10 Ways to Keep Your Backcountry Girlfriend — Ergo, The Perfect Skin Track

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | March 15, 2011      
Backcountry skiing climbing.

Use these tips to keep her smiling.

During recent trips to a popular local backcountry skiing spot, I’ve been learning new tricks to help keep the gals around. Nice to have good role models — during nearly every trip I see a guy using these techniques to keep his girlfriend smiling.

1. Use tech bindings so uphill kickturns are easy and you can look good, but encourage her to use kick-turn-difficult telemark gear so her yoga classes have a purpose. Likewise, if she uses borrowed skins that don’t fit her skis, so much the better.

2. If breaking trail, set a skin track so steep that she falls backwards at least four times each lap, preferably just above a 200 foot cliff. This is a fantastic technique because adrenaline enhances sexuality.

3. When setting skin track, go as steep as possible for short sections, then compensate by leveling off or actually going slightly downhill. The idea here is to increase the calorie burn, something every girl appreciates.

4. Again, for the yoga effect, always make your kick turns somewhat steeper than the actual skin track. If you do this she might ski tour in yoga pants, and that would be good, very good.

5. Keep up a weight training program so you can push yourself up your steep skintrack with your arms. She’ll appreciate this to no end, since she feels her arms could always be larger and more manly.

6. Keep your girlfriend behind you on your death-wall skintrack, that way she’ll experience the the thrill of sliding down the mountain backwards, unimpeded by big strong guy who could stop her slide and thus humiliate her.

7. When breaking trail, wander out into any major avalanche path you can instead of using an obvious safe line through timbered ridges. Advantage here is she’ll be awed by your avy hazard evaluation skills. More, if finances are an issue in your relationship, she’ll be clear on why you buy a new shovel every season.

8. Likewise, never spread out in avalanche terrain as she might get chatted up by the competition.

9. Keep the availability of ski crampons a dark secret (and never give for birthday present), as her yoga prep could suffer due to easy climbing on icy skin tracks.

10. If other backcountry skiers show up, don’t say anything and don’t make eye contact. Instead, let her do the talking. Women have a need to verbalize, so she’ll love you for the manly grimness that gives her space for chat.


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36 Responses to “10 Ways to Keep Your Backcountry Girlfriend — Ergo, The Perfect Skin Track”

  1. Peter March 15th, 2011 8:50 am

    Ooooohhhhh, someone is lookin’ for trouble, and it ain’t me.

  2. bj March 15th, 2011 9:01 am

    Hilarious, I’ve often wondered why the Marble skin track sucks so bad. Thanks for shedding some light Lou!

  3. Lou March 15th, 2011 9:15 am

    Yep, guys will do anything to impress girls.

  4. Tay March 15th, 2011 9:32 am

    You forgot applying surfboard wax to the bottom of her skis. That way she has to push both on the up hill and the down, twice the workout for the same vertical. And they say guys aren’t considerate……..

  5. brian h March 15th, 2011 9:36 am

    I agree with Peter, leave sleeping grizzlies alone…I will say that my “manly grimness” is usually a result of being out of breath. This has caused misunderstandings in the past. One time, at band camp…

  6. Lou March 15th, 2011 9:37 am

    Tay, I’ll add that one to my repertoire. Thanks, I’m sure Lisa will be delighted.

  7. NT March 15th, 2011 9:45 am

    haha. So true.

  8. Phil March 15th, 2011 10:14 am

    Heh heh… And for a touring newbie, you should never tell a Dynafit/Tech user to lock out the toe. Better to wait to tell her after she’s lost her ski a few times since experiential learning is much more powerful. Similar strategies work well for cuff locks

    [By the way, I don’t really get the “difficult-tele-kick turn” one. If you aren’t using pivot bindings, you can’t do the flick, but it isn’t a big deal, just a slightly different technique. In some (few) situations, it is even advantageous. Obviously, a pivot is a generally easier but… but AT/pre-pivot tele/Alpine – I’ve never had any problems ??? Maybe my yoga has paid unseen dividends!!]

  9. Lou March 15th, 2011 10:21 am

    Phil, your yoga must be working. From what I’ve witnessed, tight cable bindings with no pivot are _definitely_ harder to do a smooth easy uphill kickturn with. Now, with a free pivot they’re better, but it depends on how much range the pivot has. The post really is from stuff I’ve witnessed, no intention of gratuitous tele bashing.

  10. marolt March 15th, 2011 10:49 am

    Beyond diamonds and pure cash which i don’t have anyway, i wonder if there is a way to translate this over to keeping the wife happy despite being out for weeks and months at a time to climb and ski with the fellas? ha.

  11. Smokey March 15th, 2011 11:25 am

    You could have probably climbed a couple grand during the time it took you to write this post…Where is this blog going?

  12. Tuck March 15th, 2011 11:28 am

    Are these Lou Dawson’s Secrets to Backcountry Maritial Bliss, as well? 🙂

  13. John Dough March 15th, 2011 11:29 am

    While out on the hill be sure to verbally bash (but definitely not to their faces) any other skiers in the area for not being as avy savy as yourself. This surely will enhance your lady friend’s view of yourself as a back country god and the only person who can safely lead her through this land, fraught will peril of snow sliding from every slope. Be sure to criticize their route selection, turns, location, equipment choice, and chosen attire. Only then will your female counterpart be convinced of your incredible manhood and surely align her view with your own, thus creating a backcountry super-couple who may look down from the heavens on anyone else who dares to travel in their chosen zone.

  14. Lou March 15th, 2011 4:19 pm

    Tuck, indeed, Lisa is especially fond of #6, my practice of which has resulted in 25 years of bliss.

