Posts Tagged ‘nordic skiing’

After all the fun of Tuesday’s session at the Jackson Ski Touring Center, I was hoping for the chance to do some more Nordic skiing.

That chance came today.

Eric and Irene were heading up to do some snowboarding at Waterville Valley, and it just so happens that Waterville offers Nordic skiing as well, with over 40 miles of trails. So after dropping them off at the base of the mountain, I headed in to the Nordic Center in the middle of town.

Once again, the day went great. During the morning, I mainly stuck to the trails around downtown, heading around the pond, over the golf course, etc. It’s rather cool that you’re basically just skiing through the middle of downtown. I stuck to the easy trails, as an early-morning meander on to an intermediate trail had resulted in some pretty spectacular wipe-outs. I’m still not used to the idea of going downhill with wood strapped to my feet…

After a lunch break, I headed out to some of the easy trails on the outskirts of the network, notably the Livermore Trail. I actually hiked the Livermore Trail a couple summers ago on the way to bagging the Tripyramids (both 4000 footers). It’s a flat couple miles until you start going up, and it made for the perfect nordic skiing trail. It was groomed and tracked perfectly – you could really get some speed going – but at the same time the incline was gentle enough that things didn’t get out of hand.

Weather for the day was mostly sunny, though some clouds rolled in during the afternoon and the odd snow flake came down. The second Nordic experience was just as good as the first. I was skiing for between 3-3.5 hours, and it was awesome to try some new trails. Really liking this sport.

Here’s a few photos from the day. You couldn’t pick much better scenery for a day of skiing:

Looking at the Town Square/Nordic Center from the pond loop

Skiing on the golf course

The perfectly-groomed (and perfectly-inclined) Livermore Trail

Town Square, Waterville Valley

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On Sunday, Dan, Eric and I ventured north to Jackson, New Hampshire. We spent a chilly night in the outing club’s cabin there and in the morning headed out to do something I’ve always wanted to do – Nordic ski the trails maintained by the Jackson Ski Touring Foundation.

I’ve always considered it awesome that the club has a cabin in what is essentially the most well-known cross country skiing resort town in the eastern United States. Finally I was able to take advantage of that proximity.

We bought our trail passes and threw on our skis (luckily, the outing club has some, which saved us some dough). This was actually my first time on skis of any sort, since I’ve never actually gotten around to trying downhill. Honestly though, Nordic skiing has always had more of an allure for me.

We started out on the flats right around the lodge It didn’t take too long to get a basic hang of things. In fact, the easy learning curve makes is one of the most accessible winter snowsports, in my opinion. We did a few loops around the center of Jackson village, then headed out to the Ellis River Trail, which is one of the longer, easier trails.

Kindly pointing out my skill level

Both Dan and Eric had only done Nordic once before, so I wasn’t too much of a burden. We followed the river for a while, adding on a couple side loops here and there, and took a brief stop in one of the warming huts. I was moving pretty well after a while, really getting the hang of it. It felt fantastic.

It snowed the entire time we were out, which was absolutely magical. According to the foundation’s Facebook page, they got about eight inches yesterday. On the drive back, various signs pegged the temperature in the upper-teens, but it felt very pleasant. I skied in regular hiking attire, with polypro base layer/light fleece/heavier fleece on the top and base layer/rain pants on the bottom.

All in all, we were out for three hours, moving most of the time. Luckily, the soreness from the 100k had rescinded, so I didn’t really feel any aftereffects from that. It was a fantastic workout though – after three hours we headed in to the main lodge for a brief warm-up and after spending some time by the fire reading Nordic skiing magazines, we decided we were pretty well spent.

All in all, Nordic is everything I hoped it would be. It was beyond fun. I’ll definitely be trying to hit the trails in Jackson or elsewhere more this winter. If we’re lucky, maybe Durham will be slammed with snow for the next couple months so I can get in some time in College Woods or Foss Farm.

Here’s a few photos from the day:

Getting the hang of things on the flats

Eric heading over the covered bridge

Skies outside the warming hut

Back at the car after a solid day