September 14, 2014

NOD 2014: What a day!

National Orienteering Day was almost a day of black comedy, perhaps hearkening back to some of the joys John Murray dealt with in the July meet.

Bad joke #1:  As Dondi and I arrived to set up, we learned the entire north portion of Veteran's Park was reserved for a motorcycle rally.  They would be using all the parking, had a band coming, etc.  But they helpfully noted the south lot was open, so we moved the start and salvaged what could have been a cancelled meet.  Note to self:  call parks and rec every time...

Bad joke #2:  In setting up the course with Greg and Melanie (who will be directing next month), as we hopped a log to beginner #5 (intermediate #9, advanced #12), Greg got two wasp/bee stings and Melanie probably four or five with them still giving chase.  I made a mental note to address this specifically at the start...but this proved hard to remember for every orienteer...

Bad joke #3:  Arriving back at 10:15am, I began hacking maps with manual corrections.  Beginner went in reverse and skipped a control, intermediate did the last 3 and then the rest in order, and the advanced line course underwent a bad makeover in an attempt to salvage as many controls as possible...undoubtedly this made things even more confusing!

Race day photography was nearly forgotten in the chaos with the exception of a few photos below for the last advanced finishers...

But I will say the weather was wonderfully cooperative, and we had a solid turnout thanks in part to Ken Beckner bringing his scout troop to practice their skills.  They all paired off, listened to instructions (including a verbal note about the wasp nest), and cheerfully tackled the long intermediate course which got the largest turnout of the day.  They came back in well spaced out groups of 2, with a few missing the greenbelt connection and finding themselves at Quinn's Pond!  They kept their wits about them however and made their way back to the start no worse for the wear - and apparently still willing to come and try it again!  It was well agreed among those that made it to #10 that it was the hardest control - especially those who tried to reach it from the north side.

Adam Wirth, excited for his first CTOC meet, handily set the bar high and took first place.  The very experienced John Murray took second and had some appreciative words for #6 and #10 in particular.  Michael Judd took the course solo with a very admirable third place and even reset a fallen #4, then had to return to actually punch it.  The Morgan family arrived after a few of the scouts with some equal fun trailblazing to #10.  Jerry Stewart turned in a expedient time and is definitely getting the hang of this.  David Crais thoroughly enjoyed his first time out with our club, while Dave Hayes had to bail early but I expect we'll see him again.

Beginner was set to be just a little harder than normal with a variety of control types.  Dave Hayes did his first O course and found it fun enough he went out on intermediate shortly after...Adam Wirth and his kids pulled off a very admirable and persistent effort despite rediscovering what was now a very active wasp nest (! - I forgot to tell them and then circled the area on all the maps after)...Greg Corlett and his kids finished grinning as they return regularly to our meets...and Y striders team Diane, Lois, Rachel, and Leslie came back from their very first course with rather big smiles on their faces too.  I think they had a better time than they expected...

Adam Wirth still smiling after two full courses and lots of bees.
The advanced course, on the other hand, proved to be so tricky that nobody actually finished with complete success - a record I don't think has ever been done in a park meet before.  Two twists were added to the longer course that covered the same area as intermediate:  it was a line exercise (where the control is somewhere on the line, up to and including the end circle), and I removed all paths and trails from the map to make the navigation a bit harder.  Sergey finished the course no problem, with the line setup slowing him down notably, but he unfortunately punched a different control #9 on the beginner course also within the line.  Codes were on the back, so I will class this as a DQ for consistency in my judgement this year...but unfortunately the "real" control had fallen onto the ground and was not very visible given its faded nature.  Sergey went right by it - and went back to find it after finishing, and rehung it.  Ole unfortunately also couldn't find #9, probably before Sergey corrected it, and he called it good for the day.  His day was not helped by the confusing rework of the starting control either.  Melanie Wright, with her trusty canine companion, gave the advanced course a full go but had to call it at #13 to make it back in time for control pickup.  Jay had the same scenario and was stuck on #12 (fortunately not finding the wasp nest).  He had at least one complete line review for #6 until he found it on the other side of the tree! The advanced had the hardest course but everyone started much later than usual and time proved to be a limiting factor...except for Sergey as expected!

