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Re: LilCliffy's Nordic Backcountry Touring Waxing

Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 6:24 pm
by bgregoire
Thanks for yout thoughtful answers, as always!

lilcliffy wrote:When the snow is cold enough that Polar works as a kick wax, I iron and then SCRAPE and polish. I am also VERY conservative with any extra kick wax underfoot. This approach seems to be working very well.


I did not get that bit: iron, then scrape, then polish? Why scrape? Not cork? What do you polish if you scrape (plastic, metal?) the wax off?

lilcliffy wrote:Certainly- I think that the snow can be so cold that Polar on the entire base is too much grip for pure XC skiing...
What are people using for wax on Polar ski expeditions?


What do you mean by a polar expedition? Strictly North and South Pole?

If we are talking about poles, by far, most expeditions are done using pulks. I don't think its really feasible to ski without skins hauling heavy pulks, so no wax in those scenarios.

If you are curious about what is going on in northern scandinavia,

From my experience, by far most skiers are sleeping indoors at night (hut to hut), so waxers carry a choice selection of waxes and skins as back up (or half skins full-time). They would not have to worry about cleaning their skis up and starting from scratch in the morning. By the way, white gas (Naphta) is a great wax solvent when you are on the go.

Keep in mind its not usually that cold up in northern scandinavia when most skiers are doing there thing.

However, I'm curious as to what waxing technique (and waxes) light no-skin winter ski campers use.

Re: LilCliffy's Nordic Backcountry Touring Waxing

Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 7:13 pm
by bgregoire
lilcliffy wrote:When the snow is so cold that the Polar does work as a kick wax- I iron, scrape and brush/polish like I would a glide wax. This seems to make a significant difference in terms of glide on very cold snow. Does it glide as well as a very hard cold glide wax? No- but it grips and glides better than just Polar in the kick zone....


Wo. So for cold conditions, you are ironing in the polar wax (ok) but then letting it cool and scraping it off with the standard plexiglass scaper? And then you finish the job with a brush, what brush? With hard glide wax, I use the bronze/nylon combi brush and rarely finish off with the hard nylon brush. Is that what you are using??? Wouldn't they get all gummy? And what if I want to prep a track ski using hard wax using those same expensive brushes? :shock:

lilcliffy wrote:What I was wondering about "Polar expeditions" is whether there is experience in other places, with grip waxing for backcountry touring on VERY cold snow...

Brrrr!

Re: LilCliffy's Nordic Backcountry Touring Waxing

Posted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:31 pm
by lilcliffy
Yes- for very cold snow I am prepping like I would with a glide wax- scraping and brushing. I have a separate brush for glide wax. I am doing this in order to avoid glide wax on my touring skis.

When the snow is not as cold I am simply melting and corking.
So- when the snow temp drops to a temp that Polar works effectively as a kick wax- I re-melt, scrape and brush/polish base. This- at least in my context- seems to be resolving the undesirable glide resistance of the Polar-base on VERY cold snow.

Re: LilCliffy's Nordic Backcountry Touring Waxing

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:11 pm
by HBS
Awesome thread! Only thing you haven't covered is sticky fresh snow. We get a lot of it in the spring where it snows and the next day is right around freezing.

So here is HBS's super secret kick wax tip for fresh sticky snow: Carry a little piece of high-flouro glidewax in your waxing kit. When you get that day where fresh snow sticks to EVERYTHING (blue wax, red wax and skins) - crayon it onto your kick wax. Can also be crayoned onto skins if you've already put them on.

Sounds crazy, but adding a little flouro to your kick wax works wonders. I have salvaged horrible days with this trick. I imagine buying the $$$ swix "race" kick wax is similar but one little bar of high flouro has been in my kit three seasons now.

Re: LilCliffy's Nordic Backcountry Touring Waxing

Posted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:00 am
by lilcliffy
Very cool HBS. Thank you for the tip!