Junior Orienteer

Welcome to the website of the Arctic Orienteering Club, based in Anchorage, Alaska. Orienteering is the sport of cross country navigation using map and compass. To some it is a competitive race while to others it is a chance to get out and explore the countryside, challenge the mind, and enjoy the company. Either way, you are welcome to participate. Training is part of our purpose, and beginners and young people are encouraged to take part.

The Arctic Orienteering Club is a sanctioned club of Orienteering USA and is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.

Hillside Training Course

There is a short orienteering score-O out of the Hilltop parking lot set up for training. It will be up until Monday (4/27) evening if anyone wants to get out and get in a little navigation practice before the first meet. It is mostly white and yellow with a couple of orange controls thrown in. Map is attached. Scale is 1:5000.

Download the map here.

This is NOT a club event. This is an individual training opportunity, so proceed at your own risk.

Help Girl Scouts Learn Orienteering

Would you like to help introduce 30-40 Girl Scouts to orienteering? Their biennial Encampment is coming up Friday and Saturday, June 5 & 6. Arctic Orienteering Club members participated in 2013 and the young girls had a great time. Orienteers will once again help girls learn how to read maps and possibly (depending on age of group) how to use a compass. Session times will be 9:30 – 11:45 AM and 2:15 – 4:30 PM both days. If you are available for one session or all day, either Friday or Saturday (or both!), contact Dela Grey at georangerdel@yahoo.com or 929-9930.

Five Types of Learning Opportunities in 2015!

A. Meet Director Training

Audience: Anyone wanting to learn more about course setting or any of the steps taken to host a meet, plus all 2015 meet directors

When: Wednesday, April 22, 2015; 6 to 8:30 pm
Where: Billman home – 9700 Prospect Drive, Anchorage
Special enticement: Dinner (pizza) and beverages!!
RSVP to Anne Billman, 345-1749 or dnabillman@alaska.net

B. Intro to Orienteering

Instruction will be offered once per month at regular summer meets

  • April 29 – APU
  • May 20 – Earthquake Park
  • June 17 – Far North Bicentennial Park, Mile 2.2 of Campbell Airstrip Road
  • July 8 – Ruth Arcand Park
  • August 5 – UAA

Instruction (outdoors) from 5:30 to 6 pm – then questions, register for a course, and go orienteering for 30-60 minutes

Bring: good walking shoes, long pants, other clothes to keep you warm or cool and dry during instruction and orienteering, small pack or pockets for your valuables, bug dope, a whistle

Optional gear: pepper spray, water, snacks, compass

Questions, or if you think you’ll want someone to accompany you or your group, call Anne Billman 345-1749 or dnabillman@alaska.net

C. Introduction to Using a Compass for Orienteering

Same format as the Intro to Orienteering: 5:30 to 6 pm, outdoors, then test your new skills

  • May 27 – Far North Bicentennial Park

Bring a compass if you have one, or borrow one there

Questions? Call Anne Billman 345-1749 or dnabillman@alaska.net

D. Learn by Teaching Others

There’s no better way to solidify what you know than to teach it to others! You don’t need to be an expert to teach beginners. Call Anne Billman to discuss opportunities. 345-1749 or dnabillman@alaska.net

  1. Teach or help with the Intro to Orienteering instruction. We will be keeping it simple! Course outline, materials, and support are provided. Dates above. Looking for volunteers to lead instruction on April 29, July 8, Aug 5. Looking volunteers to circulate among instructees during class to help – all dates, especially April 29. Then, go do your own course, or accompany a beginner for a while.
  2. Accompany a newcomer on all or part of his/her course. We would like to have several people available after each instruction to help newcomers get started on the right (or left) foot. There is time to do your own course beforehand.
  3. Teach the Intro to Compass course
  4. Set up an intermediate-level training exercise. This could be done at any meet or as a stand-alone event, especially in July. We have lots of ideas, and you probably have some, too. Examples: set up a pace-counting exercise; teach about ‘flow’ through a control; teach about handrails, catching features, reorienteering yourself, coarse-scale vs fine-scale navigation; do some armchair orienteering exercises; ‘shadow’ an intermediate orienteer that want to take it to the next level. Curious? Enthusiastic? Again, limited expertise is needed.
  5. Help at a meet. Many tasks are simple. There is typically opportunity to do a course yourself at the same meet.

