Flex and grind. Old and cold.

These are my answers to the frequen question of “what’s the wax?” The first is: “flex and grind.” This year, like most, you want a medium flexed ski with a fine grind. Why? Even when everyone thinks there are going to be hardpack conditions, like last year, the Birkie tills up the trail so it’s silky-smooth and very pliable, and not something where you’ll want stiff skis. And grind, well, much like last year it is going to be a tilled mix of old, transformed snow and new powder. It should be fast and pretty dry.

Which brings me to old and cold. The Birkie snow is usually old and often older and drier. While it may be a bit more moist this year, it will probably still fit the bill. The last three years have started at 15 or below (or, last year, 15 below) and it looks like this year will be no exception. The model output statistics, which better show temperatures near the surface, are hinting colder than the models, and a bit of clearing and calm winds could drop the mercury Friday night. By 8:20 on Saturday, the sun could be rising above single-digit temperatures.

(That said, I’ll go out on a limb and predict warmer weather than last year.)

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