The latest Cross Country news and information from across the country.

Spring Time For Nordic Skiers

Spring Time For Nordic Skiers

A girldfriend ski and bike. (Methow Trails)

As the cross country (XC) ski season winds down, most XC ski areas close because of lack of skiers rather than lack of snow on the trails. The sun comes out, the temperature rises, but where are the XC skiers?

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Nordic Ski Areas Fight Whiplash Winter

Nordic Ski Areas Fight Whiplash Winter

Big snows at Tahoe Adventure Center. (Tahoe Donner)

Cross country ski areas are very susceptible to the weather. This winter ski areas and skiers “endured” a few huge snowstorms, days of nearly 70 degrees, meltdowns, freeze ups, rain deluges and floods, and more, with what has been dubbed the “Whiplash Winter.” The whiplash effect refers to the weather changing in short periods from unseasonably warm to freezing cold with major snowstorms followed by unseasonably warm weather, and repeat from late November through early April.

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Abstract Art Featured In Unique Art Along The Trails Gallery

Abstract Art Featured In Unique Art Along The Trails Gallery

Art and nature converge at Jackson Ski Touring. (Roger Lohr)

Jackson Ski Touring Center in New Hampshire featured two local abstract painters, in a display of art with nature on a snowy Saturday in February. Instead of a white walled gallery, in its place were walls made from snow, hemlocks, and birches, all places for paintings to hang from... and the beneficiaries were on snowshoes and cross country skis.

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Kids Winter Programs

Kids Winter Programs

Kids hitting the trails. (Fischer Skis)

Kids on cross country skis or snowshoes? It is not only about child obesity, nature deficit disorder, and better brain function – it's about fun.

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Mount Washington Summit Road Company Announces Return Of Glen House Hotel

Mount Washington Summit Road Company Announces Return Of Glen House Hotel

Glen House Hotel Planned at Mount Washington. (MWSRC)

Half a century since the last Glen House stood on this site, the family-owned Mount Washington Summit Road Company (MWSRC), which has owned and operated the Mt. Washington Auto Road since 1906, intends to have the fifth iteration of the hotel open by May 2018.

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Winter Yoga Retreats

Winter Yoga Retreats

A snowshoe through the woods at Great Glen Trails. (Great Glen Trails)

This winter across the country, resorts and inns are offering retreats that combine yoga with cross country skiing and snowshoeing. These activities go hand-in-hand as they encourage and build an intimate relationship between mind, body, and spirit.


The fluidity and rhythm of cross country skiing and/or snowshoeing are indeed yoga-like, and yoga is known for enhancing balance and strength using “micro-muscles” and that makes it a perfect match, which can also add a spiritual aspect.

Maplelag Resort in Callaway, Minnesota has the Ski & Be Yoga Retreat, which includes getting outdoors in nature for cross country skiing and snowshoeing, healthy meals, and massage, Feb 3-6, 2017. The program at Maplelag is run and organized by Melissa Joy Schoeller whose activities are for “an active day in the fresh outdoors with time and space to rest and renew mind, body, and spirit.”

Yoga Instructor Trevor Lohr stikes pose in Lebanon, NH.

The Cross Country Ski Headquarters in Roscommon, Michigan has the Stretch & Slide Yoga Ski Retreat, Jan. 21 where they start with yoga to establish self-awareness with body and breath, so that awareness carries over into the skiing. Many people who participate in Stretch and Slide are new to skiing, so beginning with yoga gets people feeling embodied and in touch with themselves right off the bat, which helps them learn Nordic skiing technique with more ease and enjoyment. Being more in tune with one's body and breath also helps foster an awareness of the present moment, which enables one to truly experience and savor the beauty of nature when skiing or snowshoeing outdoors.

Jan. 14, 2017, at Great Glen Trail Outdoor Center in Gorham, New Hampshire, the Women’s Winter Escape program activities emphasize ski clinics for classic and skate techniques, beginner through advanced, but there is also pre- and post-activity stretching, snowshoeing, yoga, snow tubing, lunch, and an après ski wine and cheese with discounted shopping in the Great Glen Outfitter Shop. This program is limited to 20 participants, ensuring a low student to instructor ratio for personalized attention and instruction during clinics. Participants can change groups during the day -  for example, to go snowshoeing led by a naturalist and later in the afternoon can rejuvenate with a yoga session. On the following day, Great Glen hosts an equipment demo, with products from ski and snowshoe suppliers available to take out and test on the trails. Participants in Saturday’s Women’s Winter Escape will receive a free trail pass for Sunday, giving  access to the demo with no extra charge.

The Adventure Center at Waterville Valley, New Hampshire in the southern White Mountains has the Women's Clinic Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017, with XC ski instruction, equipment demo, waxing clinic, yoga, massage, and lunch included. The program is organized at the Adventure Center and if it is cold, the indoor yoga class will help as a warm up before the outdoor part of the program.

In the Rockies, the Ski, Sip & Spa Day is at Devils Thumb Ranch Resort in Tabernash, Colorado Saturday, Feb 12, 2017, including XC ski lessons, lunch, yoga, hot tub, sauna, and wine and cheese. Massage or facial services are available at special rates to program participants.

