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11-29-2007, 04:50 PM

Okay, so my skis aren't waxed yet, the trails are soft and slow, but I've been out the last 2 days. In a couple of days we should have enough snow for the real grooming to begin, and I plan to wax up the ol' rock skis tomorrow (should make it possible to move them :rolleyes: ). Should be great this weekend. It's been snowing HARD this week!

Anybody else?

11-29-2007, 04:59 PM
Where do you have snow? I am in Bay City, Michigan and its just freaking windy here. Can't wait for the snow - I have to bring our skis out of the shed and get the snowshoes ready.

11-29-2007, 06:00 PM
I'm in Calumet, in the UP. I do believe winter is here, at last.:) My house is about 2 miles from Lake Superior, so we get tons of lake effect snow (well, except for last year). We're in the middle of a storm right now - this morning as I was leaving for work I mentally ran through my winter stuff, and had to go back to the garage and grab my snowshoes (I got caught without them a couple of years ago in a big storm, and vowed never to do that again, after we had to abandon both vehicles 1/4 mile from home).

It's freaking windy here, too, if that helps at all. Tuesday morning our snow was coming down with 60-65mph gusts (okay, not so much "coming down" as "blowing past").

Good luck on your snow - didn't the LP get a bunch over Thanksgiving? I know Gaylord got several inches, and I thought a storm passed to the south?

11-29-2007, 06:24 PM
Here in Bay City we didn't get anything on Thanksgiving. Heard they had snow farther north. This week we were suppose to have snow showers all week long, just got a few flurries. Enjoy the snow. Never been any farther north than the bridge, I know you get alot more snow than we do in the LP.

11-30-2007, 12:27 AM
Our trails were groomed last week, so we did some training after work, then the föhn came from Italy and melted everything :(
My skis are waxed and ready.
Anyone doing any races this season?

11-30-2007, 04:12 AM
Well, I haven't even taken my waxing bench out of storage. :p Maybe I should send my skis to one of you ladies to wax for me!! I think I waxed them at the end of the season, though, so they are probably ready to go. Winter's taking its sweet time getting here, so in order to avoid getting too amped about skiing, I'm leaving it all in the basement until we get enough snow to maybe ski on. That could be this weekend, though I'll be out of town.

No races for me...I'm far too pathethic. I enjoy going out and skating just for the heck of it. :D

11-30-2007, 04:33 AM
Shhh. Don't tell anyone, but we didn't actually put the wax bench away at the end of last season. In fact it took DH several months to get round to removing the klister/pine needle mixture that was sticking to his classic skis.

Citizens' races are quite popular here and there are short ones too (wouldn't like anyone to get the idea that I am a hard-core racer). I'm trying to pick one big one though as our challenge for the winter, maybe the Engadine ski marathon as we did mainly classic last year, so this year skating would be good.

Do any of you train at night? I love skiing through the Bavarian countryside in the evenings - it's always so quiet.

Aint Doody
11-30-2007, 10:22 AM
Maybe this week-end in the Blue Mts. of Eastern Oregon!!:)

11-30-2007, 02:05 PM
I am willing to give anyone who can bring a snowy December to Minnesota a $100. Or if they are willing to bring a month of blizzards to DC and tell me so I can bring back my skis, I will give them $150 ( I think that is harder to do). I'm used to snowshoeing and cross country skiing in January/ February in Minnesota. I don't know how I am going to live without it!

12-02-2007, 11:21 AM
Still waiting for the first real snow in southern New England- maybe tonight if it doesn't change to sleet and freezing rain.

I am so excited, as I went to a used x-c ski sale at a ski touring place near us this morning, and came home with a nice pair of barely used Rossignols, some great Salamon boots, and a "beater" pair of Trax skiis, all for $120.00!! Whoo hooo!!!!!!!

The last time I bought skiis was in 1978, I think, and those 3-point toe bindings were fairly new then. Definitely time for something newer!

12-12-2007, 01:54 PM
I did some xc skiing when I was a teenager, and my bike club does it in the winter, so I got myself some skis this week and am ready to go.:D :D

Unfortunately, all the advisories on our xc places recommend rock skis.

I guess my new skis will be rock skis in a coupla years :D :o

12-12-2007, 04:10 PM
I guess my new skis will be rock skis in a coupla years

Or sooner, if you play your cards right!:p It's so hard to see that first gouge. I got a nice one in my "not quite rock skis, but not my good skis" my first day on them this year. Oh well, those were never going to be fast anyway. I'm totally sick of my actual rock skis, so these will probably take their place anyway.

We now have about 1-1/2 feet of snow on the ground, and all of our xc areas are open. And using the big groomers! I need to get out tomorrow morning, before we leave town for several days (boo hoo!). Won't be doing any skiing downstate. We're supposed to get another 8 inches or so here tomorrow & tomorrow night. It has slowed down quite a bit now, from what it was doing for a couple of weeks.

May you all get a good dumping on soon!:D

roadie gal
12-13-2007, 06:29 AM
I've been out skating twice. The first month is always humbling... no matter how much I've swam/biked/run it never carries over to ski skating. *sigh*

I'm a lazy waxer. I like the stuff I can just roll on and go. No irons and benches for me.

12-13-2007, 08:12 AM
I missssss snow. I wanna go cross country skiing. WHINE, whimper, whimper :(

roadie gal
12-13-2007, 08:45 AM
I just got back from going out with the 3 dogs for a semi-backcountry ski. I say "semi" because the snowmobiles had gotten there first and the trail was packed down.

The dogs loved it! They've been wading through chest deep snow for a week, so this hard packed stuff was a blast. Even my big lazy guy... um, I mean my energy conservationist :p... was running and playing.

We were out for an hour. Now the dogs are lying around exhausted.

But the best part is that it didn't bother my plantar fasciitis! Yay, yay, yay!

12-17-2007, 01:59 AM
In the last few days we have gotten about 20 inches of snow- beautiful fluffly powder, and then a little granular snow/sleet on top. I went out Friday and Saturday and got to use the new skis. It was great, and I worked my butt off breaking a trail through all that snow.

For the first time in years, it looks like we will have lots of snow over the Christmas to New Year's week, which I have off. Yippee!!!!! :D

short cut sally
12-19-2007, 06:28 AM
Yesterday was my first outing with my skis. I had no trails so I had to make my own. It wasn't fun. the snow has a icy coating so I either had to use them like snowshoes or when I got under any momentum, I would come to an abrupt stop as I would sink into a hard spot in the snow. I wish the snowmobilers would go my the house so I could have a trail to go on! Last year a friend let me use his snowmobile to make some trails and that was really nice. I should put a bug in his ear and see what he's doing. I hope the snow sticks around. Calling for warmer weather today and possibly tomorrow.

12-20-2007, 08:57 PM
i've been out skking everyday since I got home. It has been fantastic. My goal is to get all of the skiing out of my system before I have to return to DC.

01-02-2008, 04:04 PM
This is so exciting. We're hosting them locally (and did last year, too). I'm too old, fat & slow to compete, but signed up to work all 4 race days. I touched some Olympians yesterday! I worked in the chipping station yesterday, and I think that is where I'll be tomorrow, too. Last year I was removing chips and sweaty, snotty lycra bibs, which was less pleasant.:rolleyes:

Plus, yesterday I learned just how many layers I need to wear to stay warm when it is 18F with 25-30mph winds. I was sure I'd freeze, so I was really happy (I don't stand around in the cold well). The secret number is 7. Microweight Smartwool tank, 2 microweight Smartwool long sleeve shirts, thin zip-neck, very thick & soft Mtn Hardwear Monkey Woman jacket, wind shell, and knee-length down coat. On the bottom it was microweight Smartwool bottoms, very thick fleece pants (including an extra coating of dog & cat fur), and snow pants. 3 pairs of wool socks, big clompy boots, and my new Mad Bomber hat. Polypro gloves under thick mittens, with handwarmers in mittens and boots. I was actually sweating a little if I moved around much. Guess I'll dress the same tomorrow, since it's supposed to get down to 1F tonight, and be windy all day.

On the down side, ever try dealing with tampons in a porta-potty with that many layers on? NOT FUN.:mad:

01-02-2008, 06:08 PM
Skierchickie, lucky you living in the land of endless snow!

I love the U.P. and and hope to ski my third Bear Chase this year. Hooray for snow! The season is off to a great start!

I'm already over 100 km over my total from this time last year.

It's great to have a fun sport to look forward to in summer and winter :D

01-02-2008, 07:24 PM
Yes, bicycling is nice if there is no snow available for xc skiing . . .

Just finished six days of being able to xc ski every day in the Sierra Nevadas here in California. Pure heaven.

My DH, who'd rather go to a nice warm beach, thinks I'm a "fanatic" because I will ski with a light snow falling:rolleyes: He'd never make it where some of you gals live, would he??

01-02-2008, 07:30 PM
PS: Roadie Gal:

The only thing I've ever found that got me in shape over the summer so I wasn't dying the first couple days of skate-skiing was the one summer I did a whole lot of mountain biking on steep uphills. But that's too painful!

01-04-2008, 03:42 PM
Pyxichick - I am lucky to live here! Sounds like a lot of the midwest has been getting snow this year. Glad you've been racking up the k's! It's too cool that you're a Bear Chase skier. I live 5 miles from Swedetown. Do you ski the long or the short one? I typically do the short one - I always bonk in 50k races (and puke anywhere from 1 hour to 5 hours after), and I haven't done one in a long time. 20-30k seems to be my race distance, but it's hard to train for anything longer than that. 26k is my longest ski so far this year.

I'm really looking forward to working at Nationals tomorrow. It's the individual sprints. It's also supposed to be in the 30s tomorrow and Sunday (with a little rain predicted starting Sunday :mad:), so it shouldn't be too cold.

Caribou & Roadie Gal: I always die the first few days of skate-skiing too (and the first few days of striding, which I managed to get through this week - now I can walk again!). I tend to let my training fall apart in the fall, when it gets cold & rainy and starts getting dark early, so ski season always begins painfully.

Well, next Saturday I'll start helping out with the local kids' ski program, and a couple of weeks later is my first race of the year.

Have a great season, everybody!

01-07-2008, 06:11 PM
Well, my skating boots have never fit quite right despite trying various insert/sock combos. Got fed up after getting bad blisters on top of sucky control, so went into my favorite xc center for new boots. The new second-to-the-top of the line Salomons fit PERFECT. I refused to take them off. But then I needed to switch from NNN bindings to SNS, and of course only the Pilots would do! And you get 15% off each item when you get 3 items instead of just two, and the carbon fiber poles felt SOOOO nice and light . . .

At least this is incentive to get up skiing a lot, to justify this stuff!

PS: The new gear works like a dream. Can't wait to head back up this weekend.

Anybody else indulge themselves lately?

01-11-2008, 01:14 AM
Oooh, that sounds good.

I love my carbon poles, nice and light and they have the nice hand-loops that you just velcro round. Do be aware that they break more easily than aluminium - DH was very glad that he'd insured his with his skis.

Has anyone here tried Start grip-tape on their classic skis? I'd be interested to hear how you got on with it as I'm not terribly happy but I've heard other people raving about it.

01-12-2008, 05:36 AM
Yay for the new equipment! The carbon poles should make a huge difference - not just lighter, but stiffer, too. Years ago my first skating poles were probably the first generation of Swix Alulight. They were sooooo sproingy (in a bad way). Sometimes I still run with them, and they just flex and vibrate. I'm sure the more current aluminum poles are much better, but carbon rocks! While it's true, they do break easier, I'm on my second pair of carbon poles since 1990 - I've never broken one. I do worry when I'm headed into a big, icy crash, but so far, so good. My DH fell on one once and broke it. Well, twice, actually. Plus the replacements for the more recent pair, he broke by slamming the hatch to the Jeep on them, as they were sliding out. Practically new.:(

Bron: I haven't used the grip tape, but I've heard good things. However, one person recently told me she's been having trouble with it peeling off, but that maybe she isn't applying it quite right. I should also say I don't know if it was Start or some other brand (I don't know if anybody else makes it?). I don't stride that much anymore, and it's usually 20F or below here, so usually it is really easy to wax. I don't even remember when to use klister. So I haven't tried the tape yet.

Doing my first race of the season tomorrow!:eek: So scared. I've been racing for about 30 years now, and I still get all stressed out.:rolleyes: I don't know why - I'm too old, fat & slow to expect much. Anyway, 23k freestyle tomorrow, either a 10k or a 5k (+ 5k skijoring if I do the 5) next week, and a kinda big 25k the next week.

01-13-2008, 05:24 PM
I'm back in DC and horribly missing skiing already. When I was home in minnesota I bought a season pass for 3 weeks of skiing at the local trail. It was the best winter I've ever had! I went skiing everyday and topped it off with the Gunflint trail with some friends.

01-16-2008, 12:24 PM
So Skierchickie, how were the races?
And don´t let me hear you saying that you are old, fat or slow again :)

DH and I did a biathlon course; it´s something I have wanted to try for years and it was great.

01-16-2008, 03:28 PM
We've just got enough snow for me to try out my new skis, so I have been out a couple of times a week plus lessons since the beginning of Jan. :D:D:D

It's been pretty warm...what I'm finding though, is even with layers my wet base layer makes me freeze to death after we stop, so if we are having coffee or whatever I have to bring a dry sweater. I sweat like a horse. Any tips on that? I have a wool long sleeved base layer, a microfleece top, and a windbreaker (sometimes vest with that if it's colder). Doesn't seem to make a diff whether it's -5C or -20C.

01-16-2008, 06:02 PM
OK Bron, race #1 went badly! I felt, well..... old, fat & slow (oops! I said it! But there it is:rolleyes:)! It had these huge hills. I hurt most of the way - more than I should have. I wasn't expecting walls out there. :( Anyway, I always say there is no better way to train for racing than by racing. I'm skipping the one this weekend (wimping out - it's supposed to be 3F and windy). I do have a conflict between the race and the kids' ski program I'm helping out with. It looks likely that the kids' program will be canceled (-10 wind chill cutoff), so I still could possibly do the skijoring race.

Biathlon sounds so cool! I'm pretty sure I couldn't settle down for the shooting. I bet it was all kinds of fun.

Teawoman: Welcome to the club! I sweat a lot too, and I have never found anything that breathes enough. If I dress warm enough to not freeze, then I sweat so much that I never get warm (if it is really cold out). By the time I take my jacket off to vent, I'm already wet. Then I freeze after. I do get cold afterward if I don't get out of my wet clothes. You may be overdressing, though (you don't say how warm the weather is, just that it is warm). When I was younger, I always dressed a lot lighter, never wore a hat, and usually ended up pushing my sleeves up unless it was 10 degrees or so. Now I'm 42, and I go from cold once I step out of the car straight to cold from being sweaty.

01-16-2008, 06:14 PM
skierchickie, is your children's program super structured or up to the instructor? I ask because I've been volunteer teaching for a kids' program and found it a real challenge to mesh all the different abilities and attitudes. It was (I say "was" because this afternoon was our last session) school based, so all kids participated as PE. I'd be interested to hear about some of the things you do in your program so I can plan a little for next session. (Note that we had paid instructors as well, and for my group I ended up doing more teaching than the paid instructor...but I digress...)

At our lesson today, it was 9F (about -12.8 C) and these kids never complained once about being cold. Even the kindergarteners kicked it up. I was really impressed. Of course it was a beautiful bluebird day most of the day. It didn't start to snow until we were done!

