2012 Frozen Otter Ultra Trek

The Frozen Otter Ultra Trek is by far one of the toughest races in the Midwest and with roughly a 2% completion rate, possibly the country. Racers traverse 64 miles of Wisconsin's hilly terrain left in the wake of the great Wisconsin Glacier. As if the sheer feat of conquering the mileage isn't enough, racers must do it completely self supported, on trail, in the dead of winter.

Racers may participate as a solo only this year (although participants are encouraged to race with others) and must carry a variety of gear to ensure their safety during the event. For those who don't want to commit to the entire distance, a 32 mile half distance option is also offered. Full distance racers have 24 hours to conquer the distance and 12 hours are allowed for the half distance participants.

Conditions are a huge factor in the race and are highly unpredictable. Past years have cursed racers with conditions including temperatures dropping down to 20 degrees below zero and knee deep snow. The race is truly the ultimate test of both physical and mental endurance.

But wait.... there's more!

Just to add to the mental challenge (and to keep track of the racers), volunteers are posted at 8 mile intervals along the trail and provide a haven with a warm fire, hot water, and the option to take a shuttle back. This is where racers begin to drop like flies! Historically, by the third checkpoint nearly 75% of the participants have chosen to throw in the towel and return to the comfort of their warm cars.

Those racers that complete the entire 64 mile course within the 24 hour cutoff become part of the 'Frozen Few' and receive customized plaques and get their names added to the perpetual Frozen Few plaque which is displayed each year at the race staging area. All participants that return to the staging area either as a ranked racer or by shuttle are treated to hot soup, grilled food, and a large fire to share their experience with other racers.

Do you think you have what it takes? Give it a try, it will be one of the toughest and most rewarding things you ever do!

Be sure to check ALL information in the tabs below for additional important information!

Frozen Otter Event Tracker

2012-01-21 10:00 - 2012-01-22 10:00
Race Directors: 
Required Gear: 
Registration Info
Tue, 2011-03-01 - Sat, 2012-01-21
Half Distance Solo - $75.00
Full Distance Solo - $85.00
0 of 100 spots remaining


It was a great event last

It was a great event last year. The solo and team event made us crazy to run in this event. As a volunteer, I always solo run. Well, events in this year is really fantastic to run solo.

Austin's Courage

Hi everyone, it's Evan Wing from Team Fat Otter.

Hope everyone is doing very well and is EXCITED about the race tomorrow! I know I am.

Hard transition here, but this year I'm racing for a little guy named Austin that has Leukemia. He's in remission which is pretty awesome, but I thought I'd start actually racing for a cause and trying to help where I could. I only found out about a month or so ago, but this will be continual thing for me going forward.

At the Frozen this weekend, I'll have bracelets (like the LiveStrong ones) for Austin's Courage at the registration table and if you'd care to donate, bracelets are two bucks and ribbons are a buck even. Any type of donation is welcome though, so if you have some pocket change in the car and can part with it, it would be much appreciated. Make sure you put the ribbon on before race start, because I can't imagine how hard it would be to maneuver a little safety pin in close to single digit weather!

Can't wait to see all you old friends and make some new ones too!

For the LOVE of misery!
Evan Wing
Team Fat Otter


Do you guys need any help with setup tomorrow (Friday)? I'm still looking to get in case anyone drops but I'll be up in the area tomorrow if you need volunteer help for setup.

Setting Up Saturday

Thanks for the offer, but we'll be setting up bright and early Saturday before people show up. We don't want to risk losing anything without security Friday night.


Hey Rob,

Will there be a tracker this year for our friends/family?




Event tracker is up as of last night can can be accessed by the link on the event page or at http://www.fatotter.com/content/frozen-otter-live

More Questions

I know the questions are pouring in now, but I have more. When should participants show up? I am guessing someone at least glances to see if we have all the stuff we need and I imagine that takes time. Is there a bib pickup the day before? Are there even bibs? I notice there aren't any in the pictures from previous years.

Re: More Questions

1. Be sure to check out the important information document (http://www.fatotter.com/sites/default/files/FrozenOtter2012_Info.pdf)
2. Checkin is 7:30-9:15am. Here you will turn in/sign the waiver, pick up a race packet
3. Gear check will be on the course, not prior to the race
4. Bibs (numbers) are in race packets
5. Pictures are in the Photo Gallery accessed by the Events menu (http://www.fatotter.com/photobucket/albums)

Park closed?

My support is dropping me off for the full-distance race and was planning to come back at the halfway (start) point so I could restock - does the park close at dusk or anything, or will he be able to get in without a problem around 8-10pm (and again if he needs to even later than that if I cannot finish)?

All Checkpoints Open

All checkpoints (including the start/finish) are open and accessible for the duration of the event.

Check Points

Are the check points where each shelter is located or are they different. Is there a spot where you have each check point listed.



The checkpoints will be marked on your race map when you check in. They are at Mauthe Lake, Hwy H Trailhead, Greenbush Picnic Area, and Hwy P Trailhead. The first year we did the race (2007) the checkpoints were at the shelters, but it proved a LOT of work for the volunteers to get supplies in/out.

