for cross-country skiing
SCBJ Assistant Editor
skiing — a primer
or Nordic, skiing is believed to be the oldest form of skiing and
was used as a means of transportation in the Scandinavian region.
There are two
basic types of Nordic skiing: The classic cross-country ski technique
calls on skiers to use a stride in which both skis stay parallel
to each other, with the power of the stride propelling the skier
forward. The newer skating technique uses motions similar to ice
skating. Unlike the classic technique, skiers using the “skating”
technique do not keep their skis within narrow tracks, instead pushing
off alternately with each leg to surge forward and propel their
skiing requires three basic pieces of equipment: skis, poles and
boots. Skis should be selected based on the site — track, off track
or back country — and the technique — lightweight for classical,
shorter for skating. Poles also should suit the technique, with
longer poles used for skating than for classical. Boots should be
sturdier if going back-country skiing.
The President’s Council on Physical Fitness
Pass Nordic Center is located five miles east of the Stevens Pass
Summit, which is 65 miles east of Everett on Highway 2. The center’s
trail system includes 28 kilometers of groomed trails. Hours of
operation are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays
and holiday periods through the ski season.
Trail pass rates
are sold on a daily as well as seasonlong basis. Daily rates range
in price from $5 plus tax for young children to $14.50 plus tax
for adults, with reduced fees for seniors.
Pass Nordic Center rents cross-country ski equipment on a daily
or seasonlong basis, including packages of skis, boots and poles
for adults, youths and “tots” as well as a child sled, or pulk,
that can be used by an adult to safely ski while pulling a child
For more information,
call 206-812-4510 or go online to www.stevenspass.com.
Summit at Snoqualmie
The Summit at
Snoqualmie is located about 45 miles east of Seattle off Interstate
90. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday
Trail pass rates
are sold on a full-day, half-day and seasonlong basis. Half-day
rates, sold after 1 p.m., are $10 plus tax. Friday full-day rates
also are $10 plus tax. Weekend or holiday full-day rates are $12
plus tax for seniors 62 and older and youths age 7 to 12, and $14
plus tax for skiers age 13 to 61.
are available, with half-day ski packages of skis, boots and poles
costing $12 plus tax for youths and seniors, and $14 plus tax for
skiers age 13 to 61. All-day packages cost $17 plus tax for youths
and seniors, and $20 plus tax for skiers age 13 to 61.
For more information,
call 425-434-7669 or go online to www.summit-at-snoqualmie.com.
Ridge in Whatcom County
The Mt. Baker
Ski Area in Whatcom County offers cross-country ski rentals out
of its White Salmon and Heather Meadows lodges, but does not maintain
a cross-country trail system. The Nooksack Nordic Ski Club does,
however, maintain about 29 kilometers in the Salmon Ridge area nearby.
It is free to ski at Salmon Ridge, but a SnoPark permit is required
to park at the lower trailhead area.
For more information
on rentals, call the Mt. Baker Ski Area at 360-734-6771. For more
information on the Salmon Ridge ski conditions or on the Nooksack
Nordic Ski Club, go online to www.nooksacknordicskiclub.org.
For much of the Puget
Sound region, this winter has been one long rain shower, with the gray
and soggy conditions more conducive to movie watching or book reading
than communing with nature.
But just a few thousand
feet above sea level, folks of all ages have been doing just that as they
strap on their skis and take to the cross-country trails amongst the Cascades,
enjoying the scenery of a snowy winter wonderland while burning off some
calories to boot.
“The snow has been
fantastic. ... It blows last year so far out of the water you need a parachute
to land,” said Chris Rudolph, marketing manager for Stevens Pass.
The ski operation,
located 65 miles east of Everett along Highway 2, has 28 kilometers of
groomed trails for cross-country skiing along the base of Jim Hill mountain,
and as of mid-January was reporting a 53-inch snow base for its trail
The Summit at Snoqualmie
also has been transformed into a winter wonderland, said Jon Pretty, public
relations manager for the ski resort, located about 45 miles east of Seattle
off Interstate 90.
With a bottom base
depth of 80 inches and a top base depth of more than 100 inches, it’s
a very different story from last year, when low snowfalls forced the resort
to close early.
for this year are 105 inches as of December 1, 2005. At December 1, 2004,
we had received 19 inches,” Pretty said.
skiers, The Summit at Snoqualmie offers more than 50 kilometers of groomed
trails, with a warming yurt and two warming huts placed strategically
along the trail system.
“Both of the warming
huts utilize trails that pass lakes and give sweeping views of the valley
below and surrounding peaks,” Pretty said of the scenic views. “We also
have a few overlooks on the trail system that deliver good shots of the
Cascade Range on clearer days.”
an opportunity to enjoy views of mountains and valleys, cross-country
skiing, also known as Nordic skiing, is a good form of exercise.
According to the
Cross Country Ski Areas Association, cross-country skiing burns more calories
per hour than any other sport, at an average of 650. It also works a number
of muscle groups simultaneously, while the soft snow lessens the impact
also allows its participants to set their own pace, be it leisurely or
vigorous, enabling groups of all ages to enjoy the outing together.
The Nooksack Nordic
Ski Club, for example, attracts a broad range of ages and abilities, said
Gail Garman, past president of the club, which maintains cross-country
ski trails in the Salmon Ridge, Anderson Creek Road and White Salmon areas
adjacent to Mount Baker Highway in Whatcom County.
“We have skiers of
all ages and all levels of ability. Families bring their youngsters along
and get them started in cross-country skiing. We have families, singles
and quite a few older members, too,” she said, noting that the club hosts
ski trips across the western United States and into Canada.
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