Love Skiing But Hate Spending? Go Nordic.

Utah. Dry summers. Cold winters. Snowy mountains. Expensive ski resorts.

Utahns love their snow so much that they claim to have “The Best Snow on Earth.” I can argue with this statement. To say something like this means you are way too arrogant to my liking. Personally, I think the best snow on Earth is at the North Pole. But I digress.

In spite of living in a ski state, neither Beaker nor I have ever skied. Neither of us can get to the top of a steep slope, and effortlessly glide down. Neither of us can conquer the mountains. There is a force beyond our control that prevents us from skiing downhill. It is called the fear of heights.

When winter comes, we don’t do much outside. This year, however, we decided to be a little bit more adventurous and try cross-country skiing (also known as Nordic skiing.) There are no high slopes involved which means Beaker does not have to scream like a little girl while sliding down the mountain. This, in itself, is a huge plus for all of us, the spectators and participants.

Last weekend Beaker and I went shopping for our cross-country ski gear. The ski gear is not cheap by any means, but you can score some great deals if you have time and energy to run around and check different stores.

What We Spent (so far) On Ski Gear

$25 – I bought a light ski jacket (for cross-country skiing you don’t need a heavy jacket) for $25 in Scheels.

$10 – We also got gloves at Scheels for $10 each for Beaker and me, total $20. I was suspicious about the quality of the gloves, but the price was definitely great. I made sure to keep the receipt.

My biggest pet peeve was obsessively centered on ski pants. Different stores had different brands, and those brands had a very different vision of pant sizes. In one store, while trying on ski pants, I discovered that I lost some weight. No matter what size I tried, the pants felt like a tent. Awesome.

In another store, I was puffing and huffing, trying to pull up ski pants on my butt. Nothing would fit. Nothing. I wanted to scream. I wanted to cry.

$140 – Hours passed before I was able to find a pair of ski pants that felt comfortable and warm and did not make me look pear shaped. Cost: $140. Beaker found his ski pants within fifteen minutes of entering our first store. Cost: $75. Some of us are just lucky.

$25 – We got two beanies on a promotional sale “buy one get one free”: $25 for two. Thermal undershirt and underwear are essential skiing components.

$20 – We found a good deal at Marshall’s for $20 per piece, total $40 for two people.

Total spent on Ski Gear: $300

I had to promise myself that I will be skiing every single weekend.

How Much We Are Going To Spend

We drove up to one of the ski resorts that has groomed cross-country trails. I saw the trails and fell in love. Imagine wide snowy trails in the middle of the forest. It looked like a postcard from Iceland. Or Utah.

The following are the prices for a day of rentals, quoted to us by the Nordic Center:

A complete set of cross-country classic skies, boots and poles: $15 per person. Total $30.

A daily trail pass: $15 per person. Total $30.

Total for two people: $60 a day.

If you think that we are choosing a very expensive sport, you are right. But know this: a daily lift pass for a downhill fall to an untimely death is $72+ per person, depending on the resort. Also don’t underestimate the price of the downhill ski gear. It is much more expensive. Just one jacket can cost you a pretty penny.

So there we go next weekend, dashing through the snow…

Do you ski? How much does it cost you? 

4 thoughts on “Love Skiing But Hate Spending? Go Nordic.”

  1. SO much cheaper than a lift pass.

    I’ve tried both boarding and skiing. Fun but not enough to make it a regular thing. The height steepness thing is also an issue for me (if not T).

  2. I’ve never actually went skiing before or snowboarding so I don’t know if I like it. I did however go surfing all the time when I lived in the UK so maybe I might like it. Is it hard to learn?

  3. I`ve gone cross country skiing since I was about 2 years old. though I have to admit I am a Norwegian, and there`s an old saying “Norwegians are born with skis on their feet”!;-)
    it really is a lovely way of spending more time outside and enjoying nature, and its one of the most budget friendly winter activities there is. For me it didnt cost me anything, since my parents surprised my with buying a new pair of skiis complete with poles, skishoes and bindings.though I think it was mainly because they were feeling guilty as they had thrown out my old skis;-)

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