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The 2019 2020 Cross Country, Nordic Ski thread & some tips for beginners

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
My biggest problem still is dealing with uneven surfaces.

Yesterday, I was out on a 15km out-and-back skate. There's a small ridge about quarter width of the skating lane. I was doing better going in one direction but not so great the other direction. Until I realized I usually poles when going left, that being my "power" step. But the ridge was on the left 1/4 of the width going out. So I wobbled crossing that ridge, robbing my glide every so often. Also it upsetting my balance just when I was about to shift weight back to my right leg.

Combing back, the ridge was on the right side, my less powerful stride. So the effect was less significant (also at that point, I was about to pole, so VERY stable! Little Angel )

Half the way on my way back, I finally realized what the ridge was doing to my strides. I paid more attention to maintaining my balance as my skis glide over it. I'm hoping my balance will come as I put more mileage in.

I've been out 10 times since my last couching session. I feel I should get a couple more couching sessions soon, before any bad habits I picked up since became ingrained and difficult to unlearn. "Unfortunately", the rest of my winter is choke full of downhill skiing plans (going to Whistler next week! Laughing). So I'm not sure how I could find the time to do more skating.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Evening all, a mid term report from Les Saisies...
The Nordic domain is lovely, with lots of nice trails, decent snow and view of the Mont Blanc and numerous other massifs. However it has two shortcomings that I am feeling keenly :
1. There are no refreshments available anywhere in the Nordic facility. No bar, no cafe. If you want a break you need to shlep back up to the village.
2. There are no nice flat (ish) circuits to practice for novice skaters. Just none. The green loops have all manner of hills, some long, some sort and nasty. Not particularly noticeable on classic, but beyond depressing when trying to get going on skates. I'm not too bad on the flat or gentle inclines, but gentle these are not! I would actively counsel against coming here if learning skating was your main plan.
I'm sure I'll add a couple of other bits when I get back.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@pendodave, I feel your pain!

Over the weekend, I was struggling with the same. On two sessions, I was on two different "green" trails, one goes constantly up and down, the other just goes up and up and up unrelentingly! I managed to put in the distance. But my form was terrible as I got tired fast.

Last day, I went back to a trail I knew was mostly flat with some short gentle inclines. I was able to focus more on my form rather than just keep moving till the top of the hill where I could stop to catch my breath.
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Well, predictably I'm going to leap to the defence of Les Saisies!! There are no bars in the heart of the Nordic area - thank goodness. But there are picnic/rest areas including a warm hut for chilly days. And there is a HUGE sports complex and restaurant/bar just alongside the carpark at the start of the Nordic area, where the ski schools meet. There is a free loipe which, whilst not perfectly flat, is not too scary and has a big flat area where I've seen loads of people learning to skate. Certainly none of the "proper" pistes (ie the ones for which you need a pass, through the barrier) is flat but they are progressive - the first, green, circuit is pretty manageable. Not easy for a first day beginner but then which green Alpine slope is easy for a first day beginner? I was a slow learner - found it harder to learn classic XC (I didn't try skating) than to learn the basics of snowboarding. Easy enough to shuffle along in tracks on the flat - you see a fair few people doing that, who have perhaps had no lessons. That's easy, but pointless! Might as well go for a walk. "c'est un sport de glisse", as the instructors keep telling us.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
has anyone been to the Nordic area of Peisey-Nancroix at Pont Baudin? Will it likely to be open over Easter (obviously depends on temps/snow I guess) but historically does it stay open into April??
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View from the trail

A little classic New England:


View from the bridge:
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
This past week I've driven through the Val de Clarée La Vachette and Névache sectors (it's one long valley) a couple of times and these areas boast some of the finest XC trails in France.

http://www.nevache-tourisme.fr/fr/activites-hiver/ski-de-fond/

Yesterday after descending down after a ski tour we found ourselves on the famous Black piste "La piste noire de la Forestière vous emmènera sur les traces des champions comme Richard Jouve, médaillé olympique à P’yŏngch’ang" and it looked bonkers steep.

