Written by James Cooper
Last Updated

The main difference between Nordic skiing and other types of skiing is that the binding is tied in such a way that the heel can lift up, while the toe is secured. In Alpine skiing for example, the whole foot is secured. 

There are a number of different skiing styles which fall within Nordic skiing including cross country skiing. It also features in the Olympics in the ski jumping, cross-country skiing and Nordic combined competition as well. 

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What is Nordic skiing?
Different types of Nordic skiing

There are three primary types of Nordic skiing –cross country, alpine touring and telemark. Each version uses different types of skis and is practiced on a different terrain. The biggest difference is that cross country travels across flat land, while the other two can be used vertically as well. Ski jumping is another aspect of Nordic skiing as well, which is often combined with the other variations to create a fun aspect to the sport. 

Different types of Nordic skiing
History of Nordic skiing

Nordic skiing began in Norway as the name suggests, and it’s one of the oldest and most traditional versions of skiing. It was created as a practical way to travel in a snow-covered country, for socialising and for hunting. 

It evolved from a means of getting around, into a competitive sport in 1842 with a race that happened in Norway, and it was first seen in the Olympics during the 1924 winter event, while women’s competitive events started in 1952. 

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The growth of Nordic skiing
The growth of Nordic skiing

While slope skiing is more well-known, Nordic cross-country skiing has become more popular in the past few years, particularly in America, thanks to the cross-country trails which can be found throughout the country. 

It’s also cheaper than taking part in downhill skiing when it comes to renting the equipment and booking a day-long session so is a great way to enjoy the sport with much less expense and personal outlay. 

sIt also provides an impressive and fun way to enjoy a cardio exercise routine. Cross-country skiing needs strength for success and is a serious endurance sport, while jumping looks for additional skills, and neither impacts your joints in the same way as regular skiing. 

It’s often quieter on a cross country trail then it would be at a regular skiing resort, providing a nicer and more pleasant experience, and making it easier for beginners to take their time to learn all the skills required.

The growth of Nordic skiing
Places to enjoy Nordic skiing

You don’t need to travel to Norway to enjoy the pleasures of Nordic skiing; there are plenty of top locations in the US, and other countries, offering the chance to take part in this popular pastime. Here are a few of the key resorts to look out for:

Devils Thumb Ranch

This resort can be found in the Colorado mountains, offering the perfect place to improve your skills in Nordic skiing and also Alpine skiing if you enjoy both sports. It’s one of the most highly ranked resorts in North America. 

The Maine Huts and Trails

This resort has Nordic trails across 50 miles of stunning countryside and is situated in Maine in the peaks. It also offers a multitude of other activities for an all-round sporting holiday, including fishing, hiking and cycling. 

The Trapp Family Lodge

If you want a more Nordic feel without the travel, this lodge is based in Vermont but with an Austrian theme and features a 62 mile cross country skiing trail, with plenty of surrounding land to enjoy the stunning scenery. 

Cirque du Gavarnie in France

This center has open trails and is renowned for having incredibly beautiful scenery, as well as its cheaper fees. If you are more into the views than anything else, then this is the perfect resort for your skiing holiday. 

Ammassalik Island

Part of East Greenland; this area of the world experiences very deep snow during the winter months making it an ideal location for skiing. You can partner with tour guides which help visitors navigate across the island on cross-country trails which are patrolled for safety. 

The island is renowned for its amazing trails and the wonderful, if chilly views available. Make sure to dress appropriately for the cold temperatures if you decide to test out your Nordic skiing skills at this stunning venue. 

Ylläs Ski Resort

This resort in Finland features trails which are lit up at night, allowing for skiing after dark as an added extra. It has more than 330km of trails available across a stunning landscape, although the trails are manmade.

Places to enjoy Nordic skiing
Conclusion

Nordic skiing provides a great workout, an opportunity to try new types of skiing and different moves to traditional downhill slopes. With cheaper equipment, quieter resorts and stunning views, it’s no wonder this amazing sport is growing in popularity year on year.

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