An introduction, and also looking for newbie XCD advice

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Cannatonic
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Re: An introduction, and also looking for newbie XCD advice

Post by Cannatonic » Wed Nov 20, 2019 2:15 pm

Great decision on those vintage E99's/3-pins, that is perfect for your situation IMO. In addition to variable snow the Catskills also have a lot of rocks! Might as well get something cheap that can turn into dedicated rock skis later. You can see how you like the basic 3-pin binding setup and boots. If you like it you can add another pair of wider XCD skis with more sidecut later.
“The disciples are drawn to the high altars with magnetic certainty, knowing that a great Presence hovers over the ranges. You were within the portals of the temple....to enter the wilderness and seek, in the primal patterns of nature, a magical union with beauty”
1931 Ansel Adams

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Telecat
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Re: An introduction, and also looking for newbie XCD advice

Post by Telecat » Mon Nov 25, 2019 11:44 pm

Cannatonic, yeah I honestly just went with the 75mm bindings because that's what I'm already used to with my heavy tele resort gear. And the long skinny skis seemed like a great recommendation because I'm not trying to do any intense downhills (yet). I have a couple questions regarding the bindings I'll write below.

FIRST DAY OUT!

I just went XC skiing for the first time today with these skis. Got 5" of heavy wet snow in the higher elevations in the catskills last night. So I figured i might go see if I can find a spot to try on these skis. I decided on this beautiful park, very aptly named "mountain top arboretum". Lots of mostly flat trails, a couple small fields, and some very gentle hills. I chose this spot because it was the highest elevation place I could think of (more snow) without rocky trails.

The snow was wet but I had no issues with it sticking to my skis. Didnt hit any rocks or get any scrapes. And the skis had great traction.

This was my first time xc skiing ever, and I was breaking my own trail. It was hard, but also so much fun! I dont think I've ever gotten so hot and sweaty outside in the winter. But the impact is amazingly low, it didnt tire out my muscles or make me sore, but I was definitely using a lot of energy. It was awesome.

It was tricky at first. I got my skis on, found my balance as best I could, and started shuffling around. uphill was no problem at all, skis had awesome traction. I had a hard time kicking and gliding though. I feel as though my skis kept wanting to dig their edges down, and I couldn't balance on the flats of the skis I figure this just takes some time to feel and learn.

At first I had my bindings (voile mountaineer) on the middle notch, this was clamped down with just a tiny bit of wiggle. After a while I tried clicking them down to the 3rd notch which really held my boot tight, and I found this gave me much more lateral stability. Is there any reason you would want them looser? Or should they always be as tight as possible?

After sorting out my lateral balance a bit, i found a flat open field, maybe 150 feet wide, and made laps back and forth trying to kick and glide through the untouched snow. I made maybe 5 laps or so and really started to get the hang of gliding on flat ground. Didn't get too fast, definitely didnt look elegant doing it, but I think I started making real progress.

My biggest problem was with the downhills, and this land wasnt steep at all, like less steep than the bunny hills a toddler would use at a resort. On one 50ft or so long downhill stretch of trail I fell 4 times. I feel like my skis kept flying out from under me or my edges would catch. How the hell do I turn these things, or maybe a better question is how do I stop?? I can't exactly do a hockey stop in the fresh snow, and the skinny skis sink if I try to get them on edge to turn them like I'm used to with my heavy tele skis. Even traveling on the flat trails, to turn around a bend I was just turning my skis with each step, is this normal?

Anyway, great morning, went for 1.5 hours or so and covered maybe a mile of trails. Eventually the snow got too wet and sticky, and I figured I'd head to the resort to make some tele turns in the soft snow.

Definitely feel like I had a productive first go at this!

