Snow’s here, are you in? -Part 1

Some of you are still hiking and some are in the midst of your cyclocross season, but this doesn’t mean it’s too late to think about skiing. Over the last two seasons more and more bike racers have strapped on skis once they hung up their cross bikes for the year.

If you’re thinking about getting into skate or classic XC skiing hopefully this post will help. The first thing I suggest is a trip to the guys at Second Ascent. They can give you the low down on skis and have a great selection. If you’re on the East side,  checkout Marmot Mountain Works.


Whether you decide to do skate or classic, starting with the proper technique is key. XC skiing is all about smooth efficient power transfer to the skis to propel yourself forward. Unlike riding a bike which is solely about power and fitness combined with your bike handling skills, XC skiing is all about balancing that power with smooth, deliberate technique. You can be the fittest person out on the trail, but without being able to turn it down a notch and focus on your form / technique, you’ll go nowhere. Either discipline can help strengthen your core significantly over the winter, and help get you mentally in tune with the other muscles in your body besides your legs. XC skiing not only helps maintain your fitness over the winter, but helps train agility, coordination and balance. Trying to master the technique of skating helps improve your overall mental discipline, and just like a power meter or heart rate monitor, helps fine tune that pain vs. power output threshold. You can go to The Summit at Snoqualmie for lessons (look at the second to last entry in listing).

The good people at the Kongsberger ski club hold weekly races like Wick, at Cabin Creek. Get your head lamp and get ready to work. (I’ll post more information on the weekly headlamp series as it becomes available.)

2011 Races

Mnt Amabalis hill climb 5k, mid December- will be announced once there is enough snow to groom the trail.
Gunnar Hagen 10k & 30k, Sunday January 16th

Stampede 5k & 15k, Sunday February 20th (JOQ — sat. & sun)

Ozbaldy 50k, Sunday March 20th

Jente Loppet (women only race) (SNC/date TBD)

Methow Valley winter triathalon, Mazama, WA Saturday March 5th

other links:

Besides renting or buying your own setup you’ll need a Snow Park Pass.  You can get the $20 a day pass or $80 annual pass.  Split the cost with a buddy and but be aware the pass is only good for one car.

One last thing to think about is starting a core workout program now.  You might think you have a good or even great core now but one day on the trail and you’ll rethink your opinion of your core strength.  The use of a balance ball to stand on or one legged dips will also help your balance and core.

Part 2

Will talk about where to spend your hard earned cash and I’ll show you just how to get that good technique.



Get out there!

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1 Comment

  1. JohnnyO says:

    Great article. Actually the sno-park pass is good for 2 cars. There is a place for writing two license plate numbers on the pass. Technically they are supposed to be licensed to the same person but I am not sure if they ever check that though.