Best time to go cross country skiing

Best time to go cross country skiing


PISTE PERFECT

  • December to March is the best time to go cross country skiing in Norway, although beware of the shorter days earlier on. There is usually a Norwegian school vacation mid-end Feb, so popular spots get busy.
  • Although Christmas may seem like a classic time to be in Finland – for serious cross country skiing, don’t travel in December as the sun never rises.
  • Particularly in Lapland and Norway, Christmas and New Year get really busy, so you need to book your journey far in advance to get a good deal.
  • Christmas and New Year in Austria are magically festive, with glühwein and Christmas markets just about everywhere you go, no matter how remote. Seefeld is wonderful for this.
  • Ski touring usually takes you higher up into the mountains, extending the season in many places.
  • If going up and down volcanoes in Chile appeals, mid August to late October is best time to go cross country skiing in the Andes.
  • If you are cross country skiing on fixed tracks, start your day when the sun has been up for a few hours, as the tracks will be cut and hard ice will have melted.
  • In Romania, you will get a good 4-6 hour of daytime hiking during January and February, and snow can stay on highlands here until as late as May.
  • The season can stretch from November to April in Albania at its highest points, but you will get more daylight and sun from February onwards.
  • If you are experienced enough to take part in the Engadin ski marathon in Switzerland, this usually happens mid March.

Responsible Travel recommends


BEST TIME TO GO CROSS COUNTRY SKIING & SKI TOURING

Tom Wilkinson from our supplier, Exodus: “Late season can be great in the Dolomites as it feels pretty warm and there’s often still a good base of snow and more daylight so you can afford a longer, lazier lunch, often in the sun, before carrying on. Some of the views can be spectacular at any time of year just as long as it’s clear. You wouldn’t really want to go in early January to some of our remote Norwegian lodges, as there is too little light and it’s extremely cold”.
Emma Mason from our supplier Mountain Bug on the best time to go cross country skiing in the Pyrenees: “Springtime (March/April) is traditionally the best time of year for classic ski touring here, when there is usually reliable off-piste snow cover, and the snow conditions are at their most predictable. During an ideal spring ski touring day, we would aim to make our ascent on firm snow in the morning, then enjoy the ski back down after lunch, when the top layer of snow has softened just enough to give perfect conditions for the descent. Modern "free touring" all-mountain skis, however, are also great in powder, so there's no reason why you can't slap on your skins in January or February to make first-tracks in fresh powder snow. Many of the mountain refuges in the Pyrenees are open during March and April, and there are some superb multi-day touring routes, as well as classic day tours that are virtually unheard of outside France”.
Photo credits: [Top box: Javo Alfaro.] [Emma Mason quote: Mountainbug.com]
Written by Catherine Mack
Cross country skiing vacation in the Dolomites, Italy

Cross country skiing vacation in the Dolomites, Italy

A famously beautiful range of jagged peaks

From US $1285 8 Days ex flights
Cross-country skiing vacation in Finland, Russian border

Cross-country skiing vacation in Finland, Russian border

Guided cross-country skiing vacation in the beautiful wilderness

From 935 7 Days ex flights
Pyrenees cross country skiing in France

Pyrenees cross country skiing in France

Cross-country skiing and beautiful views of the Pyrenean mountains

From US $1475 8 Days ex flights
Cross country skiing in Austria

Cross country skiing in Austria

Tuition is provided by Eric Woolley, a Snowsport England Coach

From US $1285 8 Days ex flights
Cross country skiing in Norway

Cross country skiing in Norway

Skiing in Norway's Telemark ski region

From US $1315 8 Days ex flights
Ski touring holiday in the French Pyrenees

Ski touring vacation in the French Pyrenees

Discover the real mountains ski touring in the Pyrenees

From £895 8 Days ex flights
Norway cross country skiing vacation

Norway cross country skiing vacation

Ski trail, from Rondane National Park to Lillehammer.

From NKr 12800 9 Days ex flights
Convert currencies