Hixon Forest

Greyed out options are no longer available.

Registration: Open • Register for VolunteeringRegister Skier
Meets: Sunday, Thursday
04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
Starts: Jan. 1, 2023
Dates: Jan 1, Jan 5, Jan 8, Jan 12, Jan 15, Jan 19, Jan 22, Jan 26, Jan 29, Feb 2, Feb 5, Feb 9, Feb 12, Feb 16, Feb 19, Mar 2, Mar 5, Mar 9
Classic Rentals:
Skiers must have their own equipment
Skate Rentals: Skiers must have their own equipment
Membership: $60.00
Ski Pass Required:
Leader: Chris Cogbill
Skill Levels Offered:

updated 11/14/2022

Welcome to the Inaugural Year of Skiwerx La Crosse!!

Registration: Through SkiWerx, a Minnesota Youth XC program, which offers insurance for our club and organizational development. The La Crosse club is here
Cost: $60 for registration
Equipment: We do not currently have sufficient gear in the larger youth sizes to offer rentals through this group, though we aspire to in future years!  Please reach out if you are looking for gear, as we could have a smaller group discussion about swaps, seasonal rentals or other options that might help us get kids outfitted for this year. There is a swap this weekend in Minneapolis for MYXC. Info is available here
Techniques: We will offer skate & classic techniques, likely alternating practices based on snow conditions, similar to the Winona club. 
Location: Practices will be primarily held at Hixon Forest City Park, though we may take 1-2 trips to Winona if we have a long snowless stretch. Our plan is to have this group meet at the Forest Hills Golf Course parking lot and head out from there.
Practice times & dates: January 1st - March 9, Sundays & Thursdays. No practices Feb 23 & 26 for Birkie week.

Races: SkiWerx registration gives our club access to any of the SkiWerx racing series events, held primarily around the Twin Cities.  However, in light of the travel distance to events and the feedback we received from all of you, we are not committing our club to participating in any of those events this year.  Youth & families are welcome to participate in any of those events that fit their individual interest & schedule.

Weather and cancellation policy

For Sunday's practices:  We will make a preliminary weather call on Thursdays before we meet and post it right here.  Look for language such as (likely/unlikely).  We will make a final weather or conditions call on Sunday morning by noon and post it here and send an email to all of the families.  Assume practice is on if you do not hear!

We will not ski if the air temperature is below -2˚ F or the wind chill is below -10˚ F, or at the leader’s discretion.  Because the little kids ski out in the open, wind is a big factor on the golf course at Forest Hills.  Always check the website or email with questions.  Cancellations will be posted on Facebook and this webpage.


Dress warmly, but dress to move! It's best to dress in layers and avoid cotton or cotton-blends. Suggested layers*:

  1. Base layer (underwear layer) wicks sweat off your skin: polypropylene or lightweight wool long underwear tops and bottoms
  2. Middle layer (insulating layer) retains body heat to protect you from the cold: a second long-underwear top, a long-sleeve (non-cotton) t-shirt or a lightweight fleece
  3. Outer layer (shell layer) shields you from wind and snow: heavy fleece or jacket on top and fleece pants/leggings or pants designed for xc skiing on bottom

*Please use your discretion and take into account activity level and the outside temperature/wind chill. Often winter jackets and snow pants or a snowsuits are too warm once children get moving. However, kids in levels 1 and 2 and older beginners don't move as much and generally wear winter coats and snow pants/snowsuits.

Other tips for staying warm:


  • Wool socks: Invest in a pair of wool (or non-cotton wool-alternative) socks that come up to mid-calf.
  • Cover the head, ears and neck: We lose a lot of heat through our heads, so cover up with hats (that cover the ears), neck warmers, balaclavas or headbands.
  • Dry boots: Cold, wet boots are no fun to put on. Bring ski boots in from the car and let them dry out between uses. Before driving to SkiSparks, have your kids put their boots on at home where it's warm.
  • Mitten/gloves: Mittens will keep fingers warmer than gloves. Most kids where their waterproof snow gloves, but more advanced skiers may be more comfortable wearing breathable gloves designed for cross-country skiing.
  • Hand/Foot warmers: For when it is really cold, hand and foot warmers are helpful. These are oxygen activated and you can “turn them off” by putting them in an airtight container (such as a glass jar) to get multiple uses.
  • Calories: A skier who is low on calories will have a hard time staying warm. Bring extra snacks and drinks.


Rental equipment is not available for our Skiwerx group. Kids are encouraged to have gear for both classic and skate technique, but this is not mandatory (i.e. they may elect to ski just one technique for the year, or swap with friends). "Combi"-style boots are available that can be used for both skate and classic techniques, but poles and skis will be of different length.

Annual Ski Swap sales can be found at Mt La Crosse (typically the first weekend in November), through the myXC organization (second weekend in November), or up in Winona, Rochester, or the Twin Cities (e.g. GearWest, FinnSisu, Pioneer Midwest). Make sure you ask if a particular ski shop offers deals for kids in the myXC organization -- many have substantial discounts!

Other resources:

A great guide to selecting skis for your kids:


Waxing guides / videos will be posted here once we find good resources!


We will be communicating with Skiwerx families via email.  When you register please include an active e-mail address.  You would be contacted for the following reasons:

  1. In the event we cancel practice because of weather.
  2. To let you know if we have to shift the time we are meeting because of weather or event.
  3. To be given periodic updates with news and information about the team.


Our head coaches are JP Ericsson and Michele Ericsson, an all-star husband/wife team with years of skiing experience

We can always use more coaching expertise!  Please reach out to Sara Strassman ( or directly to JP or Michele for more information.  

Contact info

Please email Sara Strassman,

Check out the La Crosse Ski Clubs' Facebook page at: