We talk a lot about downhill skiing but there is a whole other side to the sport.
Pebble Creek Ski Area is a good to place to ski in Bannock County, but some skiers prefer motoring themselves uphill over using a chairlift.
Russell Wahl said “It’s really quite different… You’re not working yourself… Whereas with these you’re going up and down too… And it’s hard to go down sometimes…”
Will Peterson said “You can come down as far as your leg’s will carry you up… So you’re better in condition… But these skate skiers they’re flying a long so once they get up there… They’re moving pretty good…”
There are two types of Cross Country Skiing. Classic where the toe locks into a skinnier ski, and allows better mobility through walking on the trails, and skate skiing, which also uses a skinnier ski, but the bottom is smooth allowing skiers to reach impressive speeds.
Andrea Faust, Outdoor Rec Technician for Mink Creek Nordic Center, said “I would say it’s definitely more of an exercise because you have to work to get up all these hills… But it’s fun at the same time… Because you can go as fast or slow as you want… So that’s what’s great about it… It’s not just all downhill and you’re constantly putting on the breaks… You have up down up down and you can go fast or slow…”
The Mink Creek Nordic Center is one of the best places in the area to cross country ski. It was designed by the same person that designed soldier hollow, which was used in the 2002 winter Olympics.
They also make it a very inclusive sport, having trails for dogs, and equipment that allows you to take young kids with you.
Tony, instructor maintenance and grooming, said “Alpine skiing they only get half the skiing… The down part… Well uphill skiing is just as fun…”
The Mink Creek Nordic Center offers ski rentals from 9 to 5 Friday through Sunday, and also offers snow shoeing for those who want to move a little slower.