Volume 15 Issue 51: April 17, 2014
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Do you have a Nordic training, technique, equipment, travel, or event question? Just email us at 

Spring Skiing


School is out at the beginning of May.  Where can one find decent skiing then? 


MT Bachelor Nordic Center in Bend Oregon is the usual destination in the lower 48 for skiing in the spring. They host the MBSEF Fire and Ice Camp June 13-18. You can also check with MBSEF or Bend Endurance Academy for addition info on spring skiing around Bend.

Can I mount a Salomon binding on a NIS plated ski? RS

Yes, Just look at World Cup Sprint champion Kikkan Randall. Her Salomon boots/bindings are most often mounted direct on NIS plates with World Cup winning results.

Image Salomon/Nordic Focus
Thanks and skis for over 200 lbs.


Dear Andrew:


Well I got my 1,000 kms. for the year and I'm thinking about running now (yuk).  Low and behold we're getting 10-20 cms. of snow today up here in Timmins, Ontario.  They are STILL GROOMING OUR TRAILS!!!  You guys should try to come up sometime?  Anyway, I just wanted to write and thank you for getting myself (and I'm sure a lot of other skiers) through another year of skiing.  You probably don't realize how important your Ski Post is to most of us!!!  I even LOVED the last one describing how to buy new skis.  I realized being over 200 lbs. is an advantage as I'll always need the stiffest and longest skis(ha).  Please keep the info. coming and good luck and thanks to all of your staff and writers, 

Mike (Freight Train) Columbus.


Thanks for taking the time to write. And it may appear that getting ski for the over 200 lb crowd is easy. But check out the Salomon ES Extra Stiff. This is a ski designed exclusively for over 200 lb guys. Not just a outlyer ski.


Andy at SkiPost

Do Sweat the Small Things

to prevent injury


By Bryce Thatcher


A few little things that may help prevent injury.


It is Spring which brings a lot of warmer weather and snow melt, forcing skiers to switch to alternative training methods, which for Cross Country Skiers means the beginning of running season or dry land training.

As a competitive collegiate ski racer, I remember this transition very well. I entered it having a huge heart and powerful lungs but lacking the bone structure to handle the pounding associated with running.


I ached for weeks as I transitioned. During this transition of seasons I developed a few simple tips that can help prevent injury. I have further honed and refined these over many years not just through years of competition as a ski racer in the winter but as a year round mountain runner. A few of these are simple and universal. Now, and during the past two years as a volunteer Track and Cross Country running coach for Desert Hills High School in St. George, Utah, these basic things have become more apparent than ever. With over 90 kids on the team, who tend to develop a wide range of problems, my focus is centered again on preventing injuries in the first place.


These suggestions are not all-inclusive and definitely not a substitute for a comprehensive training plan. For this, one should seek advice from amongst the many great coaches out there, or Trail and Ultra running athletes and mentors like Karl Meltzer and Krissy Moehl, both of which, I work closely with at UltrAspire.


Routine questions I ask of school aged runners when they come to me with aches and pains are the same each of us should ask ourselves as a part of our own training routine:



  1.  How old are your shoes? (Or, perhaps, how many miles do you have on them?)                                                                                                                                                                    I see a lot of terrific athletes running in shoes that may still look good from the outside surface, but are actually completely worn out for the purpose intended-giving adequate support between the ground surface and the bones and tissues of the feet. If there are foundation problems the effect will travel upward through the entire body. Depending on the style of shoe and bio-mechanic efficiencies of the runner and other factors, the number of miles available in a pair of shoes varies substantially. This is an especially difficult problem as shoes can be expensive for those of us who log a lot of miles and need new shoes more often. Red flags should fly if knees begin aching, or the shoes feel flat (like having a flat tire on a bike). Another sign is an increase in popping sounds coming from the knee area particularly when rising or sitting. These signals are probably all signs that the wearer has waited too long to don a new pair of shoes. Even if the shoes look good and appear to have a lot of tread, it's the foam cushioning that matters. If it has lost its effect, get a new pair of shoes! Shoes are so important that the second question is also about them.

