Blue skies and mild temperatures greeted us for our second year of ski-orienteering at Bear Valley in the Sierra Nevada. We held five races on terrain ranging from gentle meadows suitable for beginners to steep ridges with terrific views of the surrounding mountains. Although participants had to give up watching the Superbowl, they had the unique experience of being spurred on by the enthusiastic howls of the huskies at a dog-sledding event across the road. Below are the complete results.
The Start-O was won for the second year by Jaakko Karras. Jim Tebelskis, a newcomer to both orienteering and cross-country skiing, won the White course. He had so much fun, he then entered the Short and Medium courses! The Short course was won by Tony Pinkham, who used it as a warm-up to shake off a recent cold.
The Medium course was notable for the close finish among the women. In a race that lasted just under two hours, only four minutes separated third place from the winner, Chelsea Taylor. In the Long course, Kent Öhlund (with a time of 68:10) edged out defending champ Lans Taylor. The course featured one very physically challenging leg, a 90-meter climb to a ridgetop. The lack of oxygen at 7,400 feet didn't help matters. The top finishers chose a slightly longer route to avoid the taxing 15% grade of the more direct path to the top. More than a few folks decided it would be better to take their skis off at this point.
There were a few minor glitches with the event that are unique to Ski-O. Some of the more interesting advanced trails that I planned to include were opened only a week before the event, because the steep and rocky terrain required five feet of snow to be properly groomed. This made me quite anxious about setting the Long course, and in fact one control location had to be moved the day before the event because inadequacies in the map would have made the original location unfair. Another unpleasant surprise came when a lone small tree chosen for hanging a control bag was apparently buried in a later storm. An alternate tree, although visible, ended up on the edge of the control circle. Perhaps I should just blame these problems on El Niño, but it highlights the fact that setting courses in snow requires some different planning.
Thanks to assistant directors Aileen Abernathy and Nancy Lindeman; vetter Christine Shirley; start/finish helpers Olivia Graeve and Jeff Lanam; awards creator Tony Pinkham; and control collectors Neil Hunt and Julie Raymond (two local racers who did quite well at orienteering). Special thanks to Paul Petersen and the staff at Bear Valley Cross Country for their help and use of the facilities.
START-O 1. Jaakko Karras 5:00 WHITE (3 km, flat) 1. Jim Tebelskis 33:13 2. Marian Coahran 63:20 3. Daniel Öhlund/ Alexander Milanovich 78:52 SHORT (4 km, flat) 1. Tony Pinkham 24:00 2. Gary Peters/ June Peters/ Tim Gomes 73:20 2nd Course: Jim Tebelskis 67:15 MEDIUM (9 km, 60 m) 1. Thorsten Graeve 91:40 2. Jim Schmandle 94:32 3. Peter Olsten 100:42 4. Chelsea Taylor 114:15 5. Patty Clemo 117:40 6. Janet Petersen 118:42 7. Jeff Lanam 126:17 8. Rosemary Johnson 126:20 3rd Course (!): Jim Tebelskis 141:50 LONG (13 km, 180 m) 1. Kent Öhlund 68:10 2. Lans Taylor 71:22 3. Neil Hunt 81:10 4. Werner Haag 93:14 5. Julie Raymond 99:49 6. Wyatt Riley 111:17 7. Tapio Karras 113:36 8. Tom Jahn 113:52 9. Angelica Riley 129:43 10. Mark Petersen 135:58 11. Bob Cooley 185:50 Joan Roos OT 2nd Course: Tony Pinkham 121:06