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 Dec 23, 2010: Volume 11, Number 33

Traveling With SkiBags?

What's the latest on air travel with skis? I hear that one can substitute a regular bag for a ski bag on some airlines but that they only allow one pair of skis per bag. I assume they are talking about alpine skis and concerned about overall weight. Do you know how many pairs of XC skis they will typically allow in one ski bag?  G,


Every airline and every bag check person seems to enforce the rules differently. But we have found that if you treat the ski bag as a piece of luggage and keep its weight under th 50lbs of whatever weight limit exists and are friendly we have ok luck. We have traveled with 15 pair of skis along with ski poles and clothing in a bag. We have never had anyone count the skis, but they do weigh the bag. Check the ski bag first and check smaller bags after it. We have also found checking the bags at the street-side bag check and tipping the bag man in places like Mlps seems to make it all easier as well.


Readers please email your suggestions to 


Andy at SkiPost

Answers to Cold Hands in Anchorage 


We received close to 100 reader suggestions for avoiding cold hands.


I have a way to deal with cold hands.  Perhaps it can be adapted to skiing.  I use it for all cold weather work, but don't need it for skiing.  Most who have tried this method like it.  Just before the hands become uncomfortably cold, warm them back up, beginning with some gentle external warmth.  Warm water works best.  Gradually make the water comfortably hot.  Then go back outside.  Do this once or twice more, always before the hands become uncomfortable.  After that, most persons notice that their hands can withstand the cold much better than before. This method keeps the hands from going into shock, and the thus keeps the circulation from shutting down.


Best remedy for cold hands I've found has been to alternate running the hottest and coldest water I can stand over both hands in 5-10 second increments, back-and-forth 4-6 times, ending with hot is my preference. Dry off completely, then put on gloves/mittens and head outside immediately.  I have done this for very long days (even when standing still for hours at a time) at ski events or ski instructing/coaching and it can help keep hands warmer for up to 3-4 hour stretches. When actually skiing the positive effect should last indefinitely. Physicians I've talked to have guessed that the temperature differences between the hot/cold stimulates enough flood flow to make a lasting difference. But you really do have to have large differences between the hot and cold for it to work the best. J.D. Downing AXCS -- XC Oregon --


I have a lot of experience with cold hands, as I DO have Raynaud's Syndrome.  If my hands get cold, I'm done and I cannot warm them up again out on the trail.  Here are some things that have worked for me:  1.  Start out warm.  I will warm up my hands over the car heater vent, by a fire, or by running warm water on them in the restroom prior to going out.  If I start with warm hands, I have much better luck through the whole ski. 2.  I gave up long ago on gloves, choosing the  function and warmth of lobster claws or mittens over style.  3.  Lobster claws with a thin glove liner underneath work pretty well in many conditions.   4.  A while ago, Yoko made a lobster claw insulated overmitt, which worked with their 232 grip system.  This is very warm.  You can use this overmitt with either gloves or regular lobster claws.  They have a slot between thumb and forefinger to permit the 232 pole strap tab to protrude out.   5.  When all else fails, I use a wool mitten liner and waterproof outer mitten.  Mine are older, made by Smartwool, but many brands offer them.  I put chemical heater packs in between the two layers.  These float around a bit during skiing, but I usually keep them up near my fingertips where I need warmth the most.  If my pole straps are too tight with all this mitten material on the hand, I extend the straps with a strip of Velcro I bought at REI.   6.  I've heard that swinging your arms around energetically in big circles can force some blood into your fingertips and warm them up.  This has never worked for me, but it might for others without medical issues.   7.  I have some pretty expensive battery-powered heated gloves that I wear Alpine skiing.  Mine are Zanier brand, but I suspect there are other choices, also.  On low setting, the battery charge lasts about 6 hours.  I've never worn these XC skiing due to their weight and the battery location on the back of the hand, exactly in the way of pole straps.  Someone else might overcome these issues, and make them work.  They definitely keep my hands warm for a whole day of downhill skiing.  Mine are at least 5 years old.  According to the website, new models (for twice the price) have smaller batteries, last longer, and are lighter.  These might be better suited for Nordic skiing, but I've never even seen a pair, much less tried them out.   Good luck up there in Anchorage, stay warm, and keep skiing.


For the remainder of the suggestions please go to: SkiPost's Blog



Discover the Perfect Toko Glove


Toko 179 glove

NCCSEF to Fund all "Unfunded" Athletes to
2011 World Nordic Championships

The National Cross-Country Ski Education Foundation has pledged to fund all U. S. athletes who qualify and represent the U.S. at the 2011 World Nordic Ski Championships and whose expenses are not funded by the US Ski Team.


Dave Knoop, NCCSEF director, states "The World Championships are the premier Nordic competition outside of the Olympics.  We wanted to make sure each athlete who qualifies for the Championships could focus on their preparation for the games and not worry about being in debt upon their return."


NCCSEF Ski Community Fundraising Challenge

The NCCSEF challenges the Ski Community at large to help fund these athletes. Make your tax deductible contribution to NCCSEF designating World Championships and we will ensure that your contribution goes to offsetting trip expenses for all athletes.  To contribute and learn about NCCSEF please visit   
Swix Structure Selection

The Norwegian XC-team has introduced a color coding system to select corresponding skis and structure of the glide zone

Green (-5 C and colder) Fine
Blue (0 C to -5 C) Medium/Fine
White (0 C to+3 C -moist): Medium/Coarse
Red (+1 C to +10 C -wet) Coarse


Fine Structures: Fine structures are mainly used on new snow and fine grained snow. For skating; fine structures are normally used from 0 C (32 F) and colder for classic;-5 C (23 F) and colder. Sharp crystals (present in dry new/fine snow) and a sharp structure is not optimal. A newly set (fresh) structure will in general give a "sharp" structure. In dry, cold, new and fine snow conditions (usually lower than -7 C (19 F)),the fine "sharp " structure should be "rounded " with Fibertex T264 ((or a plexi scraper). Though, this process is normally more important for skating than for classic skiing. On the other hand, in new snow with high humidity close to 0 C (32 F) the structure should preferably be sharper.


Medium/Fine structures:This structure is a widely used structure. For skating it is used in most snow conditions normally from -7 C (19 F) up to wet snow. In very wet conditions a medium/fine structure combined with the use of an imprint tool has proven good results. For classic skiing we recommend this structure in new and fine grained snow (normally between -7 C (19 F) and 0 C (32 F)).


Medium/Coarse structures: Mainly for classic skiing on coarse moist snow and wet, glazy new snow between 0 C (32 F) and +3 C (37 F),a medium/coarse structure is preferred.  This structure is also used sometimes in free technique (skating) on wet, coarse-grained snow. In this case, most racers would prefer to adjust a medium structure towards a more coarse structure by using a manual tool. Reference the table below for specific recommendations.


Coarse structures: This structure is rarely used in skating. For classic skiing it is used on coarse wet snow. Note! In general, it is better to use a somewhat finer structure than a structure too coarse.


For the rest of the article go to:

Your Local Swix Race Wax Recomendation

Swix Weekend Racing Wax Recs


New England Race Wax Recs


Mid-Atlantic Race Wax Rec


Great Lakes Race Wax Rec

12/26/2010 Holiday Classic Boyne Valley Lodge, MI


12/26/2010 Como Championships St. Paul, MN 

12/26/2010 West Itasca Xmas-New Year Ski Fest Time Trial I Waubun, MN 

12/28/2010 West Itasca Xmas-New Year Ski Fest Time Trial II Waubun, MN  





Alaska Race Wax Recs


Swix's complete wax matrix takes the guesswork out of waxing by creating a specific wax for each snow condition.  If you know the air temp, relative humidity you can select Swix's perfect wax no mixing, magic recipes, stressing or slow skis required.  Get Your Winning Margin Wax Rec at and SwixNordic on Facebook. Swix, your Winning Margin


