Sunday, January 20, 2013

Methow Pursuit - Jan 26-27th... ...and Grinding Schedule

This coming weekend is the Methow Valley Pursuit.   It's a 2 day Pursuit format with a 15K interval start classic technique race on Saturday the 26th and a pursuit start skate 30K on Sunday.

The MV Pursuit has been a Northwest favorite for years, and this year the ski conditions here have been fabulous.     The Pursuit format, with the 15K classic at Sun Mountain's trail network, and the 30K skate running point-to-point from Mazama to Winthrop, offers a unique and challenging pairing.

There's still time to pre-register and race!

Here are some useful links:

Methow Valley Pursuit Information
Methow Valley Pursuit Wax Tips
15K Classic Course - Sun Mountain Trails
30K Skate Course - Mazama Corral Traihead / Methow Community Trail to Town 

Jan/Feb Stone Grinding Schedule at Nordic Ultratune

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 typically FedEx Express Saver, which is 3rd day delivery. So, 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 by Jan 24th will ship out on Dec 28th.
  • Skis in by Jan 31st will ship out on Feb 1st.
  • Skis in by Feb 4th will ship out on Feb 8th.
  • Skis in by Feb 11th will ship out on Feb15th.
You can see that there are still service batches scheduled before the big marathon events. There is still time to get a fast grind on your skis before the season's biggest races! But don't delay... boards are a joy to ski on, and they're a real advantage.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Waxing in the Digital Age

I'll zoom forward with the assumption that my readers are waxing their own skis, and using at least a basic waxing iron.

From that starting point, I'm going to say that if you're not using a digital waxing iron, then it is time to step up and get one.  

The Toko T14, in its newest version,
is really quite good for the price,
with a beefier base-plate.
The digital waxing irons have such good control of iron temperature that they really do provide an advantage to the user, and not just a digital techy bling factor.

For instance, with the tightly controlled digital thermostat you can wax the warm gliders (the yellows for warm temps, or base saturation, or hot-scrape cleaning) at 135 C (275F) with no smoke and very quick melt.     If the temp was at 145C (293F), there would be smoke and burning wax.      It's not a very big margin for error, and if you don't have accurate temp settings on your iron, you'd have to fuss and fiddle to get it right.   And that's assuming that the thermostat is tight enough to keep the temperature from swinging over/under the desired operating point.

It's even more critical when dealing with the cold weather gliders and the fluoro powders.    Getting the iron to the right temperature, with the very minimum of fluctuation, can really make a difference in the performance of the wax, and thus the skis.

With the proliferation of digital technology, the price on digital irons has dropped and now a good iron like the Toko T14 is around $140 which is about the price of a small package of the better quality fluoro powders.     Toko, Swix, and Star all make good digital irons.

Accurate temperature control, tight thermostat control window for minimum temperature fluctuation, simpler to use, and at a reasonable price: it all adds up to a tool that is easy to justify.     You should be using one.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Starting them young...

Here's a great shot of a few of our local Methow Valley Nordic Junior skiers.
Methow Valley Nordic Junior Girls
Skiers for life!
These kids are the most important part of our sport.    From the hundreds of "skiers for life" that form the backbone of our Nordic skiing community come the handful of champions that climb onto the top step of the podium at championship events.

A big congratulations to the Washington State natives who are knocking the lights out at Sr Nationals this week!     They started here looking very much like these kids.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Days and days of goodness

-10C is just about perfection.
Here in the Methow Valley we've had about 3 straight weeks of consistently perfect ski conditions.

Since Christmas, in particular, it's been a solid run of cold nights and daytime highs in the teens and low 20's.

Getting out on skis in the early morning has required some warm gloves and a bit of care to keep the ears covered, but the payback in glorious sunrise views has been a big dividend.

The silky smooth glide on skaters with S2 and RDG-1 grinds has been phenomenal.  


Congratulations to Torin Koos on a big win at Nationals.   Torin was skiing on some Rossignol classic skis with an Ultratune grind.

Sam Naney at the Mazama Ski Rodeo
Photo: Steve Mitchell
Also a nod to Sam Naney on his top-10 result in the sprints.   And Sam also got local bragging rights by running away with the cup at the Mazama Ski Rodeo (10K Skate Mass Start) last weekend.   Nice work Samuel!