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Bear Valley Ski-O - Results

Date: Sunday, February 29, 2004
Location: near Arnold on Highway 4, CA.
Contact: - (650) 969-5320
Event Type: C; Ski-O
Skip to the Results By Class
Skip to the Results By Course

Writeup by Tony Pinkham

The 2004 ski-orienteering season ended on a great ski weekend at the Bear Valley Cross Country ski resort in the central Sierras. Everything was covered with up to 9 feet of snow, much of which came down in storms lasting a couple weeks before the event. The setup went well on Saturday though it took extra time to make the bushwacked trails through the new snow. The event day also started sunny and quickly became warm. That lasted for most of the event but the next storm began to arrive as the event finished which made for a chilly control pickup.

Kent Ohlund, Tony Pinkham, and Thorsten Graeve at the 2004 Bear Valley Ski-O (Photo: Tapio Karras)

This year, the Bear Valley event featured a record 13 bushwacked trails cut by Matthias Kohler, Bob Baylor, and myself the day before the event. At least three of these trails were new and all served to change the configuration of the trail system. As the current practice dictates, each of these trails was clearly marked on the map with a dotted green line and at the intersections with groomed trails with red "pin flags." In some cases, these trails were even trenched out of 18 inches of fresh snow with snowshoes.

Bob Cooley immediately after finishing the green course at the 2004 Bear Valley Ski-O (Photo: Tapio Karras)

All courses used the BAOC E-punching system. This was the second ski-O event in a row that had no units go down for the event. E-punch is essential for this venue because the complex portion of the trail network is in a 2.5-square-kilometer area that has some one-way trails. E-punch lets us loop the longer courses in ways that prevent people from punching at controls out of order and using one-way trails incorrectly.

A problem we've encountered with E-punching is that it's easy for participants to lose untethered finger sticks. When they are attached around a gloved finger, people don't feel them loosen and fall, and then they end up losing a lot of time looking for them on the trail already traveled. We now strongly recommend that people tether their finger sticks to their wrists or on strings around their necks. That seems to completely prevent this problem.

Dan Stoll-Hadayia immediately after finishing the blue course at the 2004 Bear Valley Ski-O (Photo: Tapio Karras)

The white course was 3.4 kilometers long with virtually no climb on groomed beginner ski trails. The controls were typically placed within view of each trail intersection so there was little doubt where the beginners should go. One person and one group tried the course, and only the group (the Martisiute family) finished the course.

The yellow course was also on beginner trails but it offered no clues about thetrails to take from each intersection, it was nearly twice as long (5.3 kilometers) as the white course, and it offered options for using bushwacked trails. Only three entrants tried and finished this course (one male--Dana Rowley, one female--Mindy Johnson, and one group of two--Alan Houser and Helene Gordon).

Tapio Karras and his sons finishing the Orange course at the 2004 Bear Valley Ski-O (Photo: Tony Pinkham)

The orange course was two loops mostly on intermediate trails. This 8.9-kilometer course tested the participants skiing skills up (and down) 135 meters of intermediate hills, and it provided considerable route choices (often with a couple trail intersections). It also offered a second loop that took participants through the start/finish area for a photo opportunity before finding the last three controls on the course. Those who did this course seemed to have had a lot of fun doing it. Bill Voegele and Trinka Gillis finished first for the men and women, respectively. Jaakko and Jukka Karras eagerly took their father, Tapio, around the course as the only group.

Bjorn Widerstrom finishing the green course at the 2004 Bear Valley Ski-O (Photo: Tony Pinkham)

The green course had 11.2 kilometers of long legs on intermediate and expert ski trails. It had complex route selections beginning with the first two legs. Like the orange course, it offered a photo opportunity as participants passed through the start/finish area after doing 40 percent of their course. Andrejus Masalkovas arrived at the event late and didn't have time to do the blue course so he did this one and finished nearly 30 minutes ahead of anybody else. Carol Schick-Lyda overcame early errors and finished first for women and had the second fastest time on the course.

