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Skinny Skiing: Enjoying frosty Vermont days by Nordic skiing

Sunset cross-country skiing

Sunset cross-country skiing.

A cold and clear day on ski trails

A cold and clear day on the trails.

The groomed track runs through trees

The groomed track runs through a "tunnel" of trees at Catamount.

I love downhill skiing but on the coldest day it's just downright challenging to keep your extremities from freezing as you dangle on a chairlift and create extra windchill during your descent. What's an avid skier to do?

Whether it's cross-country skiing on your skinny skis at a groomed Nordic center or backcountry skiing in fresh snow in the woods, you can generate plenty of heat by Nordic skiing! The Skimeister and I have been skiing before or after work this past week at Catamount Outdoor Center in Williston. We don't dress as warmly as we do for downhill skiing, but after about five minutes of kicking and gliding we are quite comfortable.

On the colder days I wear a neckwarmer. On snowy days I try to wear some light-tinted sunglasses. If you've ever been pelted in the eyes by fluffy snowflakes, you know how hard it is to see while you are on the move! Goggles tend to fog up and can freeze when you are creating heat, so I only use them during steady descents in the backcountry.

We have a cross-country season pass and one of the benefits is that we get one free day of Nordic skiing at many other Vermont Nordic ski areas. This reciprocal program is a great way to get to experience other cross-country trail networks in Vermont.

Have you been Nordic skiing lately?

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