Forum Index > Trail Talk > I can't believe how much I love (cross country) skiing!
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DIYSteve
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PostThu Jan 18, 2018 8:34 am 
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treeswarper wrote:
Does anybody still make boots for old three point bindings

Surely you mean 3-pin. Yes, numerous 75mm norm 3-pin boots area available, e.g., Fischer, Rossi, Alpina models

treeswarper wrote:
so  I can wax up my old Epokes?

900s? Cool skis, indestructible. I ran into a guy earlier this season skiing Epoke 900s on Wenatchee Ridge road
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Cyclopath
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PostThu Jan 18, 2018 8:45 am 
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DIYSteve wrote:
I was responding to Cyclopath's claim that his Glittertinds are worthless because REI doesn't sell something or other.

That wasn't my claim.
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DIYSteve
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PostThu Jan 18, 2018 8:53 am 
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Oh, okay. I misinterpreted this:
Cyclopath wrote:
I've been trying to give the Glittertinds away as I can't use them, but nobody will accept a free pair of skis when they can't go to REI and buy boots that will work with them.

Problem solved: My bud will take them, and if they're 205s prolly pay you something. We'll be at GL Aquatheater at 630PM this evening for the weekly run. (I'm making a guest appearance.)
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DigitalJanitor
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PostSat Jan 20, 2018 3:30 pm 
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OK, got my "good" skis out today and for once was at Cabin Creek without the fam so I was able to get to the top of Amabalis and back. No views and a little sticky with a light dusting of warm snow coming down on the groomer rills, totally point-and-shoot on the way down. W00t!

Man, I forget how good those skis are... Atomic XCruise 53. Again, not a race ski, but being foam core with a 53 shovel and some side cut they are INCREDIBLY light (as compared to my usual old wood beaters anyway), very controllable, and usable in a wide range of conditions. I have SNS Pilot bindings on those which are also confidence inspiring when paired with my usual combi boots.

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mountainsandsound
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PostSat Jan 20, 2018 9:31 pm 
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Skate skiing is not skiing.  It's more like roller blading or ice skating.  Plus you have to wear really tight fitting ski clothes apparently. moon.gif
But maybe I say that because I have too many sets of classic skis in my basement and wear my loose fitting mountaineering clothes on the trail.
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mountainsandsound
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PostSun Jan 21, 2018 8:25 am 
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More seriously though, nordic skiing is awesome whatever your flavor, I think of it as the ultimate aerobic meditation.  Similar feeling to slogging up a volcano in the wee hours of the morning but faster and with little risk. Also it lets me look forward to winter. What a cool forum topic.
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rossb
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PostSun Jan 21, 2018 11:14 am 
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tmatlack wrote:
1.  Wax skis vs. waxless skis

2.  and should a beginner learn diagonal stride 1st or go right to the more popular and faster skate technique....

If you are talking equipment, I agree with Big Steve. Get waxless, classic skis. In both cases it is because of flexibility. The weather around here is often very close to freezing, which means applying kick wax is a real pain. For the two trips I did this week I would have had to change waxes several times. If you are in colder environment (e. g. the Methow) where it is below freezing all day, and you want to go really fast, then waxing makes sense. But if you just want to explore (as you would if you were hiking) then I wouldn't bother.

I'm also a big fan of waxless for backcountry skiing. The introduction of fat waxless skis is the best thing to happen to backcountry skiing in the last few years. You still needs skins, but for a lot of tours (or parts of tours) you can get by without them, which really saves time and energy when you hit rolling hills. The combination of terrain that is very challenging (the type that requires fat skis and plastic boots) along with rolling hills is quite common around here. But I digress.

When it comes to skating versus striding, there is no harm in learning how to skate. You can always skate with classic gear, it just isn't as fast. But in terms of gear, I would consider skate skis a specialty piece of equipment. You just have more flexibility with classic gear. Amabalis is a good example. Sometimes they groom it to the top, sometimes they groom it to the 'Y'. Even if they groom it to the top, you might want to explore one of the many ungroomed side roads, or go through the trees. That is a lot easier with classic skis, even if they are very skinny (which in themselves might be considered specialty).

Personally, I own a few pairs of skis, but most of my skiing is done with a pair of Inbound Crowns. I love these skis -- they are a solid all purpose ski, fairly light for as much sidecut as they have (68-58-64) -- I don't think you can find a ski with more sidecut unless it has metal edges. They are good for both groomed and ungroomed -- I've even done some challenging backcountry tours with them (although I've fallen down a lot). But they aren't super fast, so I decided to buy something else just for speed. So I bought a pair of Motion Crown, just for the groomed.

The thing is, I rarely use those. It is fun to go really fast, but I also like to explore, and sometimes I decide at the last minute to go to one place instead of the other (e. g. Kendall instead of Amabalis). If I was a skater, I could easily see a pair of skate skis replacing my skinniest skis, but I still don't think I would use them very much. A lot of it depends on how much you like skating. Either way, I would start first with gear like the type I described, then move in either direction.

Everyone is different, obviously, but for most of the people I know, the crux is not the flats, or uphill, but downhill. It is great to have a fast stride, but what discourages people from cross country skiing is not their weak stride, but the falling. Terrain, conditions and equipment have a lot to do with it. So while you can get better with a stride (or introduce a nice skate to your repertoire) your ability to handle the downhill will likely determine your level of enjoyment versus frustration. Even very experienced downhill skiers struggle with flimsy gear (perhaps more so, because they assume it will be similar).

