LilCliffy's Nordic Backcountry Touring Waxing

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Roelant
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Location: Subarctic Scandinavian Taiga
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Re: LilCliffy's Nordic Backcountry Touring Waxing

Post by Roelant » Tue Dec 29, 2020 12:41 am

bgregoire wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 11:22 pm

Use it just like any synthetic grip wax, no downsides if you enjoy the smell of natural tar, which i do.
I have the stuff in my boot grease and in my mosquito repellant. I love the smell and it works great against black flies. The downside is that it also repels my wife.

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Musk Ox
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Re: LilCliffy's Nordic Backcountry Touring Waxing

Post by Musk Ox » Tue Feb 02, 2021 4:51 pm

What’s the Cliffy Method like in wet and fresh snow just below freezing, when icing is an issue? (Is that the time to turn to ‘proper’ warm glide wax designed to shrug off the wet?)





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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
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Re: LilCliffy's Nordic Backcountry Touring Waxing

Post by lilcliffy » Thu Feb 04, 2021 5:50 pm

I am currently using Polar wax as my base for Nordic ski touring in all conditions except when the snow is cold that the Polar is effectively working as a kick wax.

In wet and fresh snow around and just below freezing I find that Polar glides and sheds moisture very effectively with added bonus of soft wax/klister bonding to it very effectively.

Master Musk- what are you using? Are you having problems with Polar at these temperatures?
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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Musk Ox
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Re: LilCliffy's Nordic Backcountry Touring Waxing

Post by Musk Ox » Fri Feb 05, 2021 2:48 am

lilcliffy wrote:
Thu Feb 04, 2021 5:50 pm
I am currently using Polar wax as my base for Nordic ski touring in all conditions except when the snow is cold that the Polar is effectively working as a kick wax.

In wet and fresh snow around and just below freezing I find that Polar glides and sheds moisture very effectively with added bonus of soft wax/klister bonding to it very effectively.

Master Musk- what are you using? Are you having problems with Polar at these temperatures?
It was actually a theoretical question! I was out on my new Nansens with blue Swix glide on. The conditions were strange. The temperature rose several degrees very, very quickly. I went through some evil slush hiding under fresh snow and found myself in heavy, long snowshoes in seconds. Absolutely the worst.

But it got me thinking. I can’t see any serious disadvantages to using Polar at all. But I know that your conditions are uniformly and consistently colder than mine... I wanted to check that it might be applicable where I live, really, given our very long and very mild late winter (mid-March to mid-May).





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dhdaines
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Re: LilCliffy's Nordic Backcountry Touring Waxing

Post by dhdaines » Tue Feb 09, 2021 9:06 am

I decided to live dangerously last weekend and (horror) use glide wax on my backcountry skis, and I ended up quite pleased with the results. The context was 105km over two days of about 30% trackset, 70% ungroomed trails in the lower Laurentians, lots and lots of short and steep hills, sometimes not enough room to herringbone (and with a big backpack, it's unpleasant anyway). The skis were 195cm E99 Tour Xtralites with the apparently controversial nordic rocker, the skier was 75kg with a 10kg or so backpack. The temperature, between -15C and -5C, transformed snow the first day, covered with 2cm of new snow the second.

Usually I don't care about glide (who wants to go fast, especially downhill?) and just "put wax on the skis" but I thought for such a distance with extra weight flattening the camber it might be good to reduce the drag. So I scraped off the old mix of V05, V40, V45, and VR55N which had acquired a nice brown patina, and even used wax remover on the tails. The stage was set to try out my new theory of waxing, which can be summed up with the timeless phrase, "business in the front, party in the back", or as they say in French:

We know that, at least with proper kick and glide technique, grip comes mostly from the front of the skis, and glide from the back, so I thought, why not give my skis a "Coupe Longueuil" of their own? I fired up the iron, ironed in universal glide wax (doesn't matter what kind, I use Wend because it smells nice, like shampoo) from under the heel all the way to the tail, then turned down the heat a bit and... ironed in a nice thick layer of V40 Blue Extra from the heel to the front of the groove. I think I also either ironed or corked in a bit of V05 Polar (not to be confused with Alberto V05) on the tips, just for show (nordic rocker...) then scraped off the glide wax.

As I set out on the long, low-angle approach to Mount Snowpile in my backyard, I was briefly confused and enthralled by a new, yet strangely familiar sensation in my skis ... could it be ... glide? I briefly panicked, thinking that I might not be able to surmount the formidable obstacle in my path. And yet, the grip wax kicked in, carrying me securely over the 20-foot pile of new snow, old snow, ice, and gravel in the parking lot behind my house. I'm pleased to report that it also worked well on groomed trails and even snowshoe tracks. I used the EasySkins once, on a lower-altitude, south-facing slope with heavily transformed snow, then took them off and the V40 kept on kicking, though I did put a bit more wax on around the 30km mark. The second day it got warmer and I put a whisper of VR55N (or, as I like to call it, "Ultra-Violet") over top in the afternoon. This week it's cold and I probably just won't bother waxing for a while.