Jay Morgan still has his map AND a very white Rabbit O hat.
Melanie Wright with her control verification companion.
Thanks to everyone for their patience through the various hiccups we had and making the most of the spectacular weather and challenging venue.  Special thanks to the many club members who assisted me today in all the chaos:

Codirector:  Dondi Black (especially keeping starts and finishes on time!)
Newcomer instruction:  John Murray and Bill Leahy (ok, I didn't give you much to do with so much explaining on my part)
Course setup:  Greg Davidson and Melanie Schuster
Course pickup:  John Murray and Sergey Velichko
Adam Wirth and family:  advanced wasp/bee alert detection team
Jay Morgan:  Icebug display shoes with studs (note that Icebug is the official shoe sponsor of OUSA this year)

Next month:  our traditional Vampire O, a night course at Simplot park.  Melanie Schuster and Greg Davidson codirect on Saturday, October 25!

Jeff Black

September 9, 2014

National Orienteering Week 2014

Mark your calendar for Saturday, September 13th!  It's the start of National Orienteering Week and our local CTOC club event.

We will have 3 course levels ready, with beginner and intermediate in the classic format (controls in specified order), while advanced will have a couple of twists to keep the run more than interesting.  Special thanks to Shu's Idaho Running Company for finish and participation prizes!

While newcomers to orienteering are welcome at any meet, this is one of the easiest meets to get started with.  It's hard to get lost in the park, the terrain is relatively easy and in town, the weather is (usually) beautiful, and we will have experienced orienteers on hand to go over the basics when you arrive.  If you are looking for an extra way to engage your mind while running or hiking, this is a great sport!  And it may even save you from being lost in the woods someday.

Date:  Saturday, September 13th
Time:  Starts from 11-12:30am,  courses close by 2pm.  (Participants start a few minutes apart.)
Location:  Veteran's Memorial Park, main parking lot
Cost:  $5 per map for non-members, free to CTOC members
To bring:  Baseplate compass (we will have some on hand if you don't have one), running/walking shoes, pants or gaitors if you prefer to minimize contact with tall grass or brush, a cell phone and whistle for emergencies, possibly hat and water as needed.

We will have water and a few refreshments at the start/finish table.

See you there!

Meet directors Jeff and Dondi Black

August 6, 2014

August 3 Meet Report - Dutch lake mystery

Congratulations to all who tried very demanding and technical terrain at Dutch lake near Stanley last Sunday!

Group photo at the start - lots of smiles!

The Dutch lake map is not really ready yet so we used a basemap for the day with few sample boulders and trails.

On beginner course Rosie with her dad Andy Hill and Dondi Black with friend Toby successfully navigated easy 4 first controls and really advanced last 2 controls. Rosie and Andy on the photo - ready to navigate!

Intermediate and advanced courses attracted the biggest crowd .

My apologies to all for misplacing control 4! It was placed wrongfully in parallel similar hill/depression pair ~100m West of where it should. I make mistakes too :) Extra points to Ben, Levi, and Karin who made sure to find the right feature! Even more extra points to all who found it in the wrong place!

Ben Brock and Levi Schmitt navigated extra difficult advanced course in 1:54 while Karin Didisse finished it in 2:35. They were the only trio who completed the entire course.

Chris and Mikayla Rose, Bob Didisse, Jerry Stewart, Bill Leahy, Jay Morgen, Kerry Davis, Jeff Black, John Murray, and Andy Hill - all receive credit for trying hard to complete either red level intermediate or blue level advanced course.

This kind of moraine terrain is pretty unique. Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan have some of this terrain. We are blessed in Idaho to have such a diversity of terrains ranging from open prairie, complex ridge, re-entrant, and spur mountain pine woods, and finishing with intricate moraine. A maze of depressins, hills, small lakes, re-entrants, and spurs of moraine terrain requires special tactics and route choices. I will publish soon an article on it here at our blog.

Famous depressions require some thinking!

More of depressions

John traverses un-mapped stream 

Some discussion over the map

Many thanks go to John for discovering and initially assessing this area together with Karin! He is awarded with Idaho honorable chain of discovery!

I really hope that Alexei will transform basemaps for both Dutch lake and Trap creek areas into jewels that our club and national orienteering community will enjoy for years to come.

