Barebones 2009

Race Information


This is ALMOST COMPLETE information.


If we have left out information below or used unfamiliar jargon please email us for clarification or about anything you would like to know that would make your weekend more enjoyable.

Super important information

First Aid and Emergency

Maps & map printing

Maps have been printed on a laser-jet printer. They will be in plastic bags - or we will have plastic bags available for self-serve bagging. Legends will not be printed on the maps, but will be available on a separate sheet if you want.

Special symbols on Rocky Mountain YMCA maps

Several different map scales are in use this weekend, so be flexible of mind! For those map-freaks who care about these things, we must point out that the 1:5000 maps are simply magnifications of either 1:7,500 or 1:10,000 scale maps. What this means is that all symbols on the map are bigger - which probably doesn't sound strange, because after all if a boulder symbol is a bit bigger or a path looks a bit wider on the map it can't be a big deal, right? Well, there are a few things that will look strange - for example we did not magnify the control circles so they will appear to be relatively small. Also some orienteering map symbols are actually carefully designed compilations of smaller patterns which they eye isn't supposed to see if the map is printed at the correct scale but if we magnify the maps as we've done then these smaller patterns actually become very noticeable - this is especially true for the "rough open" symbol which at the proper scale looks like a light yellow area, but when magnified looks like a bunch of white circles inside a deep yellow area.

Control Descriptions

Are printed on the map. Copies will also be available in the start chute. All courses use IOF symbolic descriptions, in addition courses for the youngsters, Recreational, and Sport categories have English language descriptions.


There is no on-course water in any of the Barebones events. Please keep this in mind and plan accordingly to stay well hydrated (consider carrying water with you. Also bring lots of water for before and after your races.

Electronic timing

Well be using Electronic timing for all events. If you dont have your own ePunch, pay the rental fee and borrow one at Registration. Be sure to return your rental ePunch to Richard at the end of your last event. Basic instruction on how to use the timing devices is available at the start of each race.

It is absolutely VITAL for safety reasons that you download your ePunch at the finish following every race whether or not you complete your course. This is the only record we have of who is safely returned from the forest.

Course Closing & Maximum times

For safety and logistical reasons each event has a course closing time (see information below). After course closing we will begin to pick up controls and search for any participant who hasn't reported to the finish (so everyone must report back to the finish by course closing time, even if you have not completed your course). Also for safety reasons each person is allowed a maximum amount of time on each event (see information below).

Start times

Some events at Barebones have staggered starts (Sprint, Mt Laurie & Bow Valley Prov Park). Just go to the start line when you are ready to start, soon after race start time. We will not pre-assign start times. Try to start early - it makes life easier.

Some races don't have staggered starts. The Night-O, THOMASS, and relay are mass start events. In these races everyone starts together at the race start time.

Course Lengths & map scales

Courses are planned so that the fastest person in each adult category will take about:
Long distance: 45-60 minutes;
Middle distance: 25-30 minutes;
Sprint distance: 12-15 minutes.

For planning purposes, the approximate course lengths for each course are listed below (in kilometers) along with the maps scale used for each category. Note these distances are very approximate - the real, accurate numbers will replace these big guesses after the course planning is complete.

UofC Mt Laurie Rocky
Prov Pak
Age categories Sprint Long-ish Night-O Middle THOMASS
Super Juniors (9 & under) 1.2km 1.5km 1.0km 1.5km 3.8km
Juniors (10-12) 1.2km 1.5km 1.5km 1.5km 3.8km
Youth (13 - 15) 1.8km 3.0km 1.5km 2.0km 4.2km
Youth Plus (16 - 19) 2.8km 5.0km 1.5km 3.0km 4.2km
Venerable (60 & above) 2.8km 4.0km 3.4km 2.5km 4.2km
Open categories  
& Family
1.8km 1.5km 1.5km 1.5km 3.8km
Sport: Individual
& Sport: Team
2.8km 5.0km 3.4km 3.0km 4.7km
Expert 2.8km 5.0km 4.3km 3.0km 4.7km
Elite 2.8km 8.0km 5.0km 4.0km 5.8km

Event details

Friday evening University of Calgary | Sprint distance
Officials Course planner: Karen Martino; Timing: Richard Obreiter
Terrain Very urban map - lots of cut grass and concrete sidewalks. Super fast running, with many route choice problems and high levels of concentration required in this detailed area.
Map 1:5,000. ISSOM (Sprint Specification)
Start times Registration:      5:30pm
Start time:         6:00pm. Interval starts.
Course closing:  8:00pm (max time is 60 minutes)
Notes Alberta Champs status event

 Registration will be inside the main entrance to the Olympic Speed Skating Oval.   Pay parking ($4.00) is available in the parking lots directly north of the Olympic Speed Skating Oval.  Access is off of 32 Ave., turning left onto Collegiate Blvd.

