NNN-BC


Ken and Ian showing their claws on the shoulder of Golden Horn in March.

At the January 2018 Snow Show in Denver I showed a model of SkiClaws on a classic body. The first thing several industry insiders said was that the device would be really good for backcountry. So I began to focus on the BC version (some details under News).
In the summer of 2018 I began planning for a crowd-funding campaign, ideally to take place in early 2019. This process has faced numerous challenges. There have been delays with suppliers. The winter has been awful locally for skiing, with a skiable snowpack only in January, many too cold days in January, and an extremely early melt in early March. It has not yet (April 5) been possible to shoot the video, which will now have to be in the mountains. The short video below was from a March trek up Coal Lake Trail towards Golden Horn, demonstrating the effectiveness of the SkiClaws BC.

Claw newbies skiing up a steep section of the Coal Lake trail towards Mount Golden Horn near Whitehorse. Most were on SkiClaws for the first time.

Development Highlights

All assembly on the kitchen table.
Boots for the crowd-funding video volunteers
Ten sets ready to go
This unit shows the black rubber bumpers designed in spring 2018 and made in China in the summer. This is the best looking model, and the next will look even better. But in extensive testing, the force pushing back on the rear bumper with vigorous hill climbing tended to push the bumper up, tearing it from the screws. The next image has the solution.
The practical solution to the rear bumper issue. The bumper is connected to the heel plate, which is made of wood here, but will have a different material in the next model. Combining the bumper with the heel plate gives robust impact absorption and worry-free hard climbing.

New Footpad and Bumper

In the late summer of 2019 a Prusa 3D printer kit arrived. Eventually this will be used for more extensive prototyping but the immediate need was for a better footpad-bumper. After assembling the printer, learning CAD, and printing several prototypes of both footpad and bumper, an elegant and functional design was achieved.

Forest green footpad printed in PETG. The design provides the necessary elevation while still being able to flex with the ski.
The black bumper is printed in TPU, a flexible material. It is screwed through the recessed holes to matching holes printed in the end of the footpad.
The new assembly installed. It both looks better and functions better than the practical solution hurriedly devised in late winter 2019.
This image shows the sliding platform contacting the bumper as the claws engage.

The new assembly has been tested and works well. The next step will be a crowd funding campaign. The goal is to make presales, then organize a larger production run.