Nordic Skiing in Washington's Mazama Valley

Falling for Nordic Skiing in Washington’s Methow Valley

SVV here. I haven’t been cross-country skiing since I was 10 years old. It’s a sport that I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with because for the most part, it often feels like you’re doing a boatload of work for very little effect. Slide, slide, push pull, pinch strain release and it all comes to naught!

Nordic Skiing in Washington's Mazama Valley

But then there are those moments, the freeing effortless moments when the skis glide and the snow swishes and the birds and the sky are illuminated with a crystal clarity against perfectly framed cedar trees and you’re like, okay, I get it.

Nordic Skiing in Washington's Mazama Valley

This was one of those moments. Don’t get me wrong, there were still times when my legs and arms got all confused about which was supposed to do what and I ended up with a slick of sweat and three feet of forward motion but still, this part of Washington state—the Methow Valley, Mazama specifically—is nothing short of spectacular in its grandeur, and experiencing it on manicured trails of flawless corduroy is about as close to heaven on earth you can get.

Nordic Skiing in Washington's Mazama Valley

Nordic Skiing in Washington's Mazama Valley
Nordic Skiing in Washington's Mazama Valley

The Cascade Mountain Range is a massive complex of peaks and rugged terrain that extends from the top of California to the edge of Canada, bisecting these states with extinct volcanoes, glaciated valleys, alpine lakes and pristine landscape, prettier than a picture can provide. It feeds rivers of salmon and trout, provides an outlet of endorphins for countless adventure activities and is an essential slice of life buttressing North America against the Pacific Ocean.

Nordic Skiing in Washington's Mazama Valley

Nordic Skiing in Washington's Mazama Valley
Nordic Skiing in Washington's Mazama Valley

A Winter Retreat to Washington's Cascade Mountains

The boys who invited us out to this hidden treasure are fitness fanatics. Anything that gets their heart racing and the blood flowing and the mind concentrated on something else, anything else, but the moment and rhythm of the body is pulled into their orbit and incorporated as a life-saving, healthy routine. And I get that.

Nordic Skiing in Washington's Mazama Valley

I haven’t been bitten as hard as they (or Kristin) have by the fitness bug, but I do enjoy the self-centering effect of using my body to its upper limit, testing my muscles and just hitting that wall and going through it, pumping and thumping and grinding in time to achieve a timeless there and here that always transcends anything else going on in the world.

Nordic Skiing in Washington's Mazama Valley

It was a nice way to kick off 2017. This year promises to be a big one for our business and family, and I’m beyond excited to see how it evolves. There are fun road trips and even more interesting projects and this will mark the first year that Kristin and I will be working together full-time. There’s much more to come on that front that we’re stoked to share with everyone but in the meantime, I’m going to take a page from the NVR Guys’ playbook and make the best of the here and now because it’s only going to happen once.

Nordic Skiing in Washington's Mazama Valley

Nordic Skiing in Washington's Mazama Valley
Nordic Skiing in Washington's Mazama Valley

Nordic Skiing in Washington's Mazama Valley


 

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Washington with Pets: A Dog-Friendly Guide to Methow Valley
Washington with Pets: A Dog-Friendly Guide to Methow Valley
Washington with Pets: A Dog-Friendly Guide to Methow Valley
COMMENTS
  • February 13, 2017

    Hi SVV,
    Great Blog.I haven’t expected that Nordic Skiing in Washington Methow valley is this much exciting. I am sure that my next trip will be to the Washinton valley. Thanks for sharing this with us.

    • February 20, 2017

      I hope you make it there someday, James! The area is stunning.

  • February 13, 2017

    I didn’t think cross-country skiing would be hard! People always seem to be gliding effortlessly over the snow. I’m happy to know this before I ever try it myself! The landscape in Washington looks stunning, I can imagine it would be worth the effort to get away from the main roads and into the “wilderness”.
    Dominique recently posted..Chamonix – A Village at the Foot of Mont-BlancMy Profile

    • February 13, 2017

      It’s actually really hard! I mean, we picked it up pretty quickly but it’s a lot of work, and I was sweating through my layers, despite the single digits outside.

  • February 13, 2017

    My aunt and uncle were going to take my hubby and I nordic skiing in Colorado when we visited in April, but then I got sick, the one and only time during our sabbatical and we didn’t get to go. I learned to ski in the PNW when I was 16 and have fond memories of this beautiful part of the country. So happy to be living here now!
    Andi recently posted..Project Discover Week #1My Profile

    • February 14, 2017

      Yeah, good thing you’re within driving distance to plenty of Nordic opportunities! I think you’ll like it. Very methodical and Zen-like.

  • February 13, 2017

    Whoa! SVV in da house!

