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  1. #331
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,841

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    I think they're prayer flags:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prayer_flag

  2. #332
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    northern california
    Posts
    1,460
    Yep, prayer flags.

    I waited until it warmed up yesterday and went over to the XC center with my track skis. Perfect. The folks on skaters were struggling because it had gotten so sloppy but I was a happy chickie. My little waxless skis just grabbed onto the slush and up I went.

    I was out for an hour and then packed it up for home.

  3. #333
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Denver
    Posts
    1,944
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here's what Frisco looked like yesterday! 29 degrees out and ridiculously sunny.

    I think I did every non-black trail they had...I'm feeling it today.

    "I never met a donut I didn't like" - Dave Wiens

  4. #334
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Phillipston, MA
    Posts
    445

    lift-service telemarking

    This week has been a period of melt and refreeze. So, either slush, or ice crust for skiing. I hadn't taken my new backcountry skis (Madshus Epochs) and boots out for their maiden voyage yet and I've had them a week. Yesterday I had the stitches taken out of my mouth and, feeling somewhat human again, decided to take the skis out regardless of conditions. Yesterday, was a slush day as the temperature rose to (a glorious) 55 degrees. My intention was to do some lift-service telemarking half day at Wachusett Mountain with the new skis. After the dental appt I drove to a nearby state park since I had an hour or so before the afternoon time slot. It was pretty slushy and not a good way to determine the performance of the skis. I went and did a quick jaunt up to a small ridge and was pleased at how they gripped. (This is my first pair of waxless skis - all I own are waxable). Along the way, and on the way down I was pleased that I was able to get some decent kick and glide. There was more slippage than usual, since there was a water layer under the snowslush but at the same time I was glad I had a wider ski. And the ski tips wanted to stay near the top of the snow. All together, conditions were too poor to understand how they'd really perform in the deeper powder that I bought them for. I might get clobbered for this but I'm hoping for a couple of more substantial storms. At any rate, the angle of the sun now is such that anything we get won't last too long. If no powder snow here then I might have to seek it elsewhere.

    Because of poor local conditions for xc, I wanted to use the time to go to Wachusett for some lift-service telemarking, to get many practice runs in and to really see what the boots were capable of. I bought the Alpina 1575s which is not intensive telemarking material at all, but merely a comfortable 3-pin boot made for longer backcountry ungroomed touring which is mostly what I'll be doing. The boots are extremely comfortable and I like them a lot. But I just wanted to see, and practice.

    I learned to downhill ski 15 years after I started xc. I still marvel at the concept of metal edges and being lifted up the mountain and not having to work for it. Going to Wachusett reminds me why I avoid the whole downhill scene pretty much but I went on a Friday afternoon and it really wasn't too busy, relatively speaking for Wachusett. The weather was glorious and warm and I needed only a vest. It felt so good to bask in the warmth of the sun while being lifted up the mountain. It felt good not to be shivering.

    The boots and skis performed pretty well on a longer steeper angled slope (steeper and longer than what I'll typically be using them for) and I never felt out of control - the boots held well even though they're somewhat flexy compared to a real telemark boot. I was cautious at first because I didn't know if I'd over extend their function. The first few runs were more like edge carving until I understood the limits of the boots. The skis themselves were fine for this kind of thing. I know - from using more hardcore telemark boots before- that I'd probably be able to punch out better turns if I had a stiffer boot. But if I was going to consistently do lift-service telemarking, or off-piste deep bowl runs (not), well then I'd get the proper more hard core equipment. Finally after a few runs I was performing a semblance of a telemark turn based on what I remember. It was not pretty though I presume, but I began to get a feel for it. At any rate, I am happy with the way the boots and skis performed but I definately need much more practice with the tele turns. If conditions continue to be poor, I just may do a few more afternoons for practice. I'm still aching to get them in deeper powder though.

