I've done a tiny amount of alpine skiing and want to explore cross country, both classic and skating as well, I feel like skating style would be more intuitive for me to learn however most resources I've read have said learn classic first.
My plan is to go to Mammoth and do trails at Tamarack Lodge. Go Snow Shoeing as well.
I do not have ANY XC gear, except for maybe a soft shell Columbia Jacket. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HQ4KT5E?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_search_detailpage
I'm not sure if this would be appropriate or not, obviously over a fleece lined base layer. I have some ski jackets for Alpine that I could probably get away with though I worry they might get in the way of poling.
What are some suggestions and tips anyone can give me as a complete beginner setting on this journey? I've been watching a lot of races of Martin Janusrud Sundy, Teresa Johung, Dorothea Wierer, Martin Forcade, etc... so I'm very interested to experience the skiing now.
I've full packages of skis, boots, poles, and bindings at good prices. Should I just buy top quality stuff? I read a blog that said unlike Alpine skiing, it is actually better to learn on high quality professional level skis than it is the ones marketed for beginners. Or should I rent stuff the first time?
I'm 32 years old, Male, 5'5, 200 lbs. Obviously I need to be in better shape, that's a given.
I'm looking forward to experiencing another element of the snow world.
Any secrets and tricks of the trade? Anyone familiar with Tamarack trails in particular that could give advice?