10 Best Books about Cross-Country Skiing

What is the best way to pass your time when you cannot be on the snowy slopes? There is nothing more comforting for a cross country skier than an informative or motivational read about cross country skiing, the struggles and journeys of the pro ski athletes, and learning techniques on how to polish your skills.

Best Books on Cross-Country Skiing

We have chosen the best books on cross country skiing for you, so here we go:

1. Bill McKibben – Long Distance: Testing the Limits of Body and Spirit in a Year of Living Strenuously (2010)

bill mckibben long distance

This inspirational book by Bill McKibben is an insight into the author’s life about getting out of his comfort zone and finding balance in life. The author was a renowned environmentalist and writer before deciding to give his mind a break and push his limits to be a competitive cross country skier. He consulted with the country’s top coaches, trainers, and physicians at the US Olympic Center to improve his endurance level and undergo an extreme training program.

As the writer continued to become a world-class athlete, he got the news about the diagnosis of his father’s brain tumor. What comes next showed him what endurance actually meant.

The book is written in a humorous manner to keep the subject light but inspiring. It is about digging deep into the mindset of endurance athletes and exploring the roads to meditation at the same time. The book focuses on the importance of having a balance and how to achieve it.

You can order its Kindle edition for $13.30 and the book is available in hardcover for $15.99 and paperback for $11.98. You can also purchase its MP3 CD for $8.11 or get a free Audiobook with your Audible trial.


2. Guy Sheridan – Tales of a Cross Country Skier (1987)

tales of a cross country skier

This book is about the author Guy Sheridan’s introduction to skiing when he joined the Royal Marines in 1960 and was introduced to this sport in Scandinavia through arctic warfare exercises. He instantly excelled in biathlon, ski racing, and ski orienteering, but could not impress the selection committee for the 1972 Olympics. Disheartened, Guy Sheridan shifted his interest from ski racing to ski touring in unexplored terrain. This book sheds light on these ski tours on how he skied in different parts of the world – from Iran’s Zagros Mountains to Western Himalayas, and from Iceland to the USA. He also ventured on a 1500 km skiing trip in Yukon’s Selwyn Mountains.

The book gives inspiration to a cross country skier sitting in the comforts of his home to take out his/ her skis from the attic and embark on exciting cross country adventures. It teaches you what to wear, how to survive, what equipment to go for, and most importantly, the tips and tricks of mastering cross country skiing. Whether you want motivation or insight into an expert XC skier, this book is all you need and also makes a great gift to a loved one who loves cross country skiing. You can order this 186-page book in hardcover for $967.


3. Fridtjof Nansen – The First Crossing of Greenland (1928)

the first crossing of greenland

Considered as an all-time classic in the world of skiing, this book may almost be a century old but still attracts readers and especially skiers from all around the world. This book by Fridtjof Nansen sheds light on the extreme expedition of the skier to formally introduce skiing outside the boundaries of Norway or Scandinavia.

Nansen failed eight times before finally succeeding to cross the world’s largest island on skis – Greenland. He started planning about this expedition in 1882, but after six years and 8 failed attempts, Nansen finally returned triumph in 1888. Even Greenland’s Eskimos were impressed by his detailed planning and achievement, and the skier received a hero’s welcome when he finally returned to Oslo. His achievement permanently wrote his name into the history books.

The book is about dedication and determination, and as a skier, you will feel the motivation at many places in this 468 pages book. This new edition contains illustrations and photographs of this adventure that made Nansen a renowned and respected adventure enthusiast and one of the greatest Arctic explorers of the world.

You can order its Kindle edition for $3.04 and the book is available in hardcover for $29.95 and paperback for $20.17.


Best Books about Cross-Country Skiing Athletes

As a book lover, there is nothing more motivational than an autobiography or biography of world champions and what road they took to achieve their goal and success. The following books highlight the brave journey of some of the bravest athletes.

4. Jessie Diggins – Brave Enough (2020)

jessie diggins brave enough

Authored by Jessi Diggins and co-authored by Todd Smith, the book is an autobiography about the actual journey of the 26 years old small-town girl who won the World Skiing Championship four times. This motivational read focuses on how this “Brave Enough” girl raced from the woods of Minnesota’s town of Afton to winning the USA’s first-ever cross country skiing gold medal.

Jessie Diggins sheds light on her challenges and disappointments, the hard work she put in, and the importance of listening to the voice inside the head – “I can do it. I am brave enough.” This 296-pages book is all about pushing those physical and emotional boundaries and reach to the top.

You can order its Kindle edition for $14.96 and the book is available in hardcover for $21.95. You can also get its free Audiobook with your Audible trial.


5. Peggy Shinn – World Class: The Making of the U.S. Women’s Cross-Country Ski Team (2018)

world class womens cross country ski
In this book, sports journalist Peggy Shinn sheds light on the inspiring true story of how the perfect US cross country ski team for women was formed and how the athletes rose to the top after conquering all the hurdles. Peggy Shinn conducted uncountable interviews with athletes, their parents, coaches, spouses, and friends to find out how the perfect cross country ski team came together to win eight medals in 5 years taking part in 3 world championships.

