XCD - the past and future of skiing?

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MartinF
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Re: XCD - the past and future of skiing?

Post by MartinF » Sun Mar 22, 2020 2:34 pm

treehugger wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 11:53 am
This is all academic. Ski resorts are more prepared than most to weather shut downs.
Here in Europe, it's reliable snow I see retreating uphill year by year.

I wouldn't book a Christmas skiing vacation in the resort we regularly went to ten years ago. Snow never seems to suffice until January there, now. Then it may or may not last until late March. 20 years ago, we didn't think twice about going there for Easter.

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Re: XCD - the past and future of skiing?

Post by Woodserson » Wed Mar 25, 2020 7:59 pm

MartinF wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 2:34 pm
treehugger wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 11:53 am
This is all academic. Ski resorts are more prepared than most to weather shut downs.
Here in Europe, it's reliable snow I see retreating uphill year by year.

I wouldn't book a Christmas skiing vacation in the resort we regularly went to ten years ago. Snow never seems to suffice until January there, now. Then it may or may not last until late March. 20 years ago, we didn't think twice about going there for Easter.
Which resort Martin?

In Switzerland my parents rent the little apt they purchased over 40 years ago during the winter season (pays the yearly bills, barely), and seasonal rentals were the norm with the big focus on being in the village during Christmas and New Years. We still rent seasonally, but renters don't want it until after 15th January now. Brutal. I can't remember snow in the village (1000m) since forever for Christmas.

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MartinF
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Re: XCD - the past and future of skiing?

Post by MartinF » Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:07 am

Woodserson wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 7:59 pm
Which resort Martin?
Bolsterlang in Germany, some 10 km from the Austrian border. The village is about 900 m above sea level, the highest starting point is at roughly 1,700 m. So it's comparable to your place.

When the snow started to get unreliable, I would get up very early if necessary and take the school bus to Oberstdorf - change for the Kleinwalsertal area in Austria and start out about 300 m higher up. Did that so often that we now simply rent an apartment in Kleinwalsertal. We feel a bit bad about it, because many people in Bolsterlang are real friends, some of them known to my wife since 1966 when she first visited as a child. So we know how they struggle, especially the skiing instructors. The slopes can still be crowded on good days, but almost all the number plates then indicate spontaneous visitors from south German cities relatively close by.

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Re: XCD - the past and future of skiing?

Post by Woodserson » Wed Apr 01, 2020 9:15 am

MartinF wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:07 am
Woodserson wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 7:59 pm
Which resort Martin?
Bolsterlang in Germany, some 10 km from the Austrian border. The village is about 900 m above sea level, the highest starting point is at roughly 1,700 m. So it's comparable to your place.

When the snow started to get unreliable, I would get up very early if necessary and take the school bus to Oberstdorf - change for the Kleinwalsertal area in Austria and start out about 300 m higher up. Did that so often that we now simply rent an apartment in Kleinwalsertal. We feel a bit bad about it, because many people in Bolsterlang are real friends, some of them known to my wife since 1966 when she first visited as a child. So we know how they struggle, especially the skiing instructors. The slopes can still be crowded on good days, but almost all the number plates then indicate spontaneous visitors from south German cities relatively close by.
Thanks. It's a bloodbath almost. I don't know how long they can keep it up. They have already closed some outlying areas at low altitudes permanently. I drove through one pass two years ago and the chairlift was gone, all these chalet's that were purchased when there was a ski area now and now... nothing. Not a good housing investment anymore, for sure. They are calling it a "douce montagne" experience. (Gentle/calm). It would make a great XCD location. The XC skiing in the Jura along the Franco-Swiss border is taking a big hit. I'm sure the XC skiing in Seefeld in Austria is going to get hammered too, though Austria seems to be a little colder, maybe due to inland nature? I don't know. Grim.

That being said, I agree with your premise in the first post, I think for most people who have access to increasingly limited snow XCD could be a good outlet. The only problem is that it is hard. Here in New England everyone loves plodding around on slowshoes. There's no investment in skill building, and they store easily and are cheap and no complicated binding systems.

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Re: XCD - the past and future of skiing?

Post by MartinF » Wed Apr 01, 2020 11:46 am

Woodserson wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 9:15 am
Thanks. It's a bloodbath almost.
Two friends say there wasn't enough snow for XC around Stockholm this year - not once!

30 years ago, people used to skate between the islands in the archipelago every winter! The sea froze.

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Re: XCD - the past and future of skiing?

Post by WIPP3RMANN » Thu Apr 02, 2020 5:00 pm

I agree with the sentiment that XCD makes mild terrain more interesting, is safe, and much less expensive than AT equipment.

I think there are also times when it is simply the best tool for the job. Being able to control xc skis while downhilling opens the door to moving so much faster through the mountains. I've heard the Grand Traverse race from Crested Butte to Aspen in Colorado has competitors every year that place well in that event on backcountry nordic skis.

Unfortunately, I think XCD's downfall is that it's not too thrilling to watch, and resultantly does not get a lot of exposure in the mainstream ski industry.

I think the coolest piece of media showing XCD skiing is this video here:


Anybody have any other favorite videos?

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MartinF
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Re: XCD - the past and future of skiing?

Post by MartinF » Fri Apr 03, 2020 2:53 am

WIPP3RMANN wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 5:00 pm
Unfortunately, I think XCD's downfall is that it's not too thrilling to watch, and resultantly does not get a lot of exposure in the mainstream ski industry.

