How To Fix Skin Glopping While Backcountry Ski Touring

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Snow Clumping Up Under Your Climbing Skins Can Be Day Ender, Unless You Can Fix Your Skin Glopping Issues

If you spend enough time ski touring in the backcountry you’re going to have to deal with skin glopping at some point. When your skins get wet, it’s frustrating. Large glommy, glopping snow cuts your speed, your efficiency, and your fun. Skin glopping can add pounds underneath your skis and creating annoying, uneven steps. It’s something that needs to be fixed ASAP.

skin glop
Glop builds up under your feet

Skin glopping is when your climbing skins get wet and cold snow freezes to the water on the skin resulting in large clumps of snow building up beneath your feet. These clumps get bigger and bigger with every step until eventually your skis aren’t even touching the ground. Say good bye to your nice smooth glide, this is a total workout. Skin glopping can be a day ender if you’re not prepared.

The most common time for skin glopping is during spring time backcountry missions where you are ski touring and ski mountaineering in warm, sunny weather. As the skin track alternates between warm, moist snow in the sun to cold, dry snow in the shade, you’re bound to start glopping up. Before you start cursing…

Stop and fix skin glopping ASAP. Here’s how:

  • Use a credit card, ski scraper, or a crystal card to scrape the snow and water off of your skins.
skin glopping
Scrape off the snow
skin glop
Remove the excess water
  • Lay your skins and skis in the sun to let the skins dry and warm up. Take a break, drink some water, shoot some photos, dig a snow pit. Take five.
  • Apply Black Diamond Glop Stopper Wax. Aggressively rub in the glop stopper wax in both directions along the length of the skin. Cover every inch of skin surface.
Black Diamond Glop Stopper
Aggressive rub wax into skins
Black Diamond Glop Stopper
Rub it in
  • Wait another couple of minutes and then get back into the skin track.

The goal of this is to make sure your skins are hydrophobic aka waterproof. If there is no water on your skins they can’t glop up or ice up, right? Now if you don’t have any Black Diamond Glop Stopper, don’t sweat it. According to Allen & Mike’s Backcountry Ski Book, you can also use spray-on or liquid waterproofing agents such as Nikwax. Alpine ski wax and even sunscreen works well too.

I always have a chunk of Black Diamond Glop Stopper wax in my backcountry ski repair kit. It comes in a big block when you order it, but that’s a lifetime supply of the stuff. Just break off a 1-inch section and carry that in your pack at all times – especially in the spring.

Black Diamond Glop Stopper
A lifetime supply of Glop Stopper
Black Diamond Glop Stopper
Black Diamond Glop Stopper

The one thing that you can do ahead of time is to apply Black Diamond Glop Stopper wax before you hit the skin track in the comfort of your own home, when your skins are totally dry. This works exceptionally well and then you won’t have the same problems that your backcountry ski partners will have with their skins glopping up.

All it takes is one time of having your skins glop up and you’ll always wax your climbing skins before you head out. Have fun out there!

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