We all know about the basic gear it takes to access the backcountry in safety and style -- you've got to have boots, bindings, skis, and skins. Those are the basics we chat about with any customer who comes through our doors, and that set of four products is a big investment of time and decision-making. But once you've got your setup dialed in, what else do you need to keep yourself warm, dry, safe, and happy during those predawn starts and long powder-lapping days?..
Londoners and Dynafit binding owners tend to be very mindful of gaps. The city-folk are reminded to look out for the gap between train and platform when stepping onto the tube (British for subway). The ski-folk needs to keep an eye on the gap between the back of their ski boots and the heel towers of tech bindings. These are important since forgetting either can lead to falling on one’s face. In this article, we will focus more on ski binding..
Pattern recognition is an evolved specialty of the human brain. This innate ability allows us to recognize faces, spot a lion in the jungle, and see objects in the clouds. Despite the effortlessness of employing this skill, it is not well understood nor can it be replicated by machines, even after decades of computer science research. So take some pride in it.
A somewhat confusing array of holes, letters, numbers, and arrows on the Haga..
Alpine skiers can be surprised to learn that tech bindings essentially suspend your boot in the air above your ski. Your weight is not resting on the ski at all, but rather is supported by metal pins that insert into reinforced holes found on Dynafit compatible ski boots. It can be important to consider just how far off the deck your toes and heels are floating, since this can affect how your weight is balanced over your skis.
The height of the pi..
With the arrival of the TLT5 in 2010, Dynafit officially entered the lightweight backcountry touring boot market and established their now-famous line of TLT ('tour lite tech') backcountry touring boots in the US. Unofficially, the concept of a truly walkable, light, and skiable boot has been in development ever since Fritz Barthel decided his alpine gear was too heavy to carry any farther up the side of the Matterhorn in 1983. Modern converts to the 'light is ..
Greetings from the Skimo Co family, and welcome to the 2019/20 season preview! After a bountiful 2018/19 season followed by a valiant stand from the fallen snow, the summer heat won again. And so the cycle begins anew! As new gear floods in the door daily, the arrival of winter is inching closer. As always, we’ve been busy working to ensure that your season will be smooth and rewarding. Joined by a cadre of smiling new faces, we are prepared (as always) to answer yo..
Photo courtesy of Hagan.
Some parents start their kids on a journey of ski touring at an extremely young age. They may carry their kids in a backpack on an easy tour, or even pull their kids uphill with a rope tied to themselves as they skin. Those tactics get harder and harder as your kids grow, however. Eventually, it’s time to get the little ones their very own touring gear! More and more kids are skinning uphill by themselves, and ..
Go high or go low? Here are the numbers behind heel risers and efficient skinning.
Anyone who ski tours is familiar with the risers on binding heel pieces. From your first days on the skin track, people explain that they’re intended to make walking uphill easier. In theory—and in a few specific ways—they do, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should go find the bindings with the highest heel risers. As is always the case in backcountry skiing decisions, ..
The cycle of life continues, and we welcome you to the 2018/19 ski-season preview! As we roll into our sixth season, we’d like to start by thanking you, our loyal customers, for all your feedback and support. Please let us know if you ever notice us providing an imperfect service, as our goal is most definitely the opposite.
The coming winter has lots to offer in terms of equipment, and we hope in terms of snowpack as well. We’ve previously writ..
by Trace Williams
If you have had your ear to the ground in the running world over the past two or three years, you have probably noticed that more and more elite level, as well as local athletes, are using human-powered skiing during the winter months to access otherwise off-limits terrain. Conversely, if you have had your ear to the skin track, you will have probably noticed that most skiers make a natural transition to mountain runners. There are a lot of reas..
"Let’s go to the Sierras and ski the Mendenhall Couloir and Bloody Couloir!” “Quick trip out to ski Shasta?” A few years ago, if you had made these statements to me, I would have laughed loudly, confident that you were sarcastic. While these objectives aren’t cutting edge, they are all fairly big lines; steep descents that come with enough avalanche danger that they can’t be taken lightly. Each is the type of descent any skier who has spent time in unforgiv..
We’ve decided to let you in on a little secret. A secret known only to skimo racers, parapalegics, high-school physics teachers and the rare students who retain knowledge after the test. The secret is a simple machine known as the Inclined Plane, shown below.
Like all machines, the Inclined Plane provides a mechanical advantage. In this case, the advantage is defined by the ratio of an object’s weight (Fm) divided by the force ne..
