Activities The Great Outdoors Why Cross Country Skiing Burns More Calories Than Downhill Skiing Share PINTEREST Email Print Hero Images/Getty Images The Great Outdoors Skiing Basics Gear Hiking Climbing Snowboarding Surfing Paddling Fishing Sailing Scuba Diving & Snorkeling Learn More By Mike Doyle Mike Doyle is an award-winning skiing journalist who grew up in New York snow country and has skied all over the world. our editorial process Mike Doyle Updated February 15, 2019 Cross country skiing generally burns more calories than downhill skiing. Instead of chair lifts to take you up the mountain and gravity to take you down, cross country skiers rely on self-propulsion. The number of calories burned during cross country skiing depends on a few factors: Your body weightSkiing speed and terrainType of skiing Cross Country Skiing Calories Burned If you weigh 150 pounds, you can burn about: 400 - 500 calories per hour while skiing at 2.5 mph.550 - 600 calories per hour while skiing at 4 - 5 mph.600 - 650 calories per hour while skiing at 5 - 8 mph. If you weigh 200 pounds, you can burn about: 650 - 675 calories per hour while skiing at 2.5 mph.750 - 800 calories per hour while skiing at 4 - 5 mph.850 - 875 calories per hour while skiing at 5 - 8 mph. Skating and Mountaineering Burn More The above calorie counts apply to standard, or "classic," cross country skiing on relatively flat terrain. By comparison, skate skiing and mountaineering burn even more calories. An average-size (150-lb.) person burns upwards of 700 calories per hour skate skiing on flat terrain. This is because skating is generally more vigorous than classic skiing. Mountaineering involves breaking trails through fresh snow and usually a lot of climbing. It can burn 1,100 calories or more per hour. No matter what type of skiing you're doing, climbing always burns more calories than flat or downhill runs.