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The '13/'14 Git Yer Nordic On XC Ski Thread

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  • The '13/'14 Git Yer Nordic On XC Ski Thread

    The skinny ski life: All Earning, No Turning.

    Well the season is thankfully upon us. We have engaged in all the ancient rituals: the scrapping of the storage wax, the changing of the pole tips, the "Where did I put my gloves/hat,etc" dance. We made offerings to the gods of gravity and flex on the spiffy new wax-pocket measuring light thingy:

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    Early this morning the kids set off on the customary Thanksgiving Hajj to West Yellowstone. (Dang it was cold!)

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    I headed over the local touring center. Conditions ranged the full "better than" gamut: from better-than-nothing all the way up to better-than-you-would-expect. Actually, conditions are quite good, for as little snow as we have.

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    The wife and I will be heading up to West in a couple of days. Conditions are said to be prime. Can't wait.

    In other nordic news, the New York Times had an article on the US Women Jumpers:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/24/ma...=magazine&_r=0

    The National Team crowd seems to be off to a good start in Beiotstolen. All the women placed in the top 30 yesterday, with Sadie Bjornson taking 5th. Today Liz Stephen took 6th, and Noah Hoffman notched a 7th.

  • #2
    Man I wish I could XC close to home. Ah, well, I'll have to be satisfied with winter running and a few track days throughout.

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    • #3
      still waiting for snow in tahoe...

      went mt. biking today near tahoe donner and was up near royal gorge this evening...we need some snow!

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      • #4
        The nordic season is pretty much in full swing in Alberta.
        With many local trails getting the first real grooming of the winter- we spent the weekend on the skinny sticks.
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        At West Bragg Creek-
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        And Skogan Pass-
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        But whaddaya mean, "all earning, no turning"?
        The latter trail climbs 650 vertical metres, giving a long and often wildly fast descent, where slashing out short p-turns sure beats snowplowing the steep parts.

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        • #5
          Its been a late start to the season, we been getting some skijoring in though.

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          • #6
            Yes, that time of year. Ski's out of storage and prepped. And awaiting the first blast of the snow guns to lay down pristine snow from the Charles River (love that dirty water) onto the golf course at the Weston Ski Track (12 miles west of Boston). Sigh - it's going to be awhile down this way.

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            • #7
              I've lived next to an XC center in VT for the past 13 years and not once used it. After heart surgery this Summer, I swore I'd get some skate skis this year to stay in better shape this winter (and the rest of my life).

              I grew up playing hockey. I'm a decent skier in general. While I may not have ever skate skied, I am confident I can build a decent competence relatively quickly. What is a good low-maintenance skate ski set up that I could hunt down used or on eBay? I am 5'7" 160lbs.

              Just Dan

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Just Dan View Post
                I've lived next to an XC center in VT for the past 13 years and not once used it. After heart surgery this Summer, I swore I'd get some skate skis this year to stay in better shape this winter (and the rest of my life).

                I grew up playing hockey. I'm a decent skier in general. While I may not have ever skate skied, I am confident I can build a decent competence relatively quickly. What is a good low-maintenance skate ski set up that I could hunt down used or on eBay?
                As with many things skiing - get a good pair of boots first. I grew up playing hockey too, so the switch to skiing was pretty easy. So was adding skate skiing to the repertoire. But, I haven't stuck with it much since I've been less than impressed with most skate boots. Not enough ankle support. Can't really advise you much there, but I do know there are different grades of boot, and of ankle support. Find the boot first and I'm betting/guessing that just about any skate ski will be good enough as long as it is the right length (~170cm?).

                ain't no turn like tele!

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                • #9
                  Another hockey player who went to skiing as time passed. I like classic and skating. Just depends on my mood and conditions.

                  If you are in it for the exercise you don't need to go crazy on the latest lightest gear. I also agree that if you get the boots right the rest will follow. The boots will lead to the binding system you use.
                  Eshew obfuscation.

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                  • #10
                    Ski skating is simple and can actually be exciting zooming around a nordic course. Some course speeds match my BC tele speeds! It takes some days to get over the "weakling/whimpy/whining" ankle issues, but like most sports you need to use certain muscles you rarely use. Despite days on tele gear, it did nothing to improve my skating on groomed tracks. Gear hasn't changed that much in skating….skinny skis, light boots with minimal ankle support(there used to be none!) and really long poles. If your committed to it, then you need to put in the time, really days, to develop particular muscles mainly in the feet and legs. Valdez is fortunate to have 15K of dedicated skate track on a hilly and loopy course that is challenging and meets most the criteria for sanctioned events like local HS meets and citizen races. It's one of the most popular rec. facilities in town, with dozens of adults found on the course each day. I used to ski 100km a week on skate gear to stay fit for races but now I spend more time in the mountains due to guiding, but typically get 10 days on the course which is about one mile away from my door.

                    Here's looking down on the course which loops through the bumpy moraine features and open field just north of town in Mineral Creek Canyon.
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                    • #11
                      If you are getting skate gear, note that there are two different (and incompatible) boot/binding systems. Rottefella has NNN, used by Rossi, Madshus and Fischer. Solomon has SNS, used by Solomon and Atomic. SNS has two versions, SNS and Pilot. I think they are cross-compatible, but I ski NNN so am not sure.

                      Rottefella also has NIS, a plastic plate that is permanently fixed to the ski top that allows the binding to be slid on and off and adjusted fore and aft. Most all Rossi, Madshus and Fischer skis r mid-quality and above have an NIS plate. You can screw an SNS binding through the plate (I have seen it done) but it looks odd and I do not know how well that works. And, you can get non-NIS NNN bindings, but they can sometimes be a bit had to locate. So, if you get SNS boots (Solomon or Atomic), you are sort of committed to Solomon or Atomic skis. If you have NNN boots you can use Solomon or Atomic skis, but you may have to hunt around for a non-NIS NNN bindings I think these are called “R4 NNN” bindings).

                      I am West Yellowstone for the week, at the Bonaroo of Nordic skiing. The snow is great; the internet connection is not. I will try to post some pictures tonight.

                      That Valdez skiing looks sweet. Based on the pics in the Valdisease thread, i can see why the nordic gear up there might not get much use.

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                      • #12
                        I have Pilot on top of NIS plate, works just fine. Wish I could be in West this weekend, but I'm on call and need to be close to internet. Big Sky is little better for that.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Greg View Post
                          So, if you get SNS boots (Solomon or Atomic), you are sort of committed to Solomon or Atomic skis.
                          Not true, you can just drill through the adapter on NIS skis and mount SNS bindings. I (and others, including local shops) do this all the time - my wife and I have several sets of Rossi and Madshus NIS skis mounted with Pilot bindings. You do lose the advantage of being able to mount without drilling, but nordic bindings are so easy to mount that this isn't a big deal IMO.

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                          • #14
                            Thanks for the info on boots/bindings.

                            What about length for someone 5'7" 160ish? Dostie said 170cm? Anyone else (dis)agree?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Just Dan View Post
                              What about length for someone 5'7" 160ish? Dostie said 170cm? Anyone else (dis)agree?
                              That sounds short. Generally 160 pounds will be 180-190 in skate skis and 195-205 in classics. Also flex varies from ski to ski, even for a given model and length. I.e., one pair of 180s might be stiff and OK for your weight while another will be medium flex and a better fit for someone lighter. The best option is to find a good shop who can flex test skis and help you find the right ones for you.

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