HELENA — It’s officially winter, and with winter comes snow sports here in Montana.
Laura Cunningham, President of the Last Chance Nordic Ski Club, told MTN a bit more about one of Montanan’s favorite winter sports, cross country skiing.
Nordic skiing — or cross country skiing — can be a great way to break from normal hiking when exploring Montana's snow-dusted forests. Instead of trudging through inches of snow in your winter boots, Nordic skiing allows users to glide over the snow with ease and enjoy the scenery.
“I feel like it's just a great mental, physical stretch overall for your mind and your body. And for me, it's just exhilarating. I love the feeling of being out there, of moving. You can take, you can make a day of it, take a picnic, you can take your time, or you can get out for an hour on the golf course and you're still getting just that incredible experience,” says Cunningham.
MacDonald Pass is a top pick for many avid cross country skiers in Helena. Its close proximity to the city and miles of trails allow for easy half-day excursions. An even more accessible option is Helena’s golf course. When it snows enough in town, the ski club takes to grooming the fairways and greens for easy access.
For kids who are interested in getting into Nordic skiing, Cunningham says that the club offers cheap annual rentals and free lessons starting in January. For adults, the best way to get involved or join an informal ski group gathering is by emailing the ski club.
Cunningham says that the more volunteers they have, the better. It takes active members of the ski club to maintain trail systems and plow the road to the MacDonald trail system.
If you’d like to get involved or learn more you can reach out through the club’s website LCNSC.org.