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Cross Country Skiing

Perth and Kinross...
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692 posts
124 reviews
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Cross Country Skiing

We've decided to try one days cross country skiing at Lost Lake during our two weeks in Whistler this year.

Some of you we're kind enough to give some initial advice before so thank you for that.

I think, to get the most of our day, we'll try a lesson to get the basic technique and then go it alone. One thing we're not sure of, is what to wear?

All our ski clothing is for downhill skiing, but it appears that cross country skiing requires lighter, figure hugging gear.

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

Whistler, Canada
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for Whistler
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1. Re: Cross Country Skiing

Hi Brian

Couple of suggestions:

- For cold temperatures and snow, you can still wear your downhill clothing. I would just omit the long johns and on top just have a base layer, thin fleece and a shell jacket. This is what I usually use. I don’t have any special x-country clothing. I often even omit the jacket and just go base layer with a water resistant type fleece/jacket. Then hat and thin gloves.

- If its a little warmer you could wear a running type pant - the tight ones are good for x-country skiing. Then on top the same base layer/shell combo.

If you are just going once I think your downhill stuff should suffice - minus some layers. Alternately there are lots of stores in Whistler that sell Nordic clothing if you want something more specific.

Hope that helps - Marie at Tourism Whistler

Vancouver, Canada
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27,556 posts
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2. Re: Cross Country Skiing

The main difference is how warm you get, although I went downhill last Friday (Grouse) and XC on Monday (WOP) and wore essentially the same clothes both days. I think the key difference is the gloves. The hands can get really cold on DH, and really warm on XC, so I tend to wear really thin, light gloves and usually take them off once I get going.

My kids go in their bulky, nylon ski pants, and as this is your first time, something waterproof is probably a good idea, so if you are spending some time on the snow ( ;>) you are staying dry.

And yes, as mentioned above, layers are a great plan, and come prepared with a small backpack to take them off as you go, depending on the weather. You might find that a thin turtle neck shirt is all you need. Judge the conditions on the day.

Lost Lake can get a little hilly in places, so stick to the main loop around the lake to start until you get a feel for it. Whistler Olympic Park is my new favourite destination for XC, but I know its a bit more difficult to get to without a car.

(As an aside to readers, we took our tiny little dog up on Monday to the dog trails at WOP and he, and we, had an absolutely fantastic time. All those dogs running around any playing made for such a joyful atmosphere. Plenty of dog-free trails for people who find them a nuisance, but enough dog trails to keep it interesting for people who are visiting with pets. So much fun!)

Edited: 13 February 2013, 22:50
Perth and Kinross...
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692 posts
124 reviews
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3. Re: Cross Country Skiing

Marie & Vancouverite, thanks for some excellent information as ever, it's very much appreciated. I definitely think waterproof layers will be essential for when I'm flat out on the snow pretending to make snow angels ;-)) Wish we could bring our dog with us, he would love the deeper snow.

Vancouver, Canada
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60 reviews
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4. Re: Cross Country Skiing

Oh but you CAN!!! We took our little guy up to Whistler Olympic Park a couple of weeks ago and he had so much FUN! There's a good selection of well used dog trails; two loops with a connector trail. Enough to keep it interesting with the dog. This has been our first winter with a dog and taking him skiing with us has been an absolute blast and a real "value added" experience for our outings as a family. Just returned from a ski weekend with him at Sun Peaks and again, and absolute blast skiing with him (although the Whistler dogs generally have better manners).

Oh, ha ha ha, you mean -- wish you could bring your dog over from Scotland. Ok, yes, I get it now. :>

Perth and Kinross...
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692 posts
124 reviews
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5. Re: Cross Country Skiing

We're here at the moment and its totally dumping down. Our dog, a Scottish Terrier, would disappear in this snow (he's currently terrorising the in laws back in Scotland). Trying the cross country skiing on Saturday so will post again to let you know how it goes.

Vancouver, Canada
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6. Re: Cross Country Skiing

Yes, massive storm coming through at the moment. This is one of those times we are talking about when we advise people against winter travel. I hope everyone stays put for a couple of days until this blows through and they get the roads cleared up again.

Enjoy the skiing, and yes, do let us know how the XC goes for you.

Perth and Kinross...
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692 posts
124 reviews
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7. Re: Cross Country Skiing

Having now been cross country skiing for the first time I can honestly say we lived it.

We decided to take a quick lesson to get the most out of our day on the various trails around the list lake area.

Our instructor was excellent and had us familiar with the basics very quickly.

The price of the lesson also includes a full day pass and rental of boots and skis, which means great value for money.

Although some if our downhill skiing techniques helped this us a totally different discipline.

Narrower skis, uphill sections, turning, braking.... It was all different.

We spent the time after the lesson exploring the various levels of trails around the beautiful lake area.

All in all, we will definitely try this again.

We also found some muscles we never knew we had!!

Vancouver, Canada
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27,556 posts
60 reviews
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8. Re: Cross Country Skiing

Oh hooray! glad it went well for you. it's a bit of a nuisance to get over there, but the Whistler Olympic Park is, IMO, even better than Lost Lake. so very pretty. there's an overnight trip you can do into the Callhagn backcountry I want to try when the kids are a bit older.

Even now that my kids have been introduced to downhill through school, they both still enjoy the XC.

9. Re: Cross Country Skiing

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