Cross Country Skier Midwinter 2020

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Our winter 2020 issue is packed with stories from some of the sport’s most notable voices. Inside, Kikkan Randall shares an update on her recovery from cancer and what she’s been up to over the past year; Bill McKibben (kind of) races Sweden’s famous Vasaloppet; and Pete Vordenberg profiles America’s most decorated cross country skier, Steve Cook. Plus, Cross Country Skier’s Danny Kuzio details life at a Vermont ski academy and how such programs are shaping the U.S.’s future athletes.

FEATURES

PHOTO ANNUAL
The world of Nordic skiing photography may not be vast. But what it lacks in number of photographers, it makes up in terms of elegance and quality. Our regular cast of characters—John Lazenby, Christoffer Sjostrom and Gretchen Powers, to name a few—have honed their craft to exquisitely capture the intimacy of the kick and glide, the majesty of the mountains and the purity of tracks in the snow. Our fourth Photo Annual, including profiles of two frequent contributors, showcases all this and more.

A WORLD OF WHITE
Each year, beginning in November, Yellowstone National Park completely transforms. Access becomes difficult, lodging becomes limited and, once the snow falls, the landscape morphs into a world where frosty bison stand among steaming geyser basins, trumpeter swans swim in frigid waters kept free of ice by geothermal features and wolves roam through deep snow. Photo editor Cody Downard traveled to Yellowstone’s Yurt Camp in Canyon Village last January to see—and ski through—it all.

DEPARTMENT CONTENTS

Mass Start

CONTRIBUTORS
Nordorks and skinny skiers

WAX BOX
Something in between

EDITOR'S NOTE
Wax Bench Therapy

ESSAY
A lesson in preserving public access—explosives not recommended.

Nordic Nation

CROSS EXAMINATION
The berms, gates, jumps and other obstacles of cross country cross are putting a fresh spin on Nordic skiing. But is this the future of racing?

SKIING IN AN UNCERTAIN WINTER
When the getting’s good—and when that’s no longer the status quo—it’s best to soak it all in.

IT’S BEEN WAY TOO LONG
Kikkan Randall reflects on the return of the World Cup to U.S. soil.

FRESH PERSPECTIVE
Photographer Steve Fuller ruminates on the art of capturing everything from middle-school racing to Olympic gold-winning performances.

Destination

GRAND MESA, COLORADO
In western Colorado, the highest flat-topped mountain in the world offers a skiing experience unlike any other.

FRANCE’S CHAPELLE DES BOIS
Cross country is king in the Jura Mountains, which straddle the border of Switzerland and France and offer a vast network of some 3,500 kilometers of interconnected trails.

LAKE PLACID, N.Y.
One-hundred percent winter

The Final Stretch

TICKET TO CLIMB
How to achieve perfect V1 technique

GEAR BAG
Apparel and accessories

LOCAL HERO
Skiing’s Coach K

SENIOR MOMENT
H-bombs, big and small

PHOTO FINISH
Throbbing knees

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