As a skier and a hipster, I pride myself on the fact that I am not a snowboarder for several reasons (to keep things short and sweet, I’ve cut it down to just 6 for you – which is waaaaay less than “several”):
1) 2 legs –> 2 skis = sensible BUT 2 legs –> 1 board = nonsensical; my legs are (also) hipsters, they don’t like to conform to what the other one is doing
2) Skiers are faster than snowboarders
- Fastest downhill ski speed = 156mph
- Fastest downhill snowboard speed = 126mph
3) Skiers were bombing down hills way before boarders thought it was cool
4) It doesn’t take me 5,000,000hours to clip into my skis every time I get to the top of a lift
5) I don’t have to hop around like a crippled bunny every time I get to a flat section of the mountain (hooray poles)
6) I get to lecture snowboarders about all of the above reasons whenever they take 5,000,000hours to clip into their board or stuck on a flat section of the hill
Basically, I really enjoy skiing and how far my ski-bility has come over the course of the season. This means that when I discovered Big White’s Adventure Park had a bunch of Nordic ski trails, I was ready to show off my skills**.
** I had never actually been cross-country skiing before, but it pretty much looked like a flatter and easier version of downhill skiing, so I decided not to bother with lessons or anything silly like that.
I marched up to the rental shop with my boarder buddy and tried to disguise my confusion as nonchalance when I was handed a pair of “boots” that were shorter and thinner than some of my shoes (high-top shoes, but shoes nonetheless)! The rental attendant then asked if I wanted instructions on how to clip the boots, but I gave him a big “pffffffffft, nah, I got this,” and marched onwards with (misplaced) confidence to the start of the trail and got ready to start this cross country adventure.
Unfortunately, the “official” start was delayed by about 10mins of hopelessly attempting to stomp my boots into the skis, but after that small hiccup, I was ready to go!
Mini boot wearing CHAMP!
By “go”, I of course mean, “flip head over heels every couple of centimetres because balancing on super-skinny Nordic skis turns out to be a lot more difficult than balancing on fatty downhill powder skis”. Seriously, I felt like I was learning to skate for the first time wearing skates with blades that were a metre long! After my buddy and I (along with several small but very talented Nordic ski-children) laughed at some of the most spastics falls known to man, we finally started making progress along the trail…somehow.
It turns out that there’s a technique to Nordic skiing. Something that to this day, I do not fully understand. I tried to swish around like I would with regular skis on flat ground but eventually realized that moving with more of a skating motion seemed to make more sense.
With that, I ski-skated my way across a couple different routes, all of which seemed to lead to intersections where Lower Copper Kettle crossed with Lower Copper Kettle in 4 directions.
While it was a bit of a labyrinth, it was a very pretty labyrinth!
Altogether, Nordic skiing was definitely a fun experience, but still has nothing on its alpine cousin!
Don’t worry mountains, you’re still my number one!