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  1. #526
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Oslo, Norway
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    I've been off both bike and skis for a couple of weeks because of a bout of flu, but am up and running again now. In the meantime the good ski conditions have gone :-( and we're left with.... uh, "enthusiast conditions". Which in practice means wet or icy grainy hard snow, klister (gooey ski wax out of a tube) and lots and lots of poling. We did manage to string together over 30 km on Sunday though, once you find a flat enough trail and get poling you can pick up a fair amount of speed. But I'm limp in lots of strange places today, hardly used my legs but used lots of balancing muscles instead.
    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

  2. #527
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    Just came back from a 2 day ski in western MA. We went to Notchview on Saturday. Didn't get there until around 1, and it was already snowing. I am not sure about this place. It was pretty, in the woods, but it was hard to judge, since the grooming was completely obliterated by the snow falling. Also, the trails were kind of easy, even the blue ones. There was a black trail, but it was nearing 4 PM and we decided we needed to head back to the center. This place is run by the Trustees of Reservations, a private, non-profit that manages land/recreation areas and historic houses. We headed east a bit to our B and B in Greenfield, about 5 miles from Northfield Mountain, where we have been quite a few times. The B and B was great, and we had 2 awesome dinners in restaurants in very small rural towns I had barely heard of. Skiing at Northfield was fantastic. It was really cold and windy yesterday, so hardly anyone there. We climbed up to the summit on blue and black trails, and skied down a green trail (not a good choice, it was too exposed and windy). After lunch, we did more climbing and descending on some good hills.
    Getting ready to head out to the Methow Valley in WA on Saturday. Just spoke to our tour guide. It is warm there, but the skiing is OK. We are going to take a skate ski lesson the first day, and then see how we do. Otherwise, we'll stick to the classic and do some snow shoeing.
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  3. #528
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    2,556
    I skied a section of the Catamount Trail in Vermont last weekend. Stayed at the Landgrove Inn and skied Section 7. Untracked backcountry snow. Hard work but beautiful.
    Oil is good, grease is better.

    2007 Peter Mooney w/S&S couplers/Terry Butterfly
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  4. #529
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    4,516
    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    Wonder how safe it is to drive to NC.

    I should check the weather report.
    Interstates are clear in Central NC - but the snow is pretty much gone (and it was mostly sleet anyway). Not sure about the Boone area - they might still be good.
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

  5. #530
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    I remember when I lived in Miami, lots of people went to NC to ski. Of course, this was downhill skiing in 1970, but I assume there's touring centers there now. X country skiing has become super popular since I started in 1992.
    I skied again at our local touring center in the next town. It's vacation week here in MA... so lots of kids, but really, once I got out just a little ways, it was fine. Not quite as powdery as the past few weeks, as it's above 30 today and there's been a lot of use at this place, I am sure.
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  6. #531
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    The Methow Valley was awesome, despite the poor snow conditions... We skied every day and snow shoed once. There were only 2 other people on the trip and our guide was perfect. We all got along and there were no weirdo type incidents! I would highly recommend Bicycle Adventures for a supported trip. It was low key and first class at the same time.
    Last edited by Crankin; 02-28-2015 at 06:36 AM.
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  7. #532
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,259
    Wow, how did I not know about this 36 page thread before now?!

    Anyhow, I'd love to pick all y'all's brains about XC skiing. As a pre-teen I had a nice pair of skis. My entire family was equipped. We had a lot of fun. Nowadays I have a fat bike...but in the Winter it's REALLY cold and can be icy on the beach and after busting my wrist mtn. biking 3 years ago I don't really want to ride trails, even though we're seeing more and more groomed specifically for fat bikes. Trees scare the bejeezus out of me at any speed. Add slippery ice and snow to the mix and...meh.

    14 year old DS had a field trip 6 months ago to a nearby Winter sports complex and XC skied for the first time and LOVED it. We have running snowshoes and neither of us enjoyed that (I'm a year 'round runner and found that my strides are too narrow and I couldn't keep even the minimalist running snowshoes from whacking against each other with each step).

    Tonight a friend was telling me that she thinks I'd really like skate skiing, since I'm so aerobically active and have strong legs. I'd never given that much thought, before. I had been thinking if we bought new ski packages that we'd just look at classics.

    So I guess I'm curious to hear what you ladies might recommend.
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
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  8. #533
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    I *love* x country skiing. I may not be as fast as others, especially other cyclists, but I am definitely a better skier than rider. I think cycling has improved my skiing skills. That said, I do classic. I was peer pressured into trying skate skiing last winter, when I was in WA. It was too much to think about. Do this, do that, push off, blah, blah. It wasn't the endurance aspect, it was more that it's pretty technical and I am not good with that stuff. Maybe, if I kept taking lessons it would click, but at this point, I am not going to try. My DH, who is a very coordinated athlete, was even worse than me! I've been skiing for 25 years, but it wasn't until 10 years ago, after I'd been cycling for about 5 years, that I ventured into more difficult stuff. I can climb really hard stuff and I have become pretty good at descending, unlike in cycling, where I am a very cautious and slow descender. I love winter, and the fact that the x country ski season is short here, 8-10 weeks at the most, unless I travel further north, makes me love winter even more. I'd say, go for it. I also snow shoe, but not running snow shoeing, more like hiking, although I occasionally run down hills. I get your point about fat biking. I want to try it, but I stopped mountain biking because I was just freaked out all of the time about hitting stuff or crashing.
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  9. #534
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Medford, MA
    Posts
    47
    Quote Originally Posted by zoom-zoom View Post
    Tonight a friend was telling me that she thinks I'd really like skate skiing, since I'm so aerobically active and have strong legs. I'd never given that much thought, before. I had been thinking if we bought new ski packages that we'd just look at classics.

