When I moved to Park City I was a diehard alpine skier who would scoff at Nordic skiers that I passed on my drive to the ski resort. My husband and I would commiserate at how slow cross country skiing looked compared to the heart pounding feeling of flying downhill on shaped skis. And then something happened. I became a local.
A friend who had lived here for a few years suggested that we enroll in a Ladies Skate Ski Clinic at the White Pine Touring Nordic Center. “Skate skiing – never heard of it,” I quipped. Turns out there was a whole other discipline of cross country skiing that I never knew existed.
So I decided to enroll in the clinic to check out this potentially new sport. The price was right since it included equipment rentals, track pass and weekly lessons for four consecutive weeks. The fact that it was a “ladies only” clinic removed the intimidation factor.
To say that I was skeptical as I donned the long skinny skate skis would be an understatement. But the fact that the boots weren’t torture chambers like their alpine counterparts was a big plus. As the instructor taught us the basic V1 technique and I got my first taste of the gentle glide of skate skiing, I started to think this sport might have merits after all.
By the end of the first class I was hooked. So much so, that I stuck around afterward and practiced skating on the track. After about 20 minutes I had to stop since I was gasping for air and my legs (and arms) were burning. Huh, this sport is a really great workout in addition to being fun.
Eight years later, I’m proud to say that I am an avid Nordic skate skier. Not only do I have my own equipment, but I’m also an annual season pass holder at the White Pine Nordic Center. My husband and I are so devoted to the sport that we take both Nordic and alpine skis with us on each and every ski vacation.
If you haven’t tried Nordic skate skiing yet, consider enrolling in one of White Pine’s Ladies Only Clinics. The first round starts next week on January 8th and for a mere $125 you get 4 weeks of lessons, rental equipment and a track pass. If you already have your own equipment, it’s even less. Clinics are organized by level – beginner, intermediate and intermediate/advanced. While the beginner class is already full, there is still plenty of room in the advanced lessons for current skate skiers who want to refine their technique.
If you can’t make the January clinics don’t worry. White Pine is also planning to offer Ladies Skate Clinics in February and March, weather permitting. Just call the Nordic Center at 435-649-6249 to register.
See you on the track!
Liz Yokubison, Senior Editor, Jans.com