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Do you have a Nordic training, technique, equipment, travel, or event question?
Just email us at email@example.com
We hope you have a Christmas full of skiing. We deliver a very short SkiPost this week so we can focus on our family.
Flat Lights Lens.
What Bliz lens should I use in flat low light conditions?
You should use a Yellow for the lowest light when you want to see better contrast in the trails.
Use Pink for slightly brighter conditions when it is difficult to see trail variations.
The most common Bliz Lens options are shown below.
Do it Yourself Race Wax Suggestions?
Should I follow the wax brand internet race wax suggestions or do my own?
We would always recommend that skiers learn how to make their own wax selections. If you learn what goes into a wax selection you can make a very good selection by yourself. If we teach you then you become a wax master for life. Most people can improve their ski's speed by focusing on their wax application (and a fresh ski base) and less in splitting hairs between a various wax options.
We will start simply this week for glide and then go in great detail in coming weeks.
Your end goal, in the most simple terms, is to get a glide wax that is slightly harder than the snow crystals you are skiing over. Too hard and you do not get enough lubrication and moisture management, too soft and you get too much snow crystal penetration and dry friction.
And while at the proper hardness you can most always select a High Flour and Pur Fluor top coat to speed up your skis they will do you the most good the wetter and/or dirtier the snow and the faster and/or farther you go.
To select a wax at the best hardness you will want to know Temperatures and Snow Age and Condition .
- Race time temps and overnight low. If it will be much colder (and clear sky) overnight than the air temp will be throughout the race then the snow will act colder than the race time temp. So look at the wax temp suggestions and if between two waxes select the colder wax. If you are in the shade or wind blown throughout the race the snow will also act colder than the air.
- If the snow is new (less then 24 hours) you can add a graphite underlayer to reduce static.
- If snow is very dirty or coarse/artificial you will want to use a Molybdenum wax (ie Start BM line). Moly acts as a dry lubricant to keep the dirt off. More Fluors help in dirt.
- The newer the snow,(and the less grooming) the sharper its crystals and the more exact you need to be with wax selection. New snow is less forgiving than old snow,
To select the necessary Fluor level you will want to know:
- Air humidity (and/or snow surface moisture) low, medium, or high:
- If relative humidity is low < 33% (you cannot make a snow ball and you did not need to scrape your car's windshield) Fluor is likely to add very little speed (unless the snow is dirty see below).
- If humidity is 33%< medium > 66% (you can make a snow ball with effort and it took you 1 minute to scrape your car's windshield) use a LF glider to manage medium moisture.
- If humidity is high > 66% (you want to have a snowball fight and you spent 10 minutes scraping your car's windshield) or snow is very dirty you want a HF glider (and Pur Fluor on top) to manage high moisture (and dirt).
- Dirt level.
- The dirtier the snow the more High and Pur Fluors help.
- Distance - the longer the race the more High and Pur Fluors help keep the skis clean and fast.
- Speed - the higher your average speed the more you want flours to manage the water layer that you develop at the higher speeds. A downhill race benefits from High and Pure Fluor than an uphill race.
If unsure: always wax colder, go for more flour, and brush more.
Always apply and iron in glide wax in a warm room and allow to cool down slowly and completely before you scrape and brush.
It is much easier to make a good to great wax selection every time if you use just on one wax brand. (SkiPost chooses Start Wax ) This way you can more simply select the temp, snow condition and moisture and then not have to interpolate between wax brands.
For added support from Start Wax you can
Stand Up Straighter?
In the past 2-3 weeks I've read blog entries from at least 2 American skiers ( Noah and Jessie) mentioning that they were working on "standing up straighter" in their classic technique (presumable while striding). Since these are world-cup level athletes, I'm assuming they weren't exactly skiing "wrong" before. Is this a new trend? If so, what is the underlying rationale?
Hi Tim - It's a fair assumption that World Cup level athletes don't ski "wrong". But no matter what starting point they have with technique, they're always working on skiing better. Since I coach Noah Hoffman on technique, I'll use him as an example with respect to "standing up straighter". He is pictured here.
Noah's classic technique is built on a series of technical "cues" - bite-sized mental images or concepts that he can apply to help him ski well. The cues work like building blocks - the most basic ones provide the foundation for good movements, and the later cues help to refine the specifics of the technique. In Noah's case "standing up" is a cue that helps him stand well on the gliding ski, helps him breath well by opening his rib cage, and helps take tension out of his lower back and his butt during striding. The words "stand up" mean something pretty specific to him, but that doesn't mean that the goal for Noah is to stand upright.
In this case, some videos might help illustrate what I'm talking about. The first clip is some footage that Noah shared on his blog from the US Ski Team coaches of his first classic race in Beitostolen this season. In this clip Noah is skiing quite badly - and it won't take a practiced eye to recognize that his position is causing a lot of tension, and preventing him from getting any glide. This is a problem that can be addressed in part by returning to some of the most basic cues that Noah has used to build his technique. In this case, the first order of business was to "stand up"!