    So I guess I'm curious to hear what you ladies might recommend.
    I have to be stronger (or really be at a higher strength-to-weight ratio) than I currently am to enjoy skating -- I have to be able to get a fast rhythm going, whereas with classic there's several different speeds at which I can get a groove. I will say that I used to skate on trad skis just fine -- you don't have to buy skate skis to see if you like it, although the salesfolks will insist you need two sets because sales. And you can only skate on groomed trails -- you can classic ski anywhere.

    I wish I'd bought metal-edged skis when I bought my trad skis -- they're great skis, and I got nicer skis at the price point I was looking for, but the terrain in the northeast ends up rockier and rootier and hillier, all of which would be nice to have edges on.

    (I agree on snowshoes -- they force me to have an unnaturally wide stride, and I just don't enjoy it.)

  10. #535
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,259
    Quote Originally Posted by antimony View Post
    And you can only skate on groomed trails -- you can classic ski anywhere.
    This is the thing that gives me pause. We have a few groomed skate trails, but probably 80% of what we have around here are set up for classic. And there are parks without trails (and beaches) that are groomed for anything, but people go and ski, so there are tracks to follow. I already know I like classic. Spending the money on skate ski setup seems like it could be a $$$ risk. There are classics that are designed more for performance/racing, which seems like it would be a good compromise and probably more suitable to how I'd likely use skis. Plus I don't see my kid (or DH) wanting to skate ski at all...and I'd likely be going out with him most of the time.

    So now the question is...wax or no-wax? I had no-wax as a teen and liked them just fine.
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  11. #536
    Jolt is offline Dodging the potholes...
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Southern Maine
    Posts
    1,668
    Quote Originally Posted by zoom-zoom View Post
    This is the thing that gives me pause. We have a few groomed skate trails, but probably 80% of what we have around here are set up for classic. And there are parks without trails (and beaches) that are groomed for anything, but people go and ski, so there are tracks to follow. I already know I like classic. Spending the money on skate ski setup seems like it could be a $$$ risk. There are classics that are designed more for performance/racing, which seems like it would be a good compromise and probably more suitable to how I'd likely use skis. Plus I don't see my kid (or DH) wanting to skate ski at all...and I'd likely be going out with him most of the time.

    So now the question is...wax or no-wax? I had no-wax as a teen and liked them just fine.
    I've never tried skate skiing, but enjoy classic and have started to get halfway decent at it with all the snow we have had the past couple of winters. I agree about skate skiing being too limiting in terms of trails...even regular XC skis are limited compared to snowshoes as far as what trails can be used (I snowshoe also). As far as wax/no wax, I have no-wax and think that, especially given the variable conditions we have here in New England, that is the simplest way to go.
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  12. #537
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    +1 on the no-wax. I am no purist about that, and as Jolt noted, here in NE, the weather/conditions can change in a millisecond. And, +1 on the metal edged skis. So much easier to climb with.
    When I was out west in February, the trip leader suggested we rent classic skis that were more performance oriented than my Fischer Spyders that are good both in the tracks (which I prefer for the flats) or a little bit in more rugged terrain. The skis were skinnier and did glide faster, but for the terrain in New England, what I have is perfect. I wouldn't mind getting a pair of true back country skis to do more skiing in conservation land that isn't groomed.
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  13. #538
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,259
    Oh, yeah, West MI snow conditions are all over the map. I suspect I'd still be happy with no wax.
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  14. #539
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Posts
    4,066
    Up until last year I would have said wax, definitely. Waxless skis have IME way too poor a glide phase, and I don't know a single avid skier who would not use wax skis (and XC skiing is BIG in Norway). But modern waxless skis really have changed, and there are types that are a lot closer to a classic wax ski in performance. Soooo... now I want a pair of waxless as well ;-) especially useful for those hard to wax days around melting point. I don't have skate skis, and would have trouble finding enough tracks to skate on. (Skating totally wrecks classic tracks, so please please don't skate unless there's plenty of room.) Skating a little from time to time with classic skis is quite doable, though.
    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

  15. #540
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    Bump.
    Just booked a weekend up in Franconia next weekend. I've seen enough pictures from various nordic centers to make me crazy! Not a ton of snow, but enough. Will ski at Bretton Woods and either Bear Notch or Waterville Valley.
    So excited!!!
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