Since today was our last day, we had about an hour of free/play time at the end and I had a 9-year-old girl come and ask me if I could teach her to skate (we'd just classic skied during the class). So I got her some kid-sized skate skis and off we went. She is a natural! I was blown away at how easy it was for her. When we finished I told her to tell her parents that she needed a pair of her own skate skis! It made the day for both of us, I think. :D

01-16-2008, 06:41 PM
Wow a skijoring race sounds like fun.

Teawoman- I get warm very easily when I'm moving and cold very easily when I stop (and it can be even worse if I try to eat outdoors). You probably need fewer layers while you're skiing (if you'll be moving constantly leave the layer behind, if you're likely to stop and get cold tie it around your waist or carry it somehow). When going somewhere after skiing, it's always best to bring a dry shirt (I like to change the baselayer- it's the wettest and I know I'll never warm up as long as I'm wearing a wet baselayer). Glad you're enjoying skiing!

01-16-2008, 07:53 PM
I'm not much of an endurance sport person but nothing gets me going like CC skiing. But then again nothing gets me sweating like CC skiing. I think the cold winter really exacerbates the problem too. If I can I do a warm up lap before a big one and strip off my heavy layers. Otherwise I wear things with zips so that I can vent easily. I always keep my ears covered but not with anything too warm. Sorry that is the best advice I can give.

I have a question though, does anyone have a recommendation about balaclavas. I just bought one and it is nice until I warm up, then I pull it down so that it is only keeping my head warm. But because I was breathing through it, it is all wet and gross. Any ideas as how to avoid this grossness?

01-17-2008, 04:08 PM
Yellow - the Ski Tigers program is pretty structured. It was started maybe 15-20 years ago by a few skiers/parents, and it has evolved a lot. There are probably 100 or so kids in it this year, and it is divided up by age & ability. I think there are about 8 groups. There aren't any paid coaches - we're all volunteers. Mostly parents who ski and local racers. The higher level groups have the more serious skiers as coaches. Some years I do it, and some years I don't. This year I'm an assistant coach in the Yellow group (that way I can skip out easier for races). Anyway, there are little kids (I think the youngest I ever knew of was 4, but she was mostly supervised by her mom, since she couldn't really go very far). All the way up through high school. Each level has goals to work on (I think the one I'm in is things like being able to ski 5k, both striding and skating, hockey stops, tucking downhills, etc).

I guess the main thing we do is try to keep it fun. So we play some games with the younger ones sometimes. The group I'm with this year is about 12 kids (including identical triplets with identical long hair and identical clothes:rolleyes:) who are all probably about 10 or 11. Last week we skied without poles, and tried to work on poling with the V1. It is really hard to even tell if they are listening to you. A lot of it ends up just being about getting them out there, and trying to give them pointers. All the groups up to this point are primarily about striding, and then in Yellow they start skating. The organization firmly believes that striding is the basis for so many aspects of skiing that it is better to focus solely on that for a long time. Skating is one of those things that is hard to teach at that age (either they "get it" like the girl you mentioned, or they don't).

Here is a link to the program, which could help: http://www.keweenawtrails.com/skitigers/index.html

It doesn't go over specific drills, but it will give you an idea of how the program works. The newsletters have a lot of explanatory information, and some of the other links are helpful. The Groups/Classes link explains the groups.

We did play a game last week where we split the group in half, and the head coach and I each skied off a few yards with a bell. The kids took turns being blindfolded and skiing out to find us (& ski around us) by the ringing of the bells (without poles). This was at the end, after skiing without poles to work on weight transfer, V1ing up a long gradual hill, then turning around and trying to glide as long as possible on each ski, coming back down (several times), and then skiing a short hill with a moderate uphill. Maybe 4 or 5k. With a brief chocolate candy break. Oh, and the head coach had told them to keep track of their distance during the week, and if they skied more total ks than we did, they could bomb us with snowballs for 20 seconds. If we had skied more, we could throw the snowballs at them for 10 seconds. 11 kids, and they had only skied 44k total in a whole week! So we coaches won.

Tonight I saw one of the coaches working with a big group of younger kids. She had put little flags in the tracks on a big downhill, and was having them go down in the tracks, lifting their skis over the obstacles as they went. The little kids seem to frequently do little drills using plastic snakes and bugs in the snow.:D

I hope I've been a least somewhat helpful. There is so much information that the organizers could address better than I can. We have a large group now, so things are split up pretty effectively. Parent involvement is key. We have enough structure so the coaches know what skills to work on, but not so much that they feel compelled to work on specific techniques in a certain way on certain days.

Feel free to pm me if you want. Wow - this is long! Sorry.


roadie gal
01-20-2008, 06:48 AM
I LOVE to see the little ones out there enjoying exercise! Our local schools have some very strong downhill, snowboard and cross country ski programs. The kindergardners go at least once a week to one of our local XC areas to ski.

I had a frustrating morning with the dogs yesterday. So I decided to take a few hours just for me. I took my big, old striding skis and went to the XC ski area and went out for a 2 hour ski. It was a beautiful day and the area was surprisingly uncrowded for a holiday weekend. It was just perfect for clearing my mind!

01-20-2008, 05:46 PM
Skierchickie, thanks so much for the info. Our program is a little different in that ALL kids participate, not just those that want to, so we have a few....um...challenging ones. But I learned a lot the first go 'round. I'd love to hang out with the Ski Tigers for a couple of days to learn a lot more!

I have a couple of other friends that are involved in youth ski programs and while downhill is a little different, I'm sure I could learn a lot more from them as well. I'm kind of kid impaired anyway (that is, I haven't been around kids a lot, so I'm lacking in knowledge and experience in just how to interact with them), though they seem to think I'm really cool. I think it's my cool hat (http://www.montkid.com/site/image.html?sku=bula_kids_hat_flame), but whatever! (And yes, it's a kids' hat...my head is kid-sized!)

Roadie, in my Cali days, I loved to go to Tahoe XC there in Tahoe City because it was FLAT! Well, flatter than Kirkwood!

Hubby and I classic skied today up in Park City, which is currently overrun by Hollywood-types (the Sundance Film Fest is in full swing). It's always interesting to see fur on the track, and I'm not talking about fur that's attached to a bunny rabbit hopping across the meadow. I wonder if there's a difference between "everyday" makeup and "skiing" makeup?? :p

01-22-2008, 12:44 AM
Ski-ing makeup? Ha, that is a funny idea.

First race of the season this weekend - it was more like water-ski-ing as everything was thawing like mad. I had been quite excited about the idea of skiing from Germany into the Czech Republic and back, but in the end they had to shorten the course, so we did 4 rounds of a smaller circuit (4 times up that ****** hill at the end!).

I am not fit enough. :(

01-22-2008, 03:32 PM
Bron: Sorry your race wasn't that much fun - the next one will be better! Like I said - there is no better way to train for racing than by racing! I'm trying to get mentally ready for my next one (this weekend - 25k). I skipped last weekend because of the cold. I did get out and ski though - unlike where you are, it was 0 F when I was out.

Yellow: Fur? Makeup? These people are working up a real snotty sweat, huh? Come on, you can tell me, did you intentionally trip any of them? Or just ski circles around them? Or hit anybody with a snot rocket?? Ooh - ooh! It would be fun to stop just ahead of one, blow a snot rocket in the snow, and then turn around toward them and wipe your nose on your sleeve!:D

By the way, I'm sort of kid impaired, myself. I like them, I'm just not around them much, and don't know how to interact. So I think I try to work with them like they are adults. Maybe they like that?

Well, we've had at least 3 feet since Friday morning (probably more)- maybe 18" since I got home last night.

01-22-2008, 11:26 PM
3 ft of snow! You are so lucky, we only have a sprinkling here. Enjoy it.

50 k race coming up on Sunday :eek:

01-23-2008, 02:50 PM
I skate skied today for the first time in 2 years. Went 7 km. :eek:

I think I'm gonna feel that tomorrow.

Anyone have suggestions for resources to describe skate skiing technique? I manage but I get really tired and I suck at any kind of an incline.

01-23-2008, 04:16 PM
Wow Bron - 50K! You rock! I haven't ever been ready for a 50 in January! Well, or ever in the past several years.:rolleyes: Have a great time!

Wahine: 7k on your first day out in two years is really great! I work up to that over a couple of weeks at the beginning of every season. I only did about 6 tonight, actually. You will feel it, but in that really good way.

Lee Borowski has some books and videos on skate skiing (actually, there are lots of people who do). Check out someplace like New Moon ski shop online (or Skiguys.com, or any of the bigger shops that are online). Getting really tired and sucking on inclines is all a part of the deal :p - the more you ski, the better you'll get. Weight transfer is about the most important thing you can learn. Try skiing without poles on flats and slight grades, swinging your arms (and whole upper body) back and forth as you skate, so your weight is always going in the direction of the gliding ski (pretend you're reaching for the tip). And make sure you are bringing your ski in all the way under your body before putting it down (if you have a problem with this, concentrate on actually crossing your tails - they can click together and that is okay while you're practicing). Have fun! Mainly, the more you ski, the easier it will get.

01-23-2008, 04:29 PM
Thank you for the tips. I'll try the technique tips you suggested. I can skate without poles on the flat but not for long but I'm definitely not bringing my ski back under me enough. Hadn't thought of that. I'll definitely check out the resources you suggested too.:D

01-26-2008, 07:26 PM
Wahine, check out the Master Skier website as well. Tons of really great articles.


"Proper" technique seems to change every year, and what is efficient for you is something that you need to experiment with. Clinics are great places to learn from instructors, and from other skiers. They are usually inexpensive (or free...at least around here there are tons of free clinics).

My uphill tricks (and I'm pretty speedy uphill): maintain an exagerrated "athletic stance" with flexed ankles and bent knees, drive with the knees, and most importantly look forward (not down at your skis). I kind of do a little "crunch" with every pole plant if I'm v-1 ing. With v-2, I pretty much crunch on every plant (but I'm not in good enough shape to V-2 up steep hills :p ...maybe next year).

01-27-2008, 09:02 AM
Wow Bron - 50K! You rock! I haven't ever been ready for a 50 in January! Well, or ever in the past several years.:rolleyes: Have a great time!

Thanks, my feet certainly feel like rocks now. Ummm, I don´t really think I was ready for a 50k. Did a 25k classic yesterday, probably one of my better performances and my technique seems to be getting better all the time (plenty of room for improvement though). Woke up this morning feeling really yucky but decided that I would give the race a go and dnf if I actually threw up. The other option would have been hanging around for DH in the cold. I got dropped by the main pack off the start, including by a woman wearing more make-up that I would put on for an evening out (the shame). Anyway, I managed to slog my way through. Getting some skate coaching has definately paid off - there is no way I would have got round by muscle power alone.

If you can´t get to a clinic, how about getting someone to video you? We just used the film function on my little digital camera and then looked at them at home or played them back immediately.

01-27-2008, 11:10 AM
Went skiing today for the first time in 2 years - since my knee injury in 2006. We went 2 hours - all flat. My knee is hurting a little. The worst thing my glasses kept fogging up. It was 26 degrees(F). I did get too warm - I wore my Adidas nylon wind pants with some polyproplyene(lightweight) under. Top was a nylon LS tee, a fleece shirt and nylon shell jacket(waterproof - breathable). I would have been fine with either just the fleece.

01-27-2008, 01:52 PM
Thanks Bron. That's a great suggestion. I'm a bit challenged here when it comes to finding someplace to practice technique that is flat and has been groomed, or at least packed snow. I've got to figure that out. It's pretty hard to skate in 18" of powder.:eek: I really should be out snowboarding.

Surgtech - That's a big ski for the first time back in a while and after an injury like yours. Well done.:D

01-29-2008, 08:36 AM
Ok - I've searched the inernet and I can't find a decent explanation of this anywhere - how do you stop/slow down when you are going downhill:eek::eek::eek:

And by downhill I mean any slight incline. My present technique is to gather speed until I panic and throw myself to the ground in deperation.

I have tried pressing my skies into the sides of the tracks with little effect apart from knackering my knees and ankles. The snowplow I find less effective with the narrower skis. And the fact that you can only lift one foot out of the tracks.

Any advice welcome.


A Complete Beginner.

01-29-2008, 03:37 PM
Snowplowing really is the way to slow yourself down (if you feel unable to jump out of the tracks, you can try leaving one ski in the track, while snowplowing with the other). When you snowplow, try to keep your weight back a bit, and push down and out with your heels. Actually, on a really steep hill, if you want to slow down, you can sort of lean backward while snowplowing, to really try to dig in. Once you get the hang of it, you can try hockey stops (I don't recommend that quite yet, though :p). Once you get some time in on your skis, you'll find you feel more comfortable. If you find that you feel unsteady on downhills, try to remember to keep your center of gravity low, and lead with your hands (tucking downhills does make you go faster, but it also keeps you steady, and you are less likely to fall). By all means, if you feel like you are going too fast, step out of the tracks, which will allow you to maneuver your skis better. It might help to find a nice little hill where you can practice snowplowing at really slow speeds until you get the feel for it.

Practice, practice, practice, and you'll learn to love the speed! :D

01-29-2008, 05:55 PM
Bruno- Snowplowing is the best way to slow down/ stop. You probably also want to get out of the tracks. If you're not going too fast, take one foot out and use it to snowplow. If you're going pretty fast, you may feel more comfortable getting out of the tracks altogether.

Wahine- Do you know the difference between V1 and V2? If not, learning to V1 may be your ticket to getting uphill (it's a lot easier). I also second the suggestion to spend time skiing without poles (it really helps sort out body position/ balance issues).

Skiierchickie- At the last clinic I went to- they were actually teaching a wider based stance. It sounded like this is new in the last year or two. They specifically advised against overlapping the ski tails. I'm still muddling through some of the other things they pointed out and haven't paid much attention to this yet. It seems like skating technique has changed every time I go to a clinic.:)

01-29-2008, 06:02 PM
Don't worry, trees are great for slowing you down! (Good snowplow advice)

I skate, too, when I'm in shape for it, but my favorite kind of skiing is the long, rolly, out-in-the-middle-of-nowhere tour that makes me feel like I'm in Narnia. My X-C setup has metal edges (Karhu Catamount) so it is easier to turn on the way back DOWN the hill.

01-29-2008, 06:04 PM
Wahine- Do you know the difference between V1 and V2? If not, learning to V1 may be your ticket to getting uphill (it's a lot easier). I also second the suggestion to spend time skiing without poles (it really helps sort out body position/ balance issues).

No I don't know the difference between V1 and V2. But I'm gonna find out. That and I need to find a fairly flat place to practice my no pole skiing.

01-29-2008, 06:39 PM
You're probably doing V2 or V2 alternate, those are what's natural for most people (in V2 you pole every time you push off with a ski, in V2 alternate you pole only when pushing off with one side- in other words you're poling twice as much with V2 as with V2 alternate).

V1 differs in the timing of pole plant and push off (foot). To V1, you put one foot (either the right or the left depending on which side you're using) down at almost exactly the same time you plant your poles. To someone who isn't familiar with things it will look similar to V2 alternate, but it's not the same thing. V1 won't feel as powerful, but it should feel easier. Generally, the only time it will feel natural is when you're going up a moderate or steep hill.

I hope that helps- you may want to find a video- or better yet someone to actually show you.

