Netherlands - be careful what you wish for...

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Cloxxki
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Netherlands - be careful what you wish for...

Postby Cloxxki » Sun Dec 20, 2009 12:02 pm

...and, how many times!

You may receive it all at once!

After a few mild snow days, mostly useful for wrecking my skis, today we got a 20cm or so DUMP. I made the mistake to go out too late, I should have gone before it piled up. It was just too much.
Yesterday I travelled to get to snow, today it was too much at home.

I skied back and forth on a wide forrestside sand road a couple dozen times before I was able to even think about improving my (horrible) technique. Tiny hills as available, I had to prep with my skis to make them somewhat doable. Snow was particularly slow, this time I don't blame my beat up (friday and saturday dozens of times running them into the ground, as precursor for lots of psysical pain on my part).

Amazing. I don't know about global warming (actually, I do), but this climate change, back to the 70's and 80's, I do like!

I'm going out for a second session later tonight I think. We had some hail and rain, temps creeped up to zero, perhaps it will be a bit better. This time, I'm leaving from my down-town from door, on skis! Holland is a big mess now, we're not set up for this.
If the earth is warming, it must be steaming somewhere else now!

These are the first 3 days I've skied on home soil. I've tried previous winters, but didn't get any glide going. Today, I'm overwhelmed!

Anyone else from low-snow countries, skiing today?
Last edited by Cloxxki on Sun Dec 20, 2009 4:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Biffbradford
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Postby Biffbradford » Sun Dec 20, 2009 12:57 pm

Image

I'm very happy for you. Ski it until it's mud! :D

Elfstedentocht?
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Cloxxki
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Postby Cloxxki » Sun Dec 20, 2009 1:19 pm

Biffbradford wrote:Image

I'm very happy for you. Ski it until it's mud! :D

Elfstedentocht?

The snow kills the ice. People try, people drown.
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Biffbradford
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Postby Biffbradford » Sun Dec 20, 2009 1:55 pm

It's early yet. A good cold snap can build up the ice quickly. Even here, I haven't seen anyone ice fishing yet.
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Cloxxki
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Postby Cloxxki » Sun Dec 20, 2009 4:09 pm

I actually stepped into my skis at my front door, and skied out of the city. Skied the same paths that had super mrginal snow friday night, now 48 hours later, they were somehow magically compacted. Some pedestrians, kids with sleds, the result was better than some grooming I've seen. Sure, the paths were narrow, you had to avoid messy spots and tracks, but in the Elfstedentocht, you get that for 200km, and no poles to balance you.

Honestly. compared to what I've been in my better years (I'm only 33), I am totally out of shape now. Maybe 10-15kg too heavy, no cardio condition to speak of. But, just to get to the site of my snow overload this afternoon, I biked more than an hour total through the slush that is Dutch streets right now. Then 2 hours or more skiing there, and just now another 2 hours or worse. I am BEAT. From the moment I decided "NOW I go home", I must have done an hour's worth of "once mores".

Amazing to ski a (shaky from fatique but) furious V2 down the side walks I only remember from against-my-will jogging outings. Pedestrians were jumping to the side, most of them too startled to make comments. The lads could do little more than cry out wordless, and throw a snowball.

Especially nice was that the tiny walking path hills that had insufficient cover 48 hours ago, were now nicely compacted. I was actually able to work on technique. V2 up steeper than before, freeskate down, that sort of stuff that's huge if you are in your 4th week of skiing, and are generally clumsy on you feet.

I-should-have's:
- Brought my head lamp. Some paths under trees, away from cilization, were pretty darn dark
- Taken my Equipe 10's rather than these now totally scratched and beat-up Atomic Pro's. Snow cover was near perfect. Icey in places.
- Gone out in the morning, before snow got "too much", and be fitter for this awesome night session.
- Worn a helmet. Really, skiing is dangerous. I crashed some many times, and at times really hard this weekend, I got lucky to not hit my head on something (like pavement and road furniture).
- Stocked up on beer, vodka and snacks. That banana I downed just now didn't quite do the trick.

