New to Skimo?

Ski Mountaineering Racing is a fast growing sport in North America!

Here are some helpful tips. Still have questions? Contact a National Team Athlete!

We would love to see you at a race this season!

Race Pointers

  • Clothing – dress in what you will be comfortable in for the whole race. Try not to waste time taking layers on and off during the race. Use a helmet you can keep on your head for the entire race. A headband is a great choice to keep your ears warm, but let your head vent.
  • Backpack – you will need some sort of ski carrying system on your pack. Some packs will have an A frame attachment option or you can create your own loop and hook carrying system.
  • Starting an Individual race – avoid going out too hard. The elite athletes will go out really fast. You want to be comfortable and not enter your red zone early in the race.
  • Pacing – make sure you are going at a speed that you can comfortably breath and talk to other racers. If you are gasping for air you are going too fast.
  • Transitions – practice your transitions (skins off, skis onto backpack, skins back on) before the race and know what order works best for you. Use the transition period as a rest to get ready for the descent.
  • Skins – when you take your skins off your skis, fold them up and put them in your shirt/jacket for the descent. This will help them warm up and de-snow for the next climb. If you are having trouble with your skins falling off on the climb due to snow, take them off and scrap the skin across the edge of the ski. Having a back up pair of skins or voile straps is a good idea.
  • Nutrition – make sure you bring some calories with you for the longer courses like the Individual race. Gels, or something that dissolves in your mouth or is easy to digest work best. Try to ingest 100-300 calories per hour.
  • Hydration – bring water with you on the race course. Soft bottles work best. Be aware that hoses and nozzles can freeze. Fill your bottle or bag with hot water and if you are using a camelback be sure to blow air back into the tube after you take a sip!
  • Preparing for the race – get a good sleep, drink lots of water and make sure the food you eat is easy to digest.

Have fun!

Ask National Team Athletes for tips or check out for gear pointers and ski nights.

Check out Skintrack for information, gear comparisons and how to videos.