We’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; climbing skins are one of the most underrated pieces of gear we use. Yet without skins, we can’t do what we do, climb up to ski down. Having used nearly every type of skin available over the years, I have a strong preference for momix skins – skins that use a blend of mohair and synthetic nylon plush. I prefer the glide performance of a momix skin over the pure mohair and pure synthetics.
The G3 climbing skins also feature one of the most reliable tip and tail connection systems available. The new G3 Alpinist+ climbing skins match the best of G3’s tip and tail connections with a choice of skin plush types and their new plastic Scala tip design as well as an all-new glue formula that is proving to work well.
The Scala Tip
The Scala tip uses a short section of plastic at the tip in lieu of skin plush running to the tip. In addition to reduced friction, the Scala design is meant to help reduce snow creep under the climbing skin tip. I’ve had mixed results with reduced snow creep – when snow creeps under your skin and slowly spoils your glue. Though the snow creep issue continues, the G3 Alpinist+ climbing skin has performed very well. We have been testing the “Glide” model since March 2018. It features G3’s momix 70/30 mohair/synthetic plush. All of the 2018-19 Alpinist skins also feature a new, environmentally friendly glue, which is proving reliable, too. The momix plus hits the sweet spot for balanced glide and grip performance. It routinely outglides my ski partners’ skins and has shown no lack of grip for average skin tracks.
Climbing Skin Grip
G3 offers an interesting graphic to represent the range of skin grip along the length of your ski base. Not surprisingly, the bulk of the skin grip comes from under the middle of your ski with grip engagement tapering toward the tip and tail. It makes sense, the bulk of the weight is also centered on the middle of the ski.
Grip, Glide and Ease of Use
Honestly, it’s difficult to quantify an increased performance from the G3 Scala tip design, but there are no real downsides either. It makes sense that it glides better, it’s just hard to really measure because the skin glides well anyway and any reduction in friction is modest. That said, over the course of a long day, every little bit of help counts. The tip and tail connections are secure, reliable and ever-so-easy to use.
Again, the momix “glide” blend is our preferred skin plush for all-purpose use. It’s a mohair/synthetic blend featuring 70% mohair and 30% synthetic. I’ve been super pleased with it’s performance in a wide range of temperatures. However, you can also choose full mohair “speed,” a full nylon “grip” edition or a “universal” version.