Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Tuesday, August 20, 2002

A few notes on my first day at Idaho


1. I was a bit surprised by the first leg. Given the hilly terrain, I didn't expect to lose so many lines on the way to the first control. I saw one person who started ahead of me go north from the triangle (through the rough open area) and another go on the trail. When I got my map, I wasn't surprised by the first leg.

Nearing the control I came across some rough forest (mapped as white) with lots of deadfall. I'm not in shape to run through rough forest. Lots of deadfall was going to slow me down a lot.

2. My biggest mistake of the weekend. I drifted north of the line when I planned to go south of the line. I didn't hold a straight line running through the flat area (which was fairly rough). When I crossed the forest road, I thought I was on my planned route and began to climb the hill. I quickly recognized that the hill didn't fit and turned around and got back to the right hill.

This is the sort of mistake that I make when I'm out of practice. I was sloppy. I didn't adjust my technique for the conditions (flat area with rough vegetation).

3. A number of people went straighter. I spent some time on the trail. I like running on trails. I'm a weak runner (especially now) and figure I lose much less time by taking physically easy routes (like trails).

The contours were a bit strange near the control. I went to the flattish area (which the maps shows as being just in front of the control). In fact, it turned out to be at a small cliff down the hill from the control. The map was a bit rough overall. The organizers warned us ahead of time. So, I didn't let it bother me.

4. This control looked tricky. If you missed it, you'd be in trouble. I took it carefully and found the control without any difficulty.

5. Nothing much to say.

6 and 7. I saw the marker at the sixth control from about 250 meters away. I saw the marker for the seventh control from a good 200 meters away. I must have been keeping my head up and looking far ahead.

8. I wandered a bit, costing some time. The map was a bit general and I felt uncertain at several points along the leg.

9. Nothing much to say.

10. I boomed this one. I took a bit of a risk by contouring into the control (trying to squeeze through some thick vegetation and use the small clearing at the edge of the circle. I had trouble figuring out where the clearing was (it seemed to be a line below me and below the control). I was in the general area and figured I was too low. I looked up and saw Jeff W. (I think), heading toward 11.

11. This looked simple -- follow the open area to a spot just south of the control circle or follow the other open area (with scattered trees) to just north of the control circle. But as I got close to the marker, the open area seemed to disappear. I felt unsure (though obviously I was very close to the control). Instead of thrashing around aimlessly, I felt like a quick bail-out to the trail and then attack the control from below would be best. That's what I did.

posted by Michael | 12:54 PM


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