Snowy trails and icy beards: The White Pine Stampede

While mother nature was a little late to deliver on the promise of winter this season, we’re stoked to see plenty of snow on the ground just in time for one of our favorite wellness activities, the White Pine Stampede! Racers and recreational skiers alike will set off on a cross country course from Mancelona to Bellaire on Saturday, February 6th, 2016.

The White Pine Stampede is a cross-country ski event held annually in Antrim County in Northwest Lower Michigan. Beginning in 1977, the race has only been canceled one season (2012) due to a lack of snow. Held annually on the first Saturday of February, the original course saw participants ski 50 km from Frederick to Mancelona, MI. Today, the race is comprised of 3 courses; 50 km, 20km, and 10km (timed, but not competitive). The current point to point courses take skiers from Mancelona High School to Shanty Creek Resorts in Bellaire, MI.   

Erik Anderson, Short’s Brewing Company Assistant Cellar Manager, has participated in the White Pine Stampede since 2013. According to Erik, “The best part of the White Pine Stampede is the course. The race covers varied terrain that is only accessible to skiers during the event, so every year it feels new.”

When asked about what makes the White Pine Stampede such a special event, Race Director, Jack McKaig explained that “It’s not a big commercial event.” Jack emphasized that this trail and race are perfect for those who wish to ski in a competitive race or for those who wish to simply participate and finish with dignity. “You pick your reason and you go.”

In addition to race participants and spectators, close to 200 volunteers prep and facilitate the actual event. A point to point race like the White Pine Stampede is a considerable undertaking due to the nature of the course. Covering many miles and structured without a loop, racers start and end at different points, at times crossing roads.  

The 40th annual White Pine Stampede will take place on February 6th, 2016. Online registration ends at 12:01 am on February 4th, 2016. A portion of each entry fee is donated to the Children’s Hospital of Michigan.

We’ll see plenty of race gear and snow pants galore at this event. The only “Short’s” you’ll find at this event will be served in a pint glass at the end of the race. 

Take a peek at last year’s White Pine Stampede photos on Flickr.