In these times of social distancing, our recreational activities and entertainment are quite restricted. There are not many kinds of outdoor sports that we can safely enjoy, and more and more families are forced to rely on their televisions and gadgets. One great safe option that not many people are thinking of is cross-country skiing.
In cross-country skiing, you tend to have social distance naturally. Whether you are skiing on groomed or ungroomed terrain, it is quite easy to keep a 6-feet distance from others and the best part is, you do not have to try hard to do so! Of course, you can socialize with other skiers at a distance, but this hidden gem is the safest sport you can go for in testing times like these. And you will love every second of it.
Benefits of Cross-Country Skiing
Cross-country skiing is a great physical activity that has numerous benefits. In times of COVID-19 and social distancing, some of the most important ones are:
Even though cross-country skiing is a great sport, it is not a very common one. For this reason, you will find it to be popular but at the same time, many people are reluctant to ski because they don’t know how to. In times of social distancing, there is nothing better than heading to uncrowded trails that XC offers.
You may find other cross-country skiers maintain their social distance and aiming to enjoy the sport at the same time. XC skiing is a great way to exercise with others while keeping a distance. At this time when the world is struggling to find an outdoor activity that everyone can safely enjoy, there is nothing better than the uncrowded trails of XC skiing.
The crisp air, the snow-covered terrain, the trees, mountains, and the animals in their natural habitat – nature is at its purest form up there. Cross-country skiing is a stress-buster due to its natural surroundings. And there is nothing more satisfying that gliding peacefully on those snowy trails. In stressful times like these, your XC ski adventure could be all that you need.
The physical activity enables the brain to release beta-endorphins which work as great pain-relieving agents and creates a euphoric or delightful feeling for the brain. That is why you can rightly call XC skiing as a distraction from everyday anxieties and worries.
Cross-country skiing is a full-body workout. It not only uses your lower body muscles when you ski on the slopes but your upper body muscle groups as well when you use the ski pole to navigate you through slopes and undergo turns and twists. Not only that, to keep your upper and lower body muscles coordinate properly, your core muscles are also involved.
Cross-country skiing is one of the best aerobic activities and since all your body muscles are put into action, no single muscle is over-stressed. Your heart pumps up oxygen at an elevated rate and your body tissues get a better supply of oxygen. Unlike many high-intensity workouts, XC skiing is not hard on your joints and ligaments. At the end of a productive skiing day, you feel as if your whole body has undergone a long workout session and you feel better if you do it at regular intervals.
Safety Tips during COVID-19
A lot has been said and read about the safety protocols and procedures you need to keep in mind during COVID-19. But when it comes to cross-country skiing, there is still uncertainly as to how XC skiers can enjoy their skiing with keeping in mind the social distancing and safety protocols.
Self-drive to trails
The question is: how are the cross-country skiers going to reach their ski destinations and resorts? If you can, driving yourself to the XC trails is the best way to be safe. You do not want to be cramped up in a bus with other skiers while maintaining no social distancing.
If you have ever been to a European ski resort, you may have noticed yourself or got to hear about how crowded the charter flights are in order to give room to maximum skiers and keep the rates competitive. Following safety protocols will imply putting fewer skiers on the flights. This could be done by increasing the prices, but in times of COVID-19 when the world is going through financial turmoil, is everyone going to pay double the price for something they can manage and self-drive to?
Use your own car to reach your ski resort. If you are driving with your family, it is a great way to spend time together and be safe at the same time. Also, ask the resort if there are slopes around that can be reached on foot. Instead of having anything to do with public transportation, self-drive, or walk.
Find a Remote Resort or Chalet
Finding your ski accommodation is an extremely important decision. Unlike the pre-COVID-19 days when you could share a washroom facility with an unknown couple staying next door in your ski chalet, you cannot just open yourself to unsafe circumstances like these anymore. Before, it was a normal thing to get your food catered by amateur staff and eat at communal tables. But with new restaurant policies and the employment and immigration restrictions in many countries, you cannot find these options anymore.
The best and safest way is to rent your own holiday home that you do not have to share with another couple or family. If you ski with your family, it could be a great idea to have a ski chalet and enjoy a full catering service just for you and your loved ones. For more Revelstoke and Whistler accommodations, see Ski in Luxury’s offers.
If you wouldn’t miss out on your much-awaited cross-country ski holiday, you should definitely consider choosing a remote, but still well-equipped area, many of which Canada naturally offers. Canada is often regarded as an uncrowded, boundless snowy landscape anyway, ideal for most winter sports, let alone cross-country skiing which is becoming something of a national sport for many Canadians.