E. Intermediate-Level Training Exercises

Stand by for details…

Offer to host one! See #4 above.

Call Anne Billman 345-1749 or dnabillman@alaska.net

Board Meeting Minutes – February 18, 2015



Meeting called to order at 7:50pm.
Members present: Mike Robinson; Trond Jensen; Dan Billman; Regan Sarwas; Lia Keller; Anne Billman; Chris Tomson; Lexi Hill

  1. 2015 Season Readiness
    1. Schedule
      1. Class-room training (scheduled for 4/28) cancelled. Instead there will be training before specific events
      2. iSportsman may cost $10/person/year. Chris to continue to liase with JBER for alternatives to access and permits
      3. Need back-up venue for Fossil Creek (6/3): Back-up #1 – Pia’s, back-up #2 -Abbot Loop Community Park
      4. Future agenda item: fee structure for 2016+
    2. Equipment
      1. Mike will update SAR sheet in meet boxes and circulate text to board members for review
      2. Do we need to update our SAR procedure?
        1. Print safety info on map
        2. Encourage everyone bring a cell phone
        3. Table discussion for next board meeting
  2. 2015 Strategy: “Better Promote Our Sport”
    1. Bring a buddy
      1. Free for buddy (1 time)
      2. Free season pass drawing (one ticket for each buddy brought)
      3. Acknowledge and award best buddy bringers (o-glass)
      4. Schedule card w/buddy system details for folks to hand out to potential buddies (Mike will make cards)
    2. Training
      1. Training schedule: not yet ready.  Idea is to have event(s) with experienced orienteers to teach newbies. Anne to develop training schedule for presentation at next board meeting.
    3. Promo materials
      1. Wallet cards with schedule (see 2.1.4 above)
      2. Have flyers to promote future events; post at earlier meets, other running events, AMH, etc.
      3. Market a specific event to a specific group (e.g. road runners, trail runners, mnt. runners, etc.). Mike will incorporate this info on schedule spreadsheet and send out for board review and comments.
      4. Have a long white course (example: Kincaid chalet to Jodphur to Little Campbell Lake and back to chalet).  Advertise to e.g. TNR and pub runners.  Lia will contact pub runners and TNR
  3. New business (as time allows)
    1. Summer intern (Dan)
      1. Tasmanian orienteering events used “interns” from Denmark to help out with events etc.  Dan thinks Alaska would be of great interest to European interns.
      2. Need well layed out plan and schedule.  Not able to do this for 2015, but 2016 would be possible.
      3. What to use intern for? Setting up training events, perform trail mapping, course vetting, etc.
      4. What is cost to AOC? Intern would pay own travel; AOC would pay for room and board and some stipend(?)
      5. What are the liabilities?
      6. Dan will contact his Danish connection for more details
    2. Policy regarding misplaced or missing controls  (tabled for future board meeting)
    3. FNBP Trails (tabled for future board meeting)
  4. Next meeting April 1st, 7:00 pm

Meeting Adjurned 9:50 pm

Rock Ski or Run O

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

28 people raced in the Arctic Orienteering Club’s first meet of 2015. A ski-O adapted to no snow, the course was run as a Sprint-O on foot (with grippers!) on icy Bartlett ski trails. The long course was 5.7 km and the short course was 3.6 km. Cory Smith was fastest on the long course at 18:18, and Dela Grey on the short course at 21:56.

Many thanks to meet volunteers Chris Tomsen, Corrie Whitmore, Mischa Carlson, and also to Dela Grey, Anne and Dan Billman

Long Course 5.7km, 11 controls


Place Competitor Time
1 Cory Smith 18:18
2 Ian Moore 21:25
3 Jeremy Crawford 24:07
4 Tom Bronga 25:45
5 Arthur Harmon 26:13
6 Regan Sarwas 26:14
7 Dwight Iverson 30:50
8 Dan Billman 31:42
9 Chris Tomsen 41:30
10 Mischa Carlson 44:13


Place Competitor Time
1 Jen Jolliff 26:59
2 Karen Bronga 30:55
3 Anne Billman 35:19
4 Greta Yarbrough 01:06:12


Place Competitor Time
1 Rachel & Cameron NLN 31:14
2 Jessie and Dave Donahue 43:13
3 Lia, Kory and Trudy Keller 48:21

Short Course 3.6km


Place Competitor Time
1 Dela Grey 21:56
2 Joyce Goodell 34:46
3 Pam Butcher 40:15


Place Competitor Time
1 Springer Moore and Hatcher Smith 34:05
Talia and Linda Smith DNF

P.S. We would love your feedback! If you have criticisms, praise, suggestions, comments, or whatever – please let us know.

