Whether you’re a novice or experienced cross country skier, when it gets crowded on groomed tracks it’s important that everyone plays nicely. Some groomed areas will post a few rules or guidelines for using the tracks.
Here are three basic etiquette tips to make your skiing more enjoyable:
Etiquette Tip #1: Use the area that is groomed for your equipment
Often, groomed tracks are shared by cross country skiers, ski skaters and people snowshoeing. A common layout is the ski skaters have the wide inside lane, cross country tracks are on the outside of one or both sides, and there is a smooth snow shoeing area on the outside of that. If everyone uses the area designated for their equipment, then all of the tracks will stay in place. Be courteous to folks using other equipment.
Etiquette Tip #2: If you are not moving, get off the tracks
Sometimes you need to stop, and sometimes you fall down. When possible, get off the tracks to the side as quickly as you can. Other skiers will be coming along using the same tracks as you, so don’t block them if you are not using the tracks. Standing, chatting and taking pictures should be done off to the side and not in the middle of the traffic area. Also, be sure to keep all of your gear and ski tips off the tracks when you are not using them.
Etiquette Tip #3: Alert slower skiers that you are passing
If you are moving faster than a skier in front of you, step out of the tracks and pass on the left. Before you begin to pass call out “passing on your left” so the other skier knows you are there. Often, the slower skiers are novices with less skill to step in and out of the tracks. Letting them know you are about to pass will keep them from shifting, or being frightened when you come up beside them.
Follow these tips for an enjoyable ski and share the tracks with others. Being polite is infectious, so be sure to thank folks that are staying to the side or moving out of the way. Also, give way to others when necessary so everyone can have a fun trip. Just ski friendly.
My experience with winter sports includes over 14 years of snowshoeing, cross country skiing, downhill skiing, and light winter mountaineering. I am trained in avalanche assessment and emergency procedures, plus basic mountaineering skills using crampons and ice axe. I enjoy leisurely downhill resorts as well as tough treks through the forest.