Nordic Quiz Rally at the Ritzensee

Cross-country skiing with small children - go or no-go? We tried it out and found the ideal practicing trail with the Nordic Quiz Rally. Reward included! What else could motivate children while cross-country skiing? Read more and find out in our tips.


First funny cross-country skiing experience

I have to say, I'm a little sceptical as I head out with my 4 (almost 5) year old daughter for the Nordic Quiz Rally at the lake Ritzensee in Saalfelden. Honestly, I find it quite hard to imagine that a) we'll finish the loop and b) she'll have fun while doing it. But let's see - maybe I'll be proven wrong.

Start in the Nordic Park

We rented the cross-country skiing equipment from a friend, but you can also rent the equipment at Sport Grossegger, which is the cross-country skiing store in Saalfelden. Now we are ready to start at the Ritzensee, where the Nordic Quiz Rally covers 1.4 km around the lake. The starting point is directly in the Nordic Park, more precisely on the western side of the lake behind the large building in the Fun & Snow Park. On the map of the Nordic Park, we find a big box with the reply card used for the Nordic Quiz Rally. It displays an overview of the cross-country trail and 7 posts where challenging questions await all quiz enthusiasts. The correct answers should then result in a password.

Signs of the puzzle rally at the Ritzensee | © Michael Geißler
Signs of the puzzle rally at the Ritzensee | © Michael Geißler

From post to post

The Fun & Snowpark at the starting point already demonstrates that cross-country skiing does not have to be boring at all. Jumping over small obstacles, passing poles, through archways and over bumps, the sport of cross-country skiing can be learned in a wonderfully playful way and your knowledge of it can be improved. We are searching for the first post. It is quickly found, and we prick the - hopefully - correct answer on our reply card. The little cross-country skier completes the course on classic skis as these are often easier to manage for smaller children, since the movement is similar to walking. We move from post to post. Every time a new sign appears in the distance, the joy in her eyes is evident, and I can’t avoid putting on a smile due to how much motivation "posts" spark in children. After the fifth quiz board, we discover a nice bench at the lake where we take a short break. In fact, the little one wants to continue right away. After all, we are still looking for two more boards.

And the prize?

The time passes rapidly, and the trail is easy to master thanks to the Nordic Quiz Rally. My daugther asks excited: "Can we do it again tomorrow?" - who would have thought that cross-country skiing is so much fun for children! Proudly, we then drive straight to the tourism office to pick up the prize for the completed quiz rally. But what is it actually? Unfortunately, we can’t reveal it here – please take the time and find out for yourself!

Here are a few tips for families who are considering trying out cross-country skiing with their children

  • Basically, cross-country skiing is well suited for children from the age of 3 or 4 years, since particularly younger children are not yet able to cover longer distances. Playful challenges and varied trails are suitable for them. Parkours, skill games, ... Creativity has no limits here! The Nordic Park with its different offers provides the perfect setting for learning.
  • Skating or classic? Particularly at the beginning, the classic cross-country style is recommended. When children are confident with the classic style, skating can be practiced later on. Other sports such as inline skating in summer are also very helpful for balance.
  • At the beginning, in terms of equipment, it may be advisable to rent (skis, boots, poles). On one hand, the children grow quickly, and on the other, you don't really know whether they will enjoy the sport at all. First it is quite alright for children to wear a normal ski jumpsuit, as this will also absorb the falls that are sure to happen. Later, more breathable running clothes are recommended. When choosing clothing, you will be well advised in the sport stores.
  • As usual when doing activities with children: Bring enough to drink and eat! The prospect of a break with your favourite snacks will undoubtedly increase motivation.
  • Eventually, very important: Fun should always be a top priority.
  • More tips for cross-country skiing with children can be found here.

Photos: Michael Geißler, Margret Hörl