Author Archives: regan

Register for Fossil Creek

Update: The deadline has been extended to Wednesday May 24, 2017. As of Wed morning, there are still 23 spots available. Register.

To participate in the Fossil Creek Orienteering event on May 31, you must have access to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. You can do this 3 different ways.

Option 1

Have a military ID card and car with a base access sticker, or car pool with someone who does.


Option 2

Stop at the Fort Richardson Visitor Access Center and register for temporary base access. You will need to present current vehicle registration, proof of insurance, and a valid driver’s license. There may be a line, so plan ahead and leave plenty of time to get processed.


Option 3

Fill out the pre-registration form. You will need to do this by Midnight Wednesday May 24, 2017. You must include all the requested information, or your request will be rejected. If you use this method you will be authorized to enter the installation through any gate. Present your ID to the guard and let them know you should be on the “Orienteering Event List”. Every visitor in the car must be on the list, not just the driver. This list is limited to 50 participants, so please do not use the form if you are unsure if you will attend, or if you can use one of the other access methods. If you are unexpectedly not on the list, you can still use Option 2. No Foreign Guests can be included on the list.


Regardless of the method chosen, everyone who looks remotely over 16 will need to present a valid government issued picture ID (driver’s license) to the guard at the gate. Even if you are on the list, you may be asked to present current vehicle registration and proof of insurance.

iSportsman Pass

In addition, all orienteers must have an iSportsman Pass and be signed into training areas 411 and 412 for the evening. You can register for an iSportsman Pass at

We are looking forward to seeing you at this awesome and under-used orienteering venue. Please do not be intimidated by the hassle of getting on base. We promise it will be worth it.

Choose Your O Adventure “Results”

Wednesday, May 17, 2017
University of Alaska, Anchorage

Over 70 people came to the University of Alaska Anchorage on Wednesday evening to participate in our skill-building “Choose Your O Adventure” event. There were three different courses, 1-2 kilometers and 6-8 controls in length, with each focusing on a particular orienteering skill. Participants were encouraged to try as many of the courses as they liked. Most people took advantage of this, and we had a whopping 150 “starts” (one person on one course).

Memory Orienteering

The aim of the exercise was to reduce stopping to look at the map. Study once, carefully, then go. Advanced orienteers were not given a map to take with them! Instead, at each control, they found a map that displayed the location of the next control, control code, and clue symbol. Once they left the control, they navigated to the next control by memory. If they forgot, or got lost, they had to go back to the prior control and try again. Beginners and intermediate orienteers were given a full course map to put in their pocket. They used the memory maps at each control as much as possible, but had the full map as backup if needed.

Corridor Orienteering

The aim of this exercise was to learn accurate map reading and to use features for navigation. Advanced orienteers received a map that only displayed a narrow corridor of features to guide them to each control. They were supposed to navigate to each control by staying inside the visible map corridor at all times. Beginners received the advanced corridor map, as well as a full map. They were encouraged to use the corridor map as much as possible, but refer to the full map when needed.

Compass Orienteering

The aim of the exercise was to practice accurate compass navigation and to approximate distance. Advanced orienteers were given a “map” that only displayed control locations, clue symbols, and map scale. The actual map was blank! They navigated from control to control based solely on compass bearing and pacing. Intermediate orienteers were given both the blank map and a full map. They were encouraged to use the blank map as much as possible, but refer to the full map when needed. Beginners were given a complete map, but encouraged to use the compass (rather than terrain feature) for navigation.


The courses were timed, but these were training exercises, not races. We have compiled a spreadsheet with everyone’s times. Don’t think of them as “race results” because participants could customize the level of difficulty to their skill level. The controls were the same for everyone, but each participant could choose whether to take the “beginner” map or the “advanced” map or both. In addition, we had a few people who mis-punched controls. (FYI, if you punched the same control on more than one course, you were one of them! None of the courses shared controls.) So don’t view the times as results or rankings. But you might find them useful for seeing which skills are your strengths and weaknesses, relative to other orienteers.

