Try something new - ski orienteering at the Canmore Nordic Centre!
Get off the beaten path and explore the less-skied trails that criss-cross the Nordic Centre. Three courses, ranging from gentle to adventurous, will take you onto the Nordic Centre's less well-known ski trails.
For advanced skiers, the ski orienteering courses can be used for training, adding interesting and fun variety to the regular workouts. For beginners and intermediate skiers the courses will introduce you to beautiful trails in areas of the park you might not otherwise discover.
The ski orienteering courses are available all winter long. No special equipment is required. Visit TrailSports, across from the Day Lodge, at any time to sign up and get your map and get started.
- Approximately 2.4 km
- Gentle ups and downhills
- A nice introduction to orienteering on skis
- Approximately 7.6 km, depending on the routes you choose
- A little off the beaten path
- Not without a little bit of tough climbing
- Suitable for intermediate skiers with basic map reading comfort
- Approximately 9.8 km, depending on the routes you choose
- Some adventurous sections – well off the beaten track
- Challenging climbs
- Suitable for strong skiers
General tips and advice
- All checkpoints are on the trails or just slightly off to the side of the trails
- Take your time at first until you get confident reading the map – then go faster!
- Start with the Green course to become familiar with the map and the timing chip.
- Blue and Black courses go off the regularly-groomed trails and may encounter difficult skiing conditions due to thin snow cover, ungroomed tracks, and unmarked obstacles.
After you finish
- Download you timing chip in Trail Sports.
- View your split times on the web
- Compare your best time to others who skied the same course
- Challenge your friends to try to beat your best time
- Come back another day and try to improve your time, with faster route selection or more accurate navigation – and stronger skiing of course!
- Come back another day and take the challenge of a more advanced course
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 O-Store.ca 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.
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).
- Orienteering Lingo
- Foothills Wanderers Orienteering Club - local orienteering club's "intro to orienteering" page.
- Barebones - greatest event in all Canada! Held annually (usually, that is)
- Alberta Orienteering - news and schedule of events in Alberta & neighboring areas
- Canadian Orienteering Federation - many Orienteering resources and links