Billy Demong Unplugged

Billy Demong - winner of the first-ever Nordic combined gold - revealed some interesting and entertaining facts in an interview with USSA - his tattoo, his engagement and the coolest thing he thinks has ever happened to him. Read on . . .

Kick-Double Pole is Your Friend

andrew johnsonThe last weekend of January 2010, I was fortunate enough to ski in the Noquemanon Ski Marathon in Marquette, Michigan. If you have not yet had the opportunity to ski this race, and you have a propensity for long ski races, you should put this event on your calendar for next season. The terrain, excellent snow, technical and demanding trails, and the one-of-a-kind U.P. scenery all combine to create a memorable weekend. Read the rest of Andrew Johnson's story here.

Ski Legend Nikolai Anikin Remembered

Nikolai Anikin, a three-time Olympic medalist for the Soviet Union and then a coach in the U.S. for 20 years, died of cancer November 14, 2009, in Duluth, Minnesota. One of his prize pupils was John Bauer, who won all four races at the U.S. Nationals in 1996 and skied in the 2002 Olympics. Bauer wrote an article for Cross Country Skier two years ago, which you can read here.

Snowshoe Update

By Lou Dzierzak

Once thought of as quaint decorations hanging crisscrossed over a winter cabin’s stone fireplace, today’s snowshoes reflect state-of-the-art designs, construction methods and materials.

According to the Outdoor Foundation’s “Outdoor Recreation Participation 2009 Topline Report,” 2.9 million people went snowshoeing in 2008. That represents a 21.8 percent increase from 2007. Read the story here.

Montana Development Aims at Sustainability

A new development near Red Lodge, in south-central Montana, will include a limited number of widely spaced homes, access to ski trails and will showcase sustainable living. Aspen Ridge Ranch offers just 10 lots on 250 acres, with common ownership of the rest of the property. Read the rest of the story here.

The New Whistler Olympic Park

Click on the photo for a larger version.

What has almost 500 inches of snow annually, 35 kilometers of recreational trails and brand-new everything? If you answered the new Olympic Nordic venue in Whistler, BC, you win. Recreational trails? "It's much more about the legacy after the Games," says the venue's designer, John Aalberg. Read all about it in our new digital magazine. Also, see many more photos in our online photo gallery.

An Explanation of Balance

From the elite racer to the beginning five year-old, and everyone in between, balance can make the difference between skiing that is fun and skiing that is a chore. Along with core strength, technique training and mental visualization, improving balance is one of the essential skills for a cross country skier. Read more and see the illustrations.



Tamarack Lodge:
Where History and Nature Collide

Tamarack Lodge, nestled in the Inyo National Forest of the Mammoth Lakes area of California’s Eastern Sierras, offers up a charming combination of history and natural beauty resulting in a delightful setting for cross country skiing. Read on . . .


New Equipment for 2009-2010

Every season, equipment manufacturers roll out their latest and greatest new gear.Cross Country Skier annually brings you a preview of the newest line-up of skis, boots, poles, waxes and accessories. We have the scoop on new developments in design and technology – in bases, flexes, cores, foot lasts, binding interfaces, materials and cosmetics. So if you are a techo-weenie gear geek, this is the article for you.

Dryland Drills

No snow where you are? Check out these dryland drills to keep you in shape (both physicaly and mentally) for the upcoming season. (Note -- the link will take you to our digital magazine.)



Pre-Season Strength Workout

October 10, 2009 - It's not too late to get started on strength training for the 2009 season - but you better start soon. Take a look at one training plan, and many suggested exercises, to help you have your best season yet.

Subscribe to Cross Country Skier

Don't miss a single issue of Cross Country Skier this season. Four great issues for one low price. Read about racing, destinations, training, and a variety of columns for both the recreational and competitive skier.

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U.S. Nordic - The Right Direction

By Ian Harvey

Now that the season is behind us, I thought I'd take a moment to reconcile how things went. I think this is best done at the end of a season where you truly have the benefit of hindsight.

I think that US Nordic skiing is the strongest that it has been at least for the last 25 years and probably forever.

This past season, Kris Freeman finished 4th in a World Cup race. While Kris had been 5th and 6th before, he had never finished 4th in a World Cup race. (He has been 4th at World Championships twice). World Cups, especially early season World Cups, are the most competitive. They have the largest and deepest fields. This was quite an accomplishment that hopefully he will be able to build on.

Kikkan Randall had an amazing year. She finished 2nd in a World Cup Sprint race in Oslo. She also ended the season with 3 consecutive top 20s in distance races. Her 8th place in the Olympic Sprint Race in the Classic technique was the best individual US women's finish ever in the Olympics.

Caitlin Compton finished 14th in a World Cup distance race and 30th in the Games. She also finished 6th in the Olympic Sprint Relay with Kikkan to provide the best US Women's Nordic result ever. 14th in a women's distance World Cup race ties Caitlin with Nina Kemppel for the best US result from the past 30 years plus (or ever depending on how you look at it).

Andy Newell had a disappointing individual race in the Olympics having fallen in the qualifying round. That said, he had his best year ever having finished on the podium and an amazing 4th place overall in the Sprint World Cup!

Torin Koos didn't have a good year compared to some of his best years in the past. Still though, he teamed up with Andy Newell to finish 9th in the Olympic sprint relay and 6th in the Dusseldorf Sprint relay. He also qualified 2nd in Canmore at the Sprint World Cup Race collecting some valuable FIS points and finished in 11th.

Simi Hamilton finished 28th and 29th in his first World Cup and in the Olympics respectively. These are very promising results for a World Cup rookie.

James Southam also had some promising results.

As a nation, we have quite a few top skiers that are especially young including Liz Stephen, Morgan Arritola, Simi, Noah Hoffmann, Garrott Kuzzy, and Tad Elliot. The future looks bright and I don't think we have ever been as good overall as we are right now.In addition to this, when you consider the success of the US Biathletes (Tim Burke leading the World Cup and finishing 14th overall and Jeremy Teela finishing 9th at the Games) and the US Nordic Combined team (2 individual silvers, a gold, and a bronze plus a silver in the team event at the Games) you have to be really excited about where we are at and where we are going.

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