mandag 10. februar 2014

Weird White Stuff: Drivheia Tour, UHU and Hobby Blow Torch

I decided to use the promise of a whole day's weather-break to drive a while to get to the mini mountain, Drivheia in Aust Agder.

What do UHU, snow and mini hobby blow torches have in common? All are substances of abuse or accessories to the crime today.  More on that later.....

The conditions were frankly a bit weird: easter wet snow but on no base, just a meter or so of slush puppy. There had been unfortunetly new snow in the tracks ,or kind of lying sleet as it felt making it all very heavy and vague.

Me, discouraged? No! I followed a bit of classic track which dissolved into skating apparently if the skier hadnt just turned round after 2km and put his skating pack on.

So the all important waxing then? I havent any of the VR62 to  75 , they are very expensive. I had universal klister with me but hoped for the plus one or two degrees cee to rub on some v red.  I do have the VR blue 40 which prove a good base for the inevitable,  with a high column of "mild" low pressure air: klister time.

So here are my klister tips for that sudden sinking feeling that you will not survive on red wax.

1) take a mini hobby blow torch the type that runs on lighter fuel, or actually enacses a lighter and produces a spiked, precise wee blue flame. The weapon of preference for crack addicts btw.

2) wrap the lower half of the klister tube several times round in toilet or kitchen paper

3) take the cap off and heat the shoulders of the tube and the neck by wafting the blue flame quickly around for about 15 secs. Do not allow the flame to burn the label plastic or the clister itself.

4) move the paper over the heated area and then apply the clister to the ski about 5cm inward of the usual kicking wax, and do just 10cm at a time, spreading with the tool on the ski. Reheat between each 10cm.

All this will keep the clister mobile to allow for thin layers. It will go on blue but not softer. Base binder clister spray is to recommend on bare skis if you have hedged your bets completely.

Alternatively: You can put the tube on the engine rocker cover or top of the car radiator if they are still warm. Then the whole contents gets warm and you risk getting a clot in the neck and a sudden tidal wave of uhu glue will cover your skis, you and anyone near you with as much displeasure as a skunk attack or tramping in dog shit.

In the conditions today i knew it would be slow and draggy with any kick adhesive, so i chose to reduce the kick zone coverage with the clister to 5cm less on the tip end and 3cm from the heel of the boot.

I did just one layer on this legnth as i was expecting soft and did not remember how long it was back round the mountain (a hill actually) from the downhill. For harder conditiond i would have had two, thin long layers fo

I did let the single layer cool on the snow: always let your clister cool to snow temp before kicking off as you can either rub it off in clumps on ice or pick up crystals immediately.

In the "pocket" under the sole then i added a second thicker layer in the same process. About 18-20cm maybe , spread from fish bone pattern.

The kick adhesion was "nailed" with this up hill in tram lines which needed a native american scout to follow. Filled with 3cm wet snow.

I felt pretty darn good getting to the final hill top turn with the downhill infront of me and light rain pitting on my east european look jogging jacket i swear by for skiing.

The downhill is usually an exciting set of roller coaster sections, traversing hillside tests of skill and various turns up to about 150 degrees or more even. However even the guy in front of me on glider only skating skis had done a lot of work to get down and the speed was pathetic.

I did though get to practice step turning but as the snow got deep around the first hair pin i had to drop into alpine with slide steering ski tails.

I have been coughing for five weeks and managed only six hours training since the snow came, late as it was. So when i got through to the last turn where the "guest book" box is in an hour , i was pleased. However the slow downhill and damp air started to drain my reduced energies and the way back round the west of the hill with even softer conditions sapped me more than the wet sapped the clister away from the skis.

The last 1.5km i drove on the british side of the road in my own tracks now also worn in with after comers. And there it was, pretty good grip and at the car, sticky skis. They could have done about half yje distance again i reckon.

Last tip: take some fibre cleaner cloth in the car and plastjic bags and place them in than order over the mucky stuff. You can then either reapply a new layer of clister next time, or take the skis out and spray on cleaner and strip off the clister first with the fibre cloth. I usually spray, coat with a good coupäe of layers of kitchen paper and then use a hot iron working quikly up and down and then peeling off the covering with a litte heat on the lifting edge as you go.

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