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NotLight
distinguished member(1212)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/03/2014 06:53AM
Anyone have a recommendation for x-country ski, boot, poles for off track skiing - possibly pulling a sled? Thanks.

 
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rightsideup
member (15)member
 
01/04/2014 06:57AM
I love my waxless Madshus Eon's, old school Asolo Snowfield leather 3-pin's, and wide basket poles. I pull my sled with a waist harness, rope and bungee combo.
marsonite
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01/04/2014 07:39AM
I don't know how hard you want to work at this....I say find the biggest antique wooden ski you can. I made my own last winter. They're 3" wide and 8' long. I use a purchased Berwin binding which will accept any winter boot. I found some antique ski poles on craigslist which have large snow baskets.

With this setup, I can ski at 2 mph or more, while breaking trail. Try that with snowshoes! They are a bit unwieldy in brush, but not as bad as you might think.

Another option would be to take the ski making class up at the North House Folk School in Grand Marais.

If you are rich, you can buy a pair of similar skis here: Finnish skis

Here's my setup:
NotLight
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01/04/2014 09:43PM
quote rightsideup: "I love my waxless Madshus Eon's, old school Asolo Snowfield leather 3-pin's, and wide basket poles. I pull my sled with a waist harness, rope and bungee combo."
These look pretty big, are they heavy to ski in or is it worth the floatation?

Thanks.
NotLight
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01/04/2014 09:47PM
quote marsonite: "If you are rich, you can buy a pair of similar skis here: Finnish skis "

Wow, marsonite your skis are awesome. Any idea what they weigh without the bindings?

If I were rich, I'd quit my day job, move to a cabin in Finland, pick berries and make beautiful wooden skis all day. Maybe sell them on the internet.

marsonite
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01/05/2014 07:52AM
quote NotLight: "quote marsonite: "If you are rich, you can buy a pair of similar skis here: Finnish skis "

Wow, marsonite your skis are awesome. Any idea what they weigh without the bindings?

If I were rich, I'd quit my day job, move to a cabin in Finland, pick berries and make beautiful wooden skis all day. Maybe sell them on the internet.

"


Thanks. Don't know exactly what they weigh, but they're heavy. The cores are cedar, but the outer laminations are hickory/maple. However, the weight isn't bothersome. I was concerned at first, but I don't even think about it anymore. You don't have to pick up your feet. Mind you these are for deep snow; I wouldn't dream of taking them to a groomed ski trail. I have a pair of traditional showshoes and the weight of them is much more of a factor.
marsonite
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01/05/2014 08:04AM
Don't know where you live notlight, but I saw these on Craigslist:
back country skis
hubben
senior member (65)senior membersenior member
 
01/05/2014 08:08AM
Wow, marsonite, those skis are really impressive. You "make-it-yourself-ers" earn my admiration. Are the bindings hinged near where the sole of your boot rests? Otherwise, I can't see how you'd get your heels off the ski for any sort of propulsion.
marsonite
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01/05/2014 09:05AM
quote hubben: "Wow, marsonite, those skis are really impressive. You "make-it-yourself-ers" earn my admiration. Are the bindings hinged near where the sole of your boot rests? Otherwise, I can't see how you'd get your heels off the ski for any sort of propulsion. "

The part of the binding under your foot flexes so your heel does come up with each kick. You do have to use a boot with a flexible sole. These bindings have been in use for many years. Google "Berwin binding". They are for flat land back country skiing. You wouldn't want to try telemark skiing in them, I don't think.

The evolution of skiing really is an interesting topic. We've forgotten what they were invented for. One time I was skiing at a popular cross country ski area(with my factory skis), and I decided to bushwhack down to the parking lot. A woman saw me and was shocked I would try something like that...."good luck!" she said. Gee, skis were invented for travelling over snow in the winter.

Anyway, making the skis was a fun project and not really that hard assuming you have a few critical tools like a surface planer and a table saw. Fine Woodworking magazine had an article years ago about the process, though I had to scale up the measurements for my skis.
DanCooke
distinguished member(1058)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/05/2014 09:21AM
The home made skis look neat! I purchase my first new skis since 1979 this year. A pair of Madshus Annum 195's, and had Midwest Mountaineering put on the heavy duty 75mm 3 pin bindings. They looked so wide, but I went with Bear's advice on more area more float over slush / breaking trail. After using them this past week in the BWCA with temps rarely coming up to close to zero I can not say enough good things on how they worked. I scraped off slush once, (slush has 8-10" deep in some places, and was encountered many times) Skied many miles hauling sleds and doing day trips. Poles would go into the slush but I would not get the skis in the slush.
I would steer away from the bindings that have the metal round bar style you step in. I have seen too many times the mechanism either will not accept the boot or not release because of the mechanism being in-cased in a ice tomb.
I used Carbon fiber poles with small baskets. They are doing the job. I sometimes worry about a failure caused when knocking slush off.
On Portages I would ski until the hill was to step to move forward without herringbone or side stepping; at which point I would remove them and walk.
I had brought my old skis along but they never were used.
PINETREE
distinguished member(12214)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
01/05/2014 02:22PM
NNN bindings or medal bar and clip on do ice up in wet conditions,but had some luck with WD40 to keep them from icing up. I will admit my binding has frozen shut,but much less now.
It is a more efficient binding but does have its imperfections also. In most things,nothing is perfect and adapt to what your needs will be?
My skis are backcountry by Fisher and 205 X 55 cm. Love them.
I think very wide skis would work extremely well breaking trail or soft snow. Get harder packed snow or late season skiing longer and somewhat narrower ski. Bottom line if you can afford it multi-skis?
Use scaled skis and fiberglass poles. Would carbon poles be brittle like at -20 degrees F.

