Volume 15 Issue 41: Feb 6, 2014
We answer your skiing questions email us 
Subscribe Here                    Old Issues Archived Here
Ask us, We Answer

Do you have a Nordic training, technique, equipment, travel, or event question?
Just email us at 

Why Bliz?


is answered in "This Bliz" 

a must view and share video 

we dare you to be able to get the song out of your head.



This Bliz
This Bliz



NNF Auction

Great gear at Great prices. Auction ends Friday.
and Support Tomorrow's  Nordic stars today.

When does New become Old.? 

Old snow:

How many classical skiers does it take to make fresh snow, "old".

(There is a joke in there somewhere)


Thank you for your consideration of this question.




This is a tough question

It depends mostly on the temp, and water concentration and humidity. In cold, dry, low humidity conditions  it can be hundreds if not thousands of skiers and many days. In warm wet high humidity conditions it can be 10 skiers or 10 hours.. New snow is sharp, old snow is dull. Also every time the snow is groomed it gets "older" and rounder. New snow is sharp and can penetrate wax. Old "transformed" snow is rounder and is less likely to penetrate Kick wax. So there is not one answer. Sorry I could not be more exact


Andy at SkiPost


Why does new vs old snow matter? 


A reader asked about new vs old snow last week. (below)

Why does this matter?



New snow is sharp, old snow is dull. 


This difference is most important when kick waxing


New snow is more likely to penetrate the kick wax and not release. These sharp fine grain penetrating crystals makes it very easy to get kick, just more difficult to get glide in new snow. Worst cases are when the sharp crystals penetrate the kick wax and do not release which causes icing and snow build up.   (For new "find grain" snow Start uses Tar (Terva) waxes because Tar's outer layer that touches the snow automatically gets harder than the underlayers. This harder outer layer resists the snow penetration but the softer underlayers bend so you get kick, and no icing from just one wax type. 


Old Crystals are round. This makes them more difficult to get kick from. This is why wax for older snow is softer than wax for the same temp in new snow. For old snow you need wax that is super soft and tacky but also durable. The round crystals will not penetrate the wax but are difficult to adhere to. This is why glide is easier but kick is difficult in older snow. (For old snow start uses Synthetic  and RF Synthetic waxes that are super tacky and very durable)


Andy at SkiPost


Ice snow wax durability.


So I have been thinking about what is the best wax to use for training when one is skiing on icy conditions.  Because the ice is so abrasive it wears off wax so quickly.  Perhaps a hardener over the wax of the day??


For course snow you should use Start BM waxes.

Made specifically for coarse and dirty snow.

The dry lubricant moly mixture ads durability.



Bunion issues for case study.

Dear SkiPost,

I am a foot and ankle surgeon. I have done over 50 fusions on the big toe joint for treatment of advanced osteoarthritis with a lot of success in runners,hikers,alpine skiers,tennis players.... But not on the avid classic style skier.  I am interested to know if you can direct me to a resource/person/podiatrist/foot and ankle surgeon  who has the experience and can address my question?  

email insights to   

Dr Yvonne Weber


(last week I listed an incorrect email address)




Our  friend Andy Lieber wrote a price reflecting on life as a racer. 


By Andy Liebner, 25JAN2014


For anyone who may read this, know these thoughts I've documented here have taken some time to drive out of me. It has taken stepping away from the very sport that my entire live was based from to come full circle about what it takes to compete with the right mentality again.

When I go out for a run, I don't think the same as when I go out for a ski. In the early days (High School) we'd run for +1 hour straight over rolling terrain and at a consistent pace, we'd do the same during the ski season. Somewhere between in this last decade I've forgotten that.


I realize now, years later, that near the final years of my skiing career, I was shying away from the daily pain of training, the weekend pain of racing. Maybe it was the inner resistance and tiredness. Maybe the routine had become boring and simply going fast on skis through the woods on groomed trails wasn't exciting anymore.

Before I really hit the wall and developed a heart condition 6 months after a heat stroke in 2004, I had no problem training as I felt and more often than not, I would end up skiing quite hard. Same goes for running and during those early years I made the largest development leaps. I remember competing during those years and really pushing the limits much harder than I did (on a consistent basis) later. Yes, I grew smarter about pacing, but I look back over it all now and see where I threw in the towel one thread at a time.


When I had that eager edge and drive to push and fly over the trail, I saw the same look in many of my (unbeatable to me) competitors and I strived hard always improve with every workout. Those who were on their way out, I did not notice their phase-out look although attitudes were obvious.

Nothing makes this more obvious than when uniforms are put on and you step up to that start line; committing to at least one more race experience adding one more result to the ski resume. In the early days I wasn't afraid of feeling the lactic acid and I was even to the point of convincing myself that I would not be affected by it. I would always push way too hard early into each race and build so much lactate the rest of the course seemed way harder as my body tried desperately to keep a homeostatic balance. Through experience and education, I learned how to better control it and the mentality change from runner (something always moving) to cross-country skier (move-pause-move-pause). 