Registration and E-punch download area at the 2004 Bear Valley Ski-O (Photo: Tapio Karras)

As advertised, the blue course was like the green course only longer (16.5 kilometers) and more punishing (305 meters of steep hills). It also started with a two-kilometer skate (filled with route selection errors for many) to the end of the hilly Headwaters trail. After another long leg with completely different route choices, this course worked its way through the start/finish area for a photo opportunity before it worked its way to and then down the dreaded, steep, black-diamond, Grin and Bear It trail (optimal route not taken by all). From there, everyone returned to the main ski area by going up the long uphill known as the Sunshine Bowl trail. One third of the participants at this event chose to do this very difficult course, many of them highly competitive. Neil Hunt, who has trained extensively at Bear Valley for the last two years, won the course for the men seven minutes ahead of everyone else. He was followed by Chuck Lyda (previously of the California National Guard biathlon team), Dan Stoll-Hadayia, and Matthias Kohler, all three within 45 seconds of one another and 18 minutes ahead of everyone else. Anna Voegele came in first for the women almost six minutes head of a very determined Julie Raymond, who has won this course at past events.

Chuck Lyda preparing to start on the blue course at the 2004 Bear Valley Ski-O (Photo: Tony Pinkham)

Thanks to the extensive help from Matthias Kohler and Bob Baylor, this event was relatively easy to set up despite it having a record number of bushwacked trails to cut in fresh snow. Trinka Gillis was again on hand to manage the E-punch operations, and Thorsten Graeve helped resolve a problem at E-punch. Matthias Kohler was a big help starting nearly everyone. When the event concluded Julie Raymond, John Barclay, Matthias Kohler, Neil Hunt, and Bjorn Widerstrom braved the sudden oncoming storm to pick up all 29 controls and 75 pin flags from distant parts. Many thanks also go to Paul Petersen, of Bear Valley Cross Country, who provided our registration tent, start and finish banners, a table, lots of granola bars and ice scrappers for the participants, and permission to use their resort. Dianne Petersen helped schedule the event a year in advance and provided very generous discount trail passes that made this event affordable for our participants. Their employee, Wade, was also on hand to help at the start/finish area in many different ways.

This event concluded the three-event 2004 California Ski-Orienteering Championships. All the winners for our orange, green, and blue classes were determined at the Bear Valley event. Click on the above link to see the final standings and to find out how this championship will be changing for 2005 and beyond.

Here are the final results for this event, organized by class and course. Distances are measured as flylines (as the crow flies) and optimal routes.

BAOC Bear Valley Ski-O
Sunday, February 29, 2004

Results By Class

  Place   Name                        Club     Time 

  Blue - males (11.1km/16.5km, 305m climb, 10 controls)            

    1     Neil Hunt                   BAOC    1:22:01 
    2     Chuck Lyda                  BAOC    1:29:03 
    3     Dan Stoll-Hadayia           BAOC    1:29:13 
    4     Mathias Kohler              BAOC    1:29:46 
    5     Kent Ohlund                 BAOC    1:47:30 
    6     Bob Baylor                  BAOC    1:57:05 
    7     Thorsten Graeve             BAOC    2:05:18 
    8     David Jorgensen             BAOC    2:43:50 
    9     Kevin Schoenfeld            BAOC    3:20:04 
   10     Leon Berzins                BAOC    3:22:02 

  Blue - females (11.1km/16.5km, 305m climb, 10 controls)            

    1     Anna Voegele                BAOC    1:25:17 
    2     Julie Raymond               BAOC    1:31:13 

  Green - males (8.2km/11.2km, 160m climb, 9 controls)              

    1     Andrejus Masalkova          BAOC    1:33:03 
    2     Bob Cooley                  BAOC    2:01:22 
    3     Bjorn Widerstrom            BAOC    2:06:09 

  Green - females (8.2km/11.2km, 160m climb, 9 controls)              

    1     Carol Schick-Lyda           BAOC    1:57:46 
    2     Patty Clemo                 BAOC    2:11:20 
    3     Debbie Wojtowicz            BAOC    2:27:17 

