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  1. #1
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    Off Topic: Best Cross-Country skis "for the Front Range"?

    Serious question. I want to take up cross country skiing this winter and I'm trying to figure out what sort of skis I should get. I'm not looking to do any big alpine stuff, mostly just light touring on hiking trails. I know most of the resorts require skinny skis that fit into their groomed tracks. That's kind of boring though. I'm hoping there are enough trails on the Front Range that are skiable that some fatter, metal-edged skis make sense.

    Does anyone have suggestions on a light touring set up? Recommendations for which trails are fun to ski? I've heard people ski on top of North Table. What about Centennial Cone or Mathew Winters (the flatter trails)? Does JeffCo have any restrictions on skiing in their parks? I looked but couldn't find anything.

    Thanks for any suggestions!

  2. #2
    Except when I'm driving
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    Best XC skis for the Frontrange

    This is what I would like to get.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    I'm bored and at work or else I would be riding

  3. #3
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    It takes a great snow year (or get out during a storm before it gets slushy/icy) to make front range trails skiable but with some driving you can tour on jeep roads and trails in the mountains.

    As for a set up look for metal edged skis Fischer , Rossignol & Karhu make popular ones. These days they tend to be around 110mm or wider at the tip for "backcountry touring " skis.
    Get a boot that has at least one buckle (The Rossignol BCX 6 is popular) because you will progress into skiing steeper terrain carrying a day pack and will appreciate the extra support.

  4. #4
    ridin dirtay
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    the drugs made me realize it's not about the drugs

  5. #5
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    Obligatory: have some basic avalanche safety knowledge or exclusively follow trails that are known to be safe

    There is a huge variety of skis to consider, and yes, there are plenty of places to tour, but as noted, the lower elevation places are solely tourable during/immediately after a storm. But metal edged toruing skis can be the width of set track, all the way to the width of alpine skis.

    A good all around suggestion is something with a waxless base pattern, and a beefy NNN BC boot binding combo. I just got the Madshus Glittertind with NNN BC boots and bindings (don't recall models). The Glittertind is narrower, and just barely fits in set xc ski tracks, so I can use it in places like Eldora and Snow Mt Ranch, but handles great on backcountry trails too. It could be wider, it would float better, but I'm not really looking for places to make turns with these (see obligatory disclaimer).

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by WKD-RDR View Post
    I've NEVER ridden a split-board as I'd always thought they would suck. Are they reasonably stiff/safe at high speed?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt Disney's Frozen Head View Post
    I've NEVER ridden a split-board as I'd always thought they would suck. Are they reasonably stiff/safe at high speed?
    If this guy rides it I'm going to assume it will be perfectly stiff/safe on the (comparatively) pansy ass runs I do.

    (Warning: boring slowmo board shot at the beginning)

  8. #8
    ridin dirtay
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt Disney's Frozen Head View Post
    I've NEVER ridden a split-board as I'd always thought they would suck. Are they reasonably stiff/safe at high speed?
    I think most of the boards themselves ride fine (mine does, anyway). The binding system (practice practice) can be a nuisance, but its the cross country-ing portion that can be difficult (i.e. rolling terrain).
    Its good to have one that you can make a tele turn or 2 on so you dont have to switch as much. It looks like JJ is trying to deal with that, per his vid.
    the drugs made me realize it's not about the drugs

  9. #9
    zrm
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    Quote Originally Posted by WKD-RDR View Post
    Not sure what kind of a snowboard they make but they're a very half assed pair of skis, especially for kick n glide type nordic skiing.

  10. #10
    zrm
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    For basic kick n glide trail type skiing, except in a big year or after a big storm you'll have to go a little higher into the mtns. If you just want to get out in the woods and get a little exercise, almost any trail or unplowed road will do. If it's a lean snow year think about trails you've done that aren't quite as rocky, they take less snow. There is a lot of nic touring along the peak to peak hwy, around Allenspark, Ned and that area. Summit has tons of great trail type touring.

    Summit county, the higher elevations in Gilpin, Boulder, & Jefferson all have fine ski touring that doesn't get you into any kind of avalanche terrain.

    I wouldn't call Nordic skiing at touring centers "boring". Not only is it about the best workout possible, but going fast on 20mm wide skis on rolling, let alone steep groomed trails will keep your attention.

    Regardless of what flavor of Nordic skiing you do, for a lot of people, me included, moving over snow on skis - especially once you learn the basics and have some sort of fitness base (if it was easy it'd be called snowboarding ) is one of the finest things a person can do.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt Disney's Frozen Head View Post
    I've NEVER ridden a split-board as I'd always thought they would suck. Are they reasonably stiff/safe at high speed?
    they suck, so do people who ride them

  12. #12
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    heres my two cent since

    cross country skiing is awesome, most people don't like it because it's is kind of a loser sport maybe, but then again my parents bought me a some xc skis at age 8 dropped me off in the woods and told me to find my way home

    your options:

    buy a set of "classic" cross country skis, these are easy and cheap to come by, no metal edges, narrow (takes alot of balance), people are letting these go cheap at garage sales and second hand stores. They take alot of work to learn how to use but if you can get it down you'll like it. specially they exercise part, going down hill will be not so much fun, if you buy them cheap you won't mind scratching the bottoms too much a good intro way to go

    the new hybred skis with 3/4 metal edges are good, alittle fatter, easier to use, the cost is alot more than a classic set up

    I have both, for a quick little tour the classic is the best, for longer days further out the hibreds are more funer

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    I wouldn't call Nordic skiing at touring centers "boring". Not only is it about the best workout possible, but going fast on 20mm wide skis on rolling, let alone steep groomed trails will keep your attention.
    dude, you ski on pencils???

    I do agree that touring centers aren't boring, especially the ones that aren't on golf courses at the base of a ski area.

  14. #14
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    If you're in Denver you might wanna check out: Ski Denver!
    The older I get, the faster I was.





    Punch it, Chewie.

  15. #15
    zrm
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bagwhan View Post
    dude, you ski on pencils???
    .
    err sorry, more like ~45 mm for my skate skis

    Don't know where I came up with 20, haven't been thinking about skiing for a few months or just a plain brain fart.

  16. #16
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    thanks everyone for the feedback. sounds like maybe i should rent a few times and see what i like on the local trails. sure is more fun to buy some new gear though...

  17. #17
    3nf
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    Renting is a good idea, especially if you haven't been on Nordic skis before. There are a few Nordic centers around- Eldora has a package for $40 that includes rental and a lesson.

    I ended up getting some metal edged "touring" skis, which are narrow enough for classic tracks at Nordic centers but also work on ungroomed areas. Like having one bike for commuting, road riding, and riding trails, there are lots of compromises- I might have been better off getting some better handling (and cheaper) skis without edges and thinking about touring skis later.

    I have skid on NTM because it's close, and always see other skiiers- also the Bakerville-Loveland Trail, and some stuff up on Squaw Pass. Oh, and there is pretty consistently good snow around the Brainard Lake area (and lots of other skiers).

    The workout is nice, and skipping I-70 and not paying anything to go skiing is bliss.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Rizz View Post
    thanks everyone for the feedback. sounds like maybe i should rent a few times and see what i like on the local trails. sure is more fun to buy some new gear though...
    Renting is good for the "local" trails - 'cause you're going to beat the ever-living $HIT out of skis on the "local" trails.

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