Apart from many a lycra-clad club racer there were many others out who looked as if they'd just come back from doing the weekly shop Laughing

In fact I came across a similar couple this week, so does sort of put it into perspective what you need to wear and maybe one does not get too anal about clothing Laughing



Today went for a brisk 10km and trying to put into practice what I'd been taught in the week with some drills and I was most pleased to see that I did a PB on the climb shaving 5 secs off my previous but more importantly, heart rate was 5bpm lower which points to better technique!

Though have been examining the segment and it starts a lot earlier than I thought so should be able to shave more off which sort of defeats the analysis.

https://www.strava.com/activities/3044643782/overview


Last edited by Then you can post your own questions or snow reports... on Sun 26-01-20 13:58; edited 1 time in total
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
So, back from the Alps, slightly fraught trip home, as Friday was a day of enhanced industrial action.

My reflections ? Les Saisies has a really great XC area. What I particularly enjoyed about it was that there was a nice variety of landscape and trail. Some were amongst the forests, others in Alpine meadows and others in open snowfields with sensational views of various massifs including, in particular, Mont Blanc.
The area was of a decent size, with long enough trails to get a feeling of traveling through the countryside rather than just lapping a small area. It's also very peaceful, with no road noise and only a very small section where lifts/downhillers can be heard. I stand by my earlier remarks re. refreshment/shelter and novice skaters though! I guess some things are personal preferences/requirements which are not the same as for others.

As for classic/skating. I did 2 days of classic and one of skating. Despite the fact that I've only done a few days classic with no lessons, the lesson I took confirmed my previous suspicion that, if you are a decent downhill skier and reasonably fit, it is not a particularly daunting skill to acquire. On the last day I did a couple of the longer black trails (22 and 10km) without feeling that there was any technical challenge that I was unable to overcome. The only exception was when I accidentally came down the nordic skier cross route to the Nordic Chalet which was a touch hairy.

I also had a skating lesson (my second, I had previously had an hour a few years ago). I find it much harder to achieve competence. I can do a reasonable job on the flat and very small inclines, but any sort of hill is an almost unconquerable obstacle. Obviously this is a technical and practice issue, but based on the progress I've achieved so far, I reckon it would take me a pretty taxing week to get there. And as mentioned, I would make a specific effort to select a resort with some nice long loops that are pretty flat so that I could put in the mileage and gradually hone my technique. Even the green loops at Les Saisies were too hilly for me to achieve that.

All in all a great 3 days on the snow. I love downhill skiing and touring, and it's a bit sad that more downhillers don't try a bit of XC. The peace and pace of the sport is very different and really refreshing.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Bloody hell had to read that twice......... Laughing

pendodave wrote:
.....As for classic/skating. I did 2 days of classic and one of skating. Despite the fact that I've only done a few days classic with no lessons, the lesson I took confirmed my previous suspicion that, if you are a decent downhill skier and reasonably fit, it is not a particularly daunting skill to acquire. On the last day I did a couple of the longer black trails (22 and 10km) without feeling that there was any technical challenge that I was unable to overcome. .......


I thought that on the last day you skated 22 & 10km and that there was not any technical challenge to overcome Laughing

Anyway I recommend this part of the world for the best of all worlds Cool

Just back from walking the dogs and we now have different Army Regiments out training, Medical Corps and Veterinary Corps.

Had a nag with their instructor who clocked me earlier skating and was liking the idea of ski touring with the dogs etc
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Time to add some new outing report to the Nordic thread Toofy Grin

After 12 days of downhill skiing at Whistler, I'm too spoiled to bother skiing any of the crowded northeast ice coast groomers on a holiday weekend (President's day). The obvious alternative being cross country skiing. Very Happy

Saturday: Bretton Woods, Brilliant sunshine but brutally cold.

