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Sean Cody finishing the Bear Valley Ski-O in 2001

Bear Valley Ski-O

March 3-4, 2001

by Tony Pinkham, meet director

I originally scheduled the Bear Valley ski-O for March instead of the traditional January time frame so we would have plenty of time to prepare for the event in case the snow came late in the winter. As it turned out, the snow came really late - just a week before the event - so Matthias Kohler (coursesetter), Christine Shirley (assistant director), and I had to scramble to make the two-day event happen. Alex and Yelena Krasnov win the Green course in the traditional Bear Valley blizzard.

To complicate matters, the two-day event was to use the same trails each day. The first day would have a score-O, then we would quickly shift the controls for a point-to-point event the following day. We ended up setting controls until after sundown each evening. Below are the complete results for both Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday, March 3

The first day was beautiful for skiing. The sun was out but the trails were nicely frozen from the night before and they had been freshly groomed. We had controls all over the 60+ km trail network, and all but the two most remote controls (on the Tamarack loop) were visited by the participants. With exception of one misplaced control (sorry), the score-O event went without a hitch.

Edith Jacobi won the 90-minute score-O course by being the only competitor on the course. Vicky Johnson, who works at the Tamarack Pines Inn, won the 135-minute course by finding 18 controls. Patty Clemo and Bob Cooley came in second and third, having found 13 controls each. Yelena Krasnov won the 180-minute (3-hour) course after finding 22 controls, one of which was deducted for being 47 seconds overtime. Kevin Schoenfield found 20 controls in 160 minutes to place second, and Alex Krasnov found 21 controls to place third (one was deducted for being 55 seconds overtime).

After the score-O, Matthias, Christine, and I went out to quickly shift the controls for the point-to-point event that was to happen the following day. We heard that a huge storm that might drop 36 inches of snow and bring 60 mph winds was approaching. We set the controls anyway, working past sundown, and hoped for the best. Fortunately, we were able to merely move most of the controls 200-300 meters to their new locations.

Sunday, March 4

As it turned out, the storm wasn't as bad as we feared, but it snowed all day and the resort nearly shut down. At the last minute, we were given a green light for the event, but were told that we'd have to drop one portion of the longest course, which used an area with fresh snow drifts of over 12 inches and whiteout snow conditions. We quickly changed the map for that course and started the event. Thanks to the Bear Valley management, we were able to use the trailhead office for registration and a nearby shack for starts and finishes. That made working the event bearable for our volunteers while it snowed all day.

We had the standard White, Yellow, Orange, Green, and Blue (renamed Ultraviolet for its punishing distance and climb) courses. The Ultraviolet course was shortened from about 20 km to about 15 km when we removed the two controls in the at-risk area. The other courses remained as planned.

There were no beginners for the White course (3.8 km, 0 m climb) on Sunday, but we had a couple groups do that course the day before (we ran the White course both days). Tricia Roth; Lavinia, Luke, and Lilly Karl were first on that course.

The Yellow course (4.8 km, 30 m climb), which was done on beginner trails and offered some route choices, had a few more entries. Edith Jacobi was first for the women in 70:29, and Adrian Martin was first for the men in 75:00.

The Orange course (8.4 km, 80 m climb), which was done on intermediate trails and offered significant route choices, had more participants. Debbie Wojtowicz was first for the women in 88:00, and Leon Berzins was first for the men in 74:03.

The Green course (12 km, 210 m climb), which included advanced ski trails and major route choices, had 6 participants. Yelena Krasnov was first for the women in 78:30, and her husband, Alex Krasnov, was first for men in 78:30.

The Ultraviolet course (planned for 20 km and 400 m climb but brought down to 15 km and about 300 m climb), which included advanced ski trails, significant hills, and major route choices, had 5 participants. Vicky Johnson was first for the women in 127:34, and Rafael Ruiz was first for the men in 116:00, just 35 seconds ahead of Kent Ohlund. The competition between Rafael and Kent for the California Ski-O Cup was very close throughout the winter.


