Important Registration Information: 

By registering for this event you acknowledge that it is your responsibility to stay safe while participating.  The Frozen Otter takes place in extreme conditions that can lead to serious injury or death.  Please do not take the risks lightly.

The event is now closed for bib transfers.  Bib transfers will no longer be allowed.  Shirts are ordered and shirt sizes can no longer be changed.

 NEW: Check out this page with required gear suggestions!

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Registration closed January 14, 2022
Rod McLennan
Race Director
Karen McLennan
Race Director
Volunteer Coordinator

Saturday, January 15, 2022 - 10:00am

Start Location:

Race Start:  Mauthe Lake Picnic Area 
Download Map

Please review the Frozen Otter Participant Guide: Download it HERE

Race Details:

The race will begin at the Mauthe Lake Picnic Area at 10:00am on January 15th.  There will be a MANDATORY pre-race briefing 45 minutes prior to the start (9:15am).  Check-in will take place between 7:30am and 9:15am and will include a full GEAR CHECK.  Early Check-In will be available 4-8pm the evening before the race at the Mauthe Lake Shelter. 

Racers will start near the lake, head to the trail, and head North.  Checkpoints will be at Butler Lake, Greenbush, and Hwy P.  The first out-and-back leg will total roughly 46 miles.  Racers will then have the option to return to their car before continuing on, or they may leave a gear box at the Mauthe Lake trail crossing prior to the start and access it at this point.  No other gear drops will be allowed.  The second out-and-back leg will head South to the Hwy H trailhead and back to Mauthe for the finish. 

All racers MUST be back to Mauthe Lake by the 24-hour cutoff on Sunday or face disqualification.  Trail maps and mileage breakdowns will be provided to all participants.  Participants must travel under unassisted foot power only.  No snowshoes will be allowed.  Foot traction devices such as kahtoola or yaktrax will be allowed.

Mandatory Gear:

All racers must carry all mandatory gear at all times.  The required content of the gear list is dependant on weather.  The list of mandatory gear is available in the documents section of this event.  If you have any questions regarding this, please contact the race director.  Gear will be checked when you check-in as well and may be checked by a volunteer during the event.  Failure to carry all required gear will result in immediate disqualification.  Mandatory gear exists for your safety.

Registration Transfers:

You are able to transfer your registration by logging in and clicking the transfer button on the event registration page.  You can also view a list of those looking for registrations (want list) and transfer from the list directly.  Check out the FAQ section for details

Additional Information:

1. All vehicles will need Wisconsin State Park Stickers which can be purchased online or at Mauthe Lake (Race start).

2. Friends and family will be able to track your progress online during the event IF you provide a SPOT GPS EIN number in your profile.  We will have a map set up for tracking but obtaining and activating the GPS unit is up to you.

3. We recommend participants bring a map case or some means of keeping maps dry.

4. There will be more than 15 hours of darkness during the event.  Be sure you have enough batteries to keep your headlamp going!

5. Historically, it has been below freezing for the duration of the race.  Be sure your water isn’t going to freeze!  Foot warmers next to your water bladder work well, and don’t forget to drain water out of your tube after drinking.

6. We reserve the right to alter the race course at any time for any reason.

Gear Suggestions (In addition to required gear):

Suggested Clothing:  base layer, fleece layer, breathable shell, tights, waterproof pants, warm socks, waterproof shoes, gaiters (if deep snow), warm hat to cover ears, balaclava.

  • Trekking Poles
  • Map Case
  • Compass
  • Extra socks
  • Bodyglide
  • Toilet Paper
  • Hand/Feet warmers
  • Suggested First Aid Kit: Ace bandage, pain killers, band aids, medical tape, gauze pads, triple antibiotic ointment  


1.It is not difficult to stay warm as long as you keep moving.  Even short breaks can get VERY cold VERY quickly as your sweat begins to cool and possibly even freeze.  

2.Bring some sock changes.  Due to the nature of waterproof shoes, even if they are breathable, a great deal of moisture will remain inside and cause blistering and discomfort.  

3.It is important to set short goals to try to reach rather than looking at the entire distance.  Break it down to the next road or trail crossing, it will really help move things along.  

4.If your goal is to simply finish, bring a Jetboil along and treat yourself to some tea or other treat at some predetermined distance.  It provides something to look forward to and is a fantastic morale booster once you reach the spot and get some hot fluid.  

5.Try to keep your gear weight to a minimum.  A 1 pound pair of Gore-Tex trail runners are a LOT lighter than a 5 pound pair of boots after you have to lift them off the ground 128,000+ times (average 2,000 steps per mile).

