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Cross Country Skiing 2020/2021

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
A pleasant little cross country ski this AM. 42km and 1600 meters of vertical. Some people would call that a ski tour Happy



I managed a PR on the first climb to Emeindras



but had to slow down a bit after to avoid blowing up as long distance skis are not really my thing

the best snow of the day was on the link from le Sappey to St Hughes on the wide Col du Coq road, this link hasn't been open for years so despite my fractured rib I was keen to ski it as you never know what tomorrow, or next weekend, will bring



the pistes of St Hughes, lots of happy skiers but at 900 meters there was a lack of snow in the woods with lots of faff taking skis on and off, there may be a better route across the plateau (as the locals call it)



the start of the climb to the Col de Porte, the link doesn't have a lot of snow at the bottom, it is not the road you see but a track to the right



and the highest point of the day at the Oratoire at the foot of the Charmant Som mountain, still no sign of the clouds lifting but there was sun at 1900 meters



and back to le Sappey to the Saignes cross country area, I didn't ski this slope as I was tired and didn't want to hurt myself if I fell

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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Looks like an energetic day, @davidof.
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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?
42km! Shocked ungroomed, too.

That's very impressive. snowHead
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abc wrote:
42km! Shocked ungroomed, too.

That's very impressive. snowHead


Most was groomed
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
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Chapeau for 42km, moving time and that vertical, thought I'd beasted myself today Laughing

You deserve a beer for that, think I'll join you Laughing

Presume that was skating?

Yesterday I took some friends out for their first ski-tour along with their kids who walked up with their scooter-snow-boards, so with that mix, we headed up the Izoard road in superb conditions.

They piste the road in two, one side classic tracks and skating piste, the other side for walkers/snow-shoers, and it was groomed to perfection.

And I always am impressed by skaters going up that ascent, as it's hard on a road bike, I really don't think I could manage it.

Think I've been out three times now but only managed 10km, same old issue with me can't keep it at a nice n'easy pace so knacker myself quickly, so the technique is still bad.
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@davidof,

All that with hurty ribs, respect.
Looks great, thanks for sharing.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
1600D+ skating?!?! wow. Plus downhill with no edge - re-wow.
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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!
DB wrote:
@davidof,

All that with hurty ribs, respect.


I kind of forgot about them by the second climb, my legs were hurting more. They are worst going over sleeping policemen, it feels like I've got a bag of nuts jiggling around on my right side. But not too bad now.
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How to exercise the dogs and practice on the technique Laughing

I was horrified in slow-mo to see that I'm lifting one leg about 20cm+ off the ground Puzzled

Rather superb conditions and not too busy Cool


http://youtube.com/v/Dk3_8caZLKY
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Weathercam wrote:

I was horrified in slow-mo to see that I'm lifting one leg about 20cm+ off the ground Puzzled

I tend to lift my legs too high too. Though it was somewhat intentional in my case. I tend to put down my kicking feet without first bringing it all the way to the center, thereby reducing the effectiveness of the next kick. By intentionally bringing my legs up and close to the gliding feet, I get a longer glide and a more effective kick. Granted, I should be able to bring my legs into the center WITHOUT bringing it so high. But right now, it's a lessor evil than putting my foot down too early.


Last edited by Ski the Net with snowHeads on Tue 12-01-21 15:48; edited 1 time in total
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@Weathercam, you seem to be cross country skiing a bit like you are skating on alpine skis. I see that you are pretty quick, all that running and cycling no doubt.

Lovely conditions. Sunshine, not something we see much of these days.

I'll have to come over, ski the Izoard and do a bit of xcountry with you.
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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.
davidof wrote:
......Lovely conditions. Sunshine, not something we see much of these days.....


Yes we're really lucky we just don't get those inversions that tend to happen a lot in the Northern Alps, in fact, I don't think I can ever recall getting on a chair lift in a whiteout and then arriving at the top above the sea of cloud that used to be a frequent occurrence in the Savoie.
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A little vlog of my trip


http://youtube.com/v/B-346LMVUZo

@patrick!, I take great delight in overtaking ski tourers on the downhill from Charmant Som, it always surprises them to be overtaken by cross country skiers but the slope is ideal (10-15%) where the narrow skis give a speed advantage.

I'm not as brave as some as that slope has a lot of people on foot, sledges and snowshoes but an acquaintance who is part of the British nordic team gets up to about 60-70km/h on that run. That makes your eyes water.

Anyway no exercise for me until Thursday earliest as I have to recover from my rib injury.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Woke up to a glorious morning (-9), an ever so slight breeze (headwind) but nothing like the last three days so nigh on perfect conditions for cross-country, so being a Saturday I'd be surprised if they hadn't pisted it last night for the weekend traffic.

Arrived at the car-park just below me and it was already quite busy, and once out on the piste conditions were superb. I took it easy on the way out trying to concentrate on technique not lifting my foot too much and bringing the skis closer together.

