align-toparrow-leftarrow-rightbackbellblockcalendarcamerachatcheckchevron-downchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-small-downchevron-small-leftchevron-small-rightchevron-small-upchevron-upcircle-with-crosscrosseditfacebookglobegoogleimagesinstagramlocation-pinmagnifying-glassmailmoremuplabelShape 3 + Rectangle 1outlookpersonplusImported LayersImported LayersImported Layersshieldstartwitteryahoo

X-Country Ski

 

I learned to X-Country Ski 3 years ago so I’m looking for similar novices (we fall down a lot.)

Wisconsin has more than 90 cross-country ski areas, and is known as a Nordic paradise. As with Michigan and Minnesota, many of the trails are operated on a non-commercial basis. Trail fees are therefore usually quite low. The Chequamegon and Nicolet National Forests (Northern WI) groom a total of over 300 km of trail. Some like the Kettle Moraine State Forest Southern Unit near Eagle, WI are within hours of Chicago. This park has three groomed cross-country ski trail systems with a total of 48 km (30 miles) of trails: Nordic Trails - approximately 20 km (12 miles) skate and classic, trailhead cabin.
There are numerous opportunities for instruction such as with the Chicago Section of the Sierra Club. They hold a 1½ day class in early January in South Western Michigan, Madeline Bertrand County Park Berrien County, Michigan (near South Bend, IN). The park has Services & Amenities such as: Ski rental, Warming House, Restrooms, Water. The park is wooded, trails are groomed and the technical difficulty is beginner. I’m tied in with the Sierra club so I could pass on dates when they become available.
Skis can also be rented at REI around Chicago.

Don’t wear cotton.  Cotton absorbs sweat, then you’ll get wet and then cold.  Don’t wear downhill or snowmobile outfits. You’ll soon be overheated from the activity of x-country skiing.  You should have a slight chill as you start skiing.  You’ll soon warm up!  Practice jogging or speed walking in the outfit you’ll wear x-country skiing.   You’ll be able to gage how many layers you’ll need to wear.  Usually I’m wearing 2 lite layers, and glove liners without the gloves.  You’ll also need wraparound sun glasses for the snow glare.  Goggles will fog up when you get heated-up.

Grand Geneva Resort:

1. X-country ski rental: Rentals are $12/day

2. X-country skiing trail fees rates? Trail pass is $6.

3. Times that X-country ski lessons are offered? No set times, they offer them based on requests (We will decide that later. I suggest 9 or 10 am. Car poolers can set up their own time as needed.)

4. Advanced X-country ski lessons, or just beginner lessons? Beginner lessons for the most part but they do have a few instructors for more advanced individuals.

5. Are instructors certified? They have 2 certified Nordic instructors.

6. Any X-country skiing/Resort packages? There are downhill packages, but cross country is not included

7. Trail maps? I can't attach it here but will email it out as time gets closer.

8. When does the ski school [masked] phone line start operating? You can dial [masked] now and they can answer questions. Reservations for the ski school are accepted two weeks prior to the lesson. (You will make your own reservation - we can coordinate the time.)

9. Ski lessons rates are $25 for one hour in a group lesson setting.

Join or login to comment.

  • Diane

    Great time!!

    January 5, 2014

  • Ray

    People who didn't show missed a great time. Finally met up with Jan & Doug in the Mountain Top bar. We went out and had a terrific dinner & conversation at a German restaurant in downtown Lake Geneva. Tamie: too bad you didn't call. We were in and out of the chalet. We would have like to included you!

    1 · January 5, 2014

  • Tamie

    I did the lesson at the lodge & spent the afternoon on the trail & golf course. Thank you Ray for a great idea!

    January 4, 2014

    • Ray

      Tamie: Too bad you didn't call. We were in and out of the chalet. We would have liked to include you. If we passed on the trail, I apologize for not recognizing you.

      January 5, 2014

  • Chris L.

