Let me introduce you to the wonderful world of CROSS COUNTRY SKIING.

Now don’t get me wrong, I have done the downhill skiing bit. Tried it didn’t like it! It does not help when you are scared of speed, have a dodgy knee injury and don’t like heights, not a great combination.

I went over to the dark side of cross country skiing, after I embarrassingly had to be sledded down the side of the slopes by the ski patrol after I was uncontrollably hurtling faster and faster down a BLACK (ok a green) run and wiped out without any grace or style whatsoever!

Now cross-country skiing to me is more controlled, enjoyable and friendly. Controlled because quite frankly as long as I can walk in a straight line, I can ski in a straight line. Yes I do have to do the odd snow plough but the courses I ski on I am prepared, I can see them in advance and I don’t have to break out in a cold sweat and wish I was somewhere else!

Now I am particularly lucky in the fact that I live in Crystal Green Okotoks and literally on my doorstep I have the wonderful Crystal Ridge Golf Course, host of the Crystal Ridge Nordic Ski club. Here I can practice my skiing ah hoc. Beautiful day, fantastic conditions, I can just pop across to the golf course and work on my to do list as I ski around. The course itself is ideal for beginners and the more experienced. Skiing around the course with the back-drop of the mountains is truly amazing. I have to pinch myself sometimes that we have this wonderful facility here in Okotoks. However without an amazing crew to keep it groomed it would be nothing. President of the club is Jim Hiscock and you can very often see him on the snowmobile making sure that the track is as perfect as it can be. Membership is incredibly affordable. Adult is $60 for the ski season and for a family it is $100. This includes unlimited skiing, insurance and the club fee!

Okotoks realtorA Friendly fun atmosphere is the ultimate one for me. My skiing partner June and I have a very civilized way of skiing. Invariably the tracks are well groomed, and if we are feeling particularly adventurous then we will ski for a good couple of hours. Now before you start mentioning how cross country is just a walk, I have to tell you that you are wrong. Yes I mentioned walking earlier but that was more for accessibility and ease. You can put as much or as little effort into cross country skiing as you wish. I always feel pretty virtuous after a particularly heavy session. Heavy as in working harder and faster than last time, and the time before that. Due to the fact that I am not skiing at break neck speed I can actually talk to my fellow skiers, and they talk back!

Basics of cross-country skiing

Wear layers!! It’s surprising how quickly you can overheat when you are gliding away over the course.

Skis and boots are much, much lighter than traditional downhill, so even the kids can carry their own. Go to the professionals and get properly fitted with these. It’s worth spending time trying the boots out. Nothing worse than numb toes!

Take some refreshments with you, obviously the more you eat the lighter the knapsack!

Most import – you much enjoy fresh air and beautiful scenery.

Hope to see you there!

About the Author

Samantha Clement is an Okotoks based Realtor who specializes in helping people buy and sell real estate in the Okotoks, Calgary and surrounding areas. Samantha is an accredited buyers representative, certified condominium specialist and a certified home stager. If you are considering selling or buying a home Samantha would love to help. You can contact Samantha through her website or by calling or texting Tel 403.605.7200