The next clip is from a 15K time trial on roller skis that Noah did this Fall during a technique training block. In this video Noah is skiing pretty well. He surely isn't standing upright, but I think you can see that his rib cage is open, and he's standing on the gliding leg well - without a lot of tension in the supporting muscles.
Without getting into a dissertation on classic striding technique, I think it's safe to say that many skiers tend to bend too far at the waist when they get tired. While they may not get as tied-up as Noah in Beitostolen, it's never an optimal position. Bending too far forward can make it difficult to get good grip on the kick, and it can contribute to a lot of tension and pain in the lower back. In general, I like to see a skier start by standing well on the gliding leg, with a relatively upright posture and an open rib cage. As the speed comes up and the stride lengthens, the body position will move forward naturally (and be counter-balanced by the kicking leg extension). As long as the move is forward and not down, the result should be more like Noah's rollerski time trial, and less like his Beitostolen race.
CXC Matching Grant: Support Our Sport!
CXC Technique Clinic for Masters/Citizen Skiers
CXC CHALLENGE GRANT
Thanks to all of you we are half way through our fundraising campaign and with your support we have raised to date $21,341 towards our goal of $40,000! All of us at CXC are deeply appreciative.
In this note, I would like to share with you an update about our CXC Adaptive Program. The CXC Adaptive Program provides opportunities to participate in the sport and offer equipment to individuals with physical disabilities and visual impairment or blindness of all ages and abilities. Just last year CXC introduced over 300 individuals (children, adults and veterans) to Nordic skiing and provided over 700 hours in programming. There is a huge need, now.
Here's a really gratifying quote.
"Brenden has really enjoyed his first year of cross country skiing thanks to Dr. Nemeth, Yuriy, Duncan and all of the volunteers of CXC. CXC has helped Brenden to achieve a consistent fitness program, socialization and introduction to a sport that can be done throughout his lifetime.
CXC TECHNIQUE CAMP
This camp is designed for citizen skiers of all ages and abilities, focuses on technique, busts bad habits, and builds new skills. During the three days at the camp participants will work on ski specific strength, agility and balance in addition to on-snow technique training.
We are excited to announce that the sixth annual international
SkiTrax FIS Fantasy Tour de Ski 2013/14 Contest is now live for team registration for contestants worldwide with over $5,000 in prizes up for grabs. This year the Tour de Ski runs from Dec. 28 to Jan. 5 covering 9 days with the first event kicking off in Oberhof, Germany.
Visit www.skitrax.com for the latest news, FIS Fantasy Contests, Kikkan Randall's Daily Training Rap and much more.... DON'T MISS an ISSUE - take advantage of SkiPost's special discount and subscribe today...www.skitrax.com/skipost
Winter Trails Announces 2014 Regional Updates
Annual Winter Trails Day Scheduled for Saturday, January 11, 2014
FREE Snowshoeing and/or Cross Country Skiing Throughout North America
Winter Trails has updated details for its eight Anchor Site locations with complete listings including educational workshops, animal tracking and a variety of fun activities. The Anchor Sites represent the larger regional events for Winter Trails Day, scheduled for Saturday, January 11th, 2014, with over 100 other locations spanning the entire country from Massachusetts to Washington State. Anchor Site events offer additional winter-themed elements for a full day of activities.
- Weston, MA - Great urban location at junction of Mass Pike and Route 495 very near Boston. This is a snowshoe only Winter Trails event, but also offers cross-country skiing at the location.
- Ski Liberty, PA - Beautifully situated at a downhill ski area with all full amenities, this is a snowshoe only event.
- Fort Snelling State Park, MN - Cross-country skiing will be added to this annual snowshoe program. Other activities include geocaching, naturalist-guided hike, build a quinzee, learn about skijoring and dogsledding, keeping warm in winter, cold weather camping, and more!
- Estes Park, CO - Part of a two-day celebration of winter with many other events happening with clinics and igloo building. This is a snowshoe only event.
- Soldier Hollow, UT - Site of the 2002 Winter Olympics. After cruising the trails you can settle in at the lodge for hot cocoa by a cozy fireplace.
- Tahoe Donner, CA - New Winter Trails location with over 200 km of trails, learn cross country ski and snowshoe skills with REI Outdoor School plus family-friendly activities.
- White River Sno Park, OR - A winter wonderland for the seasoned and first time winter outdoorsman, guided tours will be available from Adventures Without Limits.
- Snoqualmie Lodge, WA - Located near Snoqualmie pass, this is a snowshoe only event with educational clinics.
Winter Trails locations, hours and offerings are posted at WinterTrails.org as they are announced. Venues include alpine resorts, Nordic centers, state parks, National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service land. Details accompany each event's listing on the Winter Trails website. Advanced registration is suggested, but many sites also offer on-site registration. Check the location listing for specific information.