    This was perfect Ray! Great tracks, fresh snow, fun group!
    Thanks!

    1 · January 5, 2014

  • Kimberly K.

    We had a small but great group of people, great weather and fun trails. Yay to us for doing all trails, including the black "difficult"! Thanks so much Ray for organizing this!

    1 · January 5, 2014

  • Linda

    What a great day! Beautiful scenery, good snow and a lot of fun. Ray - thanks for helping me get my ski legs back.

    1 · January 4, 2014

  • Linda

    What a great day! Beautiful scenery, good snow and a lot of fun. Ray - thanks for helping me get my ski legs back.

    January 4, 2014

  • Marjie

    Plans have changed. Hope a good time is had by all!!

    January 4, 2014

  • Dave

    Bummer. A conflict has come up. Have a great time everyone!

    January 4, 2014

  • Michael

    I injured my foot

    January 3, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi, I am going and I have a car, I live in Lakeview north if somebody want a lift, let me know... But I will comeback early, so if you want to stay until late you may want to arrange somebody else to bring you back...

    January 3, 2014

  • Shanti

    I am on the waitlist. If i get a spot, is there a possibility of a ride? I live downtown and will be happy to meet at a bus or el stop and happy to share gas, parking, tolls, etc. thanks!

    December 28, 2013

    • Kimberly K.

      Hi Shanti, did you see Paul's posts about renting a Zip car for the day? Reply to that if interested.

      January 2, 2014

    • Shanti

      Kim, thanks, but the day won't work for me and I had to take myself off the waiitlist..thanks for your post!

      January 2, 2014

  • Jude

    Hi! Is anyone interested in carpoling from the city to this event? I would love to go but my car is not good for road trips. I am good company and would pitch in for the trips gas. Thanks! :-)

    December 27, 2013

    • Kimberly K.

      Hi Jude, did you see Paul's posts about renting a Zip car for the day? Reply to that if interested.

      January 2, 2014

  • rich w.

    Hey Ray, with over a hundred people going, not everyone is going to have their own skis. They only have a limited amount of skis to rent. I called Grand Geneva Resort and was told I can't reserve them ahead of time. I would gladly pay ahead of time to know I have skis. They have a group outing department you can call. I am wondering why you didn't do that?

    December 31, 2013

    • Ray

      1. Numerous locations for ski rental around Chicago have been suggested (such as REI). This isn’t a grade school outing. As with all outings for this group, as adults it is the responsibility of the individual to come prepared to participate in the outing. I can answer questions and offer suggestions. But I’m not a travel service, and I am not requesting payment for that type of service.
      2. The instructions for the past several months are to make your own reservations and ski rental if you don’t own skis. The group outing is providing a time and place for social setting to meet people. The Grand Geneva controls attendance. There will be others not associated with this activity competing for ski rental at the Grand Geneva.
      3. Typically only 1/3 of the people who sign up actually show up. I wasn’t going to lay out a deposit for 50-60 no shows.

      1 · December 31, 2013

    • Michael

      Ray, Thanks much for all your helpful and constructive contributions--great job! I have complete confidence following you into unknown terrain, on a cold, wintry day, with only enough experience to be dangerous :)

      January 2, 2014

  • Tamie

    First time trying it! Let me know how I can help

    October 14, 2013

    • Ray

      If you're interested in lessons, call the ski school at the number above. I'm not doing the lessons but I'll swing back & collect those who are, so you can hit the trails with a group.

      December 30, 2013

  • Marisel

    I'm up for an adventure! I've never cross country skied b4 so I hope this will b ok? I did just hike at Kettle Moraine this past weekend and that is a great place for it

    September 9, 2013

    • Ray

      The activity for this Saturday is geared for newbees with little or no experience x-country skiing. You don't need to invest in equipment to try it out for this week. You can rent skiis & bindings at the resort. The groomed trails will be fairly flat. The following week we'll hit some trails at Kettle Moraine which will allow you to start out on less challenging trails so you can get your legs under you, and then we can move to more challenging trails once you get your confidence.

