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Tour of Anchorage, Service High School to Kincaid Park, Anchorage, AK

Updated Friday March 1st, 12:30pm

Start Wax will be available at the AMH booth at the Expo/bib pickup on Friday evening and Saturday.

50K/40K/25K race distances. Freestyle 50K/40K, 25K Freestyle and Classic. 9:30 50K waves start, 40K at 10:30, 25K classic 11:00, 25K Freestyle at 12:00

Forecast/conditions: Cold, clear nights over the previous week will keep the snow chilled despite the warm days. Saturday should be partly cloudy with a high of 25-25, but expect snow to stay cold. Saturday night lows in the teens, expect colder through the Campbell Creek Greenbelt for 40K and 50K skiers. Sunday should be 20F by first wave start time, mid-20s by 40K start. Similar temps likely for 25K. No new snow expected. With Saturday mostly cloudy, we should see humidities above 75%.


Base: LF10 or MF10 Green. MF10 seemed to be the fastest of the bases in glide tests performed Wednesday, and again Friday.. Would be hard to beat this one. Iron this layer in 2-3 times, letting the wax cool, then adding a bit more wax, and then ironing again. Scrape the groove before it cools completely, then scrape and brush when it is time to apply the glider. Make sure your scraper is sharp, and shave, don’t chip the wax off of the base. After scraping, brush with a metal brush, and then with a horsehair brush. No need to brush overmuch with the Base layer, just make sure that the structure of the base is revealed and no obvious wax is left on the base.

Glider: HF8 Blue (or HFxt Blue) This tested slightly better than HF10 Green, and will likely be right in the money for optimum glide in the Tour this year. While air temps will climb into the upper 20s and possibly into the lower 30s, the snow will stay cold, and the dirt and older, aggressive snow will require a harder, more durable wax. The warmer fluorocarbons present in the HF8 Blue wax will keep the speed higher throughout the race, while the harder Blue paraffin will keep the wax from wearing off, and also from picking up dirt . Like with the base wax, iron this layer in twice , just add a bit more wax for the 2nd ironing. This will provide more wax penetration into the base, and a more durable waxing job.

**Scraping and brushing tips: Scrape the groove when the wax is still warm. Make sure that your scraper is sharp, and again, shave don’t chip. It will be ok for the wax to still be somewhat warm to allow for easier scraping of this hard, tough wax.

**Brushing protocol: Start with a good metal brush, and brush 4-6 times completely down the ski. Then use a horsehair brush, brushing 4-6 more times down the skibase. Finish with a stiff nylon brush, or a roto-brush, polishing the base until it shines. You should not be able to see any more wax on the ski. Excess wax left on the ski will actually attract dirt, and slow your skis down. Clean your brushes beforehand with a shopvac, so you can see if you are still removing wax.

Topcoat: HF9 Powder (-5…-15C) and/or HF13 Block (-5…-15C). The expected winners from previously showed up strongly in tests on Friday. HF13 (-5..-15C) block, rubbed on, ironed through a sheet of fiberlene, followed by a 2nd layer of HF13 rubbed on and hand-or roto-corked into the base was very fast. For powders, HF9 (-5...-15C) ironed in, brushed-up, ironed again, cooled, lightly scraped, thenbrushed thoroughly, will be a great option, especially with HF13 fluor block or HFxt Blue Finishing Gel applied and hand-corked on top. Use only designated fluor brushes for brushing the pure fluor topcoats. I highly recommend rebrushing your race skis after testing and warming up on them.

Gripwax: Clean and sand gripzones. Apply a thin layer of Base or Base Extra wax to the gripzone, ironing it is best. Clean excess from edges and grooves. Very preliminary: 3-4 layers of Start Blue Synthetic, with 2 layers of Start Oslo Blue Extra over the top.

**Check back Saturday for more updates to the gripwax recommendation.