Cross Country Skiing

Did it once about ten years ago and loved it.

I now need to get as proficient as I can in the next two and a bit months. A couple of questions...

Where in Europe is good to learn/practice cross country skiing, preferably somewhere close to an airport with budget flights.

Secondly, do those gym cross trainer things train the specific muscles you need or is it best just to carry on with usual triathlon training type fitness?


  • I do a lot of XC, well did until the move to EA but thats another story.
    Fly to Lyon and go to the Grenoble area, you can fly with Ryanair for a small fee.
    I am off to Lapland in March for a weeks XC so at the moment I am using the machine in our gym at work. These machines are quite good for specific muscular endurance but the thing to do is really concentrate on your fom whilst on the machine, they are not exactly like XC but will have to do in the absence of the white stuff.
  • Now what have you got planned ?
  • Its a long story Cougie, no doubt I'll bore you with it at the weekend!
  • I'll look forward to it. Take my mind off Sunday.
  • You're not planning on doing the 'wasaloppet' (spelling?) are you?

    We did a ski marathon once....I've never been so tired in my life, including IM. I was almost in tears by the end.

    But XC ski is probably now by far my very best discipline, it's certainly the only one where I can keep up with or even beat Mr. IW!
  • Norway is excellent for x-coutry ski-ing. Lots of prepared tracks at high and low levels. Look out for cheap packages to Geilo, it seems to becoming very popular with Brits and last year there were last minutes deals as low as £100. That`s for flights as well as a weeks accomodation.

    Don`t know anything about triathalon training but you might want to look at specific exercises for upper arms and shoulders if it is going to be a long way. (over 20 miles)
  • Damn - forgot to ask you !
  • Yep, they certainly do ski here in Norway - I passed lots of people on skiis as I did my run today.

    But Norway is extremely expensive, so only come here if you can get a cheap package thingamy.
  • Ryanair does cheapo [1] flights from Glasgow to Oslo (or sort of in the same corner of the country as Oslo ;)

    I'm off for a hut-to-hut tour near Finse at the end of March. And yes, everything else
    than the flight is expensive...

    [1] can be as low as £3 or so one-way for a weekday flight - and then of course they add about £25 taxes etc for a roundtrip. And £15 per leg of the journey for a skibag...
  • LizzyBLizzyB ✭✭✭
    North Iceland is fab for x-country skiing. But it´ll cost a fortune to get here (#120 return fare, plus #100 internal air fare ... then taxis/hire cars). But, bizarrely, it is one of the cheapest places to buy or rent the kit!

    I´m contemplating doing a X-country ski race at the end of February.... it is good for the soul to come last.

    Technique counts for a lot in X-country skiing. But it you´re fit and strong, you can use a triumph of strength over technique to pick up speed. A strong upper body really helps. And strong quads.

    But... why...?

  • Greg lemond now does x-c skiing
  • He did a lot when he was racing. One winter he did too much and was too bulky on top when it came to the mountains.

    He also sells spinning bikes now too.

    Nice stetson Will - we could have used them yesterday at Tough Guy.
  • Anybody know where to buy decent XC kit but not at UK prices, I am off to Finland next month and I don't think it is the cheapest place. Had a good day up in Scotland on Saturday, sun shining, pisted trails and soft snow to land in when my technique failed - now back in EA and it is 11C, what a difference.
  • ha ha - I know why Rich wants to do this - but let him tell you the tale
  • we had snow non stop for 6days and nites last week in the alps
  • how's the ribs WW?? and what happened??
  • First time boarding, so went to the top of the bigest mountain in Flaine

    Managed to get all the way down the mountain, with some spectaculare wipeouts - but they did not hurt as the whole mountain was powder

    Got al the way to the botom and was cutting across a nursey slope and cought my front edge, which resulted in a swan dive onto ice/hard packed snow - landed chest first and smashed a couple of ribs under my chest

    Later in the week - i also did in a knee tendon

    and on the last day i had to get rescures (off a very nice French lady ski medic) after catching a back edge and tearing all my lower abs

    I know hav cold and it hurts like hell when i coff

  • LizzyBLizzyB ✭✭✭
    WildWill - aaah, the joys of snowboarding. hope you're better soon. Remember you're meant to tuuuurn to kill speed, not fall over! Cathcing a front edge - ouch!

