Highest Elevation Cross Country Ski Venues

Cross country skiing at elevation isn't easy. The atmosphere thins as elevation increases, which reduces the amount of oxygen available to breath. The heart and lungs work harder to compensate. FIS even has a rule banning cross country ski racing above 1800m. Yet altitude training is a key part of preparing for cross country ski racing. This made us curious, what are the highest elevation cross country ski venues?

We decided to break this down into two categories, glacier venues and non-glacier venues.


Val Senales Glacier

Country: Italy
Elevation: 3,210m
Oxygen: 70% (relative to sea level)
Groomed Trails: 5-10km

Val Senales Glacier is the highest cross country ski venue. It is approximately 430m higher than its next closest competitor, and is a popular location for world cup athletes to complete their altitude training. It is open for skiing almost the entire year.

GSTAAD Glacier 3000 / Tsanfleuron Glacier

Country: Switzerland
Lowest Elevation: 2728m
Highest Elevation: 2825m
Oxygen: 71% (relative to sea level)
Groomed Trails: 6km

The GSTAAD Glacier operates from June to December each year. Its highest point is 2825m above sea level, with an average elevation of approximately 2780m.

Haig Glacier - "The Haig"

Country: Canada
Elevation: 2750m
Oxygen: 71% (relative to sea level)
Groomed Trails: 5km

Unlike the glacier venues in Europe, Haig Glacier is remote. It is located in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park in Alberta, with access only possible by helicopter or hiking. The Haig is the go-to location for on-snow Canadian ski camps during the summer months. The accommodation facilities at the basecamp are minimal, but still adequate to host up to 25 skiers at a time. The groomed skiing is a 45 minute hike from basecamp. 

Crans Montana - Glacier Plaine Morte

Country: Switzerland
Lowest Elevation: 2690m
Highest Elevation: 2752m
Oxygen: 71% (relative to sea level)

Groomed Trails: 10km

Crans Montana might offer the most unique high elevation nordic experience for the simple fact that the trails form a butterfly!

Dachstein Glacier / Ramsau am Dachstein

Country: Austria
Elevation: 2700m
Oxygen: 71% (relative to sea level)
Groomed Trails: 18km

The Dachstein Glacier hosts the world's largest network of glaciated cross country ski trails. The trails are open from July to November each year for off-season cross country skiing. The impressive trail network makes it a popular altitude training camp location for national cross country ski teams.


Wolf Creek Ski Area

Country: USA
Elevation: 3,230m
Oxygen: 70% (relative to sea level)
Groomed Trails: 10km

Unexpectedly, the highest elevation Nordic skiing is non-glaciated and found at Wolf Creek Ski Area in the United States. The 10km of Nordic ski trails are groomed for both classic and skate technique and are dog-friendly. The Nordic trails are also free to use according to the Wolf Creek website.

Breckenridge Nordic Center

Country: USA
Lowest Elevation: 3000m
Highest Elevation: 3270m
Oxygen: 70% (relative to sea level)
Groomed Trails: 30km

Situated in 2000 acres of high elevation forest, Breckenridge Nordic has the longest Nordic ski season in Colorado. The trail system has two destination huts, one that was originally build to smelt gold in the 1890's.

Copper Mountain

Country: USA
Elevation: 3,000m
Oxygen: 70% (relative to sea level)
Groomed Trails: 20km

Copper Mountains Nordic ski trails are free to use. There is one loop around the golf course and a seperate more extensive network in the West Village area.


Devil's Thumb

Country: USA
Lowest Elevation: 2610m
Highest Elevation: 2850m
Oxygen: 72% (relative to sea level)
Groomed Trails: 120km

Devil's Thumb is a world-class ski facility with a whopping 120km of trails. 

Nickel Plate Nordic

Country: Canada
Lowest Elevation: 1868m
Highest Elevation: 1955m
Oxygen: 79% (relative to sea level)
Groomed Trails: 56km

Nickel Plate is located near Apex mountain, a popular area for Canada's National Team to host roller ski training camps in the summer. Nickel Plate's highest point is on the Motherload trail.

Seiser Alm

Country: Italy
Lowest Elevation: 1800m
Highest Elevation: 2200m
Oxygen: 80% (relative to sea level)
Groomed Trails: 80km

Seiser Alm is located in the Dolomite region of Italy and is a breathtaking destination, both for it's beauty and 1800-2200m elevation. It is a popular vacation spot and training area. The trail system has countless mountain cabins serving meals and hot drinks.

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