Bear Valley Ski-O
by Tony Pinkham, meet director
March 3, 2002
As with all the BAOC ski-O events this year, the weather and ski racing
conditions were great at Bear Valley. As happened at Royal Gorge a month
earlier, the sunny weather brought a record-breaking crowd (54
participants) to the event.
Below are the complete results, and be sure to check out the
final standings for the
2002 California Ski-O Champs.
Although we hadn't had many storms in the last two months, we had plenty
of snow and all trails were open. Unfortunately, our bushwhacked trails
were barely noticeable in some of the iced drifts that we had difficulty
breaking through. Trail conditions varied, but they were definitely good
for racing, and it showed on the faces of our participants when they
The original map was the result of a tremendous effort by Mike Poulsen
six years ago. Given the quick work that Mike had to do on the map (he
field-checked it in the two months before the first event in 1997), it
had some problems that he and a number of others, including myself,
tried to correct over the years from our observations on the ski trails.
We were able to nail down the mapping in the meadow area where we had
known benchmarks (reservoir, runway, and trail head) but where the
trails ventured away from the benchmarks, we had problems that we could
never resolve to our full satisfaction. Neil Hunt, however, did the same
thing that Brenda Giese did at Burton Creek: He used GPS to plot the
true positions of the trails. The GPS plotting wasn't perfect (there
were some errors), but we incorporated what made sense with our field
observations. For once, I felt very comfortable with the route choices
offered to our participants. Now that the trails are appropriately
mapped, we can put in the effort to increase the contour resolution from
40 to 20 feet to show a lot more of the ups and downs experienced on the
trails through the rolling hills.
To make things even better, we used e-punching, which enabled us to
optimize the courses where the trail network is most complex for the
maximum number of route choices. We no longer had to use long loop
trails that offered no real route choices to prevent people from
punching at controls before they were supposed to punch in at them.
Unfortunately, I'm still new at using the e-punch software, and we ran
into a problem that took Thorsten Graeve 60-90 minutes to resolve (many
thanks, Thorsten), so that we could print the results before the
participants went home.
Ski-O courses at all our ski-O events test both route selection and
skiing skills. At this event, the beginner courses were on beginner
trails; the White course had minimal route selection, and the Yellow
course had increased but easy route selection as the course went along.
The intermediate (Orange) course had constant route selection on
intermediate trails. The advanced courses made use of expert trails with
steep slopes and very complex route selection (especially if you were
skiing fast). The distances and climbs increased with the complexity of
the courses in increments that we felt were appropriate for each ski
The Bushwhacked Trails
We added nine bushwhacked trails to the groomed trails at Bear Valley.
These trails opened up the route choices by connecting loops and
providing shortcuts that changed the character of the trail network.
Where possible, we made these trails on relatively flat areas so people
could pole their way along them. Unfortunately, the off-trail areas were
pretty much iced up, and we had difficulty creating these trails with
our skis. That meant that some of these trails were very difficult to
notice. In the future, we will use some small flags that will be added
to the ski-O kit. They would be perfect for this and should be our
standard marker for these "official" trails.
The top skier, Ivo Georgiev, turned out to be an employee of Bear Valley
Cross Country. He and David Giese (the second-place skier) had
incredible times (1:07:23 and 1:15:34) on the Blue course. Ben
Wahlstrand and Yelena Krasnov were the first male and female finishers
on the Green course. Hiroshi Izuta and Rosemary Johnson were the first
male and female finishers on the Orange course. Stacy Goss and Ruslan
Ulanov were the first female and male finishers on the Yellow course.
Yuko Izuta was the top female finisher on the White course. Sean Cody
had the best male time on the White course, but it was his second
Oddly enough, most of the people who didn't complete courses were on the
Blue course. They either couldn't find or mispunched at least one
control. One of them probably would have benefited from having flags
placed at the start of the bushwhacked trails.
There's nothing like having a computer with OCAD and copies of the
course maps that can be printed on site when the maps are needed. During
the event, we ran out of Yellow maps and master maps for control pickup
crews (we had lots of volunteers for this and needed lots of maps), and
we were able to print everything needed. You hate to depend on that in
case the computer, software, or printer go down, but it is really handy
to be able to print extra maps when needed.
