A Week of Colorado — More Powder, G3 Alpinist Skins & Ski Testing

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | February 29, 2008      

After Monday off to recover from doing support at 24 Hours of Sunlight, the WildSnow crew hit a good week of backcountry skiing and gear testing. Results:

Colorado backcountry skiing.
Louie nails it in Marble, yesterday. On G3 Saints.

Colorado backcountry skiing.
G3 Alpinist climbing skins.

So, Wednesday found us up in the western Elk Mountains south of here, working on finding some new terrain. We started that tour at fairly low elevation and encountered variable snow that could easily cause skin icing problems. My buddy on unnamed nylons got some nice heavy ice wads under his feet — even with glop stopper. My feet were fleet, however, because I was using the latest Alpinist skins from G3.

I’ve been testing the Alpinist skins for a few weeks now, and can honestly say I’m delighted. For starters, the G3s seem to respond really well to waxing. I did get some icing during some of my first tests, when I intentionally did not wax. But even then I got less ice than folks on other brands were getting. Now, I wax before any tour where icing is possible, and it’s been obvious that this skin is much more resistant to icing than anything else I’ve been using. On top of that, it glides better than any other nylon skin I’ve used, climbs great, has super sticky glue — and more. Honestly, these things are a step above. Six thumbs up from the WildSnow crew.

Colorado backcountry skiing.
Glide and anti-ice are the G3 skin’s best feature, but their tip attachment isn’t too shabby. Check out how these clips conform to just about any tip shape. More, they’re wear resistant compared to the shredded cables and chopped up wire that high mileage skins may end up with.

Colorado backcountry skiing.
“Wimp patch” installed on G3 Alpinist climbing skins.

G3 glue is so sticky we didn’t even leave the house till we’d installed a “wimp patch” in the tip area. Indeed, the G3 tip fix system lays the front of the skin so flat on the ski tip, snow doesn’t tend to work it’s way underneath as easily as other fix methods, so our “wimp patch” works super well. More, I’ll be adding a wimp strip down the length of the skin just as soon as I buy more nylon tape. G3’s tail fix system is nicely molded into the skin. But we find their system to be a bit fiddly in comparison to our own Rat Tail method, and to other systems that stay length adjusted and are easily clipped on after each lap, such as Black Diamond STS, or the Dynafit system.

Since we’re on the subjects of G3 and this weeks trips: Yep, we’ve been out a few other times. Marble area yesterday was exceptional. I was pleasantly surprised to find bouncy skiable powder was still persisting on most exposures. That’s about four days since the last percip, and with the solar cooking of late February. It’s said we have a “quiet sun” this winter that’s sending less heat our way. Could this make powder persist slightly longer before it gets sun damaged? More, if we have a hot summer and everyone blames it on global warming, when we have a cool winter does that mean we have global cooling? But that’s fodder for another blog… Meanwhile:

Colorado backcountry skiing.
Still feeling worked from 24 Hours, on Tuesday we did a cardio climb up one of our ski areas, then did some lift laps for ski testing. The runs had a nice coating of chopped pow. Louie and Dave gave the G3 Saints a good workout, then Louie used the Saints again yesterday in Marble. Conclusion so far: They’re a bit heavy, but state-of-art as a ski that eats hardpack but also dominates in the soft. Nice job G3! Louie also did more skiing on the BD Stigmas. Those guys are light weight and versatile, but when used in soft snow you end up wanting more width under your feet. (More Stigma feedback: Our team member Mike used the Stigma for his race ski at 24 Hours of Sunlight. He really liked them as a smooth hardpack ski.)

Also during our test day, I rode the K2 Bakers. At their short length and weight they were not the ideal ski for the chop rodeo, but that’s to be expected. In everything else this week they’ve been exceptional. Dave’s huge Kilowatts were of course the hands down winner for bucking the skied out pow, but that’s a given as well.

Colorado backcountry skiing.
More Marble, yesterday. Louie again enjoying global cooling on G3 Saint.