I left NMU in 2011 after my best skiing year ever. Why? For multiple reasons: #1 - I wasn't mentally excited to do the long hard hours of training nor excited about competing with a 'Go hard, give it your all 100%' attitude. #2 - I was strongly pulled to develop some of my ideas and start a business, and that is where my excitement went. #3 - The issue with one member of the men's team turned me off from wanting to be on the team another year. #4 - I wasn't really enjoying the weekly success like I would have if I were a lot younger. Doing well in a race did not make me feel any different. When you wake up in a hotel room and your roommate reminds you there is a race that day and of the style and you don't have any nervousness, that needs to be considered. I felt this way 3 years ago.

Somewhere between the high spirit of High School sports and professional ski racing, college skiing exists with its own energy and space in each of our lives. Mine, scattered, but focused with each choice I've made, I realize I've attended NMU when it's been more convenient for me over you Sten Fjeldheim, but I very much appreciate your trust, openness and relationship.


Now, after taking the break, releasing my book, developing my ideas, starting and running my company, coaching a professional athlete to the Olympics I see the fun and enjoyment within the sport. Going FAST! Through all the conservative trainings, and holding back in races to keep lactic acid under control, I now see where I became bored and lost in this sport.

Currently I'm in Seefeld, Austria and I love going fast on my skis. I can't wait to recover so I can go out and fly around on the trails whizzing by the other skiers out here. The night skiing is amazing and with nearly 100 rec skiers out on the trails during any given time between 8am and 8pm its not lonely out there.


I may not be as strong or as fit as I once was, but I do know that my competitive mentality is getting stronger all the time. I would like to believe there are others out there who have had similar experiences, which end their career short of their dreams. And the message from me to those individuals: Find what it is that makes you smile when you think of skiing, find what it is that gives you butterflies in your stomach when you prepare your gear as you know the time is getting nearer to ski again!


Enjoy the sport of Cross-Country Skiing FOREVER!

    Andy Liebner   

Scraping Outside


Hello Good people at Start Wax


I Wax my skis in the basement and then let them cool down inside.  In an effort to keep some of the waxing mess out of the house,  I have been taking them out side to do the scraping and brushing?  Sometimes --its really cold in MN.  Today its -16 F.  Will Scraping a cold ski hurt the ski or the wax job?


Thanks Ed 

Your method is good, 

It is best to wax in the warmest room possible and let them cool down slowly in the warm room. It is better to scrape in a warm room. But you can also scrape them outside as long as you let them cool down slowly inside and then go outside and scrape immediately, so the wax is the least chippable. After we get done waxing and scraping inside we often put the skis outside and then scrape and brush the again to remove the excess surface wax. If you were to let them cool down outside the base would close up and squeeze too much of the newly waxed wax out before it had bonded to the base. Hope this helps.


Andy at Start




The winning Birkie wax job, again.


Last year the America Birkebeiner was won 

and swept  1,2,3 on Start SFR 75.

 Italy getting their SFR 75

Podium men  

 Get your skis waxed with Start at Riverbrook. 

and have your own winning wax job.




 = Fast and Fun Birkie 


 Start at Riverbrook Birkie Wax Service   



Also Start's Evan Pengelly will be on hand for this weekend's PreBirkie.


 Race Wax Suggestions


follow this link 


For added support from Start Wax you can 

Events and Destinations 


SkiTrax 2014 Fantasy Contest - 

 Birkie 2014 Race Gift Bag!


Virtual Race Bag  right here




Pull out your packing lists: What to bring for the perfect

Backcountry Yellowstone Tour.


Planning and packing is a subject of major concern for our guests at Lone Mountain Ranch. Hours can be spent at your local outdoor gear store, chatting with employees about what gear is essential for your upcoming Yellowstone ski or snowshoe tour. Undoubtedly, having the proper gear and clothing is an important consideration for any winter outing, but I've found over the years that most of our guests put too much time and energy into what gear should be on their packing lists.


It's not what you carry along with you that makes for a rewarding Yellowstone backcountry experience. It's not the latest stretch-woven, waterproof breathable, welded laminate fabrics. It's not the advanced titanium framed, carbon wrapped, astronaut tested, collapsible ski poles. Truth is, it is what you leave behind that can be the most valuable item on your packing lists - leave behind your expectations.


Many of our guests bring conflated ideas of what a winter ski or snowshoe tour in Yellowstone will offer. Some guests seek animal encounters, a chance to look eye-to-eye with an elk or bison. Others long to see an eruption of Old Faithful, primed by a lifetime of glowing references to the venerable Yellowstone feature.  Many are motivated to climb to the top of an escarpment and gaze down at a boiling cauldron of water, mud and noxious gases.