It’s that time again, welcome to the 2017/18 season preview! With a long spring/summer season afforded by ample snowfall throughout the west last winter, the receding summer has seemed especially short. October is already here and we are geared up for another great season. As usual, we’ll be highlighting some products and trends we find interesting. Unusually, we’ll start with skins, a category that is being overwhelmed with choice. We ..
Don’t clutter the landfills with old broken tech bindings! Somewhere someone could use those parts to milk a few more seasons out of their investment. We act as the intermediary, buying used and broken bindings in order to salvage the working components. You benefit by getting credit towards a new binding.
Here’s how it works: bring or ship your binding to our retail store. We will evaluate it and issue store credit based on the current ma..
A surprise September snowstorm in the Wasatch has folks thinking studiously about the 2016/17 ski season. This is our 3rd annual backcountry preview, which we’ll still call a preview despite having already kicked off the rock-skiing season. Below are highlights of some notable trends and developments related to ski touring and mountaineering gear.
Whoa, boots! Lightweight backcountry ski boots garnered (by far) the most product development dolla..
The unique construction and performance of Aski skis demands an introduction, and this is it.
The heart and soul of Aski is CarbonShell. The technology consists thermoplastic infused with carbon fiber to make a lightweight skeleton that has unique flex and structural properties. The self-supporting shell allows an elastic curve to the ski that enables amazing edge hold without the vibration or skitter found in some pure carbon skis. Th..
Welcome to our second annual season preview, this time featuring the 2015/16 ski season. While many skiers and industry players are still recovering from the hangover of a record low snow year throughout much of the west, optimistic folks and east coasters are eagerly anticipating another great season. October came fast this year and we will use the first day, the second anniversary of our opening, to look ahead and see what’s in store (literally and fig..
Shedding weight often means shedding features. The ability to adjust your ski bindings to various boot lengths is one such feature that is commonly jettisoned on race bindings. If you know you’re going to be using a particular boot for a season or two, why carry an extra ounce or two?
But weight isn’t the only reason to go fixed. There is beauty and reliability in simplicity; one less thing to jam, strip, or break. Removing adjustment mech..
Welcome to our first annual season preview, starring the 2014/15 ski season! Exciting developments are upon us as we bid summer adieu and start the annual praying for fresh snow. We will take the time to highlight a few on this first anniversary of the day we opened for business.
Skimo goes mainstream
Well, maybe not mainstream, but a couple major skis companies are (re)entering the North American skimo scene. After false starts in the na..
It is often said that Eskimos have dozens or even hundreds of words for snow. Linguists laugh and say this is just a myth started by anthropologist Franz Boas, who didn’t understand an advanced word-formation technique known as polysynthesis. Modern anthropologist Igor Krupnik is fighting back, however, counting at least 53 meaningfully distinct words for snow in the Inuit dialect spoken within the Nunavik region of Canada.
While we prefer to remain o..
After more than a year of hard work, I am proud to announce that Skimo Co is open for business!
Kindled from a passion for ski mountaineering, formalized during a layoff due to injury, and toiled on daily since, Skimo Co is a specialty ski shop that is singularly focused on backcountry adventures.
Our philosophy is simple. The best way to enjoy the Freedom of the Hills¹ is on skis, and lightweight skis let you enjoy more of it. Or to put it more succinctly, sk..
People often associate lightweight ski mountaineering gear with superhuman athletes wearing skin suits. While indeed such equipment is required to ascend the podium at your local skimo race, it turns out that the same gear benefits normal humans even more. To prove it, let's take a look at the numbers.
It has been shown that 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of increased foot weight roughly translates into a 1% increase in V02, a measure of the oxygen volume your body consu..
Do you find product reviews helpful? We sure do, and many of our customers do as well.
Unfortunately taking the time to write a nice, detailed review does you little good since you've already bought the product. Instead, you write reviews to benefit others. You then hope to rely on them when making your next purchasing decision. This is all very circular, and in some ways karmic.
Skimo Co is a new shop and thus doesn't have a long history of karmic product rev..
You know an activity is catching on when the Wall Street Journal writes about it. Especially a winter activity that is practiced nowhere near Wall St.
Specifically I am talking about skinning uphill at a ski resort, in most cases with the intention of skiing back down. Indeed, anecdotal evidence would support the case that the activity is seeing rising participation numbers. I know I certainly engage in it more now than I did while frequenting the Downer som..