The NNN/BC Truth Thread

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Raventele
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Re: The NNN/BC Truth Thread

Post by Raventele » Sun Feb 09, 2014 12:25 pm

The Rainer was the worst ski I ever owned..
I could not find a suitable use for it (spearing wild animals
if you happen to be lost and starving in the BC??)..Its stiff flex
and high camber made it useless downhill on hardpack,
ice or any heavy snow conditions , and it did not track well..
I can't imagine slogging 5 miles to ski a drainage ditch on them.. :lol: Surely there are
golf courses and sledding hills back there suitable to flopping
around on Rainiers ?

I have not gotten to ski the new Eon, but it is said to be smooth flexing
and much less cambered than it's precursor the 10th Mountain--which was
a much better ski downhill to start with than those worthless Rainiers..

By way of definition, I think what the some soldiers used to do
and some still do on skis defines a real class of "Backcountry"
Skiing and limits gear suitable..IMHO XCD is not really BC skiing (though
it may be skiing in the BC (it's as often as not just limited meadow skipping, though great fun)
and neither is slogging around on monster gear for a couple k of vert in
a day's time.. :)
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Re: The NNN/BC Truth Thread

Post by Saint Jocko » Sun Feb 09, 2014 9:32 pm

Well, I think that a lot of guys who buy heavy Telemark gear to get a couple of thousand feet of vertical in a day's time would do a lot better to buy AT gear. I have a set of Scarpa T2X boots and Dynastar Altiride skis with Voile CRB bindings that I would trade for AT gear in a heartbeat. That said, AT gear is still not what light Tele BC gear is all about. You can walk around in classic 75mm boots comfortably for miles at a time if you want to. The all-plastic Tele boots are inferior to Alpine boots for lift served skiing and inferior to AT boots for downhill oriented backcountry skiing in mountainous terrain and suck if you try to walk anywhere in them. Large game animals and furbearing animals do not stay above timberline in winter, so classic backcountry skiing was oriented toward slogging through forest and swamp areas. Neither animals nor hunters wanted to brave windswept open areas if they could avoid it. Forests and swamps in flat to rolling terrain was where hunters and trappers headed in the old days. Steep unforested terrain and large open expanses were a good place to die in winter. Swamps are better handled in winter than in summer, and are rich in animal life. I remember going up to my knees in Minnesota swamp muck in the summer and having the dye eaten off my leather boots the next morning and soon afterward the boots cracking and falling apart.

A bobcat hide is now worth around $600, so those of you that think swamp skiing is for crazy people might want to reconsider your way of thinking. This thing about getting vertical to ski down it was totally foreign to the hunters and trappers that are responsible for inventing ski gear in the first place. It had nothing to do with mere recreation. NNN BC and plastic Tele boots are something they would not have tolerated.

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Re: The NNN/BC Truth Thread

Post by Raventele » Mon Feb 10, 2014 12:31 pm

Oh no, surely you are not going to tell us that
"Real Tele" is "Swamp Tele" ???.. Keep it up and
you'll be skiing on Duck Dynasty! :shock: :shock:

It's, of course, impossible to say exactly what all
people were doing on skis ab origine but you
can be there was some playing around going on
in addition to the hunting and overland travelling..

My main contention is that to be accurately/meaningfully
called a BC ski, a ski must approach the Nato skis in design.
If skis do not have the broad applicability and the toughness
of such a ski, really they are simply at some point(s) not
capable --and that is irrespective of who may or may not be skiing them..
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Re: The NNN/BC Truth Thread

Post by Saint Jocko » Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:06 am

Raventele, I think I already mentioned that Asnes builds the NATO ski and they also offer two other versions in the exact same dimensions. One of them is made for hunting with dogs, and a very likely venue for that ski is the "swamp tele" thing that you seem to have dissed. Flatland skiing in swamps is in no way inferior to mountain skiing, and it is actually easier to make a living on skis in the winter in a swamp that is is on a windswept mountain that is far more devoid of animal life. The Asnes ski that is the same dimension as the NATO ski and made for hunting with dogs will be seen far more often in forests and swamps than it ever will be seen above timberline in the mountains.