Please Enjoy A Few Suggested WildSnow Posts


58 Responses to “A Week of Colorado — More Powder, G3 Alpinist Skins & Ski Testing”

  1. Tony February 29th, 2008 11:36 am

    Lou, what material do you use for the whim patch. How to you secure it and how do you keep it from coming off on the other side when you fold the skins together.

    Also, could you give me some tips on folding the alpinist skins? I have tried folding them the same way I do my Ascensions, but they are so thin/light/floppy they often end up getting stuck glue to glue in spots where I don’t want them to.

    Thanks for you patience in answering my questions. Tony

  2. David Aldous February 29th, 2008 12:09 pm

    I’ve also been enjoying the alpinist skins this season.
    I’m assuming that the wimp patch is just to make getting the tip detached easier when transitioning from up to down.
    In a recent G3 news letter it looked like their for women version of the alpinist skins that comes out next year had a glueless strip on it in addition to the different colors.

  3. Lou February 29th, 2008 12:14 pm

    Tony, the wimp patch is just thin nylon fabric, cut it to shape then burn edges with lighter so it won’t unravel. If you don’t like it, you can take it off. (Wash the fabric in plain water first to remove any treatments that might make it adhere less). When I fold the skins, I do it in such a way as to not place glue against the nylon. Just like you, I have problems with the skins sticking together as I try to fold them. What I do to prevent that is work with the ski tip down. I then strip the skin about 2/3 way and while it’s anchored by tip, I fold with care, I thin do the tip section. This rather than stripping skin all the way off first. I learned this method a long time ago for folding skins in the wind.

  4. David Aldous February 29th, 2008 12:35 pm

    What are the specs on the Saints? I didn’t hear a whole lot about G3 from the last OR show.

  5. Ron E February 29th, 2008 11:36 am

    Hi Lou – Can you please be more specific about the nylon tape that you use for your wimp strip, and where you can get this tape? I couldn’t find any tape like this at the hardware stores in my town, but have used Gorilla Tape with success. Thanks.

  6. cory February 29th, 2008 1:29 pm

    “More, if we have a hot summer and everyone blames it on global warming, when we have a cool winter does that mean we have global cooling? But that’s fodder for another blog…”
    You remind me of my 6th grade students who call each other names and then cry when they get popped in the mouth. Don’t say it and then run away.

  7. Lou February 29th, 2008 12:57 pm

    David, see our weights page for specs:

    G3’s line of skis looks really good. They’re not as low mass as some offerings, but they are highly refined in terms of design and ski great. Though I like fairly light skis, I believe that with Dynafit bindings the weight of ski and boot is less critical than it used to be, so all skis are an option. Thus, we’re using and testing skis such as G3 and Black Diamond that are sometimes not as light as those such as Goode, Dynafit Manaslu or K2 Baker SL, but may be very effective on the downhill.

  8. Randonnee February 29th, 2008 2:00 pm

    Cory, was that a personal attack? Why? This was a perfectly legitimate point, without any directed attack:

    “More, if we have a hot summer and everyone blames it on global warming, when we have a cool winter does that mean we have global cooling? But that’s fodder for another blog…�

    There is no need for me or anyone to protect Lou here, but I would invite those who lack tolerance for any slightly differing views to allow intelligent discussion. It is quite a bore to constantly observe such unchanging intolerance demonstrated by narrow-minded mush-brained fanatic sniveling liberals.

  9. cory February 29th, 2008 2:09 pm

    “invite those who lack tolerance for any slightly differing views to allow intelligent discussion. It is quite a bore to constantly observe such unchanging intolerance demonstrated by narrow-minded mush-brained fanatic sniveling liberals.”
    I totally agree…that’s why I didn’t like the idea of bringing it up and then running away by saying that it is “fodder for another blog.” Don’t bring it up if you don’t want to talk about it. As far as taking the high road from personal attacks and name calling, I’m not sure you should necessarily be the refree on this one.

  10. AJ February 29th, 2008 2:17 pm

    Hi Lou,

    Most readers probably don’t mind it if you focus on skiing and gear tests for a while, the global warming debate is perfect for next summer 🙂

  11. Lou February 29th, 2008 2:18 pm

    Lighten up Cory, comparing a rhetorical aside to being narrow minded seems to be a bit of a reach… If you want my take on this stuff, see my “manifesto” here:

    Besides, who said I didn’t want to talk about it?