  5. #335
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    Nope, you are not alone. I am hoping for at least one more storm, too. And now, I can't go to Stowe in 2 weeks, as I have to go to AZ for a family thing (and it's too short of a trip to take my bike). I am hoping to get out next weekend, maybe to do a quick trip to Notchview on Sat. and to Northfield Mt. on the way home Sunday.
    Your experience sounds fun, Mudmucker. I also am amazed that people pay to be brought up a lift, to ski down, but then, I have only gone alpine skiing once: a lesson and 2 hours going up and down the green slope at the Dartmouth Skiway. When I was in Franconia, we climbed one of the black trails at Cannon (it's a shared trail) and saw 3 alpine people coming down. Our friends, who are "expert" x country skiers said they had skied down this run on their touring skis, which amazed me. But, they also said they both fell going down.
    We are supposed to get 2-4 inches Monday, of course right when I have to go to my internship. Since my clients will all probably cancel, maybe I can get to Great Brook.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura
    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

  6. #336
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    865
    So, we lost all our lovely snow and I got to go for 2 bike rides this week
    However, I just got my order for dog skijor equipment in the mail and I can"t wait to try it out with my dog. Hopefully, we"ll get some more snow and I won't break every bone in my body!


    Not all who wander are lost

  7. #337
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Southeastern MA
    Posts
    215
    Quote Originally Posted by Crankin View Post
    Nope, you are not alone. I am hoping for at least one more storm, too.
    Never thought I would be echoing this sentiment-but I too am hoping for more snow in the next few weeks. My wider skis are finally due to arrive today. (Note to self: going forward, opt for expedited delivery of seasonal equipment when ordering from an unfamiliar source.)

    In contrast-the boots were here in 2 days, via regular delivery. While I expected the skis to take a bit longer, the 11-day wait has been a lesson in patience. We have more new powder this morning and-if it doesn't rain on top of it this afternoon-are going to Borderland State Park in Easton tomorrow.

    1990 Univega Alpina/(stock) gel saddle
    2009 Specialized Dolce Elite/BG Lithia saddle
    2009 Jamis Coda Sport/Selle Royale Respiro saddle
    2010 Jamis Aurora/Jamis Touring Sport saddle

  8. #338
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    northern california
    Posts
    1,460
    We got over 5 feet of snow over the weekend. Yesterday I took the dogs out for a short ski down one of the local roads that is dirt in the summer. Luckily other people had been out snowshoeing and skiing before me. There was a knee deep trench that we were able to follow. If the trench hadn't been there it would have been too deep for my (fairly large) dogs to walk in. As it was, we went for about 3 miles. They seemed to have a good time. I know I did.

  9. #339
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    These are pictures from our ski today. We had just finished skiing down the Old Farm Trail at Windblown and were about to take our skis off and walk across the parking lot.. we were done. Conditions were perfect; I skied down the Open Slope from the top of the blue part of it (sorry, the Black trails at Windblown are like Alpine trails) for the first time. Did about 7 miles. This might be my last ski of the year , since I will be away next weekend.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura
    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

  10. #340
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Phillipston, MA
    Posts
    445
    Today I went out with my new backcountry skis for the second time under more favorable conditions. I got 4 inches of fresh new snow last night. However in ungroomed areas, underneath was classic New England crud from melting and refreezing as well as an existing crust from the last sleet storm. So I went out to land behind my house where no one else goes so that I had to break trail. No travel, car stays in yard. If I tried to use my touring skis or even my skinnier backcountry's in this kind of stuff I know from experience I would have a miserable time, since the crud underneath gives unevenly, the skis would twist in or out, and the skis would tunnel under the crud getting caught. So I tested out the fat bc's with metal edges.

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE them! I had SO MUCH FUN. I didn't think I would have so much fun. Take it down a notch for speed and it was just this lovely uninterrupted rhythm of kick and glide through untrodden quiet woods. One concern was that I thought the width would be overkill for what I want to do. But no, the width worked out great. I had great float, the ski can cut through anything and I was able to maintain control (while cutting through submerged ice crud buried lower) and able to carve out a couple of turns without the ski hanging up. The wide ski underfoot gave a really nice stable platform. Secondly, I thought maybe because the skis are on the verge of being more tele-like I'd get more drag than glide. Again, not so. They glided so beautifully and I could feel some of the camber working underneath. So glad I got the longer skis. Plus the tip stayed near the top which of course is great for float but also I could always see it - would not be good to hook a ski under an unseen buried log beneath the snow. I was unexpectedly surprised at how nice of a glide I got. These being my first waxless skis I was skeptical of the grip. They climb great with little slippage. Boy, these are keepers! I'm confident these skis can go through anything, and the beauty is that I bet my xc ski season will be greatly extended since these skis will be able to get through all the spring crap.