Few speedy lads and lasses (younger of course) flew past me but on the whole, I was doing ok, decided on doing my first 16km knowing I'd have a tail-wind for the return leg just as I came up to 8km there was a Serre Che ski club out so watched them as they were doing sprint race training, and concentrating on the lunge for the line on one knee then ending up in a heap as they gave it everything, great to watch and see kids so competitive!



Did I say it was busy?





And great ski back with a tail-wind, which I've had a fair few times before, so well chuffed to knock 30 secs off my PB and put me in a respectable top 30% 93/313 along with another PB on a shorter section 171/531 all good as I wasn't beasting myself trying to do times but again going for technique and the glide so something worked!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
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Well done. Those pistes look absolutely wonderful.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
After 3 weeks of no snow, a storm finally arrived.

It’s snowing on the high elevations north of me. Waiting for the heaviest precipitation to taper off and the nordic center to groom the new snow into solid skate platforms...

May go out tomorrow. If not, Monday (holiday here).
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@pam w, they do - wide, flat and empty. Round here it is manic this year. If you don't arrive by 10am you won't find a parking spot (and the car parks are huge at the x country areas). Ok good reason to take the bus or bike even. Then the pistes are like Beijing. Some cross country areas around Grenoble are reporting 3x the usual number of lift pass sales. I wonder if this will carry over to next season? The locals don't seem to be missing downhill skiing much but my colleagues in Lyon were moaning about the lack of downhill skiing.

There is a ski area up behind my house which is quiet during the week, but on Thursday it rained and it was like skiing on glue - not too bad on the up but I had to push even going downhill! When you get water in the snowpack it is like a thin film of water between two plates of glass.

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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?
Well what a difference in 24hrs!

Knew that it was windy and along with 2-3cm overnight thought pistes might be an issue, but it was really hard work skating into a strong F4+ far worse than on a road bike into a head wind.

What made it worse was the fresh snow blown across the piste into windblown mini slabs, did think of calling it a day on numerous occasions but was motivated by the prospect of the return leg, though knew it could well be tricky with the drifting across the piste and I had no idea how the skis would handle it.

There were hardly any other idiots like me out there this morning, though I suspected that many would be starting further up from Monetier where there is shelter in the trees.

The return leg was almost similar times to yesterday but I could feel the windblown snow slowing me down and even though I gave it everything HR was quite a bit down, so I must have slowed up a fair bit in the windblown with trepidation of what might happen if I hit those drifts at speed Laughing

At times the Classic grooves were nigh on filled in!

Kept thinking that for @davidof, would not be complaining about these conditions. Laughing





A tough work-out!


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Sun 17-01-21 18:22; edited 2 times in total
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@Weathercam, what I don't understand is where are all the people walking on the X-country trails?

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davidof wrote:
@Weathercam, what I don't understand is where are all the people walking on the X-country trails?.....


Aaaahhh that's because alongside the valley auto-routes for cross-country there's very well signed and defined trails for walkers, as well as gits on Electric Fat Bikes (one came a little too close to me whilst walking the dogs this avro) and of course Chiens de traineaux

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Weathercam wrote:
davidof wrote:
@Weathercam, what I don't understand is where are all the people walking on the X-country trails?.....


Aaaahhh that's because alongside the valley auto-routes for cross-country there's very well signed and defined trails for walkers, as well as gits on Electric Fat Bikes (one came a little too close to me whilst walking the dogs this avro) and of course Chiens de traineaux

So why are they walking ON the piste? Puzzled
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abc wrote:
Weathercam wrote:
davidof wrote:
@Weathercam, what I don't understand is where are all the people walking on the X-country trails?.....


Aaaahhh that's because alongside the valley auto-routes for cross-country there's very well signed and defined trails for walkers, as well as gits on Electric Fat Bikes (one came a little too close to me whilst walking the dogs this avro) and of course Chiens de traineaux

So why are they walking ON the piste? Puzzled

Because there is a sign saying "don't walk on the piste"
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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!
davidof wrote:
abc wrote:
Weathercam wrote:
davidof wrote:
@Weathercam, what I don't understand is where are all the people walking on the X-country trails?.....


Aaaahhh that's because alongside the valley auto-routes for cross-country there's very well signed and defined trails for walkers, as well as gits on Electric Fat Bikes (one came a little too close to me whilst walking the dogs this avro) and of course Chiens de traineaux

So why are they walking ON the piste? Puzzled

Because there is a sign saying "don't walk on the piste"

Laughing Laughing Laughing
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la Ruchere in the Chartreuse mountains, nice piste preparation but a stiff 550 meter climb on some 20% slopes to get up here



It looks beautiful but there was a stiff wind blowing snow from S to N and sadly a ski tourer lost his life in a windslab avalanche in the sector the next day.
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@abc, worse than ever this year on the x-country ski tracks near Grenoble with everyone out strolling in the mountains.

the worst bit is that you can get up to 60km/h on the descent and you have groups of 20 or more walkers completely blocking the path on a blind bend, old people are the worst for this and you'd likely kill one of them if you hit them - ok I take it slowly around the bends but still.

