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Madshus Glittertind

Posted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 12:22 pm
by MikeK
I am going to refrain from writing a review. I know others out there own and use this ski and I would like to hear their comments. This is the ski I often compare others to because it was the first real BC Nordic ski I purchased.

Have at it...

Re: Madshus Glittertind

Posted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 1:55 pm
by snowrunner
The Madshus Glittertind is also my first pair of BC ski. Mine are waxable and mounted with NNN-BC Magnum, at 190cm for 140lbs. So they are really on the long side. I ski them with Rossignol BC10 boots. With this set-up, I can say that this ski fly on the trail. I use them on rolling hill, on back-country cross-country trail and I can cover lots of miles in a day, and it's a pleasure to do so. With the right wax, they can climb really well, way better than any waxless ski I've tried before. They fit tracks, so I also ski them sometime in the groomed cross-country trail in town when I can't get my fix in the country, and they do the job. They are really good XCd skis.

Going downhill, I'm really limited by my soft boot and the long ski. I need a lot of room to be able to ski them and can't turn them easily in tight spot, narrow trail or in dense woodland. They will however shine in every backcountry ski trail that doesn't require skins to go up. If I need skin to go up, most likely I won't be able to turn them enough to kill my speed going down without snowplowing, unless the trail is really wide.

I also brought them to try at the resort, and I could easily ski the easy slopes and some moderate. Beyond that I didn't have the ankle support to ski them effectively on harder and steeper trail.

Here are a few known place I skied the Glittertind, with different results :

Avalanche Lake trail : Easily go through up and down the trail without skins.
Marcy Trail: Except from the wider ski trail section, the snowshoes trail was way too steep going down and it was not fun.

MN :
Katahdin : Perfect for everything lower than Chimney Pond, I could also ski the lower section of the bowl.

Re: Madshus Glittertind

Posted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 7:45 pm
by MikeK
Great review snowrunner!

And Jesus you are a maniac! Mt. Marcy on Glitts?!?

Re: Madshus Glittertind

Posted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 10:09 pm
by snowrunner
MikeK wrote:And Jesus you are a maniac! Mt. Marcy on Glitts?!?

To be honest, that's the day I decided to buy bigger skis and stiffer boots !

Re: Madshus Glittertind

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 11:19 pm
by jooleyen
Sweet thread. I was just asking Mike about these skis... Passed up a deal on some Fischer e99s with the understanding that the Glittertind is more versatile and maybe not noticeably slower than the e99.

Re: Madshus Glittertind

Posted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 8:52 pm
by Tramper_Al

Re: Madshus Glittertind

Posted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 9:37 pm
by jooleyen
Heck that was an awesome deal. Too bad they weren't a wax base or I would have snatched them up.

Re: Madshus Glittertind

Posted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 9:48 pm
by snowrunner
jooleyen wrote:Sweet thread. I was just asking Mike about these skis... Passed up a deal on some Fischer e99s with the understanding that the Glittertind is more versatile and maybe not noticeably slower than the e99.

I can't really compare with the e99, but I know opinion will vary, probably because lot of people bought the ski smaller than recommended by madshus, as SB suggested on the old telemarktalk forum. For my part, I went with the full length, and while it wasn't as good as I expected downhill, it definitely surpass my expectation on the kick and glide.

Re: Madshus Glittertind

Posted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 1:22 pm
by EarlS
I would like to review my Madshus Glittertinds (68/55/62), which I have used for 4 years in Colorado, in conditions ranging from wind blown high altitude crust and sastrugi to heavy wet snow in the woods. I am 5'10" and 167 lbs. I have 180 cm waxless Glittertinds with NNNBC bindings and I use Alpina 2050 and 2150 boots. The recommended length for me is more like 190-200 cm but, following the recommendations of Steve Barnett, I bought them short to facilitate tele turns. Before I bought the 180s I compared them with some 190s and found that the longer skis were slightly faster on nice gentle trails but the shorter length was noticeably easier to turn in untracked heavy snow in the woods.

I will compare them with my 185 cm Karhu GTs (83/62/70) and 185 cm Madshus Epochs (99/68/84), both with NNNBC, and with my 175 cm Epochs and 175 cm Madshus Annums (109/78/95), both with 3pin bindings. I use Fischer 675 leather/plastic boots and Garmont Excursion full plastic boots with the 3pin bindings.