    It was really fun today, just going where no one else was. So quiet. No people, no snowmobiles. Right outside my house, 2 miles into the woods. (Just gotta make sure keep checking cell reception since I go out alone). XC skiing is soul-saving for me but these skis will make it doubly so. I've been wanting to get backcountry skis for 12 years now - finally glad I did.

    Untrodden, inviting and all mine


    Pond and ridge


    Other side of pond

  11. #341
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Southeastern MA
    Posts
    215
    My wide skis (Rossignol BC 90s) finally arrived late last Monday afternoon. There was only a half hour of daylight remaining but I was able to take them out back for a short test run. They seem to glide well and I'm looking forward to one last big storm in the next few weeks.

    Tuesday we brought the 'skinny' skis to Borderland State Park for 3 hours and almost had the place to ourselves. The trails had seen foot traffic and were not ideal-lumpy ice covered by a thin layer of snow-but the scenery and quiet made up for it.

    The heavy rain we got Friday did not melt all the snow but left crust and ice behind, now topped with 2 inches of snow received earlier today. The footing was tacky, but I went out for an hour just to get some exercise. Rain is predicted for tomorrow, so any "trails" I made today will disappear.

    1990 Univega Alpina/(stock) gel saddle
    2009 Specialized Dolce Elite/BG Lithia saddle
    2009 Jamis Coda Sport/Selle Royale Respiro saddle
    2010 Jamis Aurora/Jamis Touring Sport saddle

  12. #342
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Posts
    4,066
    Anyone following the Nordic Ski World Championships? Marit Bjørgen is such an AMAZING athlete, I'm speechless! Maybe I'll even go jostle for the pleasure of seeing her live on the womens 30 K on Saturday.
    Winter riding is much less about badassery and much more about bundle-uppery. - malkin

    1995 Kona Cinder Cone commuterFrankenbike/Selle Italia SLR Lady Gel Flow
    2008 white Nakamura Summit Custom mtb/Terry Falcon X
    2000 Schwinn Fastback Comp road bike/Specialized Jett

  13. #343
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Posts
    4,066
    Quote Originally Posted by lph View Post
    Anyone following the Nordic Ski World Championships?
    I guess not. Oslo is going a bit insane here now so I tend to forget that nordic skiing barely exists outside of Northern Europe, at least as a spectator sport.

    New question: anyone try the Kuzmin steel scraper on their skis, instead of glider? You basically scrape away all the worn surface until you get to fresh, "new" sole - and leave it that way. Just refresh with a light scrape-over once in a while. The afficionados say it's at least as good as glide-waxing, and a lot less mess. We've bought one and tried, but so far I've just played around with it on other peoples skis . Mine are that new still that the original sole is pretty good. Curious to see how the treatment holds up over time.

    www.kuzmin.se if anyone is interested. The guy has written a whole thesis on the subject...
    Winter riding is much less about badassery and much more about bundle-uppery. - malkin

    1995 Kona Cinder Cone commuterFrankenbike/Selle Italia SLR Lady Gel Flow
    2008 white Nakamura Summit Custom mtb/Terry Falcon X
    2000 Schwinn Fastback Comp road bike/Specialized Jett

  14. #344
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Austria
    Posts
    364
    Quote Originally Posted by lph View Post
    Anyone following the Nordic Ski World Championships? Marit Bjørgen is such an AMAZING athlete, I'm speechless! Maybe I'll even go jostle for the pleasure of seeing her live on the womens 30 K on Saturday.
    I do, whenever I can. However they tend to show only the mens runs and not the womens, sadly. Unless, like in the Ski World Championships, the men don't win anything and the girls do, then they hype them for 2 weeks and forget about womens sports afterwards

  15. #345
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Posts
    4,066
    It's rare that I break off a ski trip because of bad radio reception. But today my plan was to ski about 15K listening to the mens relay (they were doing 4x10 K ) for inspiration. Once I got over the hill though the reception was so bad I had to go for plan B - turn around, zip home, and plonk myself in front of the tv. So I got to see Northug do the winning leg... hushing the audience and braking over the finish line.... Men. I much prefer Bjørgens way of celebrating a clear win - a flag in her hand and a huge smile.
    Winter riding is much less about badassery and much more about bundle-uppery. - malkin

    1995 Kona Cinder Cone commuterFrankenbike/Selle Italia SLR Lady Gel Flow
    2008 white Nakamura Summit Custom mtb/Terry Falcon X
    2000 Schwinn Fastback Comp road bike/Specialized Jett

 

 

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