Cross Country Skier 2023 Gear Guide

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On the cover: Eoin O’Mahoney, of the Quarry Road Ski Club, wraps up the freestyle portion of the Maine Eastern High School Champs Qualifier in Waterville. [Photo] Steve Fuller


2023 Gear Guide
We rounded up a crew of 30 enthusiastic and knowledgeable skiers to put this winter’s freshly minted skis, boots and poles through their paces. With testing taking place at three locations in Colorado, we were able to evaluate the gear in a variety of conditions, from fresh snow to spring slush. The result? Reviews of 19 skis, 21 boots and two poles, plus previews of a dozen more new items.

Road to Resilience
There’s no denying climate change is affecting our winters, from more frequent thaws and warmer temps to less snow and shorter seasons. But the picture is not entirely grim. Nordic centers are adapting through measures like more efficient snowmaking, different grooming tactics and innovative snow storage. Here’s what four of them across the U.S. are doing to keep you skiing longer and farther.


Mass Start

Editor’s Note
Gear up for Winter

Wax Box


Leath Tonino sings the praises of crappy ski gear, and Brigid Mander learns to love Nordic skiing almost as much as her alpine adventures.

Nordic Nation

Gliding into Cyberspace
Athletes not only have to work hard at their sport but also to finance their careers. Although the funding effectiveness of NFTs is as yet uncertain, U.S. Ski Teamer Rosie Brennan ventures into this high-tech world.

Par for the Courses
Men and women will now race equal distances on the World Cup. And everyone’s happy, right?


Sweet Valley High
Switzerland’s upper Engadine Valley offers miles of Nordic trails and sun- soaked vistas. Add in beguiling villages, first-rate food and the irresistible ambiance of the Alps, and you’ve got one stellar site for a cross country ski trip.

The Final Stretch

Inside Line
High-tech ways to boost your training.

After a brutal motorcycle accident, mountaineer Jerry Roberts rediscovered cross country skiing. Now he cherishes gliding through the woods on skinny skis, and the new perspectives it gives him.

For a Vasaloppet centennial race, one American built his own wooden skis and went to Sweden.

Photo Finish
Cross country skiers went uncharacteristically big at Anchorage, Alaska’s wild NordicX race.

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