Skate Cross Country Skiing

Whistler Olympic Park Sakte Ski Racer

Skate skiing or “Free Technique” is a relative newcomer to the discipline of Nordic skiing.  The technique is faster than classic skiing and is often used by cyclists, runners and other aerobic athletes as a winter training alternative.  In skate skiing participants ski on a groomed surface without the grooves used for classic skiing.  At Whistler Olympic Park all of our trails are groomed for skate skiing.  Skate skiing entered the competitive forum in the mid eighties with the majority of participants in the 1985 World Championships in Seefeld, Austria using this technique.  Skate skiing technique resembles skating technique used on ice for hockey and speed skating.


The relatively warm temperatures at Whistler Olympic Park (around 0 C or 32 F) make it an ideal site for skate skiing.  Warm snow conditions provide for fast skiing and because skate skis are not “kick” waxed in the same way as classic skis, the waxing challenges encountered by classic skiers are not part of the skating experience.

Getting Started

For those new to skate skiing, Whistler Olympic Park offers excellent instructional programs and top notch skate rental equipment.  The terrain around the Day Lodge and the Olympic Plateau are a great training ground for skate skiing with big flat areas to develop confidence and technique.


Advanced or fitness skiers will enjoy the Olympic Biathlon Loop and Olympic Cross-Country trails for steep and technical climbs and descents.  For a great rollercoaster ride skate skiers can head up Madeley Creek to Howe It Goes and Loon Lake.  Those skiers looking for a more relaxed ski may want to head out past the ski jumps for a loop around Mountain View, Lower Line Road, Around the World and Cross Train. 

Dog Friendly Trails

Families and those with dogs may prefer to ski on the wide open dog friendly Porter’s Glide.

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