my first cross-country ski trip

What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Most of us started as absolute beginners and it was quite visible during the first day when we learned the basics on an very easy terrain. On the second day there was major improvement and till the end of the day all of us were dealing with the downhills which were the hardest part of all. Those that have experience with downhill skiing had some advantage, but we were all able to deal with the terrain. We all get better and better and on the last day our leader took us on a very challenging circuit, but it just made for a great experience for us. The snow was not very fast which made the conditions perfect for our level and it was a day we wanted that never ends. The group also bonded very well and we had a great time and a lot of fun on that last evening. I also want to mention the food, both the breakfast and dinners at the hotel and the restaurants we went to for lunch, the food was very good and where we had to pay for it (coffee breaks and lunch), the prices were very reasonable. A nice touch was the so called responsible tourism which gave us a good feeling when we were spending money supporting the local family run businesses.

What did you think of your group leader?

Bob is a good person, very experienced and knowledgeable (he even knew about DNS which is computer related :-)) and he was definitely a factor for the overall experience. He was choosing the best locations for the type of activity we needed, for learning or just using what we have leaned. He knows the area very well, the language and the local food and he was helpful whether choosing lunch, adding more activities or choosing how to spend the rest day. He was also part of the jokes we shared and contributed a lot for the good time we had.

Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Me and my wife consider ourselves fit, we practice and compete in cycling and rowing, occasionally do running, yoga and go the the gym. Despite that we felt our muscles sore on the first 2-3 days. We are 35,39 years and the rest of the group were either our age or older (someone was was over 70), but we all did well even if it was a bit demanding for some people. I forgot to mention we did the grade 1 vacation, although I am always looking for more and wanted skip it and start with grade 2. At the end it was not that bad, one day we started a bit earlier than the rest and added few more kilometers, other days we were hanging at the back of the group and we were running back and forth adding even more distance. The equipment is important, usually your ski/snowboard trousers and jackets will be too warm for this specific activity. As others previously pointed you usually need few layers of clothing, base layer, then long sleeves shirt, softshell jacket. I also had a (sleeveless) gilet in my backpack to either use instead of the softshell or under it and I never felt too warm or cold. One guy decided it was not his type of activity because he had problems with his balance on the downhill sections which in my opinion were not so long, fast or scary, but everyone should consider it for themselves. As I said the rest of the group did just fine. There was enough to explore by walk in the area and it felt like he did fine. A very good point to choose this vacation is that almost every day we were skiing in different location. It probably depends on the snow conditions, but it actually adds a lot and it's not boring as doing loops on the same tracks every day. We found the hotel very good. I did not see the rest of the rooms, but we were in a double room and it was big. The rooms and the restaurant part were well warmed and it felt good only wearing a t-shirt. There was Internet connectivity in the hotel and we had no major problems, it took sometime to connect, but then it worked well.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

We had very good time. We liked the cross-country ski experience and we are already looking for our next cross-country ski vacation. As a novices, both in the sport and without previous knowledge in the area (or any similar location) choosing Exodus was very good choice, the whole trip was well organized and they saved us all the planning. Bob was with us all the time and was good leader in every aspect.