Royal Gorge Ski-O

Soda Springs
Sunday, Feb. 3, 2002

Contact: Christine Shirley, 650-349-0330

Royal Gorge offers one of the finest and best-managed cross-country ski trail systems in the world. With over 300 kilometers of groomed trails, Royal Gorge also is the largest XC ski area in North America.

Track conditions are fantastic, but the weather is still too unsettled to promise a glorious, sunny day for the event. There is room for hope in the forecast, though, so put chains in the trunk and a parka in the back seat of your car, and head on up for some great ski orienteering.

Volunteers are needed for beginner clinics, late morning registration, late starts, and early finishes. And if you haven't had enough ski orienteering by 2 p.m. please volunteer for control pickup. See Chris Shirley at 2:15, at which time I will hand out control pickup territories.

Course Info

Our course setter, Matthias Kohler, has found a challenge for everyone, even if you've skied Royal Gorge many times. This year will be especially fun because e-punching is being used on the advanced courses. This offers us more flexibility in control placement and more interesting route choices for skiers. Ski orienteering does not generally include technical control placement. Quick decisions and smart route choice will be most important. The beginner's course will be short and easy, so that even if it's your first time orienteering, or even on cross-country skis, you should finish with enough energy to enjoy the rest of the day.
Course    Controls    Distance        Climb        Level
White       11         3.4 km        35 meter      Beginner
Yellow      13         5.8 km        90 meter      Novice
Orange      11         8.2 km       110 meter      Intermediate 
Green       12        15.3 km       180 meter      Advanced 
Blue        13        15.9 km       290 meter      Expert 
The courses will remain open even during a snowstorm unless the resort closes. At this park, you MUST stay on designated trails at all times (no bushwhacking).

E-punching will be used on the Orange, Green, and Blue courses. If you need to rent an e-punch stick, the fee is $2.

Courses close at 2:00 pm, no matter what time you start. Please allow yourself enough time to finish before 2:00.

Water is available in Royal Gorge's warming huts, which may or may not be on your course. Extra water will not be placed on the courses. Please be prepared to carry your own water. Hot/cold drinks will be provided at the finish.

This is the second event in the 2002 California Ski-O Champs.

Registration and Starts

No preregistration is necessary - just show up, pay, and ski! Registration begins at 9:30 am in the main lodge (Summit Station), and individual starts are 10:00am-1:00pm. You'll have three hours or until 2:00 pm (whichever is earlier) to finish your course. You can use touring or skating skis. We will begin control pickup promptly at 2:30 pm, so if you want to do a long course, please start by 12:00.

Entry Fee and Special Discounts

Royal Gorge has special discounts on trail passes and rentals for all participants. Ski lessons are also available. So bring the entire family!

Adult trail pass, including ski-o entry fee: $30.00
Adult trail pass, entry fee, and ski rental: $40.00

Jr. (ages 13 - 16) trail pass, ski-o entry fee: $20.00
Jr. (ages 13 - 16) trail pass, entry fee, and ski rental: $25.00

Kids (12 and under) trail pass, ski-o entry fee: $15.00
Kids (12 and under) trail pass, entry fee, and ski rental: $20.00

Arrange lessons by calling Royal Gorge at 530-426-3871. They can also provide more information and guidance on lodging.

Beginner's Clinics

We will offer free beginner's clinics in the registration area 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.


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.