  12. Lou February 29th, 2008 2:22 pm

    AJ, indeed, who wants to debate GW when we’re having a cold snowy winter? Besides, I’m the one that ages ago said that GW could bring us more snow due to warmer air carrying more moisture. If we’re enjoying that, then I’m going skiing and will leave the keyboard to recover whenever possible from the constant pounding (grin).

  13. cory February 29th, 2008 2:37 pm

    I completely agree with your stance on global warming and I never called you narrowminded. My point is this, I felt that by saying it is “fodder for another blog” that it was a hit and run. The fodder was in this blog…address it in this blog (as we are doing now).

  14. Randonnee February 29th, 2008 2:42 pm

    There is some interesting data about cold temperatures this winter, along with some interesting articles etc.

    Some of us who may not be convinced of the GW enthusiast doom/ gloom scenario have actually read about the various viewpoints. It is a bit of a reach beyond solid science to make some of the popular conclusions.

    It will be indeed entertaining to read the continued fanatic devotion to this GW religion as observed data fail to properly follow the views and goals of the anti-human western-civilization-hating fanatic environmentalists.

  15. Bdc February 29th, 2008 2:44 pm

    Okay Lou, onto to something more important – when is the Manaslu review coming?!

  16. Lou February 29th, 2008 2:55 pm

    Okay, fine. I’ll bite.

    I’m not up to speed on this sunspot thing and the “quiet sun,” but I’ve heard it could wipe out the small amount of of 100% provable global warming we’ve had. Any take on that? Probably too early to tell is what my gut says…

  17. Bill Bollinger February 29th, 2008 2:56 pm

    Hey Lou

    I was wondering if there was any evidence of skins tending
    to ice up more with age ?
    Possibly from the fibers fraying or being scored thru use.

  18. Lou February 29th, 2008 2:57 pm

    I’ve had it (grin). I’m going out the shop and mounting the Manslus. We were waiting for the bindings and they came yesterday.

    You guys hold down the fort while I’m gone.

  19. Chris February 29th, 2008 3:03 pm

    Lou –

    What would think about using the Stigma for general purpose ski mountaineering? Dimensions seem to be in the range, with perhaps a bit more sidecut, of other skis (i.e. Shuksan, Tacora) that serve this purpose and weight seems decent as well. What do you think?


  20. cory February 29th, 2008 3:04 pm

    What is your view on GW? I don’t want to know what people you don’t like. Help us understand your viewpoint. Share those articles with us. Who knows, you and I might be closer than you think. You might be able to get people to see things your way. Open dialog.

  21. Lou February 29th, 2008 3:36 pm

    Chris, I think Stigma is one of the top skis for human powered spring corn/firn skiing, if the production models match the weight of what we have. I need to check that factor… I can get my hands on a production model near here, so will do so fore with.

  22. Randonnee February 29th, 2008 4:14 pm

    The Stigma dimensions are similar to the Seven Summit, I believe. My new Seven Summits with the Zzero3C boot seems to be after a few tours and a lift day the best ever all-conditions well-performing ski. Anyway, I learned of the Seven Summit right here on Wildsnow so thanks for all the good gear information.

    Here in the Wenatchee Mountains recently has been corn or wet snow up to 5000 ft and cold seasonal snow ( a few inches of powder) on a consolidated base above 5000 ft, with some tricky crusts on some aspects and mush on others. The Seven Summit has handled it all comfortably, actually with ease.

  23. Louie February 29th, 2008 4:21 pm

    The material we used for the wimp patch was cut out of an old stuff sack, so one side had a slick coating on it, and the other side didn’t. The uncoated side stuck really well to the skin, while the coated side didn’t. I don’t think we will have to be to carefull of it pulling of because of this.

    You can find the type of tape BD uses as a wimp strip at a sewing or fabric store. I think it is called nylon tape. It is basically just a strip of ripstop nylon about an inch wide. I think it is used in sewing for making certain kinds of seams.