01-29-2008, 07:09 PM
OK. That's means that right now I'm using a V2 alternate. I'll see if I can find a video that shows the V1 technique.


01-29-2008, 11:19 PM
One of my colleagues lent me this set of video clips: http://www.perfectskating.com/test/frameset.htm

It's aimed at people who want to race, but what I have seen of it looks pretty good.
There are probably other videos available for free on the net.

roadie gal
01-30-2008, 01:19 PM
We had 3 days of snowing sideways earlier this week.. Today it was cold but clear and beautiful. So we grabbed our big, metal edged touring skis, threw the dogs in the car, and went out to a place that we frequently bike in the summer but haven't been to in the winter. It's a local recreation area with camping in the summer. The road runs between a small lake and some low mountains.

In the winter they only plow the road for about a mile, to a small parking area. It was perfect. We were able to ski down the unplowed road in about 6 inches of powder on top of packed snow. We were the only ones out there for the whole 2+ hours we were out. It was like being in a picture postcard.

The dogs had a wonderful time. They could run without sinking up to their chests. Now they're sacked out on the floor. A tired dog is a good dog!:D

01-30-2008, 02:48 PM
Ha! We just skied for 2 hours after a turrible long commute. We had to go allllll the long way to the end of our driveway.:D

We skied through the neighborhood and up to the ridge that runs along the back of it. 15 mins of work and there wasn't a house in sight. Nice powder and no ice today.

Just a few product notes: Karhu's XCD skis climb better than Fischer S-bounds and Salomon X-Adv. Bubba's big boat feet like Alpina 1550 boots but my dainty tootsies now have a sore ridge across the tops of my toes. If anyone hears rumor of a princess hitting every shop in Oregon trying on every BC boot made, you can say you know her. :rolleyes:

01-31-2008, 10:36 AM
Okay any waxing experts I need help. The Craftsbury Marathon (classic) is this Saturday- I'm doing the half (25K) and need help with what to use for kick wax.

The forecast calls for the temperature to be between 25 and 30 during the race. Here's the tricky part- in the 24 hours before the race there is supposed to be: snow, sleet, freezing rain, and snow showers.

So- do I use klister? If so one type or more than one? What about hard wax over the klister? I usually prep the skis the day before the race, but this one seems like a bit of a gamble. Oh- and I don't own a blow torch so waiting to see what actually fell and applying klister at the race would be difficult.


01-31-2008, 05:20 PM
Zoiks! :eek: I haven't used a torch on my skis in 20 years! I also haven't used a lot of klister in all that time, as I pretty much skate these days (especially in those hard to wax conditions). So I am of no help. But I'd stay away from torches (very hard on ski bases). I'm going to stay away from giving you misguided "help" on the wax issue. Sounds like perfect conditions for a pair of those new no-wax racing skis!

Have fun!

01-31-2008, 11:22 PM
If I'm putting klister on, I just use the spreader that comes in the box with it and my hands (have a rag and some klister remover handy); once it's been skied in a couple of km, it's usually pretty smooth.

1st piece of advice: is there an official wax supplier? Over here, either Swix or Toko give a wax tip the evening before a race - if there is an official tip then follow it, these guys know what they are talking about (more than some girl on the other side of the Atlantic).

2nd: if snow is falling or there is new snow in the tracks, avoid klister (I learnt this one the hard way).

3rd: if you are not sure what you are doing then try to keep it simple. I don't mix klister and hard wax. I am sure it is possible to do well, but I know that I will just make a mess of it.

I hope this helps a little bit and do have fun.

SadieKate - I'm very jealous, can you send some of the excess over here, please?

02-01-2008, 03:12 AM
Toko has a race website- they give the glide wax recommendations and then say to iron on some binder and find the rep in the morning for further instructions. I went to a Swix clinic last night- he was basically saying the same thing- pushing a thin layer of green klister as a binder and then wait and see what to put on top (or show up with 3-4 pairs of skis with different options). I do have a decent pair of no wax skis, but they won't work in ice all that well. I guess I'm just going to have to do the ski prep at the race.

To make matters worse, they're now predicting up to a 1/2 inch of ice tonight (followed by snow) so the driving may be treacherous (if not impossible- the race is nearly an hour away). Do you think hard wax over klister would work on the car tires too?

02-01-2008, 11:10 AM
Good luck. On both the drive and the race!!

02-01-2008, 03:55 PM
Well at least they've delayed the start 2 hours- so the driving should be easier and there will be more time to figure out what to do.

This afternoon there's been a lot of frozen stuff (?sleet- hard little ice pellets) coming down. Any ideas about that- klister? blue klister? violet klister?

Hope everyone else is getting snow!

02-02-2008, 05:35 AM
I hope it went well!

We´ve just got back from the skating race of the König-Ludwig-Lauf. It was supposed to be 50km, but was shortened to 42. Icy in some places, slushy in others and it´s snowing. We´re entered for the classic tomorrow and I also have no idea yet what wax to use.

I think it went ok today, certainly the best time I have ever got over that distance and I was fast enough that DH wasn´t expecting me - he was collecting his warm clothes and didn´t have time to get back to the finishing line to cheer me in.

02-02-2008, 04:28 PM
It went as well as could be given the conditions- icy crust tilled up with a small amount of new snow blown over the tracks. We wound up using green klister under violet klister under violet hardwax. It worked reasonably well for 10K, but the downhills were so icy that nothing was staying on the skis well.

So it wasn't my best ski (I'm usually really strong on the uphills- and there's a fair amount on that course, but it was so hard to get reliable kick) but it was a lot of fun (it's a really beautiful point-to point course in and out of woods and fields with a lot of up and down).

Good luck tomorrow! (May you have better kick than I did.)

02-04-2008, 03:56 AM
Well done, glad to hear that you enjoyed it.

Yesterday was definately a klister day - the course had been groomed and then temperatures sank to -11°C at the start so the tracks were quite icy. My kick was fine but I had the worst start ever (mass start with loads of people falling over) and spent the next 10km just trying to overtake people. Towards the end I started feeling Saturday's race in my arms and legs. I managed to be a minute faster than last year (was hoping for more) on a slower and longer course, so I'm not too unhappy.

02-24-2008, 04:09 PM
I was thoroughly and completely humbled yesterday.

I got some new classic skis...end of the season, great deal. I'd been talking about it as my body seems to like a little break from skating sometimes.

I was using a cheapie pair of "fitness" skis and some pretty floppy boots. I did pretty well on them, but have been thinking about an upgrade and really learning how to classic ski on good classic gear.

Yesterday was my first day on them. My butt was kicked. They are super fast (which means I need to move faster to keep up with them!), and it was pretty warm so I was overheating (which makes me turn into a big ball of waaaah) and dealing a little bit with super-slipperiness. I think I was waxed correctly...I think it was just me. My biggest mistake was using my old floppy boots. I ordered some new ones last night, and while I'm hoping that will help, it's probably more about operator error than equipment issues. :rolleyes:

Anyhoo, I'm looking forward to getting out there again soon. I like having new things to learn!

02-27-2008, 03:56 AM
I hated my classic racing skis when I got my first pair - it just felt as though I had no kick at all. One good exercise was scooting myself along with one foot - stand on your gliding leg and just do the kicks with one leg and no poles - this helped me to identify just where the kick started as I was always kicking off too late.

I still prefer skating, but it's quite satisfying to be able to classic ski fast too.

02-27-2008, 03:47 PM
When I had bought some new waxable fiberglass skiis mine were also very slippery no matter how much I waxed them in all different conditions. I actually would get tired of it and just started skating on my classic skiis. I actually like to skate that way if I'm not on a totally groomed trail - with the classic skiis - then if the trail narrows or I don't have enough oomph to get up a hill I resort to the diagonal stride. It took about a season and a half to get through that to the point where they were not slippery. I actually took a little steel wool to the kicker portion and that helped alot.

03-10-2008, 04:44 PM
Well, I did my last race of the season yesterday. But the best skiing is yet to come! Sometimes the snow starts going fast right about now, but at the moment it doesn't show any signs. I was talking to one of the groomers today, and he practically guaranteed they'd still be grooming through the middle of April. There is just such a deep, solid base right now. The surface hasn't really even transformed yet. So even though I have to spend most of next week in southern Indiana, I should come home to great spring condition!

03-10-2008, 04:56 PM
I'm envious that you still get to ski. We've had a bout of warm weather over the last week and a half or so that made our classic trails a mess. :( The skating ones are still ok, but I've never skate skied.:mad: It's still too snowy to bike, however. :(

03-11-2008, 05:07 AM
I'm envious that you still get to ski.

Me too. Our last race is next weekend and the season has been completely stop-start with no snow in our usual training area since January. I had a terrible race on Sunday, so I am hoping that this one will go well; it's the end of the German series and so far I have a good place.

04-05-2008, 03:54 PM
The trails are still going strong! Of course, now it's too warm after work, so I can only get out on the weekends. It's been 50-ish the past 3 days, but our last significant snow was Monday night (8 inches of wet, heavy stuff). The banks have shrunk quite a bit, but no bare patches yet except right next to the house and anyplace that has been plowed. The trails are well-covered! The crust skiing isn't quite ready yet - I was breaking through a little this morning.

It was fun and fast this morning - I took a spectacular crash - stepping around a sharp curve, I thought I was doing great (too sure of myself = hitting a tree once, etc), then caught an edge. My right ski spun around, with the rest of me following, skidding several feet spread-eagled. Swollen, sore area just below my knee (where it hit the ski edge), sore shoulder, sore meaty part of one palm, sore legs in general. Achy neck, either from the crash or from the disease that is running rampant at work, starting with that and cruising on into a high fever. I'm still hoping not to get it.

Gotta get one really painful crash in every season. :rolleyes: I'm just glad I didn't break a pole! I suppose some day it could be a bone, but we won't worry about that!

04-05-2008, 04:35 PM
I'm glad to see this thread alive again.

But I'm finding I'm ready to move on to biking (which is unfortunate since we have so much snow and the roads are still a mess). I'm not sure if it's the slushy conditions or the long days or what (I was so looking forward to spring skiing, but now I just want to get on a bike- oh well). The crazy thing is that the base is still 18+ inches in most places (it's too bad they can't just ice pack the ski trails so they'd be all ready in December).

04-06-2008, 10:56 AM
Funny you should say that - at one of the German elite training centres they do store snow over the summer - pack it up in a big mound and cover it with polystyrene! I think that they had enough for a 2km track at the beginning of this season.

My thoughts started turning to the bike after our last race. It has snowed a bit more this weekend, but most places have stopped grooming anyway.

On the plus side, I won a prize for our ski series - very happy about that, and motivated to do even better next year.

Skierchicke, that sounds bad, I hope you are feeling ok now. DH has broken poles while racing before, so far I´ve been lucky and only picked up bruises.

04-06-2008, 02:57 PM
the skiing season ended a few weeks ago. I have to say that I swear it snowed just for me. I got my first pair of skis this year and there was snow for the entire 3 weeks I was back in Minnesota for Christmas and the 1 week for springbreak. usually we don't get so much snow and I was fortunate for the good stuff to fall when it did.

unfortunately, the biking season will be delayed by school, trips, and a requisite upgrade. I guess it is nice that I live in DC and I'm not limited to summer and fall this year. I'm pretty certain I can bike year round.

04-06-2008, 03:48 PM
I'm pretty sore today! :( I was able to ski fairly pain-free, but everything else hurts. Just lotsa sore muscles and a coupla bruises - no real injuries. I think I really am 42 :eek:

10-14-2008, 03:51 AM
Anyone gearing up for the next cross-country season?
I know it's only October but I'm trying to get myself training a bit more and thinking about what races to do.

10-14-2008, 04:05 PM
Not yet, but I'd better start getting wax on my rock skis.:D Usually we've had an inch once or twice by now - so far only one day with reports of flakes in the air. I've usually stopped biking by now, anyway. I did get my poles out for a walk this evening.

10-14-2008, 05:19 PM
Holy Smokes, snow now???? Where do you live Skierchickie??

10-15-2008, 05:23 PM
In the thumb of Michigan's other mitten. Calumet.

I wish we had snow now. Usually we've had some on the ground by now, but not this year. Thanksgiving is normal first storm of the season time, but I remember 2 years in a row when we started skiing in early November.

I did have a really fun birthday mountain bike ride with my DH tonight.:)

10-19-2008, 12:28 PM
I hope to get some xc skiing in this year. I have to travel to snow from here, but it's worth it once I'm there. Y'all are lucky to be able to ski out your door.

Aint Doody
10-21-2008, 09:29 AM
There have been a few inches on the ground in the mts. of Eastern Oregon. I'm ready for it, too. Last year we were skiing before Christmas--that's unusual.

Why do I have to work? It gets in the way of all I really WANT to do.

10-21-2008, 01:51 PM
Whoo Hoo!!! Can't wait to break out the skis..I love cross country and back country skiing. Just about a month or 2 until I can hit the trails!!! YEAH!! Can you tell I am excited!!!

11-30-2008, 04:47 PM
We've had skiable snow for almost 2 weeks. Not enough, but yet enough. The area nearest my house is mostly stubble, grass and rocks, but the MTU trails are fantastic! They have the trails in such great shape that they can be rolled with minimal snow, so they've been really nice. Smooth, fast-ish - even enough for them to set tracks! Plus, they added 10 k or so of more intermediate trails this year, so I could ski for 2 hours without repeating anything. Marquette has had a lot more snow than we have, but so far it doesn't seem to matter.

Whoo hoo!

I'm also trying to put my hands on a new pair of Madshus Nanosonic SCs, but with little luck so far. My local shop no longer carries my beloved Maddogs, and K2 (who is the distributor now, apparently) appears to be out of the ones I want. However, another shop downstate is on the case now, so I still have hope. My old Hypersonics are 11 years old (both pairs), with lots of Ks on them, so I live in fear of breaking one.

Hope all you fellow nordic-heads are out there having fun!

Aint Doody
12-01-2008, 04:32 PM
No snow yet.:(

12-01-2008, 04:44 PM
I'm also trying to put my hands on a new pair of Madshus Nanosonic SCs, but with little luck so far.

Is this what you are talking about? This is the same shop as WebCyclery and I was admiring all the Madshus over the weekend.


12-02-2008, 05:27 AM
So I have a question, DH and I fell in love with Red River, NM and want to go back in the winter. He wants to try downhill skiing but I am a weenie. Cross country though looks like a lot of fun, is it hard to learn as a newbie? Looks like you just glide along, it can't be that easy? We may do a long weekend in Red River sometime in the winter. We should do that for my birthday in the bitter cold of February. ;)

Aint Doody
12-02-2008, 09:50 AM
Amanda, it's fairly easy to pick up. Once you catch on to the kick & glide, you can just enjoy the sights. Stick to the easy tracks at first. It wouldn't hurt to have a lesson from someone. It's lots less expensive than downhill and a terrific workout.

12-02-2008, 05:06 PM
SadieKate: Thanks for the link. Those are almost the ones. I was looking for the SCs, not the Rs. The SC model is for softer conditions. That is a really good price. Skis are one thing I want to handle before I buy - too many things to look at. My shop ordered a pair for me, but both were flawed in the same way in the same place on the ski, and they were the Rs, and were also too stiff.