When I was in Russia, I would say the majority of skiers there had never skied in mountainous terrain. The terrain was similar to Finland with forests, lakes, rollings hills, and swamps. What struck me was how similar the terrain was to northern Minnesota and Wisconsin.

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Re: The NNN/BC Truth Thread

Post by Raventele » Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:14 pm

Jock,
don't let my cruel humour offend you.. :lol:
I think swamp skiing is just fine..
I don't kill wild animals ( unless of course they have
made the "conscious" decision to come after me-- generally that would be
2 types of bears, cougars or , in the rare case , wolves -- rattlesnakes don't count :lol: )
so I have little interest in skiing anywhere for the purpose of hunting..

I was looking at the Asnes skis..The page does not translate so
I found great amusement in trying to decipher ...
I think their Nato ski is the ultimate and true BC type..
The point I make is that the "best" BC is the overall
most versatile BC ski..and so it must be quite downhill capable
as well as being very suitable to flat or rolling overland travel..
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Re: The NNN/BC Truth Thread

Post by CIMA » Wed Oct 01, 2014 4:59 am

Sorry for my bringing up an old thread, but I couldn't help!
Raventele wrote:Here it is.. :lol: :lol: :lol:
About what you should expect.. :lol: :lol:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3yaE34VYek
What an interesting video!!!
As one of the casts of that video :), I'd like to add the following comments:

Actually, the snow condition of that day was very technical: packed powder covered with thin crust. I imagine that even experienced XCD skiers on leather boots and 3-pin bindings would have found difficulty skiing stably in that snow condition and some of them might have ended up with falling down and stuck their heads in the snow. :) My rigs at that time were Fischer Outtabounds Crown (169, 88-68-78) skis, Salomon Xadv-8 boots and Salomon X-adv Raid bindings. I use those skis for powder and switch to Rossignol BC 70 (169, 70-60-65) for wet snow in spring.
LJ wrote:But even if it's already perfect, I feel like I could really fly with something even lighter...! Downhill and uphill... I've seen people doing it here and it looked REALLY fun...!
That says nothing more, nothing less!
When it comes to NNN/BC issues, I've noticed that the subject split up often from the beginning between two factions: while yeasayers stress sensuality, naysayers stress stability. From a point of view of sensuality, NNN/BC is really good for me. :) Lightness is freedom. On the other hand, on stability, there is not big difference compared with XCD if you choose your gear wisely.

I started telemark ski seven years ago on SkiTRAB Free Rando, Scarpa T3 and G3 Targa Ascent, but I converted totally to SNS/BC last season. Though I went on ski tour on my SNS/BC gear many times with normal plastic-tele guys and AT guys, I found myself liking nowadays the slopes to which many XCD guys prefer.

I'd like to comment on more specific issues as follows:
  • Skis
As with the case of normal telemark skis, it may be difficult to pick all-round skis for NNN/BC.
If you ski on powder mainly, wider skis such as Madshus Epoch and Rossignol BC90 would be preferable. If you ski on groomed snow in ski area or corn snow in spring mainly, narrower skis such as Madshus Eon/Glittertind and Rossignol BC 70 would be suitable.
As for the length, I prefer the skis shorter than my body length.
  • Boots
There are not many choices in the market.
Crispi Jokulen or likes would be fine. I have Salomon Xadv-8.
Thanks to flexibility around ankle, you're free from cumbersome adjustment of climbing support.
  • Bindings
Though I have experienced SNS only, there may not be big difference between SNS and NNN. There are manual and automatic types. I prefer manual one because of icing issue.
After skiing on the Salomon SNS XA throughout last four seasons, I found that the bindings were very reliable and free from frustration. Salomon has done a really good job!