Cory Smith was the meet director. Thanks to Linda Smith, Anne Billman, Diana Evans, Art Harmon, and Ian Moore for their help with this event. Thanks to for their great training ideas.

Thanks to everyone who came out. We would really love feedback on this meet, since it was a little different. If you want more training, we are planning to have more of these exercises at a few regular meets this summer. Watch the schedule for details.

Please join us Wednesday, May 24th at Far North Bicentennial Park. Check the link for details.

Quake-O Results

Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Earthquake Park

One hundred enthusiastic orienteers showed up at Earthquake Park for the Arctic Orienteering Club’s first of many Wednesday evening Anchorage meets. Certainly the warm sunny evening, intricate (mosquito free!) terrain of Earthquake Park, and free training help everyone have a good time.
Ian Moore won the men’s red (advanced) course with a time of 38 minutes and 38 seconds. Jen Jolliff won the women’s red course with a time of 54:56. David Evans and Anne Billman won the men’s and women’s green course respectively. Cheers to all the orienteers who participated, some for the first time.
Special thanks to Chris Tomsen for helping run the meet, and Liam Sarwas and Art Harmon for picking up controls.

Red (3.7km, 21 controls)


1) Ian Moore 38:38, 2) Cory Smith 42:29, 3) Toby Schwoerer 43:56, 4) Gary Snyder 50:00, 5) Paul Carson 53:36, 6) Bill Spencer 55:41, 7) Mike Robinson 58:35, 8) Dan Baird 1:01:31, 9) Art Harmon 1:03:41, 10) Dan Billman 1:04:44, 11) Bill Johnson 1:10:18


1) Jen Jolliff 0:54:56, 2) Shelly Laws 1:53:57


1) Caitlin Marine & Kate Fitzgerald 1:12:30, 2) David and Jessie Donahue 1:20:55

Green (3.7km, 21 controls)


1) David Evans 59:53, 2) Steve Gruhn 1:01:05, 3) Mark Findlay 1:17:35, 4) Eric Follett 1:19:15, 5) David Snyder 1:32:13


1) Anne Billman 1:20:44, 2) Dela Grey 1:42:10, 3) Sarah Stanley 1:55:00


Lynn Spencer & Nora Houston-Speckman DNF

Orange (2.7km, 12 controls)


1) Dorn Van Dommelen 32:32, 2) Philip Stutzer 49:05, 3) Liam Sarwas 49:56, 4) Steve McKeever 1:02:54


1) Giselle Bergeron 1:25:04, 2) Ann Bruner DNF


1) Brian Durrell & Heidi Borson 50:20, 2) Paul and Roger LaFrance 57:20, 3) Karen Bronga & Jamie Lang 1:33:42

Yellow (2.0km, 13 controls)


1) Springer Moore 34:40


1) Lexi Hill 37:41


1) Luke, Gretchen, Max and Axel Kiskaddon 34:00, 2) Sheryl Mohwinkel and Colin Reedy 52:59, 3) Erin and Timmy Freel with Kennedy and Ellyn Brown and Diana Evans 56:21, 4) Curtis and Cayden Townsend with Steve Sandberg and Robert Johnson 57:00, 5) Alex Chnielewski and Deb McAllester and Kris Foster 58:40, 6) Ellen Perez and Alexis Perdaen and Sandra Graham 1:00:08, 7) Jenny, Holly, Alan and Jacob Nunn, 8) Barbra Brown and Tim Wiepking 1:12:43, 9) Ruth and Henry Kvernplassen 1:13:30

White (1.3km, 9 controls)


1) Lia, Trudy, Kincaid, Duke and Karla Keller 26:00, 2) Linda, Talia and Hatcher Smith 28:22, 3) Joshua, John and Denise Petrash 34:00, 4) Kennedy and Ellyn Brown 35:08, 5) Maryanne and Nash Woods 36:00, 6) Jared, Andrea, and Calvin Gardner 37:00, 7) Erin and Timmy Freel 38:08, 8) Mali and Jenny Redick 46:30, 9) Laura and Brooke Long 47:59, 10) Suvan and Kai Schwoerer with Darcy Dugan and Miriam Bell 1:14:00

This was a points race. Check out how you stand.