      1 · November 6, 2013

    • Ray

      If you're interested in lessons, call the ski school at the number above. I'm not doing the lessons but I'll swing back & collect those who are, so you can hit the trails with a group.

      December 30, 2013

  • Sofi G

    If I have never done this can I just show up and get to it? Or do I need some type training and conditioning??

    September 13, 2013

    • Ray

      If you can’t make this Jan 4 date: The Illinois Sierra Club is offering a beginner cross country ski clinic Saturday, January 11, 2014 to Sunday, January 12, 2014 in Berrien Springs, MI. Leader is Michael Davis. To sign up, call Mike at[masked] or email him at [masked] beginning December 15 to reserve your spot. Carpooling is encouraged.
      The ski lesson is $25 for a day & a half of instruction and supervised practice. Meals, lodging and ski rental costs are not included. Mike usually gets a deal at a lodge in South Bend, Ind. He’ll let you know where and what the rates will be. The $25 ski lesson cost includes a donation to support cross country ski trails. Its limit to 20 participants, with priority given to beginners (i.e. never been on skis before). Intermediate skiers are welcome if there is room.
      You can find it on the Illinois Chapter January Outings Calendar web site: http://www.illinois.s...­

      December 6, 2013

    • Ray

      If you're interested in lessons, call the ski school at the number above. I'm not doing the lessons but I'll swing back & collect those who are, so you can hit the trails with a group.

      December 30, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I have never X-Country Skied before but I have been dying to try. Would this group be appropriate for me? Any suggestions on what I would need (other than ski rental) to preform these activities? Thank you!

    December 30, 2013

    • Ray

      Don’t wear cotton. Cotton absorbs sweat, then you’ll get wet and then cold. Don’t wear downhill or snowmobile outfits. You’ll soon be overheated from the activity of x-country skiing. You should have a slight chill as you start skiing. You’ll soon warm up! Practice jogging or speed walking in the outfit you’ll wear x-country skiing. You’ll be able to gage how many layers you’ll need to wear. Usually I’m wearing 2 lite layers, outer layer is water resistant and glove liners without the gloves. Wool socks. A large bandaid for each of your heals to prevent a blister from forming. You’ll also need wraparound sun glasses for the snow glare. Goggles will fog up when you get heated-up. Bring Chapstick & a bottle of water for the trail. You also may want to bring a change of cloths for later or tarveling back home.

      December 30, 2013

    • Ray

      If you're interested in lessons, call the ski school at the number above. I'm not doing the lessons but I'll swing back & collect those who are, so you can hit the trails with a group.

      December 30, 2013

  • Ray

    If anyone needs my cell phone# to meet up as a group, send me an email. If you want lessons, you need to call the ski school and make your reservations. After your lessons we'll swing back so you can join the rest of the group who are not taking the lessons. Don't worry about falling down on the trail, we'll all be doing that. This should be an easy ski trail.

    December 29, 2013

  • Doug

    Anyone planning to be up there Friday night...perhaps with an interest in dinner or drinks?

    December 29, 2013

    • Ray

      See Jan Cichy above.

      December 29, 2013

  • Jan C.

    I look forward to meeting the group should the waitlist open up or a second group can be added...I would also be interested in a Friday night dinner/drinks.

    December 29, 2013

    • Ray

      Don't worry about the waitlist. Make your plans through the Grand Geneva and meet us @ the Mountain Top Chalet. I was thinking of drinks & eats afterward on Saturday.

      December 29, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Does it look like there will be an opportunity for beginners to get instruction, either at the Resort (surely there's enough interest to justify a group lesson?) or somewhere else before this trip? There's nothing on the event calendar for the Chicago chapter of the Sierra Club yet.