The sun obliged 2 out of 3 days. But the temperature was brutal on Saturday: -8F the night when I unload my bags into my lodging, and -6 the next morning Sad So I purposely had a late start on Saturday, reaching the touring center (just across the road from my lodging) at noon! Embarassed Also purposely selected a loop that involves sustain uphill (albeit mild grade) to start with.

But first, I had to stop to take some pictures as the sky was soooo clear! The mountains feels SOOO close like I could just extend my hand and touch it! snowHead I was pleasantly surprised it was no longer unbearably cold by that point (+12F in the span of 3-4 hours).



The climbing was a bit taxing, as I'm still rather cr*p at skating uphill. I focus on my breathing a bit more after a couple of forced stops due to a combination of poor technique and poor fitness. Eventually, I found a better rhythm and was able to keep going till I reached a surprise, a warming hut!


A rest in the warmth, a short chat with other hardy souls who dare to brave the cold, I bundled up for the descend. Fortunately, it's a roller coaster descend, with some ups involved to keep me from freezing into an icicle! Still, my fingers got really cold and I had to stop once and warm my hands in my armpit for 30 seconds for fear they might get frostbitten.

Despite having a late start, plus a long'ish break at the warming hut, it was still relatively early when I finished the 7-8km loop. The sun was still bright, and the temperature has warmed to an inviting degree. I contemplates whether to go out for another loop, but was concern I may over do it and kill my legs for I'm here for 3 days.

A few years back, my then boyfriend had given me a pair of old but top end skating skis from the 90's. It's a good 15cm longer than the one I was given during my initial clinic ("proper" length according to the ski manufacturer's recommendation). So I was suspicious about using them. But I took it along in the car as it took no trouble to do so. Today, with time to kill but not wanting to trash my legs on day 1, I decided this would be the perfect time to give that old pair of skis a try. Also, I've only skied one skis at one length so far, it'd be interesting to try something quite a bit different.

I didn't expect it would work all that great. It's "too long", and it's pretty dated in design, even though it's still in excellent conditions as it hadn't seen much snow time so far. But I was shocked to find I could glide on it significantly better!

Unlike today's skis, it has a lower camber. So not as "springy" on the kick. It's also a tad wider, which is easier for me to stay on as it sails smoothly forward. The smoother glide more than compensate for the less energetic kick. I was able to cover the same distance with fewer strides. I made a mental note I should use it the next day or two on loops I've done with my new skis just to compare the effect.


Sunday, Jackson Touring Center a bit of cloud, much warmer.

Onward to a different touring center. This one has over 100km of trails. So it's a happy dilemma to choose which section to do Very Happy

Being a holiday weekend, and no longer brutally cold, the crowd came out in full force. This touring center has relatively sparse parking for its vast trails. So I decided to use a parking in an segment of "fitness skiing" trails. Sure enough, when I arrive at 10am, although the parking was "full", someone was done for their day and was leaving! Freeing up a precious parking spot for me to camp down for the next couple hours.

I've been touring and enjoying the "freedom" of my new found ability to skate (on flat'ish trails) about different places. It's time to go back to working on my technique. The promised flat-as-a-pancake trail segment I chose would be good for skating without poles. Well, it turns out it wasn't as flat as advertised. And the flat light made it rather difficult to see where the trail goes. So I somehow found myself at the bottom of a couple small incline with no speed. Sad It's bloody hard work to get going again once I ground to a dead stop. Still, the short 3k loop was good for doing various drills.

In my mind was the thought to give the older skis a "truer" test to see if I actually like it more than my newer skis. So after an hour, I went back to my car and switched skis (and a few bite of food to recharge my energy). Back on the trail, the lack of "springing" in the older skis, and being longer, it's much harder to get going without poles. But once I got it going, it's much easier to maintain a relaxed stride and kept on going. Adding poles makes for a MUCH longer glide and even more relaxed V-1. The only minor problem was the trail at some section weren't wide enough I ran out of width on my glide. Had to modify the angle of my travel to suit.