Big thanks to Jeff Black for photos on this page!

Our next event is a National orienteering day meet at Veteran's park Saturday September 13. Jeff and Dondi Black are creating courses for us to enjoy. See you all there!

Sergey Velichko

July 30, 2014

August Meet at Dutch Lake near Stanley, Idaho

All are invited to the CTOC regular monthly meet this coming Sunday August 3 that takes place near Stanley, Idaho. It will be run on the Dutch Lake map. Starts 11am to 1pm. 3 courses will be offered: longer advanced (5.6km, 16 controls), shorter intermediate (4km, 10 controls), and high level beginner (3km, 6 controls). Beginner course would require venturing into terrain for the last couple controls, use of compass, and ability to read contours. It offers easy first 4 controls and more advanced 2 last controls. Any person on the beginner course would be required to be accompanied by an experienced partner.

This is very challenging and fun moraine terrain with lots of depressions, hills, and small ponds and lakes. Will require upmost focus and ability to read the map and use precise navigation. We hope you will have as much fun as we did.

We will provide water and condiments at the start/finish. We also designed advanced and intermediate courses to have a water control in the middle of courses. If it is really hot you may consider taking some water with you. It may take more than 1 hour to complete the course. Full body cover and good orienteering shoes are advisable. There is some amount of undergrowth and deadfall that requires body protection. We will have compasses for rent if you don’t own one. Good compass work is essential for this type of terrain!

Directions: Take road toward Stanley via Lowman either via Banks-Garden Valley (preferable) or Idaho City. From Lowman drive for about 44 miles north on H-21 until you see signs for Thatcher campground on your right (the highway makes 90 degree turn right couple mile before the campground). Continue about 1km further and take right on forest road 195. We will place CTOC directional sign at the turn. Continue for about 2km on FR195 southwest until you see the meet center (my car and orienteering signs). FR195 is relatively fine but very low clearance vehicles are not advised. It takes approximately 2.5 hours from Boise.

We hope to see you all enjoying this fun terrain and beauty of Stanley area!


Sergey Velichko

July 15, 2014

Bogus Basin Results and Mea Culpa

August Meet

It's customary to include a notice for the next meet at the end of the current meet report. Because the next meet in Stanley Basin is on the first of our new LiDAR maps, I am choosing to feature it at the top of the report. The new Dutch Lake Map has exceptionally well detailed contours. August 3 will be an opportunity to get a preview of area and what LiDAR technology can do for us. Sergey will have a more complete announcement later, but for now he sends us this note:

The meet is Sunday August 3. It will be run on the Dutch Lake Map. Starts 10am-noon. 3 courses will be offered: longer advanced, shorter intermediate, high level beginner. Beginner course would require venturing into terrain, use of compass, and ability to read contours. It is not suitable for first- comers. Any person on the beginner course would be required to be accompanied by an experienced partner. Driving will involve about 2km on a dirt road. It is relatively fine but very low clearance vehicles are not advised.

Bogus Basin

I have a friend who says that everyone has a purpose, even if it's only to serve as a bad example. I was that person Sunday in my role as the director of the Bogus Basin Meet. Because I truly love this sport, it pains me to make a mess of a meet. I know that most of the meets I direct have a casual, if not disorganized, flavor. I hope that most of you view that as a satisfactory trade for additional mapping. However, this meet fell far short even of my lax standards.

I am posting results as we always do. These results have very little value in comparing performances due to the most egregious of the problems. Jason and Karen Quinn finished Loop 1 without finding Control 7. Since it was located close to the finish I offered to show them where it was. We methodically walked to the boulder marked by Control 7. Much to my surprise and alarm there was no control bag. Without thinking it through I concluded that someone had removed the control. A little reflection led me to a different conclusion. No one would have seen the control and snatched it because it was completely out of the public view. As far as I know, there are no control-eating species endemic to Bogus Basin. I suspect there are some of you who silently harbor the belief that I never set the control. However, I am only able to reach one acceptable explanation. I present the photographic evidence so you can reach the only logical conclusion. Some participants searched long and hard. Others gave up quickly. Yet others found the control I set after discovering the problem. There is no way to handicap the individual loss of time.

