AS 272 A - Topics in Applied Science: Advanced Cross-country Skiing  
Winter Intensive   


An introduction to recreational Nordic Skiing including both classic and skate skiing for groomed trails.  Ski waxing, equipment and proper clothing will be address as well as technical skiing skills. 

Topics in Applied Science: Advanced Cross Country Skiing Syllabus

Spring 2013 


Course Description:  An introduction to recreational Nordic Skiing including both classic and skate skiing for groomed trails.  Ski waxing, equipment and proper clothing will be address as well as technical skiing skills.


Instructor:  Allison Van Akkeren

Guest lectures: John Brodhead, Adrian Owens.


Course meets: Sunday Feb. 10th

                              Fridays: Feb. 15th, 22nd, March 1st, 8th

                              Thursday evening Feb. 21st

                              Sunday March 3rd


Required Fee:  You will be a host (with another student so you can also share time to ski) at “Charley’s cabin” for one weekend day 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. to cover our staying overnight in the cabin Thursday Feb. 21st , the use of the Craftsbury Outdoor Center’s facilities and some of the ski rental.


Course Objectives:

  • Students will advance their skills in both classic and skating Nordic skiing through group lessons, individual video tapping, video viewing, readings and direct instructor feedback. 
  • They will understand the range of equipment available and the correct applications for Nordic skiing.
  • They will be able to wax their own skis for optimal glide and kick.
  • They will build their core strength and aerobic capacity to increase their enjoyment and endurance on skis.
  • They will be able to know how to be adequately prepared personally with personal gear and clothing for Nordic skiing.
  • They will participate in two full day skiing treks, one overnight (with night skiing) and well and tours on the Craftsbury Nordic trails.
  • They will be aware of group dynamics and know how to promote the well being of themselves and others while on long ski treks.


Reading:  The Essential Cross-Country Skier, Petersen and Lovett, 2000 on reserve

Chapters 1, 2, 3 & 5  read for Friday 2/15 with Reading Response/journal to this due Monday Feb. 18th at 4:00 p.m.

Chapters 7 & 4 read for Friday 2/22 with Reading Response/journal due

Chapter 12  read for March 1st with Reading Response/journal due also

Reading response:  Three of them worth 5 % each for total of 15% of your grade. Write a one to two page summary of the reading and your response to it.  Did it help you better understand how to perform a skill? Any connections you can make to your experience in class or while you have been skiing on your own is welcome.  Include other information that was useful and you can relate to skiing. Or if the reading didn’t relate use this time to write about how your skiing is going.  Describe what you are working on and what you have been doing for practice/training outside of class. List any questions that have come up, concerns you have, enlightenments!   

Attendance and Professionalism:  Students are expected to be at and on time to all classes, dressed for the conditions, skis ready and waxed for the day’s ski.  Any consumption of alcohol or other drugs during and/or before class will result in dismissal from the class.  Students are expected to sleep and eat well before class.  In cases where illness or medical conditions interfere with participation you will need to discuss alternatives with the instructor.  Alternate assignments may include outside professional ski instruction (paid for at your own expense) and other experiences that meet the course goals.


Technique Handbook Assignment: A combined group and individual project.


  • Create a resource for the students on techniques learned in class. 
  • To show that each student knows the biomechanics and details of one skiing technique and have the ability to describe it to others.

Introduction: (done in a group for this class we will have two groups of 5).  A short one to two page write up on why a person might want to cross country ski, and overview of the different techniques and the equipment needed. 

Technique:  Each student contributes a section (individual)

1. Classic –diagonal stride

2. Skate:  1. V-1

3. V-2

4. Double Pole

5. Downhills & Turns

Each section should describe how the technique is done; include a couple of exercises to help in learning the skill.  Use drawings or photos to illustrate your descriptions.

As a group: Make a table of contents and bind your work together into one book. Students are asked to ski 3 to 4 hours outside of class between class sessions.


Homework and Grading Criteria

Attendance, professionalism (on time and prepared) including helping at the ski race and Charley’s cabin session: 40%

Skiing skills improvement: 10%

Skiing outside of class time and pre-class conditioning: 15%

Reading Response: 15% (two worth 5% each)

Technique Handbook: 20%