What About Cross-Country?

Let’s imagine that the recovery from the Corona virus doesn’t go as we all hope it will.  And that by the time snow flies again in the mountains, the second wave has landed.  Ski resorts are either closed or postponing opening dates until later in the winter. Or ski resorts are limiting access through a lottery or other ways of restricting access. In other words, no or limited opportunities for Alpine skiing.

And backcountry may be discouraged for senior skiers because of the potential for deploying essential search and rescue personnel when they are needed elsewhere.

Got it?  So here’s the question:

Please write your response in the Reply Box below.

Given your attraction to snow sports and physical activity, if Alpine skiing is cancelled, delayed, or restricted, will you find opportunities to go cross-country skiing in parks, golf courses, open farm fields, even XC resorts?


  1. Thomas Bunn says:

    Yes, I would attempt to find opptunities for xc skiing. This can be a challenge in the Pocono mountains here in PA. Snow totals do not always allow for xc skiing.

  2. Allan Grauberd says:


  3. Sure. And snowshoeing too. Anything to get out of the house and in the snow.

  4. Ed Schultz says:

    I would do some occasionally.

  5. Absolutely. Just hope there is enough snow.

  6. Yes! Best exercise you can get – and great for your mental health as well. I x-c every time there is 3” of snow on the golf course – that is all you need.

  7. Ray Geary says:

    Yes. I am an avid Nordic skier and look for opportunities even when I travel to go alpine skiing. I would even consider upgrading my equipment if necessary. I try to xc once a week.

  8. John Barker. says:

    No. But I would walk more. And briskly!!!

  9. I believe there will be a surge in XC skiing & snowshoeing this winter if CV19 continues to impact us. BTW, the photo used on this SS article shows bad form which makes XC look like too much work – rather see someone smiling looking upright, lightly dressed and comfortable.

  10. STEPHEN POST says:

    Yes. although it has been 25 years since I last x-c skiied.

  11. X-country seems like a viable alternative as long as there is snow, snowshoeing also will be a way to get out, and both work on coordination.

  12. Stewart Kriss says:

    Yes only very locally

  13. Yes to X-country locally when there’s snow. I also got a “slack country” set-up on my alpine skis for the snowy slopes in our river valley parks. I’m considering studded tires for my bike as well.

  14. Racefilly says:

    Absolutely and will try to snowshoe as much as possible too.

  15. And maybe try fatbiking. A lot of cross-country areas offer both fatbiking and snowshoeing — nice diversity!

    • Alice Kane says:

      Pls. explain more about fatbiking on snow trails. In what areas/terrain is this available? (Any videos you’d suggest to help introduce skiers to this sport?) PS I’ve watched many exciting mt biking videos — challenging stuff! — and wonder how these ‘warm weather’ trails compare to the winter fat biking experience on snow trails. Thanks.

  16. Not likely. for XC but more likely back country using my alpine touring gear.

  17. No. If anything, I will consider exploring back country alpine skiing options.

  18. No to cross country but Yes to snowshoeing on the local Nordic Area in the Pacific NW.

  19. Tom Beggs says:

    Snowshoeing is my alternative. Lots of fun and a good workout, especially doing it up at 10,000′ altitude.

  20. Eric Lunan says:

    Absolutely! XC and snowshoeing are already part of my regular winter activities – at least twice a week, sometimes during the same day as some downhill. Variety is the spice of life!


    Add my name to those adding Nordic or snowshoeing. With a 900 foot hill loaded with trails within a half mile from home it’s a no brainer.

  22. Yes. I did it this March. Not the same, obviously, but it gets you out there and is a great workout.

  23. Unfortunately, no. We live in central NC and travel west each ski season. If the slopes are not open, we will not head west for the 20-21 season. Central NC isn’t compatible with XC skiing.

  24. I am an avid x-country skier – I lived overseas for the past 14 years and only went back to downhill skiing because there was no x-country or backcountry skiing around. In China, I enviously watched their Biathlon team train but there were no tracks or equiptment for the general public, so after 35 years I put on downhill skis again. Loved it, but perhaps love x-country even more. Classic or skating, I love the peace, the pace and just being out on the trails.

  25. Elliot Holar says:

    I would seek out opportunities for XC and snowshoeing but would need to be able to visit snowier areas to do so. Northern Virginia and surrounding region rarely has enough snow, so I’d see if I could spend some time in New England.

  26. Jack Shipley says:

    Absolutely yes. Especially the backcountry aspect of XC skiing! It is the very best exercise you can get, takes you to beautiful places, and can be done anywhere there is snow, with no crowds or virus exposure. XC skiing can be done with cheap, old gear, too: I’ve got a good pair of backcountry skis that are actually 30-year-old alpine skis, fitted with 40-year-old Swedish cable bindings. Why bother to put up with crowded, noisy, polluted alpine resorts, lift lines, exorbitant ticket prices, and long drives? XC is also about 3X safer than alpine for those of us in our chronological prime (I’m 75), since you can go as slow as you like, on gentle terrain, with no locked-down heels or out-of-control snowboarders to worry about. It’s a no-brainer.

  27. Yes, here in Colorado we need to get the word out so they do not block the parking areas like they did last spring.

  28. Eileen Fishkin says:

    No. Tried it twice while skiing in Colorado. Bored out of my head! Living in central NJ there are no opportunities even if I enjoyed it.

  29. I would try XC and snowshoeing too in the absence of alpine skiing. Like a couple of other people who answered this question, however, I also live in a location that is usually not blessed with enough snow to XC. Unless that pattern changes this season, it will be a two plus hour drive to get to places where XC or snowshoe is possible.

  30. San Luneau says:

    XC, Skinning, snowshoeing, why not?

  31. Alice Kane says:

    Some years ago, I nearly killed myself on my first attempt at XC — it was SOOOO different than alpine skiing. No doubt I could, with lessons, improve my ability….but WOW….I took some painful falls! “Might” try to learn IF I lived in an area with opportunities…but I don’t. So I’d probably not go out of my way to seek XC as an alternate sport. (To those who live with XC close by…by all means,”have at it!”…at least you will be in a scenic environment, enjoying the outdoors & fresh air!)

  32. Boyd Allen says:

    Certainly. Have always split time between the two disciplines. Great exercise and much more economical. XC tends to be subject more to Mother Nature’s whims, but still a great way to enjoy the winter.

  33. Here is a great resource for cross country ski areas: http://www.xcski.org. Cross country skiing naturally promotes social distancing and is great way to get outside in the winter.

  34. Here is a great resource for cross country ski areas: https://xcski.org/. Cross country skiing naturally promotes social distancing and is great way to get outside in the winter.

  35. There are great resources for information on cross country skiing and where to go. learn more here: https://xcski.org/. Or, feel free to contact me directly at [email protected].

  36. Mark Plaat says:

    Before becoming an alpine ski instructor I regularly taught cross country skiing – lamenting that I didn’t have as much free time to hit the woods.

    Discovered that the skills necessary were transferable at all levels.

    The woods are still there as are numerous other opportunities here in the Northeast. It’s all sliding on snow.

  37. Dean Kleinhans says:

    Definitely will continue to XC Ski even though I expect to increase downhill skiing to Rockies in 2020/2021 season. I will bring XC gear along since it appears lotteries to get tickets on daily basis may leave me without a lift pass. Hope all goes well, but it is what it is.

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