G3 Alpinist Climbing Skins Review

Gear Reviews

Now that spring/summer is here and the only skiing you’ll be doing is touring or ski mountaineering, it might be a good time at last for our G3 Alpinist review.

These skins have been used and abused in South America, Europe, and BC this winter, and they came out of it alive. Easy to set up initially, easy to get on and off, and they’ve kept their stickyness all winter long.

It’s pretty damn handy that G3 makes such wide skins as I’m using them on a pair of Rossignol 188 S7s which are 145mm at the widest, so the 140mm G3 skins do the trick. I heard a lot of comments that skinning with a ski that has early rise tip and tail would be challenging but I haven’t really experienced that so far. I get lots of float and its easy to break trail in weird snow conditions as a result.

My S7 set-up is at a bit of disadvantage for skinning only because I mounted them with Marker Dukes which are heavier and have a lower heal rise than Firtschis or Dynafits.

The G3 skins are great for wide and weird shaped tips like the S7 because the pivotable hooks adjust to the size of any ski tip.

The tail clips are great too and really cinch the skin on tight which is very important with the big tails on many of the new skis.

The skins climb and glide great, as good as any skin I’ve ever used. I’ve used them in many conditions over the whole season and I’m very pleased in everything from hard wind pack, to slush to deep coastal powder.

Snow sticking seems a bit better than average when compared to other people I’m skinning with and a bit of wax always helps right away. I used the mesh separator strip at first thinking they would be really hard to get apart but after I lost it I’ve had no issues getting them apart even days nearing -20c. They stick to the skis great as well, even if I’ve kicked the the tail clip off I’ve never had any issues with the skins falling off.

What can I say about the graphics? They rock. Well, atleast they’re different than the rest of the pack and let people know I’m a Canuck so two thumbs up for that!

One note about the cutting tool: I felt the tool G3 provided leaves too much base and edge exposed to get purchase in hard snow conditions. To resolve that, I just held the tool a mm or two from the edge and it cut just fine and easier that with the standard skin cutting tools.

I’m not sure if G3 has plans to update or change the Alpinist Skins for 2010/11, but no need as far as I can tell. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. We’ll see if we can get our hands on something from 2010/11 to report on the latest and greatest, but if you grab a pair of these in the meantime you should be stoked.


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