I am now left in doubt. 23Dec-Jan3 I'm off from work. Do I find a place to ski, or will I gamble on sufficient conditions at home? If there ever was a luxury problem, this it.
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Postby goff » Sat Jan 02, 2010 5:50 am

Anyone else from low-snow countries, skiing today?Cloxxki
We normaly bring our skis home in the vain hope will bw able to use them in uk,this year we did not and of course we have had snow for about 7 days and with the cold set to stay,will be the 1st proper winter for along time in uk.
And a bigger disapoinment we were due in in Haute Doubs today to watch the French Biathlon championships and of course ski.With no skiing open and warm weather forecast we decided to stay at home.This morning -10 10cms new snow with more forecast all week. Lets hope have more luck on Lotto.
Goff

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Cloxxki
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Postby Cloxxki » Sat Jan 02, 2010 7:03 am

goff wrote:We normaly bring our skis home in the vain hope will bw able to use them in uk,this year we did not and of course we have had snow for about 7 days and with the cold set to stay,will be the 1st proper winter for along time in uk.
And a bigger disapoinment we were due in in Haute Doubs today to watch the French Biathlon championships and of course ski.With no skiing open and warm weather forecast we decided to stay at home.This morning -10 10cms new snow with more forecast all week. Lets hope have more luck on Lotto.
Goff

Oh, that's rough for you!
Any place in the UK close to an airport I might keep in mind to scramble to when you guy hit the white jackpott? With a good hard base, I don't need grooming, just nice and even fireroads and up to 10cm fresh snow seems to work fine?

I ended up staying at home over the holidays, and Austria suffered melt, so I guess I gambled OK there, although I didn't even expect that melt, just didn't get the lodging I wanted.

I woke up shocked to a white world, but when I rubbed my eyes, it was just 1-2cm, which has mostly disappeared since. Other parts of the country got 5cm, but I now know better than to travel for that.

I don't own a car, but plan to. May need to have my rock skis in there at all times through a winter. I've at times ended up in places with dream snow, and good hills, just no bike, let alone skis with me. I suppose that's where roof top ski boxes come in handy.
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Postby goff » Sat Jan 02, 2010 8:01 am

Keep away from Uk when it snows total chaos in 10cm.
Just as well didnt set of for the Juras as pretension belt(what ever that is ) on car lost some teeth and could of ended stranded in France .Sort car this week and be off next ,or week after, and the bise is going to blow with a chill factor of -25 bit cold for us.
Goff

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Ami in Berlin
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Postby Ami in Berlin » Fri Jan 08, 2010 11:42 am

When we left Berlin for Switzerland on 19 Dec there was a high temp of -12°. We had -18° on the 20th, but then it warmed up. Conditions were poor for cross country (alpine skiing was fine) for the whole two weeks, and not much was open. We arrived back on 2 Jan with Berlin covered in snow. The day with the most skiing of the entire two week vacation was actually the day after we got back and in central Berlin. Even the local mountains on the Czech border are not operating due to lack of snow, while Berlin has plenty. Weird.

Another storm is supposed to hit tonight and tomorrow, so it'll be another weekend of skiing the local parks. I've heard rumors of tracks being groomed in a few locations. Will have to check that out.

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Cloxxki
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Postby Cloxxki » Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:10 pm

For the first time in 20 years, trails are being groomed in the North of The Netherlands. Classic, that is. Since Skating was introduced, most locals have not seen a cross-country skier up close. When I skated the streets here recently, they just didn't know what to say. The usual witty remarks did not come, they were just baffled :-)

Forest rangers with decades old self-made grooming equipment are stepping up to the job, and colleagues are eager to borrow it.
Rangers are flooded in phone calls whether they also have rental skis, which thye obviously don't.

In my neck of the woods (far away from them in fact), we had 1-2cm of snow, which half-melted, and quickly re-frose. A mess on the side walks. The heaps of snow we had in Dec, rained away after a week. The North however got a new substatial dump. I am so bummed about that. They are bummed too, as the snow is bad for the ice, and they want their 11 Cities Tour, the legendary 200km race.

This is the best winter I've seen in some 20 years, especially here in the coastal area. Some parts of the country have seen freak snow storms, but those were usually chased by fohns and melty mess.
I think we've had the peak of interglacial and are working towards the next one. Glaciers have done most of their melting, the climate WILL turn, and enter the next ice age. Not from one day to the other, but we've having record colds now, and I'm not readiong about records heats elsewhere right now. It's not winter on all of Earth, you know. New Zealand and Argentina/Chili had good winters as far as I heard.
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Postby goff » Sat Jan 09, 2010 10:34 am

Still miffed about leavin skis in France, they have just opened 20k at Les fourgs only on 10cm more due but not much, meanwhile in Kent we have 20cm and due to snow for next 24hrs.Local authorities running out of rocksalt, schools closed, and winter fayres cancelled because of cold weather :lol: .Like winters i can remember as a ankle bitter.Dont know about global warming but how people can tell what is going on with the weather in a 40 year period, when they tell us that it goes in thousand of year cycles is beyond me.
Still if said everything was fine they be out of work.
Goff.