    We had deep powder and sunny skies all weekend, but spent most of Saturday afternoon off piste, thigh deep in powder, trying to find a mate's lost ski! These skiiers, bloomin' liability.

    Yeterday we jut videoed each othe jumping off cornices to assess technique. A sack of spuds has a better technique than me.

    Mountain goat - our local ski shop will do you a package of new (old stock) and second hand cross country ski gear (skis, boots and poles) for about £100. But north Iceland isn't really an easy place to get to ...
  • Ok - clueless non-skiing non-boarding girlie here...what does 'catching a front (or back) edge' mean?

    Apart from agony, of course...
  • LizzyBLizzyB ✭✭✭
    JJ. It means pain, and getting laughed at by everyone who sees you.

    Er, trying to think how to explain it ... when your board is perpendicular to the slope, it is when the 'edge' (or the metal rim round the edge of your snowboard) digs into the slope below you when you don't want it to. The effect is like a tripwire. Thwack!

    I'm sure someone can do a better explanation than this ... help...!

    Alternatively, have a snowboard lesson and within half an hour of getting on a snowboard, it will happen to you....
  • LizzyB I was thinking about a weekend in Iceland at the end of this month - Icelandair are doing some sort of cheap deal from Glasgow so I am told. Then again Reykavijk is a long way from Northern Iceland too, would there be any shops in the South?
  • LizzyBLizzyB ✭✭✭
    mountaingoat - All the shops I know in the south only sell regular (expensive!) gear, so probably no bargains. The shop in the north is a dumping ground for the country's second hand and 'didn't sell' stock, hence the bargains. There might be a shop at the Blafjoll ski resort near Reykjavik (but it's not open very often cos it doesn't snow much there)... the staff there might know about local shops?
  • Lizzy, I'm hoping to get up to Iceland in the next month or so, but probably not as far north as you! Shame, because it sounds perfect.

    I am doing a 3 week army style arctic warfare/survival/endurance type expedition in May. Not sure exactly what they've got in store for us, but I reckon there'll be plenty of xc skiing with heavy packs on. Oh, and getting dunked in icy water with your skis on, that kind of thing.
  • c'mon Rich - tell the whole story!! (will reply to your e-mail tomorrow btw)

    catching a front edge WW - nice one and can now see why you have 2 broken ridges. Jj - imagine falling flat on your face whilst facing down a slope - that way your chest has farther to fall before it connects - and assuming you don't break your wrists trying to stop that happening.
  • oh

    I see, thank you.

    are 'broken ridges' a more macho version of broken ribs?
  • This does sound intriguing and sooo right up your street Rich - tell us more...
  • Ok, ok... only to put FB out of his misery because I confided to him over a curry on Saturday, and he's dying to tell someone.

    I found out on Friday that I have got through the selection process for the next series of SAS, Are You Tough Enough? which is subtitled SAS:Ice, and is being filmed in Norway in May. Selection included a timed backpack run last weekend over the highest peaks in the Brecon Beacons (all good Tough Guy training!).

    Excited and scared in equal proportion, can't be colder than yesterday though can it Cougie?
  • [wonders how uncool it is to look utterly boggled eyed with hero worship...]
  • Don't jump the gun JJ. I might only last two days and embarrass the whole forum.
  • I knew it had to be something amazing like that ! Brilliant news Rich. And noooo. Can't possibly be colder than TG - surely. Maybe wear 2 Helly Hansens though - just in case.

    Hey - my TG teeshirt is as good as new ! Can't believe it after everything I put it through. Top Quality Tees Mr M !
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