Changing Gears

A new year, a new season.  It’s time to change gears for Cross Country Skiing!  While most of the world is closed on New Year’s Day, I hit up a new location, Mansfield Outdoor Centre, for the 1st CC-skiing of the year.



Weather was superb with the perfect type of “skiing” snow.  The trail pass ($18.50) + rental ($21) cost was a tad more expensive than last year’s locations but still affordable.

For once in my short CC-skiing career, nothing crazy happened.  I didn’t get lost.  I didn’t stumble on ungroomed trails with snow up my knees.  I didn’t take my skis off to walk down a steep hill.  I didn’t go short on time & worry about paying a fine for dispatching a search crew.  Nope, the trails at Mansfield were too nicely groomed for any of that!!  The only issue I had was their skis ….

1st trail (4.5km Green Trail).  Something was wrong.  My skis weren’t gliding at all!!  It took a lot of effort to go anywhere – even downhills!  Shortly after entering the trail, I turned back to the lodge.  The staff gave me another pair & told me to wait 5min for the skis to get cold.  Apparently, I was too impatient with the 1st pair.  I used them at room temperature, causing the snow to stick to the bottom.  Fine, I waited!!  The 2nd pair worked better but they were still sticky.  This was followed by applying a layer of ski gliding product.  Finally, I can glide!  This trail is known for porcupine sighting.  Nope, didn’t see any!! 😦


2nd trail (3.7km Red Trail).  I was dehydrated after the 1st trail but wanted to squeeze another one in before lunch.  This trail started out with a lot of uphills.  Uphills hurt my ankles as I waddle up.  But I didn’t mind them as much as downhills.  It’s quite sad how horrible I am skiing downhill.  A tiny hill is enough to make me fear for my life.  I braced myself at the top, my foot cramping as I struggled to avoid doing a split or hitting a tree.  Zero control.  Zero stoppage.  Just sad!  There’s a reason why I quit downhill skiing over 10 years ago folks!!!

The limit of my downhill skills … pretty sad?
How about this one?! No?
Chili+Skiing=perfect combo

3rd trail (9.5km Blue Trail).  My skis weren’t gliding properly again.  At least that’s what I was blaming for my slowness!!  This trail had steeper uphills and downhills than earlier ones.  Thankfully, some of the downhills had tracksets.  I’m okay with that!

Steepest uphill of the day
Steepest downhill of the day

Good day overall!  But seriously, why am I so slow?!  This is truly a sport I am terrible at but thoroughly enjoy! 🙂

Hope everyone had a good New Year!  What did you do today?

11 thoughts on “Changing Gears

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  1. yay a blog post!!!!! this post makes me miss living in the snow and cc skiing. Bill and I used to hit the trails quite a bit. love the workout too. also you are right cherry-chili is the best lunch when you are out in the snow. happy new year my friend! xoxoxox

    1. Thanks!! yep, 1st blog post in awhile! Haven’t done much exciting things since Nov! I was never fond of XC-skiing until this yr. Now I suddenly enjoy it! I hope you get to take a road trip to somewhere snowy for some skiing soon!

  2. I’ve never tried cross-country skiing but you are probably slow because it’s your first time.. you will get faster!! I definitely have to try it one day too but for now I will stick with snowboarding!

    1. it’s my 4th time!! I would think I would be better by now ….oh well!! I wonder if you’d like it as a snowboarder? I can’t see someone fancying both sports since snowboarding is all about the speed & thrill; cc-skiing is more endurance. But if you ever have a go, I would like to hear about it!

  3. I’m not much of a x-country skier but Mansfield was my first place in GTA to do it when I lived (and cycled latter 14 yrs) for over 20 yrs. before relocating to Vancouver (then Calgary).

    Instead the past decade for winter sports, it’s been snowshoeing in the mountains. As you may know, it’s become very popular.

    1. I’ve yet to try out snowshoeing (unless you count those elementary school trips years ago!!) – I bet you can see a lot more nature since you can veer off the public trails.

  4. When in bear, elk and cougar country as in the Rockies, you don’t want to get too far off the marked trails. It’s not like hiking nor snowhoeing in Ontario. Even in North Shore mountains in North Vancouver, people have gotten lost and had to be rescued…there is a 40km. long hiking trail..if one knows where they’re going.

    Snowshoeing in the mountains gives you a decent, sweaty workout. People go snowshoe racing/running in Western Canada probably more than in Ontario….because there’s just more reliable snow.

  5. I read your skiing blog and the guy that waxed your skis did not have it right. Real tricky around zero and when snow is wet (rainy) and temp goes bellow zero. Try no wax skis (crown) if your skis are icing up next time.

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