BIG BAY, Mich. (WLUC) - The 30th annual Honey Bear Classic Ski Event was Saturday at the Big Bay Pathway. After last week’s stormy weather, this weekend’s conditions were just right.
Even Honey Bear himself came out of hibernation long enough to kick off the all-ages event.
Organizers say it's a timed event but there's no pressure to finish first. There are several loops to choose from, starting with a beginner 5K Meditation Loop. It offers minimal incline. More advanced skiers could try for Hidden Grin; offering more dramatic elevation changes over 7K.
Big Bay Pathway Director, Sven Gonstead says the more challenging loops can get rather grizzly.
“Then there's the more advanced loop which is Bear Mountain. It goes way up in the high country and there are some great views,” Gonstead exclaimed.
Gonstead says they put in some long days this week trying to clear the trails of downed trees & branches after last week's historic ice storm. He adds, there was so much work, they weren’t able to clear off their most remote, perhaps finest trail.
“And then on top of the Bear Mountain we have this ridgeline trail which is really our crown jewel. We were unable to get it open for this race because of conditions but it's really incredible,” Gonstead declared.
$15 donation was suggested for each participant for trail upkeep, improvement.
Participants also enjoyed hot dogs and hot cocoa by the fire. There were also some other snacks and a big pot of hot soup. And what’s the Honey Bear Classic without honey? There was plenty of that to go around too.