It doesn't matter anymore - DH lost his job yesterday, so no new skis this year. I'm an emotional wreck right now, especially because I was almost done with my Christmas shopping. I'm more in "what can I return" mode all of a sudden. And crying a lot, when I'm not in denial mode. At least I can still ski as much as possible, just won't be doing any expensive races or traveling. I just looked, and one of my favorite races (which happens to be near my parents' house, so lodging isn't an issue) is up to $76 :( . Sigh.

12-02-2008, 07:11 PM
Skierchic- I am so sorry! My dad got laid off at the beginning of December when I was in 4th or 5th grade, it was very traumatic for us as kiddos. ((HUGS))

12-02-2008, 07:52 PM
Ama - give it a try! It'll be fun! You can get the gist of it pretty quickly, enough to have fun schlepping around.

While I was in Bend this weekend following SK around in various bike shops (many of which were also selling XC gear) I was getting a bit wistful about all the fun XC skiing experiences I had many moons ago back when I was in school in eastern MA.

I never got particularly good at it, but it sure was fun, and really great exercise. (But be warned - after the first day or 2 you're gonna be achey! Lots of muscle groups being employed :cool: )

Hey skierchickie - very sorry about your DHs job loss. My best wishes to you both.

12-02-2008, 08:01 PM
skierchickie -- I'm so sorry. That just plain sucks.

12-03-2008, 10:28 AM
Ama - give it a try! It'll be fun! You can get the gist of it pretty quickly, enough to have fun schlepping around.

Can you normally rent XC in a ski town? We really wanted to go to California again for my birthday but New Mexico would probably be cheaper. Food is better in California which is another reason not to go. :p

Not worried about being sore, they also have snowmobile tours for the days we are too tired to go skiing. :)

Aint Doody
12-03-2008, 04:35 PM
I would say if there's a Nordic area, there would be rentals available. And the rental is way less than for downhill equipment. Be sure to dress in layers that you can easily remvoe. You will warm up for sure.

12-06-2008, 05:25 AM
You can rent x country skis at most ski touring places. Sometimes, it's cheaper to rent from a store near home.
If I can nordic ski, you can. Just realize that there are hills when you x country ski! This freaked me out when I started, but it was before I started cycling. Now, I love the climbing aspect, but I am still cautious on the downhills. I don't like descending in any sport. My biggest accomplishment is skiing down a black diamond run in Vermont last winter. In the west, you don't have to deal with ice, so I imagine it's a lot easier.
Beginner trails are usually entirely flat, though.

12-08-2008, 10:42 AM
Crankin- I think REI or Sun and Ski *might* rent skis but otherwise you are kind of hard pressed in Tejas! We are still muling it over for my birthday, skiing sounds interesting to me. Too bad my birthday is President's Day weekend it is probably crowded. We started to travel for my birthday present a couple years ago but never decide until after Christmas.

12-09-2008, 02:46 AM
Yes, it might be crowded, but that's prime x country ski season! Once March comes, even if there's snow, around here, it becomes like mashed potatoes once the sun comes out, because the temperature tends to be higher.

12-11-2008, 12:00 PM
Well, this is a late post, but thought that I would pass it for future references. There's ski shop here that it probably one of the biggest(if not the biggest) in the US. They carry alot of current models, but also lots of closeouts as well. They have been in business over 50 years, and are very family oriented and a shop that will sell what you want and need rather than what they have. I think their website is AkersSki.com... listed in Andover, Maine.

Have a great season!

12-11-2008, 03:16 PM
Went skiing for the first time yesterday...we got a dump of snow this week.
No classic trails yet, but was still fun...and above 0 degrees (celsius) too. :cool:

Di bear
12-12-2008, 06:41 AM
In the thumb of Michigan's other mitten. Calumet.

I prefer to call it the bunny ear. We live in the bunny ear. ;)

Tech is AWESOME! I've gotten out for three or four skis over the last two weeks - prepping for finals, so not much time or energy. I went snowshoeing yesterday morning at Tech. Wow. We live in such an incredible place. :)

12-13-2008, 08:19 AM
Okay Di Bear, I'll accept "bunny ear". However, I hope you know this puts Hancock in the bunny ear canal! :D

Tech has been great! Swedetown is pretty darn good now, too. I'm just eating my lunch now before heading there to beat the next 8-14 inches they're predicting. Sounds like it will probably be wet, heavy, base-building stuff. Then, back to 10 degrees.

Have fun out there, ladies!

Di bear
12-13-2008, 09:06 AM
Bunny ear canal sounds about right since we have so much wax floating around here. ;)

12-13-2008, 01:42 PM
Wow - I'm embarrassed to say that went COMPLETELY over my head. :confused: Ski wax?

Aint Doody
12-18-2008, 03:07 PM
We're having an unbeleivable snow fall here in Eastern ORegon. Several of us went to the golf course today and skied all 18 holes. It was really fun. Even though the snow wasn't very deep at first, if we went through to the fairway, it was still smooth and good gliding. Going back on Saturday and then having hot chocolate & peppermint schnapps in the bar. Wheeeeeeeeeeee!!!!

12-18-2008, 03:17 PM
We are sooooooo close to being able to ski from the driveway again. Of course, this is just in time for us to be leaving for SLC.

12-21-2008, 12:05 PM
Aaahhh. (Comfortable sigh). First xc ski of the season. Feels darn good again. It has been snowing non-stop since Friday noon. By Saturday morning I had a foot, then slow flurries all day Saturday for about another 4 inches, then picked up again like gangbusters today Sunday and still going. Today I decided to have fun first, and then spend the time to snowblow myself out. The conditions were perfect! Perfect snow, 20 d perfect temps to keep snow dry, and perfect wax = nice effortless FUN glide. I don't have to drive - I just go up the road 800 feet to where there is 2000 acres of 'never to be developed' watershed area and use wood roads. Today I skied right from the cellar door. I didn't go far into the woods. I just didn't feel like breaking trail as I didn't have my floaters but my narrower skiis. I actually skied the roads - which are not heavily traveled in the vicinity of my house - it was great - just a thin veneer of about 2-3" over packed plowed road. My own personal groomed trail and I was able to get some skating in. I only had to move over for 4 cars in an hour and a half. Kind of stormy - people weren't out.

12-21-2008, 02:35 PM
We went "cross city" skiing today... it so rarely really snows around here that there are no real snow clearing provisions. The side streets are like beautiful groomed ski tracks. We probably put in 10-12 miles down to Lake Washington and back.

12-24-2008, 05:11 AM
I went skiing yesterday for the first time this season. The conditions were superb. However, I had limited time, so after I had completed all of the trails on the easier side of the touring center, I knew it would take me too long to go back the way I came. I got to the road that divides the 2 areas and I gingerly skied down the street, where there actually was enough snow snow to do this, until I got to another trail that would take me back to my car more directly. It was strange to be skiing down a road that I usually am riding on!
However, I was very slow, but it felt good. I took a stupid fall on a downhill; the kind where I didn't fall all the way down and lay there splayed in the snow, but my bum sort of touched the ground, I recovered and got up, and continued down the tiny little hill. Right now I can't conceive that last winter I actually skied down a black diamond run.
What I noticed is that my skill level is just like my cycling; I am not fast like the real fast skiers/racers, but I am faster than someone who is just plodding along. I had to help one woman who had fallen and couldn't get up.
It's raining today :(, so there go the good conditions.

12-26-2008, 02:10 PM
Here are some fun pictures from a XC ski today here in SLC. SadieKate and Bubba are visiting Bubba's mom and we've been traipsing about.

I can't tell you how many pictures I have from over the years of SK sticking her tongue out. Today was no exception:


And then we ran into this really neato snowman. He had boots on! (I'm on the left and SK is behind Frosty)


It was a great day and the snow was wonderful. So nice to have SK in town to play with!! :D

12-28-2008, 03:01 PM
Honey, I'm ho-ome! (As snap would say.) But it rained and our lovely snow is nearly gone. Pooh.

And Sunnyside Sports is having a huge sale on everything including skate boots . . . . Bubba picked up some of those Toko pants for 30% off and no tax.:rolleyes:

Sunnyside was very nice in the midst of sale havoc and heated up my Rossi BC 7s and gave me a lead on someone who may be able to help with my right boot problem so I can then spend more money. ;)

Me had fun in SLC. Mercy buckets.

Aint Doody
12-28-2008, 04:03 PM
Here we are skiing at Pendleton Country Club on Dec. 20th before the snow melted. I'm in the blue about to cross the creek (crick if you're in Eastern Oregon!)

Di bear
12-30-2008, 07:36 AM
Wow - I'm embarrassed to say that went COMPLETELY over my head. :confused: Ski wax?


12-30-2008, 11:00 AM
All these pictures look wonderful.

Just taking a stab here hoping that someone might be able to suggest a good xc skiing spot, with nice trails and decent snow, within a 3-4 hour drive of Washington DC. I'm dying to get out this winter, and my dog groomer said she'd go with me, so I need to figure out where! Thanks in advance.

12-30-2008, 11:27 AM
All these pictures look wonderful.

Just taking a stab here hoping that someone might be able to suggest a good xc skiing spot, with nice trails and decent snow, within a 3-4 hour drive of Washington DC. I'm dying to get out this winter, and my dog groomer said she'd go with me, so I need to figure out where! Thanks in advance.

A co-worker loves Whitegrass (http://www.whitegrass.com/), in Davis, WV.
I've never been, but would love to try it. My poor skis haven't been out of the garage in several years, and only see our unplowed streets on those VERY rare big snowfalls. :(

Oh...also Wisp (http://www.wispresort.com/wisp/info/w.nordic-center.aspx), of course, out in western MD.

12-30-2008, 11:46 AM
A co-worker loves Whitegrass (http://www.whitegrass.com/), in Davis, WV.
I've never been, but would love to try it. My poor skis haven't been out of the garage in several years, and only see our unplowed streets on those VERY rare big snowfalls. :(

Oh...also Wisp (http://www.wispresort.com/wisp/info/w.nordic-center.aspx), of course, out in western MD.

Wonder if they have snow now???

Wanna go some weekend?

12-30-2008, 02:30 PM
Wonder if they have snow now???

Wanna go some weekend?

At each of those sites..look for the link for daily snow reports or conditions.
Looks like Wisp is closed and Whitegrass reports "frozen" conditions with some bare patches. Yuck.

I'd love to go - when they get some snow.

Di bear
12-30-2008, 04:08 PM

Was that you I saw at Tech, tonight? I was wearing the blue and black jacket with the gray cyclocross hat and the gray neck gator that hid my face. :D I like to keep my face warm.


12-30-2008, 04:43 PM
Possibly, possibly.... I was there from 4:30 until 6:15-ish. Light blue jacket, white & blue hat, off-white hood under the hat, black pants. Seems like I saw somebody fitting your bundled-up description toward the end. I was with DH & my best buddy. Belated "Hi Di Bear!". I think we were deep in a discussion about whether we wanted to actually observe New Year's Eve, and what on earth to do. Sounds like we'll probably go to a movie.

It was fun tonight! My buddy wanted to do some drills, which nearly killed us all (3 minutes hard, 3 easy, 2 hard, 2 easy, 1 hard, 1 easy). Turns out that first 3 minutes at race pace is hard. We ditched the second set.:rolleyes: Then we just skied easy-ish down to the Nara trails & stuff. We might try to do increasingly bigger sets of that weekly. I ski a lot, but I don't seem to do drills & intervals and stuff anymore.

I just signed up for 4 races for this season (before all the prices go up after tomorrow).
1) 21km at ABR in Ironwood
2) 25K Noquemanon in Marquette
3) 26K Pre-Birkie in Hayward, WI
4) 26K Bear Chase (home turf)
All freestyle

Whoo hoo!

Anybody else want to share their race schedules for this season?

Di bear
12-30-2008, 06:23 PM
Yeah, that was me. I skied from 4:20 to 6:10. I twisted my ankle earlier today, so skiing was a little painful after about 10K.

01-03-2009, 04:07 PM
Just got back from 4 days in Jackson, NH. Went up New Year's Eve and stayed at the Inn at Thorn Hill. We've been there before and it is the nicest inn I've been too. The breakfasts and dinners are included in the room price, although you can go there and not get the dinner included. Thursday was the coldest day in a long time! We started to ski out of the inn to connect to the Jackson x country area and it was a mess; covered with branches from the ice storm and very icy. After I fell like 4 times we all turned back. I was hurting and not in a good mood when we finally got in the car and drove there. So, we decided to just do the river trail while our friends did some blue trails. It was a good idea, I got my ski legs back a little and didn't fall for the rest of the day. I was very glad our room had a jacuzzi, though. I noticed one little bruise on my lower hip.
Friday we went to Bear Notch, which is one of my favorite touring centers. It is small and has homemade soup and bread for lunch. We did about 6-7K with lots of climbing and a few good downhills, which I managed to stay upright on. And, it was a balmy 25 out. When we got back, I noticed that I now had 3 bruises (2 small) on my right hip, butt, and hamstring. No wonder they started aching after all of the downhill. Today we checked out and drove to Bretton Woods. We did about 10.5k with a little climbing and some nice intermediate downhills. It was freezing again and the wind was whipping across the open field you have to cross before getting into the woods. I was unzipped quite a bit when we stopped at the yurt for a snack, but the last 1k on the way back was brutal, blowing snow on icy terrain. Bretton Woods has a nice locker room with showers, so we changed and cleaned up before heading home. As I was changing, someone called my name and it was SheFly! She had been trying out skate skiing.
A good vacation and I am very sore!

01-04-2009, 06:20 AM
Crankin...a shower after finishing is nice. Sounds like the trip was good but cold. But then again it is winter, right? :p Sometimes I don't mind storm skiing but other times I stay inside to avoid it and end up getting grouchy about everything. Lawd knows I certainly have all the right clothes...

It's a gorgeous day here but I think I'm going to wait a bit before going today. I'm still beat from yesterday's WRONG WAX skate on cold snow anyhow. :rolleyes: It was a green wax day and you cannot make green wax by combining yellow and blue, contrary to what they taught us in kindergarten. So I used blue and c-r-a-w-l-e-d for 18k. I am one day older and wiser today...I will classic ski today!

Aint Doody
01-04-2009, 06:32 AM
The area close to me was groomed on Thurs., but more snow fell. A group of us went up, but it was classic only. It was so gorgeous. Lovely fresh snow and no wind. Intermittently is snowed, and then the sun would shine. On the way up, the second car saw 3 big cougars:eek:, and we saw their tracks often. Needless to say, we stayed together as a group. Nobody want to be a snack! Great day to be out.

01-06-2009, 04:15 PM
I'm pretty sure I don't want to come face to face with any cougars while skiing. Go ahead - call me a wimp if you want.

So my first race of the season has been canceled, due to lack of early registrations. I'm not exactly heart-broken, since it's only supposed to get up to about 5 degrees that day.

I do have to go to Yuma for work later this month, getting home the night before what will now be my first race of the season. Not ideal - acclimating to 70 degree weather with no skiing for 5 days, then plunging myself into a potentially 0 degree race. Hope it's more like 30. At least I'll be rested.

The skiing is GREAT here.

01-10-2009, 03:13 PM
Question for you fine TE xc-ski queens:cool:..

How far are your skiis suppose to sink in the snow?:confused:

:(Ugh... I know I bought the wrong type of ski last year for my "real primary" interest. I have a traditional set that's meant for groomed trails. Well, I really should have bought a back country style. But, I'm trying to plow away where I can.

I went out today for the first time this year (lovely powder snow storm here in the midwest:) yeah), and sunk. I know my skiis fit right to me (weight etc.).

