Whether it is your first time on the snow, if you are moonlighting from alpine skiing, or this is your passion and your thing, we have a program to suit you. 

Cross Country Skiing is about finesse and shouldn’t be a slog; get involved in one of our programs and learn the fundamentals of cross country skiing in a safe and social environment and learn how you can comfortably glide around our trails.

Early season we have a wide selection of introductory skate and classic programs to get you started. These run on Saturday for skate skiing and sunday for classic skiing. 

An annual favourite is our ‘Snow Girls’ program which runs most of the season on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This group provides a great social environment for beginners and intermediate skiers to learn and progress their classic or skate skiing and get comfortable around the Snow Farm trails. 

The Two Disciplines of Cross Country Skiing

Until the 1970’s, there was only classic skiing. This is where your skis stay in a parallel position and you move in a motion similar to walking. Our classic skis have either fish scales or skins which provide a grippy surface under your foot. This allows you to ski both downhill, uphill and on flat terrian.

Skating was invented in the late 1970’s by an American Bill Koch and Gunde Svan from Sweden – the jury is out as to who started skating first. Skating has rapidly become very popular and is faster than classic skiing. If you ever watch a Cross Country ski race, these are often classed as either Classic or Freestyle, freestyle meaning you can do either, but the preference for competitors is to skate as it is much faster.

Winter Games Classic

Classic cross country Skiing

Often referred to as the origin of all skiing, classic skiing bear some similarities to backcountry skiing, in that it uses a striding motion, but that’s where the similarities end.

Using a stepping or kicking motion, you gain forward momentum by pressing the ski into the snow, connecting the gripping surface on the ski under your foot with the snow to allow you to push forward, then you glide and repeat with the other leg.

Classic skiing can be gentle, like an easy walk, or an athletic run, depending on what you want to achieve.


Skating is Classic Skiing’s sexy alternative. Skating uses a motion similar to ice skating, but with poles. The boots have ankle support and a stiffer sole than classic skiing boots. Also, skate skis tend to be shorter, and the poles longer.  Skating is faster than classic skiing and the skis are more maneuverable.

If you have alpine skied before, we recommend skating as your alpine skills on the downhills will be more easily transferred to skating, and you might get some of the same thrills of alpine when heading downhill. You can also ski a lot further in a shorter space of time.