Burton Creek Ski-O

Tahoe City
Sunday, March 18, 2001

Contact: Tony Pinkham, 650-969-5320

New ski-O map! Remember orienteering at Burton Creek State Park last summer? Well, we're using the same map, updated for full-length, point-to-point ski-O courses at Tahoe XC. Brenda Giese has designed the following courses to challenge your ski-orienteering skills:

Course       Level               Distance/Climb/Trails

Start-O        Young children         0.5 km (in view of parents) 
White          Beginners              4.0 km distance, 50 m climb, beginner ski trails 
Yellow         Advanced beginner      5.5 km, 75 m, beginner/intermediate ski trails 
Orange         Intermediate           8.5 km, 150 m, beginner/intermediate ski trails 
Green          Moderate advanced      14.0 km, 300 m, all types of trails, including expert
Blue           Tough advanced         26.5 km, 625 m, all types of trails, including expert 
                                         for Blue, bring water and start early if possible
The courses will remain open even during a snowstorm unless the resort closes. We will use e-punching on the Orange, Green, and Blue courses, so bring your finger sticks, or rent one on-site.

Registration and Fees

No preregistration is necessary - just show up, pay, and ski! Registration begins at 9:30 am, and starts are from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm. You'll have three hours to finish your course. You can use touring or skating skis.

When you arrive at Tahoe XC, go inside the lounge, register and pay your orienteering fee (normal event fees) at the BAOC table. You will then receive a ticket entitling you to a discounted trail pass (the discount is substantial), which you take to the Tahoe XC counter to get your trail pass. Discounted adult ski passes are $12 and discounted junior and senior trail passes are $9.

If you need to rent an e-punch stick, the fee is $2.

Beginner's Clinics

We offer free beginner's clinics in the registration area (ski lounge) to anyone on demand. These clinics usually last 20-30 minutes and explain everything you need to know to complete the White and Yellow courses. If you are new to orienteering, ask for a clinic before doing your first course.


We will be using the Burton Creek orienteering map (introduced at the Sierra 2000 A-meet). The map has been modified for snow conditions (dirt paths and trails have been removed and green lines for ski trails have been added). Solid green lines are for groomed trails. Dashed green lines are for ungroomed trails. Any portions of the trail without any snow (hopefully this won't happen) will be marked with purple dots. The ski trails on the maps do not show every minor bend in the trail. This is one feature that we hope to improve on in the coming years, but this is difficult to do because grooming routes often change somewhat after big storms.


Starts are between 10:00 am and 12:30 pm. Earlier starts usually mean better skiing conditions, especially for skaters.

Our starts are located 0.25 km up the main ski trail from the trail head. Follow the orange ribbons to the start area. When you get there, go up to the person managing the starts and ask for a start time. You will be assigned an individual start time. When that time arrives, pick up your map and begin doing your course.

You have three hours or 2:30 pm (whichever happens first) to do your course and return to the finish area (same as start area). You MUST check in at the finish whether or not you complete your course; else, we have to initiate a search-and-rescue effort.

Punching at Controls

To verify that you have been to a control, you must "punch in" at the control. For the White and Yellow courses, you use the pin punch attached to the control to punch the control card that you carry. For the Orange, Green, and Blue courses, you must use an e-punch stick to punch in at each control. If you are unfamiliar with e-punching, ask for instructions at the start.

When you finish an e-punch course, you need to go to the download station in the lounge to transfer your control punch information into our database. We check your e-punch data to verify that you visited each control correctly before adding your course time to the results. People on e-punch courses will be able to compare the time they took to find each control with everyone else on the same course.


Awards will be presented to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place male and female finishers for each course.

This is also the final event in the 2001 California Ski-O Champs, and special awards will be presented to the top male and female for each course in the 3-event series.


Registration, beginner's clinics, starts, and finishes will be close to the Tahoe XC trailhead.

To get to Tahoe XC at Burton Creek State Park:

  1. Take Highway 80 to the Highway 89 exit in Truckee.
  2. Drive south to Tahoe City.
  3. At the Y intersection in Tahoe City, continue straight on Route 28, North Lake Boulevard.
  4. Go about 2 miles and turn left on Fabian Way.
  5. Make an immediate right turn onto Village Road and follow that road as it turns to the right.
  6. Turn left at the first intersection and park as close to the Tahoe XC office as you can.