Ski Lessons

MadNorSki is pleased to offer FREE Cross Country Ski lessons.

This is a great opportunity to get better, have more fun; and you can’t beat the price. Club instructors are talented, experienced, and happy to help teach lessons. While you do not need to be a MadNorSki member to take advantage of the free lessons, we recommend that you join to help support cross country skiing. Non-members are limited to 2 lessons per season. Members are not limited and Members get earlier notice of lesson sign-up. Members, please be considerate when signing up as we have a lot of demand and classes tend to fill quickly.

All ski lessons require a signed waiver. Please print the MadNorSki Lesson Waiver , sign it, and bring it to your lesson!

After you have taken a lesson, please fill out our survey here: Lesson survey

Sign up for lessons coming soon


Evening lessons will be offered at Elver Park on Tuesday evenings 5:45-6:45 pm. We gather in the park shelter 15 minutes prior to the lesson start. You will need a ski trail pass which can be purchased on site (cash) or buy online with your credit card. The Elver Shelter rents classic ski gear, which includes a ski pass. Skate ski gear can be rented in Madison only at REI (plan ahead). The Jan 9 lesson session will be at University Ridge Golf Course instead of Elver. Classic skis are available for rent and a pass is required (buy at the bar).

Weekend lessons may be offered occasionally depending on snow conditions and instructor availability.

To get the latest information on lessons, check the Events page on the website or consider joining the “XC” mailing list. You can sign up directly on the xclist page. Announcements are made on the email list.

If you have more questions, contact our lead instructor at .

How to Sign Up:

A link to the sign-up site is posted at the top of this page. If all slots are full when you go to register, you may join the waiting list to get updates on when the next sign-up will open. You will need to specify what type of class you need when you sign up.

We use the following ability definitions to help you find the right class:

Classic Novice – You’ve skied very little or not at all.

Classic Intermediate – You’ve begun to grasp classic technique and balance, but you’re not yet sure footed at medium speed. You can turn with control at slow speeds. Downhills may be challenging.

Skate Novice – You’ve skate-skied very little or not at all.

Skate Intermediate – You’ve begun to grasp skate ski technique and balance, but climbing moderate hills is quite challenging. You can turn with control at slow speeds.

Rental gear is also available from several local sporting goods stores. R.E.I. rents both classic and skate equipment. Fontana (both locations) and Rutabaga rent classic equipment.


“Jimmy – Just a note to say how much we appreciated the great lesson that Ian gave our group on Saturday. It was a terrific introduction for the kids. We got home, had lunch, and they put their skis back on and spent the next few hours in our back yard (used the septic mound for the hill). Please pass along to Ian that his most reluctant student (Simon) has been out four times since then, and is officially hooked.” – Amy

“Thanks for the free lesson on Tuesday night. The information and demonstration provided by Alan was excellent. I am no longer flopping around without a clue, but flopping around with much greater confidence in what my foundation and form should be. I really appreciate your generosity. This is a really nice service.” – a satisfied student

“I attended a lesson last night and I just wanted to thank you. I had a great time and I loved learning to ski! I still have a way to go but I feel more comfortable going out to practice now. Bill was my instructor and he was fantastic! Please thank him again for me. I hope to come again if you offer more lessons.” – Michelle

“I was a student at Blue Mounds on Saturday. I would also like to thank all the instructors for a terrific experience. I learned a lot and gained a great deal of confidence about what I need to do to get better. In fact I was back at Odana Sunday morning working on what I had learned. Thanks for the opportunity!” – Larry

Private Lessons

When we know of active, local instructors, we list them here. We do not certify or endorse instructors so you’ll need to decide if you feel they are a good match for you. If you have questions or are having a hard time lining up lessons, feel free to email as we may know of other options from time to time.

Karmen Whitham:

Karmen is a USSA Level 200 Certified Coach and Sports Massage Therapist with a graduate degree in Exercise Science from Northern Michigan University. After skiing for Stratton Mtn. School and Northern Michigan University and coaching juniors in Marquette Michigan, Karmen became development coach for CXC. To inquire about lessons, email

Brett Hulsey:

Brett is a USSA Level 100 Certified Coach and Master Personal Trainer with a graduate degree in Natural Science from the University of Oklahoma. After training at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado, Brett ski raced in Alaska, Middlebury College and Canada. He has coached youth in the Madnorski East and West teams. To inquire about lessons, email or call 608-334-4994.