There will be 3 course for the event.  Easy-1.2 km for Super Juniors, Intermediate-1.8 km, Juniors-adult recreational orienteers, Expert-2.8km.  Winning times for the Expert course are expected to be around 15 minutes.  There is considerable construction taking place at the University and the map has been upgraded recently to include areas that are blocked off due to this construction.  The course planner has tried to stay clear of construction areas in planning the courses and considering route choices.  Please do not enter any construction zones or run through any garden areas that may be on your route.  Classes at the University have not started yet however students have arrived on campus this week so watch out for pedestrians during your race. 

Parking --> Assembly area 300m
Assembly area --> Start 100m
Finish  --> Assembly area 0m

Pay parking ($4.00) is available in the parking lots directly north of the Olympic Speed Skating Oval.  Access is off of 32 Ave., turning left onto Collegiate Blvd.

Friday evening Nick's Steak house | Pizza social
Notes Following the race, grab a bite to eat at Nick's Steakhouse & Pizza. This will be an informal gathering, close to the university. We have booked the lounge for 40 people.
Directions Nick's Steakhouse & Pizza
2430 Crowchild Trail NW
On Crowchild across from McMahon Stadium

Saturday A.M. Mt Laurie  |  Long-ish distance
Officials Course planner: Don Riddle; Controller: Bill Jarvis
Terrain Mt Laurie is one of the best maps in Canada. It offers a variety of terrain including detailed contours, variety of forest types, lovely meadows, some water features, good trail network.
Map 1:10,000 5m contours. ISOM
Registration 8:30am - 9:30am
Start times Start time:        9:00am 10:00am. Start times assigned at the start line.
Course closing:  12:00pm (max time is 150 minutes)
  • Some trails drawn on the map can be very faint on the ground, and in general smaller trails should not be relied on for navigation.
  • There has been some blow-down in areas of the map. Some areas of blow-down are marked with vertical green lines, but unfortunately we have not been able to update the map to show all the new blow-down areas.
  • Outhouses are at the parking area.
  • water levels in 2008 (last year) were much higher than shown on the map, often up to a form line around the water feature. In particular, courses 2 and 3 should note that two lakes shown in the middle of the courses have combined into one, with an island where the causeway separating them used to be.
  • Safety bearing for all courses is East to highway 1A.
  • Alberta Champs status event
Parking --> Assembly area 100m
Assembly area --> Start 500m
Finish  --> Assembly area 0m

Directions to the parking:
From the intersection of the 1A and 1X highways (a little north-east of the village of Exshaw) travel north on the 1A for approximately 1km. Turn into the Yamnuska parking lot. Allow 20 minutes from Canmore, 60 minutes from Calgary city limits.

Saturday Twilight Rocky Mountain YMCA  |  Kids' twilight sprint
Officials Course planner: Molly Jarvis; Timing: Richard Obreiter
Terrain For the kids, there will be a short "twilight" event around Bowfort Lodge, using the trails, camp buildings, and teepees.
Map 1:5,000, 5m contours
Start times Start time:                     8:30pm mass start
Directions This event starts & finishes at the Bowfort Lodge
Saturday Night Rocky Mountain YMCA & Barrier Lake  |  Night Orienteering
Officials Course planner: Adrian Zissos; Timing: Richard Obreiter
Terrain After dark the adults will have a mass start race that will include a mix of complex contour features and dense trail networks and camp buildings.
Map 1:10,000. 5m contours
Start times

Start time:            9:00pm mass start
Course closing:    10:30pm (max time is 90 minutes)

  • Night 1: 3.3km. Gentle introduction to night orienteering, with most travel along paths or across fields. Controls slightly off the trails in the forest. Good navigational challenge for night time novices.
  • Night 2: 4.1km. Slightly more challenging course. For some legs the best route is through the forest, though options are always available to take paths or cross fields.
  • Night 3: 5.2km. Challenging course, with lots of travel through the forest and few trail options. For very experienced orienteers only.
  • Sunset is about 8:30pm
  • Control sites are marked as usual with a flag on a stand as well as by one or two pin flags with light-reflecting tape.
  • Don't forget your headlamp!
Parking --> Event Center 50m
Event Center --> Start 900m
Finish --> Event Center 0m

Parking and Finish are at the Bowfort Lodge.

The Start is at the 'outfitting parking lot' - easily identified by the large number of canoes. If you are staying at the camp, then a limited number of cars can be driven from the main parking to the 'outfitting parking lot'.