I've ran out of trails and drills I felt like doing. Besides, I was properly tired, hard work focusing on forms than just cruising about.

The ski shop was advertising some upcoming "end of season sale", which starts the next day (Monday after the biggest holiday). So I naturally stop in to check out what I could take advantage of. As I renewed my xc with a rigor, I could use some update of gear and clothing. After much discussing, I nailed a pair of composite poles for skating! Very Happy Looking forward to try it out the next day.Toofy Grin
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Monday, Bretton Woods again, blue sky again, not too cold but windy as hell!

The wind was howling so loud I can hear it in my room. Looking out the window, the trees were going wildly tipping and bending. Snow were flying all over the place. That wasn't in the forecast! Sad

Still, the sun was out and looking brilliant:

(you can see the swirling of snow on the higher summits)

I needed to stay in a trail that's in the woods, sheltered from the brutal wind. Fortunately, I have a few options to choose from.

Decided to use the older skis as it just felt more fun with the superior glide. I definitely wanted to do the loop I did with my newer skis on Saturday again using the "dated & long" skis. So back to Bretton Woods.

Parking was full and stretches all the way onto the side of the road into the Nordic center. But again, I got lucky someone was leaving. Trail was well groomed as usual.

My "new old" skis ate up the distance nicely this time. Also, having done the same trail only 2 days earlier, I knew what to expect in terms of grade, and can vary my effort level accordingly. So I got up to the warming hut easily.

Though looking at my watch, I noticed I wasn't that much faster. Puzzled

Except this time, I didn't take a rest in the warming hut as I didn't feel I needed one. On the roller-coaster down, I took a longer detour than two days ago as I felt I had energy to spare. It ended up being a 9-10 km total. The last part however, I was skiing straight into the wind on an open field. Getting sandblasted on my face wasn't very comfortable. Even breathing was a bit difficult.

In the end, I checked my watch. Once again, I was a not significantly faster as I thought I was. Sad Given how effortlessly I felt on this second outing, I thought I must have gone around the loop way faster. But no.

I wasn't wearing a HRM so I didn't have data to verify. But the time, and the lack of huffing-and-puffing, led me to suspect I was probably going about at a similar speed but with less effort.

My uneducated conclusion: the better gliding skis allow me to ski with less effort. But until I improve on my technique to skate at a faster speed, my time probably won't see that much improve.

Still, that's progress. With less effort for the same distance, I will be able to ski longer and covering more distance each outing. I will also have a little bit extra energy to handle some hills when I encounter them. I'm definitely on the way to "stretch my legs" a bit further.

I don't know if I'll have more chances to do much more xc skiing (as alpine ski trips crowds my calendar). All in all, I'm on my way to enjoy skate skiing about. I'm rather pleased with the effort and result this first season of my skate skiing adventure.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
I got lucky and finished my week’s work early. So I get to taking Friday off Smile

I’m going to take advantage of this extra day off to drive a bit further to attend a regional nordic gathering. Laughing There will be ski demos. And clinics by some top notch coaches.

Maybe, just maybe, I’ll learn how to climb hills! Toofy Grin
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Yea! Technique trumps brute force every time!

I did get a chance to work on climbing hills! Even got picked by the instructor to “show them what I meant”: she comments as I skied by!

Best statement from the coach: “sure you can get up the hill with a series of full body lunges, but skiing is about ... GLIDE!”

The hills started to get “shorter”! No, it didn’t get any easier. But I’m over them quicker. (I didn’t get fitter overnight either)
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Also, I hit the demo tent and got handed a 10cm longer skis in the same family of what I have.

It confirmed my current skis are too short Sad (despite being smack center on the weight chart of my current skis)

So much for the sizing chart!

I’ll be bargain hunting for new skis end of this season. (already have a potential buyer expressing interest for my current short skis, which will free up funds to hit the “end of season sales”).
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
abc wrote:

So much for the sizing chart!

