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I have been reading for a while about the altai ski "the Hok" . It is being promoted as :

the Hok is a ski to be used whenever and wherever there is snow. With a partial climbing skin integrated into the base, the ski climbs with ease.

Is it really efficient whenclimbing moderate to steep slopes ?

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3 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

If I get it right, they are using the idea of hunters, who attached a deer skin (fur outside) to the ski (e.g. like this). It's called "камус" and "Steigfell", and I don't know an English word for it.

Just like you can pet your cat in one direction and can't do it in the opposite direction, with Steigfell on you can easily glide in one direction (forward) and if you try to glide backwards, the fur will "bristle up".

I never tried it myself, but I know a couple of people who say it really works: you can easily go uphill, without (much) affecting forward gliding performance.

When skiing backcountry making your own track on snow, even "climbing" 5-10 degree slops can be very tiresome (or you use a grip wax and sacrifice gliding at all). So having a Steigfell (in your case, integrated) is a huge advantage.

But don't expect to be able to walk a 30-deg slope uphill.

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Depends on what you mean by climbing. If it is still walking up a steep slope then these should give you added grip on snow.

If you are actually climbing then they will be of no use at all, as in this situation you need to be able to use your toes and sides of your feet as well as the soles.

Personally, in both scenarios I would rather use appropriate footwear and have the skis strapped to my pack.

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In a really deep snow, like 1-2 meters thick, walking on foot is almost impossible: you are buried up to your waist. So skis and snowshoes are the only options, skis being the faster one. –  Steed Nov 20 '12 at 10:19
    
Absolutely agree @Steed –  Rory Alsop Nov 20 '12 at 12:41
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I tried these and the best use would be on a alternating field. I mean, a mix of going up and down. It this kind of situation they are hard to beat. Because you don't loose time changing between ski/snowshoes. If the angle isn't too much, they climb really fast. You can also get a slide on flat surface a little bit like cross-country skiing.

I'm thinking about buying these because they are way more fun than simply snowshoeing, still being as effective and usable in every conditions.

You should know that the ski underneath It will bond with sticky snow. I just had to remove It after couples minutes If I wanted to go faster downhill. In colder condition and powder snow that wouldn't be a problem at all.

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Thank you for the feedback :) –  Amine Mar 4 '13 at 18:13
    
Great Answer! Welcome to The Great Outdoors S.E. –  MaskedPlant Mar 4 '13 at 18:37
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