The Year to Cross Country Ski

The Benefits of Cross Country Skiing

Cross Country Skiing (also called Nordic Skiing, or XC Skiing) is a recreation that has everything going for it. This is why it this year may be the year to cross country ski! The benefits include wellness associated with getting outdoors in nature and exercise. Social distancing is a key element of the sport. Last spring during the shutdown, people showed an increased enthusiasm for learning something new.

cross country skiing at byrncliff is fatnastic for both avid skiers as well as beginners

The COVID pandemic has some forecasting a boom similar to cycling

This last Spring saw a surge of sales and activity – making the Industry project a coming boom this Winter. Cross Country Skiing is similar to bicycling but it is also different in some significant ways. Most people know how to use a bike. But few own cross country skis or know about using them. You can take a bike out of the garage and go out on the road, while cross country skiing requires cold weather and snow cover.

Lady cross country skiing at Byrncliff, Varysburg, NY

A concern about Covid in Alpine Resorts may favor Cross Country Skiing

The word from product suppliers like Fischer, Rossignol, and Salomon, which sell both alpine and XC ski products, is that their alpine ski shop dealers are building their XC ski equipment inventories. According to, how much the projected XC ski surge will help XC ski area operators or be limited to retailers will depend on the allocation of XC ski outings. Alpine resorts take much precautions thanks to a number of virus mitigation protocols (masks, distancing). But some customers may be hesitant to go this year as they are used to crowds and line for the lifts. Cross Country Ski resorts tend to be somewhat less crowded, with less lines aside from maybe picking up your ski pass. Many of the resorts now offer online pre purchase to make it easy to check in.

An industry very much weather dependent

While the East Coast has gotten a first snow weather system just prior to Christmas, it has started to melt. Cross country ski resorts are still very much weather dependent. While many cross country ski resorts are up on the East Coast, people may not think so much of XC skiing in Western New York, close to Buffalo or Rochester NY, where the region benefits from ‘generous’ Lake Effect Snow. Byrncliff Golf Resort & Banquets, a reputable Golf Resort in Varysburg, NY becomes a Winter Wonderland when the snow flies. The Ski Center offers 12 miles of groomed tracks on the golf course and in the forest. Unlike many others, it also features cross country night skiing from Thurs through Saturday, a rental shop (lessons available), hotel bar and restaurant.

Cross Country Skiers pray for snow and for the pandemic to slow

In a typical year, XC skiers pray for snow. Now snowsports industry professionals and XC skiers are on the same page hoping that the pandemic slows while the sport gains in popularity. If you have not tried it, this is certainly the year to cross country ski!