Whitehorse Daily Star: New Orientation Map Unveiled

Yukon orienteers explored previously uncharted territory at the Yukon Mid-Distance Orienteering Championships on Wednesday night.

By Marissa Tiel on June 9, 2016

Yukon orienteers explored previously uncharted territory at the Yukon Mid-Distance Orienteering Championships on Wednesday night.

Athletes tackled the new Copper Ridge map, a years-long endeavor that was only finalized this winter.

“It’s a novelty and that’s what we’re really looking forward to,” said race organizer Afan Jones. “There’s a lot of excitement racing in a new map, something they’ve never seen in their home community. It’s tough because they’ve never been through this area before.

Jones began planning the courses for last night’s race weeks. It starts first with the beginner course, as it must be run along the trails. It chooses a starting point – a central hub – and builds from there.

For the four courses, it can only use 36 controls, which means a delicate weave of courses that intersect and share some controls around the map.

Trevor Bray finds the new maps exciting as they offer different challenges.

“It’s not very often that we get a new card, especially in the Yukon,” Bray said. “It’s always nice to be on a new map. After a while, you get used to all the features of the old cards.

Intermediate course runner Annie Letendre also liked that the map was in a new area that she had never raced on before.

“It was fun,” she said. “It was good and stimulating. Lots of hills.

The Copper Ridge map has been mapped by international talent. They were able to come and spend a few intensive weeks mapping the land, time that the organization’s volunteers simply do not have with all the programming offered.

This summer, the Czech talent and a friend from his club will return to map another region that could be a candidate for the 2018 North American Orienteering Championships, to be held in Whitehorse August 17-22, 2018.

The areas that will be used have yet to be finalized, Jones said. But the organizing committee will seek to refine its choices this fall.

Colin Abbott (35:57) won the 3.9 kilometer expert course, Forest Pearson (38:05) was second and Trevor Bray (47:23) was third. On the women’s side, Kerstin Burnett (44:43) was first, Pia Blake (54:36) second and Sabine Schweiger (73:33) third.

The final event of the Yukon Orienteering Championships will take place next Wednesday on the Long Lake map.

Dino J. Dotson