This past fall, the Craftsbury Outdoor Center (COC) updated its wax use policy. The New England institution was one of the first and among the largest cross-country ski centers to implement a policy curbing the use of perfluorinated wax on its premises. The Craftsbury Outdoor Center supports values and practices that try to minimize its impact on the environment while still providing recreational opportunities for visitors.
The Craftsbury Outdoor Center hopes to help lead the way toward a transition away from fluorocarbons. As it stands today, we see no need for skiers to wax with fluorocarbons for day-to-day skiing at the Outdoor Center. Furthermore, the use of glide wax containing fluorocarbons will not be permitted in our public wax room at any time. This includes perfluorinated “topcoats” and paraffins containing fluorocarbons (colloquially “LF” and “HF” wax products). — From Craftsbury’s Wax Guidelines
This was no cold turkey move away from fluoros, when the SuperTour came to Craftsbury this winter, teams were allowed to apply and use fluoros in well ventilated ares. However, the day to day ethos at the COC was clear: fluoros use was frowned upon.
We spoke with Ollie Burruss in March to discuss the policy and how it all played out over the winter. Among his many duties, Burruss is the nordic race director at the COC. He’s in the hot seat when it comes to piloting fluoro free policies and practices. Burruss was also the head of the organizing committee and the Chief of Competition at the 2019 US Cross-Country Nationals.
Background reading on the topic:
- FasterSkier piece on wax policies in New England
- FasterSkier piece on the EPA and ski wax regulations
- Outside Magazine piece on the EPA and ski wax
Jason lives in Bend, Ore., and can often be seen chasing his two boys around town. He’s a self-proclaimed audio geek. That all started back in the early 1990s when he convinced a naive public radio editor he should report a story from Alaska’s, Ruth Gorge. Now, Jason’s common companion is his field-recording gear.