Nordic skiing

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Nordic skiing
Anna Haag in the women's 10 km classic race at the 2011 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Oslo, Norway.
Equipmentskis, skipoles
Olympic1924 – present
Paralympic1976 – present

Nordic skiing encompasses the various types of skiing in which the toe of the ski boot is fixed to the binding in a manner that allows the heel to rise off the ski,[1] unlike alpine skiing, where the boot is attached to the ski from toe to heel. Recreational disciplines include cross-country skiing and Telemark skiing.

Olympic events are competitive cross-country skiing, ski jumping and Nordic combined — an event combining cross-country skiing and ski jumping. The FIS Nordic World Ski Championships host these sports every odd-numbered year,[2] but there are also separate championships in other events, such as Telemark skiing[3] and ski flying. Biathlon combines cross-country skiing and rifle shooting, but is not included as a Nordic discipline under the rules of the International Ski Federation (FIS). Instead, it comes under the jurisdiction of the International Biathlon Union.[4]

The biomechanics of competitive cross-country skiing and ski jumping have been the subject of serious study. Cross-country skiing requires strength and endurance and ski jumping requires aerodynamic efficiency, both of which requirements translate into specific skills[5] to be optimized in training and competition.[6]


Recreational skiing began with organized skiing exercises and races of the Norwegian and Swedish infantries. Military races and exercises included downhill in rough terrain, target practice while skiing downhill, and 3 km cross-country skiing with full military backpack.[7] Slalom (Norwegian: slalåm) is a word of Norwegian origin that has entered the international skiing vocabulary. In the 1800s skiers in Telemark challenged each other on "wild slopes" (ville låmir), more gentle slopes had the adjective "sla". Some races were on "bumpy courses" (kneikelåm) and sometimes included "steep jumps" (sprøytehopp) for difficulty. These 19th century races in Telemark ran along particularly difficult trails usually from a steep mountain, along timber-slides and ended with a sharp turn ("Telemark turn") on a field or icy lake.[8]


Noted Nordic skiing resorts around the world include the following:[9]

North America[edit]


  • The Peer Gynt Trail in Norway extends 82 kilometres (51 mi) via the Jotunheimen, Rondane and Dovrefjell national parks, a journey of about seven days with hostels along the way.[13][9]
  • The Cirque du Gavarnie, is a cirque in the central Pyrenees, in Southwestern France, offers a limited, but scenic set of Nordic trails.[9]
  • The Ylläs Ski Resort in Finland provides 330 kilometres (210 mi) of trails, 38 kilometres (38 km) of which are illuminated.[9]
  • Mattila holiday village in Finnskogen northwest of Torsby in Värmland provides up to 170 kilometres (110 mi) of trails. Some trails extend all the way into Norway.[14][15]


  1. ^ Crego, Robert (2003). Sports and Games of the 18th and 19th Centuries. Sports and games through history. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 274. ISBN 9780313316104. Nordic skiing definition.
  2. ^ "Rules for the Organization of FIS World Championships" (PDF). International Ski Federation. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-11-09. Retrieved 2016-11-08. The FIS World Championships in the Alpine, Nordic, Freestyle Skiing and Snowboard events are organised every uneven year.
  3. ^ "The International Ski Competition Rules (ICR)—Joint Regulations for Telemark" (PDF). International Ski Federation. 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-11-09. Retrieved 2016-11-08.
  4. ^ Müller, Erich, ed. (2012). Science and Nordic Skiing V. Vol. 5. Meyer & Meyer Verlag. p. 700. ISBN 9781841263533.
  5. ^ Linnamo, Vesa, ed. (2007). Science and Nordic Skiing. Meyer & Meyer Verlag. p. 304. ISBN 9781841262291.
  6. ^ Prokop, Dave, ed. (1975). Training for Nordic Skiing. World Publications. p. 95. ISBN 9780890370520.
  7. ^ Bergsland, Einar (1946): På ski. Oslo: Aschehoug.
  8. ^ Bø, Olav (1993). Skiing throughout history. Oslo: Samlaget. ISBN 8252138853.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h Rizzo, Cailey (August 23, 2018). "8 Dazzling Destinations For a Cross-country Skiing Trip This Winter". Departures. Retrieved 2020-04-11.
  10. ^ Lounder, Janet (January 1985). Backpacker. Active Interest Media, Inc. p. 58.
  11. ^ Brown, Phil (1999-04-25). Longstreet Highroad Guide to the New York Adirondacks. Taylor Trade Publications. p. 68. ISBN 978-1-56352-505-6.
  12. ^ "Skiing at Maine Huts & Trails". Maine Huts & Trails. 2015-09-26. Retrieved 2020-04-11.
  13. ^ "Ski Norway - The Peer Gynt Trail - self-guided". Discover Norway. Retrieved 2020-04-11.
  14. ^ "Milslånga skidspår i vacker miljö". (in Swedish). Östmark: Mattila Fritid AB. n.d. Retrieved 2024-01-29.
  15. ^ "Cross-country skiing in Sweden". Stockholm: V.S. VisitSweden AB. n.d. Retrieved 2024-01-29.