This year in south Norway has been a big let down for xc skiing near to the coast after a run of brilliant years.
Firstly too much snow: the machine drivers are volunteers here and so they were too busy "måking" snow away from their homes and businesses to get out before there was well over a meter of powder onto a barely frozen ground.
Little chance to try out new improvements to technique and waxing when conditions were kick sucking and pole eatingly soft. More on my experiments later.
Then it melted and froze and melted again only to be really hard. Today finally a combination of mild air followed by a cold front baring snow loosened things up, but i was confronted by more or less abandoned trails and the becks were dissolving away their ice bridges merrily. A big bald patch or two at plumb down hill turns had me finding the hard old sketchy base and my skis followed what ever scores and ruts there were to land me on my posterior.
Waxing was seemingly obvious universal clister due to a hard base with wet snow on top, and a no brainer with clister on green already on. It prove to be okay on the hard flat, with glide getting going once the initial cladding of loose snow.wore off. But up hill prove to clad up and then there ended up being more clister on the ends of the kick zone and beyond whcih destroyed glide. I reapplied with the same result.
So it was a real slugging match today which took away most of the confidence i had build up in ski control down hill. I did though get well over 2 hours done, so this could be a five hour week saved from zero after my ice rink run on the clister scraping local forrest tracks earlier this week.
My experiments today were then firstly with quick clister: spray and spread by swix. It went on thin and bubbley and the solvent took ages to leave a clister like tackyness even at room temperature. Worse out in minus one cee. Mini blow torch out and than.cured it down a bit. I reckon though that i was using way too much and that a single spray of a diameter right for one side spread as far as possible onto base binder clister or green would be worth experimenting with again, then building a pyramid towards mid sole. I ended up using a lot and employing the spatula and blow torch so what the hell, use a tube from your 100 kr kit box and avoid this product until i report back.
Secondly and more successfully: a 10cm shorter pole. I bought nice swix tapered alloy poles which are very racey looking to act as substitute the carbon racing 160s i have, which were a G Max on the spot deal in fact for them lacking alloy in my size. Carbon are long and dear to replace.
Shorter were in outset for family tours and harder conditions but also to train up on weight up and forward technique, placing the poles vertically near the tips. This i did get the feel of, and for touring with a pack then this would be a better length. Also for those uncertain days soft or rutted, pock marked hard , a shorter pole commits you less.
There seems to be a definite gap between racing style and touring casual , just waiting to be filled with tips and techniques for those who want to go faster and more efficiently without looking like peter northug wannabees.