Cross Country Skiing


Favorite Regions + Places

see also: reports on skiing in USA | Europe

  • Cross-Country Skiing in the Hudson Valley -- New York 

  • Mohonk + Minnewaska -- When a cross-country skier visits metro New York or northern New Jersey, the first question should be "What are the snow conditions at Mohonk and Minnewaska?".  see website

  • France -- for a holiday that combines cross-country with downhill skiing or backcountry ski mountaineering, the French Alps deliver. Lots of people already know about the incredible beauty and range of the downhill resorts and ski mountaineering.  And the food. And ancient city walking areas in Annecy and Briancon, also interesting city walking in Grenoble, Lyon, Geneva.

But the French have also applied their joy in living to their cross-country skiing. In the northern Alps, we like: La Féclaz for wonderfully fun trails; Les Saisies for hillier fun trail design, views of big mountains, late-season snow;  Bessans for gentle trails amidst dramatic mountains with late-season snow. In the Jura mountains near Geneva, we've found fun skating at Chapelle des Bois.  See also: reports on skiing in France.

  • northeast Italy -- some interesting trail designs and some dramatic rock peaks -- see Italy stories linked from this page.

But it's worth doing some advance research: The fun interesting trail designs are not necessarily near the dramatic views or the obvious tourist destinations. And there's some spectacular mountain groups which have cross-country ski trails nearby which do not have much view of those mountains. Perhaps the problem is that dramatic peaks are surrounded by steep slopes which are not appropriate for cross-country ski trails -- so might want to be prepared to rent snowshoes to hike to, or ride a mechnical lift up to see bigger views (but then also make inquiries about avalanche danger).

Some of the "alpine downhill" ski trails (and alpine ski mountaineering tours) are more likely to have dramatic views than the cross-country ski trails -- but alpine downhill skiing (or ski mountaineering) requires different skills and equipment than cross-country skiing.

  • Sovereign Lake -- British Columbia, Canada (near Vernon and the Kelowna airport) -- notably technically interesting cross country ski trails, and connects to the Silver Star trail network (which also has alpine downhill skiing with lifts).

Key drawback is that it's so far from any major airport.

  • Norway -- where it all started.  I've had fun XC skiing in Oslo Nordmarka (great skiing just a trolley ride from downtown Oslo), Sjusjoen (cabins), Geilo.  Lots of skiers you meet on the trails speak English, though you might not guess that from the websites.  See ski info - Story1 

But lots of the trails I skied in Norway did not have so many interesting curves + fun dips + rolls as favorite ski centers in France and Italy (though not so different from average trails in France + Italy). I assume there must be more interesting fun ski trails in Norway, so if it's important to you to ski that sort of style, I'd suggest do some more specific research in advance, rather than assuming you'll find it on the obvious trails at the obvious places.

And most of the scenery is not dramatic in the obvious way of some places in the Alps, so if you're looking to ski with a view of something more obviously dramatic than the wide spaces of the overall "plateau" environment, do some specific advance research.

Snow before and after winter 

November training site for serious North American racers, and for serious skiers looking for fun skiing. 

In addition to race camps, they've been holding actual elite races here before the end of November.  Silver Star also has lift-served downhill skiing and snowboarding.  Key organizational point:  If you cannot get a good flight to the Kelowna airport, it's a long drive from anywhere else, difficult in bad weather. 

see Silver Star - Sovereign Lake  

Famous place for summer and fall skiing -- Story1 - Story2 - Story3.  On the main Dachstein Glacier page, select "Sommer", then "Gletscherbahn", and "Trainingszentrum").  Also has lift-served downhill skiing and snowboarding.  Nearest airport is Salzburg, but could also drive there from Munich.  Note: the glacier is at a much higher altitude than most folks normally do their XC skiing, so it's worth considering how your body is going to handle acclimatization. 

  • Bend, Oregon -- fun for spring skiing.

Some elite American racers sometimes train here.  Mt Bachelor also has lift-served downhill skiing and snowboarding.

see Mt Bachelor Cross Country - Tumalo Langlauf Club - race camp schedule.   

A place some American racers have tried is Sognefjellet, near the Sognefjord.  Note that this place is near a very large body of water, which influences its weather.  Organizational point:  Sognefjellet is a long way from Oslo, and Oslo gets little direct air service from North America. See this ski info 

  • Val Senales / Schnalstal -- near Kurzras in the Südtirol (Trentino Alto Adige) region of northeastern Italy, just south of the Austrian border.

Autumn training site for some famous national race teams.  Likely airport is Milano, but perhaps could also be reached by train and bus (or rental car in good conditions) from Zurich. see website1 - website2 - story1

Some elite American racers train around Fairbanks or Hatcher Pass in autumn -- but it's dark a lot then.  

Some say it's better to wait until there's skiing in Anchorage -- Story1 -- some elite racers have trained on the Eagle Glacier in spring and summer. 

See XC ski Alaska 

Traditional place for USA race camps in November -- Rendezvous Ski Trails - - Free Heel & Wheel.  Nearest airport is Bozeman, Montana -- but could also consider flying to Salt Lake City with the hope of doing some XC skiing around there between the airline flight and a long drive in darkness to or from West Yellowstone. 

Gavin Watt wrote (on the rec.skiing.nordic group):  The main Nordic skiing sites in Australia are the Victorian High Country Resorts of Falls Creek (where the Kangaroo Hoppet race is held in late August), Mount Hotham (they also have a biathlon range), Lake Mountain and in New South Wales, Perisher Blue.  See Gavin Watt's website 

Gavin Watt wrote (on the rec.skiing.nordic group):  New Zealand has a good resort called Waiorau Ski Farm near Queenstown on the South Island.  See Gavin Watt's website 

So far, the only XC skiing I've heard of is in Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, near the southern tip of the continent.  (My question:  Is it true that Tierra del Fuego is surrounded by oceans known for furious weather?) 

For more ideas, see XCskiworld 

see also


concept words: ski skiing cross country cross-country xc snow skier skiers skis nordic roberts

skating: skate skates skater skaters push glide

classic: stride striding diagonal kick glide