LilCliffy's Nordic Backcountry Touring Waxing

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Mtlsam
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Re: LilCliffy's Nordic Backcountry Touring Waxing

Post by Mtlsam » Thu Mar 04, 2021 7:57 pm

Hi folks, real beginner here to touring style waxing.

I have a new set of Fisher E99 skis. As I initially did not have access to an iron I put on three very thin layers of polar wax and corked them like my life depended on it. Then added wax of the day from under heel to tip. Had reasonable results in terms of grip (these are a ski better suited to my weight instead of my older skis which I really crushed, so getting used to having to be more agressive in my weight shifts while climbing).

Today I left the truck with what I thought was 3 solid layers of kick wax, and in the final portion of my outing I realized that I in fact had zero wax left on the ski. It was cold, crusty and abrasive today, so I guess that makes sense.

So this long winded preamble leads to my questions, does ironing on the polar wax make it considerably more durable? Also if you were to wax with soft kick wax like red/silver and then need to put a harder wax on another day, do you just scrape or do you use a wax solvent? Do you need to iron on more polar after?

Thanks and hope this is fairly clear.

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dhdaines
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Re: LilCliffy's Nordic Backcountry Touring Waxing

Post by dhdaines » Fri Mar 05, 2021 9:34 am

Mtlsam wrote:
Thu Mar 04, 2021 7:57 pm
Today I left the truck with what I thought was 3 solid layers of kick wax, and in the final portion of my outing I realized that I in fact had zero wax left on the ski. It was cold, crusty and abrasive today, so I guess that makes sense.

So this long winded preamble leads to my questions, does ironing on the polar wax make it considerably more durable? Also if you were to wax with soft kick wax like red/silver and then need to put a harder wax on another day, do you just scrape or do you use a wax solvent? Do you need to iron on more polar after?
In my opinion no wax is going to survive long in the current snow conditions especially if you are doing a lot of stemming, sliding and snowplowing! You can get it to last longer by using base binder or green or blue klister underneath the day's wax, all of which need to be ironed on. But we are really in kicker skin territory at the moment.

I have found ironed-on wax (both polar and even softer wax like Blue Extra) to last longer, because you can get a very thick, even layer of it, which is hard to do with a cork. And for BC skis I usually just scrape the soft wax (wear gloves or you might end up with a different sort of "red wax" on your skis) since I don't mind a bit of extra drag/grip.



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Mtlsam
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Re: LilCliffy's Nordic Backcountry Touring Waxing

Post by Mtlsam » Fri Mar 05, 2021 9:53 am

dhdaines wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 9:34 am

In my opinion no wax is going to survive long in the current snow conditions especially if you are doing a lot of stemming, sliding and snowplowing! You can get it to last longer by using base binder or green or blue klister underneath the day's wax, all of which need to be ironed on. But we are really in kicker skin territory at the moment.

I have found ironed-on wax (both polar and even softer wax like Blue Extra) to last longer, because you can get a very thick, even layer of it, which is hard to do with a cork. And for BC skis I usually just scrape the soft wax (wear gloves or you might end up with a different sort of "red wax" on your skis) since I don't mind a bit of extra drag/grip.
Okay, glad it's not just me! I may look into the easy skins option.

Thanks for the heads up about wearing gloves, I hadn't thought of the metal edges being a danger as I am used to no-edge skis 👍🏻.



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fisheater
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Re: LilCliffy's Nordic Backcountry Touring Waxing

Post by fisheater » Fri Mar 05, 2021 10:22 pm

Now @dhdaines knows you conditions better than me, but in really abrasive, cold, kind of icy snow, I really like Swix Blue Klister. I really like the kick and glide performance, it’s really good. It also stays on my skis really well.
For me I have not ironed any kick wax on. I do use Polar as a base wax. Ironing could very well work better, but I’m sure I would use more. As for wax wearing off before the end of the tour, it happens to me sometimes. Sometimes I slip a bit and finish the tour slipping, other times I stop and cork in more wax. Regardless time on skis just beats so many other things, it’s all good. I generally ski just me and my dog. When I’m slow, she can hunt more. On blue wax days she doesn’t usually spend to much time hunting except on the uphills!