I’ll be bargain hunting for new skis end of this season. (already have a potential buyer expressing interest for my current short skis, which will free up funds to hit the “end of season sales”).


You should go to a competent shop and get your skis fitted for your weight. Good xcountry ski shops will weight check the skis they receive and label them themselves (some skis are checked at the factory too). There is some variance in a production run.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
davidof wrote:
abc wrote:

So much for the sizing chart!

I’ll be bargain hunting for new skis end of this season. (already have a potential buyer expressing interest for my current short skis, which will free up funds to hit the “end of season sales”).


You should go to a competent shop and get your skis fitted for your weight. Good xcountry ski shops will weight check the skis they receive and label them themselves (some skis are checked at the factory too). There is some variance in a production run.

It’s possible the short (but “correct” length according to weight chart) skis I have is off.

I suppose I could go to a shop and have them weight check my current skis just to rule out that possibility (or I could try another short ski to confirm it skis the same)

But I now tried 2 long skis that both ski better. What’s the drawback of skiing skis that are too long?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@abc, ski length is not really all that important. When it comes to race skis, there's only 2 lengths anyway (and 2 for classic). So regardless if you are 165 or 185cm you still have 192 or 195cm for skating (depending on manufacturer) for men (no idea what's current length for women). Longer ski is more stable, but if it would be extremely too long, you would be stepping over tails when skating. But that would be more like you would be 130cm and skis would be 195cm, not that you are 170 or 180cm and would need different length to avoid this issue.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
abc wrote:


I suppose I could go to a shop and have them weight check my current skis just to rule out that possibility (or I could try another short ski to confirm it skis the same)

But I now tried 2 long skis that both ski better. What’s the drawback of skiing skis that are too long?


"too long", "too short" as you've discovered don't really exist. What you can have are skis that are not ideal for your weight, remember the weight includes your normal clothing, boots, M16 assault rifle, etc so can be a bit more than your weight standing on the bathroom scales. It is less critical for skate skis than classic skis. Of course longer skis are generally skied by taller, heavier people so manufacturers design the ski with that in mind.

Taking skate skis, if you are too heavy for a ski more of the ski surface area will be in contact with the snow, this means more friction. On cold, icy snow this is not a bad thing. On soft snow, or humid snow it will slow you down (ski digging in or suction). If you are too light for a ski then less surface area will be in contact with the snow, this will make the ski harder to handle.

A longer ski will require better technique, especially climbing or racing in groups.

If we look on the world cup circuit there are skiers like Anaïs Chevalier (163cm/55kg) skiing Rossignol S2 in 187cm. That's a lotta ski for a little lady, as Porter-Wagoner might have said. The minimum weight for this ski is quoted as 65 kg. One would assume she's skiing such a ski because it is quicker and she has excellent technique.



Of course classic is a different kettle of klister as you need to engage the 'wax pocket' to get grip. If you are too light, have poor technique or are not very powerful then you'll slip. If you are too heavy the ski will grab.


What you can do with your current skis is the paper test. Find a flat, hard floor like a tiled floor, garage concrete floor etc and stand on your skis in boots with your weight even. Someone should be able to slide a piece of paper from in front of the binding to behind the binding. In other words with half your weight on each ski the center of the ski should be clear of the ground.

A good xc ski shop should have a device to compress the ski to 0.2mm gap, this is the mid-flex and the force in kgs determines the ideal body weight for that ski. Ski shops might separate out all the skis, test them, then pair up the best matches.

To conclude, if you preferred the longer ski length and didn't find the length interfering with your technique than I can't see any reason not to go for them. There isn't really a downside as Anaïs demonstrates
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Quote:

Anaïs Chevalier (163cm/55kg) skiing Rossignol S2 in 187cm

I'm exactly the same height and only 2kg shy. Toofy Grin

Perhaps it isn't so terrible that I prefer a 180cm ski. Smile

On the maneuvering front, having skied plenty of 190cm classic skis, I'm pretty comfortable handling long skis on tight spaces.

