Skinnyski FAQ

The following is an attempt to cover some of the more common questions related to cross-country skiing in the upper Midwest...

Where do I find equipment?

  • Rentals - This article maintains a list of the known sources of cross-country rental equipment.
  • Shops - Area shops that provide knowledge cross-country staff and a full range of equipment.
  • Sales/Swaps - In the fall, there are a number of ski swaps around the region, along with some of the bigger ski sales of the season.
  • Classifieds - Find great deals on used, and sometimes new, equipment from skiers. 

Can my ski equipment be repaired?

  • Equipment Repairs - An outline of typical equipment issues and options for repairs, including links for local repair shops.

How much does it cost to use the ski trails?

  • Trail/Park Fees - This article maintains a list of the current trail passes and links for details and purchasing info (many passes can be purchased online).

Where is there good skiing right now?

  • Trail Reports - A compilation of the latest trail reports, all submitted either by skiers themselves or the groomers.

I haven't seen a recent trail report for my favorite trail - how do I request one?

How do I submit my own trail report?  Can I include photos?

  • Submit Trail Report - Just finished skiing?  Let us know what the conditions were like!  And you can upload your trail photos right after you submit your report.

What trails are available near me?

Are there places to ski after dark?  How about candlelight skiing events?

  • Trail listings can be filtered by lighted trails. The article Under the Lights maintains a list of the known lighted trails and links to information on candlelight skiing events

I went to my favorite park and it was very crowded or a race was being held.  How can I avoid that?

  • Avoiding the Crowds - Notes on where you'll find high school meets and citizen races, schedules, and tips on backup trail systems.

I've heard about vehicle break-ins.  What precautions should I take?  Are some areas worse?

  • Some areas seem to have higher crime rates, including Battle Creek, Como and Wirth, but vehicle break-ins can happen anywhere.  Leave your valuables at home, or take them with you skiing.  Report any crime or suspicious activity promptly.  Tips on preventing theft.

What are rock skis?  And B skis?

  • Rock skis are usually an older pair of skis, ones that you really don't care if the bottoms get scratched or ruined (you will ski over rocks with them).   B skis are typically a recent pair of good skis, but now are your backup skis -- you'd prefer not to damage them, but they aren't your best skis.  Race skis, or your very best skis, are sometimes referred to as A skis.

Are there conditions when I shouldn't ski?

  • When the weather gets well above freezing, especially with rain, the trails can get very soft and if skied upon, may result in frozen ruts when the weather cools.  More warm weather tips.   Also try to avoid skiing behind groomers, as the groomed snow generally needs a little time to set up firm.

What lodging caters to XC skiing?

  • Lodging section - The lodging section contains resorts and hotels that generally cater to cross-country skiing.   Many have on-site ski trails.

Is there a list of ski races?

Updates on upcoming races, cancellations?

  • Racing Outlook - Contains detailed updates for events coming up in the next 7-14 days.
  • Racing Calendar - The calendar will denote cancellations.

Where do I find race results?  Are there results from previous seasons?

  • Race Results - The race results section contains the current season by default.  You can access previous seasons and different categories by using the pull-down menus in the upper right corner of the page.

I just got disqualified in a classical technique ski race -- what did I do wrong?

How do I submit photos or race results?

  • Submitting Race Results and Photos - This article provides detailed information and tips on submitting race results and photos.  It also has tips on how to take better winter photographs.

How can I find for an old article on Skinnyski?

  • Search - You can search articles for articles.  There is also a link on the front page, far left column, that goes to the search page.

How do I login to the website?

  • Look for the 'person' icon on the menu bar, it should be last on the menu list or far right on menu bar. Once logged in, you'll find access to all your account information (membership, classifieds, account info) under that menu section.

How do I receive notifications on trail reports? And requests for trail reports?

  • Visit the trail detail page for the trail you're interested in, then turn on the checkbox for the notification type(s) you want to receive. You can turn them off this way as well. If you're having problems with the notifications, you can check your settings and run a test notificationNote: Apple does not currently support Web Push notifications on iPhone/iPad devices, sorry.

How do I install Skinnyski as an app on my phone/iPad?

  • The Skinnyski website is designed to be installed as a Progressive Web App (PWA).  Typically it is installed from your mobile browser.   Full install guide with screenshots.

Do I need a Skinnyski membership to post classified ads?

  • Memberships - Yes, posting classified ads is one of the perks of a Skinnyski paid membership.   Members can also set trail reporting formats, like the number of days to show and a default region.

Why do you use Paypal for credit card payments?

  • Paypal - Paypal provides a number of key services for us.  First, they protect your credit card data -- we never receive any of your credit card details.  This also protects us, as we are not responsible for tracking your credit card details (and all of the regulations involved in the storage of such data). Second, you can also pay by bank account using Paypal.  Third, Paypal provides a subscription system that automatically tracks your membership, sends you reminders when it is expiring and can even automatically renew your account, if you desire.   Finally, Paypal is one of the oldest, most popular transaction services on the Internet.
    Note:  If you can't remember your account details or forgot your password, they can help retrieve it.   It is also important that you ensure your credit card information, especially the expiration date, is current in your Paypal account.
    If you still don't want to use Paypal, there is a postal option for memberships

Can I purchase photos I see on the website?

  • Photo Sales - In general, many of the event photographs can be purchased.   If there is no photographer credit listed on the photos, then those images were usually shot by Skinnyski and should be available for sale.   If the photos were taken by someone else, we can usually put you in contact with the photographer.

Why can't I see any contact details in the classified ads?

  • Ad blocking brower extensions, the most common being AdBlock, will block out parts of our website, including the contact information in the classifieds.   Simply turn off the ad blocking for our website to restore the proper display.

Photoviewer doesn't load all the photos?

  • There is a known issue with Apple's Safari web browser, apparently on older versions of the Mac OS X operating system, that causes some images to not fully load.  The workaround is to use another browser like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Opera.

Why can't I upload photos from my iPhone?

  • Some model iPhones store photos in a special 'High Efficiency' format, called HEIC.  This format is not natively supported on the web.  You can change from HEIC back to the old default, JPEG, by changing the camera settings format to 'Most Compatible'.  Learn how to change the settings or export existing photos in Apple guide to HEIC.

Have more questions? Need to contact us?

  • Contact us at