Swix Clinic Schedule 


Toko Race Wax Tips



Toko Race Wax Tips have been posted for the following events:

Sunday, Dec. 26: Snowshoe Thompson Classic and JNQ, Auburn Ski Club, Soda Springs, CA

Sunday, Dec. 26: West Itasca Xmas-New Year Ski Festival Time Trial I, Rainbow Resort, Waubun, MN

Sunday, Dec. 26: Como Championships, Como Park, St. Paul, MN

Sunday, Dec. 26: Holiday Classic, Boyne Valley Lodge, Walloon Lake, MI

Sunday, Dec. 26: Bozeman Creek Climb, Sourdough/Bozeman Creek, Bozeman, MT


Monday, Dec. 27: Christmas Classic, Lost Creek Trails, near Ketchum, ID


Toko Clinic Schedule click here

Sandpoint Nordic Club

Learn to XC Ski Free Day January 8th, 2011


On National Trails Day and to celebrate, the Sandpoint Nordic Club and Schweitzer Mountain Resort have teamed up to offer free cross country skiing demos and lessons on specifically groomed beginner trails. Free rentals are available at "The Roundabout" on a first-come first-served basis and Schweitzer ski instructors will be on hand offering free Classic Skiing and Skate Skiing lessons. There will be free hot chocolate and snacks to keep everyone warm and fueled up as well. In addition, everyone who takes a lesson gets a coupon for a free Nordic Trail Pass to use at Schweitzer another day for more infor go to

Share with your Team and Friends

 SkiTrax Fantasy FIS TdS 2011 Contest - is Live

Enter Now at 

 The fifth annual Tour de Ski is around the corner running this year from Dec. 31. to Jan. 9 with the first event in Oberhof, Germany, and we're excited to soon present the third international SkiTrax FIS Fantasy Tour de Ski 2011 Contest. Don't miss this opportunity to test your knowledge and skill with players from around the world - the grand prize is a fabulous package from Rossignol including WCS2 skate skis and boots, Xcelerator bindings and One Way DS 10 poles (value $1,620US).

The contest is similar to previous years - register your team of four (4) men, and four (4) women plus two "Outlaw" skiers and earn points based on your team's performance at each stage of the Tour. Earn bonus points as well like Val Climb points and there are Rest Day prizes as well.

Registration opens soon so start planning your team today - FIS is releasing the list of registered TdS skiers shortly.


Thanks to FIS and our great sponsors including Mont Ste-Anne, Atomic, Swix, Halti, Masters World Cup 2011, Sporthill, Rottefella,, Skadi, Fresh Air Experience, High Peaks Cyclery and Auclair...

Enter now here! 


SkiPost-SkiTrax Special Offer !!
SkiPost and SkiTrax Magazine, the largest cross-country ski magazine in North America, have teamed up to bring you great savings. SkiTrax keeps you up to date on all the latest Nordic news, Canadian, US and International race reports, ski gear, adventure and recreational skiing and much more - in the mag and on line - check out

Save 30% off regular subscription prices today and add more kick and more glide this season. Try a SkiTrax-Pedal Combo with 15% more savings and get Pedal Magazine, Canada's leading cycling magazine, as well - to order click here

Factory Team Skis for Sale

We have a few pair of classical skis

201 and 206 cm for skiers 150-210 lbs

left over from the Saab Salomon factory Team 

Drop an email to


About SkiPost

Cross-Country skiing's community lodge. Where knowledge and stories are shared. The goal of SkiPost is to make the sport of Cross-Country skiing easier and more enjoyable for all who choose to participate. If you have questions on Cross-Country Skiing see or email us at

Enjoy Winter,
Andrew Gerlach
Director/Editor- SkiPost

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