LilCliffy's Nordic Backcountry Touring Waxing

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lilcliffy
Posts: 2932
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 Storetind Carbon; Madshus Annum; Asnes Comabt Nato
Favorite boots: Alfa Guard Advance BC; Alpina Alaska BC; Crispi Svartisen 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
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2019 9:51 am

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
Posts: 2932
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 Storetind Carbon; Madshus Annum; Asnes Comabt Nato
Favorite boots: Alfa Guard Advance BC; Alpina Alaska BC; Crispi Svartisen 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
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2019 9:51 am

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!





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lilcliffy
Posts: 2932
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 Storetind Carbon; Madshus Annum; Asnes Comabt Nato
Favorite boots: Alfa Guard Advance BC; Alpina Alaska BC; Crispi Svartisen 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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jackers
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2019 7:58 pm
Location: Ontario
Ski style: BC cross country & low angle downhill

Re: LilCliffy's Nordic Backcountry Touring Waxing

Post by jackers » Sun Dec 27, 2020 7:29 pm

LC:

Wondering if you can extrapolate your grip wax recommendations to an east coast hut to hut scenario. I’m doing the Traversee Charlevoix in February (pandemic allowing) probably using my old e99s as my wife will be in the Asnes Instads (waxless/x-skin).

I’d like to avoid waxing mid trail as it can be very cold and never goes on right in the field anyway. Ideally just topping up wax every night. How would you adapt your technique to this? I’ll have my BD kicker skins and maybe even another full length pair along.

Appreciate your thoughts.





User avatar
lilcliffy
Posts: 2932
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 Storetind Carbon; Madshus Annum; Asnes Comabt Nato
Favorite boots: Alfa Guard Advance BC; Alpina Alaska BC; Crispi Svartisen 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 Dec 27, 2020 10:19 pm

Oooh! Traverse Charlevoix! Definitely on my to-do list!

Grip waxing the entire base of a touring ski- using a very hard grip wax as a base (e.g. Swix Polar)- is as low-maintenance as it gets for grip and glide.

HOWEVER- you could get cold enough snow en Fevrier in Charlevoix that the Polar is working as an effectve kick wax alone and you could end up with too much grip and not enough glide.

If I am anticipating a stretch of very cold weather (below -27C) then I will strip the tails and prep them with cold glide wax- this is what I would do for a multi-day mid-winter tour in Charlevoix.

I want to test this glide wax for the tail on very cold snow:
https://kunstadt.com/products/swixpolar ... wREALw_wcB

You cannot strip the tail in the middle of your tur.
This is a hilly tour in the Laurentians correct?
You still needs lots of grip.
I would:
- hot wax Swix Polar Grip Wax (V05) for the heel forwards (or equivalent grip wax)
- hot wax Swix Polar Glide Wax from the heel back (or equivalent glide wax)
- kick wax of the day underfoot (e.g. Swix Green/Blue)

Hope I am helping you!
Gareth
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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bgregoire
Posts: 1499
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2014 9:31 am
Ski style: Nordic backcountry touring with lots of turns
Favorite Skis: Fisher E99 & Boundless (98), Åsnes Ingstad, K2 Wayback 88
Favorite boots: Crispi Sydpolen, Alico Teletour & Alfa Polar

Re: LilCliffy's Nordic Backcountry Touring Waxing

Post by bgregoire » Mon Dec 28, 2020 5:33 pm

Jackers and LC,

I have skied that trail a couple times. You will have a lot of fun but it is, or was, one of the hardest routes in Québec. That is before they offered food and bag delivery.

Are you carying a full pack? This will impact your grip setup as the trail is often quite hilly. You need to be slowed down on some descents.

The first day is only a few kms on the flat. I would however use skins starting on the 2nd day to slow me down on the descents.

Anyways, just saying you are right in taking skins with you. Most friends use full skins but I remember doing ok with half skins. Take both if you can.

Given how often you will be using skins and the fact that the temperature varies a whole lot in that area, from very cold to warm (rain), and the amount of hills, I would just not worry to much about waxing and focus on the skins (can't believe i said that). So yeah, a small 3-5 wax kit including swix red, blue and green (or my favourite Rex tar universal if you have a tube handy).

Not to sure if I would bother with waxing the tips and tails with Polar, or anything for that matter. I'd wait to see if its set to get very cold or not just before the trip.

LC, by the way, you CAN strip wax quite easily during a BC trip like this. Just make sure you stove runs on white gas. Rub some on using a rag and you are good to go.
Enjoy!
I live for the Telemark arc....The feeeeeeel.....I ski miles to get to a place where there is guaranteed snow to do the deal....TM





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Roelant
Posts: 219
Joined: Wed May 15, 2019 6:33 am
Location: Subarctic Scandinavian Taiga
Ski style: Backcountry in the wild, cross country on trails
Favorite Skis: Nansen, FT62, Combat NATO
Favorite boots: Crispi Bre, Scarpa T4
Occupation: Ion Counter

Re: LilCliffy's Nordic Backcountry Touring Waxing

Post by Roelant » Mon Dec 28, 2020 11:12 pm

bgregoire wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 5:33 pm
(or my favourite Rex tar universal if you have a tube handy).
This tar wax is intriguing. I see it even exists in tape format.
And it appears to be a favorite of several people here.
Somehow this flew under my radar, I always assumed that these tar waxes were specifically for wooden skis.
Does it clean off the same as normal wax with white gas / wax remover?
Are there any other downsides?





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bgregoire
Posts: 1499
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2014 9:31 am
Ski style: Nordic backcountry touring with lots of turns
Favorite Skis: Fisher E99 & Boundless (98), Åsnes Ingstad, K2 Wayback 88
Favorite boots: Crispi Sydpolen, Alico Teletour & Alfa Polar

Re: LilCliffy's Nordic Backcountry Touring Waxing

Post by bgregoire » Mon Dec 28, 2020 11:22 pm

Roelant wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 11:12 pm
bgregoire wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 5:33 pm
(or my favourite Rex tar universal if you have a tube handy).
This tar wax is intriguing. I see it even exists in tape format.
And it appears to be a favorite of several people here.
Somehow this flew under my radar, I always assumed that these tar waxes were specifically for wooden skis.
Does it clean off the same as normal wax with white gas / wax remover?
Are there any other downsides?
Use it just like any synthetic grip wax, no downsides if you enjoy the smell of natural tar, which i do. I find the tar grip waxes (there are entire lines) work best in fresh snow. The universal is said to work all the way up to -1C but I find that is pushing the limit a little. I usually settle for Swix Red or Purple instead. But otherwize, I like my universal for long days out.

I found my first tar waxes in northen Sweden and have been using them since. They were unknown to me before in NA.
I live for the Telemark arc....The feeeeeeel.....I ski miles to get to a place where there is guaranteed snow to do the deal....TM





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