So, how much sinking is to be expected? Maybe I'm not totally sure what to expect? Like, a few inches? Six inches? What?

Oh, regardless... it was still fun to get out :D. Just ackward:rolleyes:.

01-10-2009, 08:25 PM
I just want to say crapola. I finally suck it up and sign up for classic lessons.

Wouldn't you know the first lesson occurs on the same day as the USAT National Winter Tri Championship. Lesson will be right next to the bike course and during pre-race activites. I'll be sure to wave hi to Deadly Nedly and Mike Kloser in between face plants.

01-10-2009, 08:29 PM
[B]So, how much sinking is to be expected? Maybe I'm not totally sure what to expect? Like, a few inches? Six inches? What?It depends on conditions just like any other ski so I don't think anyone can answer not knowing what you're skiing in.

I have Karhu XCD GTs which can easily sink that much on fresh ungroomed powder, but they'll only submarine to a point and keep gliding. There is definitely more flotation than a classic ski meant for track and more sideways stability.

But there are some "ungroomed" trails that get so much traffic that you could skate on them.

It really depends on conditions.

01-11-2009, 02:49 AM
I just want to say crapola. I finally suck it up and sign up for classic lessons.

Now a lesson would be a nice thing. Xc-skiing is not so big as downhill here. I'll have to ask around. I know I could use some tips.

Btw, sorry about the timing thing for you. Doesn't it always work out that way!

It depends on conditions just like any other ski so I don't think anyone can answer not knowing what you're skiing in.

I have Karhu XCD GTs which can easily sink that much on fresh ungroomed powder, but they'll only submarine to a point and keep gliding. There is definitely more flotation than a classic ski meant for track and more sideways stability.

But there are some "ungroomed" trails that get so much traffic that you could skate on them.

It really depends on conditions.

Thx for answering. Well, right now the snow is powder-like and just about 6 inches deep. This was just taking advantage of the unplowed subdivision and skiing on the road and berm:rolleyes:. Today I think I'll try the park or golf course. Maybe I would stop sinking after a certain point, then? Hmmm....

DH (who likes downhill, and not xc) says "that's why I always hated xc-skiing... too much work... it was like walking through snow".

A few of our county parks do "groom" their hiking trails. I'm not sure if they have been out to do that yet. Our snow has been sporadic last few winters.

Aint Doody
01-11-2009, 06:46 AM
Miranda, you can break trail with your first pass through an area. Then go back and ski in your own tracks. Each time you go over the tracks it's more fun. Once I was at a resort where we got a huge snowfall. I skied around the golf course to make my tracks. When I went back people who had been out walking walked right on my tracks!!:mad:

Yesterday 12 of us went up to our close-by area. It had been groomed and was my 1st time this year to get out my skate skis. It was fun, but today I have a whole new crop of sore muscles. It's a whole different animal from classic, that's for sure!!

01-11-2009, 08:04 AM
I Lesson will be right next to the bike course and during pre-race activites. I'll be sure to wave hi to Deadly Nedly and Mike Kloser in between face plants.
Umm...I didn't see any face plants when we skied a few weeks ago. Negativity NOT ALLOWED!! :p

I assume that the ski leg of the tri is free, and that they will be skating. But they might be classic skiing...in any event, take advantage of the opportunity to watch. They make it look so eeeeeassyyyyy!

I have a "skate clinic with the champions" today. It's all women. I am prepared to be humbled.

Ooooh! I forgot to post about our night ski on Tuesday. Classic skiing on an ungroomed single track trail in the dark with headlamps. It was SO fun. :D I think we're going to try to go out tonight if it clears up (full moon).

01-12-2009, 06:50 AM
Umm...I didn't see any face plants when we skied a few weeks ago. Negativity NOT ALLOWED!! :pHa! Horrible conditions (as in, even the experts were careening down through the common area) at the beginning of class forced us to spend a lot of time on one-legged drills so I actually learned to turn effectively. Friends went out with us after on the ungroomed trails and on a hillside I wanted to traverse I pulled a real live genuine 180 degree turn. Only person who didn't fall all day - in nearly 5 hours of skiing.

No, I didn't watch the skate skiing (no classic) as that leg started when our friends arrived to ski over on the NFS trails and it was far more important to practice my new class skills.

01-12-2009, 09:08 AM
Another gorgeous ski day here in New England. I went to the local touring center, trying to get my mind off of the sudden toothache I have developed. I have a cleaning appointment Thursday, so I am trying to wait until then.
Gee, I thought most people would be working on a Monday morning! There were a lot more people than I expected in the parking lot.
I didn't do anything special, just 2 different loops for about an hour and a half. The skiing is pretty good here, for a local place, but I get totally lost when I am alone, so I kept to the trails I know. It's like there are loops within loops within loops. But the sun was shining and it was a perfect temperature, about 25. Hopefully, there will be more days like this before my classes start on the 27th.
Unfortunately, my tooth still hurts.

01-13-2009, 07:35 AM
Well, I don't know if it would deserve a thread of its own, but have any of you ladies tried winter triathlon? I've signed up for one and I'm already getting very afraid.

01-13-2009, 08:17 AM
Well, the winter tri nationals were Sunday during my first classic lesson so you now have nothing to fear. Go do it for fun. If you look at the results (first link in the link below), you'll see that there were definitely people out there just for fun or to finish or whatever.


01-13-2009, 10:23 AM
Hmm, it's as an age grouper at World Champs :eek:
If anyone has done one of these before, I'd welcome any thoughts about the experience.
I'll let you know how I get on.

01-20-2009, 07:12 AM
I'll now admit that I signed up for a 4-session skate class. I'm going to learn to stand up even if everyone around me falls down laughing.

01-22-2009, 01:51 AM
That sounds good. Skate lessons are really worth it - I wish I'd gone on a course when I started rather than trying to teach myself. I am now very slowly undoing all of my bad habits but it is taking a while.

roadie gal
01-22-2009, 09:55 AM
2+ on skating lessons. I did not find it an "intuitive" sport. I'm not very coordinated on my best days, so I never would have been able to do it without lessons.

This year I'm finally feeling pretty good about my technique. I'm beginning to sort of get that "glide" thing down. I won't win any prizes, but I don't redline every time I'm on my skis. In fact, I've almost talked myself into signing up for the Great Race in Tahoe City. It's a 30km race on the first Saturday in March. It will be my first time trying it (if I do it).

01-22-2009, 11:54 AM
That sounds like fun, go for it!
How many people do you get at races like that?

roadie gal
01-23-2009, 06:08 AM
That sounds like fun, go for it!
How many people do you get at races like that?

It's become very popular, especially since it's also a fundraiser for the Nordic Search and Rescue group. I think it gets about 2500 people.

01-25-2009, 11:54 PM
That's a lot of skiers. Most races round here are in the hundreds, apart from the big Worldloppet ones.

I raced both days this weekend - a total of 80km and I'm stiff all over today!

01-30-2009, 01:15 PM
Went skiing again today. I think it might be the last time for awhile... we got a lot of snow Wednesday, but then it rained. There's ice everywhere. When I called the conditions line at the local touring center, it said conditions were great and the rain hadn't hampered anything. But, it wasn't great. Not bad, but not great. Let's just say it was slick and fast and going uphill was more of a problem than going down. I just couldn't get a good grip when I was climbing (I have waxless skis). But, I did the whole outer perimeter of the center by myself and it was just beautiful out. I was unzipped even though it was only about 30. When I finished the perimeter, I did some of the easy loops on the way back to the center. I did avoid the one black trail, which, while I have skied more difficult terrain, becomes quite horrible in icy conditions. The last time I was on it, last year, not only was it icy, but there were exposed rocks and roots. Since it was getting warm out and there was some melting, I decided that I didn't want to risk falling when I was alone. Oh and then there's the little humiliating mountain bike incident on that trail, that I didn't have to think about...
Unless I get out tomorrow (I am signed up for spin class) or Sunday, I think the local snow will be going away on Tuesday when it will be 42 and raining.

Aint Doody
02-01-2009, 07:20 AM
Went to the mtn. yesterday with a fun group. They had their classics, but since the trails were freshly groomed I opted for my skate skis. It was terrific skiing and no wind. We were having fun, as I'd zip along and then stop and wait for them or double back. Then it was getting time to head back to the car. We hit the main trail back and YIKES!! That hadn't been groomed yet. It was too far for me to back-track. I slogged along and feared it would be dark before I got back to the parking lot. With their classics they zipped right up the hills. Then----I heard a sound behind me--the grooming machine!!! Yippee!!! It was fun, but I was one worn-out ole lady!!

02-04-2009, 11:51 AM
What a great day to ski here in New England. We had about 3 inches of powder yesterday, over a good base, and it's beautifully sunny and about 25 out. My husband is away, so I had to shovel snow for about an hour before I went skiing. So I started out tired, with my back sort of aching. Wow, I haven't shoveled that much snow for awhile, since usually he does the snowblower and we have a guy plow the shared driveway. But, it wasn't enough for the plow guy to come, so I did half of that, plus in front of my house.
When I got to the touring center, there was my friend, Brant, one half of the couple we ride and ski with. He had already skied one loop, thankfully, so at least I could keep him in sight! He's very speedy, but I could tell he was tired. We did the whole perimeter, most of the black diamond trails (we cut out one climb as we were both fading fast), and I am now exhausted.
But it was great. It's supposed to be 50 this weekend! I was planning to go out to central/western MA to ski, but I hope the conditions will be OK.

03-13-2009, 02:30 AM
Well I was in alpinerabbit country last weekend for the Engadine ski marathon - wow what a great event. My time was a little slower than I would have liked, but that's what being ill for three weeks does for you.

Since a picture can tell a thousand words, here's the link to the official slideshow (warning, it has sound too):

Anyone else still racing? We have our final one this weekend.

03-14-2009, 05:10 AM
Cool pix, Bron! How big is that race? What is the terrain like (most of the pictures seem to be right in the beginning)? Looks like it could be ridiculously hilly, but maybe it stays in the valley? I can't remember how long that one is? What was the temperature like - looks like some people were wearing extra layers? Of course, it was 30 here yesterday, and I saw one girl out skiing with all the same stuff on that she wears when it's 5, including a big scarf over her face.

I need to get my passport!

I did a 50k race (a tad smaller than yours - under 500 people total for 3 event, and 172 in the 50) last Sunday. The conditions were really fast, so I was able to do it under 3 hours (although, as always, I went too hard on the first lap, and slowed sown significantly on the 2nd). My first 50k race since, I believe, 1995! I usually get a couple of 50s in training every season, but 20-25k has always been a better race distance for me.

We're going to do a little 19k race tomorrow, and then that will be it for this year. It's supposed to be in the 40s all next week, and the grooming will get more sporadic, so I'll start mixing in some running soon. I hope to be biking in April. Actually, the high in the area where the race is is supposed to be 46 tomorrow - so I'm hoping the 6" of snow we just got has transformed, or it will literally suck! It should be mid to upper 30s during the race.

03-14-2009, 08:11 AM
Bron - thanks for posting the pics! they were very cool to watch!

03-16-2009, 05:39 AM
I thought they were too good not to share although as my brother pointed out, stunning scenery and access to a helicopter gave the photographer a lot of help.

It was the Engadine ski marathon (42km), as far as I know it is the biggest race in central Europe with around 11 000 skiers on the start. It's part of the Worldloppet and the FIS marathon cup so people come from everywhere in the world to take part.

Terrain, overall it's downhill and the start is completely flat as it's on a frozen lake. There is a climb at around halfway and three hills at the end which shouldn't be that nasty, but are because everyone is tired by then.

Feel free to PM me if you're thinking of taking part and have any questions.

It was fairly cold at the start (around -8°C as far as I can remember) but sunny and it was very cold when I went out at 6 am to put my skis out. I was fine in my normal racing suit once we got going.

I did a 50k race (a tad smaller than yours - under 500 people total for 3 event, and 172 in the 50) last Sunday. The conditions were really fast, so I was able to do it under 3 hours (although, as always, I went too hard on the first lap, and slowed sown significantly on the 2nd). My first 50k race since, I believe, 1995! I usually get a couple of 50s in training every season, but 20-25k has always been a better race distance for me.

Well done! I've not quite managed to break 3 hours for a 50k although maybe I will next season.

We had our last races this weekend too. 30k skating on Saturday which went quite well apart from falling over in front of all of the spectators as I was racing for the finish. Yesterday was 42k classic where the weather was horrible and I was late for the start (how could I be so stupid?). Now we have to wait for the final standings in the ski series to be published and think about getting our bikes out.

03-28-2009, 05:19 AM
So, Bron, how did your series standings go? Anybody who does 30k one day and 42k the next deserves some sort of recognition!

My last race went okay - it was really hard! It was an unusual format, where they had waves based on your age group, and the waves were arranged to try to equalize among ages and m/f, so the first person across the line wins. I was 28th or something, out of 72. My best friend is a couple of years older than I am, and started 2 minutes ahead of me. I made up about 1/2 of that, but couldn't catch her. She said she saw me several times, but I never saw her - I think that gave her a bit of a boost to keep me from catching her. If I'd seen her, who knows - maybe I would have gotten that boost? A minute is still a lot to try to make up when you're dying, though. I'd like to say it was fun, but MAN was that hard!

I haven't skied since last Sunday, on the crust. Work gets in the way this time of year, because I can't get out in the morning, before it warms up. It sounds like the trails are still being groomed, although this time of year it gets to be less reliable at one place. I think I'm ready for 50s and biking, but that may be a ways off. The singletrack is still snow-covered, so running is difficult. It's snowing right now and 18F.

Oh, and my 2:52 50k was purely due to the fast conditions and mild course.

03-29-2009, 02:06 PM
um, I have a question: how do you train for this sort of thing?

03-29-2009, 04:21 PM
um, I have a question: how do you train for this sort of thing?

Hi Madscot!

Ski races? 50ks? It would be easiest if you didn't have one of those pesky jobs.:rolleyes:

By skiing as much as possible, possibly doing intervals, etc., just like running or biking. If you mean training for long distances, I gradually work my long skis up over several weeks - this year I got a couple of 50+k training skis in a few weeks beforehand. I've never figured out how people do ski marathons in January, though. Lots of roller skiing in the fall, I suppose.

And I really don't know how Bron raced 30k one day and 42k the next - she's awesome!:cool:

04-01-2009, 12:13 AM
So, Bron, how did your series standings go?
Oh, and my 2:52 50k was purely due to the fast conditions and mild course.

I came third which I am really pleased about. The first two girls are just in another class, I would never have a chance of beating them.
There are plenty of other skiers around who are better than me, but they didn't do enough races to get a higher position, so my result is thanks to persistence and a lot of technical improvement.

Even with fast conditions, that's a good 50k result and one that I would be happy with.

I like the pursuit concept, it certainly adds something to a race when you are determined to chase someone down/not be caught.

um, I have a question: how do you train for this sort of thing?

I did a couple of triathlons in the summer and then in autumn mainly ran and used the rowing machine with a mxture of long sessions and intervals. Oh, yes, the job tends to get in the way of training :rolleyes:

Hi Madscot!
I've never figured out how people do ski marathons in January, though. Lots of roller skiing in the fall, I suppose.