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Musk Ox
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Re: LilCliffy's Nordic Backcountry Touring Waxing

Post by Musk Ox » Sat Mar 06, 2021 7:15 am

Mtlsam wrote:
Thu Mar 04, 2021 7:57 pm
Also if you were to wax with soft kick wax like red/silver and then need to put a harder wax on another day, do you just scrape or do you use a wax solvent?
I usually just scrape, and I'm not even the most laissez faire of my friends. I use a cork to even out what's left and then put more wax on top. I'll use base cleaner if it's really dingy. I'm a bit paranoid about icing up with wax that's too soft for fresh/ wet snow, so I'm probably careful then.

I know some people are really into super clean bases, but I truly don't believe it makes much of a difference. Not for trips into the hills in cold, dry snow, anyway. Many waxing rules seem to be kind of superfluous.

Edit:
As I initially did not have access to an iron I put on three very thin layers of polar wax and corked them like my life depended on it.
I've been ironing a single layer of mine in, rather than corking, so I'm not sure if the same rules apply here, but I think three layers is potentially overkill... I mean probably best to make sure they're thin if you're doing three layers, but I'm happy to be set straight by the hive mind here!



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fisheater
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Re: LilCliffy's Nordic Backcountry Touring Waxing

Post by fisheater » Sat Mar 06, 2021 12:38 pm

Thank you @Musk Ox for reading the questions better than myself.
I cork in polar. I usually cork on one layer of polar in, notice it has bare spots, crayon in another layer taking care to fill in the bare spots. I cork that in for a smooth, thin, uniform layer.

I’m right with Musk Ox, when removing a soft or thick layer of wax, scrape the best you can, you really just want to make it thin in the wax pocket. I then cork the wax of the day over the top.

I don’t even use solvent after using klister. I scrape it all off using baby powder. I may use some solvent to remove klister that has gotten on the sides or top of the skis. After the klister is all scraped off with baby powder, and the remaining goo is cleaned off the rest of the ski. I clean the baby powder off with a spray of window cleaner. Usually I only touch up the base wax in the kick zone, where I scraped off the klister. Generally the base wax is clean of baby powder after the wipe down with window cleaner.

I will not win any races, and the hills need to be steep to impress my dog with my speed, but my methods seem good for back country skiing



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Stephen
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Re: LilCliffy's Nordic Backcountry Touring Waxing

Post by Stephen » Sat Mar 06, 2021 2:17 pm

@Musk Ox
Superfluous,” one of my favorite words. It just rolls of the tongue.
For real — no sarcasm intended.
Although I suppose there could be some irony, in that the word could be used in reference to itself.
:D



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Mtlsam
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Re: LilCliffy's Nordic Backcountry Touring Waxing

Post by Mtlsam » Sun Mar 07, 2021 9:38 am

Thanks all for the further clarifications!



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Re: LilCliffy's Nordic Backcountry Touring Waxing

Post by Krummholz » Sun Nov 07, 2021 11:13 pm

Here is a tip for ironing in Polar kick wax. I’m not sure if the tin of Polar was old or what but it was like smearing on bubble gum and was hard to iron the globs in to the ski base. Just cleaned the base to start fresh, put the Polar kick wax in the 0 F freezer overnight. Pulled it out and started crayoning on room temp ski, went on very easy, nice even coverage, back in the freezer, iron in the wax, it went in smooth, ski on left. Then started the second ski, on right. Ended up doing two coats on both skis. Thrift store iron about 375 - 400 F.
C70F5B35-9340-43F5-BAA0-2DDB2985D7C9.jpeg



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jyw5
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Re: LilCliffy's Nordic Backcountry Touring Waxing

Post by jyw5 » Mon Nov 08, 2021 4:12 am

Thanks for the picture there. looks like all this time... i am not using enough wax! lol no wonder i prefer skins! haha and holy hell, im going to have to buy like a dozen tins of wax...lol

this time of yr, i have 2 coats polar tip to tail. then a wide kick zone with green or blue depending on temp. the wax does scrape off within 2 hrs of skiing. i will have 2 pairs of skins with me too. sometimes its so cold and crusty, I start with skins and take them off when it warms up



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