In this spectrum of skis, the Glittertinds are unsurpassed for skiing in soft spring snow in the woods. Breaking trail in deep snow, even uphill, is a pleasure thanks to their soft tips which ride up in deep snow, and their narrow width which picks up relatively little heavy snow when stepping around bushes and fallen trees. Herringbone climbing is also fun thanks to their light weight. While tele turns with these short Glitts are reliable, they have a fairly long radius so, in closely spaced trees, I may need to slow down and use step turns or kick turns. My wider skis, especially when used with plastic boots, permit very tight radius turns, and are therefore preferable on steeper slopes with trees..

On wind blown or refrozen crust the Glitts are by far the worst. They have a very soft flex and very little torsional stiffness, i.e. the tips can be twisted easily. Because of this, their edges do not bite on a crusty surface and the skis skitter all over the place. My Annums, also a soft flexing ski, are likewise pretty terrible on crust, but they are more controllable since I use them with heavier boots. There is very little directional stability with either ski on crusty snow.

I began skiing on hiking trails and mining roads in the late 60s, using traditional waxable wood Nordic skis. At that time I usually had to break trail and was happy to be spared that effort if someone else had already produced two skinny Nordic tracks in the snow. All of that changed in the late 90s with the advent of inexpensive lightweight snowshoes. Finding two skinny Nordic tracks in the snow is now a rarity. Instead, these trails are now packed by an army of snowshoers so they resemble a sidewalk with a hard broken surface. I bought my GTs in 2010. They are torsionally stiff and provide much more control so they are well suited to the current state of these public access trails. I do not notice any difference in speed between my 180 Glitts and my 185 GTs, but the longer 190 Glitts were noticeably faster, and Im sure that Glittertinds in traditional lengths, 200-205 cm, would be even faster. Longer Glittertinds might be ok on these trails, except that I often encounter crust in places exposed to sun and wind, and I do not want to give up the control I get with the GTs. Glittertinds are probably more suitable as trail skis in regions which get a lot of soft wet snow. For me, the result is that I rarely use my 180 Glitts on public access trails anymore.

Our local Nordic ski resort at Lake Eldora has 4 categories of trails. Snowshoes are not allowed on any of the ski trails so they have a few trails designated specifically for snowshoes. There is also a category of Nordic ski trails where skate skiing is prohibited. These trails have two skinny tracks and are just the way public access trails used to be from the late 60s to the late 90s. My Glittertinds are very nice on these trails; they are a lot like my classic Nordic skis except that I can do tele turns on the Glitts.

A third category of trails at Eldora are those which are packed very hard for skate skiers. Since these trails are packed daily, soft snow does not accumulate unless it is actively snowing during the day. They do set "Nordic" grooves along the edges of these trails, but these grooves are heavily used and are usually crusty and icy. Since the surface of these trails is usually like corrugated crust, the Glittertinds are terrible. If I am going to spend a lot of time on these trails I will use my GTs which handle crust very well. However, if new snow has fallen since the trails were groomed early in the morning, there will be a bit of soft snow on top of the firm base. In that case the Glitts are pretty nice on these gentle rolling trails. Consequently, I bring both the Glitts and my GTs when I go to the Nordic resort, and I pull out the Glitts if there is soft snow on the trails. I also use the Glitts in the spring when the snow is soft and wet and they stop grooming the trails with the snow cats. Unfortunately, unless the snow has gotten extremely soft, the Glitts will produce a lot of pattern noise when skiing down these packed trails. This may be due to the short length, which puts more weight on the fishscales, or it might be the shape of the fishscale pattern itself. I have compared them back to back with my 185 GTs on the same trails and the GTs do not make this obnoxious pattern noise.

Regarding pattern noise, I should mention that I have used each of these skis many times on green and blue runs at downhill resorts. They all make a hissing noise which is noticeable louder than my resort tele skis (Tua Sumos & K2 World Piste), but my 180 Glittertinds are in a class by themselves; they are really loud and I do not like that at all.