    I’m so not a snow person but I’ll try anything once… maybe skiing needs to be next on my list?
    Angie recently posted..13 Things Brands Want Bloggers to KnowMy Profile

    • February 13, 2017
      SVV

      Woot wat! And Angie, you should always try it twice to make sure you did it right the first time 😉

  • February 13, 2017

    You haven’t been bitten by the fitness bug?! I’d have to disagree, my friend. 🙂

    I tried nordic skiing in Mammoth this year and would love to do it again. I feel the same way as you where oftentimes it feels like a lot of work with minimal reward. Would love to try it on a different type of path with more vista views.
    Jade recently posted..Hello, Paradise, aka Grenada!My Profile

    • February 14, 2017

      I liked nordic skiing, too, but like you, would like to be rewarded with an Instagram-worthy vista at the end 😉

      And I HOPE he gets bitten by the fitness bug. That would be a dream for me! I need a workout buddy.

  • February 13, 2017

    I’ve only down downhill skiing and now have cross country skiing on my to do list thanks to reading this! I love tropical and warm weather getaways, but it’s always great to throw in some winter ones too. Love the travel inspiration!
    Justin recently posted..Why Joining Travel Massive Was the Best DecisionMy Profile

  • February 13, 2017

    I love downhill skiing specifically because it provides an exhilirating workout without the sweat! So it looks like cross country skiing maybe isn’t for me! ? Y’all make it look fun, though. Glad you had fun.

    • February 13, 2017
      SVV

      Heck yeah I love getting a ride up the mountain so I can control fall back down again. I prefer that, definitely 🙂

    • February 14, 2017

      I had no idea you were a downhill skier! We love skiing (for me) and snowboarding (for him) and I was skeptical of whether I’d like Nordic, but it’s surprisingly relaxing and you SUPER sweaty. I still prefer downhill but it was a nice change of pace =)

  • February 13, 2017

    Beautifully written and photographed! I’m sold on Methow Valley. Well done, team.

    • February 13, 2017
      SVV

      The mystical Rachel Roams! Wat!? So what is it going to take to actually physically meet/wreck dive/drink at some crazy spot? Don’t ya’ll have come sort of shared insanity calendar or something? 😉 Hook. It. Up. Like yesterday. We would crush it into the troposphere together and break the internet

      • February 14, 2017

        Hah! We definitely SHOULD have a shared “insanity calendar”… alas, we hadn’t thought of that! Guess that’s why our teams include dudes with Dutch last names. You fellas help us think outside the proverbial box. Let’s meet/wreck dive/drink things! #tropospherewecome

  • February 14, 2017

    Amazing travel information the best nordic skiing mazama Washington. 🙂
    India Tour Packages recently posted..What We OfferMy Profile

  • February 15, 2017

    I want to love XC ski, but for the life of me, cannot get the rhythm down. I even had a free pair of skis given to me, took lessons at the park district. Nope, not happening. I’ll have to stick to downhill skiing or snowshoeing. If we actually had any snow, that is :/
    Leigh | Campfires & Concierges recently posted..Product Review: Ruffwear Palisades PackMy Profile

  • February 16, 2017

    ‘Love the post.
    I didn’t know that SVV sometimes pitches in with the writing, or maybe he was so good, that I didn’t even notice!

    I’m more of a down-hill skier, but I believe that I’ve only experienced cross-country skiing once. Somewhere in Austria. We were actually going for a “walk” and somehow ended up in so much snow that we had to ski across it.
    p.s. It was hard work and we got stuck a few times, then managed to find the “path” again lol!
    Victoria @The British Berliner recently posted..A Beginners’ Guide to the Berlinale, otherwise known as the Berlin International Film Festival 2017!My Profile

    • February 22, 2017

      Ha! He actually has a journalism degree—we met in 2005 while studying journalism in Holland—but rarely writes anymore. Part of the agreement of coming to work with me full time was contributing more on the blog, so you’re perceptive—he’s just started taking over some responsibility 😉

      I’m more of a downhiller, too, but I can appreciate Nordic now!

  • February 16, 2017

    Aw, I love this. Especially: “…make the best of the here and now because it’s only going to happen once.”

    We’re got a big map of the area and are trying to conquer all 100+ miles of nordic trails. We thought we could do it this year. Not going to happen. 🙂

    And maybe you’ll be able to enjoy the area in the summertime one day. When the snow won’t keep us from getting into the magnificent North Cascades National Park.

    • February 22, 2017

      We’ll wait eagerly by our inboxes for our next cabin invite! 😉

  • February 17, 2017

    Fun to read the voice of SVV! I am not a skier, and even though I can’t wait to finally try downhill this season at Northstar (Lake Tahoe), I wonder if nordic skiing would be more my style. I love to snowshoe, and I imagine that the skiing is similar but harder. What a beautiful setting you had for it!

    • February 22, 2017

      Northstar is where I learned to ski when I was little! During my four years living in California, we had the Vail Resorts pass, but usually only went to Heavenly as it was more accessible. We did Northstar once or twice, though, and I loved it.

      I think Nordic skiing and snowshoeing have similarities and are definitely fun alternatives for those who don’t care for downhill.

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