July 14, 2020

Dutch Lake meet report

2nd day of the orienteering Boulder Dash events moved to Stanley on Sunday July 12 where controls were set for yellow, brown, and red courses from the 2017 Middle USA championships. Total 7 participants sampled these courses in already hot hours of the morning. Tricky glacial moraine terrain required careful and precise navigation.

Results in no particular order:

John Murray Brown 1:05:29
Karin Didisse Brown 1:14:28
Kirsten Severud Brown DNF (picked all course controls with some guidance after)
Jerry Stewart Brown DNF (but finished with smile!)
John Harback Red 1:22:51
Zach Clayton Red 1:31:50
Jennifer Smackey Yellow 1:12:31

Jerry finishing in style!

After the meet there was some heated modern physics discussion including such basic concepts as energy and electrical current.

As well as proper sized glasses to sample delicious wine from the cellars of Karin's business!

Thank you Jennifer and Zach for picking all the yellow course and most distant controls on red course!

See you all at our next meet August 2 near Idaho City!


Castle Rock Meet Report

By Marcel Duchamp - NPR arthistory.about.com

Over the years I've learned some things I really don't need to know. High on that list I count my knowledge of Marcel Duchamp's putative work of art pictured here. Unless you have been enlightened, you might need to be forgiven for thinking this object is a plumbing fixture commonly found in men's restrooms. Well, it is, or so I have been informed, a revolutionary work of art from 1917. If you find this idea mystifying or perplexing, you can dig in further and become an enlightened one. I refer to this “work of art” only to ensure that what I am about to assert is nowhere near the fringe of the realm of art.

Limited Edition $99.95
I have often looked at an orienteering map and found in it an elegance I did not expect in an object so functional. I'll leave it to you to choose whether a map can be a work of art. I'm kind of up in the air on that subject, but not so much in the case of a urinal. Having employed OCAD, our mapping software, to process LiDAR data to produce the Castle Rock Map, I can't claim much artistic input for myself as its author. Still, I believe it is pleasing to the eye in a way that attracts me to the art I hang on my walls at home. I haven't quite reached the point where I'm inclined to frame it, but that doesn't seem too far-fetched.

Earlier this year when LiDAR data became available from a FEMA project to map the Payette River Basin, an enormous area, I began searching within its limits for good mapping projects. Among several other possibilities the Castle Rock Road area looked good. I had driven past the area many times, mostly on my way to backpacking in Yellowstone. It looked interesting from Highway 20, but I never ventured beyond the main thorofare. When I mentioned it to Sergey he said he had also pegged Castle Rock Road as potentially interesting to the club. With the magic of some new and powerful mapping software employed to process the LiDAR data we quickly had what appeared to be a map suitable for a meet. What truly amazed me was how little time I spent on site mapping and field checking. My time on site before setting controls amounted to 2 hours in early June and 5 hours in late June. Most of the development was done at my desk. And, even that was far from the long hours drafting maps just a few years ago.

Whether we remember the course or the map, I'm confident that images like this one will remain vivid long after other memories have faded.
Photo courtesy of  Christy Morris
I have to admit I was somewhat apprehensive about how the map turned out. I will defer to three critiques from our eminent critics.
Photo by Kirsten Severud

The Castle Rock area is one of the most interesting areas of Idaho that I have visited (I didn't even know it existed until today). There is no lack of features in this area, and it seemed like the map captured it all. There were so many features to guide you along, you hardly needed a compass.

Thanks for a great course on a perfect day for orienteering. It would be nice to do the area again.
Photo by Kirsten Severud

Christy joined CTOC in December, and along with her father, Scott, has participated in almost every meet this year. Christy:
This was by far our favorite course I terms of location and scenery. Of course it helps that we also shaved some time off our previous "race".

A cliff from an apparently abandoned mining venture was a notable and unexpected feature. A small gap not visible in the photo remained from the incomplete closure of the tunnel. 

Thirteen people participated in the meet bringing our total 2020 participation well over 200. Participation this year far exceed any year in the last five, and it's just the middle of July. Notably, John Harbuck came all the way from Sandpoint to compete in our two-day event. Like John, several of us went on to the Dutch Lake Meet north of Stanley.

