INSET: The Alton Central School nordic team gets fired up on the trails at Gunstock Thursday afternoon. From left are Blake Pappaceno, Derek Pappaceno, Kenny Fontaine, Nathan Archambault and Mason Pappaceno.
FOREGROUND: Bill Kosla takes a few laps on the fresh snow from Wednesday’s storm at Bolduc Park on Thursday afternoon.
(Karen Bobotas photos/for The Laconia Daily Sun)
Lakes Region offers many cross-country skiing options
By RICK GREEN, LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — For those who like to use muscles rather than gravity to propel them on skis, there is no lack of cross-country skiing options available in the Lakes Region and beyond.
Bob Bolduc, the 73-year-old founder of Bolduc Park, enjoys the cardiovascular benefits of cross-country, or Nordic skiing. The park has trails and touring across 40 acres of land. Lessons are available.
“You come out here for an hour,” said Bolduc, whose family owns Piche's Ski Shop. “You're breathing in the fresh air. And you're doing cardiovascular exercise without realizing it.
“It is probably the best aerobics exercise that you can do. Your upper body is going and your lower body is going.”
He is also accomplished in downhill, or Alpine, skiing, where gravity provides speed and the chairlift takes the skier back up the hill.
Bolduc finds Alpine skiing more expensive, and in some ways more constraining, than Nordic skiing.
A person can cross-country ski in most places where there is snow — no chairlift, or lift ticket, required. Cross-country skiing equipment is also less expensive.
Many Nordic skiers like the freedom of exploring of winter terrain.
“You don't have to come here,” Bolduc said Friday morning at the park. “If you've got 40 acres in your backyard, you can just go.”
Outside of the park, on land he owns, Bolduc likes to do winter touring.
“I'll go Alpine skiing during the week and I'll cross-country on the weekend,” he said.
He skis out to a frozen lake, pops out of his skis, and attaches ice skating blades to his boots.
“I'll skate down and talk to all the fishermen,” he said. “Then I'll go back, put my cross-country skis back on and ski home.”
Tim White works at the Nordic Skier Shop in Wolfeboro, which serves as headquarters for 30 kilometers of groomed cross-country ski trails.
“There are a lot of people who like the solitude of cross-country skiing,” he said.
“When conditions permit, you can cruise through the woods. There is peace and quiet. It is a quieter and less hectic environment than snowmobiling or a lift-served area. It's a nice way to get away.”
On its website, the Wolfeboro Cross Country Ski Association boasts, “There are no big crowds, no big expenses, just healthy exercise, fun and quality time with your family and friends.”
Sandwich Winter Carnival
For those who want to learn more about cross-country skiing, the Sandwich Winter Carnival could be just the ticket. It will be held on Saturday, Jan. 27, and will include a skiing and waxing clinic at 9 a.m. on Quimby Field, hosted by Inter-Lakes High School varsity ski coach Steve Olafson.
Most downhill ski areas also offer cross-country trails and instruction, including Waterville Valley Adventure Center, Gunstock Mountain Resort XC, Loon Mountain Resort, Cannon Mountain and Ragged Mountain.
More information online, see Ski New Hampshire, www.skinh.com/resorts.
Doris and Ralph Fecteau, of Laconia, took advantage of the fresh snow and blue skies on Jan. 18 by cross-country skiing at Bolduc Park. The couple used to ski more often, and resolved this winter to return to the activity. “It’s a great course for a beginner or someone just taking it back up again,” Doris said of Bolduc Park. (Adam Drapcho/Laconia Daily Sun)
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