    Louie Dawson

  24. Lou February 29th, 2008 4:47 pm

    Randonnee, yep, I’ve used the Seven Summit a ton, that and Trab have been my go-to skis for almost all spring skiing. I found I liked something wider for powder skiing and for difficult (non based) powder, but it still worked. If it didn’t have the blunt tip with the skin fitting it might be slightly better in difficult pow when the tip is required to do something other than be there for a skin anchor. Keep in mind I ski a fairly short pair.

    Taking a break from the workshop. Back to it now…

  25. Steve February 29th, 2008 5:53 pm

    What do you do on the G3 skins if that new tip design fails (like rips out of the material)? Is there enought extra material to fashion a regular style tip?

    Also, one solid feature on the BD skins is that under the “wimp strip” there is glue so you can instantly refurbish your failing tack. Maybe this was mentioned, didn’t read everything, I am at work.

  26. Steve February 29th, 2008 5:53 pm

    What do you do on the G3 skins if that new tip design fails (like rips out of the material)? Is there enought extra material to fashion a regular style tip?

    Also, one solid feature on the BD skins is that under the “wimp strip” there is glue so you can instantly refurbish your failing tack. Maybe this was mentioned, didn’t read everything, I am at work.

  27. Lou February 29th, 2008 5:56 pm

    Steve, if the tip design fails it’s time to fashion something out of duct tape and bailing wire. It seems pretty strong, however…

    Yep, the BD skins have glue under the wimp strip. So will the G3’s when we apply our own.

  28. youngdave February 29th, 2008 7:26 pm

    Hey Lou,
    I really enjoy your site and blog. I was wondering if you or any of your crew had tested the climbingskinsdirect.com skins. Evidently they are a Jackson based operation that only sells a proprietary climbing skin in a couple of iterations. I’m reluctant to shell out cash on anything other than BD skins because I’ve never had much luck with anything else. I mainly tour in the northeast where extreme cold and high humidity make good glue a necessity. I’d love to hear about any other types that you’ve had luck with.

  29. Eric Steig February 29th, 2008 7:37 pm

    Guys guys.

    Has it ever occurred to you, when the discussion turns to global warming, how it appears to those of us actually in the business of studying the matter (as professionals I mean)? It appears rather like a bunch of people who don’t ski, talking about skiing. With absolutely no offense intended, the kind of stuff that I see here — including from you Lou, sorry! — is really not very enlightening. For example, there is tons of good information on the solar forcing aspect to this. Why not read up on it a little — and from credible sources, if you want to speculate about it? It is readily accessible. Sorry, but solar changes are not going to “wipe out” global warming. Sure, a very low sunspot decade could give us colder temps, on average, for a while. But that won’t change the radiative physics of greenhouse gases, which are increasing steadily and will continue to do so, regardless of what the sun does. Get used to this fact, because it is not going away. Indeed, we’ve known it for 100 years. I’m a huge huge fan Lou, but you don’t know what you’re talking about! I’m not saying that all the doom and gloomers do either (most of them don’t). But poor information on one side, plus poor information on the other adds up to zero, not enlightenment.

  30. Lou February 29th, 2008 8:00 pm

    Eric, I was actually reading up on it today. That’s what got me to mention it… But you make good points and I’ll try and do better. It seems there are some various scientific opinions about this and it’s not all cut and dried. Like lots of science?

    Youngdave, if Climbing Skins Direct gives us a shout, I’m sure we could include their product in all our testing. But keep in mind we’re not making a big project out of skin testing, we just thought the G3 skins might be something interesting due to info I got, and sure enough they are! As for BD, I’d stick with them if that’s what you like. Their STS tail fix is a good tail fix, IMHO, and we have many sets of them that have lasted and lasted. We have no durability read on the G3 skins, this is just a firstlook.

  31. Lou February 29th, 2008 8:07 pm

    Bill, as for skins icing more with age, I think you’re onto something there. In my experience, now that I think back on it, that might have happened to me with nylon skins. But only with skins that were used a huge amount. And a good rub of wax makes a huge difference with any skin.

