LilCliffy's Nordic Backcountry Touring Waxing

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lilcliffy
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Posts: 2463
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:20 pm
Location: Stanley, New Brunswick, Canada
Ski style: Nordic backcountry touring
Favorite Skis: Asnes Ingstad BC; Asnes Gamme 54 BC; Asnes Falketind 62;Asnes Storetind Carbon
Favorite boots: Alfa Guard Advance BC; Alpina Alaska BC; Scarpa T4
Occupation: Forestry Professional
Instructor at Maritime College of Forest Technology
Husband, father, farmer and logger

Re: LilCliffy's Nordic Backcountry Touring Waxing

Post by lilcliffy » Sun Nov 03, 2019 11:15 am

Grip waxing the entire base does work on the groomed track- though it is certainly not as high performance as a pefectly kick-waxed ski (i.e. kick wax only in the kick zone of a double-cambred ski) with perfectly glide-waxed glide zones.

HOWEVER- I personally do not spend enough time at the groomed track to be bothered with constantly prepping the bases of my Classic track skis. ALSO- my local groomed track is at lower elevation than my backcountry skiing and the temperature and snow conditions are more variable from day-to-day. So for me- I have VERY happily abandoned performance waxing on my track skis- I am grip waxing the entire base.
Cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry.
Unashamed to be a "cross-country type" and love skiing down-hill.

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exlibris
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Re: LilCliffy's Nordic Backcountry Touring Waxing

Post by exlibris » Thu Dec 12, 2019 5:15 pm

Lilcliffy, and others: thanks for sharing your experience -- especially for a newcomer like myself!

I'm prepping for my first XCD trip in Utah's Bear River Range this December and just received my Falketind 62s + Rottefella NNN. Our initial approach to the backcountry yurt will have us cover roughly 6.5km with 650m of elevation gain; once settled, we'll be touring for turns. While we can't be sure of the conditions (though there's a decent chance of fresh, relatively dry snow), the temps should be around -5C.

Based on LC's suggestion of ironing in polar wax to the bases, I wanted to get some thoughts/recommendations for our particular trip as this will be my first foray into waxing skis (XC or otherwise). Note that I also have a couple of sets of X-Skins on hand -- 45mm Mohair and 58mm Nylon. (As an aside, I am somewhat confused about using the skins out on the trail. If I'm to follow Åsnes's directions and attach the skins to wax-free skis, what's the protocol if the skis are already waxed?)

Cheers!

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lilcliffy
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 2463
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:20 pm
Location: Stanley, New Brunswick, Canada
Ski style: Nordic backcountry touring
Favorite Skis: Asnes Ingstad BC; Asnes Gamme 54 BC; Asnes Falketind 62;Asnes Storetind Carbon
Favorite boots: Alfa Guard Advance BC; Alpina Alaska BC; Scarpa T4
Occupation: Forestry Professional
Instructor at Maritime College of Forest Technology
Husband, father, farmer and logger

Re: LilCliffy's Nordic Backcountry Touring Waxing

Post by lilcliffy » Fri Dec 13, 2019 11:51 am

Hi exlibris-

I have been slapping skins on top of hard grip wax for a number of seasons now- no issues with it damaging the skin adhesive.

By "hard" grip wax I mean up to Swix Blue (I am unfamiliar with what the equivalent grip wax would be in other product lines). I have not put a skin on anything softer than Swix Blue for fear of it gumming up the adhesive.

I know that Asnes does not recommend this- I can understand that recommendation from the point of view of the manufacturer.

BTW- the recommendation I got from Fischer was not to worry about it...On the other hand the adhesive on the Easy-Skins that I have is much weaker than the Asnes Skin-Lock/X-Skin- I need to replace the adhesive on a couple of my Easy-Skins and they have a LOT less use than my Skin-Locks...

Great to hear about your planned BC-XCD tours!! Please post to the general forum- or the trip forum- I am sure many would like to hear about your experiences!
Cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry.
Unashamed to be a "cross-country type" and love skiing down-hill.

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exlibris
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Re: LilCliffy's Nordic Backcountry Touring Waxing

Post by exlibris » Wed Dec 18, 2019 10:53 am

Hey LC,

Thanks for settling some of my concerns in your reply -- much appreciated. As it is now, I'm pretty much ready to go with my polar (V05) wax. Now, just waiting to see how the conditions suss out. I also picked up a bar of Colltex Ski & Skin Wax which I'm going to low-temp hot wax into my skins before heading out.

Cheers!

User avatar
lilcliffy
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 2463
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:20 pm
Location: Stanley, New Brunswick, Canada
Ski style: Nordic backcountry touring
Favorite Skis: Asnes Ingstad BC; Asnes Gamme 54 BC; Asnes Falketind 62;Asnes Storetind Carbon
Favorite boots: Alfa Guard Advance BC; Alpina Alaska BC; Scarpa T4
Occupation: Forestry Professional
Instructor at Maritime College of Forest Technology
Husband, father, farmer and logger

Re: LilCliffy's Nordic Backcountry Touring Waxing

Post by lilcliffy » Fri Apr 10, 2020 12:49 pm

Some thoughts and experience with grip waxing on very cold snow below -25C- when the hardest grip waxes (e.g. Swix Polar) works as an effective kick wax.

Obviously, the conventional solution is to glide wax the shovel and tail and only kick wax the kick zone of the ski. This is fine for conventional XC trail/track skiing, but it does not work for my local BC forest ski touring.

On my BC tours, I do a lot of steep climbing- and once the snow is deep enough I am touring through hardwood forest- where the forest floor is extremely uneven- skiing over pit and mound microtopography and fallen trees. Only having grip in the kick zone is not enough grip in this context.

In temps above -25C I am grip-waxing the entire base with a very hard cold grip wax (e.g. Swix Polar).

In temps below -25C I am moving towards glide waxing from the heel back, and grip waxing from the heel forwards. This offers better glide on that very cold snow, but enough grip for XC skiing and climbing through the woods.
Cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry.
Unashamed to be a "cross-country type" and love skiing down-hill.

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