These are not unrealistic expectations for a Yellowstone backcountry tour, and many of our outings will encounter all of the above in short order. Often though, the truly memorable moments are too ephemeral to capture through the lens of your iPhone. I strive to have my guests appreciate the unexpected treasures of winter travel in such a dynamic and remote landscape. Listening to the otherworldly "whump" as thousands of tons of snowpack gently settles underfoot as our group glides safely above. Watching a perfectly formed snowflake melt atop your gloved hand. Standing next to an iniquitous pool of water and feeling at your core the rumble of unseen forces deep below. Entering an open snowfield and hearing nothing but the rhythmic sound of your heart beating and your breath flowing.


An open mind, full of potential, will properly equip you for a Yellowstone experience that will quite possibly exceed your expectations!

by: Drew McCarthy photos by 

Outlaw Partners 

Drew is one of Lone Mountain Ranch's Nordic instructors, as well as a backcountry ski guide in Yellowstone. He spends his summers at Camp Denali in Alaska where he has been a guide for 7 years.


check out more reasons to visit Lone Mountain Ranch.


perhaps before or after the Rendezvous



Yellowstone Rendezvous


The 35th Annual Rendezvous Race March 8, 2014

Youth Ski Festival Sunday, March 9th


Snow is falling in West Yellowstone, Montana, and skiers of all ages are invited to participate in the 34 annual Yellowstone Rendezvous Race on March 8, 2014.  Race organizers have been busy marking the course and making final preparations for the event. If you have been to the Rendezvous Ski Trails in West Yellowstone at any time this season, you'll know the skiing has been great all winter. 


The Yellowstone Rendezvous Race is part of the American Ski Marathon Series and is a big part of the history of cross-country skiing in West Yellowstone.  This year, the Yellowstone Rendezvous race is happy to welcome Holiday Inn West Yellowstone as the title sponsor! There are six different race divisions offered for skiers of all ages. Marathoners can enter the 50 kilometer freestyle race, which consists of two laps around the perimeter of the Rendezvous Ski Trail system.  Racers can enter the 25 kilometer classic or freestyle events, and the 10 kilometer race is a great choice for those preferring a shorter distance. The 5k and 2k races are geared for kids.


Register before February 25thto save on entry fees. Race registration deadline is Thursday March 6th at 12 noon. Please visit  for more information, and find us on Facebook for the latest grooming reports and updates on the race. 


On Sunday, March 9 th, the West Yellowstone Ski Education Foundation will host their annual Youth Ski Festival where kids 13 and under can participate in a variety of ski games including relays, musical chairs and more! Bring the family and experience winter this year.  Day-of registration.  Please visit for more information.
As the title sponsor of the Yellowstone Rendezvous Race, Holiday Inn West Yellowstone offers a variety of lodging facilities in West Yellowstone and is your hub for registration, many meetings, events, clinics, and tasty vittles and drinks in The Branch Restaurant & Bar. For more information and to learn about special skier rates, call (406) 646-7365.

Lake Placid Loppet

March 8, Mt Van Hoevenberg

The Lake Placid Loppet is one of the best events of its kind in the country. Over the past 30 years, thousands of skiers have enjoyed skiing and racing on the challenging Mt. Van Hoevenberg trails at the Olympic Sports Complex. The Lake Placid Loppet is conducted by the Olympic Regional Development Authority on the Olympic Sports Complex Cross Country Ski Trails.  The Loppet and Kort-Loppet run on a slightly modified version of the 50km course constructed for the 1980 Winter Olympics making it one of the most challenging citizen races in the world. Skiers should consider carefully whether to enter the 25km or 50km event.  However, many recreational skiers do participate at a less strenuous touring pace. 
Nordic Job Openings

Nordic Job Opening? email to post

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 email us and visit


Enjoy Winter,

Andrew Gerlach
Director/Editor- SkiPost


Like us on Facebook
In This Issue
Ask Us
This Bliz
NNF Auction
New and Old snow
Ice snow waxing
Scraping Outside
Birkie Wax Job
Race Wax Recs


Start Kick Waxes

Start Wax

 and Poles


start poles

Start Wax and Poles Explained

Start Wax & Pole Catalog 1314 

Salomon Nordic
nnf word
Support Tomorrow's Nordic Stars Today
New World Wax table foot clamp

Noname Banner Final

Get your team custom unis from NONAME
 and separate yourself team from the pack.

 Ski Seefeld, Austria
February 26 - March 5, 2014
7 Nights, 8 Days of Skiing 
CXC Academy


Get Lungplus to preheat your breath and save your lungs. Get a Lungplus and ski like the Norwegians!
For more information go to 

ski erg

Bliz Active Logo


Keep Focused




Bliz America Blog

BLIZ America Dealers



For more BLIZ USA info 


proflip marit
find the time
The one gift you receive at birth is time.  You'll never have more  than you have today.  Find the Time.
Like us on Facebook