In the end, I am not actually sure the glide wax did much aside from making the bases shiny, but this confirmed my beliefs that you can put as much grip wax on the front of the ski as you want, even much softer than the "official" temperatures, and leaving the tails smooth lets you "kick through" it. As klister season approaches I'll have to see how this works in crappier conditions...





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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 » Sat Feb 13, 2021 12:21 pm

@dhdaines
Excellent test and report!
Thank you!
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
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Re: LilCliffy's Nordic Backcountry Touring Waxing

Post by bgregoire » Mon Feb 22, 2021 7:43 pm

@lilcliffy, we are not the first to ski on this planet, that's fo sure.

Check out this oldschool ski prep advice from Jacques Powell (from the Laurentians, Québec):

Mise en garde : Les boutiques offrent généralement de préparer gratuitement la base des nouveaux skis. À PROSCRIRE! En effet, les boutiques préparent des bases au glider, faites expressément pour favoriser la glisse sur des pistes tracées. En ski nordique, une bonne adhérence est primordiale.

Pour la préparation de vos skis, je vous suggère d'acheter un tube de fart de base (SWIX – Base Binder- VG35 (-1/-22C). Cette cire est très collante. Voici un truc d'utilisation : Placer la cire au congélateur avant de travailler vos skis; elle s'étendra plus facilement et vous en utiliserez moins.

Préparation des skis :

Sabler la base des nouveaux skis, dans le sens de la longueur, pour créer de fines rayures.
Par la suite, passer une fine laine d'acier.
Appliquer une mince couche de fart de base sur toute la longueur et bien lisser. Bien couvrir toute la semelle.
Appliquer une couche de fart polaire sur toute la longueur et bien lisser.

Appliquer une mince couche de fart de glisse le plus dur que vous ayez et bien lisser / le jour de la sortie appliquer un fart d'adhérence sous le pied (18 à 24 pouces) et bien lisser. Comme pour la sauce, rectifier au besoin.
N.B. Ce n'est pas l'épaisseur de la couche du fart qui importe, mais la façon dont il est appliqué.

GOOGLE TRANSLATION:

Warning: Stores generally offer to prepare the base of new skis for free. TO FORBID! Indeed, the shops prepare the basics for gliding, made expressly to promote gliding on marked trails. In Nordic skiing, good grip is essential.

For the preparation of your skis, I suggest you buy a base wax tube (SWIX - Base Binder- VG35 (-1 / -22C). This wax is very sticky. Here is a tip of use: Place the wax in the freezer before working your skis; it will stretch more easily and you will use less.

Preparation of the skis:

Sand the base of the new skis, lengthwise, to create fine stripes.
Then pass a fine steel wool.
Apply a thin coat of base wax along the entire length and smooth well. Cover the entire sole well.
Apply a layer of polar wax over the entire length and smooth well.
Apply a thin coat of the hardest glide wax you have and smooth well / the day of the ride apply a grip wax under the foot (18 to 24 inches) and smooth well. As with the sauce, adjust if necessary.
NB It is not the thickness of the wax coat that matters, but the way it is applied.


https://clubmontagnecanadien.qc.ca/cons ... i-nordique

@Rodbelan, check out the link, I have a feeling you will enjoy the pole length suggestion! :D
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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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 » Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:03 pm

8-)
Thak you for sharing this!
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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Stephen
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Re: LilCliffy's Nordic Backcountry Touring Waxing

Post by Stephen » Mon Feb 22, 2021 11:10 pm

This is interesting.
I have been experimenting with the steps outlined (VG35 / Polar / Wax of the day).
Not enough experience to report yet.





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fisheater
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Re: LilCliffy's Nordic Backcountry Touring Waxing

Post by fisheater » Tue Feb 23, 2021 9:40 am

Stephen, I don’t even iron on my polar base. I have not used the base binder since I started using polar. I’m also using klister more often which is typically used during the most abrasive snow conditions. I kind of wish klister would wear off, but I don’t go on long multi day expeditions where my skis are outside. In a place where klister migration won’t make a mess! I’m curious how many days one could ski on one klister application.
YMMV, I get by nicely without base binder. I will say that a layer of Rex Universal makes a good base binder in the wax pocket. That tar wax seems to me to be more durable than the typical Swix waxes I use. I generally think usually the Swix wax glides better in my experience.





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