Skiers climb one of the more challenging hills at Swedetown Trails during a previous Great Bear Chase race. (File photo by Keweenaw Now)
CALUMET -- Skiers and organizers are hoping for warmer temperatures for the Great Bear Chase Ski Marathon this Saturday, March 8, and the Junior Bear Chase Friday, March 7, at Swedetown Trails in Calumet.
Cold temperatures and snow have been a challenge, but the Swedetown trails are well groomed and ready for the races. Saturday's races include 50 km Freestyle, 50 km Classic, 25 km Freestyle, 25 km Classic, 10 km Freestyle and 10 km Classic.
"This year’s high snowfall has required more grooming passes to keep the base packed nice and firm," Swedetown Trails Club President Cynthia MacDonald said. "Also, the snow load on the trees has required the groomers to clean up some downed trees and spend more time trimming overhanging limbs."
The groomers have been busy, and the reward is a base of snow that’s about as good as anyone could ask for. Groomer Pat Szubielak, who is also organizing Swedetown's third annual Snow Bike Race, said there’s no doubt the depth is at least three feet. MacDonald said in the woods it’s likely that it’s no less than four feet.
"All I keep hearing from people is that the base is terrific," MacDonald said. "This is one year where we certainly don’t have to worry about losing our base in March. We’ll be skiing all of March, and likely beyond."
Click here to register on line for the race.
Volunteers still needed
"We are still in need of about 40 volunteers for the Great Bear Chase this Saturday, March 8!" Angela Luskin of Portage Health announced early this week. "Please consider donating a few hours of your time to support a great local event."
Contact Luskin at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions on positions. To volunteer, fill out the form at the following link: http://www.greatbearchase.com/volunteer/. Positions and shifts that may still be needed are below:
De-Chipper 12-3 p.m.
Bag Attendant 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Chipper 7 a.m.-10 a.m.
Back-up Timer 12-3 p.m.
Fire Tender 10 a.m.-1 p.m., 1 p.m.-3 p.m.
Registration Friday 2 p.m.-5 p.m., 5 p.m.-8 p.m.
Beer Server 11a.m.-3 p.m.
Banquet Set-up 8 a.m.-10 a.m.
Banquet Assistant 10 a.m.-1 p.m., 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
Result Printer 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Aid Stations 7:30 a.m.-9:45 a.m., 8 a.m.-9:45 a.m., 8:30 a.m.-11:15 a.m., 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
Ski Pole Attendant 7:45 a.m.-10 a.m.
Stadium Crew 6 a.m.-8 a.m., 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Parking Assistant 6:30 a.m.-9 a.m.
25K Forerunner on skis 7:15 a.m.
25K Sweep on skis 10 a.m.
Ski Tigers to host Junior Bear Chase March 7
The Copper Country Ski Tigers are once again hosting the Junior Bear Chase on Friday night, March 7. Registration for the event will run from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Swedetown Trails Chalet. Races will start shortly after 5 p.m.
Read all of the details on the Junior Bear Chase, including information on how to save 30 percent by registering ahead of time, by going to greatbearchase.com/juniorbearchase.
Great Bear Square Dance to be held at Laurium Ballroom March 8
The 5th Annual Great Bear Square Dance will be held from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, March 8, at the Laurium Ballroom, 310 Hecla Street in Laurium (across from Miller Lanes, above the Police Dept.)
The caller is Donn Christensen who comes from the Washburn, Wis., area to ski the race and then call squares, circles, contras, etc. This is a community dance open to all. $5 per dancer appreciated.
Read more about the Great Bear Chase at greatbearchase.com.