Cross Country Bubble, Skiing Styles History, Aspen Top-Bottom Run, Gelati Apres-Ski, Norway Skiing, Yellowstone Yurt Resort, Goggle Fog, Weather Ahead.

Dawn, Appleton Farms, Ipswich, MA. Credit: NSNA

Across the street in Appleton Farms, we notice many disparate groups of xc skiers, snowshoers, dog walkers, and hikers have been descending in growing numbers whenever there is a decent covering of snow, a frequent occurrence this February.  The stalwart North Shore Nordic Association, a non-profit group of volunteers, grooms miles of trails at night and reports snow conditions in their daily online update.  Cars overflow the parking lots provided by the Trustees of Reservations, spilling over to the tiny country roads around the farm. When the snow falls, snow lovers come out to the country.

The numbers are many, many more than we’ve ever seen at Appleton’s, a sprawling 900-acre tract of conservation land on Boston’s North Shore. The good news is that cross-country skiing and snowshoeing have arrived. You can tell from the technique of many of the skiers, the heavyweight parkas and snow pants, and the way they hold their poles that some of the many are truly neophytes. A good thing! New people into the sport!

It took a pandemic, months of being shut-in with limited activity, Alpine ski resort restrictions, and some decent snowfall all over the country to bring cross-country and snowshoeing into the spotlight.

According to the Cross Country Ski Areas Association, sales of cross country skis, boots, and bindings are up more than 30 percent compared to sales through mid-February last season. Snowshoe sales are also up 30 percent. Some retailers noted that sales have doubled or more. And some retailers are sold out and report they can’t get additional products from suppliers. Fat bikes didn’t see a jump in sales, though. That’s probably because of a lack of inventory after last summer’s biking boom.

We view this as a very positive development for winter sports. We know our readers want to get out in the snow, the cold is not an obstacle, and that the exercise and fresh air make all the difference after being cooped up and distanced.  If you have been reluctant to discover or re-discover these other snow sports, now’s a good time to give it a go. Take those old skinny skis down to the ski shop and have them checked out. Look at the articles in’s Make More Tracks Resource Guide. Find a place near you. Golf course, cross country resort or ski area, (see, city park, baseball field. Take it slow and flat at first, bring your lunch in a backpack with a couple of cans of Heineken. Sit down in the sun and enjoy the feeling. Get some instruction. And tell your friends you’ve just had a terrific day outside on the snow.


Thank you to you, dear readers, for your amazing support during our February Fundraiser.  The response has been overwhelming, and we are sincerely touched.  The premiums and stickers will be going out by the end of March. If you want to make a donation, please click here.


This Week

Judy in powder on her new skis and outfit.

Correspondent Jan Brunvand continues the saga of his skiing life with a look back at his Fulbright year in Norway in the mid-50s.  Newly married, Jan and Judy seem to have immersed themselves in all kinds of Nordic adventures in and around the Oslo area. Click here for Part Three of his ongoing story.

Dining room and kitchen yurts glow at sunset.

When this virus finally clears out, you might be interested in a real outdoor adventure in a beautiful setting.  Correspondent Jonathan Wiesel describes his magical stay at Yellowstone Expeditions, a rustic, remote, yet comfortable camp-resort tucked away in the National Park. Sleep in a yurt, ski among the wild life, dine in a tent. Yellowstone Expeditions is definitely a Make More Tracks resort to check out.  Click here.

Our Question For You this week comes from a reader who believes that COVID has brought new problems to keeping goggles clear. Offer your advice and solutions to his question: “What do I do about face mask-induced foggy goggles?” Click here.

The Traveling Australian, Dave Chambers, reflects back on the tail end of a three-week ski trip to the French, Swiss, and Italian Alps.  His story isn’t so much about skiing, but rather the joy of decompressing in the beautiful city of Milano, and being obsessed by the abundance of Gelati, the elixir of the weary alpine skier. Catch the flavor here.

Gelati in the presence of Il Duomo di Milano. Perfect. Credit: Dave Chambers.

Ski coach and frequent contributor Bob Trueman explains the history of ski styles and the role international competition between France and Austria played in creating, and, in his opinion, branding defined ways of skiing and teaching skiing. Where did that counter-rotation idea come from? Those ankles welded together? The French turn? You’d be surprised how some mistaken observations and assumptions created a rigid orthodoxy around technique. Click here.

We found another “top-to-bottom” video taken by a skier, this time taking us from the tippy top of Aspen Mountain all way down to the Silver Queen gondola. Since you probably aren’t heading to Aspen this season, (if you are, lucky you), this will serve as a nano-vacation. Enjoy the non-stop run, and, since it’s vicarious, your quads will love you for it. Click here.

Finally, The Skiing Weatherman Herb Stevens pipes in with a view of next week’s weather. As you will see, like the stock market, conditions will be going up and down. Click here.

Thanks again for supporting Please tell your friends and remember, there are more of us every day, and we aren’t going away.

Groomed trails ready for the day. Appleton Farms, Ipswich, MA. Credit: NSNA



One Comment

  1. Love to have you or any of your staff demo FloSkis. In Colorado thru March. Utah April. Squaw and Mammoth end of season.

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