Originally Posted by Johnnys Zoo
I almost bought some XC skis from sierratrading post last year. There is no such thing as a XC gear swap within 200 miles of me...
PPTC Ski touring section runs one every year in Vienna VA.
|I wish there was. Part of my difficulty is not knowing what is the right gear? Between my mountain biking, and alpine skiing, its hard to research about XC type gear.
Where do you want to ski?
|I was wondering if there is a cheap guide/tutorial/instruction manual (XC ski gear for dummies) that breaks down all the different types of XC/BC skis, boots, etc.
Here is the nickel and dime version for the Mid-Atlantic:
Unless you go to Laurel Highlands, New Germany State Park or Whitegrass, you will not find groomed skate track. Period. Forget about skate skis. (Yes, I know about the nutsos who skate the bottom of 7Springs).
Unless you go to the above resorts or way, way, way out the C&O towpath you will not find double track that isn't postholed. Forget about waxable touring skis, you will not get any speed advantage whatsoever.
Start with a ski that has at least 3/4 steel edge because you will be running across daily refreeze. You will also be sidehilling a lot, because the snow is in the hills.
No-wax (meaning still glide wax but no grip wax) skis are a good starter kit. Slightly fatter skis float over low snowfall. Not too fat, though. Basically look at Alpinord's Rossis and the Fischers next to them (Europas?), and the boots underneath. That will give you access to 80% of the terrain. What it will not give you access to is steeper slopes at Whitegrass (comparable to blues at Snowshoe) or groomed track-skiing. Oh well, if you ski either of those you'll know what you want.
Get shorter skis with more climbing ability in preference to longer skis with gliding ability, (Karhu Ursas over Visu Voyagers) because the latter will backslip on ungroomed as you climb.
Elite cyclists tend to assume they have stronger ankles than they usually do, unless they also rock climb or run on uneven footing or skate in speed skates. Start with a taller, ankle supportive boot that can drive that 3/4 edge into the ice. Think Karhu Nomad, Rossi X9, taller Fischers (fit like Salomon), taller Alpinas (fit like Tecnica HV last).
That's all you really need to go out your back door. If you visit a touring center, they will usually have a wide variety of rentals, do take advantage and try things out.