Royal Gorge Ski-O
by Wyatt Riley, 510-742-9751
Sunday, February 6, 2000
This year's Royal Gorge Ski-O will be co-hosted by BAOC and GCO, together
with the cross-country ski management at Royal Gorge, which is in Soda Springs,
just over an hour east of Sacramento.
Royal Gorge offers one of the finest and best-managed cross-country ski trail
systems in the world, and with 300 kilometers of groomed trails,
Royal Gorge is the largest cross-country ski area in North America.
Generally, the orienteering will not include technical control placement. Quick
decisions and smart route choice will be important. The course
for beginners is set short enough and easy enough that even if it's your first
time on cross-country skis or your first time
orienteering, you should finish with enough energy left to try one of the Score-O
As in the past, Royal Gorge will generously provide prizes for many finishers.
Registration begins at 9 am in the main lodge (Summit Station) - just ask the same
people who are selling trail passes. Starts are from 10:15 am to 1:00 pm. However,
we will begin control pickup at 3 pm, so if you are doing the Long Score O,
please start by 12:00.
We are offering a White course, 6.5km long, which is a reasonably challenging
point-to-point course with 8 control points, suggested for either first-time/beginning
skiers OR first-time/beginning orienteers.
We are also offering an 18 control Score course, with up to 25km of distance (if you
decide to get them all...) There will be Short and Long variations with time limits of
90 and 180 minutes respectively. You will receive 10 points for each control visited,
and only be penalized 2 points per minute late. Ties will be broken by the shortest
Subtle Score O' Details:
- Near some of the far southern and eastern controls on the Score O', there have
been some trail changes. While some of these have been field checked and remapped in
person, others have been remapped using the notoriously not-to-scale Royal Gorge trail
map. The questionably mapped trails have green question marks beside them.
- There is no control #3 on the Score O' due to recent course changes. The 18
controls are numbered 1, 2, 4, 5, 6 . . . 17, 18 and 19.
- The dashed green lines are legal shortcuts between groomed trails. Some
(especially the more useful ones) may be single-tracked beforehand.
Royal Gorge will offer BAOC and GCO members special discounts on trail passes, rentals, and
lessons on both Saturday and Sunday, should you want to make a two-day event of it.
Saturday, Feb. 5 (day before the event)
Sunday, Feb. 6 (event day)
- Trail pass only (normally $21.50): $18.00
- Trail pass and rentals: $25.00
- Trail pass and lesson (on your own skis): $25.00
- Trail pass, rentals, lesson (normally $42): $30.00
For lessons, you may want to make reservations by calling Royal Gorge at 530-426-3871.
They can also provide more information and guidance on lodging.
- Trail pass, including event entry fee: $24.00
- For rentals, add $6.00
From I-80 about 80 minutes east of Sacramento (15 minutes west of Truckee),
take the Norden/Soda Springs exit, Go straight through the village for about a miles
to the first
blinking light/stop sign. Turn right; go across the railroad tracks, past the Soda
Springs Downhill Ski area on your right, up the small hill and turn at the second right
(you'll see signs by now). After the turn, go straight to the parking lot
of the Royal Gorge ski area lodge.
Parking is free.