Sierra Summerfest

Sierra Summerfest

Day 5: Tahoe TrailCross

Northstar California Resort

Date: (Mon.) Jul. 29, 2013
Location: Truckee, CA
Event Director:
Course Setter: Greg Walker
Type: Mass-start long TrailCross courses

Please note that fees and time limits apply. Events are typically not canceled due to bad weather.

Join us for the first Tahoe area TrailCross. This event will appeal to trail runners and beginner orienteers by sticking mostly to the trails, while offering the option of tricky route choices and rewarding those who venture off the beaten path. There will be three different courses for you to choose among, depending on how much of an adventure you’re looking for: 5 km, 10 km, and 10 mi.


Registration: 8:30 AM – 9:30 AM
Race Briefing: 9:45 AM
Mass Start: 10:00 AM
Course Closure: 2:00 PM

Everyone must return to the Finish by the closing time, even if they haven't completed their course.


Parking will be in the Village Parking Lot. Registration will be in front of the Village Rentals and Ticket building, down the stairs from the gondola. (Both locations are shown on this map (,-120.120043&spn=0.002413,0.005284/).)

Event Facilities, Recommended Gear

This event will start from Northstar Village. Toilets are available. It is recommended that you bring a hat, sunscreen, your own water bottle, comfortable shoes with good traction, and a watch. If you have a compass, bring it, otherwise you can ask to borrow one of ours when you check in at Registration. A whistle is always a good item to carry with you, and we have free small plastic whistles if you need one. You are responsible for your own safety, so bring with you what you think you need (e.g., you can bring a GPS if you desire).

Refreshments and Results

After you complete your course, have some snacks and swap stories from your adventure! We will recognize the top male and female participants for each of the three distances, plus the top Masters (40 years of age and over) and the top Juniors (20 years of age and younger) in each gender.


Early registration for this event is now closed. (The deadline for early registration was 8:00 PM PDT July 14.)

If you will be participating as a group, please note that each person will need to register and pay separately.

The SPORTident electronic punching system will be used to record controls. Each participant or group will need one E-stick. E-stick rentals are $3 per event. Compasses can also be rented at $1 each.

Please note that even if you register ahead of time, you will need to check in at the event, to pick up your SPORTident E-stick (if you don't have your own) or to register your personal E-stick (so we can enter you in our results system).

On-site Registration

The following event-day fees apply to members of BAOC, GCO, or any other Orienteering USA or IOF club:

    Course   Category      Event-Day 
    10 mi    Adult            $28
             Junior (*)       $8
    10 km    Adult            $23
             Junior (*)       $5
     5 km    Adult            $18
             Junior (*)       $3
    (*) Juniors are age 20 and younger.

The fees for "non-members" are $5 higher. (BAOC membership will be available at the event.)

Course Setter's Notes

Okay, let's be honest here, Northstar is just one really big hill. There are some flat bits towards the bottom, but we're not using that part. The first thing you'll do is run straight up the mountain.

But it's not actually that steep, and then you get to play on some gorgeous fire roads and open forest, before having more than half of the course as a very runnable downhill. It's a TrailCross, which means that the controls are all accessible via trails. But there are also a whole lot of off-trail shortcuts to be had if you can navigate them, especially on the 10 km and 10 mi courses. The woods up on top are typical Tahoe forest: some deadfall, some thick pines, but mostly wide open forest with very little undergrowth.

The first part of the course climbs up out of the village through terrain shared with the mountain bike trails, so please keep an eye out! Many of the single-track trails nearby to your route are set as no-foot-traffic by Northstar, and they're marked as out-of-bounds with purple hashing on your map. Please stay off them​—​downhill mountain bikes are really heavy​—​you will lose!

The 10 km and 10 mi courses will have one aid station control, a little before halfway on each course, with water and munchies.

Course Stats:

   Course    Climb   Controls
    5 km     215 m       8
   10 km     300 m      10
   10 mi     425 m      14

The map is 1:10000 scale, with 5m contours.

Driving Directions

From Interstate 80 take the Highway 267 exit (188B or 188) just east of Truckee. Take Highway 267 in the direction of King's Beach for about 5.5 miles. The entrance to Northstar Resort will be on your right​—​follow the orienteering signs from here (you'll want to park in the lot shown on this map (,-120.120043&spn=0.002413,0.005284/)).

There's a map here that shows the location of the event. (The easiest way to zoom in is to click on the "pin" at the NW edge of Lake Tahoe [leave the "balloon" displayed], then click on the "+" button several times. You can drag the map to center the point of interest, and switch to Satellite or Hybrid view.)

Other Information

Answers to frequently asked questions about TrailCross, and a list of the remaining events in the TrailCross Series, are available here.

If you're interested in events that are more off-trail, please check the Bay Area Orienteering Club schedule to see upcoming events. Also check out the BAOC Wilderness Scramble Series for events where you pick your own route.