Sunday A.M. Bow Valley Provincial Park | Middle distance
Officials Course planner: Charlotte MacNaughton / Miles Tindal; Timing: Richard Obreiter
Terrain Bow Valley Provincial Park has some of the most delightful orienteering terrain anywhere. Areas of complex contours, open forest, and meadows and ridge-tops with incredible views.
Map 1:10,000. 5m contours - Brand new map in 2009
Notes Alberta Champs status event

What a pleasure to course set on a brand new map! Bow Valley Provincial Park (BVPP) has always been one of our favourite spots to orienteer and the new map adds even more fun. Orienteering in BVPP is all about the ridges use those ridges to guide you along. Even course 1 and 2 will be spending some time on ridges. The new map is hot of the press so the vegetation is right up to date. Remember that its 2.5m contours. There are lots of controls out there  - so be sure to check your control codes. For the advanced courses stay focused out there and keep your map oriented. Parallel errors are easy to make in this terrain but you are never all  that far away from a significant feature if you need to relocate. Have fun!

Start times Start time:        10am - 11am. Start times assigned at the start line.
Course closing: 12:30pm (max time for each person is 90 minutes)

Note: it will be tight to get back to the camp in time for lunch if you start late! Also note the last return bus departs at 12:40pm.
Bus drop off --> Assembly area 300 m (approx)
Assembly area --> Start 300 m (approx)
Finish --> Assembly area 0 m


Mandatory Bus Shuttle from YMCA

There is no parking at this event. Everyone must take the bus shuttle from the Event Centre (even if you aren't staying there!).

To the race:
The first bus will leave the YMCA in front of Bowfort Lodge at 9:10am. One bus will leave every 20 minutes.

Return from the race:
Busses will leave from the event site every 20 minutes. The last bus will leave at 12:40pm.

Sunday P.M.  Rocky Mountain YMCA | THOMASS race
Officials Course planner: Adrian Zissos. THOMASS format consultant: Mike Waddington.
Terrain Dense trail network around the YMCA camp buildings, mixed forest with few contour details for the longer legs. The start/finish will be at Bowfort Lodge.
Map 1:10,000, 5m contours
Start times Start time:        Mass start at 6:45pm.
Course closing:  8:00pm (max time is 75 minutes)
Handicapping This is a mass start race in which everyone runs the same course, but with different handicaps. The first one to the finish line is the winner, regardless of age, gender, experience.

Self-handicapping will be used, and it goes like this:
1. Just before the start of the race all runners will group themselves into similar handicap pools. There will be four pools: Beginner/Junior, Intermediate, Expert, Elite
2. Using the chart below, each group will see how many controls it must visit in each of the three sections of the THOMASS course.

The handicap system determines how many of the control sites you must visit, as shown in the table below. The table shows in brackets the length of the shortest route.

  Part 1:
The First Box
Part 2:
Point to Point
Part 3:
The Second Box
Total controls 11 8 12  
Beginner/Junior must visit 4  (1.3km) 6  (1.1km) 4  (0.7km)  
Intermediate must visit 7  (1.6km) 9  (1.5km) 7  (0.8km)  
Expert must visit 9  (1.8km) 9  (1.5km) 9  (1.1km)  
Elite must visit 11  (2.5km) 9  (1.5km) 12  (1.5km)  
  • Part 1: The race starts with "the First Box". There are 11 controls in the box of varying difficulty. You must visit the number of controls indicated by your handicap. You may choose any order to visit the controls. Forest is thick and blow-down is nasty - appropriate use of trails recommended! (note: one new trail has been approximated on the maps - it is indicated as "approximate" on the map).

  • Part 2: After "the First Box", runners get a second map. This second map has a point-to-point course. All groups have the same 1.4km course, except for the Juniors who have a shorter course with easier controls. Glorious running in fast open terrain - but watch out - there is lots of "rough open" and so forest edges are vague.

  • Part 3: After the point to point course, there is a third map with another box, known as "The Second Box". Again, the number of controls to visit is determined by your handicap. Forest is runnable, and has lots of small unmapped tracks. Watch out for the yellow rope that runs through this area! Final sprint into the finish through the big meadows.

If the course planners have done a good job setting the courses appropriately, then we should enjoy lots of exciting racing, kids against National Team athletes against the August and most Venerable club members, in head to head competition.

Directions Start & Finish are at Bowfort Lodge.

Monday A.M. Canmore Nordic Centre | Relay
Officials Course planner: Adrian Zissos; Timing: Richard Obreiter
Terrain The terrain at the Nordic Center features high density trail network with lots of elevation change to challenge your fitness and navigation. Forest is a mix of good and bad visibility and fast and slow running.
Map 1:5,000 or 1:7,500 scale - see table below. ISOM.
5m contours
  • There has been some significant blow down on some patches of this map. The C and D runners will be most affected by this on their long legs. We have not attempted to map this deadfall, so please be aware that you will find some unexpected zones of difficult running, despite what the map shows. We believe (and hope) that all teams will be affected equally by this blow down.
Registration Please register your teams by Sunday night. Entry forms available from Richard.
Start times Start time:                  10:30am Mass Start.
Second mass start:      time to be decided - for all runners not already started
Course closing:           2:00pm (max time is 75 minutes on any leg)
  • we are trying out some new relay concepts. In particular, this year there will be no forking - so legs are running exactly the same courses this year. We expect this will add to the fun of the race and give an improved "relay feel" - with running in packs (aka "trains") very much encouraged.
  • Immediately before the race we will give the instructions about how the change-over area is to work. Please be present for this and listen closely.
  • Each team will carry a special Barebones Baton in the race

