XC Skiing faq?

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Steve555
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XC Skiing faq?

Postby Steve555 » Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:20 am

Is there any one stop shopping source for XC skiing info?
I’ve scoured the internet looking for answers to my naive XC questions but haven’t had any luck.

Questions like:

How much snow is realistically required to ski.

What would be the difference between skiing on groomed trails as opposed to fire roads and logging trails. (I have friends with lots of property)

Do’s? Don’ts? Possible hazards…that kind of stuff.

I’ve been thinking of doing this for a few years now but a hang gliding obsession pretty much over whelmed my desire for anything else. Now that HG is more of a passion than an obsession I feel its time to grow into a new sport, especially one that will keep me in shape thru the winter and still let me enjoy the out doors.

Not sure if it matters, but I live in Pittsburgh Pa.

Thanks in advance.

Steve

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enevala
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Postby enevala » Thu Oct 01, 2009 10:23 am

Steve,

There are as many opinions on skiing, as there are skiers. Searching this site however, is a good place to start. Many of the questions that you have asked, have answers posted on this board.

Another good resource is the rec.skiing.nordic usenet group accessible via google groups.

If you can't find a good answer, just post the question, and someone here will tell you what they know.

Welcome to the board!

Eric

Steve555
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Postby Steve555 » Thu Oct 01, 2009 5:36 pm

Thanks Eric

enevala wrote:Steve,

There are as many opinions on skiing, as there are skiers.


Yeah, I'm starting to realize that.

On the bright side I did manage to get at least some questions answered since I posted.

I'll check out the link and begin sifting thru this forum starting...now.

(now if would just start snowing I could be learning first hand. Who'd have thunk I would ever actually want it to snow.)

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Phil
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Postby Phil » Fri Oct 02, 2009 4:18 am

Same here. I love summer!!!! but there's nothing compared to skiing on snow! :D yet, in March I can't wait for spring to come...

But to be honest, down here in the city abnd on the streets I do not need snow at all! :evil:

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JeffOYB
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Postby JeffOYB » Sun Oct 04, 2009 7:16 pm

A FAQ would be handy. Hard to believe it's not out there. If you find something, please post a link.

I disagree totally about this "every skier has a different opinion" thing. There's agreement on the main key aspects and 90% of the rest and this info should be easily available to the public.

Of course, there are several general how-to books on XC out there and dozens over the past decades in the library. I've posted info on good XC ski books at my OYB site, link below, but I forget the exact cites now. There are only a few that are good; perhaps more than half seem pretty lame. There's agreement on most info but some are misleading in various ways or just poorly presented.

--JP
outyourbackdoor.com
allskixc.com
bikeboatski.com
diysnowsport.com
xcskireview.com
indieoutdoors.com
upnorthmag.com

URLs 'r' Us!

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Postby Steve555 » Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:37 am

Ok.

This is about the best thing I have found to an easily digestible lump of information all in one place and has indeed answered most of my “new guy” questions.

How accurate it is…well time will tell, but the info feels reasonably sound.


http://www.xcskiworld.com/beginners.htm

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Postby Nordic~Xium » Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:49 am

fasterskier.com

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JeffOYB
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Postby JeffOYB » Thu Oct 08, 2009 2:02 pm

Fasterskier is for racing, right? I didn't notice any beginner info or FAQ like thing there.

The xcskiworld link also wasn't really FAQlike. [Edit: But it does seem to cover a huge range of key topics. For beginners it was maybe a bit light: "set goals," "take a class." But if you wander around a bit a very wide range of topics is covered. But not in the outline or "common questions" format of a FAQ.]

Still looking... I'll ask at RSN...
Last edited by JeffOYB on Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

Shawn
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Skiing Logging roads and fire trails.

Postby Shawn » Thu Oct 08, 2009 6:59 pm

I would say start out on groomed trails if you have limited experience and I only say this because back country skiing actually requires skiers to be pretty quick on their feet sometimes. Balance will also be an issue in the back country,it will always be tested.
Although,if you plan on shuffling around instead of tearing it up then common sense is pretty much all you need. You live in Pittsburgh so I know you have a lot of hills there.

