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Off The Page podcast: Keith Nicol

Mount Washington ski instructor’s videos have gone viral on YouTube

Mount Washington nordic ski instructor Keith Nicol’s YouTube channel has gained a life of its own.

The cross-country skier has amassed more than 4.1 million views and 9,000 subscribers onto the page, which features instructional tips on how to improve nordic skiing.

Nicol is the guest on the Comox Valley Record’s latest episode of their podcast Off The Page, which is out Wednesday, March 2.

As an associate professor in Geography and Environmental Studies at Memorial University,

Nicol lived in Cornerbrook, Nfld. before moving to the Comox Valley. He developed his passion for the outdoors and skiing as a young child, and credits his mom for taking him and his four siblings on a variety of adventurous trips.

“My father died when I was just a teenager. (My mom) kind of took us on a variety of trips that were out of the ordinary for a woman on her own with five kids. We took a trip up to Alaska in the ’60s, camping all the way and we eventually settled into the Vancouver area, but she encouraged us to go skiing, mainly downhill at that time.”

Nicol talked more about why cross-country skiing developed into his passion - it is one of only a few sports where it involves both arms and legs, along with a good sense of balance. In addition to the aerobic workout, he noted it is truly a lifetime sport that includes people of many ages.

As for his videos on YouTube, the growth in viewership took time, he said, but really increased throughout the pandemic.

“The biggest growth has been over the last couple of years. I’m going to put it down to the pandemic when people were looking for things to do outside and looking for new types of things… to be COVID-safe, cross-country skiing is a good example of (that).”

His videos are averaging 1,000 views per week, and some of his earlier videos from his Newfoundland days are nearing one million views. Many of the topics come from viewer questions.

“You can’t take anything for granted with what people’s background may be. Most of my videos deal with not only what the technique is, but some common problems that people might have and how to correct those because that’s often the level that you’re dealing with.”

Following trips to Norway and Switzerland, where does Nicol enjoy skiing the most?

You’ll have to tune into Off The Page in order to find out.

To listen to the full episode, download Off The Page on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and everywhere podcasts are heard, or visit New episodes of Off The Page drop every Wednesday. To submit podcast topics or guest ideas, email To check out some of Nicol’s videos, search for k2nicol on YouTube.

Erin Haluschak

About the Author: Erin Haluschak

Erin Haluschak is a journalist with the Comox Valley Record since 2008. She is also the editor of Trio Magazine...
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