How should you prepare for your Nordic ski trip?

You want to ski in a peaceful environment off the beaten track? Then Nordic skiing is for you! You just need to find out which style suits you best...

If you dream of enjoying nature in peace at your own pace, Nordic skiing is perfect for you! This sport has no reason to envy its cousin, downhill skiing. Cheaper and more accessible, Nordic skiing lets you combine winter sports and snowy landscapes whatever your level.

Nordic skiing is enjoyed on flat or hilly terrain and comes under three disciplines:

- Classic cross-country skiing:

the skier makes progress by moving one ski forward then the other, with a movement similar to that of walking. The skis are kept parallel and follow the tracks made on the trails.

The ‘scales’ under the skis mean you don’t slide backwards when skiing uphill. This technique is ideal for a family outing, but also works well when making more of an effort.

- Skating:

skaters make progress on the cross-country tracks with what we call "the skater technique", and ice skating enthusiasts will easily understand why.

On the smooth part of the track, move the skis forward in a V-shape and transfer your weight alternately right and left, thus making your skis glide. The skier uses the poles to push forward.

More athletic than classic cross-country skiing, skating lets you travel on any groomed trail!

- Nordic walking:

this discipline takes place off the normal Nordic ski areas, providing access to large tracts of virgin snow.

For optimum stability, Nordic walking skis are a bit wider than skis intended for skating or the classic technique. They have ‘scales’, again to avoid sliding backwards, as well as edges. Unlike walking skiing, sealskins are not necessarily helpful because Nordic walking is practised on ground with very little elevation.

Depending on your preferences and fitness, you can adapt your effort and your technique. To put you on the right track, Nordic ski trails are classified by colour, symbolising their level of difficulty: green, blue, red and black.

Nordic skiing is a complete sport, developing balance, coordination and flexibility. It’s an activity you can do at any age, but before you get going either alone or with friends, we recommend you approach a ski school to learn the right techniques. That way, once you’re on your skis, you can combine pleasure and technique!

Finally, before you set out, make sure you have good snow conditions and the tracks are accessible. Remember to take some cereal bars in your pockets so your have a source of hydration.