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Cannatonic
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Re: An introduction, and also looking for newbie XCD advice

Post by Cannatonic » Tue Nov 26, 2019 12:54 pm

looks cool! 2400 feet elevation is awesome, I wish I had access to a place like that nearby. Kick and glide's not going to work so much in untracked powder. Usually I try to ski out & follow my own tracks back, on packed snow the glide starts working better. If the skis are long enough & you can stay on top & get some glide going.

Stopping or slowing down in XC mode is not easy for alpine skiers. On packed snow you want to use the same hockey stop as on DH skis, but it's harder with the heel free. On deep snow it's difficult. For an expert skier it feels unnatural, but in XC the good 'ole snowplow technique is the go-to for controlling speed on tight trails or difficult snow. Of course the goal is to eventually make smooth tele turns to control speed, but it will take a while to develop and it's not always possible especially on the flimsy gear. I'm still flailing about on most outings at some point.

I can make smooth tele turns on the E99's and 3-pin on consolidated snow, but it's harder in deep snow. Still working on my skills there. You don't have control over the skis like you do in alpine skis. You have to keep your weight centered more and focus on steering the skis into long arcs.

I used to DH ski with my weight up on the balls of my feet with my shins pressed into the front of the boots. With E99/3-pin I focus on keeping my feet flat on the skis, keeping weight centered. You can't push forward or lean back too much because the stiff, high-backed boots are just not there. *Edit...so you've been doing tele skiing already. So hopefully the tele turn will be easier - you just have to get used to the lighter gear & leather boots.
“The disciples are drawn to the high altars with magnetic certainty, knowing that a great Presence hovers over the ranges. You were within the portals of the temple....to enter the wilderness and seek, in the primal patterns of nature, a magical union with beauty”
1931 Ansel Adams

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Woodserson
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Re: An introduction, and also looking for newbie XCD advice

Post by Woodserson » Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:10 pm

Telecat wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 11:44 pm

My biggest problem was with the downhills, and this land wasnt steep at all, like less steep than the bunny hills a toddler would use at a resort. On one 50ft or so long downhill stretch of trail I fell 4 times. I feel like my skis kept flying out from under me or my edges would catch. How the hell do I turn these things, or maybe a better question is how do I stop?? I can't exactly do a hockey stop in the fresh snow, and the skinny skis sink if I try to get them on edge to turn them like I'm used to with my heavy tele skis. Even traveling on the flat trails, to turn around a bend I was just turning my skis with each step, is this normal?

Hey man- Congratulations on getting out there so early, nice!

This is the beginning of a long awesome journey. You will be able to turn these skis, it will just take time and experience. Are you old enough to have skied when normal skis for an adult were over 200cm? It's like that, but with floppier boots. This is where telemark style actually makes sense and works where alpine doesn't, as you are going to use both skis to make one long ski, and make a looong arc with this one ski. Think of making a continual bend using the two skis. ARC ON! (in the words of...)

By April I will be expecting some of THIS:


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Re: An introduction, and also looking for newbie XCD advice

Post by fisheater » Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:03 pm

Hello Telecat,
Brother I saw the skis in the living room. The turn is in you, that is not even a question for debate. Now what happened on your outing? I didn’t see where you were accounting for the fact that the warm earth underneath didn’t allow the snow to consolidate normally. Rather it created a firmer layer on top, yet the very bottom had melted away, allowing the ski to slice through, but not really turn back through in the normal manner. This time of year is more about finding your balance, feeling the skis,
However if your confidence is so easily crushed, perhaps some turns on manmade will massage your damaged ego? At least that’s what I’m doing this weekend with my son ;) !
Seriously, this early season snow with warm ground underneath and a true double cambered ski is tough. Even Teleman, whom has been skiing E-99’s through the Green Mountains since Richard Nixon was in office calls this season balance training. When we ski the backcountry nobody sees us but the Woods Gnomes. Those of us that laugh at ourselves, and love our time out are not bothered. Those that get frustrated, and curse the snow and woods are tortured by snow snakes and other things of their devise, meant to drive malevolent personalities from the peace and solitude of the wood.

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