Several good articles have been written about grooming for beginners. I’ll keep adding links to this page as I find them. Please email me at email@example.com if you find an article worth mentioning here.
Wikipedia article on cross country ski trail layout and construction
ABR Trails – grooming article
Eric Anderson’s excellent article on Cross Country Skier.
Thomson, Jim (editor) (November 2009). “Cross Country Canada officials manual“. Version 3.4. Cross Country Canada. Retrieved 2014-11-09.
YTS Quick Summary: The goal is to have a firm base topped with soft corduroy which is required for skate ski traction. Classic ski lanes can be very narrow. Skate ski lanes should be a minimum of 12 to 14 feet wide. Assuming you have fresh snow and ideal availability of time and equipment: (1) Pack first using a roller or drag. Give it an hour or two to set up. (2) Pull your Ginzugroomer with the knives down as far as the curve of the J, approximately 2″. (3) Add 50-100 lbs depending on conditions to the weight bar of the groomer. (4) Go slow for your finishing pass! Eric recommends 6-8 mph. This technique will leave the perfect depth of soft corduroy on top of a firm base.
The video below shows the knives at the perfect depth for these conditions. Notice at 0:19 how the snow builds up then is rolled and distributed before it is under the compaction pan. The result will be perfect corrugation.
This photo is the same older model 84″ Ginzugroomer showing a perfectly groomed ski trail.