April 26, 2015

Hopping into Rabbit Creek

2015 marks the 12th year of orienteering meets at Rabbit Creek!  While we are still enjoying the hospitality of Bill Pilcher on the ranch, this year brings a change in meet director (Jeff) so that Bill can finally run his own map - or photograph some orienteers on the course live.  Be prepared in your best O garb and a good layer of Owyhee dust.
Spring flowers at your feet.

Four levels of classic will be offered:
  White (Beginner) - 0.6km, 0m climb, 5 controls.  A short course right around the house for families or those just getting acquainted with orienteering.
  Yellow (Advanced Beginner) - 1.5km, 60m climb, 8 controls.  A little larger loop to see topography and some distinct map features with the house in sight.
  Intermediate - 5km, 355m climb, 13 controls.  A medium distance loop that takes a serious sightseeing tour of boulders and cliffs, requiring your full map reading attention.
  Advanced - 8.6km, 475m climb, 18 controls.  A large loop with a full complement of technical controls and long legs.

Given the variety of courses, the impossibility of printing maps anywhere near the area, and the desire to minimize waste, please RSVP to me no later than Thursday April 30th with your name and intended course choice (and if you want an extra map or two for a larger group.)  My email is jeffwrites AT gmail DOT com.  If you decide to show up impromptu, I expect to have a few blanks on hand and you will get to copy your course the old school way.
Friendly face in a reentrant.

This is the edge of the remote Owyhees with wild horses (and a few ATV's), a strong contrast to our last few urban meets, so come prepared to handle the terrain and weather for early May:

  • your compass of choice, baseplate or thumb compass works best for orienteering.
  • sturdy shoes for off trail navigation.
  • pants and/or gaitors for the high desert - cheatgrass and sage being the most common.  Some barbed wire fence hopping or crawling required for the intermediate and advanced courses.  (Maybe one on the yellow.)
  • hat and sunscreen as you need.
  • water and food for up to 3 hours in the desert sun.  A water control is included halfway on the advanced course.
  • whistle and cell phone for emergencies.  Cell phone coverage is not assured everywhere.

Keep in mind rattlesnakes are starting to get out at this time of year.  Please pay attention in boulder areas and keep your ears open!  At the moment control placements look clear but I have not had a chance to vet all locations in advance.

If you have any interest in birds, the ranch is an amazing place full of orioles, kingbirds, hummingbirds, buntings, and birds of prey.  Bring your binoculars to see them up close.

The usual details:
 Date:  Sunday, May 3
 Location:  Rabbit Creek, Murphy, ID (driving directions below)
 Start times:  9:30am to 11:00am
 Time limit:  ~3 hours (all courses close at 2pm)
 Cost:  $10 per person/team, $5 for a single junior, free to CTOC members (more info here)
 Lunch:  no major meal planned this year, but will have some snacks afterward.

Driving directions:
From Boise take I-84 west to Nampa (exit #35). Turn Left and proceed to 3rd Street S (Caldwell Blvd). Turn Left on 3rd Street S (Caldwell Blvd) and proceed to 12th Ave. Turn Right on 12th Ave. Follow 12th Ave. south and it becomes Hwy 45 as it leaves Nampa city limits. Follow Hwy 45 across the Snake River. Soon after crossing the river, bear to the left and it becomes Hwy 78. Follow Hwy 78 to milepost 29. Immediately after passing the "Murphy" city limits sign turn to the Right on "Old Hwy 45" follow this for one block then continue straight and it becomes " Rabbit Creek Road". Follow Rabbit Creek Road for about 5 1/2 miles to J & S Road there is a lone mailbox. Turn Left on J&S Road and follow this road approximately 1 1/2 miles to the house and sign in area.
Unique rock features, canyons, and mountains beckon.
See you soon at Rabbit Creek!

April 20, 2015

Riverstone Score-O Summary & Results

First of all, thanks to the 35+ who headed out east to last weekend's Score-O! at Riverstone.  "The more the merrier" was an apt theme of the day.   While the Shakespeare parking lot was shuttling people up to the Robie Creek finish, the real fun was being had down in the valley...

A few notables from the day's activities:

