More daylight and warmer temperatures, plus the fitness built up by this point in the season, make for great opportunities to keep advancing as a skier. Better technique and endurance usually means more fun on longer adventures. Plus this past week’s warm days and cool nights have started the crust cycle on both sides of the Tetons, and long crust cruises on a bluebird day are amazing! Here is another round of tips from local experts to help inspire your skiing.

Celeste Young | Co-Owner & Instructor at Teton Nordic Ski School, GTSSF Nordic Development Coach

Celeste started cross-country skiing in her Massachusetts backyard after her parents brought home some new-to-her skis from a ski swap. She raced on a state championship high school team and on the University of New Hampshire Division 1 NCAA team. She currently coaches for the Grand Targhee Ski and Snowboard Foundation cross-country development team, and has coached middle and high school teams. Celeste loves seeing student “aha moments” as they learn to be more efficient on skis so that they can enjoy skiing more than they already do.

Quicken your tempo and lower your power to skate efficiently up steep hills.

For skate skiing up steep hills, quicken the tempo of your V1 skate steps. Instead of powering up the hill with a lot of effort going into long pole pushes and long strides, take shorter strides and shorten the pole push to move your hands to only about halfway to your hips. You’ll end up taking more steps up the hill, but it will feel easier.

Also, as the hill gets steeper, you’ll need to widen the “v-shape” of the skis which will also widen your stance. You’ll stay on the inside ski edges, as there isn’t time to roll onto the inside ski edge from a flat ski before your weight transfer.

Here is a video from Nordic Ski Lab that describes various ways to practice going up steep hills.
And this video from XC Ski Academy shows some drills for improving glide up hills.

If you have a quiver of skis, travel with them all!

A selfie from Celeste on the skate ski tour that turned into a long classic ski in GTNP, 3.10.24.

If you have more than one pair of skis, such as fishscale skis best used off piste, classic skis for track skiing, and/or skate skis, bring them all along when traveling to ski! I went to GTNP from Teton Valley on Sunday 3/10 and when the skate skiing conditions weren’t as expected, I was able to switch to classic skiing! The classic tracks were in great shape and the classic skiing was more enjoyable for me than the skate skiing. I accomplished my goal of skiing about halfway from Taggart to Signal and back. 

Every day balance in your kitchen.

Continuing the at home dryland recommendations, Teton Nordic Ski School Instructor Peggy Boggs says whenever she goes to the sink to fill a glass of water she does a set of standing ankle flexion squats. Peggy has tight ankles and purposefully flexing them while standing helps with strength, fluidity and balance for that same motion in skate skiing. She shared this tip, and a ton of great personalized instruction, with participants at the She Jumps Nordic evening in Alta, WY.

Crust season has started.

Warm days and cold nights, the crust is here. For a few pointers and places to go, click over to this article on crust cruising.

Where can I take a lesson?

Lessons are available on both sides of the Tetons, but not for much longer. See the JHNordic Resource Page or peruse opportunities below.

Grand Targhee Nordic Center, Alta, WY | Open until April 17.
Eco Tour Adventures, Jackson, WY | Open until snow conditions allow.
Peak Performance, Jackson, WY | Open until snow conditions allow.
Shooting Star, Teton Village, WY | Open until April 7.
Teton Nordic Ski School, Alta, WY | Open until late March.
Teton Pines Nordic Center, Wilson, WY | Open until March 24.
Turpin Meadow Ranch, Moran, WY | Open until March 17.
Yostmark, Driggs, ID | Open until snow conditions allow.

Have fun skiing this week!

Explore JH Nordic



  • 13 April 24 – Daily Trail Report
    Connect to the grooming page for relevant updates before you head out! Today’s Avalanche Forecast Nordic and winter trail users are urged to use caution when recreating on trails and terrain below steep slopes. The BTAC reports and their website is a valuable local resource for planning your outing. Visit their forecast page for the most up-to-date information. A Heartfelt Thank You to Teton Area Groomers Throughout the 2023-2024 ski season in the Teton area, a dedicated group… Read More