Cross Country Skiing-25 Years Later

Trak cross country skis

I’m not sure why, but ever since we moved to Chicago, my cross country skis have been in storage in the basement.  Many years, there just wasn’t enough snow to ski, and then when there was snow, I’d come up with reasons why the conditions were never quite right.  Mostly, it was that I grew up in Buffalo and had great places to cross country ski.  In my mind, nothing here would compare,  so it wasn’t worth the effort.  I realize that’s not entirely rational, nor fair.

We started cross country skiing as a family back when I was maybe around 8 yrs. old. I give my parents a lot of credit for taking 3 young kids out in the cold snow to go cross country skiing.  In those days, the skis required waxing, which was a complicated art, especially for five people.  For fun, I checked out this Swix Waxing Guide to see if it was as complicated as I remember,  It was, so kudos to my dad for figuring it all out.  Thankfully, no-wax skis were invented and made everyone’s lives simpler.  I have fond memories of those trips (except for the frozen feet), but I’m sure we weren’t always happy skiers.

So this weekend, before the next polar vortex arrived, I finally decided to get my skis and poles out of the basement.  I had some cleaning up to do with them, and actually needed to use goo-gone to get the moving tape residue off (mind you, we haven’t moved in 20 years). Then off to find the boots, which are actually my mom’s old boots since mine have long since disintegrated.  I still have the old, 3 pin bindings so when she upgraded her equipment, I luckily inherited her boots. Finally, I had everything together including my original, now vintage, bamboo poles complete with yellow tape markings to distinguish them as mine.

Trak cross country skis

Of course, I had an absolutely wonderful time!  It was cold, but not too windy and the sun was shining.  The snow was just perfect for skiing, either in other skiers trails or blazing my own.

Trak cross country skis


cross country skiing

Everything came right back as if I had been out yesterday. I even had the chance to herringbone up a small hill.

cross country skiing

I think my skis will stay in the garage now and get more use. Next up will be to get my husband out there, or, if the weather would ever cooperate, take my skis up to my mom’s and ski with her.

wind blown snow


wind blown snow

Stay warm!

8 responses to “Cross Country Skiing-25 Years Later

  1. Thanks for the great blog and photos. You brought great memories back to me. The good ‘ol days! 🙂

  2. Very neat. Enjoy winter and thank you for bringing the story to us!

  3. How fun, Stephi….I haven’t skied in years too! My hubby does it every year. We finally got rid of my skis, inherited from my older sister so they were the wax kind. I remember all the color coded waxes for the various skis. I need to do this again. Beautiful pics of your adventure too

    • Thanks! You should get some new skis and there’s definitely no way I would be dealing with all those waxes. I remember all the colors, and how sticky they were. I’m going to try and get my husband to get some and go out with me. Now if the temperatures would just get a little warmer.

  4. Great you got out before the weather got too cold. I tried cross country skiing once and it didn’t go too well. Maybe I should try snowshoeing, that requires less coordination. Great that you got back onto the skis and had a good time.

    • Snowshoeing is a lot of fun and much easier. Ours are unfortunately stuck in the shed. At some point in the beginning of winter either the stones in front of the doors heaved or the shed sank, but we can’t get the doors open now until the ground thaws.

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