And I really don't know how Bron raced 30k one day and 42k the next - she's awesome!:cool:

Mainly by telling myself that it was the last race of the season!
Our series involved six weekends each with two races, usually short (17-25k) on the Saturday and long (34-55k) on the Sunday, so by the last one I was used to it.

We started in December with a training camp which was a big help and I concentrated the most effort on the skating races, so one race each weekend would be a big effort and then the other one less important.

Next year I need to improve my classic skiing and maybe not do quite as many races.

04-03-2009, 10:41 PM
I am going to work on properly classic skiing before I move up to skate (plus I don't want to invest in another set of gear). Skate is beautiful to watch. It looks so intense too.

I think rowing and cross country skiing are the best workouts a person can get! I row for my warm up but I don't have the patience to do more than an hour without a team.

I got back into cross country a few years back. I have my own gear now but I am not particularly fast. I never felt that biking really got me into good shape for it though. I'm not particularly fast but I go to family style places and so I feel fast. I think I should work on my technique with some classes. that oughtta help.

04-07-2009, 04:06 PM
Hey Madscot13 - classes can make a big difference! Especially if you ski on your own, too, and practice what you learned.

Woo-hoo! One more race! The skiing was sooooo good over the weekend, my DH said somebody really should put on one more race before it's to late. I told him that, since he's unemployed right now, he'd be the perfect choice! So, he was all excited, then wasn't going to bother, then was all excited, then it was too much trouble, then ...., well, you get the idea. He called me at work this morning and said "It's on!". Now he's talked to enough people, he can't back out. So, one more 20K, hopefully lightening-fast, spur-of-the-moment event, this Saturday. Clearly, a low key race. I've hardly skied in 3 weeks, but what the heck?

Anybody else still getting out?

04-08-2009, 07:03 PM
did anyone else take lessons? I know how to ski already so i want to bypass the family style lessons. Minnesota is great for cross country skiing. it is my favorite thing to do when I am home.

01-06-2010, 12:46 PM
I went for my third ski of the season, but my first real ski... at Windblown in NH. It's at 1800 feet and was originally built to be a small downhill area. I am exhausted. Lots of climbing and downhill on the blue trails. I won't even go on a black trail here.
I went with a group and I was fine. Only fell (well knee touches, not total falls) on the ups.

01-10-2010, 02:36 PM
Had a great time today. Could not have asked for nicer weather. Warm temps with plenty of sun. Spent part of the day on my traditonal skis then took out my skate skis. Great workout. I love days like this.

01-10-2010, 04:21 PM
I'd just like it to snow. :(

01-10-2010, 06:43 PM
I never thought I'd wish to be in Minnesota. We haven't had a decent snow since I bought my skis :(
The best I could do right now is about 1.5 hours away.

01-11-2010, 02:25 AM
Go for it, Zen. It's rare that we have consistent good x country conditions here. I can drive 1.5 hours west or north and have fantastic skiing that is a day trip. Mostly we do the day trips to the west and when we go up to NH or VT., it's for at least a weekend. I consider anything 2 hours or under a day trip.
Can you ski on local conservation land trails? Sometimes there's more snow in the woods than in your yard. Not the same kind of skiing, but still fun.

01-13-2010, 01:39 PM
Another great ski today at Windblown. There were 5 of us. Even though I was one of the slower ones, I didn't fall once. I feel back in the groove. Did some great downhills, which were rather fast. Even though there haven't been any storms, the snow was groomed well.
I am not as tired or ravenous as last week, but I still feel like I worked really hard. There's not much snow around here, so I hope we get some, because I don't know if I can go up to NH next week. But I feel ready for my trip to VT., in February.

01-13-2010, 02:40 PM
I haven't down hill skied in almost 30 years. I was hoping for a good local snow before I went anywhere. I could go in the field next door or on my own property to practice.

I think DivingBiker and I will get out Cumberland way before winter's end.

01-14-2010, 02:40 AM
I meant x country down hills! I don't downhill ski. Well, I tried it once, because the rest of my family did, but it didn't thrill me. Then my DH stopped downhill because he had started riding and didn't want to get hurt. My kids never really continued it after middle school, but at least they know how. Around here, it's a social thing. It's funny, I am such a downhill weenie on the bike, but I have much less fear on x country skis. I think it's because I am closer to the ground.

01-14-2010, 08:35 PM
Part of the reason I haven't been on the forum much is that I've been skate skiing my buns off. I'm loving it. The last 3 times I've gone out I've done more than 16 km each day and on uneven terrain. I love the butt burn... ahhhhh:D:D:D:D:D:D

02-07-2010, 11:45 AM
I just got back from Craftsbury, VT, where there is always snow! We thought, since it hasn't been snowing even up there, conditions would not be great, but they were great, considering. We stay at the Craftsbury Inn, which is right on the trail. It's a hoot of a place. Slightly odd owner and gourmet chef. It's not always the most spotless place, but you get treated like royalty. Breakfast is included, he packs us lunches for a small fee, and we eat dinner there, too. He can cook any cuisine around.
Anyway, Thursday we skied a bit of the trail, all up and rolling, about 4 miles. Friday we went to the Craftsbury Outdoor Center, where the trails are wide and groomed probably the best of anywhere I have been. I've skied there twice before. Because of the grooming, I can ski the black trails there. Lots of climbing and downhills. It was awesome. My poor DH just can't get the climbing part and is also very slow on the flats. Not sure why, as he is an awesome cyclist and very strong overall. I think it's his feet, which are very sensitive and he always has issues, even though he had surgery for Morton's neuroma bout 8 years ago. It's better, but drives him nuts. But, he did it and our friends were quite proud of us. We skied almost 9 miles, with a break for lunch. Yesterday we went to the Highland Lodge, up the road. I have been there once, when there were super powder conditions and I skied down the scariest huge mountain ever. The conditions were not as good, but there was plenty of snow. The trails here are bumpier, and kind of slanted, so it was hard to get a grip at times. But, we did about 5 miles. It was only a high of 15 degrees yesterday, so starting out, it was really frigid, about 8 F. In the afternoon, we snow shoed, up this huge climb we had skied down 2 years ago (we think, the downside of this place is that the trails are not well marked). The snow shoe trail went up in the thick forest; just gorgeous. After about 3.5 miles of that we were dead and bought some cheese and crackers, where I pigged out about 3 hours before dinner. After the cheese crepes I had, it's back to reality today. We got home a couple of hours ago; no snow around here. I am hoping to get a little more x country in before the cycling season starts!

02-07-2010, 01:41 PM
Delaware just got another 2 feet of snow, so DH and I dug out our XC skis. We don't have many opportunities to ski here, but we enjoy it when we can! We skied yesterday on the unpaved streets, which was nice and smooth, and again today at a county park. That snow was deep and lots of work!

Can anyone give me some advice on new equipment?

Our equipment is probably ~20 years old, bought a few years ago off of Craig's List just to see if we liked it. Well, we do, and our equipment is literally starting to fall apart. So it's time to think about new stuff. But I'm overwhelmed by the choices out there, particularly with bindings and the accompanying compatibility considerations.

We ski just a few times a year. It's mostly unplowed streets or local parks- nothing groomed, but some of it's packed and some is deeper and more powdery. Nothing around here is groomed, so we end up breaking our own trails in anything deeper than a few inches.

The local ski shops carry lots of downhill stuff, but very little XC stuff, so not a great source of advice there. I'm not even sure that I'll be able to buy locally, but may have to resort to internet/mail order.

Any thoughts? What do I need to look for in skis? Bindings? Any suggestions for reputable internet retailres if I'm forced to go that direction?

Many thanks in advance!

02-07-2010, 04:07 PM
I never thought I'd wish to be in Minnesota. We haven't had a decent snow since I bought my skis :(
The best I could do right now is about 1.5 hours away.

SATISFIED?? :rolleyes:

02-07-2010, 04:27 PM
I was going to go to the park today but there was nowhere to park at the park. It hasn't been plowed. I stupidly bought skate skis instead of the wider back country type. This is too much snow for me to ski in unless I find a trail :o

02-07-2010, 04:50 PM
Zen, I was struggling with the wider backcountry skis. You can't actually ski in this stuff - after goign over my tracks a few times, it was almost skiable.

Did you actually get skate skis or just thin skis?

02-07-2010, 07:45 PM
Thin, but will work for skating.

02-09-2010, 03:39 PM
I'm jealous of all you DC people. I haven't had to move snow in 2-3 weeks! Normally we've got 3 feet on the ground at any one time, and are pushing it around daily, but not this year. On the bright side, we have enough, and a good base. Nearly nothing in November, 96" in December, and then back to nearly nothing in January. January is when we normally get belted.

Anyway, the skiing has been awesome (sorry Zen - I have 1 trail with 28k groomed on my way home from work, another (more awesome place) 15 minutes from work, and a couple of others near by - you should move here!). I've been too busy skiing to check in here. I've been trying to get out a couple/few times during the week, and one long ski and one medium/short ski on the weekend. I did 64k on Sunday (skating) - I'm pretty excited. I wasn't sure how ski season would go, with the ankle I broke in July. Turns out, it prefers skiing, because if I miss a couple of days it hurts when I walk. :rolleyes:

My dog is soooo happy they turned 2 of the loops at the nearest place into multi-use, dog-friendly loops. She doesn't get there much, but loves it when she does. Tonight we went skijoring. We only crashed horribly once. :D It's a lot of fun, but can result in pileups.

02-09-2010, 07:20 PM
Tonight we went skijoring. We only crashed horribly once. :D It's a lot of fun, but can result in pileups.

Whoa! That's like skitching! What was pulling you?

I went out tonight and tried to blaze a trail but it's snowed about 6 inches since then. The skis kept me on top of the snow so the effect was more like snowshoeing but my poles sank way down so they weren't ski poles, they were ski canes :o

02-10-2010, 02:26 AM
Yay, the snow is coming here! About ten inches, I would say. We have planned a ski weekend for Valentine's Day; it will be local, but after being in VT. last weekend, I am motivated. Probably will go out to Northfield Mountain in western MA on Sunday and do our local touring center on Saturday. DH went to REI and bought new skis and boots yesterday. He is so frustrated that this sport is so hard for him. Anyway, he decided on skis that are called back country, but they are skinny enough for the tracks, have metal edges that are a bit thicker than on the skis we have, and most importantly, are shorter. They had stopped making the type of bindings he had, hence, the new boots.
I am going to get new skis, too, because mine are so long, they seem like trees. I will probably go to one of the local LBS, which also sells x country stuff in the winter. They have skis I want and I don't need new boots. Plus, I get a discount there, since my son worked there at one point.

02-10-2010, 03:49 AM
I just got myself a new pair of skis - my first waxless ones. I've been skiing at a commercial area this year and the snow was so crusty and variable that wax wasn't the best. Now I've got 3 pair of skis: old waxable 195s, newer waxable 180s with metal edges and lots of sidecut (good for tele turns on easy terrain), and waxless 185s with metal edges (narrow enough for groomed areas, wide enough for backcountry). So bring on the snow!

Mr. SR500
02-10-2010, 04:45 AM
Anyone have set they would like to sell. Looking for something to play around with. I'm about 6', 190 lbs, size 9 shoe. I don't really have a clue what to look for?

roadie gal
02-10-2010, 11:06 AM
I took lesson 2 out of 4 in my women's skate ski clinic today. We worked a LOT on balance, my particular Achilles Heel, and learned V2. I'd been trying to figure V2 out on my own, but failed miserably. Well, it's all about the timing. Amazing! I actually was able to do it by the end of the lesson. Way cool!

02-10-2010, 02:42 PM
Whoa! That's like skitching! What was pulling you?

My dog! That's what skijoring is - skiing with a dog attached to you. There is bikejoring too, but that looks way too scary to me (for me AND for my dog).

Here's a website with some video from a recent local race. There is other stuff there, too, but you can see which has the dogs in it. I didn't go - thought about it, but decided to do a long ski that day, instead (yes, I chickened out)


What is skitching?

02-10-2010, 03:54 PM
The snow never arrived....:(.

02-10-2010, 04:13 PM
Wow, those people are good! I can see me being pulled along on my ask, skis akimbo.

Crankin, you really don't want all this anyway.

02-10-2010, 04:27 PM
I can see me being pulled along on my ask, skis akimbo.

Yeah - yesterday we were flying along, I had just hopped in the tracks on a long, slight downhill grade, and Zoe decided to stop suddenly to check out a scent. I kept going, trying frantically to stop. I fell, and she yelped pretty good when the line went taut again, but she was fine, and picked right up where she left off.

Oh - the other option: our first time out this season, she suddenly headed across in front of me, left to right, into the deep snow. She stopped, but crossed back behind me, then in front of me,.... By the time I reeled her in, my arms and poles were pinned to my sides, and I could just wiggle my hands. :p

Oh - and there was the time I foolishly made her wait so some friends could ski on ahead. When I finally told her to go, she yanked me right off my feet. I mean, from standing to faceplant in 0.01 seconds.

Poor Crankin.... Clearly, you DO want all that!

02-11-2010, 04:53 PM
Yes, and I will drive to find some. I bought new skis tonight! Fischer S Bound Silent Spiders. I decided to keep the same boots, since they are in good shape and my feet are so sensitive, I don't want to mess with what works. The skis are shorter, which is my main concern.
Hopefully, I will find snow somewhere.

02-14-2010, 12:07 PM
I guess everyone else is riding???

We went to Windblown, in NH today. The place is amazing. There is absolutely no snow on the ground here and not much up by them, either, but almost all of there trails are open. We got there at 10:30 and the parking lot was already filling up. My new skis are awesome! So light. I can climb in the tracks much easier and also climb without having to herringbone as much. They feel different on the downhill and for a bit I had to get used to the shorter skis=less edges, but by the afternoon, I was set.
The temperature got up to about 35 degrees. That's just about at the edge of being too warm. We skied about 11k. DH is very happy with his new stuff, too, and he definitely could go faster. It's supposed to snow a little on Tuesday, so I am hoping to go to the local touring center Wednesday. We'll see...

02-14-2010, 01:33 PM
Glad to hear you had good skiing, Crankin. I'll be skiing at Notchview in the Berkshires tomorrow.

02-15-2010, 03:45 AM
We were going to go to Notchview yesterday, but didn't want to drive that far. I'd be interested to hear how it was.
Here's a picture from yesterday. This is a "view" spot at Windblown, where you can see Mt. Monadanock in the background. It's right next to the owner of the touring area's home. The wind was gusting up to 35 when we were up there. Good excuse for a good downhill, to get out of that wind!

02-15-2010, 08:05 AM
Sigh...I'm a New Englander too and bemoaning the lack of snow. Unfortunately, have had too many commitments recently (family in town, weekend meetings, etc) to make it up to Windblown in recent weekends. I am feeling like a lame ski-lover. Oh well - it was nice being out on the road bike yesterday :)

We are taking a long weekend starting on Thursday to Lake Placid and hopefully will ski AND skate enough to feel sufficiently winter-happy!

02-15-2010, 01:33 PM
Here's a picture from yesterday.

What is around your waist and where are your poles?

02-15-2010, 05:14 PM
Those are waist packs/bottle holders. I hate skiing with a Camelbak and despite the fact I have the "winter" cover on the hose, it still freezes. The waist pack allows me to have plenty of liquid and room for different gloves, hats, etc., especially at this time of year when I often start layering down after 10 minutes!
Poles were stuck in the snow off to the side. It was a rare moment when someone else up there spontaneously offered to take our picture.