Fire roads are good,usually they are wide enough you can stop on by turning sideways(much like down hill skiing). Logging roads I have found to be the worst. When A truck goes through it tears up a fair bit of mud and dirt which in turn prevents the ground from freezing sometimes and results in a wet snow which can act like a brake.(Not fun while decending and coming across a patch of snow which is basically slush.......can you say "face plant"?). These also tend to ice up more often than regular trails......the slush will eventually freeze and be like a luge run(this is where you will want metal edges on your skis).
If you have to decend ANY type of hill,make sure you can stop if you have to, or walk down it and save the trees that you would end up hitting on the way down. Once, I hit the bottom of hill and found out the snow was replaced by a lovely little creek which I had little choice but to water ski over. Once your moving your commited. When you bail,it usually means you're headed into the trees....unless your shuffling.

How much snow to ski?

If I can push off and not see grass or dirt in my ski track then there is enough snow.....it doesn't depend on how much snow you have but rather what is under the snow. Woodchips,grass,leaves=very good. Rocks and dirt=gouged basses.

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Re: Skiing Logging roads and fire trails.

Postby JeffOYB » Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:44 am

Shawn, those are good tips! Heck, you answered his questions even. : )

I have to chime in, too. It's not a FAQ but what the hey.

I'll second the notion that groomed trails help with control. But a mellow (short-cropped) field or golf course works fine, too. Control is an issue for beginners, so start with FLAT terrain.

A problem with fire-roads and logging trails would be the likely bumps and obstacles. A ski trail should be darn smooth, esp for beginners. If you know where you'll want to ski, then take some hikes out there in the fall and pick up sticks and smooth the surface as best you can. This is famously good fitness training as well. Bring pruners to cut away any brush hanging in the way.

Yeah, P-burg has huge hills. So find a flattish place if you can! When you get confident enough to try hills, make sure they're smooth with a straight run-out. And that they're soft enough to crash at whatever speed you're going. Work your way up as you check your skills.

Good tips on snow depth. Experienced skiers tend to have "rock skis" they use in early season when there's not much snow. They can't help themselves from skiing but thin snow does mean scratches and gouges. Basically, a half inch of snow over FROZEN *smooth* ground can do the trick. As Shawn notes, getting the ground frozen is key (if you see dirt after you ski then it's not frozen yet). It helps to have some kind of smoothish, frozen base. You can ski on a frozen lake if the snow has frozen into the surface to make it NOT slippery black ice anymore.

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Postby Steve555 » Tue Oct 13, 2009 11:29 am

Whoa! Great tips guys.

I especially like the “safety tips”. Yes, I’ve been blessed with quick feet and agility, but I’m also starting to get old (its not the years, it’s the mileage) and will most likely be skiing by myself. A busted leg 5 miles from my truck and no cell coverage would be really bad. I’m thinking my 2meter radio and gps might be a good thing to stuff in my camelback.

And yeah, the more I read, the more lessons on groomed trails sound like a good investment of time and money, not only for the faster learning curve for technique but also to start to get and idea of what to look for in equipment purchases.

Also glad to hear that I don’t need 10” of snow go out. Now if only I could flatten some of these hills.

Thanks again guys.

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enevala
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Postby enevala » Tue Oct 13, 2009 11:45 am

Also, if at all possible, find a coach and get some lessons. Good habits learned early will serve you better than trying to un-learn bad habits later.

Eric

Steve555
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Postby Steve555 » Sat Jan 09, 2010 3:03 pm

Well, finally went.
It certianly wasn't the ideal scenario, no coach, no groomed trails and the snow was so deep at times the skiis would totally dissapear under the snow.
I chose a trail through the woods that I used to mountian bike on and kept doing laps so as to take advantage of my own tracks.
I did fall once which only goes to show no matter how athletic a person is, if you get a twig in the eye, your a** is goin down.

Like I said it wasn't perfect, in fact I hadn't really planned on skiing. I was just stopping in to see if the place rented skiis. When they said yes I figured what the hell let's try it.

All in all I had a blast and feel so much better now that I got my blood moving again. I'm certian I'll go back...maybe tomorrow.


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