The Good Winter

Some of the basic information on places to go and organizations is part of my blog already:

The Groups, Clubs, and Meetups page lists some associations and email groups.

  • People interested in a more social experience, particularly for off-piste or backcountry skiing should join the AMC Ski NY/NJ Google group. You’ll have to request to join. An AMC membership is not required for the group but may if going on a formal AMC outing.
  • Shawangunk Nordic Ski Association is the closest XC ski-specific club I know of.

I have a page called For newbies to the sport that has some videos showing how some of the basics are done, and there’s plenty more on YouTube where those came from.

REI presentation excerpts

Selected items from presentation. These are the ones with actionable information.

Books referenced

The book ‘Winter’ is a set of essays on how winter is a canvas for the imagination. And ice hockey. ‘Long Distance’ is a personal story of Bill McKibben’s training to ski race, and also dealing with his father’s illness.

Essential skills

  • Easy relaxed rhythm; lazy teenager posture
  • ‘Stack’ nose, knees, and toes vertically; soft ankles
  • The stride starts from the hip; center of gravity (hips) are directly over the foot
  • Herringbone up, snowplow down, just like with downhill skis

When it comes to starting out, here’s what I’d suggest:

  1. Rent skis for your first couple of tries.
  2. Take a lesson to get ‘off on the right foot’ as it were
  3. Practice on easy trails and for a comfortable duration. Work on one technique at a time. Instruction, advice, and video is most useful after you’ve had a chance to see what works and what doesn’t.
  4. Once you feel like you like you can stay on your feet and move in a relaxed way, and maybe the problem is going faster or getting up and down hills, it’s time for another lesson or two.
  5. Somewhere along the way, you’ll have figured out what aspects of the sport you like the most and feel best, and you’ll buy your equipment accordingly.
  6. Then it’s more practice- maybe at some really scenic places!

Skis and clothing

Places to go

Place names in one of the slides, and the list of locations where the video clips were filmed. By the way, I can’t take credit for being in all those places. Wish I could!

Tracks and trails:

  • Mt. Bachelor, OR
  • Park City and Soldier Hollow, UT
  • Snoqualmie pass, WA
  • Canmore, Alberta Canada
  • Banff and Lake Louise, Alberta Canada
  • Norway, Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic, Germany
  • Alps and the Dolomites of Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy and France

Hut-to-hut tours:

  • 10th Mtn Division Hut System, CO
  • San Juan Hut system, CO
  • Maine Huts & Trails
  • Methow Valley, WA
  • 100-mile Wilderness, ME

Rough trail or backcountry:

  • Alaska glaciers
  • Camp Santanoni, NY Adirondacks
  • The Jackrabbit trail NY
  • Yosemite or Yellowstone in winter

Video during presentation featured clips from:

  • Notchview, Windsor MA
  • Jackson Ski Touring, Jackson NH
  • Prospect Mtn, Woodford VT
  • Lapland Finland
  • Stowe Mtn Lodge, Stowe VT
  • White Mountains, NH
  • Oppland-Hedmark near Lillehammer Norway
  • 100-mile wilderness ME
  • Snow Mtn Ranch, Winter Park CO
  • Maine Huts & Trails ME
  • Whittier Pass AK
  • Yosemite Nat’l Park CA