02-16-2010, 04:35 AM
We were going to go to Notchview yesterday, but didn't want to drive that far. I'd be interested to hear how it was.

Notchview had wonderful skiing yesterday. It was powder snow, at least an inch of fresh powder on a 7" base. The fields were windblown and crusty but in the woods there was nothing but POWDER! And the area is 98% in the woods. There is lots of groomed terrain of easy and intermediate level. Also skied some narrow backcountry trails which were tracked by skis but ungroomed. I started on my new waxless skis but found them slow, so switched to waxables and had great skiing. Temperatures were 25-30F, I used extra blue with special red kicker and it couldn't have been better.

02-16-2010, 07:43 AM
Poles were stuck in the snow off to the side.
I thought maybe you were so good you didn't need them:p

02-16-2010, 08:27 AM
R wouldn't give me my poles a couple weeks ago when we got a couple inches of snow and I was going around a high school track trying to figure out how to use my cross country skis.... His rational was without ski poles to push off with, I'd actually learn the correct leg motions and glide...

I spent a lot of time demanding my ski poles and cussing at him. But it was possible to go around without them.

02-16-2010, 11:16 AM
That´s exactly what we were made to do when we took some coaching. It really helps so we try to do a bit without poles in each training session.

02-16-2010, 12:19 PM
Yea, that wouldn't be me, Zen...
I could probably go on the flats without the poles, at least for awhile. But I use those suckers climbing a lot and once in awhile to slow me down on a descent. I seem to be able to not freak out when descending on skis as opposed to a bike!
Deb, I am amazed there was powder at Notchview. Perhaps I will get there this weekend. I plan to be at Great Brook tomorrow at 9 AM! (Just had a very slow drive home from Lowell in the storm and I am definitely not going to class tonight). I seem to be obsessed with skiing the way I was with cycling at one point. I think it's because I hardly get to do it. It's definitely not that I am so good at it.

02-18-2010, 07:50 AM
Crankin, how was Great Brook yesterday morning? I skied this morning near my house, on the bike path and the Reformatory Branch. Snow kind of thin and crusty. After today's heat it will probably not be skiable at all. I hope to go to Windblown Saturday.

02-18-2010, 08:44 AM
It sucked!
I think it was a combination of a few things.
1. The grooming there is not that great. The tracks still had bare spots ( a lot), though there was at least 6-8 inches of snow.
2. The skating lane, i.e. where mortals like me go down hill was full of loose powder. Great for climbing, but I got stopped in my tracks going downhill (see next).
3. I don't think my new skis are made for skiing in higher, unpacked powder. I literally was glued to the snow and stopped dead in my tracks. I didn't fall, but it was awful.
4. The temperature was rising and I didn't use the glide stuff for waxless skis. Stupid.
5. School vacation. Need I say more? Thankfully, I went on the other side of North Rd. immediately and there were hardly any people. I did go up Woodchuck, but went back an alternate, as I was afraid given the stickiness of my skis, I would fall down the hill, whioch has tons of dirt and rock patches in the best of conditions.
I was really frustrated. I hope to get up to Windblown this weekend, or to Northview, but not sure how the snow will be there.

02-21-2010, 09:57 AM
Man, am I pooped! I did the longest ski of my life yesterday. It was awesome, but it also kicked my butt. Which is still pretty well kicked today.... I did take my doggie out skiing with me today, and ended up getting 11.5k in really easy.

Now, to all those chores that I neglected yesterday..... :(

02-21-2010, 03:39 PM
Went back to Windblown today. All the trails were open, but the conditions were not quite as good as advertised. My friend came with us, as her DH was leaving on a business trip. It was pretty slick and icy, especially as we went down a very long downhill. I had done this trail before, but the conditions were much better. Plus, the temperatures were going up; seriously, I think most of my issues with my new skis (which I still love) have been temperature/conditions related. But, I got down without falling, although, not so gracefully. There were a couple of steep icy climbs, too. Finally, we found a few descents that were in good condition, and I felt more confident. By that time, things were getting a bit mushy, so we headed to the lodge and ate lunch. We skied for about 2.5 hours and I have no idea how far, but I'd say 10-12k.
It's supposed to snow/rain on Tuesday and Wednesday and then a bigger storm on Friday. I'm hoping for one more good ski weekend before bringing the road bike outside.

02-22-2010, 06:21 PM
After being glued to the TV, watching all of the Winter Olympic Nordic skiing events...I have somehow convinced myself that this is something I would like to try. Let me preface this by saying...the ONLY time I have put on skis of ANY type, was in high school gym class back in 1982!!! :eek: It was cross-country and I have to admit...I didn't take to it very well. Fell down a LOT, and was just very uncoordinated in general. Up until now, that one experience had left a rather unpleasant taste in my mouth in regards to skiing. BUT...after watching several events on TV and seeing how hard those athletes are working...I am up for the challenge. :D

I live in IL, so we have plenty of snow. I found a golf club a few miles away, that does a ski rental package. It's $12 for the boots, skis, & poles for 2 hours...so very reasonable, IMO. Their website says that skiers have access of the golf clubs grounds to get to the "groomed trails" which are located in an adjacent forest preserve. I'm thinking this might be a good option for my hubby and I to give cross-country a try. Am I in over my head with this? Should we take lessons first? Or is this something that we could "pick up" on our own by just getting out there and doing it? Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!


02-22-2010, 07:12 PM
There's a bunch of videos on you tube, if you want to get an idea of the technique.

I haven't had lessons and just mostly have been taking myself & my skis to go play in the snow. I'm okay going uphill (well, relatively), on flats, and my downhills leave a bit to be desired. I need to learn a telemark turn.

However, I have mastered the art of avoiding hitting trees on the downhills:


Even if it's just flinging myself to the ground before impact.

02-23-2010, 02:39 AM
I sort of taught myself and took a couple of lessons back in the day when the rest of my family was off doing downhill (those days are long over). For 12 years, I didn't do much except go on green trails and some mild blue ones. About five years ago we got invited to go skiing with our cycling buddies, who are serious x country skiers. With their encouragement, I am now climbing pretty steep slopes and going downhill (not that pretty, but without falling). I tend to avoid very skinny trails that are surrounded by trees! Seriously, I've skied black trails at some touring centers that are tough, but are wider.
I occasionally go out in conservation land and ski there, but nothing too crazy. I like going out after a fresh snow, when there's fresh tracks from another person! I'm not much of a risk taker, so I really prefer going to groomed trails, but some of them are pretty tough.
I am not fast, but generally I can handle most stuff. I went skiing with a group last month for the first time and I was able to "fit in" with the people. Some were very experienced, better technical skiers than me, but slower, as they were older (like late sixties) than me. The 2 women my age were just a little faster, but I seemed to have more endurance, so by the end, they were skiing with me.

02-23-2010, 09:23 AM
Ok...so I see some of you reference trails by "colors"...green, blue, black. I assume the different colors represent different levels of difficulty or skill, am I right? What should I be looking for, as a total novice?

I'm glad to hear that some of you are self-taught skiers...which is probably the route we will end up taking. It's nice to know that it IS possible to learn this on our own...as I doubt my hubby would be up for taking formal lessons. :rolleyes:

roadie gal
02-23-2010, 09:55 AM
Striding (classic skiing) is easy to just pick up, especially if you're not planning on racing. At its most basic it's like walking on skis. If you're going to get aggressive or race then it's worth taking lessons because being efficient, with good technique, is much more important.

Skating is much more technique driven. If you're interested in that I would start with a lesson. Otherwise it can be EXTREMELY frustrating and tiring.

The colors do refer to the difficulty of the trails. Green is easiest, followed by blue and then black. Start with the green and see how it feels. Move up to harder stuff if the green seems easy or you want to challenge yourself. Each ski area rates its runs differently. There are no set standards (this applies to downhill areas, too). The ratings are a comparison of the runs at that resort to each other, not to other areas. A blue run at an "easier" area might just be a green at a "harder" one.

02-23-2010, 04:30 PM
Self-taught here - both striding and skating. When I was 9 my parents borrowed skis from some friends, and Dad took us each out in the yard, one at a time (only 2 pairs) to see if we liked it. We did. When our own skis showed up, the poles were back-ordered, so we went out around the yard without them for a few days (which is a very very good way to learn technique!). My sister later turned to downhill (and lives in Texas now), but Mom & Dad and I are still at it, 35 years later.

It can definitely be done without lessons. I don't really agree that skating is more technique-driven, though. I think it is more strength driven, and so you feel it more if you aren't doing it correctly. Well, actually, I think you have to have the strength before you can have the technique, if that makes any sense. I've always thought striding was more technical - it's just that you can shuffle along from Point A to Point B with really poor technique. An awful lot of people really don't have any kick at all, and just shuffle. Which is fine, by the way, as long as it is fun!

I say, go out and give it a try, and then see if you want to take lessons later. Get a feel for the skis first, anyway, or you'll be wasting your time and money on a lesson, when you're just trying to get comfortable standing on the things that first time.

Have fun! :D

02-23-2010, 05:54 PM
I started classic skiing last year. I'm an alpine skier who was in a season long women's clinic. One of the instructors is an awesome Nordic skier, she tried out for the PSIA demo team. She offered lessons after our downhill lessons and they were wonderful. I learned to glide and other basic skills necessary for classic skiing. I even rode the beginner chairlift! The hardest part is getting your balance but that came pretty quickly for me.

I bought skis and boots a few years ago but didn't use them until last year. I've used them about 10 times, enough to know they aren't right for me. Unlike alpine skis, the size of nordic skis are by weight. My skis were rated below 140 lbs. They are too stiff for my mere 105 lbs so I just bought another pair, women's, that are rated 90-120 lbs. Trying to figure out the correct ski for me has been the hardest part of this venture.

I’m really enjoying this sport, it's great for weekends when the slopes are crowded and good exercise. Here's some websites that I found useful as a beginner.


Specifically for women, scroll down to XC Clinic for Women.

As one of the articles points out, learning on a groomed course is probably the best place to start. A lesson or 2 will help to get you on your way. Have fun, it's a great sport.

02-23-2010, 06:03 PM
Groomed means the snow is packed down, a wide area for skate skiing, 2 tracks for classic skiing. I use the tracks to glide in flat areas and easy uphills and downhills. For herringboning uphill and snowplowing downhill I use the skate skiing area.

02-24-2010, 07:19 AM
I mostly stay out of the set tracks at groomed areas. I'm more used to backcountry skiing and find the tracks too wide. Also, I frequently find the tracks glazed and not gripping my wax as well as the snow outside the tracks.

02-24-2010, 11:35 AM
It's true back country skis are too wide for the tracks. One of the times I went with an AMC group to Windblown, one woman had bc skis because they were more comfortable than her regular ones. She spent the whole time skiing in the skating lane and was miserable. By the end, she couldn't keep up, even with me. My new skis are wider than my old ones, but still fit in the tracks.
I wouldn't mind doing some back country skiing, but it would require different skis. Not this year...
Until then, I prefer to ski in the tracks on the flats and little uphills and downhills, but serious climbing/descending in the skate lane.

02-24-2010, 12:02 PM
My backcountry skis are a tad wide for the tracks. But regardless of that, I think the distance between the 2 tracks is too wide. It's just uncomfortable to have to keep my feet that far apart. It's not a natural stride. And I've done many many all-day backcountry ski tours.

I'll probably be at Windblow this Saturday unless it's going to raining all day.

02-24-2010, 05:30 PM
Skied my new women's specific skis today. Wow, what a difference over my unisex skis. My balance was better, gliding, climbing and snowplowing so much easier. I skied an advanced beginner trail backwards and went down a pretty steep hill without problems. I felt very secure and confident on these skis.

The width of the tracks don't bother me, probably because I'm used to the width of 78-96 mm alpine skis. At first the narrowness of the skis and lack of support from the boots was much more disconcerting to me.

We don't have the freezing and thawing here that you have in the east so groomed trails here are soft, not icy and the tracks don't get very wide.

My nordic center has a designated place for learning. Tracks and a groomed area on flat terrain, very nice for beginners. Also, a good place to practice gliding witout poles.

After years of alpine skiing I'm excited to discover a new way to enjoy snow.

02-25-2010, 04:43 AM
I'm glad to hear that some of you are self-taught skiers...which is probably the route we will end up taking. It's nice to know that it IS possible to learn this on our own...as I doubt my hubby would be up for taking formal lessons. :rolleyes:

I'm self-taught too, although now I'm racing I've taken some coaching which has made an enormous amount of difference.

I've always thought striding was more technical - it's just that you can shuffle along from Point A to Point B with really poor technique. An awful lot of people really don't have any kick at all, and just shuffle. Which is fine, by the way, as long as it is fun!

My thoughts too - somehow getting decent skating technique has been so much more difficult than sorting out my classic ski-ing.

02-25-2010, 06:23 AM
This is really good timing. My husband wants us to cross country ski, but he wants to buy the equipment from craigs list sellers, and I'm nervous about doing that. I imagine with technology changes we might have a hard time matching up the bindings with the shoes we have to get new. I just won't wear other people's stuff on my feet!
The trails we have access to are un-groomed and hilly, but I see a lot of ski tracks out there when I'm snowshoeing.

Ja Da Dee
02-25-2010, 06:36 AM
My husband and I started classic skiing last year, and are having a load of fun! We were able to purchase a package deal from REI at a really reasonable price. you also may want to look into closeout because the winter is coming to an end. Personally, I skipped craigslist because I don't know enough about the equipment to purchase used.

02-25-2010, 06:40 AM
You could go in the trails other people blaze and wouldn't have to worry too much about ski type - but it you're going to be trail breaking, back country type skis help a lot.

If you're doing steep downhills or so... you probably want a backcountry binding or something a bit more robust, but otherwise normal bindings aren't too bad.

I've just been collecting pieces over the years when I've found them on sale cheap, and finally got around to mounting the skis thsi winter... And while I did have nnn bc, nnn, and sns bc bindings & boots to go with most, which are all the newer styles... I went ahead and just put the old style 3 pin bindings on the skis because of the reviews I was reading of many that had switched to the new styles of bindings and then just went back to the old 3 pins. Mostly it was because I don't really expect to be in tracks (I just go to the closest mountain to me) and I do want a solid connection if I downhill something steep with them. I can add a cable to my bindings to hold my skis to it. If I ever see longer narrower skis cheap, I'll mount some of the new style bindings to them and those can be my groomed trail skis. But we rarely have winters this snowy around here, so it maybe a few years before I get to really use these skis again.

So I don't think getting the skis used on craigslist makes a huge difference or not with response to binding styles.. just depends on what you want the skis for...

REI does have some salomon cross country ski boots at a good price now.. but it might be limited sizes.

roadie gal
02-25-2010, 11:17 AM
I think the type of skis you get makes a big difference in how well you'll do out there. If you're going to be mostly at a groomed area then get skinny skis that will fit in the tracks. There's more to track skis than just the width, though. Do you want waxless or waxable? Are the conditions where you are mostly soft or icy? Depending on that you'd want a softer or stiffer ski.

If you're going to be out in the backcountry are you going to be cruising through easier terrain or going up and down the steeper hills? If you're going to be cruising than a medium width, medium stiffness, waxless ski is fine. If you're going to be pushing it more, step up to a metal edge for more control when you're traversing or turning. If you're going to challenge the steeps, you want a wide ski with a metal edge and probably skins for ascending. You'll want beefy boots and bindings for those skis, too. The conditions: powder vs ice, will also determine how stiff a ski you want.