As for pivot point issue during skiing compared with 3-pin, you don't need to care at all. If you are an experienced telemark skier, you won't find big difference as you make turns.
Due to low flexing resistance at pivot point, you'll find easiness in plowing through deep powder and hiking up steep slope. You'll gain an advantage in flotation on powder also.
  • Ski techniques
Learning NNN/BC is not so easy. :)
Starting out from XC on soft snow would be a shortcut to become a good NNN/BC skier.
In addition, you may need a paradigm shift: do not telemark!
I don't mean returning to parallel AT style though. :)
Those guys are just applying the style of traditional telemark to NNN/BC.
That doesn't help much.

An experienced NNN/BC skier would keep a tight stance and roll with it like the following:
http://youtu.be/ITBdQtQ8-jA?list=UUdweR ... ficPoYpngA

The style of NNN/BC is rather passive: try not to control your skis actively but adjust your posture and skis to terrain and snow condition.
Actually, the guy in the video above is a professional telemark skier. I have no match for him. :)

The NNN/BC has become popular here in Japan in the last three years. It gets much more popular than XCD. By the way, when we say "XCD," it means NNN/BC. As for the XCD mentioned commonly in this forum, we call it something like "skinny leather telemark."
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Re: The NNN/BC Truth Thread

Post by Raventele » Fri Oct 03, 2014 11:34 am

A few comments, Cima:
Part of the problem over here, Cima, is that XCD means nothing more than, literally, "Cross Country Downhill"..It only vaguely implies "lite" gear overland skiing..A lot of what appears in your videos, btw, are examples of people climbing to spring or summer ski snowfields on very lite gear ..

"XCD gear" as defined here would include the SNS and NNN BC options you like, but it would also commonly include , heavier sturdier choices such as various 3pins and the classic 3pin/cable..And by way of boots, we would also include various light (and even fairly heavy) leathers as well as stout plastic choices like the Scarpa T4 and the Garmont Excursion..Simply put, XCD merely implies gear sturdier and more suitable to skiing off the groomed Nordic trails than "true" cross country rigs..

Also I am wondering why you don't mention the option of using the double-bar Pilot binding for your XCD ? Some XCD experts over here are all agog over the Pilot binding for the sport..

As much fun as skiing the superlite choices can be, I think it's instructive to note in that oft-seen video of Telehero how he switches gear to match conditions as the video progresses..

To ski on slippers, all conditions equally well and at speed , that's the dream! :D
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Re: The NNN/BC Truth Thread

Post by Johnny » Sat Oct 04, 2014 8:16 am

Hey CIMA,

A big thank you for posting this. It's very interesting to see how XCD develops in Japan, as all the good real xcd vids seem to come from this part of the world...

Personally, this is what I'm heading for. Grace, sensuality & lightness. That's why I'm so into XCD now and why I wanna make the switch to "real" XCD. It took me 35 years of aggressive skiing to realize the truth. I guess I'm a slow learner...It's good to know that you are one of the star of those videos because that's exactly what got me into SNS/NNN a couple years ago: Watching how you guys ski. To me, that's what xcd should look like. I was fascinated about how you just seem to glide gracefully on the snow while our western XCD ways are always about trying to get more control. It's not about control, it's about being one with the snow. I think I've been way too much into Buddhism and Taoism in the last 10 years that it begins to show on my skiing ways as well...

I think you pretty much nailed it when you said "Try not to control your skis actively but adjust your posture and skis to terrain and snow condition." This is like the ultimate telemark tip. In fact, even outside skiing, this is actually life's most important lesson. The way you guys ski reminds me of the way Dolores Lachapelle described skiing in her books. It's all flow and harmony. The way it should be.

