The 2022 Iceman Cometh Challenge course is about as set as stone as it can get. We’ve had riders on the ground for weeks looking at ways to make the course more fun (i.e., less sandy) and avoid the worst of the logging. You’ll definitely want to give this a look before race day.
This is not 100% the course for 2023, but it’s darn close!
The 2022 Iceman Route – The Year of the Owl
2021 was dubbed the “Year of the Bear” and was built for the bigger guys. It was an ideal course for rouleurs and we saw plenty of incredibly fast time thrown down in stellar conditions.
Call 2022 a throwback; no Headwaters, which featured in 2019. The Boonenberg and Anita Hill are both in the mix after sitting out 2021. The Water Bottle Hill Bypass is (tentatively) back. At roughly 28.4 miles, it’s a neat mix of old and just a taste of new.
It’s the Year of the Owl because we spotted an owl flying just a few feet overhead during one of our early season recons looking at the course. Nature lovers might be interested to note there is a rather bold male that lives near the Special K/10km Split; ride early in the morning and you might spot him!
Multiple sections of the course are currently being logged. These operations started in late September and may or may not be finished by race day. Logging operations tend to have a deleterious effect on trail conditions, especially any sand two tracks. We’ve also struggled with the increased ORV trails over the past couple of years. The combination has left a few sections unrideable.
The first change occurs within the first 4 miles of the course. After skirting Smith Lake on your right, rides will skip the short sandy/gravel climb north of Smith Lake; it’s not rideable.
There is also a long re-reroute on Brown Fire Lane which will change how riders get to Tornado Alley.
Both of these re-routes are already subtly marked by the wonderful Tom White! Love Out’n’Backs? Support NMMBA!
2022 Iceman Pre-Ride Video
I’m currently trainer-ridden with a broken collarbone, but Collin O’Brien put together a killer video of the entire course! There are a few small differences, but you’ll get the idea. Thank you, Collin!
Iceman Course Profile – Balanced
The elevation is relatively evenly distributed from beginning to end with the slightly longer climbs early and several short, punchy efforts coming in the finale.
We need to thank Tom White (again), Sunset Scott, the Coffee and Quiche crew, and everyone who has been passing along updates on the course the past few weeks. We really appreciate the Michigan DNR’s willingness to let us make changes to the course to keep it fun and safe!