Wednesday, March 29, 2017

How to make an Atomic Redster Carbons Classic



A very cool look at the manufacturing process for the Redster.

These are great skis.    You can pre-order for fall of 2017 if you'd like a carefully selected pair.   Just email for details.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Stone Grinding Schedule

Stone Grinding Schedule


 
You've been training this to get the most from your skiing, so make sure your skis aren't a limiter.

Prepare all of your skis to run their best with a fresh grind and hotbox service. At Nordic Ultratune, a grind batch starts every Thursday and those skis are ready for shipping on the following Monday -- just 4 days later.

Return shipping is by FedEx.  So, typically skis that are shipped out on Monday will typically arrive back to you on Thursday.

Here's the upcoming service schedule at Nordic Ultratune. Use these dates to make sure you get your skis ready before your most important races.
  • Skis in by Feb 9th will ship out on Feb 13th.
  • Skis in by Feb 16th will ship back out on Feb 20th
  • Skis in by Feb 23rd will ship back out on Feb 27th
  • Skis in by March 2nd will ship back out on March 6th
  • Skis in by March 9th will ship back out on March 13th.
Shop hours:

  • The shop is open from 11-5 Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun, Mon each week.   Closed on Tues/Wed.

    If you're in the Methow Valley, stop in and say Hi!  You can check out the selection of Madshus, Atomic and Rossignol skis and boots, and extensive supply of wax for glide or grip.

    It's time for getting your skis ready for the season!

    Wednesday, January 4, 2017

    Rendezvous Huts

    Heifer Hut
    After a long stretch from mid-December through the holidays with no real days off (sick on Christmas, bleh...), it's hard to beat spending a couple days off grid and on skis at the Rendezvous Huts.

    Cold temps - below zero fahrenheit - made it a little bit more important to get the clothing layers dialed in, but grooming was perfect, and with a freight haul to the cabin, there's no reason to miss out on creature comforts.

    So it was a great getaway to Heifer Hut, the northernmost and most remote of the five huts in the Rendezvous Huts system.     Located at about 4000 feet, it's high enough to get a bit more snow than the valley floor (which sits at elevation 1800 ft) but you certainly won't worry about dizzy spells.     It's an uphill bit of skiing to get to any of the huts, but they're all located on the groomed trail system.

    The views are fabulous.    I really can't say more than that.   Fabulous mountain views.   Different from each of the huts, but terrific everywhere.      And stars at night.   Billions and billions of them.

    The huts are heated with wood stoves, and cooking is on conventional propane kitchen stoves.     Each of the cabins sleep up to 8-10 people.     It's really a great setup.

    Each cabin has a full kitchen arrangement with pots and pans and dishes provided.   I know for sure that there are Nordic Ultratune coffee cups in a couple of the cabins.   And drinking water is plentiful and restocked daily.   There are outhouses at each hut, just a few yards out the door.     Propane lights keep the card games going into the night, and nowadays there is solar charged battery powered LED lighting as well.  

    With a group of friends sharing a cabin and the freight haul, you could even do both skate and classic skiing (classic in, and have the skaters hauled in and waiting for you!).  

    If you haven't done a trip like this, it's really worth doing.     Yeah, there are huts in other places, but where are you going to find huts that have 200 km of groomed skiing out the door?   Maybe in Norway...  ...but not so common in North America.      The Rendezvous Huts, here in the Methow Valley, are really cool, and a great way to get away from the crowds for a few days.  


    Friday, December 23, 2016

    Methow Valley Ski Rodeo - Dec 28th

    Get excited for one of the Methow’s longest-standing Nordic events – the Ski Rodeo! 
    MVNSEF is proud to offer this event over the winter holiday for locals and visitors alike, with multiple events to choose from and a festive atmosphere to help truly welcome the new ski year!
    This season we’re hosting the event at the Winthrop Town Trailhead, where participants can partake of the different events, then warm up with treats and awards in the Winthrop Ice Rink building before moseying into Winthrop via the pedestrian bridge to enjoy some holiday shopping and revelry.
    Events Lineup
    As part of our revival of the Ski Rodeos of years past we’re excited to provide not only the standard 1/2.5/5/10km skate mass start events, but also a new 3x1km mixed relay and a challenging obstacle course where nimble-footed challengers can try their luck on the bumps and jumps! Both the relay and obstacle course entries are included with your race fee should you be participating in the mass start events, or $5 for all others. To keep things interesting, relay teams will be put together by the organizing committee day-of-race!
    Washington Cup Series
    This year we’re proud to be a part of the Washington Cup, a series of races throughout the Northwest for young competitors to develop their skiing and racing skills independent of the Junior National qualifying circuit. Athletes from around the region will compete this weekend for points, all building toward the season-ending finale races in March. Participants in the Washington Cup should follow the below distance guidelines to be scored:
    U8: 1 kilometer
    U10, U12: 2.5 kilometer
    U14+: 5 kilometer
    Any skiers wishing to ski a different distance for their age will receive the minimum points score for that event in the Washington Cup.
    Registration:
    Online, advance registration is strongly encouraged because it greatly helps the volunteer crew organizing the race.  Cost for online registration goes up $5 on 12/26, and closes at 5 pm on 12/27. A 20% discount is available for households with 4 or more skiers.  Day-of-race registration will be available for $10 above the early price. Day of race registration is 8 – 9 am, and bib pick-up is 8 – 9:15 am in the upstairs of the Winthrop Ice Rink building. Day-of-race payment is by check or exact cash only. A Methow Trails pass is required to participate, and is available for purchase with your entry fee should you not already have one.