2.     Have you recently switched styles of shoes?                                                                        

Often times we wait too long to buy a new pair of shoes and by they time we do, we instantly retire the old ones and transition into the new pair. This works fine if the shoes are the same brand, size and style as the old shoe; but, if most of you are like me, and like many of the kids on my team, we like to experiment hoping to find something that works even better--always seeking the holy-grail in shoes! This is fun and exciting but can also lead to injury. When we do get new shoes it is best to create a transition plan to the new pair of shoes. Because the huge variance in shape, amount of drop between the forefoot and rear foot, and flexibility all effect the way your body works with the new shoes, starting cold turkey into the new shoes often results in the body response of new aches and pains or even injury. I teach the kids to alternate between old and new shoes for a period of time to make sure that the body is given time to adapt. This may take time especially if the transition is drastic like going from a Hoka to a minimalist style shoe or the other way around. Shoes are made for varying terrain and those who run with different shoes on different terrain in the same week need to be extra mindful. Which leads to the next question.



3.     What surface have you been running on?                                                         
As many of our injuries are stress or impact related, I suggest that runners spend a large portion of their training on trails with a soft surface. In fact, I explain it this way to our team going from hardest surface to softest surface. Cement or sidewalks being the worst, then pavement, then track surface, then trails then grass. When aches and pain occur in the bones and joints simply changing to a more forgiving surface for a while will decrease the amount of stress related injuries. The first year I coached we ran more than half our miles on road surface. That year we were plagued with shin splints and other stress related injuries including stress fractures. As a comparison, our second season, we increased miles trained by the whole team, but spent 90% of these miles on trails. Injuries were almost non-existent. Be aware of your running surface and choose the softer option when available even if it is less convenient and requires driving to get to a suitable location.


4.     Have you adequately stretched and used effective foam rolling?       


Another thing that may seem insignificant, but is one of the most effective means of staying healthy, involves stretching and foam rolling. I am a real advocate of both disciplines. We teach our kids to stretch well AFTER each workout. We have a good routine of stretching that follows some simple core strength exercises that are done daily. I also suggest that the athletes foam roll at least 3 times per week. This is what I call the poor man's massage, but it is also so convenient, it can be accomplished without assistance on a daily basis. If my muscles do get tight I first foam roll and self massage the area, then if I am not successful myself, then I will seek a deep tissue massage from a therapist who understands runners and the areas that need to be worked and why. This is much different than what I refer to as a "fluff and puff" massage provided by most massage therapy locations. These feel good and serve beneficial purposes, but not adequate to keep an athlete training without down time.


5.     Do you pay attention to your own unique needs? 


After asking the above questions and learning from the answers, what is the next step? On our cross-country team I have runners that may be incapacitated quite literally from a "broken toe nail" on the one extreme, to others who never complain about anything and who may admit they have a problem only after someone else recognizes that their stride or something else is off. Everyone is unique and each runner must be mindful of even small changes to comfort levels, sources of pain and other issues, evaluate potential benefit in cross training with alternative exercises like pool running or biking, or whether it is time to see a doctor to assist in the quest for a more enjoyable running experience with optimal performance.            


I love working with young runners. They are like sponges and absorb the information that is given them. Those runners on our team that take these simple steps to heart and do them PREVENTATIVELY on a routine basis are the runners who consistently perform the best and stay uninjured. I am proud to say that the Desert Hills High School Cross Country team seized the 2013 Utah 3A State Championship title. It is very rewarding to be a part of such accomplishment-even when it all came by about just by helping to implement the small things that all come together to make an enormous difference in the long run.





Bryce Thatcher, innovator and inventor of hydration "packs", is a dedicated adventure and endurance athlete whose record ascent/descent of the Grand Teton of 3:06 stood for nearly 30 years. In 1986, he founded Ultimate Direction, which has become the market leader for the ultra-endurance athlete market. He later sold this business to Sierra Designs of American Recreational Products where he worked and continued to design all hydration until 2003. He also, co-founded Elite Creators, LLC. Which began to market Medical packs in 2002. In 2004, he went to work with Penguin Brands, Inc., and Nathan Sports Products, where he re-engineered the entire hydration line and continued to innovate the growth of Nathan hydration packs until 2010 with designs that continue to be marketed by Nathan. Because Bryce is an athlete and has always worked with athletes, he has a special expertise in bringing solutions to athletes everywhere.




