For many centuries in the snow-covered North, skis were a basic need. With long distances between isolated Norwegian villages, extended snowy winters, and a necessity to hunt game and gather firewood, skiing was as important for social contact as it was for survival. The word “ski” is a Norwegian word which comes from the Old Norse word “skid,” a split length of wood. It wasn’t until the end of the 19th century that cross-country skiing was developed as a sport. Extending across snow-covered meadows and rolling woodlands, Okemo Valley Nordic Center reveals a hidden world of beauty and adventure that welcomes people of all ages and abilities to discover the joys of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Nordic skiers can glide along at a leisurely pace on machine-made tracks set in the snow. For a faster-paced cardio workout, they can try skate-skiing along corduroy-like lanes of packed snow located between the set tracks. The powerful, diagonal action of skate skiing is similar to ice skating. Nordic skiing Nordic skiing a return to the origins of the sport page 34 > winter 2017/18 > okemo magazine