    October 21, 2013

    • Ray

      Word from the organizer for Sierra Club basic lesson, is that weekend would probably be Friday evening Jan 24 to Sunday Morning Jan 26 for that basic lesson package. They will organize the lodging & give the lessons. They are arranging for a group lodging rate. There are 2 other x-country trips currently listed on the Illinois Chapter calendar of events for experienced x-country skiers.

      October 22, 2013

    • Ray

      If you plan on the 1 hr lesson at Grand Geneva, you'll need to make your own reservation. If your staying the weekend, you'll also need to make your own reservation.

      December 13, 2013

  • Karen L.

    cant wait!

    October 28, 2013

  • Ray

    From Grand Geneva Resort:
    1. X-country ski rental: Rentals are $12/day
    2. X-country skiing trail fees rates? Trail pass is $6.
    3. Times that X-country ski lessons are offered? No set times, they offer them based on requests (We will decide that later. I suggest 9 or 10 am. Car poolers can set up their own time as needed.)
    4. Advanced X-country ski lessons, or just beginner lessons? Beginner lessons for the most part but they do have a few instructors for more advanced individuals.
    5. Are instructors certified? They have 2 certified Nordic instructors.
    6. Any X-country skiing/Resort packages? There are downhill packages, but cross country is not included
    7. Trail maps? I can't attach it here but will email it out as time gets closer.

    2 · October 22, 2013

    • Ray

      8. When does the ski school[masked] phone line start operating? You can dial[masked] now and they can answer questions. Reservations for the ski school are accepted two weeks prior to the lesson. (You will make your own reservation - we can coordinate the time.)

      1 · October 22, 2013

    • Ray

      9. Ski lessons rates are $25 with a reservation for one hour in a group lesson setting.

      1 · October 22, 2013

  • Ray

    For group lessons on Jan 4: The Resort will take care of the "group". i.e. There will be others in the lesson, not necessarily with meet-up. For those who don’t need basic instruction, the have instructors who can provide “advanced” lessons. For example, I would like some instruction on stopping while I’m in the “classical” trail tracks. After the lessons, we would meet at the trail head for the x-country trails. We’ll work out the details as we get closer to January.

    It's a 2 hr trip from Chicago. As far as lodging at Grand Geneva you would make your own arrangements if you wanted a weekend. I could check into group rates if there is a large interest. There are “ski packages” available at Grand Geneva, but not for x-country.

    1 · October 22, 2013

  • Ray

    The Grand Geneva Resort & Spa in Lake Geneva, WI offers beginner X-country lessons at “The Mountain Top.” Depending on weather conditions, we’ll make the group lesson the first outing on January 4. After the lesson, we’ll hit the local x-country ski trails for the rest of the day. Those wanting to skip the lessons can meet at the x-country ski trail head (I'll get directions).

    Rates are $25 with a reservation for one hour in a group lesson setting. I'll also check into advanced classes for those who have the basics and want to advance their skills. I’ll check into ski rental rates and trail fees, and also pass that information along later.

    In December individuals will need to call the ski school (but not now – phone line is not yet operating) at[masked] and the Resort will make arrangements for the lessons.

    Later weeks we'll head off to other locations as snow conditions dictate. I’ll pass along information lessons on other dates as it becomes available.

    October 21, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'd love to learn more about xc ski areas near Chicago or trips elsewhere. I ski at an intermediate level and would love to ski with others my same speed on classic.

    September 22, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'd love to learn more about xc ski areas near Chicago or trips elsewhere. I ski at an intermediate level and would love to ski with others my same speed on classic.

    September 21, 2013

  • Bobi

    Thankyou Jerry for info on ski show, marked my calender.

    1 · September 12, 2013

  • Bobi

    Deer Grove in Palatine has some good trail options for beginner to intermediate.Will check out the cycle shop , up the road for rental.Also for an overnighter there is chain o lakes area , but maximum 15?? people. "Once you try you know your going to want to buy " :)look for sales as the season approaches

    September 9, 2013

    • Ray

      I recommend renting equipment first few times out. Most locations with groomed trails rent equipment, or there are rentals close by. Once you feel like you would like to commit to several years of skiing, you can lay out the $200-$300 for starter skis/poles & binders.