IMHO it's better, when you're starting out to spend some time in a store with knowledgeable sales people so you end up with the best gear for what you want to do. It may end up costing a bit more than Craigslist, but you'll be happier in the long run.

02-25-2010, 07:27 PM
BeccaB, Unlike alpine boots that work with any bindings your boots must match with you binding. If your boots are NNN then your bindings must be NNN. A NNN Back country boot will not work with NNN bindings meant for classic skis. Salomon SNS boots will not work with NNN bindings. Also some skis have tracks that are already mounted to the skis and only certain bindings will fit on them. I didn't study skate ski boots and bindings.

Then you have to find a boot that fits well!

Unless you know what boots and bindings work together it's better to buy from a store such as REI or the numerous online nordic stores.

The boots that fit me well required an NNN binding. I bought my original skis flat (no binding) so I had options with my boots meaning whatever boots I bought the binding were matched to them. My new skis came with the binding and I made sure they were NNN so I could use my old boots.

I hope this makes sense, it was all very confusing to me and I spent a lot of time searching on the internet trying to sort all of this out.

You could buy you boots from a retailer, my boots have the type of binding marked on the bottom and then get your skis from Craiglist. Be sure to do research on the skis and bindings and make sure the skis are appropriate for you weight and intended use.

Also, find out how many times used skis have been used. With use all skis lose their camber, or flex. My downhill skis with 200 days of skiing don't ski the same as a new ski of the same model. I don't know how much use a nordic ski will take but I'm sure they have some type of life span.

02-26-2010, 06:07 AM
They didn't have much is stock at the REI store, but MC sporting goods is having a sale and I was told that they always have at least one person working in the store who can answer ski questions at any time. Hopefully they'll have enough in stock that there's something to work with.

02-26-2010, 06:15 AM
The REI's near me don't have any cross country gear in store... you can order. And the guys in the ski shop don't seem very knowledgable... One of them was swearing to me that all BC boots were compatible, and you could use SNS bc boots with NNN bc ones. They didn't have boots or bindings around for me to point out he was wrong.

02-26-2010, 08:03 AM
The guy at REI needs this article!


or REI's "expert" article


02-26-2010, 08:27 AM
Wow, the REI I got my skis at had very knowledgeable sales people who ski all of the time. He even didn't try to convince me to get new boots with my new skis. Most people get the back country boots with the shorter, wider, edged skis I bought, but my last experience trying these boots left me with bloody feet. So, I am keeping my soft classic ski boots as the bindings were the same. I might eventually try again, but since I am not really skiing in deep snow, it's fine. I do think that the bc boot might give me more stability on steep downhills, but it will wait until next year, at least.
And, the store still had lots of skis left, although you could tell the season is winding down.
What I like about REI is that you can return the stuff you buy, no questions asked. When I bought the above bloody boots, I returned them, and the skis, for something different.

02-26-2010, 11:01 AM
5 REI stores in the greater Washington DC area. Only 1 of them has a ski shop, which has been a "pilot" program for the last few years.

Actual cross country skiing is really not available for at least a 4 hour drive from the place normally - drive to western md, west va, and some parts of Pennsylvania.

Closest down hill skiing or snowboarding is probably a 2 hour drive.

So in their defense, the average ski shop employee here ... Possibly hasn't done too much skiing or cross country. And given that they don't carry any of the cross country gear in store, hasn't really had the opportunity to look at too much of it.

roadie gal
02-26-2010, 12:33 PM
I've been living in this area so long that I forget that most people don't have easy access to knowledgeable cross country shops. In my town of 14,000 people we have 2 dedicated cross country shops and a backcountry shop.

My experience with REI lately has been fairly disappointing. They seem to have focused on fashion and less on having good, serviceable equipment with sales people who actually do the sports. *sigh*

02-28-2010, 10:12 AM
Went for what might be my last x country ski today up at Windblown. We got there early and started skiing around 9:30 AM and skied until 11:30. It was pretty good and they have an amazing amount of snow. The temperature was about 40 when we got finished, and somehow, the snow is just not as much fun when it's that warm, although the grooming was excellent. Still getting used to turning and descending on the new skis. For some reason, I feel less confident. It just feels different and I know my form looks awful.
We skied almost all of the blue trails and went up one ungroomed trail to the view spot (I think it was for snow shoes and didn't see the sign), which was like back country.
We're supposed to get a couple of "near miss" storms this week, but overall, it looks like it will be in the forties next weekend. The bike is calling...

02-28-2010, 12:14 PM
I was at Windblown yesterday, and it was snowing most of the day, rather hard for an hour or so. The snow was excellent, but getting skied out and glazed by the end of the day, so I didn't expect it to be so good today. I was there 9-5 and skied up the zigzags to the top of the open slope, and probably all the blue and green trails. Just did an hour on the bike today.

02-28-2010, 03:42 PM
Wow, you gals are amazing. We went to our local area today and skied about 3 miles. That was enough.

We're still looking for a good dump of snow. March is Colorado's snowiest month. There still is 7 weeks left of skiing (downhill) and I hope, XC.

Sounds like Windblown is very crowded. We saw 5 skiers today and 4 women starting out when we were leaving. Wed. there were 4 or 5 other skiers besides my friend and myself.

However, we do have 5 nordic ski areas within a half hour drive of us.

02-28-2010, 04:22 PM
Wow, I am in awe of anyone who can go to the top of the open slope, Deb. The black trails at Windblown are really like downhill slopes and I am not good enough for that! I did do the blue part of the open slope today for the first time, though.
Yes, it does get crowded at Windblown, especially on Sundays, because they have snow even when there's nothing in the greater Boston area. But, once you get away from the green trails and the teaching area, you only see a few people, even when the parking lot is full. It's only an hour away, which is nice in that it's possible for me to go there for the morning, as I did today, and still be able to have part of the day to do other stuff. Our original intention was to go there Saturday, like Deb, because I knew the conditions would be great, but I was feeling really lazy and lounged around in bed and had a nice breakfast instead. So, I ended up doing a workout on the trainer plus yoga.
I am feeling like I would like to do another weekend up in Craftsbury, Vt., but I just had the first person sign up for a ride we are leading on 4/10, so I have to get my butt out on the bike.

02-28-2010, 04:51 PM
I'm not even thinking cycling at this point. Our downhill pass allows free xc skiing at the nordic center. Biking won't be on my radar until late April or early May, after the ski areas close. Bikes need tuneups but I'm not home enough to get them in to the LBS. Last year the weather here in May was pretty cold and rainy so my cycling was slowed down.

However, I have 50 days of downhill skiing and 8 days of XC. Hopefully, the xtraining will transfer to the bike.

roadie gal
03-01-2010, 06:34 AM
We went out for a 2 1/2 hour classic ski yesterday at the Tahoe Donner Cross Country ski area. We chose the track skis over the skaters because it was going to get warm and the skating was going to be a drag.

My SO was feeling ambitious, so we went out to the far hut at the XC center. The total was about 1400 feet of climbing. Whew.

We took our time and stopped to check out the view at the warming hut before we headed back down to the lodge. Overall it was a great ski on a beautiful day (and our 10th anniversary).

03-01-2010, 03:09 PM
I'm not even thinking cycling at this point.

Me neither! Our best skiing is typically in March and April. I have my one and only race this year coming up in a couple of weeks - 50k Great Bear Chase. I'm really looking forward to it! I usually race a lot more, but this year I was rehabbing my broken ankle, so I gave it some extra time. Feels pretty good now! Even on my 84k a couple of weekends ago. I am looking forward to biking, but I have some serious skiing to do first - probably late April or so. Skiing is too awesome when the snow has had a chance to transform, as long as you can get out early enough in the day, before it starts softening up. Fast & effortless.

Awesome climbing, Roadie Gal! I'm pretty sure striding up that would kill me - my arms wimp out pretty quickly because I don't do it enough. For me, skating would have been easier, even if the snow was slow. Is that all one continuous climb? Happy anniversary!

roadie gal
03-02-2010, 06:32 AM
It was pretty much continuous.

I'm trying to get better with my technique and not use my arms so much.

It's embarrassing when you step forward and slide back.

03-08-2010, 04:47 PM
Eek! It was almost 50 today, after several days in the 40s. It's supposed to continue through the week, except instead of clear and sunny, it's supposed to cloud up and possibly rain a little later in the week. Clear = good, clouds = bad, even at 45 (clouds trap the warm air in, and it makes the snow mushier). Even at lows of 35 or so the last few days, the skiing has been fast and wonderful in the mornings.

My main concern is that the only race I'm doing this season is on Saturday. 50k. Rain Friday followed by clouds and 33 overnight (current forecast) could mean sucky snow, especially on the second lap.

Anybody else still skiing?

03-08-2010, 06:39 PM
Me! I skied on Wed. It was warm and sunny but the mtns got snow last night.Will xc tomorrow and downhill on Wed and Thurs. Not sure about xc but plan to downhill until mid April when the ski areas close.

03-09-2010, 08:37 AM
I'm done for the year... Windblown is closing tomorrow, although I suspect the conditions will be less than desireable. I had the chance to go there with a group, but I have a paper to write.
I guess I will have to wait until next year to get used to my new skis!

roadie gal
03-10-2010, 11:06 AM
I did a double dose of XC today. We got an unexpected 5 inches of new snow last night, so I couldn't resist. First I went out for 1 1/2 hours of easy rambling on my touring skis with the dogs. Then I went over to the cross country center and powered up and down hills at about a medium effort on my track skis for an hour.

Now I'm going out to eat!

03-10-2010, 05:34 PM
I have been doing lots of skiing this year, both skate and classic. We have not had as much snow as usual but the local nordic center where DH and I go has had great conditions. We usually go out for 4-5 hours. It has been a blast. I am going to miss it when it is over. However we are planning on skiing well in to April and May in the backcountry. We primarly use waxable skis but for the sprin DH just got us waxless skis.. Wooo Hooo

For my b-day at the end of February we did a ski tour from Breck to Frisco which is about 10 miles. It was a nice tour and a beautiful bluebird day. If any of my fellow CO TEers are interested I can give you the Beta.

03-20-2010, 11:33 AM
Ahhh, what a great day! Skied about 19K this morning, and then road biked 23 miles this afternoon. My coldest ride ever, I think, at about 28 degrees F, but sunny & wonderful! It's transition season - it was 50-60 for most of the week, so skiing after work was just to get out and tool around in the sunshine, but nice and solid today. The snow is going faster than usual this year, after skiing through April last season. It's been a weird season, light on snow and warmer than usual. I suppose now that I've said that, tomorrow we'll get one of our usual March snowstorms and get about 3 feet of wet, heavy stuff.:rolleyes:

10-18-2010, 10:43 AM
Anyone else dreaming about skiing?
There was 18 inches of snow at Mt. Mansfield this past weekend, although it's a bit unusual, even for Vermont.
I am hoping the crappy time I had with my new skis will settle itself out.

10-18-2010, 11:00 AM
Oh heck yes! Our new skis just showed up today. I can't wait to get home and check them out!

10-19-2010, 06:53 AM
Anyone wanna teach me? :) I'm hoping this gets added to the list of things I'm allowed to try.

10-19-2010, 08:55 AM
Right after I posted yesterday on this thread, I got my first Facebook post of the year from the x country ski center I go to. They are getting ready for the season!

10-19-2010, 05:19 PM
Anyone wanna teach me? :) I'm hoping this gets added to the list of things I'm allowed to try.

I go quite a bit, both backcountry and at a local nordic center. What are you interested in?? Skate or Classic?

10-19-2010, 06:08 PM
Eesh, I have no idea? I've only seen it on tv. Does one involve less upper-body twisting than the other?

10-19-2010, 07:25 PM
Anyone else dreaming about skiing?
Always. Already bought my punch passes and have been thinking about skiing since, oh, about mid-July. We've had such a mild summer and fall...I hope we have a good winter (meaning LOTS of snow).

I want some new skate skis. Either that or I need to gain some weight. And since I really don't want to gain weight, then I think I need some new skis. :rolleyes: But then the weight gain seems to be happening regardless...

10-20-2010, 01:06 PM
[QUOTE=jessmarimba;540643]Eesh, I have no idea? I've only seen it on tv. Does one involve less upper-body twisting than the other?[/

Neither one involves UB twisting...although skate skiing if you are not used to it (proper form) can cause you to twist espec if you get off balance which is easy to do. Classic involves good form as well to do it efficiently, however it is less risky with twisting your back. Let me know and maybe we can meet up this winter.

10-20-2010, 06:13 PM
I was thinking that cross country skiing will be something I'd like to try. Considering obtaining some skiis off of craigslist this winter. It would be a fun way to get cardio in and enjoy the winter :) I need a reason for loving winter!

10-21-2010, 05:54 AM
I would like to go to West Virginia to do some XC skiing this winter. Unfortunately, I cannot drive in the snow, so actually getting there poses a bit of a problem. I do have a good friend with a 4WD truck who is from Wisconsin, so maybe she'll go with me.

If I lived in a snowy place, I would XC alot. I would also learn to drive in the snow!

10-21-2010, 07:57 AM
Tulip, they close...Skyline Drive? I think? when it snows too much in the Blue Ridge. I've gone up hiking there in the winter and tons of people just snowshoe or cross-country ski down the road.

10-21-2010, 09:09 AM
Tulip, I had to learn to drive in the snow when I was 37 :eek:. It was probably one of the worst things I have had to do. What helped was getting a 4 wheel drive car... although it doesn't help you *stop*, it does help you get through stuff. I've either lived on a huge hill or had a very long drive to work since I've been in MA, so it's sort of a requirement for me. I would say at least 40-50% of the people i know have 4 wheel drive.
I cursed the fact my parents moved me away from the snow 6 months before I got my license!

10-21-2010, 10:58 AM
I haven't lived in a snowy place since I was 12 years old (and one year in college, but I didn't have a car), and don't intend to move to one now. No, when it snows here, I just stay home. That's the way it should be. ;)

10-21-2010, 06:35 PM
Eesh, I have no idea? I've only seen it on tv. Does one involve less upper-body twisting than the other?

Eldora offers XC lessons and rentals. If you have the Colorado ski pass (Vail Resorts) you can ski free at Keystone Nordic center. They also have rentals. Frisco and Breckenridge also have Nordic Centers where you can rent equipment and take lessons.

Tulip, in all the years I drove to Snowshoe and Canaan to ski there was no snow on the roads but we often had very serious foggy conditions. White Tail is a Nordic Center near Canaan Valley that looks like it might be fun, I mtn biked there many years ago.

I'm an alpine skier but with a few lessons am really enjoying xc skiing.

roadie gal
11-26-2010, 12:09 PM
XC skiing has started here already. We got about 5 feet of snow last week. This is the first time since anyone can remember that the XC areas have opened in November.

My SO and I went yesterday and today for about an hour each time. We took our striding skis and did the tracks. What a blast! But let me tell you, there is no such thing as cross training. Even though I ran and biked all summer, my legs are SORE today.

I'm going to go back to the XC center this afternoon and scrape the summer layer of wax off of the skate skis so we can abuse different muscles tomorrow. Fun!

11-26-2010, 01:59 PM
roadie, I went for my first tour today. A grand total of 7 miles. I think I toodled too much to end up with sore legs tomorrow. We shall see :p

I love winter.

11-27-2010, 04:16 AM