I would start at a groomed area (e. g. Cabin Creek) and just keep exploring. Eventually you want to explore the logging roads. Some logging roads are easier than others. Kendall is one of my favorite tours, but it can be challenging (the crowds make it especially difficult). For a tour like that, you may want to get gear that offers more control. Moving up to BC bindings (e. g. NNN BC) and a fatter ski (not super fat, but something in the 90-60-80 range with metal edges) is a reasonable choice.

Personally, I don't use my BC boot gear much. I find it an awkward middle. For trips like Kendall, I use my lighter, more comfortable gear, and deal with the consequences (sometimes I fall, sometimes I don't). For more challenging tours (e. g. Paradise or Artist Point) I've switched to plastic boots. I'm using Telemark gear, but A. T. is the more popular choice. Some people find their A. T. (or Telemark) boots very comfortable. Since A. T. boots can be very light, they use them on Kendall (and not just because they want to explore steep hills in the backcountry). Personally, I still find the hard plastic boots less comfortable than my BC gear (and way less comfortable than my regular cross country gear) but when the terrain is challenging, I want them.

The point being that I would start with an all purpose cross country rig, then consider gear that moves in either direction. If you want to do a lot of very fast runs in a groomed area, then a thin, light setup (maybe skate, maybe waxed) would make sense. If you want to explore the backcountry, then A. T. or Telemark is a solid choice, while a BC boot is somewhere in the middle and in my opinion becomes more of a specialty item (unless you never decide to get A. T. or Telemark gear).
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DIYSteve
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PostMon Jan 22, 2018 11:48 am 
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rossb wrote:
I'm also a big fan of waxless for backcountry skiing. The introduction of fat waxless skis is the best thing to happen to backcountry skiing in the last few years. You still needs skins, but for a lot of tours (or parts of tours) you can get by without them, which really saves time and energy when you hit rolling hills. The combination of terrain that is very challenging (the type that requires fat skis and plastic boots) along with rolling hills is quite common around here. But I digress.

Yeah, it's adigression on a XC ski thread but only a minor digression because fat fishscales are a viable option for a hiker desiring to start exploring the mountains by ski. My wife and I love fat fishscaling and are early adopters. We've persuaded most of our ski touring friends to get FF and they luv 'em too. We do roughly 1/2 of our touring and ski mountaineering on Voile Vector BCs. Re boots/bindings, 12 years ago, after telemarking for years, I switched to ultralight AT gear, doubled my touring days per season and never looked back. My UL AT boots/bindings weigh half of my tele, walk better, scramble better, ski much better (especially in difficult snow) and crampon better. We've set them up for everything from steeper FS roads to steep ski mountaineering routes.
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Cyclopath
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PostWed Jan 24, 2018 9:17 am 
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DIYSteve wrote:
Problem solved: My bud will take them, and if they're 205s prolly pay you something. We'll be at GL Aquatheater at 630PM this evening for the weekly run. (I'm making a guest appearance.)

They found a new home since I posted that.  Sorry.  I hear they're well liked with proper boots.

This means I need a set of skis again.  I'm going to see if Winthrop Mountain Sports has anything and get a feel for it before I decide.
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Cyclopath
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PostWed Jan 24, 2018 9:20 am 
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rossb wrote:
Amabalis is a good example. Sometimes they groom it to the top, sometimes they groom it to the 'Y'.

I've been to the top a few times on my skinny skis.  Takes about 2 hours up and 20 to 25 minutes down.

My feet tend to cramp up on the way down, then they feel better once I start moving them again.

So I mostly prefer the lower trails.  Ozbaldy has a lot of fast trails, too.
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Cyclopath
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PostWed Jan 24, 2018 9:21 am 
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Has anybody in here done the shuttle to ski from Mazama to Winthrop?  Is there anywhere to get fresh water along the way?  Any side trips I need to make?
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DIYSteve
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PostWed Jan 24, 2018 9:56 am 
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Cyclopath wrote:
I hear they're well liked with proper boots.

That class of ski was well liked 30 years ago when many XC boots were no more stiff or controllable than bedroom slippers, e.g., pic below. XC skiing is a skill sport. It takes years to get good at it. It's great that modern boot/binding system steepens the learning curve.

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AlpineRose
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PostWed Jan 24, 2018 2:43 pm 
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Cyclopath wrote:
Has anybody in here done the shuttle to ski from Mazama to Winthrop?  Is there anywhere to get fresh water along the way?  Any side trips I need to make?

Yes, it's a fun trip.  Brown's Farm, about 4.5 miles from Mazama, has a warming hut with water, tea and snacks that makes a nice stop.  Too bad it's not closer to halfway between Mazama and Winthrop.  There's another warming hut at Wolf Ridge Resort, about 10 miles from Mazama, but it's often not warm and I don't recall any water there.  Much of the section from Brown's Farm to Wolf Ridge Resort runs through rolling forest with no access to water at all.  Some other sections of trail run close to streams (check the trail map), so I suppose you could get and treat water from those sources if you absolutely needed to.  Take a look at the trail maps for side trips, if the 30k Methow Community Trail is not enough for one day.
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Malachai Constant
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PostWed Jan 24, 2018 5:43 pm 
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DIYSteve wrote:
Cyclopath wrote:
I hear they're well liked with proper boots.

That class of ski was well liked 30 years ago when many XC boots were no more stiff or controllable than bedroom slippers, e.g., pic below. XC skiing is a skill sport. It takes years to get good at it. It's great that modern boot/binding system steepens the learning curve.


Back in the 80's we went up YAB with boots like those only low top and trak light touring skis on a Mountie overnight. It's not what ya got , it's how you use it.

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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DIYSteve
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PostWed Jan 24, 2018 7:26 pm 
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Ha ha. Yeah, descents in those boots was always on the verge of being out of control. It made us better skiers and sharpened our reflexes.
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