Skeats™ — Strap-on ski crampons

 

Skeats
Skeats™ – strap-on ski crampons.
 Skeats are small crampons that connect to the bottom of your skis, over and in addition to a pair of climbing skins. They’re attached via a bungee strap around your skis, with the cone shaped teeth pointing down and puncturing the surface of hard snow. The video I saw on Facebook was undeniable proof they gave an extra measure of grip as the skier put his climbing post on high and bee-lined up the fall line.

 

Steep Line Blues

Skeats
Four points per Skeat.

There was a time I preferred that strategy until a quiet Swiss touring partner showed me how, three weekends in a row, skinning slow and steady with a meandering line wins the long distance race, not sprinting straight up. A few of those incidents at altitude is what convinced me the steep line was not worth it just to prove I could. Better to maintain momentum over the long track than loose it and waste energy on the short. Age has confirmed his strategy.

Straight lining

Skeats
Strap ‘a pair on in front and behind your bindings, or one between toe and heel.

Nonetheless there is a time and a place for steep skin lines, and Skeats would certainly add a few degrees of climbing angle plus an extra measure of confidence to your skins grip because the Skeats won’t let go and let you slide backwards with a free heel. Now I can’t in good conscience recommend a steep skinning line for anything other than a short pitch. Even so, when you need to, it’s a good idea to have ski crampons, or Skeats in your pack, ready to rally for a dose of steep, high traction skinning. I have no axe to grind with the extra traction Skeats provide. It is their lack of glide that annoys me. For that I’d rather use traditional ski crampons with a Dynafit style attachment that pivots to allow glide.

No Fuss Traction

The main reason to carry a set of Skeats is because they’re easier to stash in your pack and they don’t require a special attachment. They’ll work on any ski with any binding. What they don’t do so well is glide. Thus, you must lift your ski with every step. Again, for a short steep pitch this is no big deal. You just wouldn’t keep them on any longer than you needed them. As it is with any set of crampons.

Feel like you need chain style traction occasionally to deal with ice on the white road? Skeats are a simple solution.

Skeats
MSRP: $30 – $40 depending on width

© 2018

One thought on “Skeats™ — Strap-on ski crampons

  1. Fun idea. Not really diverse enough in application to make worth carrying around though, in my opinion. If I’m climbing something steep I’d probably just boot the short section.

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