Ski info

Cross-country skiing technique

The basic movement is the Classic or 'diagonal striding' - an exaggerated glide & walk.  By pushing backwards with (say) the left foot, the right ski commences to glide forward.  When it stops, bring the left foot forward, with ski in light-contact or just above the snow. Ascents of moderate slopes are possible.  The boot-heel is free and rises off cross-country (XC) skis.   

Trails are nicely groomed by machines by compacting fallen snow, and, to assist in directional control, two adjacent tracks (grooves) of ski-width are formed into the snow for 'diagonal striders' (as opposed to 'skaters').  If you want to stop for a while, exit from the tracks to allow others to pass easily.  XC skaters use the groomed trails, but not the grooves.

The basic slowing/stopping manoevre is the 'snowplough'.  Move your feet apart and your skis into a toe-in V-formation (in plan view, with the point of the V in front).  For more positive braking, also bring your knees together, so inside-edges of your skis ‘plough’ into the snow in a V-form as seen in a vertical-section view.

For slow downhill turning, adopt the snowplough position (above), then transfer some body-weight to the outer leg/ski - yes, the one on the outside of the turn!!  Leaning into a turn is definitely not the way to do it. But these are techniques you will of course learn more about when you take the lesson!

When you are more connfident you may want to learn Staking techniqque or Telemarking.

Ski etiquette / Safety suggestions

Finally, please bring the contact phone number for an emergency contact and let an organizing /executive member know if there are any medical conditions they  should be aware of! If you are a new person, you will be asked  on the day for your emergency contact names and numbers before we start the trip!

Information provided by Ian Cochrane

Friday, June 20, 2008  and update 2010