Improving Your Cross Country Skiing Experience

Dave Pecunies Photography

The town of Big Sky, and Big Sky country in general, is a mecca for Nordic skiing. Between Lone Mountain Ranch and the miles of groomed ski trails around the greater Gallatin County region, nordic skiing, and specifically skate skiing, is one of the best activities for getting into the woods and away from the crowds, fast. But unlike downhill skis, skate skis require more frequent waxing and at-home care. This may sounds overwhelming, but don’t worry; waxing is one of the sublime pleasures of being a nordic skier. Here’s a quick primer on the basics of waxing skate skis:

Lone Mountain Ranch

Lone Mountain Ranch

What you’ll need:

  • Ski vice or clamps, homemade or store bought
  • Glide wax
  • Scraper
  • Waxing iron
  • Cork block

Tuning supplies available at local shops like Grizzly Outfitters, East Slope Outdoors and Lone Mountain Sports. They also offer tuning services if you don’t want to do it yourself.

The Process:

Before being stowed away every spring, skate skis should receive a coat of “storage wax”, which needs to be removed every fall. After affixing your skis to your chose work surface, set your wax iron to medium heat and begin slowly heating the base of your ski. As the iron and the ski get hotter, the existing wax with turn ghostly white and stand out. Scrap off all the old wax to give yourself a new start.

After the ski is stripped and ready for wax, it’s time to give your skis their first coat of glide wax for the winter. Begin the waxing process by holding your wax block at a steep downward angle to the face of the iron, allowing hot wax to drip onto the ski.

Cover the ski with little blotches of wax from tip to tail. After the ski is fairly covered, begin spreading the wax around the ski’s base by running your iron in circular motions across the ski’s base. You will see the wax melt and spread. Continue this waxing motion until the ghostly white wax covers the ski base entirely. Because nordic skis have relatively soft bases, be careful to not melt the ski’s base.

Now it’s time to scrape. Hold your wax scraper at 45-degree angle to the ski as you pull the scraper towards yourself. You’ll see satisfying curls of excess wax pull from the ski. Once the excess is pulled from the ski, the bases should appear shiny and smooth. If you want to put some additional elbow grease into the work, buff the skis bases with a cork block to work the wax into the base.

Now get your skiing clothes on and get out the door!

xmasbook-1895

Photos © Dave Pecunies Photography

 

How to have a Merry “Green”mas, and safe holiday

cam-ski

hollyThough not everyone will be celebrating Christmas this week, it’s safe to say that most will be spending time with family and friends.

Check out these tips to help the environment, and keep you fire-safe, during the holidays.

  • 3 Ways To Have a Merry Greenmas

    You can make the holidays more eco-friendly by putting a green twist on Christmas traditions. Here are 3 smart ways to green up your holiday. Read

  • Holiday Fire Safety Tips

    The holiday season is one of the most dangerous times of the year for household fires, so take note of these tips to reduce your risk. Read

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.

Copyright 2016 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

Winter In Yellowstone National Park

winter-in-yellowstone-banner

Yellowstone National Park is one of the most spectacular wonders of the world, and we are fortunate to have it essentially in our back yard. But, did you know that in addition to millions of visitors passing through there in the summer, it is also open to the public in the winter? Except for a few weeks in the spring and fall when the park is closed to public traffic, you can experience the wonder during all seasons.

While you are making your plans to be in Big Sky this winter to enjoy skiing at Big Sky Resort or cross country and sleigh-riding adventures at Lone Mountain Ranch, consider a visit to Yellowstone to round out your trip.

xmasbook-1845You can explore the park on your own by cross country skiing into the park, and within it from one of their year-round lodging facilities; you can take a guided snowmobile tour; or you can view it from the warmth and comfort of a Snowcoach. The tours are available to various places in the park including the Old Faithful area and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. You can make it a day trip, or enjoy several days staying in the Snow Lodge or other hotel within the park. If you prefer to drive yourself, the section of road between Mammoth Hot Springs (North entrance) and Cooke City (East Entrance) is open on a year round basis.

Below is a collection of information to help you make your plans. Don’t wait, reservations for the tours and lodging within the park book early!

West Yellowstone Snowcoach and Snowmobile Tours:

Buffalo Bus Snowcoach Tour

Backcountry Adventures

SeeYellowstone.com

Yellowstone Adventures

Teton Valley Adventures

Yellowstone National Park Lodging

This winter, the National Park Service is renovating the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel and Cabins, so they will be closed. However, the Old Faithful Snow Lodge and Cabins are open and currently taking reservations for the winter season. If you are looking to stay in the park for a few days, consider booking a Snowcoach to transport you to Old Faithful where you can cross country ski or snowshoe, stay in the Lodge or a Cabin, and travel back out again on a Snowcoach.

Cross Country Skiing/Snowshoeing

There are a number of companies that offer guided ski and snowshoe tours into the park, including and Yellowstone Expeditions and Yellowstone Ski Tours. If you’d like to explore on your own, check out the National Park Service information found here.

yellowstone-0051-crop

Ski Gear Trends in Big Sky, Montana

Ski Gear Trends in Big Sky, MontanaSki gear is constantly evolving. What was once a novelty, such as fat skis, is now mainstream, and according to Ken Lancey co-owner of Grizzly Outfitters in the Big Sky Town Center, the trend now is leaning towards more limited production, high quality gear.

Those interested in more exclusive ski brands may want to look to the smaller companies that have adopted a more hands-on approach to the design and output. Instead of a big factory production, smaller ski companies are creating innovative lines that are laminated and crafted by hand. They happen to be quite a bit more expensive, but as the old saying goes, you get what you pay for.

Ken recommends Kästle skis, a company that lives by the motto “quality over quantity,” and the Salt Lake City-based DPS skis. “Both of these brands have limited production; they’re not pumping out 20,000 pairs like the more well known brands, so there’s more attention to the process of making them,” Ken says. “It’s like small batch bourbon; can you taste the difference between that and Jack Daniels? Yes, you can.”

In addition to the quality of the construction, skiers will enjoy a smoother ride. The skis are stable at high speed with lower vibration. They are also favored by those who want to ride on something more unique than the brands most often seen in the lift lines.

Those looking for high-end, high performing ski gear, may also want to consider clothing, goggles and ski boots. Ken recommends the heated Hester gloves ($400+) and Kjus clothing, which is technical and performance oriented, while also being stylish, with a classic and refined look. For high-end goggles, look for those with a built in GPS and displays that interface with your phone or iPod so you can see what track you’re on. Grizzly OUtfitters also specializes in ski boots, and they completely customize a factory boot in house with custom footbeds, liners and heaters for the ultimate ski boot comfort. Located at 11 Lone Peak Dr #101, www.grizzlyoutfitters.com.