Cross Country Skiing isn’t just for Grandmas

February 14, 2010 § Leave a comment

I have never skate skied. I have never even heard of skate skiing, that is until I moved to Big Sky. It’s like ice skating except you have skis attached to your feet. It was recommended to me by people at work as an alternative to running during these cold winter months. To be honest I was a little skeptical, especially when I heard that it is the number one aerobic exercise. My thoughts were along the lines of just because I like to run doesn’t necessarily mean I’m in amazing shape.

Skate skiing is my new love. I signed up for a six week skate ski clinic at Lone Mountain Ranch, which is miles and miles of groomed cross country ski trails just below Lone Peak. Truth be told, I didn’t even want to go to the clinic, it was 0°F, the weather the night before had been so deplorable that you couldn’t see the end of your car when driving, I basically really wasn’t feeling the outdoors. However, I did go and even though my ears nearly froze off, the sun came out and lit up the Big Sky meadow in such a remarkable way that even if I was a completely incompetent skier I was happy to be outside just for the views. The bonus was that I don’t think I was half bad.

I have tried cross country skiing recently and did you know that you can fall cross country skiing? Did you know that you cross country ski downhill? To me cross country skiing was an activity for Grandma that was akin to taking a leisurely walk in the snow. Wrong. Cross country skiing is an excellent workout and at times anything but leisurely, especially on trails named Siberia, Mongolia and Summit. Those names don’t even sound nice. Walking up hill is hard enough, try it with skis that glide and want to go backwards as you force them to go against gravity up the hill. And then take the often athletically challenged like me and throw in the downhill and yes you get a good laugh as you see my skis flying up into the air and me face planting into the fresh powder. The best is when I fall on the flat ground and I think to myself, “Wow, I must be one of the worst cross country skiers in Big Sky history.”

I really expected skate skiing to be a disaster. It wasn’t. I didn’t even fall going downhill or on a flat surface. It was just fun. I might actually really enjoy this six week clinic, especially if the weather is warmer than 0°F.


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