A couple of things came to mind as I read through this thread again.
Regarding "cross country" skiing, today in the civilian world up here, it means pushing yourself around relatively flat ground on groomed trails with very narrow skis.
"Telemark" skiing is also a thing, but now means purely downhill sking but using bindings and skis that allow the skier to lift their heals and bend their knees, and carve the turns a little differently. It has also developed into a type of trick or show skiing.
Back when I first looked into skiing some 25 years ago, when I arrived in the UK from SA, cross country skiing meant off the groomed runs, and included uphill terrain that required skins, and somewhat dovetailed into telemark skiing, which required bindings that allowed you to wear almost standard boots or snowshoe compatible boots that allowed you to actually walk in the skis, as you could lift your heels of the skis. Kind of like the old WWII films of the Red Army guys in the winter whites walking on skis behind the T34s on their way to battle.
Companies like Lowa and Altberg made leather combat style boots with squared off toe blocks/soles that could be worn as normal boots, and would then slip into the telemark bindings.
Looking today, there seems to be no sign of the "old" telemark boots and skis when you search for telemark skis.
The second thing I remember was reading a lot of stories from the Falklands war, where it was wet and cold, and many (most) of the Brits were wearing lightweight jungle trousers in preference to the heavyweight arctic trousers, as both would get wet, but the lightweight trousers would dry faster and keep the wearer warmer than the heavier ones.
This also kind of ties in with clothing choices for Arctic and Antarctic explorers. The whole "cotton kills" mantra voiced by many outdoors "experts" is somewhat contradicted when you read what guys like Ranulph Fiennes chose to wear during multiple crossings of the poles. His book "Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know" is a wealth of information regarding preparation and equipment for long term operations in inhospitable conditions.
As regards clothing, I have had (and still have) some of the best goretex and fleece winter and mountaineering clothing available, including gear used on climbs in places like K2.
My preference these days when doing any serious outdoor stuff is pertex and pile from Buffalo Systems.
Once you wear it, and understand how it works, it's hard to go back to the traditional layering system. You can get into a pertex and pile sleeping bag wearing your wet and cold pertex and pile pants and shirt/jacket, and wake up dry and warm. It is also the only clothing where you don't have to strip to avoid hypothermia after being submerged in an icy stream. You just climb out and walk yourself dry and warm in the clothing.
I own multiple sets of pretty much everything they make, and will always choose it in preference to my almost equally extensive goretex and fleece clothing choices.