What is cross country skiing? Will it suit me?
Cross country skiing is also known as nordic skiing or "langlauf".
Cross country skiing is an activity enjoyed by a variety of people and for different reasons: it can be a way to explore and take in the winter landscape, away from the crowds; it is an exciting sport which combines learning ski technique with great exercise and it makes excellent winter cross training.
For cross country skiing we use light-weight skis and boots. There are no ski lifts and instead we ski (mostly) on prepared tracks and glide across the snow, powered by our own effort.
Scandinavia is the home of skiing which has evolved since prehistoric times, first as a means of journeying in winter, into the fast paced, action sport enjoyed by thousands of people today. These different strands of the activity continue to develop and here at Venabu we have holidays designed to suit you, whatever kind of cross country skier you are.
Where we ski
In the tracks
Cross country ski areas have prepared tracks where the snow has been pressed to create a smooth gliding surface. The terrain is gently rolling, for the most part. We will teach you the techniques you need to travel across the snow, and up and down gentle gradients.
Out of the tracks
On cross country skis we can also explore outside the tracks, still in gentle rolling terrain. At Venabu we like to introduce our beginners to skiing outside the tracks because it is fun! We can also explore more of our wild Norwegian nature. This done at a gentle and appropriate pace, to suit the group.
Our instructors are qualified and our guides are experienced. We all love to share the joy and beauty of Norwegian nature in winter with our guests.
Is cross country skiing easy to learn?
In our experience many people learn to cross country ski more quickly than alpine skiing, for example. If you are active in daily life, have reasonable fitness and enjoy gliding, then by the end of your first holiday you can be enjoying tours of 6, 8 or even 18kms. This means you'll be well on your way to exploring much of our fantastic ski area.
At Venabu we offer two cross country skiing holidays for beginners: Learn Cross Country Skiing which is a course-style holiday with six full days of guiding and instruction, and our Classic Cross Country Ski Holiday which has guiding and instruction five mornings and one afternoon, allowing plenty of time for you to practice your new skills.
There is another difference between cross country skiing and alpine skiing. Very quickly, skiers of different abilities can ski the same tracks, although they may be travelling at a different pace. These factors give guests a feeling of rapid progress and a great sense of achievement.
As a beginner, will I be on "green" slopes all week?
Very quickly, skiers of different abilities can ski the same tracks, although they may be travelling at a different pace. These factors give guests a feeling of rapid progress and a great sense of achievement. This is another difference between cross country skiing and alpine skiing.
What should I wear for cross country skiing?
Find the answers in our blog article what to wear for cross country skiing in Norway.
How do you grade your holidays?
This is a good question and to help you choose the best holiday - to suit your interests and ski level we have a page that explains our cross country skiing grades.
How fit do I need to be?
Many people of all ages enjoy cross country skiing. We think it is fair to say that guests who lead active lives and perhaps take some time to prepare for their holiday are most likely to feel ready for skiing.
No one needs to be an olympic athelete! Activities that you enjoy and can find time for on a regular basis, and that increase your heart rate and breathing such as walking, cycling or swimming can be good preparation. Classes such as Pilates, yoga or others that improve balance, coordination and strength are also excellent.
Our blog article "How and why to improve your fitness before your cross country ski holiday" has ideas and information.
Our Become a Better Skier! cross country ski course combines ski and movement coaching, including Pilates, to help you develop your skills and understanding of how to become a better skier
Please check with your GP if you have any concerns about starting a new exercise programme.
Classic or skate skiing: what's the difference?
There are two main styles of cross country skiing: classic which uses movements similar to running and walking; and skate which is a more recent evolution of the sport. Skate skiing uses movements more like ice skating. At Venabu our holidays use classic technique and skate lessons are available.