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How to transition like Kilian

SuuntoSki — 16 marzo 2015

Every second counts in the world of skimo racing, and a quick changeover between uphill and downhill sections can make all the difference. For regular ski tourers, it's always an impressive sight to see how the pros do it in just a few seconds. Here, ski mountaineering world champion Kilian Jornet reveals his top tips for an efficient transition. And check the video below to see him in action.

1. Think ahead

As I arrive at the transition, I start to mentally prepare for both the transition and the downhill stretch of the race that will follow. Do I have any more uphill sections, or will this be the final run down? This is important as it determines how I remove and store my skins.

2. Get ready

A few meters before I reach the top, I open my suit and remove my pole straps, ready to lay them down on the floor as I enter the transition area.


See how Kilian does it.

 3. Change modes

After putting my poles on the floor, I switch the boots to ski mode with both hands, and then twist the binding into the downhill position.

 4. Skins off

If there are more uphill sections to come, I take the top of the skin in one hand before kicking my foot forward and ripping the skin off in one fluid motion. I fold the skin in half, tuck it in my suit and repeat the process with the second skin. If it’s the last downhill of the race I won’t need to use the skins again so I rip the skins off in quick succession and store them together in my suit.

5. Setting off

Lastly I zip up my suit, pick up my poles, check my heels are locked in and get ready for the downhill descent.