6.Be sure your pack has comfortable straps with ample padding.  You may consider using Bodyglide in order to minimize chaffing on your shoulders as well as other obvious places.

7.Have a plan to keep your food and water from freezing.

8.Have fun and don’t forget you are on a beautiful section of the Ice Age Trail!


Mauthe Lake Campground is adjacent to the start and has winter camping if you’re brave enough.

Bonne Bell Motel in (900 Prospect Dr. Kewaskum, WI 53040  (262) 626-8414) is the next closest.  

There is also an abundance of national hotels/motels about 20 miles south along route 45 in West Bend, WI.

Check-in, pre-race briefing, and start are all at the Mauthe Lake Recreation Area in the Kettle Moraine State Forest Northern Unit.

The race course follows the Ice Age National Scenic Trail through the entire distance of the forest. Racers will complete two out-and-backs. The first takes them to the Northern most point and back, followed by the Southern most point and back.

Gear is staged near the ranger station at the Mauthe Lake entrance.

Frozen Otter Wisconsin


  1. All participants must stay on the Ice Age Trail marked by the yellow blaze. Racers caught traveling on road or other trails will be disqualified.
  2. All garbage must be placed in DNR garbage cans, checkpoint trash bags, or packed out.
  3. No outside support or gear staging is allowed. Spectators are allowed at designated checkpoints but may not provide any type of support. Pacers are allowed at any point, but must not provide any type of support.
  4. Required gear must be carried at ALL times! Failure to pass a gear check during the race will result in IMMEDIATE disqualification and the participant will be shuttled back to the start/finish.
  5. Please respect other people using the trail. The Ice Age Trail is open to the public for the duration of the event.
  6. All vehicles must have a Wisconsin State Parks sticker
  7. Racers must notify volunteers of both their arrival and departure from EVERY manned checkpoint.
  8. PLEASE notify race staff if you decide not continue at any point
  9. All racers must be back to the finish at Mauthe Lake no later than 24 hours from the race start to be considered an official Frozen Few finisher.
  10. All participants must traverse the course using only their feet with no additional gear such as snowshoes, skis, motorized transport, etc. Traction devices such as Yaktrax and crampons are allowed.
  11. Rankings are based on the most distance covered in the least amount of time AND making it to the finish under your own power.  A shuttle at any point will result in an un-official finish.
Required Gear that MUST be carried at ALL TIMES
Mauthe Lake Start/Finish Area Map
Frozen Otter Participant Guide
Frozen Otter_Event_Waiver.pdf
Frozen Otter Event Waiver
COVID Waiver
Required Gear Attestation
COVID-19 Protocols and Changes
Email Communication - 12-21-2021
Email Communication - 12-31-2021
Email Communication - 01-09-2022
How do I sign up to volunteer?

Volunteer SignUp the Frozen Otter 2022:

Are pacers allowed?

Pacers are allowed at any point during the race due to the increased level of safety they provide. They may not provide ANY support other than moral support. This is a self-supported event, not a pacer supported event.

How Do I Transfer a Bib?

The bib transfer process is now fully automated. The parties involved are solely responsible for payment transfer and confirmation. The process is as follows:

1. The recipient must have an account on the website
2. The current bib owner should log in and navigate to the event page.
3. The current bib owner will see an option to either view the 'want' list or 'transfer registration'

- Click on the 'View "Want" List' button
- Click 'transfer' under the Actions column

- Click on the 'Transfer Registration' button
- Enter the email address of the recipient (must be the one they registered with)

Upon completion, the registration will appear under the new users account. This can be verified by viewing the participant list.

Is there a medical check for participants?

There is no medical check during the event. The volunteers will do their best to keep an eye on the state of the participants, but are not expected to, nor qualified to make any medical judgements. It is the responsibility of the racers to access their condition and decide if they are able to continue. Race staff will have the right to pull any racer out if they feel they are a danger to themselves. All racers are required to carry a cellular phone to activate the 911 system if needed.

Can I stage gear or have a support crew?

Support is only allowed at the central staging area at Mauthe Lake. Participants may leave a drop bin/bag at the 46 mile Mauthe Lake checkpoint. Any spectators providing support beyond what is being provided by the volunteer staff to all racers will disqualify that racer.

What qualifies as the required shelter?

Starting in 2020, the extreme gear shelter requirement has been replaced by a 3-4 season bivy instead. This is due to the confusion surrounding what would qualify as a shelter as well as the safety concerns around being able to pitch a shelter in an emergency. Emergency bivys do not qualify. You may, however, carry the 3-4 season bivy as a replacement for the otherwise required emergency bivy when extreme weather gear is not required.

Check out some suggestions here: