The 2016 Ski for Light International Week will be held from Sunday evening, January 24 through Saturday morning, January 30, 2016. First- and second-year guides will need to arrive one day early, by Saturday afternoon January 23, for guide orientation and training.
Please be aware that:
The 2016 Ski for Light event will be held on the grounds of Shanty Creek Resorts in Bellaire, Michigan. Bellaire is located in Northwest Lower Michigan, 40 miles from Traverse City, 100 miles south of the Upper Peninsula, and 250 miles north of Detroit. View or download a map showing the location of Shanty Creek Resorts
Unless you will be driving to Bellaire, you will want to fly into either the Traverse City airport or the Grand Rapids airport for your trip to Ski for Light. Traverse City is 40 miles from Shanty Creek Resorts, while Grand Rapids is 160 miles away. Traverse City is certainly a closer airport, but Grand Rapids is a larger airport, with mor flight options for your trip. Free shuttle bus service will be provided by SFL from and to both airports, on designated days and at designated times. Please read the 2016 Arrival and Departure Information page carefully before making your travel plans.
Shanty Creek Resorts is a 4,500 acre year-round recreational complex that includes three separate lodging and entertainment villages, a 30 kilometer cross-country trail system, two downhill ski areas, five terrain parks, a multi-lane tubing hill snowshoe trails (rentals available), an outdoor ice-skating rink (no rentals), and four golf courses. Shanty Creek Resorts is rated as the best outdoor family recreation resort in the Midwest. View or download a map of Shanty Creek Resorts grounds and facilities
Our hotel for the week will be the Lakeview Hotel and Conference Center in Summit Village. situated atop Summit Mountain overlooking Lake Bellaire and the slopes of Summit Mountain, the Lakeview has 183 classically appointed guest rooms, a full-service restaurant, lounge and bar, over 12,000 square feet of flexible meeting and event space, indoor and outdoor pools, and a 3,000 square foot fitness center and spa. Here are photos and videos of many of Shanty Creek's facilities and amenities.
In the unlikely event that you run out of things to do at Shanty Creek Resorts, the town of Bellaire contains several restaurants and the lively and popular Short's brew pub The resort shuttle will take you, on an on-call basis, the four miles into town and then pick you up later in the evening.
The trails that we will ski at Shanty Creek Resorts in 2016 will offer a quality ski experience for everybody. The 5 kilometer course will be gently rolling. It will be an enjoyable, welcoming trail for beginners as well as a place for experienced skiers to improve their skills. The 10 kilometer trail will incorporate more hills and a bit more challenge for those looking for that.
These trails will differ significantly from those that we skied at the Shanty Creek resorts when SFL was last there in 2013. These changes are due in part to changes at the resort and also due to our desire to offer a different skiing experience. Many found the 2013 trails to be a little too challenging.
The resort has changed much of the indoor spaces at the Cedar River Village that we used as a trailhead and lunch facility then. Where we ate lunch and stored skis is now part of the large resort-wide ski rental shop for both downhill and cross-country. Many of the trails that we skied are now dedicated to snowshoeing and fat tire (snow) bikes.
SFL will be using the nearby Schuss Village at Shanty Creek as our trailhead and lunch spot. The terrain south of the Schuss Village trailhead traversed by the resort's 5K Pine Cone Trail is gently rolling and suited to our needs. The 10K will utilize much of the Pine Cone Trail with additional segments providing more hills.
As always, the SFL 5 and 10 kilometer trails will be well-marked in 2016. While our two trails will not exactly correspond to any of the trails indicated on the Shanty Creek Trail Map you may find it imformative to examine the map of the entire trail system for perspective.
At Ski for Light all meals are group meals, meaning meals with a fixed menu and in a location apart from other guests, as follows:
Those wishing an alternative menu will need to provide their own supplements.
The total cost of the week is $790 for double-occupancy or $1,140 for single-occupancy. This amount includes room and all meals from Sunday evening January 24 through Saturday morning January 30, round-trip transportation between the Traverse City or Grand Rapids airports and Shanty Creek Resorts, (at designated times on specific days), round-trip transportation between the hotel and ski area each day, all trail fees, and all afternoon and evening programs and activities. Cross-country skis, boots, and poles will be provided free of charge to first-time blind/visually-impaired participants. The cost of transportation from home to and from Traverse City or Grand Rapids is the responsibility of the participant.
Partial stipends based on financial need are available for guides and first-time and second-time visually- or mobility-impaired participants.
Full payment is due from all accepted applicants by December 1, 2015.
Applications for SFL 2016 will be accepted until at least November 1, 2015. The number of visually- and mobility-impaired participants who can ultimately be accepted to attend the event will depend on the number of guides who will be attending. For this reason, not all applications can be accepted immediately. In order to give applicants as much advance notice of acceptance as possible, without risking that the final numbers of guides versus disabled participants are out of balance, the following guidelines will be followed.
If you have never before attended a Ski for Light event, or want a refresher on how the week works and what it is all about, and have not already done so, please read Information for Prospective First-Time Attendees Also please be sure to read Frequently Asked Questions from Prospective First-Time Attendees for the answers to many commonly asked questions from people who have not attended before. Then proceed to the application forms for the 2016 event below.
Each applicant is expected to make his/her own informed decision about the advisability of participation, taking into account his/her individual overall health and the physical demands and risks of cross-country skiing and of the Ski for Light program.
Please read the Frequently Asked Questions carefully, as they include much information that is specific to the 2016 event. Then proceed to complete and submit your Application form. We look forward to seeing you in Michigan.
If you have been notified by your applications coordinator that you have been accepted as an attendee for the 2016 event, you can take care of a number of items related to your attendance on the Information and Forms for Accepted Applicants page. You can make your payment online with your credit card, sign up to lead a Special-Interest session, and let us know how and when you will be arriving in Michigan.
The Ski for Light Guide Handbook is available for reading or downloading at www.sfl.org/event/sflguidehandbook14.pdf. The twenty-four page booklet contains a wealth of general skiing tips, SFL-specific terminology, a standard progression of instruction for beginners, and other information to help new guides approach their first event with confidence, and to help everyone ski together more safely and enjoyably.