Athlete tracker

I noted athlete tracker will be available. When will we know what our race numbers are?

Names will be up

Everyone's name will be on the tracker, so numbers are not an issue.

Car pooling from Madison Area

I'm doing "lean otter" - 32 miles course. Is anyone interested to car pool from madison area? I can drive.
Post it up here.


Referring to the list of required gear, what constitutes as a full change of clothes?

Re: Clothing

Change of pants/tights, shirt, and socks.

Okay. Thank you.

Okay. Thank you.

Just saw the latest "important Race Information" document...

And have a question based on the implication of a statement there. The document notes something to the effect of "if your just trying to finish, bring a jet boil to make some tea as a treat for yourself". On the main information page for the event, it states we will be provided hot water at each checkpoint- is that still true? I understand it may not be boiling hot water to make tea, but will 100 dgree or more water be available at the checkpoints?

You're correct

Hot water will be available at manned checkpoints, but consider that it takes some people 3-5 hours between checkpoints. Just think of it as a way to give you smaller milestones to look forward to.

Thanks for the confirmation.

I plan to take full advantage of it.

Injured Otter

Anyone interested in my spot for the Frozen Otter Full Course. Training mileage for this has been low, slow, and painful. My ankles are acting up a bit - and I don't want to have a season ruining injury this early in 2012. I'll give you a good deal on it. Send me an email (william.eddy@gmail.com) if interested.

sent you an e-mail on this.

sent you an e-mail on this. Can pay you immediately.

I was too late, still need a spot.

Any news yet on expanding to

Any news yet on expanding to accommodate the waitlist? Thanks.

Re: Any news yet

An additional 20 spots were opened and filled. The entries were given to the first 20 people on the waitlist. At this point, it is not likely that more spots will be opened.

I'll be driving there the

I'll be driving there the morning of just to make sure there's not any last minute cancels, so don't throw the wait list away please.

Keep an eye on the site

Keep an eye on here and on Facebook as there are a couple people who are injured and trying to unload their registration.


I paid, but don't see my name on the list. How do I know if I am in? I paid with my friend's credit card (Matt Dewar's)

Sarah Holsen

Re: Registration

Sarah, your name is listed under the half-distance division. If this is not correct, please notify me as soon as possible. -Rod

Can you still publish the

Can you still publish the wait list so we can see who is next in line?

The wait list will not be published

I can say that it's 26 long, however, I'm trying to make it logistically possible for most (if not all) of those to get in.

Is there a way to confirm

Is there a way to confirm registration?

You are confirmed

I just checked for you. Plus if your name is on the participant list and you know you've paid, you should be good to go.

wait list

Can you publish the wait list so those of us who didn't get signed up in time will know if there's even a 2% chance of getting in? Thanks

take mine.

i can't make it this year and already paid. call me, 262 3090 285

is it gone?

Did you sell it?

P.S. If anyone else can't make it please let me know.
Text or call, my cell - 608/658*4841.

Will Call Tonight

Hey Plank,

Thanks. I'll give you a call tonight.

no speaka engleasha

was that your cell # u called me on?
i got the msg. figured not to call since u said your gonna call the director. call me when u find something out.

Will Call Tonight

My previous post didn't make it for some reason...race director approved. I'll try to call tonight or tomorrow so we can figure out how to you pay you. Thanks

If there is anyone else

If there is anyone else hemming and hawing about going, I'll pay the registration fee + $100 for your spot if the race directors allow it.
e-mail xandathor@yahoo.com

Goody bag

Is there a shirt or other goodies involved here? Don't wanna freeze my keester off for nothing... :)

Re: Goody Bag

You will definitely get something to prove you were crazy enough to give it a go!

Exact time and gps coordinates of start

Hey, could you post a gps lat/long coordinate for start line? Also I'm considering camping the night before, is this acceptable? Will more details be posted such as a route map, perhaps I just missed it. I did get the kettle map you posted previously...thanks for that.

Route Map

The route map is the Ice Age Trail on the Forest Map. From Butler Lake, racers will follow the trail South to Hwy H for their first out-and-back, and North to Hwy P for their second.

Start Location/Time

The start time is at 10:00am with a mandatory pre-race briefing at 9:30am. As far as the start location, the following is a link to a google map with the start location.

I hope that helps.


Much appreciated links ... Looking forward to the event.

Are there bathrooms at the

Are there bathrooms at the checkpoints?

There are at some...

There are pit toilets at each of the backpack shelters along the trail as well as the 8/24/40/56 mile checkpoints. Other than that, it's you and the forest! You can view the forest map at http://dnr.wi.gov/org/land/parks/specific/kmn/PDFs/kmnmap.pdf

ulta trek 2012

i do not see a way to register a 2 man team for the event. is this strictly a solo event this year?

You're correct

My apologies for forgetting to update the event description. This year, there will only be solo divisions although racers are allowed (in fact, encouraged) to race with others. This decision was made based on lack of team registrations and a movement towards a more 'pure' ultra experience. This also allows those who might have been on a team and had a partner drop, continue on ranked.