The BAOC Hostel
As with previous years at Bear Valley, BAOC took over the Nordic hostel
across the street from the start/finish area. Once we were there, we
were constantly among friends and had only to walk across the highway to
go skiing. It's a great place to relax, share a bunch of meals, and
occasionally work on last-minute preparations the night before the
event. Those who stay at the hostel and a few others help out with the
event functions, so we're never at a loss for volunteers at this event.
This year was definitely no exception.
Working with me on this event was the course setter, Matthias Kohler
(also the course setter for Royal Gorge a month earlier). Registration
was managed by Catherine O'Sullivan, William Humnicky, Kent Ohlund, and
Gerry Goss. Beginner's clinics were taught by Abby Wolfe and Matthias
Kohler. Starts were handled by Werner, Tanya, and Kirstin Haag; Thorsten
Graeve; Rosemary Johnson; Jay Hann; and Matthias Kohler. Results for the
non-electronic punch courses were handled by Rosemary Johnson. E-punch
problems were resolved by Thorsten "Troubleshooting" Graeve. Awards were
made and presented (for all three ski-O events) by Brenda Giese. Control
pickup was taken care of by the stalwart crew of Alex and Yelena
Krasnov, David Giese, Richard Asano, Matthias Kohler, and the Haags
(Werner, Tanya, and Kirstin).
Invaluable assistance was provided at all times before, during, and
after the event by the Bear Valley Cross Country staff (Paul and Dianne
Petersen, Jill, Buffy, Ward, and many others). A special thanks to Mike
Poulsen (now with CROC) whose monumental efforts and inspiration in 1996
and 1997 made this and future Bear Valley events possible and a delight
The results are ordered by finish times, with placings given to those doing their first course.
There is an advantage associated with doing a
second course if the courses are in the same area, so we do not award
placings to second-course participants (but we're sure to smile when we
see people doing more than one course).
Be sure to check out the
for the Orange, Green, and Blue courses, which are ordered by time only.
The results for this event determined many placings for the
2002 California Ski-O Champs.
Blue 15.700 km 300 meters climb 11 controls
1 Ivo Georgiev 1:07:23
2 David Giese 1:15:34
3 Kent Ohlund 1:32:09
4 Vadimas Masalkovas 1:55:22
5 Vladimir Gusiatnikov 2:06:09
6 Andrejus Masalkovas 2:18:17
7 William Humnicky 3:21:25
- Dmitry Pasichnin DNF
- Brenda Giese MP
Green 12.100 km 260 meters climb 8 controls
1 Ben Wahlstrand 1:05:23
2 Alex Krasnov 1:17:43
3 Werner Haag 1:22:59
4 Thorsten Graeve 1:29:41
5 Sean Coady 1:30:06
6 Dan Greene 2:12:55
7 Chad Hendrix & Jennifer Kahn 3:41:15
1 Yelena Krasnov 1:36:50
2 Catherine O'Sullivan 2:14:59
Orange 10.000 km 130 meters climb 10 controls
1 Hiroshi Izuta 1:26:55
2 Jay Hann 1:28:30
3 Jack Bowers 1:31:22
4 Tim Ernst 1:39:18
5 Elliott Delaye 2:18:55
- Oleg Shaknovsky MP
1 Rosemary Johnson 1:54:41
2 Abby Wolfe 2:03:10
3 Susan White 2:17:42
Yellow 5.000 km 15 meters climb 9 controls
1 Ruslan Ulanov 1:32:59
2 Chris Twiggs 1:39:43
3 Inna Vysiniauskiene & 3 boys 2:18:40
1 Stacy Goss 1:11:40
2 Julia Zaks 1:19:06
- Carol Westerbey/Cynthia Schwartz 1:37:25 (second course)
3 Stephanie Morse 1:39:43
4 Tania and Kirstin Haag 2:04:50
5 Milda Ragenaite 2:17:50
- Eglute Martisinte - (no punch card)
White 3.400 km 15 meters climb 10 controls
- Sean Coady 0:23:48 (second course)
1 Bill and Sonja Wright 1:22:48
- Melinda Johnson & Colin Wright DNF
- David Bond & Marlene Roberts DNF
1 Yuko Izuta 0:34:56
2 Galina Shakhnovsky 1:22:40
- Carol Westerbey/Cynthia Schwartz - (no time taken)