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The Best Climbing Skins for Backcountry Skiing 2024

Getting a Grip: The Lowdown on Climbing Skins That Won’t Leave You Stranded

Picture this: you’re in the backcountry, eyeing down an epic untouched pow line. You begin to make the approach and a few hours in, Ski-Mo Matt and the ‘Dino Quads Gang’ come ripping up behind you. He politely asks if it’s okay to pass, although you’re hurting on the inside, you smile and say “go right ahead.”

As Ski-Mo Matt and the gang pass you notice his gear to be heavier than yours. But wait one second. Is he using PED’s? There’s this glow coming from the bases of his skis… And then it hits you, you need new skins.

Climbing skins are often an afterthought for backcountry skiers. They aren’t really that fun or flashy and they just get you from point A to point B. That’s where most of us are wrong. Quality climbing skins are the unsung heroes of backcountry missions, these trusty sidekicks can save you hours of suffer and make you the superhero of uphill travel this ski season.

So what are these glowing skins designed by the ski gods themselves.

Here are the top backcountry skiing climbing skins for 2024. 


Pomoca Climb Pro S – Mohair Climbing Skins ($280 CAD)

If you’re serious about uphill travel and want a little ‘silk on snow’ in your life, it’s time to take Pomona out on a first date. Pomoca is the industry favourite when it comes to backcountry skiing climbing skins. The Climb Pro S is the perfect symphony of light weight, buttery glide and great grip. Without question, if you willing to cough up a few extra pesos, these Mohair skins will be your jam. The only downside is that they have a shorter life than 100% nylon designs. They also have plastic clips which can be less robust than the metal tail clips from BD. Pomoca has become so popular that the hardest part about joining the party is actually procuring the skins themselves.

Contour Hybrid Mix Climbing Skins ($300 CAD)

These are the sexiest looking skins on the market and are the perfect fusion of grip and glide. Like a well-blended smoothie, they combine mohair and nylon to grip those steep pitches while effortlessly sliding over flatter sections. Unless you are super dialled into your uphill performance you likely won’t notice too many major differences from the Pomoca Climb Pro S, they are both wonderful. A big advantage of these cyborg (hybrid skins) is the ease of tearing them off and also the glue sticking to your bases in the cold, they work great. 


Black Diamond Ascension Nylon STS Skins ($220 CAD)

The Black Diamond Ascension Climbing skins are robust. We’re talking skins that are tougher than a snow leopard and stickier than a candy wrapper on a summer day. Black Diamond Ascension Nylon Split STS skins are the Chuck Norris of climbing skins—they conquer steep inclines with the finesse of a seasoned pro and won’t leave you hanging with broken parts in the backcountry. The easy adjust metal clips are a breeze to use in the field and the long lasting construction is great for anyone who is hard on their gear. What you gain in strength you give up in weight, they are heavy, bulky and only come in one width. 


G3 Alpinist+ Universal Climbing Skins ($220 CAD)

G3 Alpinist+ skins? They’re the Goldilocks of the bunch—just right. With connectors so snazzy they’d make a tech geek jealous, these skins strike the perfect balance between grip and glide. You’ll be ascending those rolling hills smoother than a penguin on ice. All jokes aside, I can personally confirm how robust and trustworthy these skins are. I do zero maintenance on my skins and use them in miserable conditions and these things have never failed me. Riders often hate on the G3 tip clips and find that snow gets stuck under that plastic portion. Personally, I’ve never had that issue. The Alpinist from G3 is affordable, long lasting and is typically the most available skin in most BC ski shops. It’s what I use and I won’t jump ship until they are totally wrecked. 


Picking Your Perfect Match

So, which skins suit you best? It’s like choosing your favorite flavor of ice cream— each one has its own sweet spot. Consider your style, the terrain you’ll conquer, and whether you’re all about that glide life or need grip like a koala clutching a tree.

Remember, when it comes to climbing skins, the goal is simple: find ones that make your uphill feel like a stroll in the park so you can actually enjoy the downhill with a grin wider than your ski goggles.

Now that you have four amazing options,  go forth and find your climbing skin soulmate.

May your ascents be breezy and your descents spicy.

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