One of the oldest types of skiing, cross-country skiing has transformed from a need to travel over snow-covered terrain to a thrilling adventure sport. If you want to add a new sport to your athletic repertoire, or are simply looking for a way to stay fit in the winter months cross-country skiing is just the right adventure sport for you. At Trip Experience Blog, we bring you a comprehensive guide to cross- country skiing. Take a look:
How to Gear Up for Cross-Country Skiing
- Classic Skis: Classic skis come in two variants – waxable and waxless. Waxing a ski for temperature and snow condition can fine-tune the glide. On the other hand, a waxless ski is much more convenient.
- Classic Boots: A classic ski boot clips into your bindings. It also provides ankle support and flexion where you need it. These boots are lined for extra warmth and have a quick-lace internal boot with an exterior Velcro closure.
- Poles: Go for lightweight but stiff poles like the Madshus NC 6W. This will help you by providing the much-needed support, without hampering your balance.
Where to Go Cross-Country Skiing
Cross-country skiing can be done on any type of snow. However, it is extremely difficult to ski where the snow hasn’t been groomed. Nordic centers around the US groom snow for skiing, and also rent you gear: skis, poles and boots. Nordic centers also have the invaluable resource in the form of instructors. Some places to get your kick-and-glide on are:
- Royal Gorge, California: Royal Gorge boasts more than 9,000 acres of Nordic skiing terrain. Located off Donner Pass in the Sierra Mountains near Lake Tahoe, California, the skii centre has 32 novice trails.
- Devil’s Thumb Ranch, Colorado: Just beneath the Continental Divide is located the open meadow and rolling terrain of Devil’s Thumb Ranch. Boasting of its 5,000 acres of Nordic ski trails, on site lodging at the ranch starts at $260 per night.
- Trapp Family Lodge, Vermont: The Trapp Family lodge acts as home base for 100 kilometers of groomed trails. The Austrian influenced lodge (run by the family of Sound of Music fame) also has swimming pools and a full fitness centre.
How it’s done
Cross-country skiing tips for novices:
- Athletic Stance: For cross-country skiing, it is of utmost importance to stand tall. Add to it a deep ankle flexion that puts you in an upright slouch. Remember: You should not bend from the hip. With a loose shoulder posture, your arms can swing backward and forward freely from this stance. Be rhythmic instead of being mechanical.
- Core Principles: Just like running, you are balanced on one leg at a time while you ski, which requires a lot of stabilization. This stabilization is generated from your core, and allows you to apply force to propel yourself forward.
- Be Dynamic, Be Balanced: As the muscle movements of cross-country skiing are full-range, try keeping your body balanced, dynamic and active. Keep your hips in a high position, with your legs stacked underneath you. Lean slightly forward (bending your ankles, not your hips). With each stride, aim at landing on a coiled, pre-loaded leg so it can launch you forward to the next leg. Aim for short, quick, active gliding.
All ready for cross-country skiing? Go shoop, shoop, shoop!
Last modified: November 7, 2019