Come “ski with the pack” in our cross-country ski marathon and half marathon! The 42 km course is a single loop that incorporates all of the best and most challenging trails at Minocqua Winter Park. The 24 km race is much tamer and does not include any of the “expert” trails that the 42 km race uses.
January 30, 2016
This is a chip-timed race with seeded wave starts and awards for top overall and division finishers. The 42 km marathon is a qualifier for the American Birkebeiner, and the 24 km half-marathon is a qualifier for the Kortelopet.
Stay refreshed and safe with six on-course aid stations and Ski Patrol coverage.
Minocqua Winter Park is proud to name U.S. Bank as the title sponsor of the 2016 Wolf Tracks Rendezvous.
U.S. Bank is the fifth-largest commercial bank in the United States. The company operates 3,151 banking offices in 25 states and 5,001 ATMs, and provides a comprehensive line of banking, investment, mortgage, trust and payment services products to consumers, businesses and institutions.
U.S. Bank maintains two office locations and two 24-hour ATMs in Minocqua to serve you:
January 29th (2:00 PM): As of 2:00 PM Friday, 214 skiers are registered for the 5th Annual Wolf Tracks Rendezvous!
“We will have the best-groomed snow, on the best trails, of any cross-country ski race in the Midwest so far this season,” says Zeke in the MWP Ski Shop & Ski School. Nearly all race trails are in excellent condition Friday, with the least-best snow being some long sections of classic tracks on River Run rated 3/5, or “good enough for race skis.” River Run is closed today to protect the PistenBully’d snow.
Final grooming will commence this evening to allow our groomers enough time to adjust for any snow or sleet that might fall overnight. We anticipate that 85% of the classic tracks and 95% of the skate lanes will be excellent or very good, and the remaining trail segments will be good.
Januray 28th (Noon): Groomers were able to start hitting the snow at 6:00 AM today. They will run non-stop until the start of the race. The race field is now at 165 skiers!
January 28th: A few minutes after midnight, 159 racers are registered for the 5th annual Wolf Tracks Rendezvous, presented by U.S. Bank. There is a total-event field limit of 300 racers, with no limits on each distance, technique, nor gender divisions. Registration is open online and in the chalet until 30-minutes before race start.
Groomers are waiting on colder temps before PistenBully work can resume. Since early Wednesday, another 2″+ has fallen, and another 1″ is expected by sunrise Thursday. This is after 4”-5” from the Monday-Tuesday storm. Temps are forecast to fall below freezing through Saturday afternoon, allowing for good grooming opportunities.
A few thin spots remain on the trails, and we will have a complete race course outlook by Thursday afternoon. Groomers rolled 49K on Tuesday, including the entire 42K race course. We shoveled snow on the thin spots on Nepco’s Cruise, Yukon, VO2 Max, and other trails. The trails are looking very good, with no major hazards on the race course routes.
We anticipate excellent to very good skating and striding conditions on 80%-90% of the trails. “Race” skis or “A” skis should be safe on Saturday. Areas of concern include a thin spot on the Yukon Trail return leg, minimal coverage of small boulders on Nekoosa, one thin and bumpy section of Creek Trail, and River Run under the dense canopies of the State Natural Area.
Race grooming starts Friday morning, and we plan to close Nekoosa/Wolf Tracks and River Run on Friday morning.
January 27th: The storm total for Monday-Tuesday was 4″-5″ of wet and dry snow. Groomers rolled 49K overnight, including the entire 42K race course. We shoveled snow on the thin spots on Nepco’s Cruise, Yukon, VO2 Max, and other trails. The trails are looking very good, with no major hazards on the race course routes. Race grooming starts Friday morning, and we plan to close Nutcracker, Nekoosa/Wolf Tracks, and River Run on Friday.
January 24th: As of 8:00 a.m. Monday morning, 111 skiers are registered for the 5 annual Wolf Tracks Rendezvous, presented by U.S. Bank. There is a 300-racer total field limit, but there are no other limits on registration for distance or technique.
We asked the 400 skiers who strided and skated every kilometer at Minocqua Winter Park this weekend for their feed back of our grooming. Many racers and season pass holders reported that the vast majority of the park remained in good to very good condition with almost 20k still in excellent condition. It was still safe to use “race” or “A” skis all weekend. However, we are seeing more thin spots on Silver Strider, Red Pine, one stretch of Creek Trail, and X-C Express. We have done wonders with limited snow coverage, thanks to extensive off season trail mowing and maintenance.
If we do not receive any new snow showers before the race, we project that conditions would be a mix of very good to fair, leaning towards good. The National Weather Service forecasts 2″ to 4″ by Tuesday afternoon, and that is all that we would need to produce excellent to good track and corduroy on more than 90% of the race courses.
