Last night we had a messy storm, about 4 inches of snow with 1/2 inch of ice on top and today C has taken his Nordic team to Black Mountain for the Sassi Memorial Classic. They headed out early to try and figure out the proper wax strategy for the day. The Sassi race determines the members of the Maine State Team, so it is a high-stakes race for the high schoolers.
Wax is an important component of classic style nordic skiing and very hard to determine on a day like today. The type of wax used is dependent on the snow temperature, the water content of the snow, the crystalline content of the snow and the age of the snow. The purpose is to reduce the friction so that the glide of the ski is smooth and fast.
After the poor conditions last night, the groomers will have been busy this morning setting the tracks for the race, but with the sun shining brightly and the temperatures expected to rise above freezing--perhaps even up to 40 degrees--the waxing is complicated. C has been waxing skis for about 40 years either as a racer or a coach, so he'll get it right, but it is a delicate science.