  Orange - males (5.7km/8.9km, 135m climb, 11 controls)             

    1     Bill Voegele                BAOC    1:24:11 
    2     Dan Holman                  BAOC    1:31:32 
    3     Doug Bass                   BAOC    1:33:23 
    4     Bill Wright                 BAOC    1:59:28 
    -     Tim Ernst                   BAOC        DNF

  Orange - females (5.7km/8.9km, 135m climb, 11 controls)             

    1     Trinka Gillis               BAOC    1:38:34 
    2     Nancy Lindeman              BAOC    3:42:45 

  Orange - group (5.7km/8.9km, 135m climb, 11 controls)             

    1     Jukka, Jaakko, Tapio Karras BAOC    1:35:11 

  Yellow - males (3.9km/5.3km, 25m climb, 9 controls)              

    1     Dana Rowley                 BAOC    1:45:57 

  Yellow - females (3.9km/5.3km, 25m climb, 9 controls)              

    1     Mindy Johnson               BAOC    1:25:23 

  Yellow - group (3.9km/5.3km, 25m climb, 9 controls)              

    1     Alan Gordon, Helene Houser  BAOC    1:37:17 

  White - females (2.8km/3.4km, 15m climb, 10 controls)             

    -     Shirley Xiao                BAOC        DNF

  White - group (2.8km/3.4km, 15m climb, 10 controls)             

    1     Eglute Martisiute +3 children BAOC  1:50:56 

BAOC Bear Valley Ski-O
Sunday, February 29, 2004

Results By Course

  Place  Name                           Class             Time

  Blue course (11.1km/16.5km, 305m climb, 10 controls)            

    1    Neil Hunt                      blue-males       1:22:01            
    2    Anna Voegele                   blue-females     1:25:17     
    3    Chuck Lyda                     blue-males       1:29:03    
    4    Dan Stoll-Hadayia              blue-males       1:29:13    
    5    Matthias Kohler                blue-males       1:29:46   
    6    Julie Raymond                  blue-females     1:31:13   
    7    Kent Ohlund                    blue-males       1:47:30   
    8    Bob Baylor                     blue-males       1:57:05   
    9    Thorsten Graeve                blue-males       2:05:18  
   10    David Jorgensen                blue-males       2:43:50  
   11    Kevin Schoenfeld               blue-males       3:20:04 
   12    Leon Berzins                   blue-males       3:22:02  

  Green course (8.2km/11.2km, 160m climb, 9 controls)              

    1    Andrejus Masalkova             green-males      1:33:03    
    2    Carol Schick-Lyda              green-females    1:57:46    
    3    Bob Cooley                     green-males      2:01:22    
    4    Bjorn Widerstrom               green-males      2:06:09    
    5    Patty Clemo                    green-females    2:11:20    
    6    Debbie Wojtowicz               green-females    2:27:17    

  Orange course (5.7km/8.9km, 135m climb, 11 controls)             

    1    17 Bill Voegele                orange-males     1:24:11    
    2    30 Dan Holman                  orange-males     1:31:32 
    3    24 Doug Bass                   orange-males     1:33:23 
    4     2 Jukka, Jaakko, Tapio Karras orange-group     1:35:11 
    5    21 Trinka Gillis               orange-females   1:38:34 
    6    20 Bill Wright                 orange-males     1:59:28 
    7    22 Nancy Lindeman              orange-females   3:42:45 
    -    16 Tim Ernst                   orange-males       DNF

  Yellow course (3.9km/5.3km, 25m climb, 9 controls)              

    1    19 Mindy Johnson               yellow-females   1:25:23
    2    11 Alan Gordon, Helene Houser  yellow-group     1:37:17
    3     6 Dana Rowley                 yellow-males     1:45:57

  White course (2.8km/3.4km, 15m climb, 10 controls)             

    1    31 Eglute Martisiute +3 children white-group    1:50:56  
    -    29 Shirley Xiao                white-females      DNF 

***Distances given as flylines and optimal trails
DNF = Did not finish