Our plans for Saturday were cancelled due to snow conditions so we hastily found something else to do. Earlier in the week we had tried to get to Whistler Olympic Village for some night Nordic skiing (it’s cheaper on Wednesday evenings) but couldn’t find the right bus to get there so this became our new target for the day.
The Olympic village is approximately 9km from Whistler Village. I’m going to get the moaning out of the way first. Unless you have a car it is a right pain in the backside getting to the park. There is a shuttle bus but this is not clearly marked making it hard to find and it is also scarce. Once we had found it and got there we were told we had to be back to get picked up in a couple of hours as there was only one chance to get back. We arrived on time and were then told it would be another hour by which point we had already given back our equipment. Slightly annoying but overall we did enjoy ourselves.
Now back to the activities. There are opportunities to for snowshoeing, cross country (XC) skiing, biathlon and, on certain nights, ski jumping. On this occasion we decided to take advantage of the many XC ski trails. Neither of us have been XC skiing before so we hired our equipment and chose a nice simple blue route to follow. After struggling to work out how to clip our boots into the skis, I promptly fell over. Having stood back up and found the entrance to our selected trail I quickly fell over again. For the next 5 minutes or so this became a bit of a pattern for me whereas Fraser avoided it by proceeding to remove his skis and walk whenever we came to a downhill section. This was proving to be much harder than the professionals I have watched extensively on TV make it look and is absolutely nothing like alpine skiing.
The scenery was very beautiful around the route and about 10 minutes in I was starting to enjoy myself (this may have had something to do with me spending more time on my feet). The trail was gently undulating and although people who clearly knew what they were doing kept shooting past us I was able to go down without being in the biggest snow plow known to man by the end of the session. I never got the hang of skating uphill!
XC skiing is difficult but boy do you get a good workout. We were both really warm by the time we finished despite not going as far as we planned (due to bus related time constraints) and not going particularly fast. I definitely want to give it another go in the future though. (There will be video footage of this when I do my general Whistler vlog).
Have you ever been XC skiing before? What were your experiences of it? Any tips on the best places to do it?
P.S. Don’t forget to check out this blog post for your chance to get a code for a free city app of your choice with gpsmycity.