ski orienteering

all winter at | Canmore Nordic center

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.

Green Course

Blue Course

Black Course

General tips and advice

After you finish


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).