Q: Is this really hard? Do I have to be in amazing shape?
A: The lovely thing about cross-country skiing is that almost anyone can do it. As long as you can walk, you can ski. Of course, doing it well is another thing. You can always refine your technique. The better your technique, the more confident you will be and the more fun you will have. But the most important thing is to TRY. It’s a beautiful addiction, once you start.
Q: What levels do you teach?
A: The beginner classes are for people who have never been on skis before or for people who have been on skis but have never taken a formal lesson. Intermediate skiers are generally skiers who have been skiing for a while and have had some experience with lessons before or feel fairly confident on their skis. Intermediate skiers want to refine their technique so they are more efficient and faster on the snow, or to prepare for a race like the Birkebeiner.
Q: Do I have to drive for hours and hours to find a good place to ski?
Edmonton is blessed with the largest urban parkland in North America, and we’re track setting more and more of it: central golf courses are great places to begin and you can experiment with hills at the Kinsmen Sports Centre. Gold Bar Park has many kilometres of trails for all skill levels, and it is always track set. If you would like to put together a trip with friends or a corporate group to the Rockies, I can help. Send me an e-mail!
Q: How do we put together one of your ski-and-eat packages?
Contact me. I’m working with a number of restaurateurs in Edmonton to offer a typically local winter experience with food, with wine, and more. I’m hoping to formalize a number of set packages soon: pairings with food, with the arts, and with the spa.
Q: How should I dress?
A: You’ll want to leave the Canada Goose parka at home — or at least in the car. It is best to dress in thin layers. You can always take a layer off if you get too warm. The inside layer should be something that will keep you warm when wet, like merino wool. The outer layer should be slightly breathable and wind resistant. This is important for both your top (jacket) and bottom (pant) layers. Wool socks are best.
Q: What are the minimum and maximum numbers of people for the lesson?
A: For the scheduled group lessons, the maximum number of people is 10 and the minimum is 4. Private lessons can be one to 10 people.
Q: What is your weather policy?
A: Ski lessons will go ahead unless the temperature is too cold or if the snow or trail conditions are not conducive to skiing safely. Typically if it is colder than -25 degrees Celsius we will cancel for classic technique. If it is colder than -15 degrees Celsius we will cancel for skating technique. I’ll assess weather and snow conditions the morning of the lesson and I’ll send an email if the lesson is cancelled. Check your email the morning of your lesson if you are unsure!
Q: Do you offer make-up lessons?
A: I’ll offer make-up lessons if a person misses a class and can come to another class offered at a different time. I’ll book a new class if we have to cancel one for weather reasons or if snow conditions are horrible.
Q: How far in advance must booking be made?
A: Booking for a class can be made up to the day before the class starts. I’ll be as open and flexible as I can be.
Q: Where can I rent skis?
A: You can rent skis with my friends at Totem outfitters or at Mountain Equipment Co-op.
Q: What if I don’t know how to wax skis?
A: I’ll teach general kick waxing techniques during the lessons, depending on students’ interest. I also do waxing clinics that get into prepping and glide waxing skis. These will be posted on my Spotlights on the home page. The good people at Fast Trax or Track n’ Trail have a wonderful selection of waxes and can help you choose the basic waxes and supplies you need.
Q: Are waxless skis okay for the classic ski lessons, or do I need waxable skis?
A: Either waxless or waxable skis will be fine for the beginner classes. I recommend waxable skis for the intermediate skier.
Q: What is your cancellation policy?
A: If I receive a request in writing 24 hours before the program start date, I’ll give you a full refund. A 70% refund will apply to withdrawals no later than one day after the start of the program. No refunds will apply to withdrawals later than two days after the start of the program. Refund requests due to medical reasons will be assessed on an individual basis.