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 Cross Country Skiing

Cross Country Skiing

Cross Country Ski Resorts

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Ski Equipment

Rent Vs Buying Skis Downhill Skiing Snow Tubing Tips ●Snowboarding
Skiing XC- Ski Tips For a Fun Trip    


Age Requirements

Cross-country skiing, which was originally a popular sport in the Nordic countries, has grown in popularity as a world wide winter sport in the United States. This sport, also known as XC or Nordic skiing, is a wonderful experience. Skiing cross-country can be anything from a gentle glide on a sunny winter day, to an all-out aerobic race.  It is a way to enjoy the outdoors in winter while spending quality time with your family.  

Because you can XC Ski just about anywhere where you find snow, you can match the terrain that you ski to suit your fitness level and interests.  Cross country skiing allows you to choose from a variety of locations. Parks, golf courses, hiking trails or cross country ski areas.  The quick learning curve, low injury rate, and natural motions of XC skiing allow those of all ages and fitness levels participate in this sport.  Children as early as  three to five years of age can participate in this sport.

The best time to learn to ski is at a young age.  Starting your child young opens a world of fun and adventure that they will enjoy forever. Cross country skiing is relatively easy to learn, but it is recommended that beginners take a lesson from a qualified instructor. Lessons can greatly enhance the overall ski experience.

  Ski resorts have developed a focus on services for families and children to keep up with the changing demographics of their customers.  They offer ski classes for children of all ages and skill levels.  Teaching children to ski usually involves games aimed at making the children enjoy their experience and feel at ease on their skis.


Ski Centers usually offer daily lessons for all levels of skiers in both classic and skate techniques.  Lessons can be either private or group.  Lessons cost approximately $20 -25 for group and $30 - $50 for private and last about 1 1/2 hours without lift ticket.  Some resorts will offer a package deal that includes the lift ticket at a discounted rate, so be sure to investigate all options.

Depending where you are skiing the ski areas are open anywhere from November to April.


Cross Country Skiing can be a very expensive sport. You have to take into consideration in most situations you will need some or all of the following: accommodations, travel, lift tickets, meals and equipment.  Equipment can be either rented or purchased.  The difficulty with purchasing equipment for children is that they are constantly growing.   Donít be tempted to buy equipment too big for them to grow into because it will make skiing difficult and it could result in injury.   See Renting vs. Buying Skis for further details.

Clothing and Equipment

Be sure that everyone is dressed properly for the weather.  Just like downhill skiing and snowboarding it is necessary to wear layers for this sport.  Layers are best so that they can be removed if temperatures change.  A cold skier is an unhappy skier. Without proper clothing the cross country skiing experience could turn out to be less than satisfying. 

You need the proper gear to keep you warm and to allow for free movement.  When dressing for cross country skiing you should always wear layers to compensate for changeable weather conditions and temperatures.  The principle of wearing layers is the same as in cold weather running and hiking. Cross-country skiing is more like walking or running than downhill skiing.

This will require long underwear, a sweater, waterproof jacket and pants, helmet, goggles and gloves/mittens. Carry a backpack for lunch, necessary supplies, and extra clothing.

Insulated underwear:  You should start with comfortable polypropylene long underwear.  This material, unlike cotton, dries quickly and absorbs sweat therefore it keeps you warm. Approximate cost  is $30.

Wool sweater: After your long underwear the next step is to create an insulating second layer of ski clothes. This should be comprised of at least one layer of a wool sweater or turtleneck.   A wool sweater will cost about $30 - $50.

Jacket: You'll want to wear a waterproof jacket that you can move in.  Cross country jackets are slim fitting and more contoured to the body.  However, if you have a downhill jacket most likely it will be fine for cross country skiing.

Ski Pants:  Cross Country ski pants have a slimmer fit and are designed to allow movement that is specific to this type of skiing.

Gloves or mittens:  Gloves must be water resistant and should be sleek and insulated. Bulky gloves will get in the way.  The price of glove/mittens will range anywhere from $15 to $35.

Socks: Many people like two layers of socks, a thin layer to transport moisture and a thicker layer for warmth and cushioning.  Remember they must come above the boot for comfort. Approx. cost $12.

Helmets: Helmets are not required for cross country skiing.

Hat:  A warm hat is necessary to keep your head and ears warm.  There are many fashionable hats available to coordinate with your outfit.

Sport Sunglasses: 100% UVA  protected.  Approx. cost $50.

Scarf: Prevents heat from escaping between the jacket and the hat.  Approx. cost $20.

Industry-wide, cross country ski gear is some of the best designed and most affordable outdoor sports equipment available. To go skiing you will absolutely need the following: skis with bindings attached, poles, and boots.

Skis  -- $55 - $125
Bindings - $45- $50
Boots $50 - $150
Poles $20 -$25

Packages are available for approximately $175 and will include skis, poles, boots and bindings.


Cross-Country Ski Areas Association -   Great resource guide for everything related to cross-country skiing!

Fischer Skis - Largest ski manufacturer with great selection.

Alpina - Great selection of Cross-country skis, boots, bindings and poles.

Exel Poles and Garmont Boots - Ski poles for every type of skiing

The Master Skier - Magazine with great articles for cross-country skiers.

Cross-Country Skier Magazine - General interest ski magazine with articles on places to go, equipment, techniques, and more.

X-C Ski World - Links to everything related to cross-country skiing.