Cross-country skier develops new “ski claw” device with help from Cold Climate Innovation program at Yukon College

Yukon College

from CBC news:  

Whitehorse cross-country skier Doug Hitch is pitching a new device he says is a big step forward for the winter pastime.

Hitch has invented what he’s named “ski claws”.

They are metal claws permanently attached to skis. They’re engaged with a little kick, and give a skier more grip when climbing hills.

On a level, packed trail, engaging the claw on one ski lets the skier glide forward with the other ski. The result gives the user a performance advantage, says Hitch — and there’s no need for wax.

“It’s a bit like riding a one-speed bike and then going onto a bike with gears,” he said.

Hitch started to think about improving his cross-country skiing experience when he was living in Yellowknife many years ago.

He liked to ski up to the top of a rock dome behind Rat Lake, using narrow trails that climb up through the rock outcrops.

“The only choice was to take your skis off and walk up. And I’d always get to the bottom of the hill and I’d go, ‘there’s got to be a better way to get up that hill,'” said Hitch.

“Skins are invented, and crampons are invented, and they work but you have to stop and take the skis off, put the device on, ski up the hill, stop, take the device off, and keep and going.”

Hitch said he began working on the claws about 20 years ago with support in more recent years from the Cold Climate Innovation program at Yukon College.

Read the full story here.