Eau Claire Ski Striders


Eau Claire Ski Striders purpose is to promote recreational cross-country skiing and citizen racing for adults and youth alike. Simultaneously, our organization supports the development of health, fitness and companionship.


Ever since our club was founded by Karl Andresen in 1973, the Eau Claire Ski Strider’s focus has been on family, fun, and fitness. Our vision continues to promote and enhance cross-country skiing for youth and adults.

Our activities involve five to six meetings per year, training programs, hosting the annual Fridtjof Nansen Ski Race at Tower Ridge, social gatherings, participating in ski races, and, working for the progress and maintenance of area ski trails. Expansion of off season activities that compliment cross-country skiing such as hikes, bike rides, kayaking, etc. are welcome additions to our agenda.

Although not restricted, club membership is mainly from the Chippewa Valley and West-Central Wisconsin and includes skiers of all abilities and ages. Active skiing families, including children and parents, make up a vital part of the club.


Past accomplishments

  • Fundraised/secured grants of $68,000 for trail lighting at Tower Ridge.

  • Fundraised/secured grants of $178,000 for a multi-use building at Tower Ridge.

  • Placed the original “cabin warming house” at Tower Ridge.

  • Facilitated development of additional ski trails at Tower Ridge and at Lowes Creek Nature Park with the Eau Claire County.

  • Facilitated development of additional ski trails at Fairfax Park ( Pine Meadows) with the City of Eau Claire.

  • Facilitated purchase of the original Track Truck groomer with the Eau Claire County.

  • Developed a local kids ski group as a Wisconsin branch of the Minnesota Youth Ski League in 1994 which expanded to 40 participants in 2005. In 2006, our club branched off to form the Eau Claire Youth Ski League (Kickin Kids) and the number of participants has grown to over 150.

  • Provided monetary support and at least 24 coaches for the 150 plus Kickin’ Kids since 2006

  • Provided monetary support for the purchase of grooming equipment to be used primarily at Mt. Washington Ski Jumping area.

  • Provided racing opportunities for youth by hosting Junior National qualifying races.

  • Provided monetary support of local junior level skiers at National Competitions.

  • Provided periodic donations to the Friends of Hickory Ridge for trail grooming/equipment at the Hickory Ridge Ski area near Bloomer, WI.

  • Secured grants and made donations for the purchase of a new snow mobile and grooming equipment to support youth skiing, the Fridtjof Nansen, and augment the grooming of area cross-country ski trails.

Ongoing Activities:

  • Providing ski lessons for adults and ski lessons for children through our Youth Ski League/ Kickin’ Kids program.

  • Hosting the Fridtjof Nansen ski race (31+ years).

  • October Tower Ridge Kick and Pick/chalet maintenance.

  • Maintain Tower Ridge maps, signs, lights, etc.

  • Advisors to Parks and Forest Liaisons.

  • Becoming an officer.

  • Assisting skiers, (give directions, answer questions) through volunteer trail patrols at Tower Ridge.

  • Gathering information through surveys to improve grooming at Tower Ridge, and exploring the feasibility of snow-making in the Eau Claire area.

  • Supporting snow-making, grooming, cross-country trail development, and improvements to the ski-jumping hills at Mt. Washington Youth Nordic Ski Area.

Additional Benefits:

  • Learn about waxing, training, technique, equipment, nutrition, and, health. Take part in car pooling to ski areas.

  • Participate in ski clinics for adults and youth.

  • Attend various functions/activities and the annual banquet.

  • Members are able to submit information, articles, and advertise to either buy or sell equipment on our website.

  • Receive news/information, such as all of the above, via a ski-o-gram or our website, www.eauclaireskistriders.org.

  • Know that you take part in contributing to the promotion of healthy and happy lifestyles while also developing great, life-long friendships.

How Can One Support The Eau Claire Ski Striders?

The first way you can support the Ski Striders is simply by joining and paying your membership fees ($20 single, $25 family). Membership fees go for supporting our club’s operating costs and the activities listed above.

The second way is to volunteer to participate on one of four category teams. Historically, as in most clubs, a minority of members do the majority of the work. To reverse that trend and to enhance your enjoyment of the club, we ask you to please join one of the following teams:

  1. Advocacy: This group focuses on snow-making issues, maintenance of Tower Ridge chalet, trails, grooming, snowshoe trails, signage, parking lot, etc. Supporting other trails and communicating with the City of Eau Claire and the Eau Claire County Parks and Forest are factors in acquiring desirable trail conditions.

  2. Activities/Social: This group focuses on events such as Kick n Pick, potlucks, ski trips, off-season gatherings like cycling or kayaking, banquet, parties, and organizing/ordering club apparel… those types of things.

  3. Race: This group focuses on organizing and orchestrating the Fridtjof Nansen Race. Which is now held in the form of a High School race with Chippewa Valley Nordic hosting.

  4. Skier Development: This group focuses on adult lessons and Kickin’ Kids, (alias, skiers of the future). Coaching, supplying treats, encouragement, and of course patience is all part of the success in skier development. This group also seeks and shares knowledge on training programs, waxing, and nutrition.

All teams are encouraged to post their information on our website and/or via a ski-o-gram.

Regardless of which team you join, your level of involvement is up to you. It is our hope that by more fairly dividing the club’s duties, it will increase the enjoyment of the sport we love for all of us. Thank you