    Friday, December 2, 2016

    When to Stone Grind Skis

    When to Stone Grind Skis

    Skis are subject to damage every time you ski on them or wax them, or just leave them sitting around; it really is a no-win situation.   Abrasive skiing conditions, heat from wax irons, and exposure to air all cause degradation to your ski bases.    The performance of your skis is greatly affected by the condition of the P-Tex, and the surface condition of your skis.
    The Mantec grinder at Nordic Ultratune.

    If your skis have base damage, they can be improved with a fresh grind.   Any of these symptoms can be remedied with a new base finish from Nordic Ultratune:
    • Surface scratches
    • Over-heated, oxidized, dried out
    • Skis won’t hold wax
    • No longer flat – convex or concave
    • No structure remaining
    • Skis just aren’t fast like they used to be…

    In addition, you can choose the base structure that you need – whether it’s an all-around structure for your one-and-only pair of skis, or a special purpose grind for specific snow conditions.
                

    Why Grind New Skis?
    The bases of new skis are better than they’ve ever been in the past!   However, your new skis have probably been sitting in a warehouse for the better part of a year.    Occasionally new skis have dried-out, oxidized base material before you ever ski on them.  It’s also common for new skis to have a very aggressive structure on the base which is slow for all but wet or icy conditions.    Sometimes new skis have scratches and often brand-new skis aren’t perfectly flat.   

    Here are some conditions that you may find on new skis that can be improved with a fresh base finish from Nordic Ultratune:

    • Oxidized or dried-out bases
    • Convex or concave areas on the ski base
    • Structure that’s too aggressive
    • Surface scratches
    • Some new skis don’t hold wax well

    With a new base finish from Ultratune, you choose the base structure you need, and get great glide right from the start.



    The Ultratune Process

    The dry outermost layer of P-Tex is removed by hand with a diamond-sharpened cobalt steel scraper

    Flattening: Each ski is processed through the Mantec Stone Grinder programmed to “blank” the ski and inspected after each pass until it is flat and uniform.   This is typically 2 to 4 passes through the Mantec grinder, depending on the condition of your ski.  This makes a very smooth surface upon which to create the final base structure

    Structure:  The stone grinding wheel is programmed for your base structure, and the ski is passed through the machine to apply the base finish that you have selected.  In the case of multi-part grinds, the Mantec grinding wheel has to be re-dressed between each stage of the process.   

    Chemical-cleaning: To prepare the ski for waxing, the ski bases are hand cleaned with a chemical cleaner to remove any emulsion or microscopic particles of P-Tex remaining on the ski after grinding

    Wax:  All skis get a coat of a warm penetrating base conditioning wax.   

    Hot-Box Wax Service:  A generous layer of a penetrating warm wax is coated onto the ski and the skis are placed in the hot-box for 90 minutes to 4 hours

    Monday, November 28, 2016

    Brown Ground Brings Me Down

    I'm always quick to post shots of early season snow, almost to the point of gloating.   Guilty.  

    So I feel like it's my duty to confess to a sad state of (almost) brown ground here in town.   Winthrop and Mazama are looking a little dreary.

    The past couple years we've been graced with abundant early snow, but right now I'm looking out the window at maybe 1/2 inch of white.   Not even enough to hide the brown frozen mud beneath it.

    The weather forecasters let us down last week!    Forecasts of snow and more snow were a total dud, with temperatures about 10 degrees warmer than planned and we got nothing but rain and more rain.  It would be easy to blame it on Cliff Mass, but he's just the weatherman...

    As I've been telling folks who have been walking into Ultratune in search of some reassurance and "low snow support", right now we aren't really late for snow (by historical measure) but we're definitely not early either.

    The beautiful snow up at Washington Pass is unaccessible now, with the highway closed for the winter.     We are definitely at the end of the road for the next few months!

    Meanwhile new skis are getting prepped and sent out the door (or picked up in the shop), and stone grinding continues.  

    The stoke is high for winter, but the trails aren't open here in town just yet.

    Wednesday, November 16, 2016

    More snow means better skiing!

    Washington Pass got another foot and a half of snow this week, along with cooler temperatures.    Although it's just a small loop to ski on, you cannot complain about the skiing!   It's beautiful!

    Washington Pass, Nov 16th
    Photo credit: T Ross

    Not to mention views of Liberty Bell Spires as a backdrop for skiing the tedious (not) loops.
    Liberty Bell Spires casts a shadow over the
    groomed loop.   Photo: T Ross

    Stone Grinding Schedule


     
    You've been training this to get the most from your skiing, so make sure your skis aren't a limiter.

    Prepare all of your skis to run their best with a fresh grind and hotbox service. At Nordic Ultratune, a grind batch starts every Thursday and those skis are ready for shipping on the following Monday -- just 4 days later.

    Return shipping is by FedEx.  So, typically skis that are shipped out on Monday will arrive back to you on Thursday.

    Here's the upcoming service schedule at Nordic Ultratune. Use these dates to make sure you get your skis ready before your most important races.
    • Skis in for grinding by Nov 17th will ship out on Nov 21st.
    • Skis in for grinding by Nov 25th will ship out on Nov 28th
    • Skis in for grinding by Dec 1st will ship out on Dec 5th.
    • Skis in for grinding by Dec 8th will ship out on Dec 12th.
    • Skis in by Dec 15th will ship out on Dec 19th.
    Shop hours:
    • The shop s open from 11-5 on Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun, Mon every week.    Closed on Tues & Wed.
    If you're in the Methow Valley, stop in and say Hi!  You can check out the selection of Madshus, Atomic and Rossignol skis and boots, and extensive supply of wax for glide or grip.

    It's time for getting your skis ready for the season!