Thanks to Zach and his mother, Jennifer, for picking up half of the controls on a hot July afternoon. Zach Clayton will host our next meet at Pine Creek south of Idaho City. Meet information is posted at https://www.meetup.com/City-of-Trees-Orienteering-Club/events/ . We look forward to seeing you there.

John Murray
Meet Director

July 6, 2020

June 27 Lucky Peak Meet

Despite the cheatgrass, dust, and hot sun, everyone that turned out to the meet last Saturday made a great effort on the course! I've never had the opportunity to co-direct an orienteering meet before, and so it was very much a learning experience for me - I want to thank everyone for their patience in allowing me to finish getting the course set up!

We had 25 participants across our four courses, with the results below:

Beginner Course:
Name: Start Time: Finish Time: Elapsed Time:
Rosa Totorica 9:57:00 AM 10:51:05 AM 0:54:05
John & Eli Arambarri 11:06:00 AM 11:52:05 AM DNF
Sport Course:
Name: Start Time: Finish Time: Elapsed Time:
Alecia & Dave Murray 11:29:00 AM 1:13:19 PM 1:44:19
Donna Pitzer 10:00:00 AM 11:54:45 AM 1:54:45
Scott Morris 10:02:00 AM 2:02:16 PM 4:00:16
Melanie & Katrina Wright 11:59:00 AM 1:14:21 PM DNF
Norma Bailey 10:00:00 AM 11:56:55 AM DNF
Intermediate Course:
Name: Start Time: Finish Time: Elapsed Time:
Kirsten Severud 10:33:00 AM 12:08:52 PM 1:35:52
John Murray 9:58:00 AM 11:45:12 AM 1:47:12
Emily Alex 10:08:00 AM 12:11:16 PM 2:03:16
John Siebold 10:09:00 AM 12:12:35 PM 2:03:35
Carrie Magnuson 10:20:00 AM 12:23:56 PM 2:03:56
Jack & Leslie Perez 10:46:00 AM 1:24:41 PM 2:38:41
Andy Olnes 10:03:00 AM 1:48:00 PM 3:45:00
Jerry Stewart 10:04:00 AM 1:52:00 PM 3:48:00
Cristy Morris 10:02:00 AM 2:02:16 PM 4:00:16
Trenton & Cat Yates 10:20:00 AM 12:21:00 PM DNF
Advanced Course:
Name: Start Time: Finish Time: Elapsed Time:
Jay Morgan 10:06:00 AM 12:10:12 PM 2:04:12
Mike Bading 11:34:00 AM 2:01:15 PM 2:27:15

June 11, 2020

The Queen’s Wrath and her Benevolence

Unsettled Weather

As I woke up on a nice June Sunday morning, the sun was out, the weather forecast was great, temps in the 70s, it was a great day for an orienteering meet!   ….then I woke up from my morning dream.    

After a week of very nice weather and several sunny days to setup the Queen Mine courses, at 7:30 AM on the morning of Sunday, June 7th, the rain was coming down in buckets, the temperature was barely above 40 degrees, and the weather forecast called for more of the same, at least until the afternoon.   

As I loaded up the truck an hour later, I said to myself, “No one is going to show up.”   I tried to make myself feel better by saying “I’m sure glad I don’t have to go out on the course today”. 

Due to our new Covid-19 rules, maps are published a online a day or so ahead of the meet.  Doug LaMott took advantage of Saturday's weather and ran the advanced course one day ahead with a solo time of 2:24:00.   

With Doug reporting back to me, I knew that at least all the controls were in the correct places, I just wondered “Would anyone else do the advanced course in this weather?”