      September 9, 2013

    • Jerry

      The "Windy City Ski and Snowboard Show" is October 25-27, 2013 this year at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center. You can meet venders, resort reps, etc. The big hit is the discounted super sale, but they do not have much in the way of x-country equipment.

      September 11, 2013

  • Zak

    A great place to ski is at Yankee Springs recreation area about 3 hours from Chicago. Groups cabins are available there at great rates. Trails and accommodations all in the same place.

    September 9, 2013

  • Jane

    Locally, the Morton Arboretum in Lisle rents skis and offers XC trails with 4+ inches of snow: www.mortonarb.org (There's an admission fee.) That's a good way for beginners to try the sport. Arrowhead Golf Course in Wheaton used to rent, with golf course and adjacent Herrick Lake Forest Preserve trails, but they didn't open up last year at all. Anyone know of other similar offerings around Chicago? THINK SNOW!!!!

    September 8, 2013

    • Ray

      Lake County FP and DuPage County FP grooms some trails (when there is snow). Best snow for day trips is usually in the Indiana-Michigan snow belt. The counties there have groomed trails and rent equipment. We'll probbaly schedule those locations as we get into snowy weather. If weather permits, Lake Geneva WI also has groomed trails, as well as White Pine State Park around Oregon, IL.

      September 9, 2013

  • Dana

    Please add me to the list! Sounds great.

    September 8, 2013

  • Ray

    One organization which offers lessons is the Illinois chapter of the Sierra Club. (This isn't the Sierra Club MeetUp page.) The outings calendar is at http://www.illinois.sierraclub.org/outings.html I don't see anything listed in January yet (when they usually offer lessons). Usually its 2 day, 1 night in South Bend, IN (Lake Michigan Snow Belt). There is a fee which includes lodging. You’ll need to rent (there) or bring your skis. I’ll have more information as it becomes available. I'll also look for lessons at some of the Lake Geneva resorts & pass along the information.

    September 4, 2013

  • Debra S.

    My 1St time cross country skiing and I can't wait.

    September 4, 2013

  • Trupti

    definitely interested, last attempt at this was many years ago, have not had a chance since then, afraid of falling but want to try anyway.

    September 3, 2013

  • Bobi

    Xcountry skiing is on my favorites list, not great at hills but flats are good-count me in!

    August 11, 2013

  • Shantanu

    Sounds like fun, disclaimer - zero expertise :)

    July 23, 2013

  • Helen H

    I AM interested. RSVP'ing "No" for now to stop getting the emails. I'll sign up when there are actual trips planned. Thanks Ray!

    July 22, 2013

  • Steph

    I really might be interested in this. I'm not sure if I'll be able to by then, but hopefully I will. :-D

    July 22, 2013

  • Debra S.

    I'm willing to try

    July 22, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I make my reservation near the schedule, because I am not sure where I be in Jan 2014. If I still be alive I be glad to join because this sounds fun. I am rookie at this too :D

    July 21, 2013

    • Ray

      Right now I was seeing if anyone is interested. Scheduling will depend on weather (i.e. snow) conditions this winter.

      July 21, 2013

  • Lauren N.

    Definitely interested!

    July 21, 2013

  • Benji

    Im intetested, if it is kid friendly

    July 20, 2013

  • Julie

    I'm interested too!

    July 20, 2013

  • Beth W.

    Love to find fellow novices and have some fun.

    July 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'd love to get out for more x-country skiing!

    July 19, 2013

  • Andrea

    Love it! Thinking ahead! (anyone for some inline skate cross-training:)

    July 19, 2013

  • Karin

    Yes, I love to cross country ski. Please notify me!

    July 19, 2013

  • M.E.

    Interested to hear when something is planned. And sounds wonderful as a contrast to the heat this week.

    July 19, 2013

7 went

Our Sponsors

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy