Bear Valley Ski-O

January 30, 2000

by Tony Pinkham, event director

Unfortunately, the beautiful skiing weather we experienced the day before the Bear Valley event was pushed aside by a day-long snow storm on event day. At first, the snowfall was light, but it gained in intensity and depth as the day wore on. Despite the efforts of the Bear Valley groomers, the snow piled up on the groomed trails, and visibility decreased by the hour. At least 15 people who intended to go to the event either turned around en route or never bothered trying to go. Twenty-five people, however, attended and all seemed to have had a great time despite the weather. Below are the complete results.

Where's the Snow?

Three weeks before the event, there was no snow on the ground at Bear Valley, and I was getting ready to cancel the event. Suddenly, the storm window opened and one storm followed another. Although we'd get snow with one storm, another storm would melt half the snow with rain and leave meadows flooded. We were overjoyed to have the snow but never knew from week to week what would be groomed and what would be flooded.

Finally, in the week before the event, 52 inches of snow covered everything, including the flooded meadows. Bear Valley management quickly groomed all the trails that we needed, but we still needed to scout the trails for control placement the day before the event.

Not knowing for sure where the courses were going to go, we asked Bob Cooley to print maps without courses. On the day before the event, we scouted all the trails for control sites and map accuracy, decided on the final courses, set the controls, and marked courses on the maps by hand.

The night before the event, we utilized the BAOC members staying with us to complete all the other things left incomplete by the undetermined courses. Aileen Abernathy, Thorsten Graeve, Tony and Katie Anthony, Drew Keeling, Finn Arildsen, Rosemary Johnson, and Melissa Criqui worked throughout the evening to complete the control descriptions, put together the magnetic awards, and prepare numbered bibs for competitors. It was a Herculean effort, and by midnight everything was ready for the event on the following day.

Determined Competitors

Dan and Kim Schaefer, both new to orienteering, skated to first place on the White and Yellow courses. At least six other people took the beginner clinics, but most decided to do the courses informally without start and finish times.

Aileen Abernathy and Werner Haag placed first for women and men on the intermediate Orange course. Their 6.4-km, 130m-climb course included a run part way up Osborne Ridge and out to the opposite side of the map. Each leg of their course included over a kilometer of skiing and two or three route choices in mostly hilly terrain.

Julie Raymond and Kent Ohlund placed first for women and men on the shorter advanced (Green) course. Their 14.5-km, 280m-climb course included the intermediate Orange course followed by a more grueling course up and down short but steep hills. Fortunately for them, the accumulating snow drifts made the descents easier, but the extra snow also meant that they had to push against more and more snow to finish with good times. Both Julie and Kent intended to go on to the Black'n'Blue course but the weather prevented both from going all the way.

Two stalwart skiers couldn't be stopped by anything on the Orange and Green courses. They went on to do the Black'n'Blue course with its 130-meter climb to the top of Osborne Ridge and numerous route choices all over the map. They finished the course with an accumulated 22 kilometers of skiing and 420 meters of climb. By the end of the day, Dan Stoll-Hadayia slogged his way to the finish to reign as the top orienteer of the day with an impressive 3 hours, 16 minutes, and 33 seconds to complete the Orange, Green, and Black'n'Blue courses.

Thanks to the Volunteers

In addition to the helpers I named above, Aileen Abernathy did results; Thorsten Graeve helped with beginner clinics; Rosemary Johnson helped with starts and finishes; Tony Anthony helped with various functions, including control pickup; Finn Arildsen was on hand to handle finishes; Drew Keeling and Melissa Criqui helped all morning with registration; and Bill Straka helped with setup.

Dianne and Paul Peterson of Bear Valley Cross Country, plus some of their employees, especially Buffy Sexton, were tremendous. Every meet director should be so lucky to work with such people. Diane and Paul made sure we got all the assistance we needed, and they provided the very generous fees that made the event affordable for participants plus profitable for both Bear Valley Cross Country and BAOC. Buffy picked up our distant controls using a snowmobile during the snowstorm.

Last but certainly not least, Matthias Kohler and Chris Shirley helped with endless hours of meetings, trips to Bear Valley, planning, decisions, map corrections, course design, control setting, and supervising various aspects of the event. They acted as both directors and course setters, and both were a delight to work with. Many thanks to all!


White Course--Women
  Kim Schaefer                     24:23
  Katie Anthony                    35:05

White Course--Men
  Dan Schaefer                     18:22

Yellow Course--Women
  Kim Schaefer                     51:00

Yellow Course--Men
  Dan Schaefer                     38:23

Orange Course--Women
  Aileen Abernathy                 106:55
  Patty Clemo                      110:08
  Rosemary Johnson                 115:05
  Patty White                        DNF

Orange Course--Men
  Panu Haaramo                     78:00
  Werner Haag                      80:50
  Tom Jahn                         82:58
  James Wilson                     92:14
  Bob Cooley                       96:00
  Bill Straka                     108:28
  Tom Appleton and Lamar Bangher  200:00

Green Course--Women
  Julie Raymond                   140:30

Green Course--Men
  Kent Ohlund                     128:30
  Thorsten Graeve                 154:30
  Finn Arildsen                   190:00

  No participants

  Dan Stoll-Hadayia               198:33
  Neil Hunt                       211:00