Ski Orienteering

skio@eswgames.comSki orienteering (SkiO) is a cross-country skiing endurance racing sport and one of the four orienteering disciplines recognized by the IOF. A successful ski orienteer combines high physical endurance, strength and excellent technical skiing skills with the ability to navigate and make the best route choices while skiing at a high speed.

Standard orienteering maps are used, but with special green overprinting of trails and tracks to indicate their navigability in snow. Other symbols indicate whether any roads are snow-covered or clear. Navigation tactics are similar to mountain bike orienteering. Standard skate-skiing equipment is used, along with a map holder attached to the chest. Compared to cross-country skiing, upper body strength is more important because of the double poling needed along narrow snow trails.

For further information on ski orienteering, please contact the sports director, Chris Frelinghaus, at

Entry Divisions

  • 16 and under

  • 18 and under

  • 19 and over

  • 40 and over

  • 55 and over

  • 70 and over


Ski orienteering events are designed to test both physical strength and the navigational skills of the athletes. Ski orienteers use a map to navigate a dense ski track network while visiting a number of control points in the shortest possible time. The track network is printed on the map, and there is no marked route. The control points must be visited in the right order. The map contains all the information the athlete needs in order to decide which route is the fastest, including the quality and width of the tracks. The athlete has to make hundreds of route-choice decisions at high speed during every race: a slight lack of concentration for just one-hundredth of a second could cost the medal. Ski orienteering is time-measured and objective. The clock is the judge: the fastest time wins. The electronic card verifies that the athlete visited all of the control points in the right order.


Cascade Ski Center and Mount Van Hoevenberg Cross-country Ski Center, both in Lake Placid.


  • Saturday, Feb. 4: First starts, 11 a.m. at Cascade Ski Center in Lake Placid. Classic ski equipment mandatory. Start order based on registration dates.
  • Sunday, Feb. 5: First starts, 10 a.m. at the Main Stadium area of the Mount Van Hoevenberg Cross-country Ski Center in Lake Placid. Start order based on Saturday's results. Free technique or classic equipment allowed.