It's something I've always fancied trying but never wanted to waste snow time. Ali also wanted to try it so we decided this was the ideal time to try it. We headed up to Oslo Vinter Park to find out about hiring equipement and a lesson. Next thing we know we're all kitted up and an instructor was putting us through our paces on a children's track. The first bit of downhill and we both crashed. Turns out it involves a bit of co-ordination and its not as simple as walking on skis. After a few laps I started to feel like I was gliding, in reality I probably still looked rubbish. The downhill still seemed too difficult, the instructor kindly blamed the skis.
All too soon our hour was up and we were left to our own devices. Lunch in the woods and some more laps on our baby track, this time going the opposite way round. This worked for me as no scary downhill (it was all of a metre long) but Ali found the uphill a little difficult, I herringboned my way up, she slid down the hill on her face. Still it was time to branch out so we went to find some real tracks. First attempt and we realised that we were off-piste, second attempt was lovely till we hit the snowpark. Third time and it started great, then it went downhill. Ali kept trying to snowplough down, crashing mainly to her left. I took the wimps option and sidestepped down. We got down to a metro (the underground although out in the hills its an overground) and Ali got on the train and I headed back up the hill. Turns out we had done a huge (we covered at least 3miles) circuit and the way back was a lot shorter, I recognised the track we had come down and headed up. Getting to the top there was no Ali so I assumed she was waiting for the bus so I got a lovely hot chocolate and waited and waited.... Eventually she bounded across the carpark with some snowboarders in tow. The bus had broken down so she had had to walk. Her easy way back was probably longer and harder than my ski up the hill.
Turns out cross-country skiing is loads of fun as long as you are not going downhill! Or I just need a lot of practice!