Skin Skis, Cross-Country, and Snowshoes, Oh My!

Published By on December 19th, 2022 in Edge Insider

Last winter we were pleased to add a fleet of skin skis to the line-up of winter gear at Northern Edge!  Todd started exploring on-and-off trail via these incredible tools a couple of winters ago, and we’re incredibly excited to share more skin ski adventures with our guests this winter.  They are a versatile and efficient choice for explorers who want to explore off-trail, back-country areas and climb hills easily in our winter wonderland.

Skin skis are a type of cross-country ski designed for backcountry travel – particularly great for forest trails in and around Algonquin Park! Ours are shorter and wider than traditional cross-country skis, and they have a layer of synthetic material on the bottom that provides traction and allows skiers to climb uphill.  Popular among backcountry skiers and folks like Todd who enjoy exploring off-the-beaten-path, skin skis allow us to travel through untracked snow and climb hills more easily than with traditional cross-country skis which can be slippery and get tangled in uphill and deep-snow environments.

The key feature of skin skis is the “skins,” a kind of carpeting attached to the bottom of the ski. Small fibers on the skins provide traction when the ski is sliding forward, but allow the ski to glide smoothly when the skier is moving downhill. This combination of traction and glide makes it easy to move forward but not slide backward.

Interested in a pair of your own? We got ours direct from Norway but we know that our friends at Algonquin Outfitters have some stock available! (We recommend testing them out at a winter retreat first!)

Winter retreats at the Edge can include guided excursions on Skin skis, cross-country skis, snowshoes, and even kick-sleds – these are each great for different conditions:

Whatever the way, we love getting out in the snow and exploring our winter landscape with guests.  Interested in joining us for a guided winter experience? We’d love to have you!

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