These education videos will help you learn about traveling uphill inbounds at a ski resort. These are skills you can safely learn and practice at a resort. Call or check the resort website BEFORE you head out to learn about the resort’s uphill travel rules and guidelines.

Also, Backcountry skiing or snowboarding is different than uphill travel at a resort. Backcountry means you’re outside a ski resort’s boundary. This type of uphill travel carries a high risk level. Backcountry areas are not maintained by a resort and are potentially hazardous. Backcountry travel requires you to be trained in avalanche safety, have specific skill set, and carry appropriate gear. Review these safety considerations and seek the proper training and educational resources if you plan to travel in the backcountry.

How to Skin Uphill

It’s fun and easy to learn how to skin uphill on skis or a splitboard. In this video series, produced by REI Co-Op and PSIA-AASI, professional snowboard instructor Brennan Metzler and professional telemark instructor Grant Bishop share tips for skiing uphill on skis or a splitboard. Brennan also explains splitboarding basics so you’re ready for your first day. Watch all the videos and share them on your social channels and tag people you know who want to learn to travel uphill.

8 Tips for Skiing Uphill

Traveling uphill on skis or a splitboard is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and make some turns while getting an extra workout on the uphill climb. To help you get started, PSIA-AASI National Team members Grant Bishop and Brennan Metzler show you 8 tips for uphill travel so you can get the most out of your time in the skin track.

In this video Grant and Brennan share tips about:

  • Putting your skins on.
  • Starting moving uphill “cold,” so you’ll get warm once you start moving.
  • Using walk mode to comfortably and efficiently climb uphill.
  • Keeping your skins on the snow.
  • Using heel lifts or heel risers.
  • Using switchbacks to avoid climbing steep pitches.
  • Using uphill kickturns when climbing.
  • Putting your skins in your backpack for the ski or ride down.

How Splitboards Work

In this video, Brennan shows you how to quickly and easily take your splitboard apart and put it back together again, so you can spend more time riding and less time fiddling with your board.

In this video Brennan covers:

  • Riding your splitboard on the downhill.
  • Taking your splitboard apart.
  • Putting your splitboard together.

Uphill Skiing Tips

In this video series, produced by SKI Magazine, PSIA-AASI instructor and ski touring expert Charlie MacArthur shows you tips for traveling uphill so you can enjoy your day on the skin track.

Downhill Transition Checklist

In this video, Charlie gives you tips for what to do after you reach the top.

  • Enjoy the scenery.
  • Put on some warm clothes.
  • Remove and store your skins.
  • Switch your bindings and boots from uphill to downhill mode.
  • Strap on your helmet for the descent.

Tips for Trusting Your Skins

Watch as Charlie shares some tips for how to trust your skins.

  • If you notice your skins are sliding downhill don’t worry.
  • Your skins breaking loose is part of the sport.
  • To reconnect your skins to the snow, acknowledge they slipped, stand tall, take a moment, and stamp your foot forward to remove any snow.
  • Press straight up, look up, and trust your skins.

Trimming Your Skins

When you purchase skins from the store, they are not trimmed to your skis or board. In this video, Charlie shows you how to trim your skins.

  • You want your skin to cover as much of the tip as possible.
  • Put your skin on your ski or board.
  • Take your tool and remove any extra skin over the sidewall.
  • Repeat on the other ski and you’re ready to go!

Using Proper Posture

Proper posture will help you travel uphill. Learn more about how to use proper posture.

  • You’ll want your boots in walk mode with your top buckles unbuckled.
  • Keep your spine upright to help your skins bite into the snow.
  • Use your arms for propulsion, similar to walking.
  • Make sure you are looking ahead of you to keep your spine upright.

Ways to Carry Your Poles

When you’re skinning, you may want to reach into your pocket for a snack. In this video Charlie shares a neat trick to keep your hands free while still moving uphill.

  • Put your pole handle under your sternum strap, twist the pole, and prop it behind your head.

Safety Considerations

Take an avalanche education course, get the right gear, practice your backcountry travel skills, and always plan and assess the conditions. Visit the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Evaluation and watch these videos “Getting the Goods Without Getting Buried” and “Human Factors in the Backcountry” produced by PSIA-AASI Official Supplier Backcountry Access (BCA). Although the videos feature snowmobilers, the same considerations apply to skiers and riders. These videos are an introduction to safety considerations.

Watch the Know Before You Go (KBYG) video from the Utah Avalanche Center for more information then visit the KBYG website to access over five hours of FREE avalanche awareness resources. The KBYG program is the North American standard for teaching avalanche awareness.

Want to learn more?

Ski Tips for Advanced Skiers
Tips for Advanced Snowboarders