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  #21  
Old 24.11.2008, 19:25
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Re: How to learn ski-touring / back-country cross country skiing

Thanks, I will report back my findings...if anyone is interested in sharing a beginner lesson, pm me.
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  #22  
Old 25.11.2008, 06:09
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Re: How to learn ski-touring / back-country cross country skiing

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I did a nice skating lesson at the school in Studen which is around an hour from Zurich. They do classic lessons too, and I think they would be able to do them in English if you asked. You can hire/buy equipment there too and the shop is excellent.

Studen is not far from Einsiedeln but tends to be a few degrees colder because of its situation and slightly higher altitude, so the snow is usually better with a longer season.

Best of all they're reporting 27km of loipe open right now! If you want to find other places try the http://snow.myswitzerland.com/snow_reports/?lang=en site (click on cross country skiing and then sorting the table that appears below according to the condition of the track works best to find places at the beginning of the season)

Here are links for Studen anyway.
http://www.studen-sz.ch/
http://www.schaad-nordicsports.ch
We took a skate-skiing lesson at both Einsiedeln and Studen last year, and it was a blast. Dakman you will love it (once you figure out how to stay upright - at least if you're like me! )

I recommend making an appointment for a lesson at Studen with Andreas. He's the owner of the shop there were you rent the equipment, a really nice guy, and speaks great English. Tell him I sent you!
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  #23  
Old 25.11.2008, 09:51
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Re: How to learn ski-touring / back-country cross country skiing

Thanks...does anyone have an opinion ( I am sure you do) on whether it is better to learn skate vs. classic. Should one have a basis in classic before skate skiing?

My preference is to learn skate skiing.
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  #24  
Old 25.11.2008, 10:46
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Re: How to learn ski-touring / back-country cross country skiing

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Thanks...does anyone have an opinion ( I am sure you do) on whether it is better to learn skate vs. classic. Should one have a basis in classic before skate skiing?

My preference is to learn skate skiing.
Skating is more energetic and IMO more fun, but you will need different skis and boots for either...
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Old 25.11.2008, 10:48
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Re: How to learn ski-touring / back-country cross country skiing

It depends... with classic you can go on steeper terrain, narrower paths and, with the right skis etc., on unprepared surfaces. Basically you can go places you can't on skating skis. On the other hand, skating is fast and just feels great to do, it's super-elegant once you find your rhythm (not saying classic isn't elegant but it's different). Generally, with skating you can cover more ground for less effort. Despite what people say I don't think you need to be so fit for skating, at least on moderate terrain. Actually, because you're normally stuck in tracks with classic you do tend to put alot of effort on particular muscle groups so it can end up quite sore if your not used to it, at least with skating your movement is freer so the work is shared a bit more.

The problem is that it takes a bit of practise to crack the skating technique and, like all skiing, its quite frustrating/tiring until you do. Even then, it is hard work when you have to go uphill. Classic is easier to learn, but unless you go somewhere relatively remote and with great landscape you might find it a bit boring. I don't think you need to know classic to skate. Actually, because you don't have grip wax on skating skis you can't use the classic technique anyway, though you can, to some extent, skate on classic skis. Going downhill is the same for either style.

In the end of course it's up to you, I've basically switched entirely to skating now, since learning it last year. I think it's more fun and well ... it's the endorphins maaannn.
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  #26  
Old 25.11.2008, 12:34
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Re: How to learn ski-touring / back-country cross country skiing

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Thanks...does anyone have an opinion (I am sure you do) on whether it is better to learn skate vs. classic. Should one have a basis in classic before skate skiing?

My preference is to learn skate skiing.
For some reason, I have the feeling we had this exact same conversation last year. My answer is still the same. I think that no matter how little interest you have in doing classic skiing in the long run, it's best to start with it first if you want to learn how to skate. In fact, my mother and one of my brothers are are certified cross-country ski coaches (they both coach the provincial racing team back home) and they both always have their newbies begin with classic skiing, even if it is their sole intention to learn skate skiing.