I thought I would step on the tails of the long skis a lot. But it didn't happened. Not sure if that's a good indication though. It's possible that I'm not bring the skis back to the centerline enough... Puzzled I do worry if I stay with a long ski, will it "encourages" any such bad habits? Sad
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
[quote="davidof"]
abc wrote:
If we look on the world cup circuit there are skiers like Anaïs Chevalier (163cm/55kg) skiing Rossignol S2 in 187cm. The minimum weight for this ski is quoted as 65 kg. One would assume she's skiing such a ski because it is quicker and she has excellent technique.

As I wrote above, racing service skis are done only in 2 lengths (one for men and other for women), but in many different stiffness ranges, so 187cm race ski is not same stiffness as 187cm ski bought in store. It can be, but it can be for 20kg lighter or 10kg heavier skier, and all 3 would have perfectly stiff ski. Weight is only factor that really matters with skis, and you can be sure, she's not skiing ski for >65kg, but ski for 55kg skier, even if officially such skis don't exist in stores. Wink
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primoz wrote:
@abc, ski length is not really all that important. When it comes to race skis, there's only 2 lengths anyway (and 2 for classic). So regardless if you are 165 or 185cm you still have 192 or 195cm for skating (depending on manufacturer) for men (no idea what's current length for women). Longer ski is more stable, but if it would be extremely too long, you would be stepping over tails when skating. But that would be more like you would be 130cm and skis would be 195cm, not that you are 170 or 180cm and would need different length to avoid this issue.

I feel I'm definitely benefiting from the stability part more than anything else.

Also, my "running weight", including boots and clothing, is obviously a bit more than my naked body weight. And when I'm out skiing for distance, I have a Camelpak on with half a litre of water. All that weight add up. It's possible I was pushing the weight limit on the short skis. (though definitely not exceeding it though, my body weight is only in the middle of the stated weight range). More like with the added water and gear, I also fall within the weight range of the next longer size (the overlapping part between the 2 length).

Between the inherent advantage of longer skis glide better, and the added stability, I'm definitely liking the longer skis better. Smile

As I don't have much issue with maneuvering the longer skis (and it not being so long I step on the tails), I'm incline to "upsize" my skis in the next opportunity.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
primoz wrote:
Weight is only factor that really matters with skis,


We posted at the same time so I'd not seen what you'd written.

As I also said in my post, don't worry about length but weight. ABC can get his skis selected for his weight buy a shop (as Anaïs does at the Rossignol factory for the 25 pairs or so of skis she has) but if he is happy skiing the longer ski he has tested then he can probably buy that with no worries.

ABC> thought I would step on the tails of the long skis a lot.

3% difference between two ski sizes approx, so not a huge deal.


Last edited by Then you can post your own questions or snow reports... on Wed 26-02-20 10:59; edited 1 time in total
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Thanks to both @primoz and @davidof for the advice.

primoz wrote:
Weight is only factor that really matters with skis,

davidof wrote:
As I said in my post, don't worry about length but weight.

This has been a bit of a "journey" for me, beyond cross country skis for that matter.

It turns out, I tend to like longer skis even in alpine skis. Again, more stability.

When alpine skis started getting shorter, I found my "correctly sized" skis not as stable as I'd like. I've been told many times it's just a holdover from skiing long skis in the past. I tried and tried, and even took lesson to suppose learn to utilize the shaped skis correctly. In the end, the "trend" in shaped skis started to reverse itself and people are starting to get skis longer than what the manufacturers recommended. I went with the "new trend" and "upsized" my skis! Such a huge boost in my enjoyment! I'm no longer worried about doing headers on my skis!

I've been wondering about that topic for a few years. I do have a hypothesis.

I'm "tall for my weight". That's another way to say I'm rather skinny and light.

