Trail Report: River Trail (Little Laramie Trailhead) 4.28.15

It was a beautiful spring morning in the Medicine Bow National Forest. We started from the Little Laramie trailhead in the Snowies and meandered along the River Trail. From the trailhead it looked like the trail would be a good mix of snow and dirt so we left our snowshoes in the car. We ended up postholing a bit but the snow wasn't too deep. If you're headed there in the next few days I would recommend snowshoes just in case. Here are the current trail conditions. Date: 4/28/15 Time: 9-11:00 am Temperature: 45-50°F (ish). Weather: Beautiful, sunny, warm Wind: None Trails Hiked:…

Trail’ology: Can I hike in the winter? 5 Tips.

One common barrier to outdoor recreation is the weather! Do you think of hiking as just something to do during the summer? If you live in a cold or snowy place it's easy to be tempted to hunker down for the winter and stay off the trails. While our preferred forms of winter recreation and transportation are by cross-country ski or snowshoe we do in fact hike during the coldest winter months. And it's pretty fun. Here are a few tips for winter hiking. Dress in layers. Just like you would if you were cross-country skiing or snowshoeing and avoid cotton.…

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…

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…

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 Snowplow

What goes up, must come down... Today we're sharing a simple video on the easiest of ski techniques for coming down a hill, the snowplow. This technique is very easy to learn and an important skill to have to maintain control on the downhill side of the trail. http://youtu.be/U3zD9qusM8U You can check out the other video's in our cross-country ski series by visiting our YouTube page.

XC Skiing Uphill Techniques

We're back today with our cross-country ski series. So far we've covered how to do a basic diagonal stride technique, and the double pole. The next step is to go over how to climb steep hills. When climbing hills we recommend shortening your stride and increasing your tempo to propel your body over the hill. If your skis start to slip you can also pick them up a little bit higher and "stomp" them down into the snow or change your posture to remain more upright rather than hunch forward over your skis. However, it's easy to fatigue quickly on…

The Double Pole

Today we're back on the snow with another cross-country skiing video tutorial. This one is all about the double pole technique which is used on flat terrain, slight-up hills and down-hills for increased speed and recovery. The double pole technique goes hand-in-hand with the basic diagonal stride technique and when used together (as terrain dictates) can really help propel the skier down the trails. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rw-Z6mHOFyQ

How to Glide Wax Cross-Country Skis

[caption id="attachment_3581" align="alignleft" width="286"] Just like kick wax, glide wax is selected based off of snow temperature, weather conditions and humidity...yes, I store my cheaper glide waxes all together in a ziploc bag. No judging from the wax tech's out there![/caption] We recommend a good waxless touring ski for beginning skiers but even if you invest in a waxless ski, the tips and the tails of that ski need regular maintenance. With regular maintenance and waxing ski's become better and faster. On Monday we talked about applying kick wax to grip the snow and allow us to get a good kick. Today's…