Keith Nicol has long been an avid Nordic skier and during the winter Nicol works as a coach on Mt. Washington helping beginners hone their skills.
“I moved to the Courtenay area to be able to take advantage of Mt. Washington and as soon as we got here, we got involved with Mt. Washington’s Nordic Centre and have been teaching skiing there since we arrived 6 years ago,” says Nicol from his Courtenay home.
Throughout the pandemic, Nicol has been posting skiing tutorials on his YouTube channel. It started as a fun way to interact with his students online, but the channel’s popularity has skyrocketed. He’s gone from 50 subscribers to 6,000.
“It’s created an interesting community of people online that you’d never ever relate to in terms of meeting them in person because they come from all over the world,” says Nicol.
Nicol attributes the sudden spike in views to people around the world searching for ways to explore the great outdoors.
“Just in terms of general interest and so forth, the last year has really seen a huge uptick and I guess I put it down to people spending more time on their screens and maybe not travelling as much and looking for local activities to do and thinking they’ll take up cross country skiing,” says Nicol.
For Keith hitting the backcountry is the perfect socially distanced activity.
“It’s a great lifetime sport, it’s easy on the joints, exercises lungs,” says Nicol. “It doesn’t require a huge outlay of cash, season’s passes are very reasonable in terms of cash,” adds Nicol.
As for his newfound YouTube stardom, Keith hopes the viewers continue to take away helpful tips from his videos.
“There’s a lot of opportunity to teach and learn and give lessons,” says Nicol.
To watch Keith’s videos, visit his YouTube channel.