Doug on his solo quest to find all the advanced controls

A Tough Crowd

 Arriving 40 minutes early at the Queen Mine trailhead to setup the last control, I could see snow on the upper hills of Lucky Peak and on the upper part of the course where a majority of the intermediate and advanced courses were.   Just 10 minutes later, to my surprise, Christy and Scott Morris showed up and were preparing to tackle the intermediate course.   I jogged out to the set the last control, just a tenth of a mile from the start, when the rain turned to sleet and the wind whipped up. “Some people are just as crazy as I am”, I thought with a smile. As the Morris’ got ready with their maps and gear to set out promptly at the 10 AM start, I was happy that at least someone was going out on the course, but wondered how long the bad weather and the brave orienteers would last as I sat in my truck.  About 10 minutes later, more orienteers started trickling in and the rain let up, and eventually down to more of a drizzle and finally it started to look a little more like an actual orienteering meet. 
Checking out the new snow on the upper part of the Queen Mine course
After team Morris set out on the intermediate course at the start of the meet, one of the CTOC regulars, Jerry Stewart, jumped out of his truck in a hurry, and set out on the advanced course. The Morgan family, broken up into 2 teams (Jay & Aleksi and Emily & Nikolai) were close behind Jerry to tackle the advanced course too.   Our final competitor on the advanced course, Sergey, headed out 10 minutes after the Morgan family.

Next came the wave of intermediate course orienteers, with Ole Bergset, Kirsten Severud, John Murray and Melanie Wright all heading out of the course over the next 30-40 minutes.   By the time Melanie headed out on course just past 11 AM, the rain was very much subsiding, the temperatures had warmed up and the wind had died down. Conditions were greatly improved from earlier in the morning. It was actually looking to be a good weather day in the afternoon for the orienteers out on the course.
A snowy control #4 (Code 50)

John Murray looking at route options on upper part of course
Soon after the intermediate course orienteers left, the first team to return was Emily & Nikolai Morgan, smiling, but soaked they decided to call it a day and were more than happy to get back to a warm car, as it was just too cold and wet early on for the clothes they had brought. 

Returning shortly after, was the first person off the advance course…… Sergey
(who else did you expect?).

John Murray channeled his best Sergey impression and came in running hot from the intermediate course.  Like a man on a mission, John raced into the Queen Mine parking lot finishing strong and fast like he was ready to run another 5 miles. His efforts did pay off; it earned him a 1st place finish on the intermediate course.

Skies Improving

The last 3 teams of orienteers to show up certainly had the wisdom (or luck) to show up later when the weather was improving – partly sunny skies even started to appear. Two teams consisting of the duo Zack Clayton & Jennifer Smackey, and the trio of Heather Steel, Matt Kohn and Brenda Boyle left in the noon hour to navigate the sport course.  Of all the teams and participants, the trio seemed the best prepared for the unsettled weather with extra gear and clothes. Our final team was the Collias/Cronin family setting out on the beginner course.
Orienteering is a family sport
Kirsten Severud, a relatively new CTOC member this year and always smiling, also had good run, coming in next after the sport orienteers left, and earning a 2nd place on the intermediate course. 

Eighteen minutes later, Ole came in also to claim 3rd place on the intermediate course.

The sport and beginner course orienteers enjoyed the partly sunny skies and warmer temperatures of the lower slopes while having adventures with maps, snakes (Heather’s team saw a yellow bellied racer) and crossing a few animal bones along the way.  Team Clayton/Smackey completed the sport course first, with Team Steele, Kohn, & Boyle coming in 2nd place.
Yellow Bellied Racer on Sport Course
However, for the rest of the intermediate and advanced course orienteers, each participant / team returned without achieving their goal of completing their full course.  The team of Jay & Aleksi Morgan returned, having almost completed the full advanced course, but could not find control #19 (Code 49).  The rest of the field slowly came in with great stories of control miscalculations, snow & weather and, of course, on how much they enjoyed the course and challenge.


First, I would like to thank each and every participant in the 2020 CTOC Queen Mine meet.  While planning and setting up a course does take a bit of effort, every bit of the effort is worth it if there are people to there to enjoy and appreciate it.  Without the orienteers, it wouldn’t be an orienteering meet, so I want to thank everyone for braving the unsettled weather conditions.

I would also like to thank John Murray, not only with mapping Queen Mine area and designing the original course in 2016, but also for all the help and advice he has given me over the past few weeks.

