I'm home a week early because I filled up my CF card with HDR's and I couldn't buy another card in the tiny country towns, that I drove through. I didn't think that I was shooting that much, but I filled the 8gig CF card in less than a week.
I stick to 'Classic' myself. You see all kinds of people doing Classic, including people of over sixty and seventy; if you take lessons, Classic is what they start to teach you; Freestyle is more for the athletes and I guess more difficult as well. You can burn quite a lot of calories doing Classic though, although it gets less intensive once your technique improves. You can easily compensate for that by doing longer distances. (In a week of crosscountry skiing I usually loose kilos, although I don't hold back on the Austrian kitchen at all.) If you start with it, you'll have to start with Classic, but one of the advantages of that is that you really can enjoy the landscape and look for photo opportunities. I'm mostly self-taught myself, but to avoid bad habits and speed up the learning, it's good to take some lessons at first, and look for a place with easy tracks. It helps to have some downhill skiing experience (I didn't have any) but the cross country skies are longer and much harder to control once you're out of the tracks. (You'll need shorter skis once you start freestyle.)
Hope this helps. There are few things I enjoy as much as this, and I wouldn't be surprised if it were the same for you!
Eric, thankyou. I hadn't thought of having lessons.
I will start to ring around for the possibilities of lessons and investigate and try to find ways into the back country, and check them out ... depending on winter road closures. I feel like I need to know more about snow and the time feels right.
I don't do alpine/downhill skiing (being independent I can't afford to break a wrist or something), cross-country skiing is more like hard work because you usually end on the height that you started. It gives you the opportunity to take in the surroundings (and take pictures!) and there aren't so many people around (often no one at all, if you go far enough), and I enjoy cross-country skiing enormously.
Hahaha. You have a very negative opinion of Swiss females, at least their looks. (They're completely unintelligible once they open their mouth, even if you speak German fluently. I guess it adds to their mystery.) Various people have hinted at me having the mind of a 16-year-old, maybe that explains something.