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Patagonia Ascentionist ski-hook carry mod Posted on 03.07.2016 by greg.kuchyt

After getting into ski mountaineering races this year and sampling some of the specialized gear I found one of the things that I’d really like to have available in more pedestrian touring is a ski-hook carry system. For those unfamiliar with the concept, skimo race packs have a circular ring made of a stiff material on one side at the back of hip belt. On the other side of the pack on the shoulder strap there is a hook on an elastic cord. The tails of a ski are put in the ring until the heel posts catch on the ring, then the skis are swung across the back to the other side with the hook. The hook is pulled back over the shoulder and clipped to the skis. This is a quick, easy, and secure way to carry skis used in skimo races when skis need to be shouldered for a boot pack. So I wanted to put a similar system on the pack I usually use for skiing.

Building off the guide at SkinTrack, I made a few modifications to make things modular. Starting with the ski loop, I took an 18″ Voilé ski trap and zip-tied the working end of the strap so that it wouldn’t unbuckle. Next I zip-tied that to the hip belt in the area where the shoulder straps are stitched in because there is a small gap behind the buckle (see picture).

For the hook, I followed the directions at SkinTrack but made things a little easier by building a small bending jig with a 1/4″ spacer and used that to create the tie-off loops and the initial bend radius for the “claw” of the hook. After that I used a vise to do the other bends. I used 1/8″ shock cord and a cord toggle to attach the hook to the pack. I tied the shock cord around the hook’s eyes with a bowline with an overhand stopper then passed the other end of shock cord through the cord toggle. I then passed the end of the shock cord through the top most daisy chain loop on the shoulder straps used for the sternum strap and then back through the toggle. This allows you to adjust the total length of the ski hook and  more importantly the tension of the hook which makes it more versatile for a range of skis.

I’m going to try to find some slightly beefier shock cord, maybe 3/16″ because the 1/8″ is a little weak for this usage. If I decide on a specific length being adequate I’ll run the cord through some 9/16″ webbing and then put some shrink tubing over the hook eyes to help minimize the possibility the knot will come undone.