Cross-Country Skiing FAQs

1. What is cross-country skiing?

Cross-country skiing is a form of skiing on lighter, longer and thinner skis, where your heel is not attached to the ski and you glide forward in a walking motion.

2. What are the benefits of cross-country in comparison to other alpine sports?

It's a technique that is easy to learn and then all you need is snow and the basic equipment and you are set to go! It is incredibly good exercise- it works 95% of your body muscles, so is a great way of getting an outdoor workout in the Winter and will also keep you nice and warm when its cold outside! Whether you go by yourself or with friends you can enjoy getting off the beaten track and exploring nature.

3. Do I need any ski experience?

No, if you can walk, you can cross-country ski! A basic fitness level will be an advantage, but this is something that you can build up through cross-country skiing too.

4. I am scared of skiing - is cross-country for me?

Learning cross-country skiing is a lot less intimidating than learning to ski- the routes are generally flat with gentle slopes and you can build up your speed as you grow in confidence. It is always worth taking a lesson at the start, so you can learn the technique and feel comfortable and in control.

5. What is the difference between Classic and Skating?

Classic skiing is skiing in the tracks that have been made by machines. You glide forward within these tracks- guiding you around the circuits.

Skating is the form of cross-country that you see more often on TV in biathlon events. Skaters ski on the flattened snow paths next to the classic tracks and they move forward in a skating v- shaped motion, pushing off from side to side. This is definitely the more physically demanding of the two.

6. What equipment do I need?

You will need specific cross-country skis, shoes & poles for either classic or skating and. For starting out, it is best to hire. Once you decide to do this regularly and which form you prefer you can then invest in your own equipment. Hire is available at many circuits.

7. What should I wear?

You will get warm pretty fast, even when it is cold outside. We recommend the onion principal- lots of thinner layers which you can peel off/ add on as needed (synthetics and wool/merino are best- avoid cotton as this just stays wet once you sweat and will make you cold and miserable!). A light hat or headband are also good for controlling your temperature. Gloves are also necessary to keep your fingers warm and protected-thinner ones are ideal.

8. What else should I bring?

Remember any activities outdoors in the winter expose you to the elements, so suncream, lipsalve etc are always necessary. Bring some water and light snacks too as you will likely get thirsty and hungry.

Interested in giving Cross-Country skiing a go? Join our taster day in January to try out classic and skating or/ and our Alpine Adventure week in Febuary for cross-country adventures in the Arlberg!