Back in the days when alpine skis were based on BOTH weight and height, I seemed to do ok with the length of skis. As I could tell on the charts my height would bump me into the next longer length. With the newer shorter skis, if I go with weight alone, it's a bit tricky to stay on the "smaller platform" given my height. I had tips diving on soft snow all the time! I mean, when you need to keep a tall lamppost upright, you need a fairly large footprint compare to what it takes to keep a short mailbox up, right?

So for us skinny folks, I suspect there's a natural preference to longer skis just for that larger "footprint"?

And long limbs make maneuvering longer skis easy.Smile
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
abc wrote:


And long limbs make maneuvering longer skis easy.Smile


it would be interesting to check your current skis, if you can find a flat enough floor. The paper test is not that accurate but if your helper can only move a piece of paper a limited distance under a weighted ski it would suggest you are too heavy for your skis and that is not good for you climbing speed where I think you were having some concerns. It would certainly effect your glide when climbing and one you can no longer glide it becomes a struggle.



https://ebsadventure.com/blogs/news/guide-to-buying-used-cross-country-ski-equipment

At our ski area we have a lot of Rossignol test skis to use as we are the closest snow to the R&D center, the idea is "we" give feedback to Rossi[1]. Frequently these skis have an anonymous top sheet, just an id and a MF weight so you have no idea what the ski is, or will be next season but clearly a black base ski is probably close to a WCS S1 (hard cold snow softer ski) or S2 (general purpose). At the same time production is pretty well optimized so there isn't a revolution between what we have to test and what is in the stores. Maybe a bit of graphine for next season Happy.

[1]we would mean the competitors and professionals present on the site
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Although I haven't bothered with the static weight test with my new skating skis, I had in the past with my previous (in track) classic skis, and my backcountry (metal edge classic) skis. There's no surprise between the sizing chart and my weight on the scale. So I suspect my skating skis were probably "right sized". Just like all my previous classic skis, performing as expected.

It's not that I don't get glides. It's just that longer (than recommended) skis gave me MORE glide. On classic skis, I'm more cautious as my ability to flex the skis on hills, especially when I'm a the tail end of a 40km day. But even there, I never like the new fashion of "compact" skis (in the 160-180cm for all weights). I prefer the more traditional skis spanning 170-200cm(+?) type (my last waxable was ~185cm).

As I found no negative on longer skating skis (and they're still a lot shorter than my classic skis), I'm not going to obsess over what maybe the issue with my current skis. It could very well be about right, just not optimal.

This has been a rather warm winter over here. So I've not had any days when snow was really hard and fast. I may find my current ski perform perfectly in those conditions, who knows?
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
One last day for the 2020 season:

Sunday, March 15, 2020 -- Crested Butte -- Day 19, season closing day

I arrived at Crested Butte evening of Thursday the 12th, after (downhill) skiing Breckenridge during the day. The plan was to catch the storm that was to arrive on Friday - Saturday, which it did. I skied at Crested Butte on Saturday, catching some nice powder runs. I even strategise what runs I was going to do on Sunday. But at 6pm Saturday the 14th, a phone call from a friend alerted me to the fact Vail resort is closing ALL of their mountains effectively immediately.

I was going back to Breckenridge on Sunday afternoon after skiing anyway. So that's not a huge change. I would just have all day to drive the 100 mile and take in the scenery.

Then an idea slowly formed in my head. I bet the nordic trail which isn't owned by Vail, are probably still open. No lift queue to be next to other people, dead easy to keep distance from others. Satisfies not just the letter, but also the spirit of "social distancing" which caused the closing of the lift-served skiing.

I checked online. Indeed they're open. Time to check out the trail network and see what I can do...



Like many nordic trail networks near downhill ski resorts, this one is nestle in the valley surrounded by mountains. I have the option to cruise along the flat bottom of the valley, or climb up the side of the valley as high as I care to.

As I'm not yet very proficient at climbing on skating skis, I know I wouldn't be able to go very high. On the other hand, I had a 2 hr group lesson on climbing a couple weeks back, which I have yet to put into practice. This day maybe my last chance to consolidate what I learned. So I picked the red trail on the lower right, which starts out on the flat, a good warm up, and then climbs in a series of "stair step" as the trail work its way up the side of the mountain.

