Longer days and warmer temperatures, plus the fitness built up by this point in the season, makes March an excellent time to develop new skills and increase your endurance on skis. Better technique and endurance usually means more fun on longer adventures, and it is getting close to crust cruising season! Here are a few pro tips from two local experts, in their own words.

Elee Deschu | Fun Facilitator, Groomer and Nordic Instructor at Turpin Meadow Ranch

As the Fun Facilitator and snow angel at Turpin Meadow Ranch, my focus is to support individuals in experiencing their public lands and celebrating the incredible capabilities of their bodies. My duties include grooming the Nordic ski trails, teaching Nordic ski lessons, and running the rental shop. I am guided by a passion for wild places and well-being. I believe that fostering curiosity and celebrating movement is key to enhancing both physical and mental health.

Nordic skiing can be demanding because it is a full body workout that combines endurance, technique, and requires careful attention to detail. But it is also a lifelong sport that can enhance one’s existence through fresh air, persistent balance, and exploration.

My pro tip is to keep the joy of Nordic skiing your main concern.

When you approach skiing with a spirit of enjoyment, it fosters a positive mindset that directly influences your performance on the trails and in life. It is not hard to choose scenic routes or explore new trails in Jackson Hole and Teton Valley. The scenery, wildlife, and routes all add up to make your skiing experience more exciting. And the beauty of nature combined with the thrill of gliding through snow can be a powerful motivator to keep refining your technique.

Experiment while you’re on your skis, get creative and try playful moves. This not only adds an element of fun but also hones your agility and balance, contributing to improved overall skill development. Bring friends or take a Nordic skiing lesson to share the experience. Socializing on the trails can turn a routine workout into an enjoyable outing, fostering camaraderie and making the learning process more engaging. By infusing fun into your Nordic skiing routine, you’ll find that improved technique becomes a natural byproduct.

Direct instruction is irreplaceable, and videos can have a place in developing skills.

Shuffling vs. Striding in classic cross country skiing” I always tell people that cross country skiing is a spectrum from shufflers to elite world cup skiers. Just getting out on that spectrum is great, and this video demonstrates how to transform shuffling into striding. Keith Nicol has many youtube instructional videos that are short and clear to understand. While youtube is a great resource I definitely encourage people to find a local instructor – nothing can replace the immediate feedback and encouragement that a skilled instructor can share.

Bonus tip for improving balance a little bit every day.

A random dryland thing that I do is I rarely brush my teeth standing on two feet. I take those two minutes each morning and evening to balance on each leg for 30 seconds at a time, switching legs each time my quip toothbrush buzzes to signal it is time to switch quadrants. I’ll also do one legged squats, heel raises, and/or step ups to keep things dynamic. 

Victoria Hollingsworth | Nordic Platypus, Head Coach for GTSSF Prep/Comp Team and Yostmark Nordic Instructor

Also emphasizing fun, Victoria showed up in her platypus costume at the final practice for the GTSSF devo kids, when the devo and prep/comp kids all get together for games (and snacks!) on skis.

I have been skiing for nine years and coaching for five years. I got into coaching because I am obsessed with learning how to explain technique work so anyone and everyone can go out and have a better skiing experience!

This can be a tough time of year where we are craving more sunshine and biking weather, but we also know that we have plenty of snowy weather ahead of us. How do we stay invigorated and focused while we wait for sunnier weather?

Pro Tips to Stay Invigorated by Shaking up Your Routine.

  1. Get out of the valley for a weekend ski, we are surrounded by additional gems that can reinvigorate our love of skiing. Beautiful places nearby include:
  2. Take a lesson. This allows you to focus on something with intention. We are goal driven creatures, and once the natural high of the ski season starts to ebb we are left wondering what we should be doing outside. A lesson would provide some direction next time you get out. 
  3. Do some intervals. Not only does it help time fly but it helps support a healthy muscle composition by dusting off those fast twitch muscle fibers! Remember that intervals look different for everyone so try going out for a 15 min warm-up then an 8 minute set of 30 seconds at 50% effort, 20 seconds seconds at 70% effort and 10 seconds at an all out pass, followed by 60 sec of active recovery ski. Don’t forget a cooldown!
    • To simplify 4 Rounds: 30”@50%, 20”@70%, 10”@100%: 60” active recover ski 
    • it always helps to bring a friend!

Delicious snacks are always good!

To aid in motivation I always recommend packing an exciting snack to eat post ski. I am both gluten and dairy free and struggle with getting enough protein once I finish my ski. A bar that really helped me provide the support my body needs for recovery are the NuGo Mint Dark Bars. They are delicious and have 13g of protein.

Have fun skiing this week!

Where can I take a lesson?

Lessons are available on both sides of the Tetons. See the JHNordic Resource Page and 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 snow conditions allow.
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.

Explore JH Nordic



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