Often called Nordic skiing, cross country skiing encompasses most “free heel binding” types of skiing to include classic skiing, skate skiing, backcountry skiing, ski mountaineering, ski touring and telemark skiing. Alpine skiing and alpine touring skiing have the ability to lock down the heel with the bindings.
It is really the first skiing – prior to the advent of lifts all skiing was cross country. Ancient cultures that used skis for transportation and hunting all had to ski both uphill and down – cross the country. The earliest skiing was probably 6000 BC in many cultures in Scandinavia and Asia. Read more about the history of skiing here. Read about some ancient skiing culture and watch a fascinating video on our blog.