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1.  Set yourself up for success by taking lessons from a certified CANSI instructor if you haven't cross country skied before.  Learning the right technique from the start means you'll ski more efficiently, which will likely increase your enjoyment of the sport long term. (scroll down for a list of lesson providers)

2. Check the weather forecast and grooming report; conditions can change dramatically day-to-day, especially during a Chinook cycle that often creates a "Chinook Glaze" which is an ice surface in the top portion of the snowpack.

3.  It is wise to bring a backpack or fanny pack with extra supplies (e.g., extra layers of clothing).

4.  Carry a fully charged cell phone and call 911 in case of emergency. Ask for both an ambulance and fire response if an injured skier needs to be transported from their location to the waiting ambulance in the Shaganappi parking lot or on a road near one of the winter entrances. (Paramedics don't retrieve injured skiers from ski trails, fire fighters are needed for this)

5.  Although the winter is often dark, the bright, white snow and a good quality headlamp will light up the ski trails and allow you to ski whenever you have time. Bring a backup light source in your pocket as well.

6.  Plan your route. For beginner cross-country skiers, it is best to start on completely flat ground.   Take lessons from a certified instructor!  We recommend the green loop in the driving range directly east of the lower parking lot.

Get out there and have fun!


Volunteers maintain the ski trails at Shaganappi, please help us keep the ski trails in good shape!

Please stay on the trails, and avoid going anywhere that is fenced to protect the fragile non native grasses of the golf course. 

  • Classic skiers, ski within the track setting, not on them or across them, damaging the track setting.  

  • Skate skiers, please stay off the classic track setting.

  • Leave your dog at home (dogs are not allowed at City of Calgary golf courses, and Shaganappi has resident Coyotes as well as other native animals).

  • It takes a minimum of one hour for freshly groomed snow to set up (freeze) to provide that smooth firm corduroy that most skiers love.   

  • Stay off freshly groomed trails (especially skate skiers!) as skis (and walkers)  will punch tracks down into soft snow that will freeze into place which is a hazard to all skiers.

  • Take a moment to remove any debris from trails like sticks, leaves and pinecones because they act as heat sinks and melt the snow while also being trip hazards to faster-moving skiers.


Cross-country skiing is a great way to enjoy Calgary's sunny, blue skies during the winter months and cross-country skiing at Shaganappi Point Golf Course is a perfect destination for new skiers. Once you get the hang of it in a lesson from a certified instructor, this low-cost activity will allow you to gracefully travel long distances with minimal effort.


Why take lessons??? Lessons teach a person the right technique from the start.  Without lessons, new skiers use a lot of energy unnecessarily, most often over time they develop an incorrect technique which means they usually go a lot slower, and frustration can be very high as a result.   Often self-taught skiers eventually find they feel there's something not quite right with their ski technique and  in an intermediate lesson they end-up having to be taken back to work on basic beginner skills that they didn't learn correctly in the first place.  By then, it's hard to correct the way they've been skiing for years, it's hard to change that engrained muscle memory.

 Lessons and/or coaching programs in and around Calgary can be arranged through the following organizations.  *Disclaimer: It is recommended you confirm you are taking lessons from certified CANSI instructors when learning to ski.*

Lessons in Calgary :

Lesson and coaching providers in Calgary:

Lessons outside of Calgary:

Coaching providers:


Outside Calgary:


Learn more about cross-country ski safety and risk:



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