January/February 2004

Training & Technique Poling Principles

Training & Technique Poling PrinciplesA lifetime of walking and running will help you use your legs to get around on skis. Poling, on the other hand, is a different matter. You could use poles as you walk or run during your daily routine, but you might get a little tired explaining yourself. A more practical approach, perhaps, is to spend some concentrated effort on efficient poling the next time you ski by applying these poling principles. ... Read more >

Kick and Glide: Klister is not a Four-Letter Word!

Kick and Glide You've seen them on the trails-skiers skimming over the snow, passing you with no apparent effort. Perhaps her rhythmic pole plants first caught your eye, but what left a lasting impression was how she used a V-2 on a hill you always climbed in a V-1. Another day, you heard "on the inside" before he stepped around you on the rutted trail, leaving you to struggle with your snowplow. Then a skier floated up the rise, silently gripping and gliding as he passed while you cursed and slipped with each stride.

How do they do it? Good technique is important, but with skiing, the whole is definitely greater than the ... Read more >

January/February 2004

Winter Adaptations: How Animals Save Body Heat


Frozen World: Winter Adaptations: How Animals Save Body HeatAt warmer temperatures, scientists always assumed that the ski's pressure against snow was enough to produce the heat necessary to melt the layer of water. Indeed, at temperatures fairly near freezing that's what happens: The pressure of, say, a hundred pound skier going 60 m.p.h. downhill is the equivalent of three 100-watt light bulbs strapped to each ski. With that much water, the main engineering challenge is figuring out how to get rid of excess water before suction provides extra friction, slowing the ski down. That big groove down the middle of your ski base? That's what it's there for. But if you really want to glide, you need more: You need thousands of microscopic grooves, and you need them arranged in a bewildering array of patterns depending on temperature, humidity and ... Read more >

CAPE BRETON ISLAND: WINTER EXCURSIONS IN A LAND OF MOOSE, MOUNTAINS AND MEGA SNOW


Competitive Edge It was 10 degrees Fahrenheit, and the sun made snow stars dance in my sun glasses. My shoulders brushed the snow-covered spruce limbs as I followed our guide along a route through trees rendered tunnel-like by their overloaded branches. Periodically Les, our lead guide, raised his hand to slow us as we crested a rise to survey the valley below for moose. We'd not yet seen any today, only the second day of five without sightings, and we were anxious for one last look at these magnificent creatures.

This was our first trip to Cape Breton Island, that mountainous rocky hunk of Nova Scotia that sticks out into the North Atlantic, a three-hour flight north from ... Read more >

January/February 2004

PEAK-TO-PEAK SKIING AT PURCELL LODGE, BC


Training & Technique"Heather, this looks like the spot." Our search began in early fall of 2002 as we scanned the web sites of backcountry ski operators in British Columbia for a spot that would satisfy our divergent visions of what would make a great ski holiday. I was after the steep and deep with lots of vertical while my wife, Heather, preferred to be surrounded by spectacular scenery and do some ski touring on easier terrain. We were almost ready to give up our search since it seemed that most backcountry lodges either catered to the advanced hard-core skier or offered basic ski tours, but not both. Then we clicked on Purcell Lodge. No question about Purcell Lodge's exceptional terrain! And it appeared that a good percentage of the 17 others who joined us during our five-day stay had come for ... Read more >

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