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XC track setting 

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Why is a track set for classical XC skiing? Why not ski on smooth corduroy?

post #2 of 15

Tracks have better grip and require less work to set than corduroy - and it keeps skate skiers out :p

 

(Seriously, the corduroy in between tracks is for skate skiers - and tracks are both grippier when you need it and glidier when you need it)

post #3 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldSchool47 View Post

Why is a track set for classical XC skiing? Why not ski on smooth corduroy?

Try both and you will see within 30 seconds.
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post
 

Tracks have better grip and require less work to set than corduroy - and it keeps skate skiers out :p

 

(Seriously, the corduroy in between tracks is for skate skiers - and tracks are both grippier when you need it and glidier when you need it)

 

I'm a beginning-expert classical-style XC skier who has been kick-and-gliding for about 3 years. Never raced or skied in tracks. I've always wondered why tracks are set.

 

Compacting snow by setting tracks causes the snow to give less when you kick so you get more pop. Gripier. Compacted snow causes less resistance than looser corduroy making it glidier. Makes sense. Setting tracks requires less work than setting corduroy? Don't understand that, but I'm not a groomer.

 

Why not roll a packed 20-foot track? 2 10-foot tracks side-by-side. It's as easy as setting multiple tracks. Isn't it?

 

The only advantage I see in skiing in tracks is that it's easier for you to keep your skis parallel and pointing forward.

post #5 of 15

It's not so much rolling as towing a sled, but you also need a feature on the sled to break up already-compacted snow, already formed crust/ice, to even out potholes and to even out bare spots.       And, yes, what you propose would take a heavier sled and more towing power.    

 Doable, I suppose.      But then the evil skate skiers would chew it all up with their off-axis skis. :eek:mad ;)

post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 

post #7 of 15


Thumbs Up

 

There are areas that do  pretty much what you're asking about.   Note the  Bombardier groomer in the video, he doesn't even have the track setting feet/pads down - but then notice that all the kick/glide skiers follow each others' tracks just because they're cleaner than the broader zone.    Especially on slight uphills where one doesn't really feel like herringboning.    And so we wind up with 'informal' tracks even though they weren't set. 

 








 

post #8 of 15

Side question: you say you don't ski in tracks.     Do you ever ski compacted snow?     Ever tried the tops of snowplough throw/berms?    It's really fun and can be a lot faster than the snow on the flats.     Just don't use your nicely waxed skis; the salt and grit is annoying. 

post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldSchool47 View Post

I'm a beginning-expert classical-style XC skier who has been kick-and-gliding for about 3 years. Never raced or skied in tracks. I've always wondered why tracks are set.

 

Compacting snow by setting tracks causes the snow to give less when you kick so you get more pop. Gripier. Compacted snow causes less resistance than looser corduroy making it glidier. Makes sense. Setting tracks requires less work than setting corduroy? Don't understand that, but I'm not a groomer.

 

Why not roll a packed 20-foot track? 2 10-foot tracks side-by-side. It's as easy as setting multiple tracks. Isn't it?

 

The only advantage I see in skiing in tracks is that it's easier for you to keep your skis parallel and pointing forward.

Not quite clear what a "beginning-expert" skier is... but your last sentence reflects a significant advantage.  Corduroy lets skis wash out and skitter off-kilter.  While a good skier can maintain his/her parallel reasonably easily, one less set of involved muscles allow you to put all of your attention and force into forward propulsion.  

 

As someone said, try it for a bit and you'll understand pretty quickly. 

post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tch View Post
 
Not quite clear what a "beginning-expert" skier is... but your last sentence reflects a significant advantage.  Corduroy lets skis wash out and skitter off-kilter. While a good skier can maintain his/her parallel reasonably easily, one less set of involved muscles allow you to put all of your attention and force into forward propulsion.  

 

As someone said, try it for a bit and you'll understand pretty quickly. 

 

I guess I need to try skiing in tracks. Beginning-expert. I can ski fast and my form is about as good as this guy's, but I have only 1 stride and don't know poling techniques and race strategies. My claim to fame? I lived next to Patrice Jankowski when I was a youngster in Cloquet. Never skied with her.

 

 

post #11 of 15

FWIW.  I XC ski is some areas where there is lots of ups and steep twisting downs.  I usually would telemark on the cord on the down because my XC skis are fairlly wide (still with the "legal" width for using tracks) but many people on narrower and strailghter sks would let rip on the way down in the set tracks.  One old-timer advised me to get skis w/o metal edges because they would more easily conform to the track on the way down.  I almost always end up going off-piste in areas with groomed runs so I don't have a traditional XC ski.

post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldSchool47 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post

 
Tracks have better grip and require less work to set than corduroy - and it keeps skate skiers out tongue.gif

(Seriously, the corduroy in between tracks is for skate skiers - and tracks are both grippier when you need it and glidier when you need it)

I'm a beginning-expert classical-style XC skier who has been kick-and-gliding for about 3 years. Never raced or skied in tracks. I've always wondered why tracks are set.

Compacting snow by setting tracks causes the snow to give less when you kick so you get more pop. Gripier. Compacted snow causes less resistance than looser corduroy making it glidier. Makes sense. Setting tracks requires less work than setting corduroy? Don't understand that, but I'm not a groomer.

Why not roll a packed 20-foot track? 2 10-foot tracks side-by-side. It's as easy as setting multiple tracks. Isn't it?

The only advantage I see in skiing in tracks is that it's easier for you to keep your skis parallel and pointing forward.

Enter a classic race and you'll learn a lot very quickly about how much you don't know.
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Carey View Post
 

FWIW.  I XC ski is some areas where there is lots of ups and steep twisting downs.  I usually would telemark on the cord on the down because my XC skis are fairlly wide (still with the "legal" width for using tracks) but many people on narrower and strailghter sks would let rip on the way down in the set tracks.  One old-timer advised me to get skis w/o metal edges because they would more easily conform to the track on the way down.  I almost always end up going off-piste in areas with groomed runs so I don't have a traditional XC ski.

 

XC Telemark. Imagine a place like Shasta Ski Park dedicated to groomed XC telemarking. No skis wider than 80 mm allowed. Metal edges. No metal edges. Both acceptable. No alpine boots.  

 

post #14 of 15

In the XC ski area of the Methow Valley there were many of these types; here's one who tried to improve my skiing:

 

http://www.earnyourturns.com/3402/profile-steve-barnett-telemark-prophet/

 

Steve, Nils Larson, and Don Portman are legendary XC Downhill skiers who could ski anything with skinny skis and floppy boots.

 

http://www.sunmountainlodge.com/activities-experts/

 

I was fortunate to ski with all 3 and the other PSIA telemark instructors in the PNW.  I'm on Ski Patrol at this area where everything (boots, snowshoes, any kind of skis, dogs, sleds) is allowed:

 

http://skimtta.com

post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Carey View Post
 

In the XC ski area of the Methow Valley there were many of these types; here's one who tried to improve my skiing:

 

http://www.earnyourturns.com/3402/profile-steve-barnett-telemark-prophet/

 

Steve, Nils Larson, and Don Portman are legendary XC Downhill skiers who could ski anything with skinny skis and floppy boots.

 

http://www.sunmountainlodge.com/activities-experts/

 

I was fortunate to ski with all 3 and the other PSIA telemark instructors in the PNW.  I'm on Ski Patrol at this area where everything (boots, snowshoes, any kind of skis, dogs, sleds) is allowed:

 

http://skimtta.com

 

I am a novice telemarker. Hope to become an expert some day in the future.

 

To implement and maintain a multi-use trail is cheaper than to implement and maintain separate trails. You get what you pay for.

 

The best way. 1 trail for XC skiers, 1 trail for snowshoers, 1 trail for dogs, 1 trail for sleds. 1 ski area for alpiners, 1 ski area for XC telemarkers, 1 skate park for skate/snow boarders. Good fences make the best neighbors.

 

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