The Cross-Country Skiers Guide to Laramie, Wyoming

Laramie, Wyoming. It doesn't seem like a ski town, right? People come to Laramie to catch a football game or to get smashed at the brewfest during Jubilee Days, they don't come here to ski. But they should and here's why. Our ski trails are awesome!  (you might get blown off the parking lot at the Tie City trailhead but that's part of the experience right?) Sure we're not Canmore, Alberta or West Yellowstone, Montana...places known for their amazing nordic skiing. We also don't have any fancy schmanzy ski lodges with hot chocolate, handsome foreign ski instructors named Sven, and ski rentals. But…

How to Cross-Country Ski

If you're a beginning cross-country skier you've come to the right place! Check out our series on cross-country skiing. 4 Reasons to Cross-Country Ski 5 Things You Never Knew About Nordic Skiing How to Acquire Used XC  Ski Equipment How to Select XC Ski Poles How to Select XC Ski Boots & Bindings How to Select XC Ski's How to Find Your Kick Zone How to Apply Kick Wax How to Apply Glide Wax What to Put in Your XC Ski Wax Kit What to Wear XC Skiing What to Pack for a Day of XC Skiing Etiquette on the…

How To Teach a Toddler to XC Ski

This is the final post of our Cross-Country ski series for the winter. I like to think that we saved the best topic for last. It's also a topic that probably applies to just a few of our readers. Today's post is about teaching a toddler to ski. Some of my earliest childhood memories are of wearing my red and white polar bear ski's inside of my parents house and moving awkwardly on ski's across the backyard. I'd even take them outside in the summer and try to ski on grass. My ski's were one of my favorite "toys"--in fact…

FAQ’s About Cross-Country Skiing

Lately we've received several questions about our cross-country ski series and cross-country skiing in general. As we wrap up our ski series we want to answer a few of our most frequently asked questions. Where is a good place to buy a equipment package for cross-country skiing? Package deals (skis, boots, bindings, poles) can be a great way for a new skier to get equipped. They also have the added bonus of ensuring that equipment, specifically boots and bindings are compatible. Our favorite place for package deals is REI but it's also good to check out your local ski shop.…

3 XC Ski Tips for Beginners

If you're new to the sport of cross-country skiing it can be a bit overwhelming thinking about everything from equipment to putting the actual mechanics of how to ski together. As I've coached new skiers ranging in age from toddlers to grandparents I've noticed a few trends out on the trails. Today's blog post is all about the best ski tips for beginners. 1) For a new skier figuring out balance on cross-country skis can be tricky. We need to be able to shift our weight to balance and glide on one ski and then the other ski. This is…

Groomed Ski Trails vs Ungroomed Ski Trails

One question that we've been asked lately is whether or not it's better for beginners to learn how to ski on groomed or ungroomed trails. Before we dive into this question it's best to break down the difference between groomed and ungroomed trails. Groomed trails are those which have been packed. Sometimes with just a snowmobile pulling a sled or at a larger ski area with a big groomer like you'd see at a downhill ski resort. Without getting into the mechanics of grooming it's important to know that groomed trails leave behind a sink-free layer of packed snow. This makes…

Hydration on the Ski Trails

It's easy to forget about hydration when it's a cold winter day and you're out on the trails. However, when you're working up a sweat cross-country skiing or snowshoeing (especially at altitude) it's vital to drink. There are several great options for hydration devices, each has it's pro's and con's, and those pro's and con's are more personal preference than anything else. Here are a few things that we do a few things to stay hydrated. If we know we're going to be going on a crazy hard or long ski, we pay attention to what we're eating and drinking…

Cross-Country Skiing On A Budget

Cross-country skiing is like most sports, you can drop a whole lot of money into fancy equipment, waxes, coaching, races, clothing and gear or you can invest very little money on the basics. When I was racing it was common for me to spend every cent that I earned at the ski shop. But for most people cross-country skiing can be done without breaking the bank. If you're looking to get into recreational nordic skiing here are 4 frugal ways to get out on the trails. Rent or buy used equipment. A few months ago we went into detail about…

How to get up when you fall on XC ski’s

When it comes to skiing we've all been there, trying to get up after a fall. It can be something as simple as a little fall while trying to put your ski's on or a major collision with a snow bank during a backcountry adventure. So far in our cross-country ski series we discussed equipment, clothing, waxing skis, and a little bit about how to ski. Today's post is probably the most important of them all, how to get up when you fall on cross-country ski's. What's your most epic fall? Mine occurred when I was going off of a…

XC Skiing Downhill-The Step Turn

We're back today with the last video portion of our cross-country ski series. We're covering what I like to call 'the big 5' techniques of basic nordic skiing: the diagonal stride, double pole, herringbone, snowplow and today the step turn. The step turn is my favorite of downhill techniques on cross-country skis because unlike the snowplow it allows the skier to maintain their momentum while staying in control on a downhill. Speed is good on downhills, because often a downhill leads to an uphill and who wants to climb a hill if they could just use the momentum from a…