  • Perfect weather.
  • First-time CTOCers Audrey Thomson, the Bied Family, the Koenig Family, and Boy Scout Troop #104.  We hope to see more of you all in the future!
  • Blurring Lines between Youth and Experience!
    • 6 participants visited all 24 controls....2 of them, Brian and Levi, were juniors! 
    • Other juniors Regan, Owen, Beatrice, Alden, Amelia, Nikolai, and Alexi all scored over 300 points, mixing it up with stalwarts John Murray, Emily Morgan and Melanie Wright.
    • Congratulations to young Audrey Thomson who tackled the course on her own!
    • Jordan and Derek topped their dad Mark by 60 points.
    • On the flip side of the coin, "The Snails" (mom and dad Milstein) executed their slow and steady strategy to perfection to out-pace their son/daughter team of Ben and Rimone.
  • It was tight at the top!  Right on Sergey "Pace-setter" Velichko's heels were Michael Bading (+2min) and Levi Schmitt (+5min).   
  • Great work by Riverstone students Brian, Levi, Natalie, Becca and Regan, who helped with setting, run registration/start/finish/scoring and course take-down.
  • Thanks also to Jeff Black who reliably toted his camera with him, at the expense of speed (but not too much speed), to document the action.  Here is a link to Jeff's photos on the CTOC Yahoo Group site. (Make sure to subscribe to the CTOC Yahoo Group if you haven't already!)
Next up, a Jeff Black special at Rabbit Creek on Sunday May 3.  Make sure to brush up on your contour line reading!  See you all next month!

And now, without further ado....

Overall Riverstone Score-O! Results 
Sergey Velichko
41m 8s
Michael Bading
43m 24s
Levi Schmitt
46m 23s
Brian Bohme
54m 40s
Jeff Black
56m 18s
Jay Morgan
58m 18s
Regan Zhang
53m 46s
Owen Zhang Beatrice Tornaghi
56m 36s
John Murray
Greg, Alden and Amelia Koenig
56m 8s
Emily, Nikolai and Alexi Morgan
59m 19s
Melanie Wright
57m 26s
Corrected - 350
Jordan and Derek Liebich
Mark Liebich
57m 46s
Gregory and Preston Bied
58m 13s
The Snails
57m 27s
Lewis & Clark Spartans
12:01 PM
53m 24s
Audrey Thomson
Ben and Rimone Milstein
58m 3s
The Warriors
12:01 PM
51m 30s

April 14, 2015

Not Running Robie? Time for a CTOC Score-O!

With a few classic-style events under our belt for 2015 (and many more during 2014!), this month's CTOC adventure will mix the legs up with a score course on the Riverstone Map.

The 1:5000 map will feature 25 controls which can be visited in any order.  The more technical / distant controls will be worth 30 points.  Easier / closer controls will be worth 10 points.  There will be a slew of controls in the middle worth 20 points.  The catch?  You only have 1hr to get as many points as possible; after 1hr, point penalties are applied to your score for every minute that you're late.  Strategies?  Will you go for as many of the easy / close controls as you can, or will you spend the extra time to get the valuable but more difficult / distant controls?  The most points wins!

Date:  Saturday, April 18
Time:  Registration opens 10:30am.  Courses open for starts between 11:00am and 1:00pm.  Course closes at 2:00pm.
Start/Finish LocationRiverstone International School Gymnasium.  Riverstone is located at 5521 Warm Springs Ave.  The Gymnasium is best accessed via Lysted Rd, West of the campus.  Look for the CTOC Orienteering signs!
Cost:  Juniors - $5, Adults - $10, CTOC members - Free.

What to bring:  Athletic clothing/shoes appropriate for the weather (which should be beautiful!), water as needed while on the course, cell phone for emergencies, compass to keep your map oriented (we have some for rental at nominal $1 fee).  
**Bonus Points will be awarded as tie-breakers for anyone who brings a first-time orienteerer!

Riverstone students will be on hand to provide instruction to first-timers!  
Snacks provided for after-event calorie replenishment!

April 2, 2015

March Meet in Julia Davis-BSU-Ann Morrison Results

Thank you all who came and hopefully enjoyed courses!


Photos are courtesy of Jeff Black and Sergey Velichko.


Beginner: 1.6K, 6 controls
Ben and Joella Howard         13:17
Katrina and Melanie Wright 20:04

Intermediate: 4K, 13 controls
Bea, Tan, and Dado 30:39
Natalie Pusch           52:01
Alyssa and Bella      79:53

Advanced: 8.5K, 22 controls
Michael Bading       52:45
Jeff Black                58:45
Melanie Schuster    65:01
John Murray           70:40

Hope to see you all at our next meet Saturday April 18 at Riverstone!

Sergey Velichko

February 12, 2015

March 21 Meet at Julia Davis, BSU, and Ann Morrison Park Boise

Our next meet will take place Saturday March 21 on newly updated and expanded map of Julia Davis/BSU Campus/Ann Morrison park. Format is Classic. Starts 11am to 1pm. Meet Center near Band Shell in Julia Davis park. More details to follow closer to the meet.

Hope to see you all enjoying spring outdoors!

Meet director,

January 26, 2015

Hidden Springs 2015 -- Orienteers in The Slump

This is the story of a group of orienteers who found themselves in a slump and intermittently moving in and out of depressions, at least one of which was very rocky. And it is the story of how they triumphed over fatigue, disorientation and bitter brushes with hidden pits along the way.

