Ski mountaineering is as much about having fun as it is about efficiency. In fact, the more efficient you are the more time you can spend having fun. Hunting powder in the backcountry or during a skimo race lots of time can be saved on transitions – getting you set from uphill to downhill modes and the other way around.
There are couple of styles for wicked fast transitions and no style is really too much faster than the other – it all boils down to pick your style and practice it again and again. In the two videos below, Reiner Thoni (current Canadian and North American skimo racing champion) will talk you through his way of transitions.
There are separate articles about different rando ski mountaineering transitions coming on Skintrack – with more in depth analysis and videos from the last World Ski Mountaineering Championships 2011 in Italy.
Reiner’s skins off transition
It may seem that this transition is only possible with skimo race gear but in fact many of us are doing it the same way with any Dynafit style bindings. Of course, the boots might have more buckles or the skins might need to be ripped off from the back but otherwise the workflow is the same.
Reiner’s skins on transition
What was said below the “skins off” video applies for this transition as well. The same logic can be applied with non-racing gear but might require some additional steps – undo buckle 1, buckle 2, buckle 3…
Small differences, and personal preferences
Since there are more ways of doing the fastest transitions differences occur mostly with personal preference. As you can see in “skins on” video, Reiner likes to bring up the whole ski to finish putting the skin on. Many of us do that with back end/toe of the ski being firm on the ground the whole time which I consider an advantage in crowded European race transitions where every inch is shared or has to be fought for.
What are your thoughts? Maybe you want your transition analyzed?
You are welcome to ask questions or share your advice through the comments below.
Also, if you want your transition analyzed I can help you two ways – meet you at a race or you can upload your video to a site like YouTube and send me the link. (If you can’t or don’t know how to upload to any video sharing site just drop me a line below and we’ll figure something out.)