Team Composition

  •  You should make teams if possible from your club. Orienteers from outside Alberta should make teams from your region, or your country.
  • We will help you fill teams. In particular we will assign A runners to all teams following Saturday dinner. If you have a strong desire for a particular A runner you can put him/her on your team but we reserve the right to over-ride.
  •  You must submit your team lists to Richard before Sunday evening.

Each team will have four runners, named A, B, C, D. Each runner will run two legs. Leg difficulty is as follows:

  • Runner A - suitable for super juniors - all controls on obvious handrails.
  • Runner B - intermediate, shortish - suitable for juniors, recreational, sport, or super-venerable
  • Runner C - technical, shortish - suitable for "Expert" and "Youth Plus" category runners
  • Runner D - technical, long - suitable for "Elite" category runner

Each runner will have a certain handicap point value. Points values are based on your age as of 31st December this year as in the table below. Add up all runner's point values to determine the team's category. There will be three categories: 4-7 point teams, 8-11 point teams, and 12+ point teams.

Age Male Female
under 15 3 3
15-16 2 2
17-20 1 2
21-34 0 1
35-49 1 3
50-59 2 4
60-69 3 5
70 & over 5 6

Leg Descriptions & map scales

Each team member will run twice - one sprint and one middle distance leg.

Maps will be identified by the leg number and the runner number. For example 1A is the first leg map for runner A, and 4B is the forth leg map for runner B.

Leg 1 - Sprint Runners A, B, C All three take part in mass start. When all three runners return the second leg runner begins.

Runner A: 1.1km (no forking)
Runner B: 1.3km 
Runner C: 1.4km

There is a 100m marked route from the mass start line to the start triangle. You do not punch the start triangle but you must run past it. There will be a prize for the first one past the start triangle!

map scale: 1:5,000
Leg 2 - Middle Runner D Runner D: 3.4km 
map scale: 1:7,500
Leg 3 - Middle Runner A
Runner A: 1.1km 
map scale: 1:5,000
Leg 4 - Middle Runners B,C Both runners start together, each on their own middle distance course. When both return, the last leg runner begins.

Runner B: 1.8km
Runner C: 2.5km 
map scale: 1:7,500
Leg 5 - Sprint Runner D Anchor leg, around the start/finish area.

Runner D: 2.5km 
map scale: 1:7,500

As you can tell, the mass start will include almost everyone. To prepare for this you must do lots of mental preparation so that you are able to focus on your own navigation and not be distracted by others. To help with this mental preparation, here are two video clips from the absolutely massive Jukola relay that our club had a team in... Video One and Video Two (warning: these take a while to download, but they are worth it).

Following: While following is generally frowned upon in orienteering (actually it is quite against the rules), an exception is made for relays. In fact a lot of the fun of running in a relay is being in a "train" - moving together with other runners much faster than you would if you were alone.

Second Mass Start

A second mass start, for all runners not yet started, will be held at the organizer's discretion. It will likely be just after the winning team finishes. We expect the following fastest times:

Leg 1: 10 minutes
Leg 2: 35 minutes
Leg 3: 12 minutes
Leg 4: 25 minutes
Leg 5: 12 minutes

Parking --> Assembly area 200m (approx)
Assembly area --> Start 0m
Finish --> Assembly area 0m

From down-town Canmore, follow signs to the Canmore Nordic Center. Drive past the Day Lodge and park at the biathlon range. The Assembly area is in the wax-test area beside the biathlon shooting range.

Monday P.M. Canmore Nordic Centre  |  Mountain Bike Orienteering
Officials Course planner: Adrian Zissos; Timing: Trail Sports
Terrain The terrain at the Nordic Center features high density trail network with lots of elevation change to challenge your fitness and navigation. All controls can be reached on wide double-track trails, though experienced mountain bikers may be able to use more technically difficult trails.
Map Scale is
Start times Start time:  2:00pm or later
Notes This event is a "Barebones Extra". It is using the Canmore Nordic Center's permanent orienteering courses. This event marks the Grand Opening of their Fall season. It will advertised to Bow Valley residents and we hope for a large turn out. Besides the mountain bike course there will also be three foot-orienteering courses available to try out, ranging from beginner level to intermediate. Cost is $5 to be paid on the day to Trail Sports, across from the Day Lodge.