January 18th: Groomer’s report on Monday, January 18: “If the race had been held this weekend, we would have seen very good to excellent conditions for both classic and skate, 42K and 24K. The only areas of concern are short distances of Creek Trail, Yukon Trail, Tornado, and River Run. Volunteers and grooming staff will do some spot-repair work to smooth a few stretches of uneven skate decks, finish trimming a patch of brush on River Run, and monitor one spot in the Squirrel River flood plane that took its time to freeze. Without new snow between now and race day, and we’d have good trails. A few inches of powder, and the trails will be fantastic.”
January 16th: Race registration is growing quickly! All paper forms must have been postmarked by January 15.
September 1st: Online registration is open! The first price bump is January 1, 2016.
Registration for the Wolf Tracks Rendezvous is limited to 300 skiers as a total of all four distance and technique races.
Both the 42K Marathon and 24K Half-Marathon will be offered in freestyle and classic techniques. Here is a list of all races:
- 42 km Marathon – Freestyle
- 42 km Marathon – Classic
- 24 km Half-Marathon – Freestyle
- 24 km Half-Marathon – Classic
All races have male and female divisions. The age classes for the 42 km Marathon will be in 5-year increments; age class for the 24 km Half-Marathon will be in 10-year increments.
|Through December 31||Through January 29||January 30 (Race Day)|
|Wolf Tracks 42K||$60||$75||$85|
|Wolf Tracks 24K||$60||$75||$85|
Or download a PDF form and register by mail, postmarked by January 15, 2016.
Read Minocqua Winter Park’s official event policies regarding non-transferable bibs, cancellation, refunds, and more.
Thursday, January 28, 2016
5:00 PM – Race Course Sections Begin to Close for Final Grooming
Friday, January 29, 2016
9:00 AM– Chalet Opens. River Run, Nekoosa, and Wolf Tracks will be closed
3:00 PM – Late Registration & Bib Pick-up
5:00 PM – Trails Close
8:00 PM – Chalet Closes
Saturday, January 30, 2016
7:00 AM – Chalet Opens for Late Registration & Bib Pick-up
8:30 AM – Registration & Bib Pick-up Ends for 42 km Marathon
9:00 AM – Wolf Tracks Rendezvous 42 km Marathon
Wave schedule will be announced by Friday, January 29th
9:30 AM – Registration & Bib Pick-up Ends for 24 km Half-Marathon
Wave schedule will be announced by Friday, January 29th
10:00 AM – Wolf Tracks Rendezvous 24 km Half-Marathon
12:00 PM – Announcement of Overall Division Winners
1:30 PM – Announcement of Age Class Award Winners
5:00 PM – Park Closes
Sunday, January 31, 2016
9:00 AM – Visit Winter Park at half-price for all racers and family members!
Professional chip timing will be managed by White River Sports Timing. A disposable RFID chip will be attached to each .
Racers are instructed to stay clear of the start and finish timing wires and zones when they are not racing, and to remove their bibs and stow them inside the chalet or their vehicle immediately following the race.
An awards ceremony will be held for the 24 overall winners of the Wolf Tracks Rendezvous. This includes the top three male and female finishers in each of the four distance and technique race divisions listed above.
For both the 42K and the 24K, awards will be given to the top three finishers in each distance, technique, and gender division. The age classes for the 42K races will be in 5-year increments, and the age classes for the 24K races will be in 10-year increments. Age class winners may collect their awards from the race information desk.
Click on the maps to download high-resolution PDF versions.
Nearly all cross-country ski trails will be open during the Wolf Tracks, with tracking rules in effect until about noon. If you see a racer, please yield to them.
Caution should be exercised during race start and lead finisher times. All guests are requested to clear the first half of Base Loop until 10:30 AM, and to yield to all racers on the end of Nepco’s Cruise, all of Sleigh Ride, and the home-stretch of Silver Strider – the final 2km of both race courses – from 10:30 AM to 12:00 Noon.
To avoid racers almost entirely, we encourage skiers to try the old-school single track on our 6′-wide Wilderness trails. Other options include Island Hop, C&D Express, and Lake Marie trails, which are not part of any race course.
The ski trails that will be used by racers will open in full as our racers move throughout the park:
- 10:30 AM – The “Western Hills,” including Base Loop, Tornado Alley, Survivor, Nutcracker, and Yukon Trail.
- 11:00 AM – The “Central Interior,” including most of X-C Express, Creek Trail, Beaver Pond, and Squirrel’s Tail.
- 12:00 Noon – Central and Southeast Trails, including Red Pine, VO2 Max, Mellow Meadow, Nekoosa, and Wolf Tracks.
- 1:00 PM – The “Eastern Interior,” including the second half of Silver Strider, Steeple Chase, and Nepco’s Cruise. River Run will begin to clear by this time as well.
- 2:00 PM – All Trails are expected to be clear of most racers, with only a handful of athletes completing the final legs of their marathons and half-marathons.
Snow tubing, snowshoeing, and ice skating will not be affected by the Wolf Tracks Rendezvous ski races.