  32. George T February 29th, 2008 8:53 pm

    I just received new skins from climbingskinsdirect.com and ran them up Tiehack and Buttermilk bowls today. I did not wax them before use and experienced both clumping and frozen skins near the top, which I attribute to no wax and sections of slush mixed with cold shaded forest. The glue is very strong and seemed to stick better on the frozen sections of skin. The skins climb great, but glide seemed to suffer on my Pocket Rockets. I bought the skins based upon the twintip attachment feature and fair price. I plan a long slog on Sunday (with wax) and can give you more feedback. George

  33. John W February 29th, 2008 9:06 pm

    Wow- I thought I invented bungee back to a screw , aka ‘rat tail’ skin attachment. I still have them, white Montananyl 50mm. I think there is no doubt, old skins lose their DWR. Do you have any experience with Nikwax Ski Skin Proof?

  34. Randonnee February 29th, 2008 9:19 pm

    Yes I agree Lou that I like my FR 10 for powder, and enjoy my 70 waist Chogori more on hardpack. From my experience thus far, the 80 waist Seven Summit feels like the best width for stiff 3 buckle randonnee boots while ski touring all snow conditions- the best one ski quiver. The Seven Summit feels stiffer and torsionally stronger than my old Shuksans- important for my 100 kg carcass. So aside from the light weight, the Seven Summit also has enough of what it takes to let ’em run a bit.

    In regard to skins, I am pleased with my two pair of Coll Tex, mohair for powder and nylon for wet snow/ corn. My impression is that the Coll Tex are thinner and lighter than the BD, a big plus for me. My mohair/ nylon (I think 60/40) Coll Tex skins have 3 seasons’ use which would be > 200 touring days and are holding up just fine.

    In regard to the professional scientific view of GW, the IPCC Report as I last read it is not conclusive. To draw such definitive and strong conclusions as is popular in large segments of today’s society is more politics and sometimes religion for the GW gloom and doom sycophants.

    Further I do not see the need to pledge fealty to PHd self-important individuals who demand acceptance and loyalty to their view simply because of their credentials and success and their ability to convince someone to pay them a living in exchange for their words and ideas. The science and collected data should speak clearly of its own merit. If one is a scientist it would appear that their comments would address the science and data, not the individual eg “you don’t know what you’re talking about.” It would seem that a scientist of character would be able to clearly explain the science and data without the need to attack anyone, and such a scientist perhaps would have enough confidence in the science that he is describing to refrain from nervously inflicting degrading comments and partisanship.

    I admire those whose genius enables them to explain very complex science in a logical and organized manner that allows others to understand it, to render the complex as simple to understand. I find it nauseating the number of apparently average-intelligence “scientists” who just confuse complex issues with a lot of opinionated and unorganized babble that betrays the scientific method. It would appear that there may be an assumption that those outside of “the field” are unable to understand the issue and if so, that would certainly comprise a bigoted view.

  35. Doug February 29th, 2008 9:23 pm

    Global warming… boring. What are you doing, Cory, in your little part of the world to improve things. How did you last arrive at your favorite ski destination. Ride a bike Re Goran Kropp? Me, Hi-flow K&N air filter and try to drive as if I don’t have brakes. Also big fan of skicarpool.org. More of a concern to me and my ski bases is the dust problem we occasionally experience here in Colorado. Are all the Texans and Californians now favoring Utah for second and third homes? Sidenote; what wax do folks favor for skins… glopstopper? Cheers

  36. Eric Steig March 1st, 2008 12:08 am


    You wrote “it seems like there are lots of scientific opinions about this.” Sure, fine. Scientists like talking about the interesting stuff, which is the stuff we don’t fully understand. But the media plays it up as if this kind of scientific discussion somehow casts doubt on the idea that humans are causing serious changes in the atmosphere (we are, period) that may have serious consequences for how we live. For example, you’ll see big debates about the likelihood of collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet, or the likelihood of mass coral die-offs. Both of these are really difficult to predict. But neither of these examples have any bearing on the basic stuff. Some scientists think we can pretty much rule out the possibility of more than 6 degrees C of warming in the next century. Some think we can’t. Nobody serious thinks it is at all likely to be less than 2 degrees C. Either end of this spectrum has serious consequences. That’s pretty much cut and dried!

