BAOC has historically held events rain or shine, and we proved that this hardy tradition also applies to snowstorms. Over 30 ski-orienteers braved a winter storm to participate in our third annual ski-o event at Bear Valley. As a concession to the weather, we delayed the starts for one hour to allow the trail grooming equipment to cover all the trails.
The White course (3 km) was won by the Karras family (Tapio, 10-year old Jaakko, and 7-year old Jukka). Manfred Kopisch was the top finisher on the Short course (4 km), and Dan Greene had a solid performance on the Medium course (9 km). There was a lot of tough competition on the Long course (12 km). After the snowflakes had settled, the winner was Neil Hunt in 96:08, followed by Matthias Kohler and Kent Öhlund. Neil's wife Julie Raymond almost made it a family sweep, but was edged out as the top woman by Angelica Riley in 112:38.
The conditions placed a severe test on both the navigational and physical ability of the participants. Visibility was limited and trails were difficult to discern as about a foot of snow fell during the day. The thick snow also made skiing much slower than normal. I bet most people took almost twice as long on the course than they would have on Saturday or Monday, when conditions were good. I'm not exaggerating. In ski-o, the mountain conditions can play a big role, and choice of equipment and ski technique can make quite a difference. Most of the top racers still opted for skating skis, but the usually large advantage from skating was reduced by the deep snow. Under these conditions, diagonal striding was not a bad choice.
Because of the weather, we didn't get to gather around to pass out Nancy's cookies to the winners. I think the scout troop may have had the best idea by stopping at the warming hut for hot chocolate before the final control.
Help during the event was much appreciated. Thanks to Nancy Lindeman and Aileen Abernathy (assistant directors), Christine Shirley (course vetter), Chuck Spalding (starts/finishes), and Matthias Kohler (control pickup).
Also, special thanks to Paul Petersen and the staff at Bear Valley Cross Country.
WHITE (3 km, flat) 1. Tapio, Jaakko, & Jukka Karras 55:00 2. Carol, Claude & Chris Wilson, and Larry, Taylor, Quincy, & Mary Fong (Troop 834, Pack 882) 92:30 SHORT (4 km, flat) 1. Manfred Kopisch 61:50 2. Tamara O'Kelly 130:00 Olivia Graeve DNF Lawrence Flath DNF MEDIUM (9 km, 60 m) 1. Dan Greene 136:54 2. Bob Cooley 156:25 3. David Schuman 175:20 4. Rosemary Johnson 176:18 Sharon Evans DNF Jeff Lanam DNF LONG (12 km, 160 m) 1. Neil Hunt 96:08 2. Matthias Kohler 100:56 3. Kent Öhlund 104:00 4. Neeme Loorits 108:40 5. Angelica Riley 112:38 6. Julie Raymond 120:22 7. Wyatt Riley 128:24 8. Larry Wagner 139:06 9. Thorsten Graeve 142:10 10. Kevin Schoenfeld 155:42 11. Leon Berzins 158:00 12. Debbie Wojtowicz 179:00