Passionate cross-country skiers as we are, when we do read print magazines, we still prefer to read about our favorite sport. Unfortunately, there weren’t that many print magazines (or online for that matter) strictly about Nordic skiing to start with, and there are even fewer now. For this reason, we felt the need to provide an appropriate list of these magazines still available on the market, so if you by any chance haven’t known about one of them, you could check them out for yourself.
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The Best 5 Print Cross-Country Ski Magazines
Cross Country Skier: The Journal of Nordic Skiing
Cross Country Skier Magazine by Height of Land Publications, publisher of esteemed magazines Alpinist and Backcountry, is what Nordic skiers have been waiting for. First published in 1980, it has been providing us with everything Nordic for forty years. With stories from all over the Nordic skiing world, they have carried on with the same passion ever since.
Cross Country Skier is published three times a year, in fall, winter and spring, and they naturally deliver in Northern America, but also in every corner of the world. As most print magazines must adapt to the digital age, they have also reduced their initial 4 issues/year structure to three prints, as well as a digital-only October issue with the same high quality content.
Their tagline “The Journal of Nordic Skiing” clearly defines their old-school journalist attitude that simply suits well with the sport. They provide from quality reviews of the latest products of the best brands in cross-country skiing and scenic photographs of some recommended trails to actual training tips and insights from top-level couches.
Cross Country Skier keeps us updated on professional cross-country ski racing news, from the US and Canadian national teams to every large cross-country skiing event in the world. As the most authoritative magazine in the cross-country skiing world, it is a must-have for XC skiers of all levels.
NB: They also have a superb podcast series available online, each episode featuring a top athlete or someone deeply rooted in the industry. If you are tired of reading, or listening to music on your way home, definitely give them a try.
Although not strictly speaking cross-country skiing, but as a very very close relative to XC skiing, we feel a strong attachment to backcountry skiing as well, so it felt quite natural to include Backcountry Magazine in our list.
Backcountry Magazine was first published in 1994, then later it was bought by the same Height of Land Publications who later acquired Cross Country Skier Magazine too. It has six print issues annually between September and February.
They are just as dynamic and exciting a magazine as backcountry skiing itself can be. Backcountry delivers intriguing stories matched with high-definition photographs, but if you rely on their safety tips and advices, let alone the gear choice, you are safe, you won’t regret.
If we are all about social distancing, what other winter sport could provide this utmost freedom than backcountry skiing? Their ultimate gear guide will help you choose what’s best for you even in the most extreme conditions. We often do rely on their professional opinion ourselves.
Backcountry often explores new, breathtaking territories, with a spectacular form of journalism so that you are almost there. And if not, you will want to explore that for yourself someday.
Their online platform offers some superb resources, and just as Cross Country Skier, they do their own podcast series that I can vouch for. It’s fascinating, funny and free.
Best Nordic Ski Great Escapes
Best Nordic Ski Great Escapes is a brand new publication, and like the aptly named title suggests it discusses some of the best Nordic ski destinations in the United States and Canada.
The magazine is released annually, offering a variety of cross-country ski getaway recommendations from plain rustic lodges to five star hotels, as well as tips on nearby trails, or the best lodging and dining options available.
If you are out of ideas for your next cross-country ski holiday, then grab a copy of Best Nordic Ski Great Escapes, and you will have no problem finding the one most suited to your needs.
Ski Cross Country
Ski Cross Country is a yearly publication offered free of charge for many lucky cross-country skier Canadians living in British Columbia. Published by Cross Country Ski BC (the British Columbian association of cross-country skiing) and sent directly to more than 17,000 members, Ski Cross Country offers some great stories in the Nordic world, as well as details and schedules on local events and championships.
Besides the great coverage of international events such as the World Cup, they provide actual tips and advices for beginners in this sport of ours, something that we truly admire. Even more the proud lists of BC athletes qualifying for their national teams program, or the list of BC winners in every (Nordic) corner of the world.
We have chosen this super practical publication, since our team believes that more and more of local magazines like this should be available for cross-country skiers. If we got your attention, the magazine is freely available online through the Cross Country Ski BC website.
New England Ski Journal
The New England Ski Journal is not specifically a cross-country ski magazine, however we have found that they are among the few ski magazines who really chose to cover cross-country skiing as thoroughly as it deserves. It’s no surprise: Cross-country skiing is by far the most popular in New England states.
New England Ski Journal has seven annual issues (November, December, January, February, Spring, Summer and Fall) with stories of snowsport athletes, ski towns and recommended destinations, as well as useful gear choice advices from experts. They also slightly cover backcountry skiing, so if you are thinking about getting off-piste in the future in New England, you have one more reason to read through.
They also have a fantastic video series (New England Ski Journal: The TV Show) available online, showing off with some scenic ski destinations as well as great info on the nearby sights and services available.
Best Online Cross-Country Ski Magazines
As there are fewer and fewer print magazines published every year (especially in such a small segment as cross-country skiing), we thought we should mention some of the best online magazines about cross-country skiing.
One of the most reliable news websites on the internet when it comes to cross-country skiing. They cover everything from racing to recreational XC skiing. Find here intriguing interviews with the very best of the Nordic world, as well as practical lifestyle advices.
Their recurring coverage of doping news rocking the XC skiing industry again and again will make sure that none of us will forget about some of the most scandalous cases. Respect!
SkinnySki offers a wider coverage of the XCS skiing world, but having a larger focus on recreational skiing: from relevant highlights and tidbits from across the internet to a great compilation of resources in one place.
Their trail news and conditions reports are just as useful for last-minute checking before departure, as for planning a whole cross-country ski vacation in the upper Midwest. From finding trails and lodging, to the latest gear news and ski swap/sale events, you will find what you are looking for.
The official website of the North American Cross Country Ski Areas Association, they are great for finding the trails and xc centers most suited to your needs. They more focused on general cross-country skiing advices and education than up-to-date Nordic world news. A great place to get started with the sport.
As the name suggests, they are somewhat more focused on the racing scene than others, so if you taking the sport more seriously than usual, and thinking of becoming a professional athlete, you are at the right place. Besides racing news, you will find great advice as well as thought-provoking articles about some of the issues present in professional cross-country skiing.
Their trail conditions reports are one of the most detailed and reliable.
The Nordic Approach
The Nordic Approach is more about the cross-country ski lifestyle. Find here the best trails and destinations illustrated with stunning photography, or dive into the complete Nordic lifestyle from health advices to work-out and training tips.
The most personal blog on the list by far, but must be mentioned, since Skier Bob offers some really great tips if you would ever want to go cross-country skiing around Calgary, in the Canadian province of Alberta.
Skier Bob provides up-to-date info on trail conditions (with a select list of dog-friendly trails), along with maps and superb instructional resources.
We would like to also mention the handful, but too many magazines closed just in the last year. Great loss for the English-speaking cross-country skier community
- SkiTrax (1990-2019)
- Master Skier (1988-2019)
- Powder Magazine (1974-2020?)
As there are fewer and fewer print magazines available in the digital age, a relatively small community such as that of the cross-country skiers should know how thin is the line. As of November 2020, only these magazines remain to cover our favorite winter sport.
If you would like to support them, don’t forget to subscribe, and if you already did: it could even make a great Christmas present.