Race & Trail Updates

White Pine Stampede 2024

Although the committee would like nothing more than to offer our traditional point-to-point ski race, the current trail conditions cannot safely be used. Just like in 2023, the 2024 WPS Course will use the slopes of Schuss Mountain’s King of The Hill loop. Each loop will total 3.4 km and go up and down 4 ski hills under the downhill ski lights. This course is challenging, but not dangerous, and should only be completed by experienced skiers. Skiers must start their 3rd lap by 8:20 am or be removed from the course due to current downhill ski operating hours. Because of this, we are offering any current registered skier who wishes to not race in the 2024 WPS an opportunity to do one of the following:

  1. Forward their entry to the White Pine Stampede 2025 race (Can purchase a race shirt)
  2. Donate your entry fee to the WPS to cover the cost for this year’s race. 
  3. Donate your entry fee to The Iron Vault and/or John McKaig Memorial Scholarship.

A committee member will be reaching out to all pre-registered skiers on which option they prefer. 

Saturday, February 3, 2024 at 7:00 AM

Schuss Mountain Ski Resort
1826 Schuss Mountain Ln
Mancelona, MI 49659

Course: King of The Mountain Loop 
Classic and Freestyle.
Classic tracks will be set. 

Distance: 10.5 KM 
3 Loops totaling 10.5 km
Skiers MUST start the 3rd loop by 8:20 or will be stopped at the start/finish line lap area.

Registration will take place 5:45 am – 6:45 am 
Ivans Restaurant
1826 Schuss Mountain Ln
Mancelona, MI 49659

9:00 am – 11:00 am 
Shorts Brewery, Downtown Bellaire
Breakfast by Cooks Country Catering
121 N. Bridge St
Bellaire, MI 49615

New For 2024! 
Awards will be located at Shorts Brewery in downtown Bellaire. Doors will open at 9:00 am with awards beginning at 9:30 am. All racers are invited to attend for a free breakfast catered by Cooks Country Catering, and beverages provided by Shorts Brewery! 

We realize this course is not ideal, but our committee is proud to offer skiers an opportunity to race no matter what Mother Nature has in store. We look forward to seeing you this Saturday at Schuss Mountain! 

Trail Report 1/27/24

Temperatures continue to stay above freezing and trail conditions continue to degrade as we head into the final week. What we know is that we WILL have a White Pine Stampede 2024! We are meeting with the grooming team on Sunday to discuss the nature of the course. We have three options going into the final week. 

  1.  A normal point to point (will be difficult at this time) 
  2.  A looped course like 2018. (Still a possibility) 
  3. King of the Mountain Loop (Similar to 2023’s race) 

If we must go with option 3, we will follow the same procedure as last year. Registered skiers who do not want to participate in option 3 may forward their entry to the following year or donate their entry fee to race costs, the Iron Vault, or the Jack McKaig Memorial Scholarship. The final decision on the course will be made on Monday and will be reported in our trail update. 

Happy White Pine Week! 

1/22/2024 Race Update

Less than two weeks until race day! The trails have been holding up, as of this past weekend. We are expecting a little bit of snowfall in the next few days, followed by a little warm up, then temperatures begin to cool down again for this weekend. Skiing parts of the trail this morning, the base is doing well, but is thin in spots. If the current trail conditions stay similar for race day, we should keep enough base to cover the ground, but a few areas might have a stick or two popping up thru the base. Our tail prep crew will do everything we can to take care of these areas. The most important update for now is the trail is doing well and we have the ground covered with a 4–6-inch base in most areas. Next trail update will be on Thursday this week! 

1/19/2024 Trail Update

With two weeks left until the race, the trail is looking better every day! The private property sections were all rolled on Wednesday this week, and the trails at Schuss Mountain are being groomed every day. Since the last trail update, we have received 4 – 6 inches of new snow, with more to come this weekend and we are watching a possible small system moving through on Tuesday. The trail crew will be out this weekend working on the trail and checking current snow depths. Next trail report will come on Monday! 

1/15/2024 Trail Update

Finally, we had a great weekend of snowfall for Northern Michigan. The course received over 12″ of snow in most areas and some areas as much at 18″! We have another small system moving in on Tuesday that predicts 6-10 more inches of snow. The extended forecast looks to be cold, with great chances of 1-2 inches on most days. As of now, we are planning to have a full point to point ski race with distances of 12k, 22k, and 38k! Please look for the next trail update on Thursday, January 18! 

1/10/2024 Race Update

Greetings from the 48th Annual White Pine Stampede!

Northern Michigan continues to keep us guessing on snow conditions this year, as February 3 is just over three weeks away. As we approach the final three weeks, the extended forecast finally has some hope, the 2024 WPS can have a normal race year. The WPS committee members of Laurie Allison, Rebecca Kendall, Beth McKaig, Lindsey Southwell, Kathy Lightbody, and Alyse Tarbutton have been hard at work preparing the trail and planning on giving our skiers a great race. We have a new “Stampede” Sponsor joining us this year, Consumers Energy! Consumers Energy has a long tradition of being a part of Northern Michigan events, like the AuSable River Canoe Marathon, and we are very excited to have them join one of the longest running ski races in Michigan. 

The WPS will continue its partnership with The Iron Vault, a free store for Mancelona students dedicated to help them reach their highest potential by removing barricades like access to food, clothing, and toiletries that might be interfering with their education, socializing, and success. This program is run solely by donation and the White Pine Stampede is dedicated to helping this program succeed. In addition, the John McKaig Memorial Scholarship awards two scholarships  to  graduating seniors from Mancelona High School. Race entry fees and additional contributions from racers make these donations possible. 

This year’s course will look similar to the 2022 course. The 10k race will be slightly longer at just over 12k, the 20k course should be just over 22k, and our longer course will be between 35k and 40k. All three races will finish at the  Schuss Mountain Nordic Ski Center,  just outside Schuss Village. Our trail crew continues to make a challenging course while avoiding going up or down the ski hill runs that have caused concern for skiers in the past. Our longer course includes two large loops over rolling terrain through both Shanty Creek and privately owned property. 

Although we would like to have a normal point to point race from Mancelona to Shanty Creek, recent snow conditions have us planning three options for the 2024 race. In addition to our planned course, we have a looped course we used a few years back that will stay off the ski runs and start at the Schuss Mountain Nordic Ski Center as our second choice, and the “King of The Mountain” loop as a last resort option, if needed.  Please stay tuned with race/snow updates on our website as we approach race day. EPIC Race Timing continues to be our chip-timing service allowing competitors to receive almost  instant results for both overall and age group classifications. 

NEW for 2024, skiers can join  volunteers and spectators at the Shorts Cool Down Party at Shorts Brewery in downtown Bellaire at their outside Beer Garden! We will have outdoor heaters, Shorts Beer, and food from Cook’s Country Catering starting at 1:00 pm. Complimentary bus transportation from the finish to Mancelona High School is provided to all racers. Mancelona Schools is allowing racers to use the school locker rooms to change and freshen up prior to heading to Shorts, located about 11 miles away.

Finally, the committee would like to recognize the volunteers and sponsors of the White Pine Stampede: this race would not be possible without you! Because of our dedicated volunteers and generous sponsors, the communities of Mancelona and Bellaire are able to host a top-notch ski race and raise funds for kids in our community. A special thanks to our long-standing partner Shanty Creek, who has worked with us year after year to make this race possible. Shanty Creek not only provides us with the perfect winter playground, its staff puts in many hours of work to make this event special for so many people. 

Thank you and we look forward to seeing you in February!

Ben Tarbutton
Race Directo

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