I knew skating at 10,000' will be more work than doing it at under 1,000' near home. Plus, the day was warm and the snow soft. So it's a bit slow going. But eventually, I got into rhythm and started to eat up the distance quickly. Well, except when I stop to take photos...



I was pleased I wasn't hurting too much on the "stair step" climbs. Soon I reached the end of that 2.5km stretch and was rewarded with a long gradual descend!Smile

As I was going a bit quicker than my estimate, I decided to stretch my outing. So instead of heading straight back to the trail head, I turn right at the next junction, continued on another trail which again cruise along the valley for a bit and then climbs up the side of the mountain...

This trail actually has better condition as there (almost) no one on it:



Oh wait, here comes ONE other person!



Soon, I was back to my car and I was hungry. So I had a picnic at my car. As the mountain was closed, the locals (and probably some tourists, like me) were out nordic skiing. (also quite many on fat bikes) Lot of people coming and going.

One of the locals had her "environmentally friendly" around the town transportation:



(note the ski carrying tube attached to the back of the bike)

After "lunch", I did another outing on the black trail (lower right hand side). That trail was pancake flat. Great for working on forms.

All in all, I probably did about 9 or 10km.

This was my day 19 since learning to skate ski. I'm reasonably happy about my progress. I can now "get around", even dealing with moderate hills, at altitude.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
10000' is pretty high for exercise. My last day was Saturday. I climbed the road to the barns of the Charmant Som then climbed a small hill to a summit on the crust (you can see the summit at 37 secs in the video). I hadn't really expected this to be the last day of the season to be honest. I took a bit of video at the top. We climb the big mountain in front on ski de fond skis too.


http://youtube.com/v/dq3Srx6w4AA
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@davidof, I wasn’t too sure how well I would have done. So was pleasantly surprised.

That said, I had been at 10,000 for 4 nights (and 6 days) prior to that. So I was “somewhat” acclimated.

The only problem being I drove from 1,000’ to 10,000’ in about 5-6 hrs. So I didn’t slept well those first few nights (also didn’t eat too well either).

As I was feeling the altitude more than usual, I chose to spend the next 3 night (prior to my final nordic skate outing) to sleep lower at 7,000’ (staying at Gunnison instead of Crested Butte). I felt it clearly help.

Stiil, on this trip, I never felt I was fully acclimated even after 7 days. I kind of wonder perhaps the stress (of the imminent coronavirus outbreak) might have something to do with it too.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Do you ever properly acclimatize to 10000'? The air is already getting on the thin side and I'd have thought it would pretty much always have some impact unless you were born there?

The fatbike guy looks like he's got an interesting set-up.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
davidof wrote:
The fatbike guy looks like he's got an interesting set-up.

Apparently, that’s a “common” setup in Colorado. Smile I showed it to my host at Breckenridge. She replied “Oh yeah, you see quite a few of them around”.

Quote:
Do you ever properly acclimatize to 10000'?t The air is already getting on the thin side and I'd have thought it would pretty much always have some impact unless you were born there?

I’ve been spending 2-3 weeks in Colorado the last few years. In the past, I started to feel “better” after 3-4 days (no more out of breath at the slightest physical exertion), and felt almost normal after a week (can climb up slope carrying skis without huffing and puffing, only limited by tired legs eventually). My understanding is the body make more red blood cell to help carry more oxygen around. Not sure that’s enough, of course.

But all my previous trip, I spend the first night either at Denver (6000’) or Georgetown (7000’). This is one of three trips I ever went straight up to Summit county. The previous two trips I did that, one went alright, one went rather poorly (headache, nausea, overall miserable for a couple days).

So I play it safe and head down to Gunnison for a few days. Skiing at Crested Butte at 10,000 but sleeping at 7,000’
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