Like The wind

Gear
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All the skis we tested are light enough for even big ascents, but if you want to win a randonnée race, or outpace that partner with the Goodyear-blimp lungs, you've got to geek out and get weight-conscious.

Try slapping your skins on Dynafit's 9'14 ($500; life-link.com). At four pounds, eight ounces, they're more than a pound lighter than any of the skis we tested, and a slim profile (92/64/80) makes them great boards for corn (of course, they'll flounder in deep snow). Choosing a binding is just as easy: At one pound, eight ounces, Dynafit's Tourlight Techs ($300; lifelink.com) are the lightest available. Complete your setup with the new five-pound, eight-ounce Scarpa F1 ($498; bdel.com), which features custom-moldable liners and telemark boot—inspired toe bellows—and your total package weighs 11 pounds, eight ounces (nearly half as much as some set-ups). Even multiplied over a million steps, that's still damn light.

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The Alpinist skins stick, glide, and climb in all conditions. And with G3’s signature tip connection system (two metal hooks that rotate to fit all ski tips), you can forget about accidentally kicking ’em off on the uptrack. [$153; genuineguidegear.com]

The Skinny on Skinning

Skinning is crucial in the side- or backcountry because it’s more efficient and less tiring than hiking in deep snow. The fur-like surface of skins flattens as you move uphill, allowing your skis to glide, but it grips to keep you from sliding back after each step.