Think­ing of ski­ing cross coun­try? 6 tips to help plan your trip

The Idaho Statesman (Sunday) - - EXPLORE - BY WAL­TER NICKLIN Wash­ing­ton Post

the ma­jes­tic back­drop of the Mont Blanc mas­sif, I took a brief break in my work­out, leaned on my ski poles and in­haled the soli­tary si­lence. Just a few miles away, the rest of my fam­ily was hav­ing fun on snow­boards and down­hill skis among the crowds, lifts and ca­ble cars. It was Christ­mas va­ca­tion 10 years ago, and we were near Cha­monix, France – the site, in 1924, of the first Win­ter Olympics. There were two cross­coun­try ski­ing events.

If I ever want to re­peat my French Alps cross-coun­try ex­pe­ri­ence, I’m told, I shouldn’t book in December again; there’s no guar­an­tee there would be much snow. How­ever, wait­ing too late in the sea­son, as I learned on a sub­se­quent trip to the Ital­ian Dolomites in March, can make the Alps an iffy propo­si­tion, too. It was my son’s spring va­ca­tion, and he still got to snow­board; but downs­lope from the snow­capped peaks, the cross-coun­try trails were mostly slush.

To be a cross-coun­try skier in this age of ever warmer, drier win­ters is to feel like an en­dan­gered species. To sur­vive, we must adapt. So here are some lessons fo­cused on flex­a­gainst ibil­ity that I’ve drawn from my re­cent cross-coun­try ex­pe­ri­ences.

WAL­TER NICKLIN Wash­ing­ton Post

One of the im­mac­u­lately groomed trails at Utah’s Sol­dier Hol­low, the Nordic site de­signed for the 2002 Win­ter Olympics.

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