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Cross-Country Skiing in Mont-Tremblant, Canada PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debra C. Argen and Edward F. Nesta   

X-Country, Cross-Country Skiing, Mont-Tremblant - Edward Nesta - Photo By Luxury Experience Downhill skiers by morning, The Adventure Kids aka Debra C. Argen and Edward F. Nesta learn the art of cross-country skiing, also called Nordic skiing, in the afternoon in Mont-Tremblant, Canada.


Adventurers that we are, if there is something fun to do in an area that we are visiting, rest assured that we will want to try it. Mont-Tremblant offers a wide variety of winter sports activities and since we had only been cross-country skiing once before while we were in Switzerland, we were keen to experience this sport again. Although new to us, cross-country skiing has its origins in Fennoscandian countries and dates back to prehistoric times. 

Cross-Country Boot - Photo by Luxury ExperienceLearning the art of cross-country skiing begins with the equipment, which is different from downhill ski equipment in that the skis are narrower, and unlike downhill ski equipment where the binding secures the entire boot to the ski, in cross-country skiing the boot has a toe clip that clips into the front of the binding only, allowing the heel to be free for movement. Since we did not have cross-country ski equipment, we rented state-of-the-art Solomon equipment from Explore!, conveniently located in the Pedestrian Village of Mont-Tremblant

Cross-country skis - Debra Showing length of Cross-country Skis - Photo by Luxury Experience
Debra with cross-country skis

With equipment in hand, we walked a short distance from the Pedestrian Village to the cross-country trails, and this is where the fun began, as not only the equipment varies from downhill skiing, the style of skiing is also different. There are two types of styles of cross-country skiing, classic, and skating, and with our limited knowledge, at times we used a combination of both, and also mixed in a bit of downhill skiing techniques, which lead to interesting results.   

Cross-country skiing - Edward cross-country sking - Photo by Luxury Experience
Edward showing off his cross-country skills

It was late afternoon, overcast, and a bit on the cold side, however we were comfortable as we had dressed warmly with multiple layers and ski clothes. Although realistically, it was about a 10-minute walk, carrying our skis and poles to the trails seemed much longer with the equipment weighing us down, and by the time that we had reached our destination, we were more than ready to put our skis on and begin our adventure.   

Cross-country skiing - Debra looking for chair lif - Photo by Luxury Experience
Debra in search of the chair lift

We donned our skis, and with poles in hand, attempted the classic style of cross-country skiing, which uses a kicking and gliding action, using our poles alternately to push us along the flat terrain as we negotiated the grooved snow made by downhill skiers coming down off the mountain. When we finally found the cross-country trails, also called pistes, it was much easier, as the trails were two parallel tracks where we were able to place our skis and get a good speed going by kicking and gliding our skis along, that is, until the terrain changed to an incline. Skiing uphill is much more challenging as we had to leave the grooves and climb with our skis in a "vee" digging into the snow, which was definitely slow work for novice cross-country skiers, although it did provide a great aerobic workout. Half-way up our climb, Debra was longing for the comfort and ease of a ski lift to whisk her to the top as in downhill skiing, however she stuck it out and made her way to the top of the hill, albeit grumbling slightly under her breath.   

Cross-country skiing - Debra relaxing - Photo by Luxury Experience
Cross-country skiing - great exercise

By the time that we had reached the plateau, we realized that we had dressed way too warmly, and shed our ski hats with Edward donning a bandana against the wind, and Debra using a neck warmer as a headband and pulling down the top of her ski-suit and tying it around her waist as her heavy ski sweater was more than warm enough.   

Cross-country skiing - Debra cross-country sking - Photo by Luxury Experience
Cross-country dance - almost, but did not fall

We moved back to the parallel tracks and were getting the hang of the sport when the terrain changed from flat to a moderate, but steep for us, decline, and we left the tracks and made our way to the center of the slope to ski, where alas we combined classic, skate skiing where you shift your weight from one ski to another, and for good measure added in a bit of downhill technique, forgetting that the heels of our boots were not secured to our skis and had a few "whoops" moments along the way, but somehow usually managing to maintain our balance and stay upright on our skis, although Edward did take a fall, which he described as just taking a rest in the middle of the slope.  

Cross-country skiing - Edward resting Mid-slope - Photo by Luxury Experience
Mid-slope rest stop 

We continued learning the art of cross-country skiing throughout the afternoon as it was fun, invigorating, and great exercise, however, Debra, a downhill skier at heart, missed the ski lifts. Edward enjoyed both, and we know that we will definitely be back out cross-country skiing again.   

Cross-country skiing - Edward cross-country sking - Photo by Luxury Experience
Enjoying cross-country skiing and nature
For information on Explore! please visit the website: under Rentals and Lessons.   

1000 Chemin des Voyageurs
Mont-Tremblant, Québec, J8E 1T1
Telephone:       +1-819-681-4684
Fax:                  +1-819-681-5947

Bonjour Quebec, CanadaRead other articles on Mont-Tremblant, Canada in the Destinations, Hotels and Resorts, Restaurants, Chefs' Recipes (in English and in French), Spas, and Adventures sections.   

Tremblant, CanadaFor information on Mont-Tremblant, please visit the website:

Porter AirlinesFor information on Porter Airlines, and where they fly, please visit the website:

© March 2011. Luxury Experience. All rights reserved. 
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