Lakeview, Calgary, Alberta(403) 282-4122office@calgaryskiclub.org

Cross-Country

Click one of these links to jump to a section below.

For information on CSC Cross-Country lessons, please click here.

Where to Cross-Country Ski in Calgary

Calgary offers a handful of places where one can cross-country ski in the city. As Calgary gets many Chinooks over the winter, Cross-Country skiing is limited to those facilities that are able to make or preserve snow.

Canada Olympic Park

COP offers the most consistent XC trail system in the city. Due to their extensive snow making in the November-December time frame, COP is able to offer 2.2 km of trails to the public from early December until mid-March. COP is not the friendliest of trail systems for beginner XC skiers, but as it is the most consistent and has the best facilities (warming huts, concessions, rentals) it is the location of the CSC’s cross-country lessons. COP does require that all cross-country skiers purchase either a day- or seasons-pass. Please click here for more information about cross-country skiing at COP.

COP is located in west Calgary, just off the Trans-Canada Highway, just north of Bowfort Road NW. Click here for a Google map of the location of COP.

Shaganappi Golf Course

Calgary Ski Club, with the agreement of the the City of Calgary, and when there is sufficient snow, grooms and tracksets 1.8 km of trails  for classic cross-country skiing at Shaganappi Golf Course.  The Golf Course is located just off of Bow Trail, providing Calgarians with a central location to cross-country ski in the city.  Please click here for a Google Map of the location for Shaganappi Golf Course. Click here for the Shaganappi Golf Course trails report.  The trails report will be updated as soon as possible after each grooming/tracksetting.  The Calgary Ski Club office will not have any more up to date information than is present on this website.

Hawk Ridge Centre

Hawk Ridge Centre is closed.

Where to Cross-Country Ski in the Mountains

Calgary offers some easy access to excellent skiing in the mountain in both south-western Alberta and south-eastern British Columbia.  

Kananaskis Provincial Park

An hour drive west of Calgary, Kananaskis offers several cross-country skiing areas: Ribbon Creek, Poccatera, Saw Mill, & Mt. Shark. Please click here for Kananaskis Trail Reports. No trail fees are required.  

Canmore Nordic Centre

A world class cross-country facility built for the 1988 Winter Olympics, the Nordic centre offers excellent trails, night skiing just minutes away from downtown Canmore. Please click here for conditions and here for a map.  

National Parks

There is some excellent cross-country skiing in Banff, Yoho and Kootenay National Parks. Please click here for the trail reports for the various national parks in Alberta and British Columbia. Lake Louise is often the first location to get snow and has groomed trails for both classic and skate skiing. It is a good early season location.

Nipika

Located just south of Kootenay National Park, this private course offers excellent cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Click here for more information.

Golden (Dawn Mountain)

Located right next to Golden’s Kicking Horse Resort, the Golden Nordic ski club maintains the cross-country trails at Dawn Mountain. Please click here for up-to-date trail reports.

Kimberley

Also located right next to the Kimberley Ski Resort, this club maintained trail system is excellent. Please click here for up-to-date trail reports.

Equipment

The Calgary Ski Club owns a large amount of equipment, available on loan for use over the season for children/youth who are signed up for ski lessons. The equipment is available on a first come/first serve basis and requires a deposit. Contact the club for further details on sizing and availability.

Buying New Equipment

There are a couple of excellent stores which specialize in Cross-Country skiing in Calgary: Lifesport in Kensington and The Norseman in SW Calgary. They are very good at sizing and fitting gear. Mountain Equipment Co-op also sells cross country gear, but selection tends to be more limited than The Norseman and Lifesport. Out of town, there is Trail Sports at the Canmore Nordic Centre and Wilson Mountain Sports in Lake Louise.

Buying Second-hand Equipment

The best place to get used equipment is the New and Used Ski Sale that is held annually at the Max Bell Arena each year at the end of October. The ski sale is jointly hosted by the Calgary Ski Club, along with the Lake Louise Ski Club and the Canadian Ski Patrol System (Calgary Zone). Lifesport also has a new/used ski sale each October. Switching Gears is an outdoor consignment shop in Canmore.

Rentals

In town, rentals are offered at the University of Calgary Outdoors Centre, Sports Rent, MEC and Canada Olympic Park. Out of town, Trail Sports at the Canmore Nordic Centre rents classic and skate equipment and Wilson Mountain Sports rents touring and classic equipment.

Equipment Checklist

  • Skis
  • Poles
  • Boots – make sure they are a good fit and warm
  • Warm clothes, dress in layers. No cotton on the bottom layer, including socks
  • Warm hat that covers the ears
  • Wind/water resistant outer layers
  • Mitts/gloves
  • Wax (if the skis are waxable) – there are starter packs available at the ski shops that have 3 hard waxes, a cork and a scraper.
  • Water bottle and holder
  • Dry clothes for afterwards

CSC Coaching Staff Tips

Most of our coaches have been skiing for years and have accumulated a lot of experience and wisdom they would like to share with you.

  • Strength Training Exercises – Coach Gillian Savage
  • Waxing with Klister – Coach David Bejzyk – Spring is a great time to be out skiing, but can be challenging (and frustrating) when deciding how to wax one’s skis.  Learning to use klister can help you extend your ski season during spring’s warm and icy conditions.  Klister is perceived as being too messy and difficult to deal with, but David’s article will show you how to effectively and easily use klister.  So read on, and continue skiing well into spring!

Improving Your Cross-Country Skiing Technique

Improving one’s overall strength will help you improve your cross-country technique.  Our strength training exercises is something that you can do at home all year around to improve your fitness.

Apart from taking lessons from the CSC, there are many resources on the web that offer tips on how to improve your cross-country skiing technique.

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