In 2010, Kimberley/Cranbrook hosted the North American Orienteering Championships, drawing avid orienteering participants from all over the world.
This September 5, 6 and 7, the area will host the Kootenay Orienteering Festival, which will feature the BC Orienteering Championship.
While not on as large a scale as the 2010 event, says organizer Jim Webster, the Kootenay Orienteering Festival will still draw people from Alberta, B.C., Washington and Oregon. There is even one couple from Switzerland registered to participate.
The event will feature three different maps in three different locations — Invermere, Kimberley and Cranbrook. Invermere will host the middle distance event on the morning of Saturday, September 6. The sprint event goes in Kimberley in the afternoon. The Kimberley course will be a mostly urban one, utilizing in town trails and staircases. A banquet and day one awards will be held at the Kimberley Riverside Campground Saturday evening.
The long distance event will be held in the Cranbrook Community Forest on Sunday, September 7. The course will be the same one used in the 2010 championships, with an updated map. Day 2 awards will be handed out in Cranbrook.
For the uninitiated, orienteering is a sport that requires navigational skills using a map and compass to navigate from point to point in diverse and usually unfamiliar terrain, and normally moving at speed. Participants are given a topographical map, usually a specially prepared orienteering map, which they use to find control points. It is a sport that can be enjoyed by all ages.
You can sign up for the Kootenay Orienteering Festival at www.kootenayofest.com