This Winter at Elver

Junior Skier Evan Baker racing a “COVID safe” 5K virtual race last December at Elver Park


Through the generosity of CXC, Madnorski members and the City of Madison Parks Department, we have been able to make snow at Elver Park the last 4 seasons. This was made possible through using a combined effort of borrowed equipment, club and city operating funds and many volunteer hours.  

Unfortunately, with the current inventory of equipment, we can no longer make an impactful snowmaking loop without seriously endangering the safety of our volunteer crew.  We simply do not have the proper electrical and plumbing infrastructure to do this right. 

Madnorski, CXC and the City have been meeting weekly through 2021 to plan for a successful cross country ski season across the City.  Discussions have included how and where to provide a more reliable, safe, and permanent (underground) snowmaking infrastructure in the City. We also have acknowledged the substantial hurdle to raise  capital and an estimated annual $50,000 required to make and maintain a 1-2 kilometer loop. The meetings have been engaging and encouraging, but as with any big project using public space and public as well as private funds, things get complicated. The board anticipates that we will convene a broad group of Madnorski members and interested folks from the community in evaluating where and whether the greater Madison area can support another venue for permanent snowmaking. Stay tuned.

If we are lucky enough to have a good natural snow year, we are prepared to provide consistent, outstanding grooming just as we did in 2020-2021. This is a combined effort of City Parks, Madnorski volunteers and CXC – all who have already been doing significant improvements to the Elver trails this fall including cutting back brush, adding mulch to areas, and opening up tight turns for grooming equipment. Plus, a new snowshoe trail is being laid out and marked for this winter, again thanks to this partnership. On the Eastside, our Madnorski friends and volunteers at Dane County McCarthy Park are also poised to continue their outstanding work in making McCarthy Park a successful cross country ski destination.

Snowmaking for the Madison Nordic Community is still however on the horizon for this coming winter. We are very excited to see that the Middleton Outdoor Recreation and Sports Center has broken ground and over a million dollars has been raised to build an access road and basic snowmaking infrastructure including power, snowmaking pond and plumbing. Fundraising is underway for permanent underground electrical and water for a lighted, manmade snow loop. As with many building projects in the Covid era, there have been delivery delays in some of the crucial construction materials to get the facility running.  We are still optimistic that Middleton will be making snow this winter and welcoming skiers to an outstanding set of Nordic trails.

Many thanks to everyone who has contributed time and money to the club and all the snowmaking efforts. With longer range plans in process with Madison Parks and the new facility in Middleton, Madnorski will continue to actively fundraise to move these projects forward. It is only through the generosity of the Nordic community will we be able to ensure awesome skiing in the Madison area.