Attendance was light, probably because of the storm that was due to hit on Sunday, but for those who showed up we saw some impressive results. Anneliese Steuben placed fourth in the 135-minute score-O on her first day on skis. Vicky Johnson and Patty Clemo placed first and second on the same score-O course. Vicky went on to do the Blue course the next day. Yelena Krasnov placed first on the 180-minute Score-O course and first on the women's Green course the following day. Rafael Ruiz and Kent Ohlund raced hard and finished within 35 seconds of each other on the Ultraviolet course. Everybody who raced through the continuous storm on Sunday did terrific.


The complications of a two-day event couldn't have happened without the terrific assistance of Matthias Kohler (coursesetter, setup, beginner clinics, starts, finishes, and control pickup); Christine Shirley (assistant director, starts, finishes, results, setup, cleanup, and control pickup); Bob Cooley (map printing); Abby Wolfe (beginner clinics, results, control pickup); Edith Jacobi (registration and setup); Tony Anthony (setup); Rosemary Johnson (results, control pickup); Jane Ferguson (registration); Sally Upton (registration); Mary Linkin (starts); Katrina Etherington (finishes); Alex and Yelena Krasnov (control pickup); Adrian Martin (control pickup); and the Bear Valley groomers (control pickup and grooming).

Special thanks to Paul and Diane Petersen, the managers of Bear Valley Cross Country, and their staff for all the support they gave us while we prepared this event. My apologies to anyone who I've forgotten.

Results for Saturday, March 3

A beautiful sunny day with fresh, dry snow....

  Female (mixed gender if males under 9 years)
    1  Tricia Roth; Lavinia, Luke,
         and Lilly Karl                    1:05:35
    2  Mary and Luke Bodendorfer; Emma,
         Suzanne, and Makenzie Spillner    1:38:50


Rules: 1 point per control found; 1 point lost per overtime minute.

90-minute Limit                Time   Controls  Penalty  Points

  1  Edith Jacobi             1:32:03    10      -3 OT      7

135-minute Limit               Time   Controls  Penalty  Points

  1  Vicky Johnson            2:16:00    19      -1 OT     18
  2  Patty Clemo              2:09:19    13                13
  3  Bob Cooley               2:12:42    13                13
  4  Anneliese Steuben        2:13:00    12                12
  5  Abby Wolfe               2:17:30    13      -3 OT     10
  6  Kelly Buehner and
       Nancy Lindeman         2:15:10     8      -1 OT      7

180-minute Limit               Time   Controls  Penalty  Points

  1  Yelena Krasnov           3:00:47    22      -1 OT     21
  2  Kevin Schoenfeld         2:39:29    21      -1 MSP    20
  3  Alex Krasnov             3:00:55    21      -1 OT     20
  4  Leon Berzins             2:45:50    17                17
  5  Rosemary Johnson         2:55:00    17                17
  6  Debbie Wojtowicz         2:55:18    16                16
  7  Rafael Ruiz              3:03:49    19      -4 OT     15
  8  Dean and Donna French    2:56:09     5                 5
     Jane Ferguson, Sally
       Upton, Mary Linkin,
       Katrina Etherington    3:41:30     9     -42 OT    -33

Results for Sunday, March 4

The standard Sunday blizzard....

    1  Edith Jacobi                        1:10:29
    2  Eglute Martisiute and
         Vytautas Vysniauscas              1:29:43
    1  Adrian Martin                       1:15:00


    1  Debbie Wojtowicz                    1:28:00
    2  Abby Wolfe                          1:50:16
    3  Rosemary Johnson                    2:09:42
    4  Lavinia, Clare, Karl, Tricia Roth   2:22:03
       Jane Ferguson, Sally Upton, Mary
         Linkin, and Katrina Etherington     MSP   (#7)
    1  Leon Berzins                        1:14:03
    2  Werner Haag                         1:27:34
    3  Kevin Schoenfeld                    1:34:03
    4  James Wilson                        2:22:00


    1  Yelena Krasnov                      1:28:30
    2  Patty Clemo                         2:18:00
    1  Alex Krasnov                        1:28:30
    2  Bob Cooley                          2:19:32
    3  Chris Tuffley                       3:09:00
       Werner Haag                           DNF   (ski problems)



    1  Vicky Johnson                       2:07:34
    1  Rafael Ruiz                         1:56:00
    2  Kent Ohlund                         1:56:35
    3  Vadimas Masalkovas                  2:34:00
       Andrejus Masalkovas                   MSP   (#8)