Ski-O Canceled

cancelledAnother one bites the dust!  Art’s Russian Jack Ski-O (3/11) has been canceled due to an abysmal lack of snow.

We are sorry to report that due to unsafe trail conditions at APU, the ski-O scheduled for Sunday (3/1) has been canceled.  If we are blessed with a late winter, we will try to re-schedule this event for April.

We will provide updates on the remaining ski-o’s as we get closer to those events.  Please keep your fingers crossed for more snow, but check back before proceeding to any events.

Also the classroom training that made a brief appearance on our calendar has been removed. We hope to offer more field training for orienteers at all levels in conjunction with specific events suitable for training.  Please check the training calendar as the summer season approaches.

Board Meeting Minutes – December 17, 2014



Meeting called to order at 7:10pm.

Members present: Dela Gray; Mike Robinson; Joyce Goodell; Trond Jensen; Dan Billman; Kathy Farnyiarz; Regan Sarwas; Lia Keller; Ann Billman; Ian Moore; Chris Tomson

Note Regarding Lars Spurkland: His memorial is January 4th at Kincaid. He was the President of NSAA, and a participant in Orienteering. There will be a tree dedicated to him, with ornaments made from picture of Lars. The club will make an ornament and deliver it to NSAA for the tree.

2014 thank you’s and recognitions: Cards were passed around and signed, and Trond will deliver the cards and a Club Glass, and also possibly information on our sport.

Finances. $1000 donated from Healthy Futures for 2015 so kids can Orienteer free. We will keep an eye on operating fees. ASD has high fees; MOA’s fee is usually $1/participant. BLM-fee depends on how much of the meet is on their land. Military, UAA; and APU fees are lowest. Discussion followed regarding varying the meet starting points. Also it was noted by Mike that depending on who you are working with, we may be charged different fees.

Permitting accounts for 20-30% of our expenses, then maps, then snacks.

Season Readiness. We have a few holes in the schedule for directors. Mike has some ideas of people to ask to volunteer. Trond will contact Bill for training on how to put on a ski-O. Ann will contact people to set up meet director training. Mike will again get the “O” meets into the runners’ calendar.

Regan on equipment:

  • Controls: 70-80 controls in good condition. 30 need to be repaired or retired; 30 new available. We have plenty of punches.
  • 2 tents are in usable condition.
  • We have several boxes of misc. junk, and Regan has permission from the board to clean them up/out.
  • AOC has authorized Regan to spend up to $200 to buy new bins and supplies as needed.

2015 Strategy: How does one get into the sport? What works to get someone involved. The most common thread is to bring someone to a meet (bring a buddy). Discussion followed on how to get people to meets, and continue to participate

  1. a. Have classroom training right before a meet; that is, run class-room training and beginner event on same day
  2. b. Have specific event with experienced orienteers to teach newbies
  3. Have “O” cards printed with “1 Free” meet event on it to pass out
  4. Have a third person at the table to help and encourage participants
  5. At the High School O, work on getting these kids to come back. Have o-schedule available at the High School-O.
  6. Specific meets that emphasize training events
  7. Buddy up with newbies
  8. Bring a buddy
  9. Message better to other user groups
  10. Develop partnerships (bikers, skiers, jr. nordic, mnt. runners, …)

Our Yahoo e-mail list is broken. Lia is looking into this. It was also noted that our events are not being listed in the paper (ADN); this should be fixed for the upcoming season.


  • Promo material for AMH, REI, etc.
  • Wallet cards with the schedules
  • Magnets with AOC information

New business tabled until next meeting:

  • Policy on misplaced/missing controls
  • FNBP Trails

Meeting was adjourned at 9:10pm

Next meeting TBD

Lars Spurkland

o-photo32Friend and fellow orienteer Lars Spurkland passed away suddenly on Friday, December 12th. Lars loved the outdoors which showed through his participation and volunteerism in skiing and orienteering. He will truly be missed. Our condolences to his wife and family.

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