1200 vert.  
I'm not a big fan of it though :)
post #15 of 16
I'm missing something here. Why would you skin up a resort with a functioning lift?

Backcountry, sure.

I just don't see the logic . Not to mention the safety issues and the legalities.
post #16 of 16
It think a lot of folks will skin up a resort early in the morning (before the lifts open) for exercise.  At most areas, going up a piste is a safe place to climb.  I do it to help with my conditioning for longer tours.  I'm usually by myself and I'm not keen on heading off piste on my own.  If I have an equipment problem, retreating is simpler and safer and if I get hurt, someone will find me when the area opens.  I don't skin up when lifts are running and people are skiing down.  I ride lifts whenever possible.  Some people will skin up ski areas as a group activity on clear, full moon nights.
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