Lying between the Monashee and Selkirk Mountain Ranges, Revelstoke, British Columbia was once considered a railway town, and though its industrious background still provides for the community, the town relies more and more on its spectacular natural environment and thus, tourism. Norwegian immigrants introduced skiing to the area as early as the 1910s, so we shouldn’t be surprised that by now it offers more than 18 miles of groomed cross-country skiing trails, almost 4 miles of which is lit for those who’d venture out during the evening. There are trails available for all levels from beginner to expert.
With a 40 minute drive from Revelstoke, you will find the luxurious Bison Lodge Ski Chalet, the literal ski resort of your dreams. Having 12 beds available, it can accomodate all your close friends and family in one place and provide all the luxury you might wish for. Bison Lodge takes pride in Revelstoke’s industry heritage, as you will find iconic railroad ties guiding your feet through all three floors, while boasting with its natural scenery with panoramic vistas and outdoor spa. Your stay couldn’t be more comfortable with a full gourmet catering, bar and staff at your service, not to forget about the deep-soaker tubs in each master suites and your own theatre room.
Not far away lies Whistler tucked between the Coast Mountains of British Columbia. A true winter paradise, also known for no less than being one of the venues for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games. It’s no surprise that there are trails available from Olympic to beginner levels, boasting with almost a 100 miles of trail network surrounding the scenic village. As you might expect, you’ll find night-skiing trails and dog-friendly loops as well, from Callaghan Valley’s backcountry routes and Olympic Park to the family-friendly trails of Lost Lake Park, available with just a short walk from Whistler village.
Have yourself relax after all the fun you had on the trails in one of the many luxurious chalets to be found in Whistler. Facing the Olympic Downhill Course, Snowridge Retreat lies in an exceptional spot near the Creekside Gondola providing access to the nearby Whistler Blackcomb ski area.
Whistler’s Creekside neighborhood and all its amenities are in a mere walking distance from the retreat. However, there’s not much Snowridge Retreat couldn’t provide. It comfortably accommodates up to 8 people, so you can have all your closest friends and relatives with you for this one-of-a-kind luxury experience. The warm colors of wood, the open stone fireplace will bring you the homely winter dream you just wanted. With a full service and even a private chef in your service, you’ll have a gourmet wonder meal every time, with the additional entertainment of being able to watch your chef create a spectacular feast of cuisines right in front of you.
No after-ski relaxation could be the same without the comforts of a pampering massage and an outdoor hot tub for the entire family with the awe-inspiring view of Tantalus Mountain on the horizon. What more do you need? Just let your concierge know, and consider it arranged. For cross-country skiing in safety, comfort and luxury, this is the way to go.
Keep 15-30 feet distance
Social distancing protocol suggests keeping a 6 feet distance from others, but you need to keep in mind the breath slipstream of other skiers while on the slopes. For this reason, you need to keep a 15 to 30 feet distance from fellow skiers.
When you are enjoying your XC skiing, you are automatically at a certain distance from others in order to avoid a collision. But making sure that you are not in their breath slipstream is crucial as well. This can be easily managed if you avoid a large group of skiers or better, go for ungroomed terrain.
No large groups of skiers
Your cross-country trip is a great time to meet new people and reconnect with your old friends. However, in social distancing times like these, it is advisable to stay loyal to your social bubble – your family and extremely close people who you know are strictly following the safety guidelines.
Friends and family like going on skiing trips together, share accommodation and hang out even after a long day of skiing. You have to make sure that you do not entertain a large group of skiers and stay in your family circle or with your ski partner. Avoid hanging out in ski resorts and areas where there are a lot of skiers gathered.
Due to Covid-19, you may have noticed that a lot of Alpine ski resorts have been either closed or partially closed. This could be a hard time for many, but to make your stress go away, go for backcountry skiing. There is nothing more serene (and safe!) than unexplored terrain where you could carve your own way without the fear of bumping into someone. You would not only avoid large groups of skiers but would also be safe from their breath slipstream.
This is a great time to go look for nature around and amid the white landscape. You can find breathtaking views and animals in their natural habitat. Going for your backcountry ski adventure is a great idea to keep you physically active, stress-free, and to be able to breathe in the freshest form of air.
Following social distancing does not mean you have to lock yourself inside the four walls or force your kids to leave outdoor activities and lock their eyes onto the screens of TVs, laptops, and tablets. With cross-country skiing being an extremely safe option for the entire family, head out away from the crowd and enjoy what nature offers you. You will not only be able to enjoy a physically active season, but XC skiing will take care of your mental stress.
However, in times like these, you need to make sure that you are enjoying your XC adventures in the safest possible way. For this, avoid large gatherings at the ski resorts and trails, maintain a social distance of 15 to 30 feet while on the trails, and if possible, go for ungroomed terrain. It is also a great idea to drive to your ski destination instead of going for public transport. You can also find many good rental homes near your ski area, so you do not have to share any space with other skiers or rely on outside food. This is not just the time of social distancing; this is the time to enjoy cross-country skiing!