  15. Larry March 15th, 2011 4:25 pm

    Lou- What a great guideline for cementing a strong relationship between a man and a woman. Just 2 days ago I saw Lisa in Cabelas, talking to one of their clerks. She looked extremely happy and content. I didn’t say hello, because I didn’t want to interrupt the conversation she was having with the clerk. Seems she couldn’t make up her mind between the Smith and Wesson and the Glock.

  16. Scott March 15th, 2011 4:29 pm

    Girlfriend? Who has time for one of those?

  17. Lou March 15th, 2011 4:54 pm


  18. Marcin March 15th, 2011 5:49 pm

    You forgot a real fitness doozy for the ultra slim freak women we sometimes date.

    Mount the skins backwards to increase that uphill shimmy mojo. She’ll love you for her buns’o steel, what with having to run in a stairmasterish gait on any incline above a 5 degree slope.

  19. Lou March 15th, 2011 6:11 pm

    Hey, keep your focus Marcin, this about skin tracks!

  20. Lisa March 15th, 2011 6:29 pm

    Got the Glock. It was 3 grams lighter than the S&W.

  21. patb March 15th, 2011 11:19 pm

    I have to agree with smokey, what waste of blog post. Managed to be obnoxious, sexist and unentertaining. Not what I expect from this great blog and info source.

  22. Colin March 16th, 2011 2:11 am

    I thought it was funny. Reminds me of random stuff Straightchuter posts on TTips and other places.

    The occasional humor post is fine by me.

    And, dang, it’s SOOO sexist and offensive.

  23. Tay March 16th, 2011 4:02 am

    PSA come in all lyrical forms, and satire shouldn’t be excluded amongst these. Yes patb and Smokey, it may well be sexist but the tongue was firmly planted in the cheek I would say. Having a poke at society’s relentless push toward the ever increasing world we call PC is worth a little blog space.

  24. Lou March 16th, 2011 7:41 am

    My skin tracks are so mellow, I’ve got to find some way to take some risk! Lisa now has a Glock, and I’ve joined the ranks of wannabe humorists who are reviled and praised in nearly the same sentence. You guys should have the last word, so I’ll leave it at that.

  25. Randonnee March 16th, 2011 8:20 am

    Wow, some folks did not get the gist of this? It is simply observation of human nature presented in humor. Lou is perhaps a bit advanced in maturity and thoughtfulness for some. Presenting humor is risky, but this was leading edge thought for the often shallow ski world!

  26. Andrew March 16th, 2011 11:03 am

    Sounds like a typical day on a Wasatch skin track, where by the way, the women are all strong, intelligent and way above average.

  27. Jason March 16th, 2011 11:10 am

    You forgot the “take off your shirt when” on #5 lol. Great post.

  28. stevenjo March 17th, 2011 11:05 am

    brilliant – might i also add to never bring a thermos full of hot tea/coco and be sure that she absolutely, positively, never brings a loftable jacket to put on during breaks on a cold day….. being cold helps burn calories.

  29. tom March 18th, 2011 2:41 am

    Great post. Not only highlights bad practice, but with a good sense of humour too.

  30. Lou March 18th, 2011 8:01 am

    All, remember this post is supposed to call attention to skin track creation craft. I know it appears to make fun of macho guys and the habits of some gals, but try to keep comments focused on joking about the skin track.

    On the other hand, if any girls want to drop by here and make fun of guy behavior in the backcountry, feel free (grin).

  31. Cristina March 20th, 2011 5:12 pm

    hmmm. I’m not sure if I’m offended or not. Obviously, ALL women do yoga….regardless, here are some tips to the ladies:

    – To keep your boyfriend happy, girls, be sure to slow down and let him catch up to you, lest you beat him to the top of the hill and crush his fragile self-esteem.

    – Also, be sure to pack things like sunblock because he was probably too “focused” in the morning to remember it (and you know you don’t want to be looking at his fried sun glasses tan for weeks on end).

    – If you’re feeling especially generous, be sure to feign a struggle on the kick turn he set. This will especially boost his self-esteem and may lead to rewards later *wink*

    – If you’re aiming to get back at him for that comment earlier about (fill in the) __________, simply reverse the previous suggestion by setting a ridiculous kick turn yourself (using your insane yoga-flexibility) that will crush his self-esteem and over extend his inflexible groin muscles.

  32. Lou March 20th, 2011 6:12 pm

    Cristina, about time someone of your gender came up with some suggestions! Thanks!

  33. snowbot March 21st, 2011 8:51 pm

    Loved this. A welcome break from yet another post about yet another way to mount the same binding. ;-). It’s funny, because so many skin tracks look like they were set according to these directions. Sexist? Only ironically. A waste? Only if you’re “focused.”

  34. pioletski March 22nd, 2011 11:27 pm

    Gentlemen – Mr Dawson is really being quite gentle in his humor. Have you ever observed sport climbers in action when their POSSLQ’s are watching?

  35. Pete November 17th, 2015 3:27 am

    Hello – very entertaining thread ! I looked it up searching for articles on skin tracks, so I could ask a quick (simple I suspect) question – If I’m sharing a skin track with buddies, but on different waisted skis, is it the shovel width or underfoot that determines the track broken by the leader ? ie can I get away with following on wider bodied skis if the shovels are same / narrower without essentially breaking another track ? Obviously take appropriate duty at the front, though that may be the guides role !

  36. Petra March 15th, 2017 10:09 pm

    To add to Cristina’s list – Make sure you pack two bagel sandwiches for when they bonk after they thought they could power through a 10 hour tour. You know it’s gonna crush their ego if you need to tow him out of the back country.

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