Summerize Your Backcountry Skiing Gear (Part 1, Skis & Bindings)

Post by blogger | May 29, 2007      

Whew, we did a ton of skiing up at Independence Pass this Memorial Day weekend. More to come but it is going fast. When the skiing gets too rough (this year probably in a week or so), we usually hang up our planks for about twelve weeks and enjoy summer. After eight months skiing, it’s good to let the body recover by doing some alternate sports. Hike a few fourteeners, do some rock climbing, bicycle, take a few strolls on the roller blades to keep the glisse nerves alive. Summerization of the body, if you will.

I also like to summerize my backcountry skiing gear — at least to some extent (limited by time and motivation). If you’ve got time, the ultimate storage routine for your alpine touring or tele rig would look something like this:

Tune, or at least wax. It’s said that the exposed plastic on your ski bases oxidizes if not protected with wax. I doubt that’s much of a factor for anyone but a World Cup racer shaving time like a neurosurgeon slicing brain tissue, but if you love your boards why not wax for summer storage? Rather than “storage wax,” just use whatever alpine wax you’d want for that first run when the season starts again, iron it out so the edges are covered to prevent rust, and don’t scrape till autumn.

Clean your ski tops of goop, magic marker writing, unwanted stickers, etc., (make room for a sticker?) A bit of lacquer thinner on a paper towel works to remove magic marker. Use a heat gun or adhesive remover for stickers. If you want your planks to look newer, buff with some Armor All or other brand of bling fluid. Test any chemicals on a small area before sloshing the stuff on like an angry cleaning lady throwing mop water.

Flush skis and bindings with fresh water, air dry in the sun. Who knows what kind of chemistry has worked its way into your bindings, after a winter of road salt and groomer diesel residue.

Back off any binding compression springs under tension. In the case of Dynafit, only back off the lateral release, vertical adjustment doesn’t involve a spring that’s critical. With most other bindings back off both lateral and vertical release tension. (If you use low release settings, this step is probably unnecessary.)

If you own high mileage bindings and have the time and motivation, consider a binding tear-down, cleaning and re-lube. Don’t go too far with this. For example, all a Dynafit heel unit probably needs is the lateral release spring barrel, spring and thimble bushing removed, cleaned, lubed and replaced. More information about binding tear-downs and such is available in our different binding info pages (see menu to left).

Store skis in a dry, moderate temperature environment out of direct sunlight. Don’t strap tightly together, and don’t stow in a way that could cause a warp. If you’re like me and start doing all sorts of grungy workshop projects in summer, get your skis out of there so they don’t end up covered with gradoo like welding spatter or paint overspray — or at least cover them up! (Note to myself.)

Worrying about all this stuff is probably overkill, but skis and bindings are indeed expensive so a bit of care could save you money. I’d say the two most important storage items are the fresh water flush and storage in a way that doesn’t warp the skis or cause rust. Everything else is gravy.

Anyone else have ski “summerizing” ideas? Comments on.


Please Enjoy A Few Suggested WildSnow Posts


11 Responses to “Summerize Your Backcountry Skiing Gear (Part 1, Skis & Bindings)”

  1. Rando Swede May 29th, 2007 8:28 am

    Thanks Lou. Did you ever find out which type of grease is best for the Dynafit innards?

  2. pete anzalone May 29th, 2007 8:29 am


    What about the Fritschis – do these binding have any spring that should be backed off?

    Good seeing you on Geislers and Mtn Boy this weekend!


  3. Lou May 29th, 2007 8:54 am

    Rando, any light lithium grease will work. Best grease for Dynafit however is Dow Corning Molykote PG-75 Plastislip, but I can’t find that in small amounts, other than buying about $800 worth so I can get a supplier to re-package.

    Pete, On Fritschi I’d back off both settings. Just back off to a low DIN, don’t try to go to zero as you never know how resistant the internals are to the screw backing too far out.

  4. Rando Swede May 29th, 2007 10:24 am

    $800 for a that grease? You could repackage that under the Wild Snow super grease to re-coup.

  5. Tom Rossi May 29th, 2007 10:25 am

    I’d also take apart any adjustable ski poles, make sure water isn’t trapped in them, and do any lubricating recommended by the manufacturer.

  6. RobinB May 29th, 2007 11:06 am

    Dry your probe out as well. I had one where the cable corroded inside.

    Take your beacon batteries out!

    De-stink your boots.

    Make notes of any warranty stuff, or broken gear, and deal with it now. It’s a good time for sales!

  7. Kimmers May 29th, 2007 12:01 pm

    Hey Lou,
    We also like to buckle our boots for summer storage, we find the plastic has a high memory, and will try to straighten out without tension.

    Also a good inspection of the buckles and a fresh water flush for the boots, doesn’t hurt.

  8. Dhelihiker May 29th, 2007 12:54 pm

    On thing I like to do at the end of the season is sit down and have a good cry. It doesn’t really help my skis but I generally feel alot better. My wife will pat me on the head and say”don’t worry little critter, November is just around the corner.”

  9. Mark Worley May 29th, 2007 2:50 pm

    I’ve got less than 20 days on my Dynafits, but I’ll give ’em a looking over. The skis need a coat of wax, and I’ll need to epoxy that gouge in the topsheet some day also. Dhelihiker: We’re with you, man!

  10. Dostie May 31st, 2007 1:56 pm

    Put your climbing skins in a cool (

  11. Steve Seckinger May 31st, 2007 5:59 pm

    We won’t be storing our skis in the hot garage this year, and have relegated all of them to a spare basement room, which is the bike storeroom in the winter. All have a nice thick coat of summer wax on them.

  Your Comments

  Recent Posts

Facebook Twitter Email Instagram Youtube

WildSnow Twitter Feed


  • 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 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