Backcountry Skiing Tip

by Andy Dappen

Backcountry skiers spend hundreds of dollars shaving ounces of weight from their skis, boots, and bindings …and then they walk uphill, collect a lot of snow on the topsheets of their skis, and let the weight of all that snow hitching a ride uphill drag down their efficiency.

Solution: Keep the top sheet of your skis so slippery that snow just slides off. At various times we’ve recommended hot-waxing the top sheets of your skis and this helps a lot. Offpiste Magazine has recently recommended another solution which is definitely faster and easier to apply. Dave Waag, the editor of the magazine says:

“I have tried a variety of things over the years to reduce snow build-up on my topsheets while ski touring. On the advice of a buddy, I recently began using a product called Rain-X. It is one of the best and least expensive options I have tried. It was developed for car windshields and works great at making rain bead up and disperse on your car windshield. Well, it turns out that it does a pretty damn good job of keeping snow off your topsheets while ski touring, too.

Every topsheet material is a little different, but Rain-X is super easy to apply. Just squirt a small amount on your topsheets and rub it around with a cloth or paper towel. It does not take too much, but you have to apply it every day or two to maintain its effectiveness. Longevity of its effectiveness is dependent on your topsheet material and the snow conditions. I recommend applying it in the morning before you head out the door.”

See the online article about this at Offpiste Magazine for more about where to find Rain-X (gas stations, grocery stores, auto stores), cost info, and comments from other skiers.

This article was originally published on the WenOut website on 5/11/2011.

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