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2010 Sierra Ski-Orienteering Championships

Day 4 – Northstar Cross Country

Date: Feb. 3, 2010
Location: Northstar, CA
Event Director: – 650.793.8764 (cell phone)
Course Setter: Matthias Kohler
Type: Ski-O; Point-to-point event with 5 medium-length courses

Please note that fees and time limits apply, unless otherwise mentioned below. Events are typically not canceled due to bad weather.


Day 4 is a point-to-point event at Northstar Cross Country (you must take the gondola from the village to the main ski-lift area, where you ski to the cross country trailhead). Matthias Kohler has designed courses in the central, less hilly area that has the most interesting network of ski trails. The courses might be a tad short but you'll be getting your skiing in by skiing a mile to the remote starts and a mile from the finishes to the download station at the cross country store.

Update 1-Feb-2010: There will be a biathlon happening during our event. For the most part these two events will be separate, but a couple of our trails might be used by the biathlon racers. We also had to move a control that was otherwise going to be in the middle of their shooting range. Yes, there will be gunfire happening during our event (just like when orienteering in Colorado during training exercises for the Air Force academy), but the gunfire will be directed away from us. Still, it will be exciting to hear something different during our event.

Originally, Chuck Lyda and Carol Schick-Lyda were going to design these courses, but they had to step aside to fight a cancer that is in Chuck's esophagus or stomach. They have asked that people not visit right now, because Chuck needs to focus his energy on dealing with his chemo treatments. Everyone is hoping for the best, and Tony will be happy to pass on any information that he receives from Carol.

Registration and Trail Passes

Registration is open from 9 AM to noon, and is located in the village at the bottom of the ski resort. You must check in there to receive your trail pass, which is required to go on the gondola to the cross country trailhead area.

Beginner Clinics

This event has beginner clinics for anybody who is new to ski orienteering. Even if you are an expert skier, but are new to orienteering, take the free 20-minute clinic at the cross country store. To take a clinic, see the director at the cross country store.

Starts and Course Closure Time

Starts occur between 10 AM and 12:30 PM at the cross country trailhead. You must take the gondola from the village to the main ski-lift area, and then ski to the cross country trailhead.

Typically, we recommend an early start before the sun can turn the snow to slush. If it is snowing, you probably don't need to worry about starting early.

All courses close at 2:30 and you must check in at the Finish by that time, even if you do not finish your course. We automatically begin picking up controls at 2:30, so it does not pay to stay out past 2:30. Even if you do not finish your course, punch in at the Finish and let us know that you are off the course, so that we do not have to form a search party to look for you.

Venue Rules

First and foremost, ski cooperatively and share the trails with the other skiers.

You may go off the groomed trails at your own risk so long as you do not go on private properties, snowshoe trails, or areas marked out of bounds on your map or by the resort.

Sometimes, especially after a major storm, some trails are not groomed. We will make every effort to cross out those trails before you begin your course, but be aware that some trails might not be groomed or might be partially groomed. Always, look out for grooming machines and step aside the trail if one of those machines will be passing you.

(Preliminary) Course Stats

   Course    Airline Dist.    Optimal Dist.    Climb
   White        3.4 km           3.4 km         65 m
   Orange       5.3 km           5.7 km        110 m
   Green        4.6 km           7.0 km        140 m
   Red          7.1 km           9.7 km        180 m
   Blue         7.6 km          12.0 km        250 m

Driving Directions

Revised directions as of 1-Feb-2010:

From all points East and West, take Interstate 80 to Exit 188B (Highway 267) just east of Truckee. Take Highway 267 in the direction of King's Beach for about 5.5 miles. Turn right at the signal at Northstar Drive, and go 1.3 miles to the free parking at the Northstar Village. Just before you reach the village, you'll stop at an intersection; go to the next junction and turn right for free parking. You can walk or take the shuttle to the village. From there, walk through the village to a very wide set of stairs on the right, go up the stairs, and go into the Starbucks to register or get your trail pass from the BAOC registration crew.

Highway Conditions

CalTrans road conditions – (800)427-7623