P. Edronkin

Skikets: Skiing in Patagonia with a new board concept (I).

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During the austral summer of the year 2001, the unusual predominance of snow prevented our exploration groups from accessing bases, shelters and installations located deep within the Blanco Valley, in the Andean district of Patagonia.

After the end of that summer, we began working on means and methods capable of providing us a way thorough such a terrain.

We rapidly concluded that a combination of qualities belonging to snow rackets and various ski boards would be ideal, but alas, no such products could be found readily available.

After some experiments, we finally produced a couple of prototype ski boards which combined characteristics of snow rackets, alpine and Nordic boards, and after some testing, we decided to produce a small series of our new invention.

We called them 'esquetas', which is a Spanish language neologism resulting from the words 'esqui' and 'raqueta'. The respective meanings of these words are ski board and racket, so that in English, we would call these things 'skikets' or something like that.

The only components that we decided not to produce on our own due to a lack of time to do so were the locks required to attach the user's boots to the ski boards. Instead, we acquired some surplus military-grade skiing boot locks from the Argentine Army.

Skiing in the Andes.
Transporting the new boards over a glacier.

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