...

Anybody have any other favorite videos?
Yes, this one... it's not the most spectacular clip @Lo-Fi(?) has put out. But it features the kind of terrain I can reach very easily, and I would like to be able to ski it so gracefully with the equipment he is using. Essentially, this is the clip that shows what I want to do... and as such, it is also "thrilling to watch", but perhaps only for people who have actually tried some XCD. Without some personal experience, the challenges are so hard to grasp for us alpine skiers! (I should tell you about my humbling and comic experience of first trying my Salomon XADV 89s and soft boots in a snowdome packed with beginners and intermediates, where my alpine skills would normally put me among the top 1% of visitors.)




I should add that XCD equipment doesn't just add some challenge in mildish terrain. I feel it also preserves the flow much, much better than AT could.

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Re: XCD - the past and future of skiing?

Post by Rodbelan » Fri Apr 03, 2020 8:54 am

WIPP3RMANN wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 5:00 pm
I agree with the sentiment that XCD makes mild terrain more interesting, is safe, and much less expensive than AT equipment.
Unfortunately, I think XCD's downfall is that it's not too thrilling to watch, and resultantly does not get a lot of exposure in the mainstream ski industry.

Anybody have any other favorite videos?
To me, when I look at Telehiro for exemple (cf youtube channel) I get a lot more thrill than looking at Salomon or Red Bull TV features... AT vs XCD: not the same beast at all. Rationnally, AT is clearly dedicated to a )going uphill and b) going downhill. If you want to go down a bit, than take a traverse run and then down again, you'll find it annoying with your AT Tech bindings — for most of them, you have to take the ski off to change mode... But going downhill on classic AT gear is easier than going downhill in XCD mode: you just need to learn the skills. Some think that those come while unboxing your new skis; Those guys will give up very rapidly (I have seen that before). But on XCD gear, you feel less contrived... thus, you feel freer.
These days, we see people skiing —terrain we used to ski in XC skis— on AT gear... Why? Because of sales opportunity: the guys at the shop, who most of the time do not know much about skiing, direct newbies towards AT gear. Couple of years ago, I sent a new friend to a well known shop (Vie Sportive) to get the stuff I was using to ski (Excursion, 3 pin cables, etc). He came back to me saying that it was too costly (more than 1200$). Yeah AT stuff. I had to take of it myself and bypass the sellers. The seller didn't care about the terrain he was going to ski (Hilly maple grove). That seems to be the rule nowadays... I wouldn't be surprised that in a few years, with that kind of attitude, sellers will kill there own market. BTW I am not saying AT doesn't have a place of it's own. If the transmission belt (sellers) would do a better job, it would be... a better job.
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Rodbelan
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Re: XCD - the past and future of skiing?

Post by Rodbelan » Fri Apr 03, 2020 8:57 am

WIPP3RMANN wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 5:00 pm
I agree with the sentiment that XCD makes mild terrain more interesting, is safe, and much less expensive than AT equipment.
Unfortunately, I think XCD's downfall is that it's not too thrilling to watch, and resultantly does not get a lot of exposure in the mainstream ski industry.

Anybody have any other favorite videos?
To me, when I look at Telehiro or HyokoD for exemple (cf youtube channel) I get a lot more thrill than looking at Salomon or Red Bull TV features... AT vs XCD: not the same beast at all. Rationnally, AT is clearly dedicated to a )going uphill and b) going downhill. If you want to go down a bit, than take a traverse run and then down again, you'll find it annoying with your AT Tech bindings — for most of them, you have to take the ski off to change mode... But going downhill on classic AT gear is easier than going downhill in XCD mode: you just need to learn the skills. Some think that those come while unboxing your new skis; Those guys will give up very rapidly (I have seen that before). But on XCD gear, you feel less contrived... thus, you feel freer.
These days, we see people skiing —terrain we used to ski in XC skis— on AT gear... Why? Because of sales opportunity: the guys at the shop, who most of the time do not know much about skiing, direct newbies towards AT gear. Couple of years ago, I sent a new friend to a well known shop (Vie Sportive) to get the stuff I was using to ski (Excursion, 3 pin cables, etc). He came back to me saying that it was too costly (more than 1200$). Yeah AT stuff. I had to take of it myself and bypass the sellers. The seller didn't care about the terrain he was going to ski (Hilly maple grove). That seems to be the rule nowadays... I wouldn't be surprised that in a few years, with that kind of attitude, sellers will kill there own market. BTW I am not saying AT doesn't have a place of it's own. If the transmission belt (sellers) would do a better job, it would be... a better job.
É y fa ty fret? On é ty ben dun ti cotton waté?
célèbre et ancien chant celtique

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MartinF
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Re: XCD - the past and future of skiing?

Post by MartinF » Fri Apr 03, 2020 10:46 am

Rodbelan wrote:
Fri Apr 03, 2020 8:57 am
To me, when I look at Telehiro or HyokoD for exemple (cf youtube channel) I get a lot more thrill than looking at Salomon or Red Bull TV features...
Yep, me too. Spectacular as some professional freeriding may be - free it is not. If it weren't minutely planned and choreographed, it would be frequently be deadly. Freedom can be found elsewhere - for instance in the examples you give.

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