• 19865 Boreal Ridge Road
  • Soda Springs, CA, 95728
  • United States

2018 Nav-X Challenge @ Tahoe


Quick Info

  • Date: Sunday, September 9, 2018
  • Location: Donner Summit
  • Event Director: Mats Jansson (contact)
  • Course Director: Mats Jansson
  • Courses:  3 & 6h Map Trek
  • There will also be 4 standard middle distance orienteering courses offered Saturday afternoon at Boreal by Truckee Orienteering (follow link for more information).

List of Registered Entrants

Follow this link to an updated list of entrants.

Event Summary

The 2018 Nav-X Challenge's fourth event brings us back to the Tahoe area, but this time we will explore some virgin terrain near Donner Summit.  The event will be staged out of Auburn Ski Club, which is right off Hwy 80 near the summit, with ample parking and real bathrooms!  The map is a real mashup!  We have put together two orienteering maps and an improved topo map to give you a full 6 & 3h course without any overlapping loops in some pretty spectacular terrain.  This event might be a map trek first...with one control will inside a long abandoned train tunnel - it's cool, it's dark, it's kinda creepy...headlamp?  We think yes, at least a simple one.  Expect to enjoy high quality Sierra terrain with views galore, and try to visit as many of the 54 controls as possible.  It should be a real treat for anyone who enjoys the high country at the best time of year, whether you are looking for a scenic hike, or an endurance race against some of the best in the west!  Make a weekend of it - participate in a classic orienteering event on Saturday September 8, hosted by Truckee Orienteering.  


Time Long Course - 6h Short Course - 3h
8:00 Event Check-in (and Day of Event Registration)
9:00 Event Check-in (and Day of Event Registration)
9:15 Event Briefing
9:30 Mass Start
10:15 Event Briefing
10:30 Mass Start
13:30 Finish
14:15 3h Awards
15:30 Finish
16:15 6h Awards

New to Map Trekking or Rogaining?

Map Trekking is a “Navigation Sport” that has elements of a few other sports and activities like Trail Running, Fell Running (XC hill running), Hiking, Orienteering and Geo Caching.  More specifically, Map Trekking is a time-based challenge, 2 hrs or more in length, where participants try to score as many points as possible within the time allowed, by visiting checkpoints scattered across a vast, wild landscape.  Participants are free to decide which checkpoints to visit, and in what order.  Typically, a set time is allowed before the start for participants to study the map, and determine their route.  Participants travel on foot and navigate their chosen route using the map and a compass (No GPS allowed except for recording your track).  A late finish comes with point penalties, adding another layer of challenge to the sport.  Checkpoints vary in difficulty and the point value reflects the same, so that easy ones yield a lower point value than difficult ones.  To encourage beginners, course setters typically provide plenty of easy checkpoints near the start and finish location.

Venue / Park Info

The area for this map trek is pretty diverse and beautiful.  Some of it is in the ski resort areas of Boreal and Donner Ski Ranch, though most of the course avoids the developed areas as much as possible.  Some of it is on the southern slopes of Castle Peak.  Some of it is typical Sierra forest, some granite slabs, some pretty arid high desert chaparral, and some sandy/rocky sections. There is some underbrush, but not so much that it slows you down too much, and can often be avoided with short D-tours.  There will be some significant elevation change, but most climbs won't be that long, and it's possible to reduce the elevation change in your route selection.  There will be many places that offer excellent views of the surrounding landscape and mountain ranges.  Many of the ponds are now dry as are many of the creeks.  We will provide at least one water stop, more on that in the course notes.  There are steep cliffs throughout, most of which are marked on the map.  On the northern section (improved topo map) some of the cliffs may not be marked, but the contours will be very close together, and that is a sign that it may be too steep to travel.

About the Map

This is a new map, suitable for map trekking.  It is considered an "improved Topo" map, which was put together by our own Bill Cusworth using several maps, including Boreal Ridge (O-map), Donner Ski Ranch (O-map) and Castle Peak (improved topo between Hwy 80 and Castle Peak.  All in scale 1:15,000 with 5 m contours.

Courses & Divisions

There will be two courses offered:

  • 3 hr Map Trek
  • 6 hr Map Trek

Participants can compete in the following divisions:

  • Junior (19 & Under, 1-5 person teams)
  • Open Female (20-49, 1-5 person teams, All-female)
  • Open Male (20-49, 1-5 person teams, All-male)
  • Open Mixed (20-49, 2-5 person teams, mixed Male-Female)
  • Masters Female (50 and up, 1-5 person teams, All-female)
  • Masters Male or Mixed (50 and up, 1-5 person teams, All-male)
  • Masters Mixed (50 and up, 2-5 person teams, mixed Male-Female)
  • Family - Adults (20+) + children (12 & under)

Results from this event count toward the 2018 Series Championship.


Early fees (25% off) through Aug 26th (via online registration).  Regular fee is Aug 27th - Sept 5th (via online registration).  Day of Event Registration is cash only.

Discounts for orienteering club members (BAOC/GCO/etc...), $4 for adults and $2 for juniors.  Discount applied during online registration process, not available day of event.

For family teams (2-hr course only), it is required to have at least one adult (20 & over) and at least one child (12 & under).  Children 12 & under race free.  Children must be registered and accompanied by an adult.

Additional fees to rent an e-punch ($5) and/or compass ($2).  Only one e-punch number or rental request is required per team.  On the registration page, please enter "0" for e-punch number if you are not the first person registering for your team.

Early Registration Regular Registration Day of Event Registration
Course Length 3h 6h 3h 6h 3h 6h
Junior (19 & Under) $15 $25 $17 $28 $20 $33
Adult (20+) $30 $49 $34 $55 $40 $65


Refund policy: 100% refund up to 10 days before event. Future race credit 1-9 days before event. No refunds for no-show.


Wear what you would normally wear for a strenuous hike in Northern California.  Here are some tips:

  • Sturdy shoes with a good tread
  • Long pants or gaiters
  • Visor hat
  • Compass (you may rent one for $2)
  • ePunch (SI stick with 50 control capacity - you may rent one for $5 if you don’t have one)
  • Pen and maybe a highlighter marker (for marking up your map and making notes)
  • Water (enough for the time you will be out on the course)
  • On the go snacks (energy bar, gel, etc.)
  • Headlamp suitable for navigating a tunnel



From Truckee/Reno:

Take Hwy 80 West to Soda Springs. Take exit 176 toward Castle Peak/Boreal Ridge Rd. Turn left towards Boreal Ridge, under I-80, and then right on to Boreal Ridge Rd and follow it 0.4 miles.

From Sacramento:

Take Hwy 80 East to Soda Springs.  Take exit 176 toward Castle Peak/Boreal Ridge Rd. Turn right on to Boreal Ridge Rd and follow it 0.4 miles.