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Cyclopath
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PostWed Jan 02, 2019 2:50 pm 
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This happens every time I ski down Amabilis, for 3 years now, and it's never happened skiing anywhere else.  I've done plenty of 4 and 5 hour skis without any problems.  I think what's going on is I don't have the opportunity to move them much during the descent, I flex them on flat ground and rolling hills.  (I'm a classic skier.)  It doesn't happen in the Rendezvous, on Thompson Road, etc.  But none of those have you descend for miles.

Is it my boots?  Am I doing something wrong?  Lots of people ski Amabilis all the time and they all look like they're comfortable and having fun.
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SteeperColder
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PostWed Jan 02, 2019 3:39 pm 
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are you doing a single-leg snow plow - or a double plow?
For me it seems like 100% more effort to snow plow with my classics versus my downhills, obvi-cause they are 50% skinnier I guess.
Maybe alternating each ski during a single-leg plow?
(not to mention snow/groom quality at the cabin-creek area the last few days wasn't great)

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"You can build and build and build, but damn it if your feet don't hurt walking on concrete all day" - Nolan Rad
"You won't find reasonable men on the tops of tall mountains" - Hunter S. Thompson
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Foist
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PostWed Jan 02, 2019 3:56 pm 
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I cramp up sometimes too on long descents, but in my legs and/or lower back, not my feet, and mainly just in early season.  I don't have any simply solutions, but some things that might help:

-stay loose and confident.  I cramp up more when I'm tense.  I try to implement this by bouncing up and down and wiggling around a little every now and then.
-don't snowplow when you don't have to, or snowplow a little with just one leg and then the other. (along the lines of what the previous poster was suggesting, I think.)
-stay hydrated
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SteeperColder
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paralysis x analysis
PostWed Jan 02, 2019 4:09 pm 
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Foist wrote:
a little with just one leg and then the other. (along the lines of what the previous poster was suggesting, I think.)

~ YEP smile.gif

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"You can build and build and build, but damn it if your feet don't hurt walking on concrete all day" - Nolan Rad
"You won't find reasonable men on the tops of tall mountains" - Hunter S. Thompson
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Foist
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PostWed Jan 02, 2019 4:52 pm 
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The other thing is to just avoid doing it on days when it is super icy and/or uneven such that you need to snow plow really hard for long stretches to avoid losing control.  (Conversely, also definitely avoid doing Amabilis on days when it is super slow.  I've had to actually kick my way DOWN Amabilis, at least the bottom half, which is really tedious and frustrating.)  Go when it's freshly groomed powder, and let 'er rip.
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Cyclopath
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PostWed Jan 02, 2019 8:22 pm 
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One thing I've noticed is that although there are plenty of fun, fast turns on the way down, there's also a lot of straight for the descent.  I feel like standing without moving them is behind this.

I was half expecting a unanimous response about poorly fitting boots, but no one suggested that.  So I'll scrap my plans to go out and buy different boots hoping to fix this.

Foist wrote:
stay hydrated

I never even thought of this, and I do tend to get a bit dehydrated when I ski.  I have a hip belt with a water bottle, and usually run out a couple hours before I'm done.  That happens on days I don't do Amabilis too, but next time I tackle that trail it wouldn't hurt to take a pack instead.  It's long enough to want a warm jacket on the way down on long days.

Foist wrote:
stay loose and confident.  I cramp up more when I'm tense.  I try to implement this by bouncing up and down and wiggling around a little every now and then.

I'll have to try this.  I've noticed watching races that skiers come up on the balls of their feet to double poll, I don't do that either and I've been trying to start.  I'll work on this too.

Thanks for the advice!
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RandyHiker
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PostWed Jan 02, 2019 10:15 pm 
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Snowplowing all the way down Amabalis sounds exhausting.  I make shallow parallel turns down the groomed road to keep speed somewhat in check and will make a "hockey stop" before blind curves to get back to slow speed.  A friend of mine with limited skills and no interest in improving them will fish scale up Amabalis and put skins on for the descent so that all he has to is stand there and never go very fast.
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Brushwork
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PostWed Jan 02, 2019 10:43 pm 
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It might be helpful to work on stretching the foot muscles. Particularly stretching the toes and bottom of the foot.  At least that's what I would try.  Using a foot massager "ball" that has knobs on it might be helpful.or using your knuckles on the bottom of your feet.

I did use to have some foot pain while ski touring which I attributed to too narrow of a boot.  But not cramping, and it was evident going up or down hill.

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DigitalJanitor
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PostThu Jan 03, 2019 10:21 am 
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Ditto the suggestions for staying hydrated, mixing it up, and staying loose. I find if you focus on relaxing your neck and shoulders in the moment, everything else starts to let up also.

Double ditto on avoiding a long downhill route like this on icy days. Beyond the Ultimate Thighmaster workout, I've taken some nasty hits to my knees including one very memorable early season incident years ago where I put a hole in my pants and made hamburger out of the skin over my knee cap. Back when I was training a skijoring team I sometimes used knee pads, but now that it's just me needing a workout I'll waive off and do something else instead if the conditions aren't good... I love skiing but honestly it's not fun trying to stay upright in those conditions and hardly worth the risk.

