Monthly Archives: February 2010

2010 Glide Light Skin Review

Backcountry skiing gear review by the foothill freak

Cutting back on friction with the Black Diamond Glide Lights

2010 Black Diamond Glide Lite Skin ReviewThis year BD has re-introduced mohair to their ascension skin line. Since the Foothill Freak is an old school skinnin’ fool, he couldn’t wait to get his hands on on a pair.

The kids in the ski shop were not encouraging, saying, “we sell 20 nylon pairs for every one pair of Glide Lights”, and “Only European Tourists buy the mohairs”, and “they’re not any lighter”, and the worst of all, “well, you see, the skin tracks in the Wasatch are too steep for mohairs, you’re gonna want the nylons…”. Ouch!

With hopes of a faster, smoother slide as well as the solid glue and attachments Ascension skins are known for, I went for the Glide-Lights.

Day One
My first reaction to using the Glide lights is definite satisfaction. No slipping. They felt light and fast. The glide was decent. Not as fast feeling as I had hoped, but probably about as fast as you could expect for a ski that’s 95mm under foot and 105 at it’s widest. For their width, they easily fit in my jacket and smooshed down nicely for the ride home. It was only a one up, one down morning patrol, so I can’t comment much on the transitions just yet. Over all tho, I’d say the skin was clearly superior to the last pair of draggy feeling nylon ascensions i had.

Day Two
Logged over 10 miles and 3 decent laps on the Glide Lights today. Phew! They were super solid. The glue is as bomber as what I’ve come to expect from the Ascensions. Though the skin initially feels floppy and warpy, it glued on great time and time again. Our approach was not for the timid, I was glad to have all the glide I could get. Breaking trail for steep streches, and returning to climb them again, i never slipped once. Nice.

Now it’s off to the Sawtooths for presidents day weekend, so we’ll see how they do there and if they start to show any signs of crinkling.

Final Report
After 4 days in the sawtooth where the skins were subjected to a wide array of temperatures and conditions, and a handful of more tours back in the Wasatch, I must say these skins rule. I wouldn’t mess with 100% nylon as they’re a drag in comparison. Go Glide lights!

Longest approach in the Wasatch

Longest approach to powder in the Wasatch

Seemed like a good day for a looong walk


Nothing like a long approach to make the subsequent ridge walk seem even longer...


On the summit in the Wasatch

On the summit. At last. With only enough time for 3 runs before the long bushwack home. Foothill Freakin at it's best.