XC Skiing A Few Hours on Skinny Skis

XC-Skiing Through the Woods
XC-Skiing Through the Woods

skinny skis aka xc skis
Skinny Skis
God finally provided all of the ingredients I needed to get out and spend some time XC Skiing on skinny skis. What ingredients did I need? First off, an at home weekend, next good snow cover, and good health. I was all fired up to do this last year but we did not have much in the way of snow cover. I was going to do this during the holidays but I got the crud. Of course, other weekends are out-of-bounds because I am downhill skiing, which will always win.

XC Skiing — Not so Easy

In the past I have XC-skied, but this was probably 30 years or so ago. Of course I downhill ski regularly and I figured my downhill skills would transfer over. Not really, both in terms of my fitness and the skills needed.

My fitness and strength is definitely improved over the last couple of years but I found the XC-skiing recruiting different muscles than downhill skiing. The muscles I felt the most are those in my upper-inner thighs. My legs are feeling it and I suppose they will be tomorrow too.

Also, I had overdressed. The temperatures were hovering from 9° F to 12° F (-12° C through -11° C) and I had my usual Under Armour base layer, a turtelneck, a flannel shirt, a wool sweater, topped off by a fleece. Down below I simply had my Obermeyer bibs over my base layer. Socks were two layers a thin pair of nylon socks and a pair of technical socks. I started off and it did not take too long before I was warm. The skiing soaked my flannel shirt and turtleneck with sweat. I could have went with one or two layers less.

XC Skiing — The Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve

Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve
Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve

The setting for my skiing was at the Gordon Bubloz Nature Preserve (beware the sight plays cloying music, Gordon Bubloz webmaster please stop it) which is on the North edge of Appleton on Outagamie County HWY A (aka Lynndale Dr). I arrived and went to the rental center and they set me up with the boots and cross-country skis, that went smoothly and I took my rental gear outside, went to my truck and got my gloves and camera.

Clicking into the skis was not as easy as it is with my K2 skis, but eventually I did and started out. My skiing was not so smooth, as I said my downhill skiing skills did not transfer, but I was able to move along okay. I fell down once and quickly discovered the XC-ski poles are not as stout as my downhill poles, but I got up.

I also stopped to take some photos.

XC-Skiing Through the Woods
XC-Skiing Through the Woods

XC Skiing — The Skinny on Skinny Skis

Another activity that gets me outside in the winter and one that probably provides more health benefit than many other of my winter time activities. Sign me up!

Do you XC-ski?

View Cross Country Skiing in a larger map

Good Stuff!


  1. So far this winter I’ve gone snowboarding, snowshoeing, and I’ve ridden my mountain bike on dedicated MTB trails with packed snow. Next up: Downhill skiing and Nordic skiing. That way, I’ll have fun on the snow in 5 ways in one season!

    My Nordic skis are old, old, and older, but I may have scored an update from a relative. But now I’ve got to get new boots. The old setup has a 3-pin binder, the new one will have (I think) SNS bindings.

    My skinny skiing experience has been limited to flat (or flattish) park grounds near the house, plus one trip through some of the terrain at Boyne Mountain. At my mountain-bike park, the peak-to-trough distance on bike trails is about 100 feet; I suspect the same is true, more or less, for the XC trails.

    You are certainly right; you need much less clothing on skinny skis than you do on downhilling equipment.

  2. John,

    First thanks for reading and commenting! Yeah, I would suggest though it is better to be overwarm than cold and on the next trip wear one less layer or a thinner layer.

    I need to give snowboarding a shot and then obese skis a try that is the other Nordic event, but of course I don’t plan on trying that out at Copper Peak!

    I got in about 12 miles of road a few weeks ago in that warm snap we had. I went to the local Y and back. So, I am hoping to get at least one ride in this month and I will have a real shot at getting in one ride a month the whole year long and when I get my carbon bike built I am hoping for a 2400 mile year.

    Anyway expect a Devil’s Head article in a week or so!

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