One question,how does the very wide skis do on hills like herring boneing? I know some places just about any ski you will have to take them off to go up or down certain hills.
DanCooke
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01/05/2014 03:41PM
I was skiing carbon poles at minus 28° no problem this past week. minus 54 back in 1980 without issue as well. The cold is not an issue as much as nicking them to start a fracture. Herringbone is fine in the wider skis. Just too much energy to herringbone with a sled.
PINETREE
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01/05/2014 03:54PM
quote DanCooke: "I was skiing carbon poles at minus 28° no problem this past week. minus 54 back in 1980 without issue as well. The cold is not an issue as much as nicking them to start a fracture. Herringbone is fine in the wider skis. Just too much energy to herringbone with a sled."

Thanks for the info. Always learning something.
NotLight
distinguished member(1212)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/05/2014 05:15PM
So it sounds like, you do want a really really wide ski, and maybe a second set of "normal" skis maybe. Some more questions. Does the metal edge add much in MN other than extra weight? Are there any really wide skis out there besides those stunning homemade skis without the metal edge? And, on the 3-pin bindings. I have horrible childhood memories of snow/ice getting inside the pinholes of the boots, and that little mound of ice that builds up on the aluminum binding at the ball of your foot. Is that a problem? Finally, I've tried my Black Diamond Trekking poles with the basket add-ons in deeper snow. But I wonder if that plastic in the adjuster clamps gets brittle below zero and might break.

DanCooke
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01/05/2014 05:47PM
Two sets of skis, depends on conditions. The deeper the snow or slush the better the wide skis will be. Hard packed snow where the narrow ski will float you, will be more fun as there is less ski to move about. I have had no issues with the pin holes filling up on 3 pin 75mm. On the bar style I have seen too many cases where the binding is very difficult to latch, or fails to unlatch. Even with WD40 or teflon spray. Had to poor hot thermos water to melt ice from the space where the mechanism needs to move about in on several pair. People had to bring their skis in the hot tent to get boots out of bindings and dry them out.
NotLight
distinguished member(1212)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/12/2014 10:07PM
quote marsonite: "I don't know how hard you want to work at this....I say find the biggest antique wooden ski you can. I made my own last winter. They're 3" wide and 8' long. I use a purchased Berwin binding which will accept any winter boot. I found some antique ski poles on craigslist which have large snow baskets.


With this setup, I can ski at 2 mph or more, while breaking trail. Try that with snowshoes! They are a bit unwieldy in brush, but not as bad as you might think.


Another option would be to take the ski making class up at the North House Folk School in Grand Marais.


If you are rich, you can buy a pair of similar skis here: Finnish skis


Here's my setup: "




I finally watched Happy People: A Year in the Taiga, mentioned a couple times on another BWCA thread. A documentary on the life of winter hunter/trappers in Siberia. Really cool homemade skis. Pretty much convinced me on the fat skis, watching someone use them. (highly recommend this movie just to check out the homemade skis - it's on Netflix instant streaming right now.)
jwartman59
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01/14/2014 08:25AM
basically any long and wide ski will be useful for backcountry skiing in minnesota. waxless is nice because, i hate to admit, they really work well in most conditions.

one warning. if you are looking for poles avoid bamboo. there are lots of bamboo poles out there from the seventies. by now these poles are no longer safe to use. when these things break, and they will, they become a thousand super sharp splinters.
cambot620
 
01/14/2014 09:03AM
If you only plan to use the skis on the flats, the longer the better since you'll have more float. But, if you plan on skiing through the bush, the long skis will prove difficult to maneuver.

For backcountry, nowax has never failed me. I'll gladly take the tradeoff between kick/glide and not having to worry about snow conditions and wax.

Also, if there's a chance you'll find yourself on a windblown lake with glare ice, I'd recommend something with a metal edge (you probably wont run into that this year though.

This year I'll use my Karhu Odyssey 175cm nowax steel edge.
PINETREE
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01/14/2014 09:31AM
Waxless is the way to go off trail. Your not going for speed and if pulling a sled you have more traction.
 
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