Last year I decided to give Skate Skiing a shot. As I had driven around town, I kept seeing skate skiers out on the various tracks in and around Park City and thought…man…that looks challenging. After speaking to a few locals who encouraged me to give skate ski a try as well as one of my closest friends who is an excellent skate skier, I decided to give it a try. But I wasn’t sure how to get started.
Then a friend mentioned a women’s skate ski group known as the Nordic Betties. I had seen their hats and gear around town but had no idea what they were about. So I did some googling and learned that they were a group of women skate skiers who were invested in teaching skate ski to skiers
We met the first time at White Pine Touring’s track at the Park City Municipal Golf Course. I went ahead and rented gear for the first time not having any idea of what to buy or how quickly my skill level would adjust. We headed out for the first time with about 10 other women ranging in age from 40-65, some moms that I new from other groups in Park City and the others women who I would get to know. Well, the first day was challenging. It was a lesser snow year and some of the tracks were a bit icy to start. But it didn’t take long to get a little bit of a groove going as I was starting to figure out the technique. And to boot, it was FUN! This group of girls were in it for fun and a good athletic work out, which it definitely was.
Each week we would meet and learn new techniques and practice in various conditions, good or bad…and I quickly learned that if I could skate in last year’s conditions, this year was going to be incredible. So I did my best to get out three times a week to try to learn the technique and get some fresh air. It was just wonderful to enjoy winter in a new way!
So this year, I signed on for their 10 week course for Intermediate Level 1. It’s a new group of girls, same teaching Betties which is great because of the consistent reinforcement of their teaching, which is outstanding. I had a chance to get out about 4 times before the class started and boy did it help. We’re now about to begin the 5th week and I’m really feeling like I’ve gotten a better understanding of the techniques and an actual groove with the rhythm of the skiing method! It’s beyond exciting to be doing something new and gaining skills in such a great environment. The snow has been incredibly good this year, a complete difference from last year, so I’ve really been able to incorporate what I’m learning.
The girls at the Betties are just amazing. Such incredible athletes and are also getting to be great friends. Plus this year with a new group I’m making new friends and few friends are in the group so we’ve been out training on our own as well. I’d encourage anyone interested in this amazing sport to give it a try. Once you gain the endurance, the technique just floats. And frankly, I’m just hooked. This is such an amazing way to experience the outdoors and you really do feel like the mindset transports you to adventure.
And, what’s more they’ve taught me so much about the skis and how to care for them. What’s wonderful is that they even did a waxing clinic with Inge’s husband the other night so I’m sharing a video from that for those of you who might be interested in caring for your own skis.
If you’re wanting to give it a try, check them out here: www.nordicbetties.com
You’ve still got time to get in this season!