Skiing: It's time for a cool change

ria Noble and some of her cross-country skiing equipment. Photo by Linda Robertson.
ria Noble and some of her cross-country skiing equipment. Photo by Linda Robertson.
Bria Noble prefers the cold, and it is just as well.

She will experience plenty of it in the coming months.

The Otago Girls' High School pupil is off to the United States to attend the Vermont Academy and train and compete in cross-country skiing.

Noble (17) will spend three months at high school in the small town of Saxton Rivers in Vermont, a state in the northeast of the country.

Her trip will include school lessons but the emphasis is on cross-country skiing, a sport she has been working at over the past couple of years.

Her father Simon watched the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010 and thought cross-country could be interesting.

He took his daughter up to Wanaka and she started to learn the ins and outs of the sport, going to the Snow Farm nearly every weekend in the winter.

Noble will be on the skis every day in Vermont.

"It will be good for my personal development and just be able to ski all the time. It is a tiny sport in New Zealand. Over there, because it is a lot colder in the winter, they have a lot of hill country where you can train," she said.

"It is one of the hardest sports.

Just the way you have to use all of your muscles. Your arms get really tired. Then some of those muscles that you never really use or don't know you have get a really good work-out."

Cross-country skiing has two styles: classical and skating.

Noble does the skating style more but she really likes classical.

Noble, who has just completed year 12 studies at Otago Girls' High School, has been invited to the school by her Russian coach, Alexei Sotskov, who works with her at the Snow Farm.

She has no big aims in the sport, saying she just wants to keep getting better. Her other sporting passion is mountain biking, so she obviously likes the hills.

But her bike will be in storage for the next three months as she has to survive the Vermont winter.

The average temperature in winter is -4degC in Vermont so she is going to rug up warmly.

"I'm going to miss summer.

"There is no doubt about that.

"But there is always next summer."