Cross country skiing grades







We want to help you to choose the right cross country ski holiday here at Venabu and to help you to understand how we create the groups on our Classic Cross Country Ski Holiday.


Guests new to cross country skiing.

What to expect as a beginner, new to cross country skiing

Our teaching approach takes you through a progression of exercises and practice to build your technique, step by step. We start right at the beginning to familiarise you with the equipment, getting out on the tracks, completing your first cross country ski tour and beyond. We aim to create a playful and relaxed atmosphere. During our guided ski tours our new skiers continue to develop their skills.

Uphill and downhill techniques for cross country skiing

We offer an uphill and downhill ski lesson as part of our programme. This helps guests to develop confidence and good technique. An effective snowplough and the ability to control your speed and line on a gradient are important skills. They enable you to take on a greater variety of tours safely. You will then be able to explore further afield and see more of the beautiful area around Venabu.

What about guests with alpine ski experience?

We include guests with Alpine ski experience as beginners. Having alpine ski experience, and even alpine touring experience, can help guests make a good start on cross country skis. However cross country skiing has specific techniques. Some time spent on these fundamentals will set you up to get the most from your cross country skiing. It may even help your alpine skiing! Strong foundations in your skiing support enjoyment and development. Frequently, alpine skiers go on to improve rapidly. Sometimes guests who don’t take this time can become frustrated. We advise all skiers new to cross country skiing to make the most of the coaching we offer.

We understand that people learn at different rates. There is the flexibility to move between appropriate levels of ski tour during the week.


Skiers with cross country experience, tours upto approx. 10km in 3 hours.

Holidays for skiers at this grade include:

Venabu´s Classic Cross Country Ski Holiday

We have many guests who are returning to cross country skiing after a break. There are also guests who would like to refresh the foundations of technique. Sometimes guests who return to us have cross country ski experience, but their fitness isn’t so strong. We understand that whatever our best intentions to prepare for an active holiday, life sometimes happens!


Skiers with an effective snowplough. Ski tours upto 12-18km in 3 - 4 hours.

Our intermediate skiers have an effective snowplough and are able to control their speed and line safely on descents. Their classic technique is efficient. They have reasonable fitness, which allows them to enjoy tours of between 12-18kms in a long morning's skiing. Again, our guests can swap between suitable groups during the week. Guests can then enjoy the tour that suits them each day.

Off track skiing on our tours

We often combine on and off track skiing on our tours. Our intermediate skiers have the skills to enjoy easier off track skiing. They can handle the changes in snow and get up independently after a tumble. If we plan to take a group off track we will let everyone know beforehand.


Guests with good classic cross country ski technique and a strong snowplough.

Day-long ski tours upto 25-30km.

Our advanced skiers on our Off Track Nordic Ski Holiday and Tours have good classic cross country ski technique. They can ski efficiently, on and off track, in a variety of snow conditions. They have a strong snowplough and are also able to control their speed and line on descents off track. These guests also have the fitness to enjoy day-long ski tours of upto 25–30 kms.

We will be skiing in some beautiful, wild and remote areas so guests should have experience of skiing in the mountains, including in bad weather. On our off track nordic tours your guide may be navigating and breaking trail at the head of the group, so it's important that guests have a degree of independence and are experienced with self care, in terms of adjusting clothing, staying hydated and having easy snacks on hand. This includes being able to get up independently after a fall in deep snow.


Venabu´s Classic Cross Country Ski holidays offer flexibility

Guests who join us on our Classic Cross Country Skiing Holiday are able to swap between tours of suitable levels during the week. We find that guests’ energy levels change during the week. This flexibility means that individuals can enjoy the tour that suits them each day. It also means that couples and friends are able to ski at their level and/or together during the week.

We aim to create the groups so that guests enjoy tours with other guests at a similar level of skiing and fitness. We also aim to keep the group sizes small with a maximum of eight guests in each group. We run two groups each week and frequently more. The tours we offer depend on our guests: ski ability and the number of guests that week. We always try to take guests’ preferences into account. For safety reasons the final decision about ski groups has to rest with our ski guides.

A note on fitness:

Cross country skiing is an activity enjoyed by many people for many different reasons. We think it is fair to say that guests who are active and fit, and who take some time to prepare for their holiday are most likely to enjoy their skiing. Our "Get ready to ski!" blog includes some useful tips along with links to resources.

Cross country ski lessons and courses

Our qualified instructors offer cross country ski lessons and coaching. You may want to work on an aspect of technique or to gain confidence. We also offer skate skiing lessons. For skiers who would like to receive more coaching and focus on technique we offer our Become a Better Skier Courses. For guests new to cross country skiing we offer our Learn to Cross Country Ski holiday.

Tailor made cross country ski holidays

Tailormade cross country ski holidays - we can design a cross country ski holiday just for you. Enjoy a holiday with just the  right balance of coaching, touring and other winter activities to suit you, your family or group of friends.

“Fantastic holiday!”

“We had a fantastic holiday, new snow, fantastic tracks, superb hotel, food out of this world, staff so helpful and polite. Already booked for Christmas.”

Martin, Ruth and Keir (UK)

Questions about your holiday?

Get in touch

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