The wife friendly reminded me that I already reached my quota of ski purchases for this year. I still don't have a SNS downhill setup but I hope I can sell a few pairs soon so I can get into REAL XCD as soon as possible... 8-)

Again, thanks for sharing your thoughts. And please: More pics, more vids, more info!!!
/...\ Peace, Love, Telemark and Tofu /...\
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Re: The NNN/BC Truth Thread

Post by CIMA » Sat Oct 04, 2014 8:22 am

Thanks for your comment, Raventele.

Yes, I understood that the XCD included heavier and sturdier gear here. So there is no problem. Though I've skied with Scarpa T4 and Binson on 3-pin before, I couldn't get enough "lite/right" feeling with them.

Yes, the NNN/BC is laughable as you gave it triple LOLs. :)
Similarly, most AT guys would give quadruple LOLs to XCD today.
(But single LOL to NTN? )
In the 70s, televangelist Dickie Hall may have been given quintuple LOLs by conservative ski-bums in Colorado. Why did he continue to telemark? Because it was fun, I guess.

The point I'd like to have expressed here was not about stability or versatility of the gear but about fun or a sense of freedom like LoveJohnny put as follows:
LoveJohnny wrote:It's funny because as everyone is getting fatter skis and beefier bindings, I'm now going the opposite way...

I downsized my NTN rig to the minimum and sold all my fat skis. Now I really want a pair of Glitterinds with some NNN / SNS BC bindings...!
LoveJohnny wrote:I've been skiing on pins and leathers about 50% of the time in the last 5 years... Both on piste and backcountry...

But even if it's already perfect, I feel like I could really fly with something even lighter...! Downhill and uphill... I've seen people doing it here and it looked REALLY fun...!
I'd like to give the comments above an answer: "Yes, NNN/BC is really fun, and gives you a flying feeling! Why not giving it a shot?"

Actually, NNN/BC works well even for a long ski tour on various terrains also for me.
Raventele wrote:A lot of what appears in your videos, btw, are examples of people climbing to spring or summer ski snowfields on very lite gear ..
The videos are just examples, and they don't stand for all NNN/BC activities.
Though I noticed the some guys ran on deep powder or tried even bumps, the suitable places for NNN/BC would be similar to the ones where many XCD skiers like. I like to ski very much on NNN/BC in spring also.
Raventele wrote: Also I am wondering why you don't mention the option of using the double-bar Pilot binding for your XCD ? Some XCD experts over here are all agog over the Pilot binding for the sport..
Sorry, I didn't know that Pilot bindings of two-pin system at all! I learned about them a few minutes ago on the web. Unfortunately, I have no knowledge about the Pilot gear produced for backcountry purposes.
Because I have already had more than seven year experience of XC including NNN/BC and been satisfied with its simpleness and reliability, I have no reason to switch to such a little complicated and tough-to-get bindings as the Pilot.
Raventele wrote: As much fun as skiing the superlite choices can be, I think it's instructive to note in that oft-seen video of Telehero how he switches gear to match conditions as the video progresses..
Do you mean this one?
http://youtu.be/mIBdyK1vJ-E?list=PL6D209AAFC0F42DB4

The video is one of the scenes taken from a telemark DVD "Yukimushi" where we see different ski styles performed by different professional skiers in Japan. His choices of the gear in the video might not have been out of his preference. The video is a kind of promotional videos for him to show that he is ready for all kinds of heel-free gear. Because he is a professional, he needs to advertise. :) However, he rarely runs on fat skis nor wears high-cut boots such as T1 or T2 (but sometimes T2 eco).
Raventele wrote: To ski on slippers, all conditions equally well and at speed , that's the dream! :D
On barefoot, ultimately! :)
Last edited by CIMA on Mon Oct 06, 2014 4:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The NNN/BC Truth Thread

Post by Johnny » Sat Oct 04, 2014 8:29 am

To ski on slippers, all conditions equally well and at speed , that's the dream!

On barefoot, ultimately!
Birkenstocks.
/...\ Peace, Love, Telemark and Tofu /...\
"And if you like to risk your neck, we'll boom down Sutton in old Quebec..."

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