We finally have some fresh powder in cold conditions (-8 degrees) without too much wind, and I was able to abandon all responsibilities for a few hours and go up and down the local hill near Trondheim (Gråkallen).
It is a short-ish hill with a pretty nasty radar infrastructure built on top, but it was the furthest I could afford to go today, as I am XC track skiing again this evening.
The climb up followed snow covered, zig zagging walking path which Strava tells me has a slope of 15-16 %. I was again compelled to mount short skins (45mm mohair), as the waxless did not offer sufficient grip. The mohair was fine.
From the top there are some nice views, here a view to the north - north-west over the Fjord. Note the Å of my ski which I tried to sneak into the picture
The way down was a bit choppy snow, I was not the only one to have had this idea in the last few days and we are only 6 km from the center of Norways 3rd largest city. However in the top part (slope of ca. 20 %, according to Strava) I was able to make some nice telemark turns on the Nansen.
Here is a view of the upper section, looking to the E over Trondheim. My home is just behind the hill in the left foreground, and the Sylan massif (popular for BC tours) are the snowy mountains in the right hand side.
the Nansens were not challenging for me to turn here in spite of the choppy snow, I was able to make a few (non chained) telemark turns.
The second section was ca. 30 %(according to Strava), I managed again relatively OK telemark turns here. Consciously pushing the forward knee inward caused the skis to respond almost immediately. Here my turns were spaced with about 5 vertical meters between each according to my GPS track.
Then the lower section which is at 40 to 45 %(Strava), the part behind the slope break downhill in this image:
Unfortunately the snow was too dissected for me to manage nice telemark turns and they became some kind of stem christie / telemark hybrid. Perhaps you guys do this too? I'm sure it was not pretty and I fell almost half of the turns. However I think that with more pristine snow I might have managed without falling, it was mostly that I lost my balance with changing resistance underfoot.
My technique is not pretty and I am trying to improve my pressure distribution to keep the ball of my rear foot flat, and steering the skis with the front knee.
That said, I do not think that I could have managed this hill significantly better with different BC skis of any kind, not with the irregular snow like this. From memory the E109s were a bit less stable in skiing down in deeper snow, and I thus have the impression, that my Nansens are better at downhills.
So, although I had some faint idea that I wanted Falketinds or Rabbs, todays trip made me realize that I do not need them (yet).
Arriving at the bottom of the hill I had a bit of flat groomed XC trail to ski back to the car. The Nansens seem to glide much better than the E109 Crowns that I had, however I still was not impressed by the grip of the waxless base.
Anyways, I am very happy with the Nansens overall, but the Waxless pattern still has not proven itself very useful, in contrast to the excellent Fischer Offtrack Crown on my old E109s. More testing is required.