Organizers: Kevin Matrosovs (Event Director), Kevin Matrosovs (Course Planner), David Bakker (Assistant)

Map: Spion Kop


Can be found at


  • Beginner: Found Here (Some slight distortion at the beginning which offsets the GPS tracks a bit from their true location. To sync the tracks at the same start time try the same trick as for the advanced below)
  • Advanced: Found Here (click on the point of the start triangle pointing towards control #1 to sync all of the GPS routes at that point)

Location and Map

Spion Kop is a significant peak in Lake Country. Much of the area is very steep with varying degrees of vegetation density and frequent amazing views. There is an extensive trail network used by hikers, runners, dirt bikes, ATVs, and some mountain bikes. The scrub brush can be a bit stiff and scratchy, so it would be best to wear long pants for the off-trail travel. The arrowleaf balsamroot is flowering in spectacular fashion right now, so the next couple of weeks are the best time to explore this map.

Spion Kop is a very popular trail network, especially now with people looking for healthful social distancing activities. Please keep this in mind when you plan your visit. If you can go in the early morning, the trails will likely be less busy.

The map is brand new this week. We have not had time to finish it to full orienteering standard. In particular, the vegetation, contours and cliffs are 100% computer generated and the trails have been added entirely from online sources. This map has not been field checked, except for a few very specific and limited places. Please be aware that there will be trails that are not on the map and, less commonly, there may be trails on the map that are not obvious on the ground.

Having said the above, the map should be good enough to enjoy some beautiful orienteering!


The start/finish location is on the west side of the highway, through the tunnel under the highway from the closest parking area, the Spion Kop Old Mission Road Trailhead above the Pelmewash Parkway.

Each control has the control code written on a strip of flagging tape attached to it. You can use this code to verify that you have found the correct control. If your printed map is black and white, you can carry a cell phone with the pdf on it to check the map in colour if you need it, which can be helpful to identify features such as vegetation and clearings.

Beginner: 2.9 km straight line distance with an option to remove 600 m and some climbing and descending, but then you'd miss the wee forest folk. All control points are on or near trails. Most of the distance can be covered on trails with the final approach into the control sometimes off-trail. Long pants would be good for a couple of the off-trail controls.

Advanced: 6.1 km straight line distance (you will run further) with a lot of climbing and descending to earn some spectacular views. After the previous event's much shorter courses, I thought we'd provide a longer workout and experience exploring Spion Kop. This is orienteering but also part adventure run. There are options to skip controls if you need to. You will want to wear long pants.


Due to the exceptional global circumstances at the moment, we will not be having our usual events. Instead, we are setting up trainings that can be completed in your own time, any time, over the coming weeks. For all the trainings we will be hanging some flags in the woods for a few weeks, and individually emailing out maps. You print out the pdf to get your own map (or if you are very careful, keep it on your cellphone) to use. We are choosing training location very carefully to be locations that tend to have low public use to maximize social distancing, but are relatively close to the city to minimize travel. We will be on forested maps exclusively, and not using any of the park maps in the city that are already over-crowded. We have some new maps in the works, but will also be returning to some previously used ones.


  • Please stay home if you have any symptoms of illness.
  • Only participate in orienteering activities with individuals from your immediate household.
  • Stay at least 2 metres away from all other park/wilderness users and do not congregate at the trailheads or control sites.
  • Do not touch the control(checkpoint) flags – just get within 5 metres or so.
  • Walk/run with extreme caution to avoid any injuries.
  • It is tick season! Check yourself when you're done and when you get home.


These trainings are being offered as a free mental health service to all Sage Orienteering Club members. Now is a great time to go for a run by yourself or in a very small group in the beautiful Okanagan nature.

How it Works

  1. Register your Sage Orienteering Club membership online on Zone4. Payment and waiver are both online on Zone4 this year.
  2. Send an email to to register for the course of your choice and let us know how many of you are going. We will email you a map individually - so make sure your email address with your WhyJustRun account is accurate.
  3. Run the course whenever you want during the times when the event is open. If you are interested in comparing results & routes with others, record a GPS track on your smartwatch or phone.
  4. (Optional) Upload a .gpx file (you can export this from Strava, Garmin Connect, Attackpoint, and many others) to our website (link will be posted once registration is open) which will calculate your split times. We will also then overlay all the GPS tracks onto the map together so you can compare routechoices with others. We might not be able to gather socially, but we can still talk about or routechoices digitally.

How You Can Help

These events are running entirely on volunteer manpower. We would love some help if you would be willing to pick up controls at a specified times at the end of each event, and handing them on to the next volunteer who will put them out.



Photos are from Flickr. To add your photos to this section, tag your Flickr photos with: whyjustrun4154 (all one word)