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The Beginners Survival Guide to Cross Country Skiing

  1. Introduction & Equipment Sizing
  2. Boot/Binding Combinations

Part 1
Skills For Flat Terrain

  1. Basic Diagonal Stride
  2. Adjusting Pole Straps
  3. Arm Movement in the Diagonal Stride
  4. The Double Pole
  5. Kick Double Pole

Part 2
Skills For Uphill Terrain

  1. Uphill Diagonal Stride
  2. Edging your skis for control
  3. Side Step
  4. Herringbone

Part 3
Downhills & Turning

  1. Getting Up From a Fall
  2. Kick Turn
  3. Track Snowplow




markA 12 year member of the Professional Ski Instructors of America Demonstration Team, Mark Pearson began cross-country skiing and racing in 1971 with the Columbia Junior College Ski Team in California. He then went on to UC Berkeley where he also competed in ski jumping and coached until 1978. His teaching career began in 1978 at Telemark, Wisconsin and went on to live and teach in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire; Sun Valley, Idaho; and Aspen, Colorado.

He has also written several ski instructional articles for Rodale Press and Cross-Country Skier Magazine where he was Technical Editor from 1985-1995.

Mark is now a graphic and web designer in Aspen where he lives with his wife Laura and daughters Sara and Eva.

salomon ski adThe Beginners Survival Guide to Cross-Country Skiing is published by Mark Pearson/Active Designs © 1999-2010. This publication may not be reproduced in any part or form without written permission of the author.

All photography is the property of Mark Pearson. Special thanks to the featured skiers and photographers: Herb Davis, Ben Dodge (photographer), Tony Forrest, Jim Middleton (skier and photographer), Laura Pearson (photographer), Barry Smith and Larry O’heron.


UCB Ski Team
SKI JUMPING, BOREAL RIDGE, CA. With UC Berkeley college coach Bob Woodward (center)
and fellow team member Tom Wisdom (right).


CLASSIC TECHNIQUE: Diagonal Stride; Adjusting Pole Straps; Arm Swing; Double Pole; Kick-Double Pole. CLASSIC UPHILL TECHNIQUE: Classic Uphill Diagonal; Edging; Side Step; Herringbone. DOWNHILLS AND TURNING: Getting up from a fall; Kick Turn; Track Snowplow; Five Tips for the Diagonal Stride; Kick Double Pole. SKATE SKIING: Ten Tips for the V-1; V-2 skate technique; Marathon Skate. ALL AROUND: Stationary Turns; Step Turns. RESOURCES: Nordic Glossary; 20 Q and A; History of Cross Country Skiing

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