The fourth category of trails at Lake Eldora are located in a huge, as yet undeveloped, area. This entire area is like heaven for my Glittertinds. The snow throughout the entire area is soft and untracked, and the trails are rarely used. There are only 3 ski trails, all marked as black diamond, with the caveat "ungroomed, not patrolled, ski at your own risk". I usually have to break trail on 2 of these and I rarely see anyone on the other trail. There is one designated snowshoe trail in the area but I rarely see anyone on that trail either. The pitch on most of the slopes ranges from 500 to 750 ft/mile so my traditional Nordic skis would be difficult to use because they do not turn as easily as the Glittertinds. My 180 Glittertinds are ideally suited to this kind of terrain.

While my GTs are a much better choice than my short Glittertinds for light touring on most trails, for general touring in a wider range of conditions, my 175 cm Epochs are by far the best. With plastic boots they will handle everything from high altitude wind blown sastrugi and breakable crust to deep heavy snow on steep slopes in the woods. For spring touring, when I can expect to encounter everything from refrozen crust to beautiful corn snow to sloppy wet mush, I will use the 175 Epochs with the 675 boots. For higher altitudes and steeper slopes in the woods, I use the Excursions.

As an interesting comparison, I climbed a 10,000 foot mountain in spring snow on the Glittertinds. There is no trail to the peak and, since the peak is below timberline, I was able to remain in soft untracked snow in the woods most of the time. I had to avoid a high altitude meadow where the snow was wind blown with refrozen crust, but I could easily do this by skiing around it. On steeper wooded slopes I had to keep my speed down when the trees were too dense for long radius tele turns, using step turns or kick turns as needed; these are places that I would normally zip through on wider skis with plastic boots. I also climbed this same mountain in deep winter snow on my 175 Epochs with Excursions. It was easier coming down through the trees and I did not have to avoid the open wind blown meadow when using the wider skis and heavier boots. With the Glittertinds I could go in on fishscales in the soft spring snow, but I needed skins to climb it with the Epochs in winter snow. Each trip was fun in its own way. The lightweight maneuverable Glitts were more fun going in, but the wider faster Epochs were more fun coming down through the woods. The point is that I could do it on the Glitts because I was able to stay in soft snow the entire time.

In short, the Glitts can be really fun on soft snow and really terrible on crust. They are fun in soft snow thanks to their light weight and maneuverability. Their ability to make long radius tele turns sets them apart from my traditional cross country Nordic skis which are restricted to step turns and kick turns. The Glitts are ok on packed trails but, if I am likely to encounter much wind blown crust, I prefer my GTs. Steve Barnett likes to use his short Glittertinds in a wide range of conditions but, for me, they are a niche ski. The only time I use the Glitts anymore is when I know I will have soft snow. I now use them mostly in the spring and mostly off track in the woods.

Re: Madshus Glittertind

Posted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 1:46 pm
by anemic
I've got 200 cm Glittertind MGV+ in a shopping cart for < $130 shipped (!).
(68 55 62 FWIW)

I've been questing hard for an affordable XCD with crowns / waxless pattern & I don't have much budget to work with, but I've spotted a super deal on this pair. Would love an Objective BC but...

Other skis in the XCD quiver include (all smooth base waxable, with 3-pins and leather boots):

Karhu XCD GT 62 54 59 200 cm
I was just riding these this morning. I can turn them in soft snow and kick on hard wax when it's cold and skin around for fun when it's soft and not super cold. I like them. I got them from Johnny XCD and I consider them my rock skis.

Madshus Eon 83 62 70 195 cm
Bought fresh two year ago. I love these skis. That sidecut makes them easy to turn. These are fun to ride in any XCD conditions, for me. They match up nicely with mini skins (~1.5" / 4 cm wide). I only use them in nice snow conditions to keep them nice.

Madshus Epoch 99 68 84 175 cm
Bought fresh for my wife two years ago. Very nice ski. Easy to turn, decent float with that wide tip. These are nice skis, not rock skis. I like that crown pattern but the flex of this ski is so soft that they are always slow which I dislike.

I've been trolling hard for some 195 Epochs which would be awesome. But I think I could have a good time on these XCD legends, the Glittertind. I think I would also enjoy some long waxless Eon 62s, like 200 cm or at least 195 if anyone is thinking of moving their out, hit me up.