  37. George T March 1st, 2008 7:44 am

    Quiet Sun or GW:
    God love the “quiet sun” this season.
    A healthy skepticism has served me well thru Y2K, pandemics, the early 1970s Ice Age, Acid Rain, Bird Flu and the latest doom and gloom global warming. Check out:
    Make up your own mind…critical thinking versus group thinking.
    Lou — Buttermilk bowls is also light, bouncy and a great long lunch trip.

  38. Lou March 1st, 2008 9:19 am

    I didn’t bite much on Y2K and was hoping the ice age was coming, but shoot, everything just sort of stayed the same. Had a friend who stashed thousands of $$ of stuff in his garage for Y2k, I’ll bet he’s still eating the survival food. Have to admit I thought about doing the same thing, and actually did borrow a few 90 lb propane tanks from my neighbor in case the electric system failed for a period and we needed to heat the house. As for global warming, I guess I’m preparing by getting more wider skis (grin).

  39. Tony March 1st, 2008 10:57 am


    I will try you technique of folding the alpinist skins while the tip is still stuck to the ski.

    However, how do you fold it when you have to take the skin completely off the ski before folding, such as when doing a quick transition from tour to ski without removing skis.

    My apologies for not discussing global warming in this post.


  40. Eric Steig March 1st, 2008 11:40 am

    Sorry, I can’t leave off on this (though I won’t be offended, Lou, if you decide enough is enough on this topic). If you are going to sit through the “great global warming swindle” you might want to read up on how some of the scientists involved in that movie felt that *they* were swindled. In particular, Carl Wunsch, the M.I.T. oceanographer. See here:


    Ok, I’ve said enough. Back to skiing!

  41. Simon Isbister March 1st, 2008 2:14 pm

    Hey Lou- nice to see the G3 stuff entering the blog. Obviously, you can’t hit on everything, but I live local to them, and lots of people ski them around here (Vancouver, BC). I look forward to seeing more of the new offerings- the 08/09’s don’t seem to be up on their web-site yet.

    I do most of my touring on a pair of Aces. Same foot-print as the baron, but quite a bit lighter. But I’m impressed with how well they do on-piste as well. No miracles, or anything, but they hold their own, for a light-weight touring ski.

    A question- do you have any old blog posts on video cameras? I am in the market for one, and wondered if you have any favorite models for ski purposes. I suppose the biggest consideration in battery life in the cold. Any thoughts?



  42. Sean March 1st, 2008 4:00 pm

    Hi Lou,

    On the topic of the Alpinist skin’s tip durability, I’ve had a pair fail (one tip completely broken off, the other 3/4 of the way there) after five days of use in temps not colder than -10 C. Duct tape it was…

    A friend of mine has noticed both of his tips starting to split at the base after less than twenty uses.

    I’d be curious to know if there are any other users out there who have seen this happening.

  43. Lou March 1st, 2008 9:36 pm

    Tony, if you’ve got a skin flapping in the wind after you yank it off your ski that’s still on your foot, with glue as sticky as the G3, then you’ve got potential problem. I’d try to catch it before it sticks to itself, then hook the middle around something that’ll anchor it while you fold it up. I’ve seen people do this in different ways, perhaps using a ski tip, or your knee. The key is to practice and try to be methodical, so what you figure out is repeatable.

  44. Lou March 1st, 2008 9:53 pm

    Simon, G3 contacted us quite some time ago about working with some of their skins. We’ve now got two pair we’ve been using. More recently, at OR show, Paul Parker (who does ski design for G3) encouraged us to play around with some G3 demo skis. WildSnow must have been getting bigger on their radar screen, as recently they ended up buying a month of advertising and are thus now a WildSnow supporter! The ad will go up Monday.

    That even though we like a rat tail on our skins rather than the G3 tail fix.

    Speaking of advertising:

    Nice G3 is supportive of us having an independent voice. Our other advertisers are good that way as well. On occasion they do question our take, but usually in a constructive way that makes our blogging more accurate. Indeed, it’s been fascinating and sometimes challenging to blog with advertisers looking over my shoulder, but it’s really worked out well, and I most certainly couldn’t do as much WildSnow content without their support.

