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Stinchfield Loppet - a gloriously fun ski tour

Thu, Feb  19, 2015 - By Jeff Potter

Come join us for an extraordinary ski experience! This is a free no-drop ski tour. We'll be exploring a "big country" forest that'll make you think you're not downstate!

It's part of the MI BC Ski Series which includes the Potto Raid and Stan's Fire'n'Ice and Brighton Rec B2B Race.

Some people consider the Stinch Loppet to be a REALLY fun tour with a REALLY good parking lot party afterward.

("Loppet" is Scandinavian for "party ski hearty.")

Stinchfield Loppet

Stinchfield Woods is a large, hilly preserve centered around Peach Mountain in Pinckney. It's home to the UM Observatory. It has the biggest hills and valleys in the SE MI region. The scenery it offers is almost unrivaled. There are a couple views of forested valleys where you hardly believe you're downstate. It's special. And it has about 20 km of trails. We'll meet up and go ski these trails all in a couple hours. We'll stop and have a snack out on the trails then after the whole deal we'll kick back in the parking lot awhile.

When I say "trails," that's what I mean. This is not a ski "course." There is no grooming. If snow is thin, bring suitable skis. Touring skis in general are what ya want. Don't need metal edges.

Stinch is suitable for a skier with solid intermediate skills but our route will also reward good fitness. The hills are big but mostly have straight, clear run-outs. Not very technical but your speed (and thrill!) will be more than usual for around here. (Only a couple involve some speed scrubbing.) There are a few steady, fairly steep uphills of over a quarter mile: as big as anything anywhere.

Our main group will ski at a medium pace. Call it "brisk intermediate." Some will hammer the uphills. We'll regroup at the various tops. We won't be racing but there will be chances to ski as hard as you can! And to descend as fast as you dare! v Ski lovers of all ages enjoy touring here. There are shorter mellower loop options around a plateau area. It's been famous for decades.

Our meet-up location is 1/4 W of the intersection of Pinckney Rd & N. Territorial on the S side of N. T. in a professional/daycare parking lot. We then cross the street and a small field to access a 2-track heading into Stinch.

I'll print out maps in case anyone wants to peel off the main group. The trails are so extensive that even though the forest is only a few square miles you can get lost (for awhile).