Cross country skiing a great activity for everyone

By Contributor
November 4th, 2012

By: Larry Hudema, Grand Forks

From its humble beginnings in the swamps and bogs of Asia the ski has risen to noble heights.

I cross-country (Nordic) ski. I’m not particularly good at it but that’s just the thing, you don’t have to be. No matter your level, from novice to black diamond ice and powder buster, there are a multitude of benefits.

Nordic skiing is a low impact total body workout with numerous health benefits, including being the ultimate calorie burner and an exceptional cardio exercise. It also rewards the skier with a pretty fine endorphin high.

Sure, that is stock information so how about this. Nordic skiing is what I consider a foundation sport, one which the whole family can enjoy together.

From it one can derive balance, strength, endurance and co-ordination, and who could put a value on quality family time on a groomer or in the trees?
Nordic skiing is available to everyone regardless of age with somewhat normal mobility. The low impact nature of the sport makes it ideal for good joint health and the equipment, compared to some other sports, is relatively economical, especially if you have kids.

As a matter of fact I can’t measure the amount of pleasure I’ve gotten from a pair of skis I picked up for 10 bucks at a yard sale. Don’t skimp on the footwear. Local rental is available as well, with reasonable season rates.

We are fortunate that within an easy drive we have access to very good trails and some exhilarating off piste (no trail) adventures. Some Nordic hounds even seek the full moon experience liking it to “skiing through diamonds”. Sometimes on a backwoods moonlit night those are howls of joy… and they’re not coming from wolves or coyotes!

A short drive from Grand Forks and Greenwood is the Marshall Lake trail system, maintained by the Phoenix Cross Country Ski Society. The last couple of years have seen improvements to the trail system so that there is more comfortable access for those breaking into the sport, including the installation of Graham Loop, close to the parking lot.

A short ski in from the parking lot is the Dacha, a sizable hut with a stove, chairs, table – a sweet little hangout for a warm dry rest and good snack. Chocolate is even allowed since you’ll be burning it off anyway.

On Saturday, Nov. 10 the society will be holding its annual general meeting. There will be snacks and non- alcoholic beverages and anyone purchasing a $10 season membership will be eligible to win a light, flashy sport vest.
The meeting will be at 7:00 at the Boundary Child Care Resource Centre building (next to Panago).

You are welcome to join us for banter and maybe even a lie or two concerning personal skiing achievements. One point on the agenda will be the establishment of a Jack Rabbit ski programme for getting the young ‘uns out on the trails in good style.

Anyone wishing an agenda or more information regarding the sport or the club feel free to e-mail  larryhudema@yahoo.ca  or phone 442-2459.

Categories: GeneralSports