Downhill skiing these days could not be more expensive. Even after you pay $150 for a lift ticket, you still end up spending almost half the day waiting in line for a chairlift. To avoid the lines and most of the costs, consider cross-country skiing. Here are seven reasons why you should try cross-country skiing
Imagine pulling up to the skiing area at a reasonable hour, finding a parking spot no problem, popping your skis on and taking off into a snowy wonderland. That can become reality with cross-country skiing. While it’s popular, far less people enjoy cross-country skiing as those who pursue downhill. That’s in large part because it’s difficult. All the better for the true enthusiast.
While it does cost some money to cross-country ski, renting the equipment and usually about $15 for a snow park pass, it’s way less expensive than the average downhill skiing area that typically costs more than $100 per day.
What you will quickly find out when cross-country skiing is that it’s one hell of a workout, burning about 500 calories per hour. That means, quite practically, that you are likely not going to be doing it for very long. A way to make a nice day out of cross-country skiing is to pack a lunch, ski to a picturesque viewpoint and hang out before heading back.
Unlike downhill skiing, cross-country skiing actually uses pretty comfortable boots. No more lumbering around in clunky ski boots feeling like Herman Munster. In cross-country boots you can actually walk up for a cup of coffee and not look like a complete doofus.
Another nice thing about cross-country skiing is that it’s social. You can cruise along as a leisurely pace and still make conversation with those around you. When you’re downhill skiing, you typically only get to visit with one another in line (ahem) or on the chair lift.
Learning how to cross-country ski will admittedly take a little time, but it’s definitely not difficult to pick up. There are two main styles of skiing, skate skiing and nordic skiing. In nordic skiing, the skis remain straight ahead, while in skate skiing you kick the ski tips out and skate like you would with ice skates. Skate skiing get you moving faster, but without a groomed trail, this type of skiing is impossible.
If you truly want to be adventurous on cross-country skis, you can use them to travel and arrive at a remote forest service cabin. This a great way to experience what it’s like to live in the bush or time travel 100 years. As you make your last kicks to the cabin, you can only imagine the warmth of the wood stove soon to come. And that’s when you’re experiencing the true adventure of cross-country skiing.
Photo credit: Greenland Travel via Flickr