Last fall, after a lot of summer time Nordic activities, I was ready for an early start to the ski season. My wife Heather headed to Sovereign Lake Nordic Center in British Colombia in mid November. I had made reservation early in the summer, after doing a little research on good spots for early season skiing. I was not the least bit disappointed. Seven days on immaculate trails was a great way to start the season.
My non snow preparation for my winter of 2018-19 was made up with a variety of activities, including a little swimming and biking and a fair amount of times on a pair of Skikes, a type of roller ski also referred to as a cross skate. With this training, I was able to ski over 140 miles during the week, and feeling good each day.
I can’t say enough about the variety and grooming of the trails at Sovereign Lake. Heather was a little nervous about the trip, as she is not the fanatic that I am about year round preparation, but found it a very enjoyable area to ski with great scenery and terrain and quality grooming that made the skiing easy for her. Were both looking forward to a return trip, for some more early season Nordic skiing. Just a side note on Sovereign Lake, they just ended there season today, May 12 with a Spring Fling ski weekend. Must be nice having good snow for six months of the year.
My preferred area to roller ski / cross skate is on a trail vs a road. It is nice rolling along and not having to worry about the few drivers that feel that roads should be only for cars. Trails come in a variety of different surface types. The most common surface type I summertime ski on is a paved asphalt surface. The second being a crushed limestone surface. Both are quite common in Western Pennsylvania where I live.
Unlike the winter where I have to travel a minimum of 80 miles (130km) to find a nicely groomed trail, I have many trails within 25 miles (40km) of home, including the Hunter Farm trail, a 3 mile loop trail through some woods and fields with one small hill. When busy with life and trying not to spend as much time in the car, this is my go-to spot to ski. The lack of travel time is definitely one of the advantages of skiing with wheels, easily allowing me to find some time almost every day to get outside and get the blood flowing.
Five years ago, I bought my first pair of Skike Cross Skates and from that point on, have developed a passion for Nordic Skiing, whether it is in the winter on snow or during the other seasons on wheels. I’m going to use this site to share my thoughts and hopefully have some good discussions on Year Round Nordic activities.
During my first year, I went from spending about 30 minutes a day on a few local and flat trails to skiing a Nordic ski marathon (White Pine Stampede) during the winter. That first marathon was pretty tough, but each winter they have been getting easier as I have continued with some Year Round Nordic activities.