Photo gallery image (click to enlarge)

2008 BAOC Ski-O Championships at Bear Valley

Date: (Sun.) Mar. 2, 2008
Location: near Arnold, CA
Event Director: - 650.793.8764
Course Setters: Julie Raymond, Neil Hunt
Type: White, Orange, Green, Red, and Blue Ski-O courses

Event Director's & Course Setters' Notes


This confirms the rumor that there is yet another superb ski-O event, the BAOC Ski-O Championships, this weekend at Bear Valley Cross Country.

This is a one-event, do-it-right-the-first-time championships with the usual five courses. The courses have the following stats:

  Course  Straight  Optimal  Climb  Intended Audience
  White    2.3 km    2.6 km   25 m  Beginners, all on easy trails
  Orange   5.3 km    8.0 km   98 m  F-16, F55+, F65+ classes, and intermediate
                                    skiers not skiing the advanced courses
  Green    7.8 km   10.7 km  222 m  M-16, M55+, M65+, F-20, F40+ classes, and those
                                    not skiing their class on the Red or Blue course
  Red     10.0 km   14.4 km  310 m  M-20, M40+, F-21+ classes, and 21-39 year-old
                                    males not doing the Blue course
  Blue    13.1 km   19.5 km  372 m  M-21+ and F-Amazon classes

The "Straight" distance is the total of the straight-line distances between controls. The "Optimal" distance is the shortest actual distance that will be possible.

This event features lots of new secondary trails to confound the confident Bear Valley skiers. Course setters Julie Raymond and Neil Hunt were very creative with their use of secondary trails, so you can expect to be making decisions you haven't had to make before.

By the way, the head course setter, Julie Raymond, will be absent. She will be skiing at a 50-km race in Anchorage that day. Neil Hunt, the other course setter, will be on hand to set up the event. If you are feeling sorry for yourself for competing on the 19.5-km course, remember Julie will be doing 50 km up north at the same time.

This venue also has some one-way trails (but fewer than before). If you see a green arrow next to a trail where it joins other trails, you can use that trail only if you are going in the direction of that arrow. If you go in the wrong direction, we reserve the right to disqualify you from the course results. Taking these trails in the wrong direction should not benefit you competitively. If you are considering going the wrong way on a one-way trail, you probably made a mistake somewhere.

You can go off trail at this resort, but you do so at your own risk. Also, our secondary trails are marked on your map but they will not be flagged in the snow (we only flag the secondary trails at Royal Gorge because we have to be sure people use only our trails, not those made by other people).

This resort is not embargoed the day before the event, but if you do ski there on Saturday, use only the groomed trails—do not use the secondary trails. On the day of the event, we are asking everyone to warm up on the trails that can be seen from the starting area (or you can go out to the trailside cafe).

Registration is open from 9:00 AM to noon. Starts are on a first-come-first-serve basis beginning at 10 AM, and last until 12:30. The courses close at 2:30 sharp. If you are still out on a course at 2:30, we need you to finish quickly—controls will be picked up beginning at 2:30 so we can finish by the time the resort closes.

Note: For safety reasons, we need to know when you are back from your course, even if you do not complete the course.

E-punching will be used, but all you will see for an E-punch download station is a GeBe printer. We've laid off most of our E-punch crew (just kidding—they will be present, but cleverly disguised as competitors), and we are using this printer which takes your downloads and spits out a printout of your splits. This is an experiment to see how this works with ski-orienteering—we are hoping that it makes for an easier setup and organization (and at Bear Valley it means not having to run an E-punch office out in the snow). Use it twice, keep one set for your records, and place the other (with your name written on it) in the envelope by the printer. We will use our copy to determine who has finished and to post results. You must download no matter how you feel about posting results, because this is our way of knowing who has finished their course. If you don't download, we might have to put together a search party to look for you (you don't want that to happen unless you are hurt on the course).

Awards have not been decided upon yet, but there will be first, second, and third-place awards for each competitive and open class. The open classes (e.g., M-Orange) will get lesser awards.

To compete, all you need to do is park your car, then go out to the trailhead to register and get your trail pass. If you get your trail pass at the Cross Country store, you will pay extra and there are no refunds. Go to the trailhead for your discount trail pass.

Helpers are always needed. We can always use people at registration, starts, and control pickup. We're not worried about E-punch this time, because we are using the GeBe printer, which takes your download and spits out your splits as described above.

Remember, we share the trails with other cross country skiers, snowshoers, sledders, and people of all ages. It is our responsibility to ski in a way that doesn't interfere with the fun others have at this resort. Race your heart out, but don't endanger other trail users.

Also, remember that you are always responsible for your safety while cross country skiing or snowshoeing, especially if you go off the groomed trails. Some of our courses utilize secondary trails. Most of those trails are level, but some (those that cross contour lines or that you see have elevation changes) are not. Use those trails with care. Some can be icy, especially early in the day. Some might not hold up that well. We tried to make the safest possible trails, but we cannot guarantee their conditions. As always, ski with care.

See you Sunday! If you are in Arnold on Saturday, I think a bunch of us will be eating at the SnowShoe Brewery that evening.

Looking for lodging? The Meadowmont in Arnold had rooms available earlier this week. Other places have rooms down the road in places like Avery and Angels Camp.

Tony Pinkham
Event Director