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@davidof, a whistle? Toofy Grin
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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.
Woke up to brilliant sunshine! But the thermometer reads 10F (-12C)! Sad

Went back to bed waiting for the sun to warm up the air...

At 11 o'clock, drove 30 minute down the valley to a different nordic center, where the temperature was a balmy 20F. Jumped on a nice short flat track (3k one way), which went rather quickly. Smile Only when I turned around that I realized there's a rather stiff wind blowing, now at my face! Also, it's a loop. Although the return track I chose to take was only a couple hundred feet from the track I went out on, this one was filled with a thick layer of wind blown snow! Needless to say, the return trip took a bit longer. Toofy Grin

But, after a short break for some water and a few bites of a power bar (a bit too windy to stop for rest along the track), I went back out and did the same loop a second time using a different pair of skis. This time, I took the softer section full of wind blown snow on the downwind leg so I got to come back on the faster clean track despite having to fight the head wind.

All in all, a nice day.
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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
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Went to a different Nordic center yesterday. Boy, does the disclaimer "rating of runs are only relative and specific to each resort" ran true!

The previous day's Nordic center was situated in a wide valley. So lots of flat tracks along the valley, or on the side hills once the initial climb is done with. Yesterday's trail network was on a NARROW valley! So even their "beginner" tracks involves a long climb to start with. And it was rolling ups and downs non-stop! Anyway, good for working on climbing techniques. rolling eyes (not really, I was just "surviving" only, did whatever I could to just make it over those long climbs).

Though to be fair, because it's all in the woods, there's no wind. Also fortunate that I was packing up to leave, when I noticed a bunch of teenagers in jackets with race club logo started to appear. It would have been very demoralizing to have herds of teenagers flying pass while I struggle with the "easy" climbs.


Last edited by 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 on Tue 26-01-21 17:04; edited 2 times in total
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You know it makes sense.
@abc, These are places up from New York? The late great Ken Roberts wrote some descriptions of the Hudson Valley resorts and his wife is involved in the x-country scene there

http://www.roberts-1.com/hvski/xc/

Never ski in places with race clubs is my motto Happy
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davidof wrote:
@abc, These are places up from New York? The late great Ken Roberts wrote some descriptions of the Hudson Valley resorts and his wife is involved in the x-country scene there

http://www.roberts-1.com/hvski/xc/

Never ski in places with race clubs is my motto Happy

The late Ken Roberts (may he rest in peace) is indeed a very prominent figure in the Hudson Valley Nordic skiing (and cycling) scene. Those are the many places we get to ski, when we get snow. (I live less than 1/2 hr from Fahnstock, 1-1.25 hr from Mohonk/Minnewaska. Very convenient)

Unfortunately, snow isn't reliable in the Hudson Valley. The temperature is often too warm that precipitation came down as rain. Sadly, some of those centers on the list had ceased to operate due to the graduallyn warming climate that makes for fewer and fewer skiable days.

This season, we lucked out with a pre-Christmas storm. So I got to skied 6 days before the rain came and washed all the snow away. Sad I'm at this very moment watching snow fall outside my window, waiting to see how much snow this small storm today will put down. It may just open one of the center sitting on the highest ridge (Minnewaska). Another cold storm is also on the horizon for the coming weekend. If that one pans out, we'll have a good base that could last for a week or even more. Fingers crossed.

But last week, I was doing my "usual" sight-seeing on skis again, in Vermont. Toofy Grin A whole bunch of Nordic centers in the state of Vermont had banded together to offer a "reciprocal program" to allow season pass holder of one place to "sample" each and every center in the collective, for one day each! So I've been going around the state to ski at a different Nordic center each day Smile

(a good friend has a house in central Vermont, making for a nice base to travel to various centers in VT).
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
abc wrote:
But last week, I was doing my "usual" sight-seeing on skis again, in Vermont. Toofy Grin A whole bunch of Nordic centers in the state of Vermont had banded together to offer a "reciprocal program" to allow season pass holder of one place to "sample" each and every center in the collective, for one day each! So I've been going around the state to ski at a different Nordic center each day Smile

(a good friend has a house in central Vermont, making for a nice base to travel to various centers in VT).


Sounds like a great Vermont trip! Smile
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Alastair Pink, it's a uniquely US thing.

Because many of the centers are relatively small (15-20km). They're really for 1) people who have limited time (or occasional skiers) and, 2) skiers in training programs. So the reciprocal program is really nice for people to get to see a different scenery.