  45. Walt March 1st, 2008 10:51 pm

    Speaking of mountaineering skis … Has anyone tried or own the Dynastar Altirides? I’m a loyal fan of Dynastars and am considering getting some for spring skiing the steeps here in the Tetons. They still seem wide enough to ski powder too. Apparently these skis took all podiums in the 2007 Europe Mountaineering Championships.

  46. Walt March 2nd, 2008 12:16 am

    I just realized I made a mistake about the altirides and the 2007 championships. It was true that Dynastar skiers took the podiums, but not on Altirides. Altirides are made for the descent, where as the racers used really light skis that sucked for that. But I have no interest in racing, so I still think these are the ski for me. Has anyone tried them?

  47. Ali E March 2nd, 2008 2:03 am

    Hi Lou

    Greetings from sunny Scotland. Last season I bought a fantastic set of skins in Argentiere, but I’ve yet to see them anywhere else. They are made by Salewa (Dynafit’s parent company). Black, thin and superlight. The shop was selling them in rolls by the meter and then cutting them to fit. A lot of guides were buying them.

  48. Greg March 2nd, 2008 1:55 pm

    Lou, now that you’ve had a chance to ski the G3 Alpinist skins, which do you prefer, G3 Alpinist or Black Diamond GlideLite STS?

  49. Lou March 2nd, 2008 6:44 pm

    You guys! It’s not cut and dry. I like the STS tail fix better, but the G3s seem to have better glide and their tail fix does work. GlideLite have proven durability and a nice wimp strip, G3s have not seen many days here, and they need a wimp strip in my opinion. G3’s tip fix is really cool, but I don’t know how durable it is. I’d say it’s a toss up, and price is an issue as well, e.g., what’s on sale in March?

  50. Matt March 3rd, 2008 8:44 am

    Lou – a comment on the G3 skins and tip failure – I with a friend that had his fail – G3 took care of him by sending out a new pair of skins – apparently they have had quite a few failures – but that’s hearsay…

  51. Lou March 3rd, 2008 9:18 am

    Yep, we like the G3s and feel they’re superior in many ways, but we’ve not tested for durability. We do know most tip loops eventually fail on our other skins (after high mileage), so that’s something to consider in terms of comparison if talking durability. But the “loop over” style tip loop is easy to replace with bailing wire or a new factory loop…

  52. Ben March 3rd, 2008 10:53 am

    I’ve witness these skins blow up on one of my backcountry partners already. While ripping his skins of he watched something red fling of into the snow. turns out it was half of the tip attachment. After some ziptie stiches he was ready to go again. I once again fell in love with my ascensions and there bomber reliabilty. I had had a similiar experiance with G3’s 1’st gen. This was also only the first trip my buddy had them out on, and it was the second day of a four day hut trip.

  53. Craig Biere March 14th, 2008 1:07 pm

    I just bought a pair of Alpinist skins and I have to say I am really disappointed. The tip system is great and they do glide well but I think a pair of 110 skins trimmed to fit better be able to climb a moderate blue with out sliding backwards. These skins slipped just as much as my old black diamond skins which were trimmed to fit my old skis meaning my new Karhu Jaks which measure 90mm at the waist had skins trimmed to 65mm at the waist. If I can’t exchange them for black diamond then these are going on Ebay.

  54. Lou March 14th, 2008 1:32 pm

    Craig, that’s weird, I have not experienced the G3s having any noticeably worse grip than other skins I’ve been using. Honestly, if I’d noticed that I would have mentioned it. But if that’s your experience then so bit it. Perhaps you discovered something dependent on a specific snow condition — I tested on a packed powder skin track. Ebay is indeed handy.

  55. Marc March 15th, 2008 9:11 am


    What’s your experience with regluing skins? The skins themselves always seem to outlast the glue. I’ve got a pair of purple Ascention skins that are on their fifth year. At this point, they leave trace amounts of glue on the base of my skis every time I use them. I’ve done some research on regluing and hear it’s a messy job. But I’m wondering if you have any experience with the G3 iron-on glue strips vs. the Gold Label brush-on glue. Seems the iron-on would be a bit cleaner and easier to manage. Any thoughts?

