Hey Gang, a special little something for you- a post without me! That’s right, today is a guest post on Cross Country Skiing because I am lame and do not ski myself. Isn’t having writer friends awesome? Enjoy! (also….this may have convinced me to pick up cross country skiing, so you should probably read it).
Daryle Dickens was formerly a professional blogger of the blog “Art Palaver” and is now the self-employed maker of websites at WebSiteForYour.Com. His company builds affordable websites for entrepreneurs of all types (because he’s am on a mission to help as many people as possible. Not just make the most money possible).
Cross-Country Skiing: By Daryle Dickens
Cross country skiing has to be the most underrated of the winter outdoor activities here in the United States. Maybe that is because it lacks the speed and excitement of downhill skiing. But it also lacks the crowds, the lift lines, and the traffic of downhill skiing. And for those of us living in Fort Collins it also has the benefit of being much more accessible and easier to get to than any chair lift.
I got my first introduction into cross country skiing, or nordic skiing, in Illinois as part of a class in high school called “Environmental Science.” And then shortly after that I joined the Army and was assigned to The 10th Mountain Division which is a unit that was created for mountain and snow warfare so I gained a lot more experience with nordic skiing. But it wasn’t until I moved to Fort Collins that I truly began to appreciate the winter sport.
Most of my experience is on the trails around Cameron Pass because the drive up Colorado State Highway 14 is the easiest access from where I live in North Fort Collins. Not to mention there is no fee to use the trails unlike Rocky Mountain National Park which is another popular nordic ski destination in Northern Colorado.
For the beginning Fort Collins Cross Country skier I highly recommend the Michigan Ditch trail because it is an easy to get to Cameron Pass trail that is very scenic trail but also wide and flat making it great for those new to cross country skiing. You can find more details about it here.
But before you head out for your first nordic ski adventure you’re going to need to rent some gear. Jax Outdoor Gear has a nordic ski package that includes a one day rental of skis, poles, and boots for $16 (adult) $10 (kids). So you can see that this is a very affordable activity.
Also keep in mind that you don’t even need to leave town to enjoy cross country skiing. No mountains are required. (Remember my first experience was in Illinois.) Just a little bit of snow fall here means you can grab your skis and head out to one of a great city parks and glide around right here in Fort Collins. If you are able to run out the door as the flakes are falling the bike trail system can be great but you have to be quick as the city is pretty fast to get the trails cleared of snow.
I have still failed to mention one of the greatest things about cross country skiing. It is easy! In fact I’ve heard it said that if you can walk you can nordic ski. Start someplace flat so you don’t have to fight gravity while getting used to having sticks strapped to your feet is always a good plan. And be prepared to fall. It’s going to happen. But unlike alpine skiing you are going much slower so the risk of injury is much lower. Though getting back up can be a challenge, an often amusing challenge to those around you.
One of the many reasons I moved to Colorado is because of the peace that can be found in nature. And it has been my experience that nordic skiing can be one of the most peaceful things to do in Colorado. When you’re out in the backcountry gliding through fresh powder is can be quiet and still in way you will not find doing anything else.
If you want to learn more check out Colorado Cross Country Ski Association’s website.