Only february and a big thaw back and re-freeze comes to spoil the party. Runs are over 200m alt. And icey, old snow which has however been lovingly churned up and patted back down into what looks like a normal winter run, but is actually made of hard, large ice crystals on an icey base.
Ski-able it was however, very much so. While we await affordable "zero" wax skis to hit the market and cover say -10 to +5 , (the latest nanotech skis or otherwise synthetic textured kick zone inserts), we have to resort to the necessary evil of clister.
We turned up and it was -10C today with the sun now of course a little higher on the sky. Starting out 1150 on a day off from work, this was not just relaxed but practical- conditions would be a little softened and the air easier to breath with the sun up a while.
Having base wax, two layers, and some blue hard wax left, I just decided to plug on with lots of layers in the recommended pyramid of layers, more in the middle of the kick zone. Ignoring the advice to use clister.
Why ignore good advice from people who ar finished for the day and have done 12-18km!?? Well I hate using clister out on the day. It is horrid stuff. In the SmøreBu, it can atleast be heated or ironed on. On a cold day, it becomes like a resin and the fish bones become like a wax free pattern because they won't smooth out.
2km in and nearly all my wax was warn off, so out with said clister, still -9C and on with wishbone pattern of it then this hard resin like state.
Clister will go on top of hard wax effectively, it is just messy, but actually maybe easier to get off than using just clister types from the base upwards so to speak.
On the first hill it felt like having skins on: good grip! At the top, the clister was a mess of blobs with ice crystals hanging out them. No good for anything but up steep hills.
With the sun high in the sky, on a day truly stolen from heaven, the idea struck me to 1) heat the clister on the skis in the sun to soften it. 2) Hold the tube in my armpit for a while to soften the damn stuff.
The black skibase warmed up such that the ice melted and the clister became much more pliable, I was able to smooth off the blobs and then add more clister flowing now from the tube, to acheive kind of one and a half layers. Good effect. This lasted to the top another 4km away.
Even at the top, the heel area was bare and so more or less to protect the base and have some kick for some of the little "stops" ie short, steep slopes which break up the general down hills stretches. This then lasted enough all the way home, 6km or so.
So nice enough at the car park again, there was less clister and it was hard on the ski surface as the sun had left the lower parts of the course some time ago. So I could pack the skis. BUT don't forget them, especially not at the end of season. They have to be cleaned, if only to stop your annoyance at how mobile and sticky the stuff gets at anything near room temperature.
Okay, so you have no wax iron, or would rather not use your new pro bit of kit on the bloody effing glue stuff.
Putting Clister on At Home with No Iron Around. :
( pierce the metal seal of a new tube and put cap back on )
Put the tube on a water-radiator or in an oven set to 40-50*c . Check it does not get too hot to hold. Let cool to warm enough to hold.
It will be really runny now, kind of like a squeezy.honey. So open the top carefully. Then apply it on either side of the ski base taking care use it sparingling. If it is really runny then a line down the middle of each surface can be laid, and then spread out. If it is easier to control, then the classic herring bone application with dabs down each side of the groove can work. Smooth out with the tool and then of course clear the groove. Cool the ski outside, and then re-warm the glue sorry klister, and apply another layer.
Bind your skis at each end of the bow ie well clear of the kick zone where the skis meet each other "face to face" so to speak.
For really really hard days, you can then apply another layer in the car park and check for wear underway.
Getting Clsiter OFF, no Iron Around:
You want to absolutely avoid skis getting near anything about 150'C. So a fire or what ever can be too hot. However, most cabins and houses in the north and the mountains have a heated floor or two, so that can be the heat source. Take a 70 to 80cm long layer of the synthetic base cleaner cloth and lay it on the kick zone. Press on. Now take kitchen roll a little longer and place on, and use poly-bands or masking tape to make this paper layer into an effective wrapping. Lie face down on the floor and leave for an hour.
Get base cleaner out, with more paper and the spatula tool. Take off the paper,Run the tool down the synthetic cloth, rolling it then over on itself, and then dumping the excess onto the roll of cloth as you go. Be hygenic! Take off the whole legnth in this way and then discard responsibly. Use then base cleaner and cloth to remove the last.
The benefit of using the tool is that you can also take off the now useless was base if you started out with that like me today. Not all of the clister will stick to the cloth, but a lot will soak and run into it, thus making for a very quick and quite rewarding job!
You maybe want to clean back from the heal and reapply a little glider here because clister travels backwards into the glide zone just enough to be irritiating.
I just put right on a hard base wax spray once the ski is dry of all solvent, and I am happy to put clister on the top of this again or cross my fingers than new snow comes and I can avoid glue!