As a means of hunting, wood gathering and travelling between remote communities, cross country skiing has been utilised above the Arctic Circle for almost 5000 years.
As part of the family of Nordic skiing (other varieties include ski jumping and ski orienteering) cross country skiing involves propelling yourself across the snow using skis and poles. It is hugely popular across Scandinavia and one of their much loved pastimes – you are highly likely to see adults and even small children travelling this way across the snow throughout winter. Much like the English countryside is a haven for ramblers and hikers, so too is the arctic landscape for native Scandinavians and they use cross country skis to explore the wilderness that lies just beyond their doorstep. For remote regions that are (not unexpectedly!) lacking in gyms, it is also a brilliant way to keep fit.
In snow-covered Northern countries it has developed into a popular competitive sport and is said to be one of the more difficult endurance sports, due to it using nearly every major muscle group. Don’t worry though, the cross country skiing on our trips is not overly exerting and we make sure to ease you into it with full guidance and instructions.
What we say about it…
Much like snowshoeing, cross country skiing is often approached with fairly ambivalent expectations by guests on our White Circle experiences. Perhaps because it lacks the excitement of downhill skiing or perhaps because in comparison to activities such as husky sledding and cross country skiing it all seems like too much hard work.
However, you may actually be pleasantly surprised as cross country skiing is often described as a highlight of the trip. There is something rather good fun in navigating the landscape in this manner. The popularity of it as a sport in this part of the world ensures that there are myriad trails across the landscape that take you deep into the pristine wilderness and it is a wonderful way to explore your surroundings.
At first it can seem a tricky activity to master, but after a little practice and with a bit of patience you will hopefully discover why the people of Lapland love it so.
What you say about it…
“We really enjoyed both snowshoeing and cross country skiing. We took a lesson in cross country skiing which was pretty good and taught us the basics…we then hired the equipment and went off on our own for a few days.” C Rowe, Luosto, March 2013
“The down time included in the programme was great and allowed us time to arrange further sessions as desired - we all enjoyed attempting cross-country skiing” H Overton-Smith, Luosto, January 2013
“And I surprisingly really enjoyed cross-country skiing.” J Harris, Muotka, March 2013