Please join us Wednesday, May 17th for Sprint-O at APU. Check the link for details.

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

Thanks to volunteer Regan Sarwas for putting on this meet!

Loma-O Results

Sunday, May 7, 2017
Crevasse Morraine, Loma-Prieta trailhead, Palmer

Hilly and cool: speedy Ian Moore bested Toby Schwörer on long red course, while Springer Moore won Yellow — dad and son each under an hour! Women: Jen Joliff and Dela Grey won red and green courses, respectively. Special thanks to Art Harmon for long course design and Lexi Hill, Andy Olnes for “vetting” controls and assisting.
One “far out” control still to be retrieved – if you want a challenge contact meet director Chris Tomsen

Red Course (4.7 Km, 10 controls)


1) Ian Moore 0:50:57 2) Toby Schwörer 1:09:30 3) Cory Smith 1:15 4) Regan Sarwas 1:28 5) Mike Robinson 2:05


1) Jen Jolliff 1:27

Green Course (3.8km, 8 controls)


1) Steve Gruhn 1:08:59 2) Dan Billman 1:17


1) Dela Grey 1:56:30

Orange Course (4.3km, 8 controls)


1) Brian Durrell 1:19:30 2) David Snyder 1:49:50


1) Angela and Vern Randall 2:02:09

Yellow Course (3.8km, 8 controls)


1) Springer Moore 49:05


1) Lorene Lynn, Carrie Klein, Monique Durtschi 1:43 2) Ethan, Noah & Kurt VanDyke 2:21

White Course (2.8 km, 8 controls )


1) Julie and Paul LaFrance 0:34 2) Linda, Talia, & Hatcher Smith 1:26 3) Rob, Brook, Aly Long & Laura Swogge 1:29 4) Darcy Dugan, Suvan & Kai Schwörer, Leif, Flynn & Eamon O’Regan 1:45:56

This was the first points race of the season. Check out how you stand.

Join us Wednesday, May 10th for our Quake-O at Earthquake Park. There will also be beginner and advanced training available. Check the link for details.

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

Thanks to volunteer Chris Tomsen for putting on this meet!

Palmer-O Results

Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Downtown Deli, Palmer

The night orienteering event in Palmer was well received by about 50 participants who had either 30 or 60 minutes to collect points. The winner nearly ‘cleared’ the course, missing only one 10-point control. Many well-lit runners cross-crossed downtown Palmer. The recent snow helped astute runners follow tracks to more difficult controls. The Palmer Downtown Deli made a warm and bright gathering place before and after the race. Thanks to meet director Pete LaFrance for bringing orienteering to the Mat-Su Valley.

60 Minute Score-O

Name Points
Matthew Sandvik 510
Dan Billman 380
Ocean, Grace, Amy 340
Roger LaFrance 330
Denali and Walter 300
Lorene Lynn 300
Anne Billman 300
Bill Johnson 280
Mykennan R 260
Jamesyn 260
Amber Rinella 240
Brian Fay 230
Joe Hackenmueller 230
Mike and Clare Shea 200
Danielle, Pat and Andree 170
Joyce K 140
Stephanie Burchel 140
Robin Turk 140
Sharon Powder 140
AJ and Joe S 130
Shirley 80

30 Minute Score-O

Name Points
Amy Anette Steen 110
Clayton 110
Dot Helm 30

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

Special Event – Orienteering in Palmer

Night Score-O type event in downtown Palmer with navigation suitable for beginners and terrain suitable for all speeds and fitness levels. And it’s in the dark!

When: Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017. Sign up at 6:30. Start at 7 pm.