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Ami in Berlin
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Postby Ami in Berlin » Mon Jan 11, 2010 8:08 am

I was a little underwhelmed by the "Storm of the Decade" that hit over the weekend, but it did leave good skiing in its wake. I grew up in the NW of the USA and lived in Northern NY for a while, so I'm not all that impressed by 15 cm of fresh snow on top of an existing 10 cm. But it's Berlin and I'll take whatever we get!

Rumors of 4 km being groomed in a local park proved to be apocryphal, but so many people had already been through there that the tracks were nearly as good as if from a groomer. Some of the locals walking in the park could stand to learn about proper etticate and NOT walk in the tracks when there is a perfectly good pedestrian path just to the side. I nearly slammed into someone who was first walking straight in the tracks heading right towards me and then at the last minute stepped literally one shoe's length out of the track as I passed. It's ignorance and not maliciousness, but it's still annoying.

On Sunday we went to a more central park in the city and stumbled across a snowball fight with literally hundreds of people and live DJs. It was just surreal. The Kreuzberg neighbourhood and the Neukölln neighbourhood fighting it out with snow. The park is an area that is largely Turkish, and the kids on their sleds were thrilled to see someone spritely herring-bone up their sledding hill and then wizz down on skinny skis.

A community about 15 km outside of Berlin is trying to borrow a grooming machine to set about 20 km of tracks in the woods. We might have to check that out next weekend.

It's turning into a fantistic winter here. Hopefully it continues.

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Cloxxki
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Postby Cloxxki » Mon Jan 11, 2010 8:48 am

Berlin must be a dream to ski with such snow!

I attended an illegal MTB race in 2003 or so, Deep into the park/forest off to the West. There was a dead-straight gravel hill in 3 stages (2 ~10m flat bits), 64hm if I recall correctly. Just brutal. Especially as we were having singlespeed race, and I was geared for the flatlands. Didn't expect anything like that, going to Berlin. 2nd and last lap, I lost the race there.
The next year's world Champs were a typical Dutch inland dune course, close to the Polish border.

Right now, I am in the only part of the Netherlands without real snow. 2cm on the floor, There is perfect 10cm in the NW coastal region, where to dunes tower up to 55m above the nearby shoreline. I was to go there yesterday, but my alarm clock let me down. :-(
Now, tonight I'll go ice skating outside, probably on a purposely flooded field, the channels are not really to be trusted yet.
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Ami in Berlin
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Postby Ami in Berlin » Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:41 am

It sounds like you were biking in Gruenewald. The American solders actually had a ski lift set up there in the '60s, but it's long gone now.

What people don't realise about Berlin is just how many parks there are. The population is roughly the same as Paris, but the land area is six times larger. That makes for endless possibilities.

I have two Dutch friends here who are crazy about ice skating. They're out on the local lakes pretty much every day. Last year there even did a multi-day tour in the Spreewald, a swampy forrest area south of Berlin.

I keep saying I'll get some skates, but up to now my experience is limited to cruising aroung on wobbly legs on ice rinks. The winters are so unreliable here that if I bought skates I could easily go for years without using them. But then in a year like this they would pay off. I should probably just do it.

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Cloxxki
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Postby Cloxxki » Mon Jan 11, 2010 10:43 am

Yeah, Berlin sure is huge. I spent 70km doing half a lap around Berlin. Lovely forests.
I entered the park near a center, but we went a couple deeper in, to have the race itself.

Try freeskates, sweskates, or whatever you call them. A bare skate, a ski binding, and your stiffest skate boots. Even Pilot boots work well on Profil bindings, it seems. An affordable and XC-style way to go about skating. they even come in lengths. The 55cm ones I got (shoes 48) would be seriously XC for someone with normalized feet. And FAST, at least it seemed on the first careful outing on the little channel down the street.
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