Heather
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  #27  
Old 25.11.2008, 12:40
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Re: How to learn ski-touring / back-country cross country skiing

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For some reason, I have the feeling we had this exact same conversation last year. My answer is still the same. I think that no matter how little interest you have in doing classic skiing in the long run, it's best to start with it first if you want to learn how to skate. In fact, my mother is a coach and she always has her newbies begin with classic skiing.

Heather

I had a suspicion we did too....but couldn't find it....my search abilities are not so great I admit. And we won't even start talking about my memory (which seems to be in serious in decline)....you youngsters are lucky.
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  #28  
Old 25.11.2008, 15:21
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Re: How to learn ski-touring / back-country cross country skiing

Not x-country skiing but a couple of shots of skiing from yesterday morning.



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  #29  
Old 25.11.2008, 16:00
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Re: How to learn ski-touring / back-country cross country skiing

Wow!! Where is it? There seems to be lots of snow!
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  #30  
Old 25.11.2008, 19:42
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Re: How to learn ski-touring / back-country cross country skiing

I don't think classic is useful to learn first. Skating is the new thing & the techniques have little in common. Skating technique is more related to roller blading & speed skating. If you can do either of those, you'll be at a huge advantage. Even downhill is different, up to a point, as the good guys keep on skating, even in a slight tuck with poles under their armpits.

I'm hugely jealous - I'm just too uncoordinated to skate. A week's course & several individual lessons were not enough to overcome my intrinisic lack of balance .
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  #31  
Old 25.11.2008, 20:11
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Re: How to learn ski-touring / back-country cross country skiing

I also have pretty bad balance, which is why I'm happy to cruise along doing the classic style, only falling occasionally instead of all the time.
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  #32  
Old 25.11.2008, 20:30
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Re: How to learn ski-touring / back-country cross country skiing

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I am keen to learn cross country skiing and would like to have a lesson before I head back to the US in mid Jan....
dakman,

You will have to travel for XC skiing in New England

In recent years there has been NO reliable XC skiing in Massachussets or the souther parts of Vermont and New Hampshire. Conditions are variable from year to year even further north.

In the middle of New Hampshire I can recommend three resorts; all give lessons:Of these three, Jackson is XC only, though the Wildcat Mountain alpine area is close enough. Bretton Woods has a very mellow alpine area.

Hope this helps!
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  #33  
Old 26.11.2008, 08:45
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Re: How to learn ski-touring / back-country cross country skiing

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I don't think classic is useful to learn first. Skating is the new thing & the techniques have little in common. Skating technique is more related to roller blading & speed skating.

<snip>

I'm hugely jealous - I'm just too uncoordinated to skate. A week's course & several individual lessons were not enough to overcome my intrinisic lack of balance .
The two techniques have lots in common in terms of the skills required, even if though they look fairly different: both require the skier to shift their entire weight onto one skinny ski that they are attached to only by a small pin at the toe, and then shift their entire weight onto the other ski, which is every bit as wobbly as the first one. You also require good coordination with your upper body to control the poles, and good overall body strength.

The fact that you are having a hard time learning skating is, as you said, probably because your balance just isn't there yet. This is very difficult to build up when you jump straight into skating: shifting your weight back and forth onto skis that are sliding sideways and forwards at the same time is a very hard thing to do if you're not already used to the feeling of shifting your weight back and forth between two skis that are just sliding forwards. This is EXACTLY why it's recommended to learn classic first. Both techniques require exceptional balance, but classic skiing has a few fewer degrees of freedom (i.e. because of the grip, skis can't slip backwards by accident, and so long as they stay in the track, you don't need to worry about them sliding sideways either.) Once you feel comfortable with gliding around on skis in classic, it's a much smaller jump to learn skate-style skiing. And in classic skiing, if your balance isn't very good yet, you can always resort to sort of shuffling along with only partial weight shift.

And skate skiing isn't that new: I've been doing it for over 20 years.