Thatcher has worn his own packs for many of his own adventures: as a two-time All-American cross-country skier; while participating in an MSOQ adventure race in Lijiang, China; while pioneering "fast packing" on a record-setting run of Highline Trail in Wyoming's Wind River Range; while making a record sub-9 hour self-supported solo ride of Utah's, 103 mile White Rim Trail and in winning Idaho and Utah State Cycling Time Trial titles. He is an avid mountaineer and trail runner.


Bryce will always aspire to be an extreme endurance athlete. Not only because he loves pushing his limits but also because he feels it is key to keeping up with the evolving needs of the athlete and in furthering innovation and design. His ideas come to him in practice and develop intuitively from concept through marketing, in practice.


Check out his UltrAspire products at 





Meet Emelie Forsberg
"Devoted Lover of the Mountains" .....Bliz Athlete

Summer Ski Storage 

Do it!!!!!!!!! 


How should I put my skis away for the summer?


Spring Cleaning, Base Refreshing, Base Saturation, Summer Storage


1) Cleaning: Use wax remover and Fiber wipe to clean the kick zone and also the glide zone.


2)  Use the finest Steel or Copper brush to clean excess dirt from base.


3)  Apply layer of Start Base (or Service or soft non-fluoro glider like SG2) to glide zones.


4) While wax is still soft use scraper with low pressure to "hot wipe" wax and further dirt away.


5) Follow with Fiber wipe and then finest steel brush again to remove dirt while refreshing base further. Repeat steps 4 and 5 as necessary until no more dirt is seen coming from base. 


6) If you suspect your skis have any base damage (i.e. base sealing) consider having the skis stoneground to reveal a fresh base in the spring before summer storage.  A fresh base is the most import feature in a skis ability to hold wax and to glide. Ski shops in most every ski town offer great stone grinding services.    


7) Once you have a clean and refreshed base it is time to saturate the base with a summer storage wax.  In the glide zones melt in a thick layer of Start Base (or Service or soft non-fluoro glider like SG2) and let it cool. If all the wax has been absorbed into the base at any point add another layer on to. Let cool leave it on the ski all summer.


8)   Skis should be storage in cool, dry place, out of sunlight and not near heating elements nor not near the roof where temperature can rise over 50C degrees. Skis should be stored loosely strapped with no pressure on camber so that there is no risk that heat and pressure can alter any of the skis camber characteristics.


9)  Better to do something than nothing. So at the very, very least crayon your softest glide onto your glide zones right now. 


Andy at SkiPost/Start
Kick wax to Glide Wax Transition


I have a question regarding waxing classic skis. More specifically, how do you transition between glide wax and kick wax at the front and back of the wax pocket? Do you try to have the kick wax meet the glide waxed surface at an exact point? Do you hold the glide waxed surface a few centimeters short of the kick wax? Or do you overlap the kick wax over the glide waxed surface slightly?

Also, are there any techniques to make this transition as smooth as possible? Thanks.



You have the Kick and Glide wax meet but you feather the kicker with the most layers under the peak of the camber (just ahead of the toe) and the fewest layers (just one) at the very transition from kick to glide. You also put binder under the kicker wax all the way to the rear. The binders job is to keep the kick wax in place and stops the kick from moving into the glide zone.


Andy at SkiPost.


 Confidence on Fast Icy Trails


Hi SS!


You cite balance challenges on icy trails in fast conditions, and there are a host of drills you can use to enhance balance in tricky hard snow conditions. One big issue comes up when the ski you're gliding on 'wanders' or suddenly slips sideways, moving out from underneath your core, affecting balance and timing. Three ways you can practice re-balancing:

  1. Move the unweighted leg in or out/up or down to re-center your core over your gliding foot. Practice gliding straight, on one ski, on any long straightaway, first in, then out of the tracks.
  2. Using the same muscles as in #1, the adductors and abductors, move the ski you're gliding on left or right to bring it back underneath you. This is a far more difficult skill to learn and master, as the ski must be very flat to be moved laterally. The other subtle effect in play is that the same muscles that move the ski under your core will move your core over your ski. Probably both effects are in play.

To practice the movements, stand on very flat terrain with smooth snow, with your poles planted to the sides. Move both skis toward each other, then away, slowly at first, then quickly, essentially narrowing and widening your stance with increasing tempo. The reason for doing this faster is that you will strengthen the muscles and reflexes needed to carry out the re-balancing movements when the chips are down.


