Cross Country Skier 2022 Gear Guide

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The tease of fall’s chill in the air and frost on the ground whets our anticipation for skiing, and the 2022 Gear Guide should be the first stop in assessing what you need to be ready. On everything from race-worthy skating boots to versatile touring skis, our testers assessed a slew of gear on both Eastern and Western snowpacks. The result: one of our most comprehensive guides ever, highlighting the best new equipment, as well as some noteworthy classics. We also provide training goals with an overview of eight novice-friendly citizens races, along with lofty inspiration via a recap of the American women’s record-setting World Cup season. Additionally, Sadie Maubet Bjornsen shares how lessons she learned as an Olympian and World Cup medalist have helped her launch a new career, and writer Anders Morley shares the insights he gleaned during a rugged solo ski across a huge swath of Canada. Also inside: Tahoe’s extensive Nordic trail network; the appeal of wax testing; a look back at Southern California’s 1970s-era beach skiing competitions; and Minneapolis’s all-embracing program for urban skiers.

On the cover: Jessie Diggins trains on a public track in Röhrmoos bei Tiefenbach, Germany, before a World Cup in Oberstdorf, Germany in 2020. "There was a shortage of snow in Oberstdorf," says photographer Sarah Brunson, "so Röhrmoos (about 15 minutes outside of Oberstdorf) was a perfect training venue before the event because it was mostly shadowed from the sun and tucked away—plenty of cold and plenty of snow." [Photo] Courtesy USSA/Sarah Brunson


Beginners Welcome
Citizens races offer opportunities for novice participants and occasional racers alike who are eager to try their first mass start, want a winter training goal or just need a reason to re-wear that Halloween costume they put so much work into. From Québec to Washington State, these eight races offer the ideal atmosphere and perfect distances for giving competing a try.

2022 Gear Guide
When the pandemic slid the snow from beneath our skis two winters ago, we pulled together an all-remote gear test. Last March, we took the previous year's lessons and organized one of our best gear tests ever, if not our most out of the box. With testing from East to West, we review 21 skis, 16 boots and six poles, including 13 Editors' Choice winners.


Mass Start

Editor's Note
Making New Tracks



Essay: All Accounted For
Sadie Maubet Bjornsen is using the lessons she learned as an Olympian and World Cup medalist to tackle a new career.

Nordic Nation

How the Americans Ruled the World Cup
Last winter, as the pandemic raged globally, Jessie Diggins, Rosie Brennan and Tara Geraghty-Moats led the Nordic World Cup standings, earning crystal globes and unprecedented results. The three athletes and their coaches reflect on the season and what it means for the future.

Winter's Tale
Over four months in 2012 and 2013, writer Anders Morley cross country skied solo across a huge swath of Canada, from Prince Rupert, British Columbia, to Swan River, Manitoba. He wrote about the adventure in a new book, This Land of Snow. Destination

Alpine Alternatives
Skiers know Lake Tahoe for its numerous downhill resorts. But the area's cross country terrain is equally abundant, with more than 400 kilometers of groomed trails among four major Nordic ski areas and several smaller ones.

The Final Stretch

Back Shop
When training and races were postponed last winter, the next best thing to do was test wax.

Claire Wilson, executive director of Minneapolis, Minnesota's Loppet Foundation, wants to make skiing accessible to everyone in the city.

In the late 1970s, at Southern California's short-lived beach skiing competitions, snow wasn't even part of the game.

Photo Finish
Putting pencil to paper in Grand Targhee.

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