Heather
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Old 26.11.2008, 20:53
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Re: How to learn ski-touring / back-country cross country skiing

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The two techniques have lots in common in terms of the skills required, even if though they look fairly different: both require the skier to shift their entire weight onto one skinny ski that they are attached to only by a small pin at the toe, and then shift their entire weight onto the other ski, which is every bit as wobbly as the first one. You also require good coordination with your upper body to control the poles, and good overall body strength.

The fact that you are having a hard time learning skating is, as you said, probably because your balance just isn't there yet. This is very difficult to build up when you jump straight into skating: shifting your weight back and forth onto skis that are sliding sideways and forwards at the same time is a very hard thing to do if you're not already used to the feeling of shifting your weight back and forth between two skis that are just sliding forwards. This is EXACTLY why it's recommended to learn classic first. Both techniques require exceptional balance, but classic skiing has a few fewer degrees of freedom (i.e. because of the grip, skis can't slip backwards by accident, and so long as they stay in the track, you don't need to worry about them sliding sideways either.) Once you feel comfortable with gliding around on skis in classic, it's a much smaller jump to learn skate-style skiing. And in classic skiing, if your balance isn't very good yet, you can always resort to sort of shuffling along with only partial weight shift.

And skate skiing isn't that new: I've been doing it for over 20 years.

Heather
Those who are young and fit should learn the skating Langlauf. Older and/or feebler may be content to learn the more realxed "classic" parallel ski Langlauf.
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  #35  
Old 26.11.2008, 20:56
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Re: How to learn ski-touring / back-country cross country skiing

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I'm hugely jealous - I'm just too uncoordinated to skate. A week's course & several individual lessons were not enough to overcome my intrinisic lack of balance .
Surely, balance can be trained. Anyone tried the Wii Balance?
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  #36  
Old 26.11.2008, 21:19
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Re: How to learn ski-touring / back-country cross country skiing

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Those who are young and fit should learn the skating Langlauf. Older and/or feebler may be content to learn the more realxed "classic" parallel ski Langlauf.
The OP was looking for advice regarding skiing on:
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marked but ungroomed cross country ski trails
Have fun trying to skate on those trails. The beauty of the "classic" x-country skiing is that you can make your own trail. Not that I'm saying that I am not old and feeble, just saying
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  #37  
Old 26.11.2008, 22:03
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Re: How to learn ski-touring / back-country cross country skiing

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Surely, balance can be trained. Anyone tried the Wii Balance?
Up to a point, up to a point. I've been classic XC skiing for 20 years... so that's not my problem. Skating didn't exist in France at the time.

Like any skill, training helps, but only up to some genetically set limit. Like ChrisW, my limit is horribly low. Too bad. Watching the guys training for the Transjurassienne is really frustrating, as I've got the legs, lungs & heart for it.
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  #38  
Old 27.11.2008, 09:25
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Re: How to learn ski-touring / back-country cross country skiing

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Up to a point, up to a point. I've been classic XC skiing for 20 years... so that's not my problem. Skating didn't exist in France at the time.

Like any skill, training helps, but only up to some genetically set limit. Like ChrisW, my limit is horribly low. Too bad. Watching the guys training for the Transjurassienne is really frustrating, as I've got the legs, lungs & heart for it.
If you've got the legs, lungs, and heart for it then why not do the Transjurassienne on classic skis? I've done a 52km "race" on classic skis before (the Keskinada Loppet outside Ottawa, Canada), it took a heck of a long time, but I'm sure with some training I could push it for a few more hours and do the Transjurassienne distance.
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  #39  
Old 27.11.2008, 11:57
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Re: How to learn ski-touring / back-country cross country skiing

This just in...

The langlauf/skate-ski/cross-country/classic/nordic/shuffle-a-long or ski-like-a-hardman track is open near Gibswil (Züricher Oberland).

Here's a link to the webcam: http://webcam.panoramaloipe.ch/

See you all out there!

FYI, a Sfr. 100 pass gets you all season access to all tracks in Switzerland, plus a parking pass to put on your dash board.
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