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Portable Climbing Skins Device
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Backcountry skiers use layers of nylon or mohair, called climbing skins, which are applied to the bottom of their skis to ascend hills. The skins are used to resist backward motion but still warrant forward motion making their ascent up a hill far less tedious. At the top of the hill, the climbing skins are removed so that the skier may descend the hill. The skins, which can be used multiple times, are reapplied at the bottom of the hill. Fig. 1 displays a climbing skin attached to a ski. There is an adhesive layer on one side of the skin, which is applied to the bottom of the ski. The application of climbing skins can be a very tedious task. The traditional method of applying climbing skins is completely manual with no product on the market to make the process any easier for the skier. To address this, a device called the Portable Climbing Skin Device (PCSD), shown in Fig. 1 has been designed to allow skiers to apply climbing skins without needing to remove their skis. The PCSD has been designed to be small enough to fold into a backpack, light enough not to burden the skier, and simple to use such that its deployment and application is faster than the traditional method. In addition to the design specifications that the device must meet, the PCSD must accomplish several functions. The main function is to adhere properly. To do this, the device must be able to remove water and grime from the bottom of the ski. The device also must resist translation in the snow. Following significant deliberation and debate, design for the PCSD was created along with its corresponding cost, safety, and engineering analysis. To confirm the design’s merits, a proof of concept (PoC) experiment was conducted. The experiment tested the whether or not the design would properly adhere climbing skins. It was successful, and the development process may continue as scheduled.