The book sheds light on the challenges and accomplishments of Jessie Diggins, Kikkan Randall, Holly Brooks, Liz Stephen, Rosie Brennan, Ida Sargent, Sophie Caldwell, and Sadie Bjornsen along with their coach Matt Whitcomb to not only ski with the world’s best cross country skiers but to beat them in order to make history.

Once you start reading it, you will be glued to this 248-paged inspiring true journey. You can order its Kindle edition for $7.69 and paperback for $9.90.


6. Luke Bodensteiner – Endless winter: An Olympian’s journal (1994)

endless winter

This autobiography is an inspirational read about Luke Bodensteiner and how he won the national championship twice to become a renowned face of the international world of cross country ski racing. The book covers all the challenges an Olympian goes through in order to rise to the top. The author takes you with him on this epic snow-covered journey – from the intense training sessions to the ski wax rooms where the cream of cross country skiers are trained.

This book has 200 pages of motivation and dedication. Luke Bodensteiner shares with his readers how it feels to stand on top of the world – literally! If you love snow and skiing, you won’t be able to put this book down once you start reading it.
You can get your paperback edition for $17.90.


Best Books about Training and Technique

Whether you are a beginner or an intermediate level cross country skier, you can always learn and refine your skiing techniques by learning from some of the world’s best cross country skiers. The following books are also great for advanced level skiers – you never know what gems you might pick when you are reading through these wonderful skiing guides.

7. Stuart Montgomery – Nordic Notes: Articles on cross-country skiing (2015)

nordic notes

This book is a collection of priceless articles that could interest or guide anyone who is attracted to cross country skiing. Whether you want to learn the tips and tricks as an advanced cross country skier or want to know all about the right equipment; the best way to ski with kids, or how to ski with blind people – the writer Stuart Montgomery sheds light on all kinds of topics including traveling in snow, navigating across risky terrain, Nordic walking, and even things to be afraid of in Lillehammer. The author uses his vast experience in the skiing industry to come up with Nordic Notes that are a result of his successful career as a Nordic ski instructor and a qualified personal trainer.

Enjoy 176 pages of valuable articles on cross country skiing that spans over the 25 years of ski travel and organizing ski holidays in the Alps, Scandinavia, and the Pyrenees by Montgomery. You can get your paperback edition for $12.95.


8. Steve Hindman: Cross-Country Skiing: Building Skills for Fun and Fitness (2005)

steve hindman cross country skiing

Author and certified instructor Steve Hindman has introduced thousands of people to cross country skiing. He has written the study guide for the certification exam of the Professional Ski Instructors of America. In this book, Steve Hindman presents a comprehensive guide to enjoying cross country skiing and staying active. He shed light on how to master the stride, and glide, and everything you need to know about cross country skiing.

Whether you prefer skiing on groomed trails or are into backcountry skiing adventures, you can learn so much from this skiing guru. From finding the right ski gear to learning avalanche safety mechanisms, learning classic skiing to mastering skating, waxing your skis to snow camping – this book builds skills that stay with you for a lifetime.

A definite must-have – the 240-page book will teach you techniques you may have never learned before. You can order its Kindle edition for $21.96 and paperback for $21.95.


9. Torbjorn Karlsen & Ruff Patterson – How To, When To, Why To: A Norwegian Model Training Guide & Programs for Cross-Country Skiers (1998)


Norwegian cross country skiers are known for their high-level training and skiing expertise throughout the world, and this is the reason why authors Torbjorn Karlsen and Ruff Patterson decided to share their training routines so that you can benefit from it too. This training guide sheds light on how to be a great cross country skier. If you are already into XC skiing, you can polish your skills and take your skiing to the next level by the programs discussed by the writers.

Whether you want to order one for yourself, or gift it to a loved one who is into cross country skiing, this book is a great read. Enjoy 141 pages of guidance for all kinds of cross country skiers. You can order it in spiral-bound edition for $33.00.


10. Rick Lovett & Paul Petersen – The Essential Cross-Country Skier (1999)


Authors Rick Lovett and Paul Petersen show you how to step into those cross country ski bindings and learn how to ski, and then polish the basics to make you a pro. With their step-by-step guide on mastering cross country skiing, take advantage of learning from the two top cross country skiing coaches.

This book is not just any book teaching cross country skiing. It is created by ski experts and shed light on how to have fun while learning the sport. It is a must-read for beginner as well as intermediate level cross country skiers.

From covering all the basics of the sport to highlighting the complex details this book has it all. It guides us on how to choose the right kind of skis, ski boots, and ski poles; where to find the most perfect ski trails; how to wear the right clothing to keep you warm and comfy; how to wax and maintain your skis; ways to keeping safe while on the slopes; and so much more. Not only will you be able to master cross country skiing, but you will also enjoy learning all about ski racing, telemarking, skating, and backcountry skiing.

Whether you want to learn the basics of cross country skiing or you want to improve your skiing style, this 144 pages book will not disappoint you. You can get your paperback edition for $10.09.