    Many thanks, Marc.

  56. Lou March 15th, 2008 11:43 am

    Marc, that’s one job I’ve always just paid someone at a shop to do as we don’t need it that frequently and I’ve thus never wanted to take the time to master the craft. Skinny Skis in Jackson is where we always send the skins.

  57. goatboy March 15th, 2008 4:57 pm

    I think Gold Label glue works great, because it is more fluid than other glues I’ve tried. Use it with care and good ventilation, and you won’t get messy.
    As for cleaning off the old glue, I’ve just discovered an easy & mess-free method: Use a heating gun to heat/melt the old glue, work in about 15cm sections at a time. You’ll see when the glue has melted, it gets more shiny. Then take a knife (just an ordinary, dull kitchen knife) and scrape off the hot glue. Have some pieces of cardboard at hand, to wipe the glue off the knife. Throw the cardboard w/ glue in the trash, and start heating the next section. No mess.

  58. Geoff March 22nd, 2008 3:03 pm

    Here are some pros and cons that I’ve found in using the G3 Alpinist skins. (I’ve have used Ascension/BD skins for many years.) I’ve found that the G3 skins have much better glide than the 2007-2008 orange Ascension/BD skins. I estimate that I can climb about 300 ft./hr faster with the same effort with the G3 skins. On a dry powder track, the G3 grip is good, but when the snow is wet or the track is glazed, they slip back in situations where the BD skins would hold. I’ve also found that, unless I’m very careful about how I apply the tip of the G3 skin to the ski, snow works in between the skin and the ski. The BD skins don’t seem to require as much care in applying them. The G3 glue seems to be less tolerant of contamination with snow than the BD glue, and it’s more difficult to scrape the snow off the G3 glue. With the G3s, I’ve also found that I have to use Lou’s method of removing part of the skin and folding, then removing the rest of the skin. If it is at all windy, I can’t just rip the whole skin with the skis attached to me feet as I can with the BD skins, or else I wind up with a tangle of skin. A friend of mine also had the tip attachment break off of one of his G3 Alpinist skins. After about 10 days of skiing on the G3 skins, I’m seeing some fraying around the edges of the skins.

  Your Comments

  Recent Posts

Facebook Twitter Email Instagram Youtube


  • Blogroll & Links

  • Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free ski touring news and information here.

    All material on this website is copyrighted, the name WildSnow is trademarked, permission required for reproduction (electronic or otherwise) and display on other websites. PLEASE SEE OUR COPYRIGHT and TRADEMARK INFORMATION.

    We include "affiliate sales" links with most of our blog posts. This means we receive a percentage of a sale if you click over from our site (at no cost to you). None of our affiliate commission links are direct relationships with specific gear companies or shopping carts, instead we remain removed by using a third party who manages all our affiliate sales and relationships. We also sell display "banner" advertising, in this case our relationships are closer to the companies who advertise, but our display advertising income is carefully separated financially and editorially from our blog content, over which we always maintain 100% editorial control -- we make this clear during every advertising deal we work out. Please also notice we do the occasional "sponsored" post, these are under similar financial arrangements as our banner advertising, only the banner or other type of reference to a company are included in the blog post, simply to show they provided financial support to WildSnow.com and provide them with advertising in return. Unlike most other "sponsored content" you find on the internet, our sponsored posts are entirely under our editorial control and created by WildSnow specific writers.See our full disclosures here.

    Backcountry skiing is dangerous. You may be killed or severely injured if you do any form of ski mountaineering, skimo randonnee and randonnée skiing. The information and news on this website is intended only as general information. Due to human error and passing time, the information, text and images contained within this website may be inaccurate, false, or out-of-date. By using, reading or viewing the information provided on this website, you agree to absolve the owners of Wild Snow as well as content contributors of any liability for injuries or losses incurred while using such information. Furthermore, you agree to use any of this website's information, maps, photos, or binding mounting instructions templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow owners and contributors of liability for use of said items for ski touring or any other use.

    Switch To Mobile Version