Cross country skiing for beginners

487There was a blue sky when I woke this morning so no excuse not to get outdoors and try a bit of cross country skiing. In the city centre it’s hard to imagine that there’s snow just a 20 minute drive away but as I headed up towards Holmenkollen the temperature dropped a good ten degrees and the scenery was transformed in to a winter wonderland. Unfortunately my trip coincided with the Barnas Holmenkolldag which meant I had to sit in a long queue of large Volvos ferrying small children with skis! Luckily I was heading further up the hill to the ski hire place at Voksenkollen so could still find parking. I do wonder though whether it would have been quicker to just taken the train to the adjacent station.

After a brief hiatus whilst I tried to remember my international shoe size, I emerged suitably equipped with skis, shoes and poles for the not unreasonable price of 200 kr (about £20) for a day’s hire. Now, the problem with hiring your skis near the top of a hill is that pretty much every direction is down. It therefore wasn’t long before the løyper deserted me on a steep downhill bend and I was scrabbling around on all fours. In my defence though, it is just over four years since I last put on a pair of skis and the sum total of my experience is two week long holidays. It’s not often you see snow in Southampton after all!

490Things improved a bit from there on and I managed a 15km loop with only a couple more tumbles, stopping at UllevÃ¥lseter for refreshments. Given the number of people sat about at the various huts on the route it was actually remarkably quiet out in the woods. I was also glad to see that I wasn’t the only one capable of falling over, although must confess to being a bit miffed when, whilst struggling up a steep incline herring bone style, the guy behind me took off his skis and walked up the adjacent road!

Although it remains to be seen what my body feels like tomorrow I’m sure I’ll be out again in the not too distant future although a) I’m not convinced the snow’s going to last long enough to warrant buying our own kit and b) I have no intention of subjecting Emma to a sledge ride behind her unsteady Dad which may make the logistics harder.

2 Responses to “Cross country skiing for beginners”

  1. Neil says:


    there is an article in the Guardian today suggesting that with 2 degrees of global warming then Norway and Finland will become ideal wine growing regions so you had better get the sking in before the snow disappears for good.

    Personally the only snow I have ever seen close up has been in Southampton and that is more than enough for me. Water should be wet and in the oceans as far as I am concerned.


  2. Dave says:

    I reckon the downhill slopes will be better for vineyards so the cross country tracks might be safe for a bit. Or is that not what you meant?! Have you never heard of grass skiing?