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Spring Forward: Happy Days, Ski-O and Skin to Win 

Spring Forward

King of the Cone surveying his KingdomHey, don't forget to get up at 2am this Sunday to turn your clock forward one hour! Some people lament the loss of sleep time but I usually throw a "Happiest Day of the Year" party which includes looking for crocuses poking out of the ground, dusting off the bike or kayak and planning summertime adventures. Oh, and filling out the PPP registration form, of course, which is now available at www.mbsef.org. Now that Spring Forward Day is in March, skis are still in the picture, but if you're growing weary of the same old trails, these two upcoming events are opportunities to try something new.


On March 15, the Columbia River Orienteering Club will be hosting a Ski-O event at the Mt. Bachelor Nordic Center.

"What-O is Ski-O?" you might ask. Ski Orienteering (Ski-O) combines cross-country skiing with navigation by map and compass, since neither of those activities is difficult enough on its own. Cross country skiing is one of the most demanding aerobic sports there is, so why not throw in an element of thinking, which requires oxygen to actually get to the brain too. The concept is disarmingly simple: Control points are scattered about in the snow, a map is provided, and you have to go out and find them. Kind of like an Easter Egg hunt. Regular "Foot-O" orienteering is challenging, though, because route choice is critical-the most efficient path from A to B is rarely a straight line (I've learned this the hard way.) In Ski-O, you have to make those decisions at higher speeds. In other words, Ski-O is not for wimps!

There will be clinics to help first timers and various courses for various skill levels beginning at 10am. For more information, visit www.croc.org.

King and Queen of the Cone

If skiing around in circles, lost, does not sound like your cup of tea, then maybe you would prefer skiing uphill then downhill then uphill then downhill then uphill then downhill. (I think I got that right.)

The new King and Queen of the Cone Race will be held at Mt. Bachelor on May 3 at 9am. There will be a Recreational division that involves merely 2,000 vertical feet and a Race division which doubles the pleasure to 4,000 vertical feet.

Racers will start at the bottom of Leeway, skinning up and around the back of the Cinder Cone, where they will shed their skins and descend to the base of Outback. Then the skins will go back on to ascend Kangaroo to Pine Marten Lodge. There, the two races split. The Recreational division will descend to the back of the Cinder Cone, follow a boot pack hike to the top of the Cone and descend the front face to the finish. The Race division will continue above Pine Marten, winding up the west ridge before dropping into the bowl near the summit. Their descent will take them past Pine Marten Lodge to the back of the Cone, finishing with the same aforementioned boot pack ascent and ski descent to the finish.

Whew! The race director assures me that, "These are not grueling courses and can be accomplished by anyone with uphill gear." "Skin to Win" using telemark, Alpine Touring or splitboard gear. Winners will be named King and Queen of the Cone. I'm betting that those titles will become as coveted in this town as a PPP mug.

Register before race day at Pine Mountain Sports or at the base of Leeway (bottom of the Cone) on race day. Entry fee is $55 before May 3rd or $65 on race day (includes required Mt. Bachelor day ticket good for entire day). If you already have a Mt. Bachelor pass, entry fee is $30 before May 3 or $40 on race day. There will be a post-race awards party at Silver Moon Brewery starting at 4:30pm. All proceeds will benefit the Central Oregon Environmental Center.

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