About off-track cross country skiing
Off-track skiing is very varied. At one extreme it can be a quick sortie over the local golf course when winter brings a lucky dump of snow. At the other extreme it can involve mountain touring in the Alps or Scandinavia, with nights in remote cabins.
There is a magic in making your own way on skis across unbroken snow. You feel that you can go where you please. You can explore on a daily basis or be more self reliant touring from hut to hut over several days. There is no better way to experience the beauty of the winter landscape.
Where to go
Excellent off-track skiing is to be had in many parts of the world but for skiers based in the UK, Norway is the Mecca. It's easy to get to, has good internal transport, reliable snow and an endless choice of valley routes and rounded fells. Above all, it has a wonderful network of mountain huts, such as those run by the DNT, and hotels.
Although the Club doesn't currently organise off-track skiing trips, if you'd like to go with a group, or would like an introduction, several companies do offer this type of holiday in Norway including:
Exodus [at Kvitavatn & Mosstrond]
Equipment and clothing
Skis for off-track skiing are wider than cross country track skis. Most have metal edges - to make them stronger and give you better control if the snow is hard or icy. Boots are as heavy as mountain walking boots and are made from leather or plastic. Poles need to be strong.
Clothing for day tours must be warm and windproof. You need a series of light layers and you should carry a rucksack to hold spare layers. On hut-to-hut tours you need to be equipped for all possible conditions whilst keeping your backpack down to a manageable weight.