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Cross Country

What is Cross Country Skiing?

Cross-country skiing has two basic techniques, which apply to different surfaces: classic and skate skiing.

The classic technique relies on a wax or texture on the ski bottom under the foot for traction on the snow to allow the skier to slide the other ski forward.  Skate skiing is when a skier slides on alternating skis on a firm snow surface in a manner similar to ice skating or rollerblading.  Both techniques employ poles with baskets that allow the upper body to participate in the propulsion. 

Athletes train to achieve endurance, strength, speed, skill and flexibility at different levels of intensity. Off-season training includes rollerskiing, running, biking, strength training, hiking and games. 

Our Purpose

Our goal is to create a positive, rewarding and inclusive team environment  where local youth can develop a passion for the sport of cross country skiing, being outdoors and active. PCSS programs are based on the US Ski and Snowboard Development system.

Cross Country Programs

Cross Country Staff

Emma Garrard


Emma has been a coach for PCSS Nordic Coach since 2013 and the cross cross country program director since 2017. Prior to PCSS Emma was a head coach for TUNA and a ski instructor at White Pine Nordic. Emma learned to ski in Alaska and went on to compete in both running and skiing in college at the University of Nevada. Emma was also a professional triathlete for nine years and worked in journalism for five years. She can be contacted at

Liz Stephen

Head Coach

Liz started coaching for PCSS in 2018 after retiring as a professional ski racer and took on the Head Coach position in 2021. Liz grew up skiing in Vermont and moved to Utah in 2006 when she made the US Ski team. She raced on the World Cup cross country team for 12 years skiing in three Olympics and helping establish a strong team culture on the US Ski Team. She can be reached at