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High School and Middle School Cross Country Ski Race


The 2021 Ascension Hodag Challenge cross country ski races take place January 17-18, 2021 at the Cedrig A. Vig Outdoor Classroom (CAVOC) in Rhinelander.   Over 300 High School and Middle School skiers are expected to participate each day of the weekend race activities.  Teams and individual skiers come from all across Wisconsin, the Upper Peninsula and even Minnesota skiers have attended.  We also have a Youth Race on Saturday afternoon.

The Nordic Pursuit format begins on Saturday with free style or skate technique interval starts and concludes on Sunday with classic technique starts based on time-back results from Saturday.  Awards are presented to the top 5 individual finishers in all races on Saturday and Sunday, and Team Pursuit Plaques for the top 3 Varsity Teams.

The High School course is 5 kilometers and the Middle School course is 3.3 kilometers.  Both courses are very challenging with plenty of elevation changes.   The width of the course is 6 meters for undulating terrain and 9 meters for uphills.  The classic track will be set to best line prior to the classic race.  A 1.1 kilometer youth race is held on Saturday and all ages are encouraged to participate in this fun race for our youngsters or inexperienced racers.

Concessions and amenities are available on-site in the CAVOC lodge.   Parking is available, however, we strongly suggest car pooling to the events as it is limited.  

A list of lodging options is provided in the Lodgings Options document below.  It is strongly suggested that reservations be made early as hotels and rooms book up quickly in the area.

The Hodag Challenge Info and Schedule or Race Brochure  that contains all the information about the event including registration, race formats, parking, medals and the courses is available  for download below.  This is the must have source of information for the race!

The WNSL Waiver is required for all racers and is available below for download.  This waiver is required for all participants and must be provided the morning of the race to the registration desk.

The cost remains at $10/skier/day. Payment is due at the race.  No refunds or race day changes. Checks payable to: Northwoods Nordic Ski Club, PO Box 105, Rhinelander, WI 54501.  The Youth Race is free and will be an on-site registration.

Contact the Race Director, Brian Hegge at  for specific questions.

2020 Results

Hodag 2020 race results.

Photographs of the 2020 Ascension Hodag Challenge

XTRPhoto was at the race on Saturday. The link has several thousand photos to download for free.

Thank You 2019/20 Northwoods Nordic Ski Club Sponsors

Interested in becoming a sponsor of Northwoods Nordic Ski Club?

Sponsored by Ascension


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Sponsoring the Ascension Hodag Challenge @ #Best5kmInTheMidwest #CAVOC Trails.

Sponsored by Mel's Trading Post

Mel's Trading Post

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Fitting Rhinelander youth, residents, and visitors to fantastic winter experiences.

Sponsored by Rhinelander Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram

Rhinelander Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram

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Sponsoring an active Nordic lifestyle for area residents, youth, and visitors.

Sponsored by Aspen Tree Care

Aspen Tree Care

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Keeping the trails clear and the tracks in place!

Sponsored by Habush Habush & Rottier Charitable Fund

Habush Habush & Rottier Charitable Fund

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 Sponsoring competitive and recreational Nordic skiing in the Northwoods. 

Sponsored by Peoples State Bank

Peoples State Bank

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Supporting youth cross-country skiing in the Rhinelander area.

Sponsored by Briar House

Briar House

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Supporting Northwoods Nordic events, trails, and youth programming. 

Sponsored by CoVantage Credit Union

CoVantage Credit Union

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Sponsoring Rhinelander-area Nordic skiing: youth, community, and visitors. 

Sponsored by Kwik Trip, Inc.

Kwik Trip, Inc.

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Fueling our active team and community

Sponsored by Nicolet National Bank

Nicolet National Bank

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Official Sponsor of our NCAA and USCSA collegiate race series.

Sponsored by Leather Crafters and Saddlers Journal (Journal Media)

Leather Crafters and Saddlers Journal (Journal Media)

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Keeping Nordic running in print and on snow

Sponsored by Aspirus


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Promoting recreational access and active healthy lifestyles for the whole community.

Sponsored by Timber Land Chiropractic

Timber Land Chiropractic

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Supporting the health and development of our youth and community