OK, so, I'm gonna learn XCountry skiing this winter! | High Sierra Topix  

OK, so, I'm gonna learn XCountry skiing this winter!

Discussion about winter adventure sports in the Sierra Nevada mountains including but not limited to; winter backpacking and camping, mountaineering, downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, etc.
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OK, so, I'm gonna learn XCountry skiing this winter!

Postby SteveB » Sun Nov 27, 2005 9:31 pm

Probably a dumb question, but where does one start! :D Been reading, and I know I've got a ways to go, so do I just rent a pair of skis and boots, drive off the road somewhere (lotsa snow expected in the next 24 hours!), and practice??



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Postby hikerduane » Sun Nov 27, 2005 10:02 pm

I think it would be discouraging to go by yourself. Ask at the ski shops sports stores that sell skis. I think some of the resorts would offer lessons. A couple up on the hill have courses, if you are going to try track skiing. Call them. I noticed Friday evening that the rain quit by the time I got half way thru Reno, heading north. Tons of folks I noticed last winter use the Mt. Rose highway area, before you hit the summit. Might want to ask a few people there. Good parking too. A tip here and there would be a big help I'm, a thinkin.
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Postby markskor » Mon Nov 28, 2005 8:43 am

The learning curve on x-country skiing can be pretty steep and while not completely necessary, a beginning lesson or two can really cut down this curve. True, almost anyone can "pin" on a pair skinny skis and head out along the flats. However, the value of correct technique immediately comes into play here - (can make all the difference) - because, as after you get better at it, you can go 4 times as far on 1/3 the energy.
The real problem with having no instruction will be most obvious on the downhill sections. Going up is easy, turning and stopping is another kettle of fish altogether.
I suggest going to some place that has prepared tracks and gives group lessons. So instead of standing in lift lines on a weekend, head over to a close by x-country ski area, like Tamarack Lodge in Mammoth, or maybe Kirkwood in Tahoe, and rent the beginners package and take a half day lesson. They will match you with the correct equipment for your height/weight, and they will have you gliding along and doing Hockey turns almost immediately.
I learned at Mammoth and the frozen lakes make a great place to learn.
Mountainman who swims with trout
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XC Skiing

Postby gdurkee » Tue Nov 29, 2005 9:10 pm

I agree that you want to take a half day or all day XC lesson. Mammoth, Tahoe, Bear Valley and Yosemite all do good jobs of basic beginner lessons. Start out by renting your equipment, see what's out there then buy it as you learn what you might like and what level skiing (e.g. track vs. off trail) skiing you might do. Yosemite, especially, is a good place because you can take a lesson or two, then ski out the glacier point road on free set track.

Maybe a little too advanced for you now, but you can take a look at my equipment recommendations for backcountry skiing at:
http://www.ostranderhut.com

GThere's a huge amount of variety in what you can do XC skiing and it's excellent exercise.

Good luck!

George
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Postby SteveB » Wed Nov 30, 2005 12:14 am

Thanks for the replies, everyone! Looks like the consensus is to get a day's worth of lessons before starting the journey, so I'll do that! :) I think I'll call around tomorrow to see about lesson prices and such! Thanks for the input!

Now, when it comes to buying gear SLOWLY, any suggestions on gear? I've seen a couple sales at (I think) LLBean and was wondering if places like that sell reasonable gear (for what I want to do), or if I should just piece-meal everything?

Thanks again!
SteveB
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Postby hikerduane » Wed Nov 30, 2005 7:23 pm

Go bug the stores. Get all the advice you can get. I want to get some back country skis myself and on my snow trip last Dec. in Mt. Rose Wilderness, I saw a couple styles of bingings. Check out bindings and ski shapes and skill level. Then rent some I guess would be the best.

Some of us from the NorthCA Hikers, a Yahoo group, are headed to Carson Pass in a couple weeks for an overnighter. If I go, I'll be leaving from CC on Sat. am. Do you snow camp?
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XC Skis

Postby gdurkee » Sat Dec 03, 2005 9:01 pm

Not sure what's a good ski nowadays. For a long time, a very good all-purpose ski (track and off track moderate terrain) was the Fischer Crown. I suspect it's still a good general ski. For more difficult terrain, the Fischer Rebound (both waxless) are pretty good. Kahru also had some good general skis.

Almost more important than the ski is the boot. You really need a good sturdy fairly stiff boot. It's hard enough turning on xc skis, but it's impossible with a light boot meant only for track skiing.

Ski shops often sell off their rental gear. The skis can be OK, but the boots are usually trashed.

good luck.

George
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Postby ritter » Thu Dec 22, 2005 10:41 am

I'm just getting into backcountry skiing myself. I've done some in the past, but just recently purchased some gear for myself and wife.

Try this forum: http://www.telemarktalk.com/phpBB/

They have excellent info and are very helpful. Many members are from the Tahoe/Reno area.

Ritter
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Postby JM21760 » Thu Dec 22, 2005 11:31 pm

Steve, go hit up REI over by Costco on Harvard Way. They should have some good sources for you. I've got a nice pair of backcountry skis, that come with some real nice Asolo boots. I'm looking to sell em off, I can't ski anymore. I can give you some more info if you would like. I got them at the Lake, from someone who left them behind. They're real nice. I wish I could use them.
John.
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