Finally, thanks to Christy Morris, Kirsten Severud and Heather Steele for uploading their pictures of the Queen Mine meet to our meetup.com webpage which I used in this report.


Beginner Course
Collias/Cronin Family                                                        ~1:00:00

Sport Course
Zach Clayton & Jennifer Smackey                                      1:12:10
Heather Steele, Matt Kohn, & Brenda Boyle                    2:24:00

Intermediate Course
John Murray                                                                           1:38:35
Kirsten Severud                                                                     2:14:00
Ole Bergset                                                                             2:32:00
Christy & Scott Morris                                                           DNF
Melanie Wright                                                                       DNF       

Advanced Course
Sergey Velichko                                                                      1:21:30
Doug LaMott                                                                          2:24:00
Jay & Aleksi Morgan                                                             3:11:45   DNF – missed 19
Emily & Nikolai Morgan                                                        DNF
Jerry Stewart                                                                           DNF

June 6, 2020

Reminder: Queen Mine Meet Tomorrow, Sunday June 7th

Just a quick reminder of the Queen Mine Meet tomorrow  at 10 AM, Sunday June 7th.

I will be there in the morning rain or shine.  You can print maps, find the venue location and get more details at our meetup.com event site:


Look under photos for the advanced, intermediate, sport and beginner maps as well as the clue sheet for all courses.

Michael Bading
Queen Mine Meet Director

June 2, 2020

Armchair Orienteering

Orienteering sport encompasses a significant technical component. Below you may find few resources that may be very helpful to improve navigational and technical skills required to be successful in the sport. Please enjoy literally hundreds of thousands of maps, events, and courses with routes placed by the best.

Routegadget database from all around the world including the USA and Canadian national events as well as from many national federations (from the main page click on "here" in the line "Previous front page with links and downloads can be found here", wait for the list of events to appear, select an event, select an age group course from the drop-down menu at the right, people with routes drawn are shown with *, select as many as you wish, and push View Routes button)

The CTOC own Routegadget with courses from our past national events in Boise, Idaho City, and Stanley

Would of O Maps (use the map interface to drill down to specific tiles covering the whole world to uncover maps in that area, select a map with course, found "Go to original link" to go to full size map and course) - linked to Doma archives from different sources

Enjoy countless hours of armchair orienteering around the world! I use these regularly in preparation to national and international competitions.


May 27, 2020

West Slope Photo Orienteering

The first CTOC photo orienteering event comes to a close.  People seemed to enjoy it and I got entries from across the country. There were two sets of controls that were very similar and easy to get mixed up and sure enough several people did get those wrong, but a few managed to figure it out resulting in a three way tie for first with all correct. I'm sure some people didn't send in their guesses but here are the results from those who did.  The solutions are at the bottom of the post. Thanks to all who participated!
Photo-O Results:

Mike Avery (NOOC)
Ole Bergset (CTOC)
Dustin Thomas
John Harbuck (EWOC)
Kirsten Severud
Richard & Nancy Burgey (ROC)
Christy & Scott Morris
Ben Hipple
Sanae Rogers (NOOC)
Donna P.

May 27 - June 2
West Slope Bear Basin Photo-O

As a fun diversion I have created a “Photo-Orienteering” event that you can do from the comfort of your own home.  I have created a virtual course starting and finishing at the West Slope snowmobile parking lot on the west side of our Bear Basin map near McCall.  With this event you don’t have to drive all the way there however!  I took a picture at each control location, your challenge is to choose which photo goes with which control number.  The control location is in the center of the frame and each photo is taken in the direction of north. 

Send me your answers: control number with photo letter name, by the end date to be included in the results or just do it for fun.  A link to the solutions will be posted after the end date.  

As an example the Start /Finish area is photo “J”.  

There are a couple of tricky very similar ones, but if you look carefully there are differences, and there is one extra photo.  Click on the thumbnails below for a larger view.  All are welcome to play, share with friends.

-         - Karin


















West Slope Course Map

Control Photo
Start J
1 I
2 D
3 H
4 P
5 N
6 L
7 E
8 F
9 M
10 G
11 A
12 C
13 K
14 B
15 Q
Finish J