Making Skis

In the first section from St Arnaud to Lewis Pass I broke one of my skis in half. Fortunately I managed to borrow my wife’s pair and modify the bindings so they fitted my boots. This worked well for the first 2 days but then I began breaking the bindings – life was looking grim with no working gear to complete the traverse.

Fortunately my friend Richard came to the rescue. He had been working on making a ski press with the plan of making split boards and skis. It was almost there but not quite completed – the project needed a shove and I was prepared to do the shoving because I really needed a new pair of skis.

The problem is that skis shops don’t sell what I need – light weight, short skis. So I ring up Richard:

“We need to make some skis ASAP, what is it going to take to finish the press”

“…heat blanket, temperature control unit, core profiling….”

There were a lot of conversations where I talked Richard out of being a perfectionist  to the point where I was offering to sit up all night flicking the heating switch on and off because we didn’t have time to configure an electronic controller or filling hot water bottles to keep things warm or whatever it took.

In ten days (Richard has a family and job to do as well) we managed to make our first set of skis which have been a great success.

I used the skis for the rest of the trip and gave them hell – chattering over ice, walking over rocks, splashing through streams. More abuse than a pair of skis I would have paid for. Amazingly the skis still look great – evidence that we were using good materials and were smart enough!





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