My experience cross-country skiing did not start out as a Lonescapade. I am vacationing with my mom in Park City, Utah this week, who is an experienced downhill skier (compared to me), but we decided to try skiing on flat ground. Park City is completely blanketed in snow this time of year, so I suppose it makes sense that every type of terrain has a winter sport. I’d seen these flat-land skiers as we drove around the city. As a runner, I thought it would be a good snow-sport transition for me. I did not realize that cross-country skiing is a full body workout.
My mom and I took a cross-country ski class that lasted about an hour. The best way I can describe it is almost like taking a walk wearing skis. You slide your feet parallel to each other, but also use the poles to push behind you. After a while you feel it in your calves and shoulders. It’s a bit awkward at first, some people fell multiple times. I managed to stay vertical, but came close to falling a few times.
The instructors took us on about a 3 kilometer course. After the class, my mom decided she would stick to slope skiing and retired her cross-country skis (this is where it actually becomes a Lonescapade). I went out on another course on my own for about two hours.
Park City is nothing short of beautiful. The community is highly sensitive about development and much of the land is protected. Being down on flat ground below, surrounded by the mountains and aspen trees, sprinkled through with lodge-style homes, you feel connected to nature and the scenery. Especially on the sunny, clear day that I was able to do it.
Cross-country skiing, while it has many enthusiasts, does not touch downhill skiing in terms of popularity, at least not in Park City. I had the course mostly to myself, which was very tranquil and gave me some space to enjoy the lovely landscape.