Why is it so difficult to lubricate properly in Kollen?


You take a look at the thermometer, go to the stall, and choose lubrication according to the manufacturer's temperature instructions.

Error! But why?

Air humidity, new or old snow, and how long it has been since the trail was last groomed, are key parameters for getting the lubrication right.

The temperature in the air is perhaps the least important of the usual criteria, says Peder Stadaas. He is responsible for Superskis slide project which systematically tests lubrication products and abrasives in Holmenkollen.

  • As an example, during a run we had a temperature of one to two degrees below zero. A typical choice would be to smear with blue or violet wax. But dense fog, approaching rain, and old artificial snow were factors that together created a pure sticky road.

Peder elaborates:

The humidity is important to hit the lubrication. Although Holmenkollen is 300 meters above sea level and on the threshold of Nordmarka, the Oslofjord provides a large element of coastal climate. A degree of cold in Kollen (high humidity) is something different to a degree of cold in Røros (low humidity).

On Superski's lubrication tips for Holmenkollen, information is always given about air humidity. The values can fluctuate a lot from day to day.

Something old, something new. As is well known, the snow that comes from nature consists of crystals with fine and unique structures. The artificial snow is more like tiny ice cubes. When these are mixed, the ski groomer faces challenges. The mix affects the choice of lubrication. As natural snow is allowed to lie for a few days, the snow crystals are transformed into coarser particles that are more reminiscent of artificial snow. All this must be considered before the lubricator makes his choices.

  • In a ski race, you will usually encounter different types of snow, and no ski will be perfect all the way. It is therefore important to solve the lubrication task so that you have skis that stand up as well as possible throughout the entire distance, emphasizes Peder.

Double daily dose. The fact that artificial snow requires softer lubrication than natural snow is common to all modern ski resorts. But Joakim Levorsen, general manager of Superski, points to a further factor that makes the lubrication conditions in Kollen demanding.

  • The slopes here are often groomed twice a day. This means that the snow acquires a rough structure more quickly than what is found elsewhere.

Also add that the national park has steep slopes. A smear bomb here has consequences.

Holmenkollen has world-class ski slopes. At the same time, lubrication according to air temperature can almost be a recipe for failure. But with a little local knowledge, you will be equipped to make good choices.

Superski publishes lubrication tips for Holmenkollen every weekday. And own recommendations ahead of all ski races in the facility.