Winter Trails offers children and adults new to snow sports a chance to try snowshoeing and/or cross country skiing FREE at venues throughout North America. There is no charge for the use of equipment or trails. Most locations offer snowshoeing AND cross country skiing. Some locations only offer snowshoeing. Current alpine skiers and/or snowboarders are also encouraged to try an alternative snow sport.
While most events take place on the "official" Winter Trails date of January 11, 2014, some are held on alternative dates. One of the largest - at Estes Park, Colorado - is being held on January 18, 2014 and is part of the Estes Park Winter Festival. The wintertrails.org Web site is regularly updated.
Congratulations to Ryan Harden, Erik Julsrud, and Jennifer Julsrud
Please join the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation in congratulating the winners of the 2014 American Birkebeiner Warriors & Inga Contest. The three cross country skiers will re-enact the 800-year-old legend that inspired the creation of the American Birkebeiner, now celebrating its 41st year on February 22, 2014. This year's group consists of Ryan Harden of Carlton, MN; Erik Julsrud, of Duluth, MN; and Jennifer Julsrud of Duluth, MN.
The roles of the two Warriors, Torstein and Skervald, will be played by long-time Birkie skiers and friends Ryan Harden and Erik Julsrud. These two historic warriors rescued Prince Haakon during the Norwegian Civil War in 1206. Jennifer Julsrun, Erik's wife, another capable and passionate skier, will take on the role of Queen Inga from Varteig, mother of Prince Haakon, and a legendary figure in her own right.
Nordic Ski Vacation to Seefeld, Austria
Feb. 26 - March 5, 2014
Get a FREE tour when you sign up 4 friends before Jan. 3, 2014
Value $2300 for tour ( plus airfare)
Carter Active Tours
Seefeld is a quaint town in the Tyrol, the Austrian Alps with picturesque mountain views and lovely village scenes. The cross-country skiing is endless, from hamlet to hamlet, always a place to rest and enjoy a local beverage or strudel. The hotel is in a quiet location only a 3-5 minute walk away from the pedestrian zone in the centre of Seefeld, and the Olympic Village. The Geigenbühel Ski Area is a 5-minute walk away.
Come up to Galena Lodge on Saturday December 14th to try out this winters Nordic Skis, boots and poles. Is is also ski free day and free learn to ski day 10am to 3pm.
Free learn to ski day is designed for beginners and never-evers to get out on Nordic skis, have a short lesson and give Nordic skiing a try all for free! Your gear, your lesson and your pass are all free this day!
Nordic Lesson will be offered from 10am to 2pm on the hour. Please arrive at least 15 minutes early to get your gear and pass (don't forget, it's all FREE)
Northeast Ski Trails
In the past couple of years I've built up a database of groomed ski trails in the Northeast. From high school 5ks to the largest touring centers at www.SkiTrailReport.com , I have a list of about 250 ski trails from Northern Maine to Ohio and West Virginia. It is also a forum for first-hand trail reports to be posted. Would you share it with your readership? It would be great to get the word out, especially with snow coming our way.
Lone Mountain Ranch
Big Sky, MT
Winter Trails Day- Saturday, January 11, 2014 10am-3pm
Winter Trails Day offers children and adults new to snow sports the chance to try snowshoeing and cross country skiing for free, and to discover the great fitness and social benefits with these easy-to-learn winter sports.Cost: Free ski pass, $5/ rentals, $5/ lessons, $10/ lunch. Contact: 406.995.4644 for more information.
West Yellowstone Nordic Events winter 2014
January 4 Free Ski Day
Rendezvous Trail fee waived and free ski lessons provided by WYSEF. Also Try Biathlon Day(!), sponsored by Altius Handcrafted Firearms. Hands on learning for this unique sport. Rifles and ammunition provided. Meet at the Biathlon Range anytime between 11am-2pm.
January 18 Spam Cup #2 2k, 7.5k,15k Freestyle Race 11am start
$10 registration fee (trail pass required and not included in race fee)
Day-Of registration Download Registration Form
January 19 Biathlon Cup #2 Pursuit Format
Challenge your new biathlon skills to a longer distance -- 7.5k, 10k, or 12.5k
Learn more and find the registration form here
February 15 Spam Cup #3
Location: TRAILHEAD BUILDING
Race Start: 10:00am
Last year, WYSEF decided to shake things up for the final Spam Cup of the season and it was a hit!
Women's Ski Weekend
New This Season *Women's Classic Getaway*
February 7 & 8, 2014 (Friday & Saturday)
2 classical ski lessons; 1 guided night classical ski tour; 2 yoga sessions; 1-30 minute massage; 1 night stay at the Izaak Walton Inn
All the information, including a flyer, instructor bios and detailed itinerary can be found at
Nordic Job Openings
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 email us weanswer@SkiPost.com and visit SkiPost.com