This post sponsored by our publishing partner Cripple Creek Backcountry. They have a tanning bed.
No, it’s not a legal thriller. If I had a nickle for how many times you guys have asked me about the DPS Phantom ski base glide treatment, I’d be buying a castle in Austria (feel free to start sending those nickels, you are invited). As it is, I began testing Phantom before it retailed. Doing so required a tedious installation involving weather prediction as much as anything else (because of needed sunlight curing). That didn’t work so well. DPS went back to the lab and came up with a better process, involving what’s essentially a high-strength tanning bed that cures Phantom with UV light. I’ve done a few A/B tests now, as well as rocking fully treated pairs. I’m here to tell you the stuff works. It’s not alpine race wax, and isn’t much different than Ptex on warm snow, but:
1. Colder temps, definitely works.
2. Warm-cold-warm-cold icing your skis? Works as well as a wax job.
3. Depending on slick wax to prevent climbing skin glue residue? Works.
Downside: a hefty cash outlay (one precious Benjamin per ski pair) for the treatment, though it’s said to last the life of the ski. You can get Phantom as a DIY kit (improved over the original), but I strongly recommend avoiding that and having your skis tanned at a properly equipped retailer.
The day that convinced me was nothing special. I was skinning with my A/B test setup, the sun warmed my skis. On one ski, ice formed along the base next to the edges. The other plank was clear. Guess which ski?
For the ultimate, you can wax over the Phantom treatment. In our case, we have mostly given up on alpine wax. Too many skis, too little time. Now I look at my waxing tools like my antique backpacks from the 1960s, only the wax doesn’t stir my memories like the rucksack of my youth. If you do need a hydro’ or flouro’ hit now and then, I’m sure you can figure out a way to scent some incense with all that pretty colored stuff in your workshop drawer.
Phantom has an environmental benefit as well. Skiers use an enormous amount of hydrocarbon alpine wax, most of which eventually ends up on the ground, thus eventually in the water table. It’s not like plastic straws in bird noses, but it must be detrimental. Use Phantom, solve the problem. (Phantom chemicals are benign, and pretty much stay with the ski base.)
About that thriller book; they should hire me to write titles.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.