ski orienteering & party on the pond

decmenber 31, 2012 | Canmore Nordic center

Join us on New Years Eve in Canmore for some ski orienteering, and maybe stay after and join in Canmore's New Years Eve festivities. The emphasis is on fun and participation in this mass-start orienteering race as we enjoy the last of 2012.

Ski Orienteering noon – 4:00pm

We've set up a couple of courses so you and your family and friends can enjoy the afternoon skiing at the Canmore Nordic Centre. There's an "Easy & Short" course for kids which will also serve as a Sprint race for adults, plus a longer course that has a "Scatter" format, with self-seeding - get as many controls as possible in 90 minutes so that experienced and novice skiers can all enjoy themselves.


"Most fun ever!"

"That was awesome!"

"This is so much fun!"

 Those were some of the reviews from the skiers that did the ski orienteering on New Years Eve. Pleasant weather, nice courses, good snow, world-class ski orienteering terrain, and a world-class venue all contributed to a really fun afternoon. The courses took skiers onto trails so infrequently skied that they could be considered "secret trails" - but these trails are super fun to ski, and racers remarked on how enjoyable it was to ski on trails they've never skied before.

Results are here:

Thanks to:

Kids Race / Adult Warm up race

Adults Race


self seeding


Dont ski often


Ski a bit


Ski a lot

Electronic Timing

You will carry an SI timing stick with you and swipe it at each checkpoint. Take care with the SI stick don't lose it! It is the proof that you visited the checkpoints


Trail Pass

You must have a valid trail pass. These can be purchased in the Day Lodge.

Ski Rentals

Available at Trail Sports, across from the Day Lodge

New Year' Party

After the orienteering you can take part in Canmore's family-friendly New Years Eve celebrations with a public party on the frozen–pond, with fire pits, music, and fireworks at 8pm for the kids and midnight for those that can stay up that late. (Accommodation in Canmore is booking up fast, and many places have a two or three night minimum over New Years Eve – which makes the 8pm fireworks quite appealing ;-)

Canmore's "Party on the Pond" 5:00pm - midnight

Skating under a starlit sky – lights twinkling against a mountain backdrop – music, laughter, family and friends – New Year’s Eve on the 10th Street Pond – a Canmore tradition. Take a horse and wagon ride, have a hot dog and hot chocolate, warm yourself by a blazing fire. Each year hundreds of families come out for Canmore’s annual Party on the Pond. Perhaps it’s because we’re a community of outdoor enthusiasts or maybe it’s the old-fashioned charm that the evening offers. Whatever the reason, we’d like to invite you to be part of a Canmore tradition. See you there!

 SkiO at WOP   SkiO  Fireworks


A Rudimentary Map Holder for ski-orienteering

Once you've completed a few ski orienteering courses you will find that trying to follow your ski-O course on a hand-held map in a slippery map case is really awkward with ski-gloves and poles in your hands! The basic solution is to pin the top of the plastic map case to your jacket so you can flip up the map from the bottom to read it. But that method means you cannot turn the map to the direction you want to travel!

For a high-end product you can buy ($100 + shipping) a fancy body-harness map holder with pivoting top plate like the "pros" use. Check out the Canadian who carry the NordenMark holders. These are really good and what top level competitors will always be using.

For a dirt-bag solution on the other hand you can make, for about $3, a simple map holder with pivoting top plate. The base plate and top plate can be foam board or similar material. The neck and waist elastic should be stretchy enough to pivot the board easily towards you from the bottom. The plates are firmly held together with a large brass split pin. A standard map case that has been pulled over the top plate before attaching it to the base plate holds the map. The head of the split pin should also be inside the map case so the map slips easily into the case. Duct tape the split ends of the pin securely against the base plate to avoid snags.

ski holder design

OK, so it does not look very snazzy - but it works. Bring a strip of tape with you to seal map case closed after you insert the map at the Start Line.
The only operational problem is that after you have turned the top plate and studied the next leg of your course, it will probably not stay in the same position as you ski along the trails. You can use clothes pegs, large fold-back clips, etc. to hold it firmly (in it's new position) against the base. A more elegant solution would be a plate-to-plate fastener that you could easily loosen or tighten with gloves on! I leave that up to you to invent.

Thanks to Bill A (Ottawa Orienteering Club)

For an even more dirt-bag solution, you can put the map into a normal sheet protector that has three holes for putting into a three-ring binder. Tape closed the open end. Use a lanyard from the latest conference you attended and attach the lanyard's ring onto the middle hole of the sheet protector. This is how Antoine Arcand, Sports School Lead Instructor, does it for the schools program at Whistler Olympic Park, and it works just great. (Thanks for the tip Antoine).