Skinning vs. Sledding: Two Canadians, two modes of transportation in the mountains

February 9th, 2012 by

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AS SEEN IN THE 2012 FREESKIER BACKCOUNTRY ISSUE.

TWO CANADIANS, TWO MODES OF TRANSPORTATION IN THE MOUNTAINS.

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Photo: Brian Goldstone

Greg Hill rang in 2011 with a world record for vertical feet climbed and skied in a calendar year, hitting his goal of 2 million on Dec. 30, 2010 on Rogers Pass. The 35-year-old from Revelstoke, British Columbia, skinned roughly the equivalent of Mount Everest 69 times and skiing back down.

WHY I SKIN
BY GREG HILL

1. It’s guilt free. You aren’t burning fuel or dripping oil to have fun in the mountains.

2. It allows you to slowly work into terrain and gain an understanding of the hazards and how to avoid them.

3. You can feel the snow and its subtle changes possibly helping you predict potential avalanches.

4. You’re never confined to certain terrain. You can go wherever your skins take you.

5. It’s social. You can have meaningful conversations while you travel up.

6. You don’t spend hours pulling your skis out when you crash.

7. It’s cheaper.

8. It’s rare to hurt yourself taking your skis out of the back of a truck.

9. You can skin in National Parks.

10. It’s easy. There’s not the crazy learning curve of learning to ride a sled.

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Photo: Blake Jorgenson

Dan Treadway grew up snowmobiling to school. His infamous leap off an air in the permanently closed Don’t Miss area on Whistler left Dan banned from the resort for the 1999-2000 season. Treadway started sledding more than skiing, and he now racks up more than 120 days a year on his machine. The self-proclaimed redneck has appeared in five Slednecks snowmobile films.

WHY I SLED
BY DAN TREADWAY

1. You get to the skiing a lot faster.

2. Once you’re good, the sled does most of the work.

3. If you bring your girlfriend along, you can’t hear her over the engine.

4. It’s as much fun going up as it is coming down.

5. You get to shop for lunch at the gas station while fueling everyday.

6. The amount of terrain you can ski tour in a lifetime can be accessed in a few weeks.

7. You don’t need to pretend to be an environmentalist.

8. If the weather sucks, it’s easy to relocate.

9. You can justify buying a big, kick-ass truck.

10. You need one to be a pro skier in Whistler.

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About the author:
Henrik Lampert loves hot dogs, backflips, the Boston Bruins and Norway. Twenty-seven years old and a Massachusetts native, he's the Editor of Freeskier Magazine and Freeskier.com—a proud staffer since 2010.