Bonus tip: if it's too hard for skiing but not freezing rain slick, it's good for fat biking. I've been known to throw both skis and fatty in the truck and decide which way to go after scoping out the conditions at the trailhead. up.gif  banana.gif

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thunderhead
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PostThu Jan 03, 2019 10:25 am 
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Ya i wouldn't worry about your gear if its only amabilis down.  I have some really comfy xc boots and that long descent still gets me, especially if its icy and you have to snowplow lots.  As others have said, stretch more, take breaks, bounce around, maybe try to work in some skate turns or skating on the flats if you wanna try something new...
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RandyHiker
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PostThu Jan 03, 2019 11:40 am 
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DigitalJanitor wrote:
I've been known to throw both skis and fatty in the truck and decide which way to go after scoping out the conditions at the trailhead. up.gif  banana.gif

Snowshoers and booters get the stinkeye from nords at Cabin Creek -- what's the reaction to fat bikers?  Or have you only biked on crappy days when the only nords out there were people doing a workout at VO2MAX and done by 10AM

Groomed for snowmobiles roads would be my choice for fat biking (assuming I stop suppressing the urge to add one to my stable of bikes)
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DigitalJanitor
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PostThu Jan 03, 2019 3:05 pm 
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RandyHiker wrote:
Snowshoers and booters get the stinkeye from nords at Cabin Creek -- what's the reaction to fat bikers?  Or have you only biked on crappy days when the only nords out there were people doing a workout at VO2MAX and done by 10AM

Groomed for snowmobiles roads would be my choice for fat biking (assuming I stop suppressing the urge to add one to my stable of bikes)

I go up to CC a few times a season for skiing only obviously, but since I'm in KittCo I can hit a lot of other stuff without having to deal with I90. My usual spots are low key snowmobile official groomed or unofficial-but-reliably-beat-out local snomo tracks, and nobody there cares what I'm doing IF I see anyone at all.  hockeygrin.gif

The new ridge climbing trail out of Roslyn has been rolled this season for a change, although I haven't gotten up there myself yet. POURING rain this morning and thin conditions yesterday mean I'll be in the gym again today... skis are gonna have to wait until it fills in more this weekend, although if it freezes down I could roll the fatty.

It's nice to have options, especially during what seems to be a low snow season.

You can rent a fat bike in Roslyn and give 'er a rip. Mine is fully rigid so I don't have to twiddle with suspension bits getting crudded up then try to clean it up and let it dry somewhere inside the house. The wider tires are a good choice when tread conditions are poor... sand and snow yes, but also loose rock/crud (Quilomene, I'm looking at you) and spring muck. And EVERYONE who enjoys riding bikes on dirt should try a tricky river crossing on a fat bike at least once, because you'll be laughing and laughing at how easy it suddenly becomes. dizzy.gif

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Cyclopath
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PostThu Jan 03, 2019 6:19 pm 
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RandyHiker wrote:
Snowplowing all the way down Amabalis sounds exhausting.  I make shallow parallel turns down the groomed road to keep speed somewhat in check and will make a "hockey stop" before blind curves to get back to slow speed. 

I enjoy the speed, so I'm usually trying to go fast on the way down.  I descend in the skate lane, and weight one ski to turn.  I only try to slow down if there are people on the trail below or if I feel like I'm about to overcook a turn.  So not much plowing, I think I'm just pointing them forward too long?
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RandyHiker
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PostThu Jan 03, 2019 8:14 pm 
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Cyclopath wrote:
I think I'm just pointing them forward too long?

IDK, but to be fair top to bottom runs without rest stops of a similar duration in time on alpine gear at a ski resort at this time of the season results in "burning" and cramping muscles for most folks.   But this tends to lessen as the number of ski days racks up.
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Mikey
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PostSun Jan 06, 2019 1:02 pm 
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cyclopath  Note that blood serum magnesium concentration is related to muscle cramping.  For years I have had a bottle of Magnesium Oil in my truck in case I get a cramp and applying it to a cramped leg calf muscle or fingers it works very fast.  Commercially available Magnesium oil (available in a bottle with a spray nozzle) is about 33% Magnesium chloride and the remaining 67% is Sodium Chloride and Potassium Chloride although this is not printed on the bottles.  I purchased some pure Pharm grade Magnesium Chloride powder, mixed some with water, and this Magnesium Chloride solution works very fast to get rid of a muscle cramp.  When I use a hand pruner to prune my fruit trees, blueberry bushes, etc. my pruning hand sometimes gets a cramp, sometimes when I am gripping my truck steering wheel while driving.  Note that about 70% of the US population are magnesium deficient.  There is a magnesium blood serum test but the blood serum magnesium concentration is more or less kept constant. The human body will take magnesium from the magnesium in Red Blood Cells to maintain the required blood serum magnesium concentration.  So if one wants to know if they have adequate magnesium, a Red Blood Cell magnesium is needed.  As I recall, an ideal Red Blood Cell magnesium level is >5.5 mg/dL.
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