Duration: Choose 30 minutes or 60 minutes

Where: Palmer, start/finish at Downtown Deli, 550 South Alaska Street (map)

Cost: $5, free for 18 and under

Reflective Gear and Flashers are Required! You will also want a headlamp for reading the map

Minutes of Jan 3, 2017 Board Meeting

Arctic Orienteering Club
Board of Directors’ Meeting
January 3rd, 2017

Members Present: Mike Robinson; Dela Grey; Lexi Hill; Ian Moore; Regan Sarwas; Shelly Laws; Chris Thompson; Joyce Goodell; Art Harmon; Dan Billman; Anne Billman; Jill Follet

Called to Order 7:16

Old Business:

  1. Website changes: Dela asked to have first thing on the website to be the “next event” instead of the “last event”. Regan will put a link on webpage to download the O schedule
  2. Coordinating volunteers: tabled until the new schedule is finalized
  3. Meets: Much discussion on Crevasse Moraine, Fossil Creek. Many tweeks were made, and meets swapped for different dates. Lexi will rewrite and send the updated schedule to Mike to update the runners calendar. Discussion to add a couple of Ski-O’s. Art and Shelly showed interest in this. No dates were set.
  4. O in downtown Palmer in February, but Pete LaFrance is flexible. Discussion was should this be a training event or an “O” scheduled event. Board decided this to move toward an event, we provide equipment, support. Pete to provide Insurance and permitting, and also to provide a street map. Anne volunteered to help.

New Business:

  1. Healthy Futures can donate $100 to club, instead of the $1000 in previous years. Consensus was that kids still orienteer free. We will look for additional sponsors; possibly advertising “matching” format. The idea of putting sponsor’s name on front page of Web Page-there is plenty of room. Kids run free 2017 logo will be on the website, and discussion will continue.
  2. The donation of a six acre park in Bear Valley is not something the Club in interested in acquiring. It’s a nice gesture, but not much use to the club. We are not interested in becoming property “owners”.
  3. Mapping in 2017. Ians ideas regarding FNBP-do a chunk of it; it’s expensive but a well used area; and clean up areas of map. Also, continue with RA; Bartlett. Eagle River-1 mile from the ERNC has great woods, terrain. Great opportunity for O’s, but its far out, 5$ parking (and lot is small), and a 1 mile walk to the “start” area. This may not benefit all who want to do O’s. Dan (along with a majority of the board) is for improving FNBP. Chris is interested int the Eagle Glen golf area. Dan asked if Chugach St. Park allows up to map the area. Many ideas for this years mapping. Discussion and decision will continue.
  4. Feb 6th will be the next Board meeting, and Regan will host. Questions posed to think about: What does “O” mean to us? What do we want/expect from the O club? Do we want more maps, and or better experiences? We need more dialogue about what do the Orienteers want from our Club. What do Orienteers want from the club experience?
  5. Dan sent USO fee payment in for $1300 to include Insurance and starts.

Meeting was adjourned at 8:46

Minutes respectfully submitted by Joyce Goodell, Secretary

Minutes also available as a Word Doc

Ski-O Training Opportunity

Dimond HS Ski Team will be hosting an informal 1 hour Ski Score-O for high school skiers not traveling to the Besh Cup Races this weekend. They have invited the public to participate as a training event.

The start will be at 12 Noon Saturday (Jan. 21, 2017) at the Raspberry parking lot in Kincaid Park. If you are doing this as a training event, you can show up before during or after, but the controls are only guaranteed to be up around race time. You will need to show up near the start time to get a map.

It will not be very technical course – most of the controls will be on the trails.

This is not a club event, and your participation is at your own risk.

Contact Shelly Laws ( for more information.

Questions about Mapping

The Arctic Orienteering Club board is trying to decide what sort of mapping projects to work on in 2017 and would like input from club members and meet participants. Orienteering maps can be expensive to create and maintain. Skilled “mappers” must be brought in to walk the terrain and make significant corrections and additions to existing topo maps and data. The board is considering several options and would like to know what is important to you.

Please take 5-10 minutes to answer this brief survey before our next board meeting on February 6th.