The Women's Ski Weekend at Izaak Walton Inn in Essex, Montana on the Amtrak line is scheduled for Jan 21-22, 2017, and it includes one night accommodations, skate skiing instruction, two yoga sessions, a 30-minute massage, and a buffet dinner. Brenda Winkler will help you learn new or refine ski skills and develop your yoga practice that will complement your skiing. The event allows for more relaxation time so you will feel refreshed, recharged and ready to explore your new skills when you return home.

Sun Valley Lodge

In the western U.S., Sun Mountain Lodge in Winthrop, Washington in the Methow Valley has the Women's Adventure Camp Feb. 26-28, 2017, coordinated by Cascade Endurance with Nordic skiing, yoga, breakfast and lunch, ski sessions, wine/hors d'oeuvres reception, and relaxation.

Check with the ski resorts for program prices, details, and registration.


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The Case for Fee-Based Nordic Skiing

The Case for Fee-Based Nordic Skiing

Jackson Ski Touring offers state of the art grooming on trails designed to suit every taste and ability. (Jackson Ski Touring Foundation)

Is there a difference between cross country (XC) skiing at a commercial center and “in the woods?” You better believe it!

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Six Colorado Cross Country Ski Areas - One Pass

Six Colorado Cross Country Ski Areas - One Pass

Devil's Thumb Ranch Resort scenery. (Devil's Thumb Ranch)

The Colorado Cross Country Ski Association (CCCSA) is making exploration easier with a multi-ski resort pass good at six of the Nordic ski areas in the state. The CCCSA 2016-17 Punch Pass is on sale now for $99 and it allows purchasers to discover the snow on Nordic trails at six different resorts.

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Bob Frye Inducted To Michigan Ski Hall Of Fame

Bob Frye Inducted To Michigan Ski Hall Of Fame

Bob Frye with his Hall of Fame plaque. (Michigan Ski Hall of Fame)

Bob Frye, founder of Cross Country Ski Headquarters in Higgins Lake, Mich. has been inducted by the board of the Michigan Snowsports Industries Association to the Michigan Ski Hall of Fame. He entered the Hall of Fame as a "Snow Sports Builder," someone who has made major contributions in areas of organization, promotion, or development of the skiing industry in Michigan.


 

Says Frye, "We started with a simple mission, and that mission lives on today: get people outside and having fun on the snow. I would like to thank everyone who has supported us in that mission, and especially my wife, Lynne, for her tremendous support, and without whom none of this would have been possible."

cross country ski headquarters

Since starting Cross Country Ski Headquarters in 1974, Bob and Lynne, and later their daughter and son-in-law, Mariah and Stu Colie, have grown the business to achieve national recognition, not to mention a large statewide following. Named by Outside Magazine as a "Nordic Skiing Mecca," Cross Country Ski Headquarters has become one of the most distinguished cross country ski destinations in the country for its groomed trails, large retail selection and expertise, and warm, welcoming staff.


"Bob and his shop and ski area have attracted more people to the sport of cross country skiing than any other entity in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. They have always been a beacon to those wanting to begin an adventure into snow sports and cross country skiing in particular," said Ernie Brumbaugh, President, Michigan Cup Race Committee.

Cross Country Ski Headquarters is located in Higgins Lake, in the heart of Michigan. It is open from October 29th through March 31st, and also for its annual Labor Day Weekend Sale. Featuring a vast ski equipment and clothing selection, product expertise, groomed ski trails, a café and day lodge, ski rentals and lessons, Cross Country Ski Headquarters and Bob Frye invites one and all to "Come ski with us!"



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Cross Country Skiing To Save The World; 'Winter Fortress'

Winter FortressHad Nazi Germany won the competition to build the first atomic bomb in the early 1940s, the world today could be a very different place. The book entitled The Winter Fortress: The Epic Mission to Sabotage Hitler's Atomic Bomb by Neal Bascomb is the true accounting of the race to build the atom bomb during World War II. Cross-country skiing played an important role.

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Tahoe Donner Land Purchase To Open More Nordic Terrain

Tahoe Donner NordicThe sale of 640 acres near Donner Pass will allow Tahoe Donner Cross Country Ski Area to reopen terrain that has been roped off to Nordic enthusiasts.

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XC Areas With Snowmaking Had A Pretty Good Winter

Rickert XCWest Coast ski resorts had seen a lack of snow for a few years and in the winter of 2015-16, it was the east and central regions’ turn. Alpine ski areas have been making snow for decades but it is relatively new for cross country ski areas.

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Ski Resorts Start To Embrace Snowshoe Programs

Snowshoes at Smuggs

Not everyone who visits a ski resort wants to or is able to ski or snowboard, so resorts offer other activities. Among those options, guests can explore and enjoy the outdoors on snowshoes.

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Trail Grooming Provides Better Nordic Skiing Experiences

Groomer at Jackson XCThe biggest disparity between going cross country (XC) skiing on your own through the woods and XC skiing at a commercial XC ski area is trail conditions. Trail grooming at commercial XC ski areas (that charge a trail fee) refers to using a vehicle with attachments to rework the snow to provide consistent ski and trail conditions.

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Want to Become a Nordic Ski Patroller?

National Ski PatrolNordic Patrollers are educated with a comprehensive manual and Nordic ski enhancement seminars offered by National Ski Patrol (NSP) regional divisions. These are effective tools to build strong confidence and proficiency on the trails. 

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