I wish I could call this meet a comedy of errors. There was no comedy, only error. It started with confusion about the date of the meet originally posted as Saturday, July 13. Saturday was July 12. There was the purloined control noted above. And finally, I elected to omit control codes. I retain my opinion that control codes are unnecessary for local meets on a classic course. This was a local meet, but it was not a classic course. All three loops of what is probably best described as a Motala overlapped. Some controls were used on both Loop 1 and Loop 3. On a hot day with fatigue setting in it's possible to become a little confused when you find a control not far from the control you are seeking. I know that I am easily confused and frustrated at such a juncture. Ole, in his gentlemanly way, told me that control codes would have helped. I can see clearly now that he was right. Ole's critique came as I met him while I was picking up Loop 1 controls and he was finishing Loop 3. Completely forgetting that the Loop 1 control I was picking up was also a Loop 3 control, I picked it up. Forty meters on my way I realized my error and returned to the scene of the crime arriving just as Jason Quinn appeared in search of the control then in my hand. Although the control description did not say so, I was the feature he was searching for. He punched his map with the control still in my hand.

Bogus Basin is rough terrain with too much brush to allow fully free navigation. Among the few bright spots in the day were four legs belonging to Natalie and Becca. It's not just that they were pretty legs before they started. These Riverstone students attacked Loop 1 without gaiters and emerged with nary a scratch. It was good to see David Bergset back out on the prowl for controls. And we had the Thomas family complete both Loop 1 and Loop 2. Good job!

Thank you to Ayshe Sert and Jerry Stewart for help at the start table. I really appreciated Greg Davidson's and David Bergset's assistance picking up controls.
And one final note on the Bogus Basin mapping project. Loops 1 and 2 expanded the map down to Bogus Creek. If I am still allowed to direct a meet next year, I plan to expand the map into some very appealing terrain. A lot of it is runnable. A lot of it has more rock features. And, while it has significant elevation challenges,  the climbs and descents are much less demanding than those found in the 2014 addition to the map. It should be fun. I can promise the meet will be better managed. How could it not be?
John Murray
Meet Director

July 6, 2014

Bogus Basin Meet -- Sunday, July 13

No Longer the Sole Province of the Alpine Enthusiast—Bogus Orienteering Goes Nordic -- Sunday, July 13 – Alpine and Nordic Areas on an Expanded Map

Join us for our third orienteering adventure at Bogus Basin. This year's Bogus Basin Meet introduces new courses on a map that has expanded into the Nordic area. The newly mapped area west of the Nordic Lodge features many boulders and cliffs comprising interesting navigational challenges. Although the advanced and intermediate courses are relatively short in horizontal distance, the vertical will reward strong legs, stout hearts and astute route choices.

All three courses (beginner, intermediate, and advanced) begin at the Nordic Lodge. The finish will also be at the Nordic Lodge. The beginner's course will follow roads, but in a departure from previous events the controls will be off of the road. They will be easily accessible and within 10 meters of the road. It will be necessary for participants on the beginner's course to identify features like boulders and re-entrants on the map. If you are a beginner and unfamiliar with orienteering map symbols, the meet directors and experienced orienteers will gladly give you a brief explanation before you depart on your adventure.

If you plan to tackle either the intermediate or advanced course, be sure to bring gaiters or some other protection for your legs. Bogus Basin has brush. Full leg cover will prevent a lot of otherwise difficult to avoid scratches or worse. Also, because cut branches on the ground often make the footing unstable, you should bring sturdy shoes and good judgment about when to be cautious.
Who: Orienteers of all ages and abilities (beginners to advanced)

When: Sunday, July 13. Courses will be open for starts from 9 am – 11. Courses close at 1 pm. You may arrive within this window to try a course, as participants start separately a few minutes apart.

Finish and Parking Location: Nordic Lodge parking lot.

Restrooms available at the Simplot Lodge and/or in the parking lot.
Format: Classic in 3 loops.
Entry fees: $5.00 per map for non-members (individual or group). Free to members of the City of Trees Orienteering Club.

You may want to bring: a watch, a compass, a snack, a whistle and a cell phone. (Some compasses will be available to borrow)

Directors: John Murray/Jerry Stewart