Photo gallery image (click to enlarge)

Burton Creek Ski-O

Date: (Sun.) Jan. 23, 2005
Location: Tahoe City, CA
Event Directors: - 408.293.1718, - 650.793.8764
Course Setter: Thorsten Graeve
Type: Ski-O; White, Yellow, Orange, Green, and Blue courses

Skip to Results

Event Write-Up

By Thorsten Graeve

Record turnout for first West Coast Ski-O of 2005! Heavy snowfalls early in the year and dry, sunny conditions the week before the event combined to draw more people than ever to Tahoe XC (i.e., Burton Creek State Park) for the first Ski-O event of the season. 55 people came out to enjoy the fast skiing conditions on a day filled with fun and excitement for beginners and advanced skiers alike.

Even though the day was relatively warm, and sunny skies prevailed at higher altitudes, the entire Lake Tahoe basin had been fogged in for well over a week. While this meant damp and cold conditions for the start & finish crew (i.e., the meet director), it proved a definite plus for skiers as the snow remained fast and firm throughout the day. Heavy storms during the first week of the year helped build up a significant base, and a superb grooming job by the Tahoe XC folks put the trails into excellent skating conditions. However, two weeks of relatively warm temperatures had also packed down the snow in off-trail areas, inviting shortcuts and off-trail travel.

Photo gallery image (click to enlarge)

This year's event featured a Motala format for the advanced courses. The Green course started out with a 6.8 km loop, followed by the 7.9 km Orange course. The Blue course began with a 6.6 km loop and then merged into the Green course. Even though all three loops covered the same terrain, they were different enough to induce all kinds of mistakes, especially on the last and longest loop. And as one competitor remarked, "it was fun to ski around and see all these people with maps pinned to their fronts - it seemed like every other person out there was doing the Ski-O!"

We almost ran out of maps on just about every course except for White, where there was only one entry. Of course, this meant that the team of Elizabeth Henley and Dave Best easily won this category in a little over one hour. On the Yellow course there was tough competition among both men and women, but Jukka Karras and Jackie Wong easily defeated the rest of their respective fields.

Photo gallery image (click to enlarge)

The Orange course featured a mixture of long and short legs, directional changes, some good route choices and even opportunities for short-cutting between trails. This is where many mistakes were made -- more than one advanced competitor tricked himself into taking controls out of order because of the many twists and turns of the course layout. Among the intermediate skiers, Blake Heckendorn executed flawlessly and skied through the course in just 43:20. Nancy Lindeman, despite having lost her voice from talking many local skiers into trying out for Ski-O the day before, managed to win a lightly contested female field.

On the Green course, Tony Pinkham narrowly defeated Tapio Karras to take first place among men. Overall winner, however, was Carol Schick-Lyda, who posted the fastest time on Green in 1:14:30.

The Blue course saw some amazing competition with a total of twelve entries and several very close finishes. Overall winner was visiting Finnish orienteer Toni Louhisola with a lightning-fast time of 1:10:33, handily defeating club regulars Chuck Lyda and Dan Stoll-Hadayia, who took second and third place, respectively. Brenda Giese showed her grit as the fastest and only woman on the Blue course.

Photo gallery image (click to enlarge)

Many thanks belong to our volunteers: co-director Tony Pinkham (vetting, control placement, registration and E-punch download), Nancy Lindeman (public relations), Bill Straka (download), Matthias Kohler, Dan Stoll-Hadayia, Greg Walker, Chuck Lyda, and Carol Schick-Lyda (control pickup), and to the folks from Tahoe XC for supporting this event.

Don't forget that there are two more Ski-O dates coming up: February 6 at Royal Gorge and February 26/27 at Bear Valley. See you there!


  Pl  Name                                Time

White Course, Male     (2.8/3.1 km, 8 controls)

   1  Elizabeth Henley, Dave Best        1:11:22

Yellow Course, Female  (4.0/4.9 km, 8 controls)

   1  Jackie Wong                        1:05:05
   2  Helen Gordon                       1:10:01
   3  Barbara Straka                     1:12:10
   4  Anne Barrington, Sandra Rosas      1:23:37

      MJ Graukin, Carol Kummerer           DNF

Yellow Course, Male    (4.0/4.9 km, 8 controls)

   1  Jukka Karras                         43:01
   2  Joanne Thiel, Michael Garner         48:58
   3  Matt Strother                        58:29
   4  Marcum, Wilkes, Strauss, Marcum    1:04:26
   5  Alan Houser                        1:09:24

Orange Course, Female  (6.2/7.9 km, 9 controls)

   1  Nancy Lindeman                     2:08:34

      Joe Keyser, Heather Stark            DNF

Orange Course, Male    (6.2/7.9 km, 9 controls)

   1  Blake Heckendorn                     43:20
   2  Dan Dwyer                            53:53
   3  Grant Glouser                      1:06:52
   4  Christopher Hann                   1:08:12
   5  Bill Straka                        1:16:30
   6  Jay Hann                           1:20:17
   7  Joe Maffei                         1:27:53
   8  Janell & Mel Glouser               1:33:32

      Randy Franklin, Shelley Potts        DNF

Green Course, Female  (10.2/14.7 km, 14 controls)

   1  Carol Schick-Lyda                  1:14:30
   2  Trinka Gillis                      2:05:24

Green Course, Male    (10.2/14.7 km, 14 controls)

   1  Tony Pinkham                       1:22:30
   2  Tapio Karras                       1:23:26
   3  Bjorn Widerstrom                   1:39:23
   4  Scott Drum                         1:55:28
   5  Bob Cooley                         2:03:12
   6  Peter Olston                       2:12:23

      Glenn & Jackie Mason                 DNF

Blue Course, Female   (14.9/21.3 km, 20 controls)

   1  Brenda Giese                       2:18:29

Blue Course, Male     (14.9/21.3 km, 20 controls)

   1  Toni Louhisola                     1:10:33
   2  Chuck Lyda                         1:15:13
   3  Dan Stoll-Hadayia                  1:19:58
   4  Greg Walker                        1:25:18
   5  Mikkel Conradi                     1:28:44
   6  Matthias Kohler                    1:34:22
   7  Alex Borovinsky, Mattias Eriksson  1:34:32
   8  Kent Ohlund                        1:37:00
   9  Bret Sarnquest                     1:37:24
  10  Bob Baylor                         1:56:12
  11  Nagyi Attila                       2:06:08


DNF = Did not finish (missed one or more controls)

Note: The first (shorter) distance figure is measured along
straight lines between controls. The second (longer) distance
figure is the optimum total distance using mapped trails
between controls.