But also for people like me, who hasn't skied extensively in VT yet, to get an idea of what each center is like. For this season, I'm in "touring/sampling" mode. I picked the center that has a very limited track, with the lowest season pass rate (US$70). I figure I'll get my money's worth from visiting enough number of centers. From the ones I've already "sampled", I'd definitely formed a strong preference as to which center I would consider buying a season pass in the future.

New Hampshire also have a similar program. Though in their case, you have to pay a nominal charge each day, $5 (early season) or 50% off (regular season). On the other hand, it's not limited to a single day. I did that last season when I was learning to skate. I got to put in something like 20+ days despite the truncated season! The whole lot for like $100 or so (I skied many of the days in the resort I have the pass, so no additional cost)


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Tue 26-01-21 18:17; edited 2 times in total
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Quote:

you can get up to 60km/h on the descent and you have groups of 20 or more walkers completely blocking the path on a blind bend, old people are the worst for this and you'd likely kill one of them if you hit them - ok I take it slowly around the bends but still.

Shocked this sounds really shocking. I wonder if it's happening all over? Are the resorts making a proper effort to keep dozy old walkers (and dogs, other than chiens de treneau, OUT of the XC areas? The only easy way into the XC domain in Saisies is through a gate, with a "beeper" which reads lift passes - and is under the beady eye of whoever is selling passes at that point (there are other points). That's at the bottom of the domain so from there, it's uphill all the way for a bit. There is normally a "short cut" to nearer the top of domain, up a drag lift mostly used by alpine skiers, but perhaps that's not in use now. It would deter casual walkers, anyway - it's quite a hike if you don't take the lift. In quite a few years, spending quite a few hours in that area, I NEVER saw any walkers. But perhaps now they are overrun?
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@pam w, I think it is a Grenoble thing and bad this year. Remember that nice old dear was probably manning a barricade in 68 and believes they have the right to go where they want #nonalamontagneinterdite #crsss #vieuxreac



Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Tue 26-01-21 18:21; edited 1 time in total
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@davidof, Laughing
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@pam w, still in Champagny-en-Vanoise they had the problem of the "ghost musher" a red eye crazed dog sledder who would appear from nowhere and race through the ski runs in the wrong direction knocking skiers flying. It was like something out of Scooby Do.
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Perhaps they should adopt a similar concept we have here.

I'm a "volunteer xc ski patroller" in one of the Nordic center near me (Mohonk). I have a little badge on me to identify I'm one such. So when I'm out skiing, which is whenever there's snow, I have the "power" (or rather duty) to politely inform any errand walkers where the nearest snowshoe path is! (or that they should turn around to get back to the trail head)

The idea is, with sufficient number of regular skiers, there will be a "present" of polite and friendly skiers to get those clueless walkers off the groomed tracks.

For our "work" (learning all the trail network so we know where we are and where to direct the errand walkers, and occasionally filing report on section of trail that needs maintenance), we get a free pass.


Last edited by Then you can post your own questions or snow reports... on Tue 26-01-21 18:30; edited 2 times 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!
We did have some chiens de traineau in Saisies - their trails crossed the XC tracks in places - one of the instructors I had complained bitterly of the effect of their crap on the base of his skis.
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davidof wrote:
@pam w, I think it is a Grenoble thing and bad this year. Remember that nice old dear was probably manning a barricade in 68 and believes they have the right to go where they want #nonalamontagneinterdite #crsss #vieuxreac

Maybe just results in different behaviour elsewhere. I suspect the people who feel that it is their duty to zig-zag up race pistes while they are in use have a similar mindset.
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Got a pleasant surprise Tuesday into Wednesday. A very minor storm dropped 3.5" on the highest ridge (Minnewaska). There was a thick layer of ice already on the trail that covered up all the gravel and rocks. So the new snow bounded with the ice and the groomer packed them down into 2" of snow carpet just enough to skate on! (they laid tracks too, but report was the track has icy sections, will find out how it is when I go out on Sunday with a friend skiing classic)

So skated Wednesday. A bit slow going, typical of day 1 post snowfall. Soft snow and loose surface.

Thursday was excellent! More solid underfoot for skating. Though there were occasional a few gravel showing here and there that I did my best to avoid. Although it was nearly 30 degrees, somehow I got really cold hands on the way back (it's UP and then turn around and DOWN). Even though I was double-poling a lot of the time, somehow my hands didn't warm up. And I didn't even noticed it, until it was time to unclip and pick up the skis at the end of the trail Sad My hands were so cold and numb I had trouble managing the key to open the car door Sad Sad It hurt like crazy when I finally turn on the heater of the car Sad Sad Sad

The skiing was very enjoyable. But I need to invest on better gloves.

Had some very pretty hanging ice on the cliff too. But I haven't figured out how to host the pictures to get them posted now that snowMedia zone is closed. Maybe in the summer...
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