Take careful note of catching an edge, and work to flatten the ski to allow for the lateral slip. You may even be able to develop a 'treading water' movement, alternating inside and outside edges. When you can move both skis about 2 inches laterally, try increasing the range to four or more inches. Often this is enough to re-balance mid-glide.


Next, try it with weight on one ski only, at first standing still and using poles for balance. When you can move the ski you're on both left and right, practice on the other ski, and then without poles. You may now be ready to try it with glide. Good luck, and have fun!

  1. Practice your Recovery Hop to get back into balance. Stand on your right ski. Tip to the right. Before you fall, or plant your pole (potentially hazardous to your shoulder - not to mention your pole), hop a few inches to the right to bring the ski under your core, or beyond, bringing you safely back between your feet. Repeat on the left ski. Practice for mastery, until you can routinely incorporate this into easy V2 and V2A skiing without elevating your heart rate.

Probably the best way to stay lined up over the gliding ski is to get really accurate about projecting your core in the same direction as the ski you're gliding on. Practice no poles skating with the goal of gliding as far as you can on each ski. This will combine the skills of push-off with directional accuracy - just what you need on those icy trails in a race.


Ultimately, what will keep you upright, and allow you to maintain uninterrupted flow in hard snow conditions are light-footed rebalancing reflexes. The key here is to make rebalancing reflexive. Practice rebalancing enough that the movements needed to rebalance don't mess with your mojo, but instead allow you to keep on chugging ahead as if nuthin' ever happened.


Have fun cruising the hardpack!

Scotty McGee

PSIA Nordic Team Coach


Events and Destinations 




AXCS National Masters Returning To Craftsbury In 2015

Next season Craftsbury, Vermont will once again play host to the AXCS National Masters -- January 30 to February 1, 2015. or complete updated information this spring/summer please visit


A Special Spring 2014 Offer On AXCS Membership

The American XC Skiers (AXCS) non-profit masters association currently has a very special offer for all master skiers. Join AXCS by April 5 and you will not only be included in the mailing list of the exclusive AXCS Spring Digest print issue, but AXCS will also extend your membership "year" all the way until October 31, 2015! Visit today for both on-line and print-and-mail membership options.



Nordic Job Openings

Nordic Job Opening? email to post

 US Pole Company


The United States Ski Pole Company is seeking one summer employment position. At least 18 years of age, located in either the U.S. or Canada, and have excellent organization and communication skills. The position is commission based with incentives, which can lead to other future business opportunities within the skiing industry. A good job for a post-college or current student. If you're looking for flexible hours that will mesh well with your training schedule, this would be ideal. Please send resume's and/ or questions to Andy Liebner at


Backwoods Mountain Sports


Backwoods a nordic, backcountry, bike, water sport and camping specialty shop in Ketchum Idaho is looking for a lead buyer and manager for its hard goods department. Experience necessary. Please send resumes and questions to 

or call Andy Munter at 208-726-8818.



Job Opening






               American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation

Now Accepting Applications for Position Of:


Race Operations Event Operations / Race Director

Applications Due by May 1


Our long-time Race Operations Director, Shellie Milford, has announced that the 2015 American Birkebeiner will conclude her career with the Birkie. While she is looking forward to a well-deserved retirement, we are now looking to fill a position that she has run with consummate skill and wisdom for more than 20 years.


This is a key, full-time, year-round position at the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation. We are interested in hearing from individuals from a variety of event planning and operations backgrounds who can bring those skills and that experience to the Birkie.


We hope you will assist us in this search by helping us get the word out about this position opening and also sharing it directly with anyone you know who may be interested.


See details here about the positions and where to send a resume and cover letter:



Warmest Regards,

The Staff and Board of Directors of

The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation

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

Image at top is courtesy Salomon/NordicFocus
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In This Issue
Ask Us
Spring Skiing
over 200 lbs
Sweat the Small things
Emelie Forsberg
Ski Storage
Kick Waxing
Icy Confidence
Events & Destinations
Nordic Job Openings

25 Medals for Bliz Athletes 


Start Kick Waxes

Start Wax  and Poles Explained

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CXC Academy


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