The Scarp, The Slump and the Start
The Far-Out Tree Over Hidden Springs
Before you reach to change the channel in order to avoid yet another ad for one of those anti-depressants that sport letters from the tail end of the alphabet (We're thinking of Wellbutin, Xanax, Zoloft and Zyprexa among others. Where's the “Y” drug anyway?), be advised that we're talking physical geography here, not mood disorders. We're talking about a massive slope failure on the mountain north of Hidden Springs, a slope failure that produced a ten meter scarp and 300 meter patch of rippled debris with several large boulder fields.

Bolder Women Among the Boulders
That the boulder fields constituted formidable route choice challenges can only be fully appreciated in the experience. For this report the image of our intrepid women competitors must suffice. Here we see the two Melanies, Schuster and Wright, in pursuit of a control. Natalie's image, just barely visible on the horizon under Ms. Schuster's nose, completes the full complement of our women competitors in one action photo. Our compliments to Jeff Black for capturing this photo revealing both the difficulty of the terrain and the power of these women.
Rowan on the Rocks

We count ourselves lucky that the day dawned cold enough to solidify the mud, but not so cold as to diminish the ardor of our orienteers. A 25-minute walk from the parking area (graciously provided to us by Lance and Robin Teel) allowed us to socialize. Well, most of us socialized. Sergey warmed up. To the more sedate among us it looked like a torrid run in the hills. He has since complained that the day's festivities left him with sore legs. Please extend your sympathies to Sergey the next time you see him. We should all be so debilitated.
A Control Nestled in the Bitterbrush and Sagebrush
The small venue called for a Motala with some unusual characteristics. The scale was 1:2500 with a 2-foot contour interval. In most areas there were too many boulders to map, by our count 987,032. We're going with that number until someone disproves it. In lieu of boulder symbols the map relied almost exclusively on the boulder field symbol. Bitterbrush, the primary vegetation, and sagebrush, its close relative were mapped individually with special symbols. Any knowledgeable orienteer would regard the map as unorthodox. And, indeed it was. In this case unorthodox worked.

Each orienteer received a clear plastic bag with four maps, one for each of the four loops of the Motala. There were six permutations of the first three maps to be run in the order of the maps. All orienteers ran the same course as their fourth and final loop. Everyone lined up, received a map set and prepared for the mass start at 9:00 AM. After a little deliberation orienteers headed for their various first controls. Before long there were bodies moving across the slump with the apparent absence of organization that you might find on an anthill.

Receiving Maps and Instructions (Note: Sergey tries to read his inverted map. We knew you were good, but x-ray vision?)
We suspect that there are some worthy tales of which we are not yet aware. We are aware that Ben Brock turned in an amazing performance. After having run some 50 or 60 meters and before treading on the treacherous footing of The Slump Ben sprained an ankle and returned to the start. The intensity of the pain was apparent to your directors. Ben probably lost five minutes recovering before he gamely set off to tackle far more dangerous terrain than that which administered the temporarily disabling twist. When it was all said and done, Ben finished second with what we regard as an astonishing comeback.

Levi, Natalie, Jack, Zach and Rowan
Natalie Running Uphill
Zach Still Smiling
We saw the Riverstone students come and compete with something that we appreciate more with each passing year: vigor and enthusiasm seldom mustered by those of a more mature persuasion. We thank you for reminding us just how much we love this sport.

Greg Coming Up
We recalled that Ole often reminds us that an orienteer who runs a capable course with the exception of one or two controls demonstrates continuing improvement and often is well on the way to becoming a highly respected competitor. Although we don't have a split for the first loop, we did note Greg's exceptional performance. Your friends are eager to see you put it all together.

Jay humbly accepts the director's praise.
The senior meet director (Read that as the old guy.) wants to acknowledge the special attention Jay Morgan has given to improvement and education of meet directors. Jay offers helpful commentary from his unique insights. He also sold me excellent IceBug shoes at a ridiculous discount. The photograph shows Jay standing alone as he is singled out for special praise. Jay, thank you for all you do to prop up my diminutive ego.

What if? If only...
No meet is complete without the what-ifs and if-onlys of which there were no shortage.

Sergey will direct the next meet at Julia Davis Park/BSU Campus in either February or March. He currently is thinking Saturday, March 21 with some additions to our existing map. Beyond that meet CTOC promises to hold three meets on entirely new maps in addition to old favorites like Rabbit Creek, the Vampire-O and the Boise Street Challenge. New maps, young legs and the opportunity to participate in a national meet here in Boise leave us optimistic about a great year of orienteering in 2015.

Over the years we've learned a lot from Sergey. We are still learning. Sergey kindly sent us his map images with his routes and his commentary. They appear at the bottom of the report for our pleasure and instruction.

David Murray
John Murray
Hidden Springs Meet Directors

Here are my routes with all the mistakes I did attached J
I tried to minimize climb where it was possible. Here are my splits with mistake loss analysis
1:26 (20 sec lost - direction)
2:36 (40 sec lost - direction)
4:51(both #4 and F) Loop 1 10:46
2:30 (30 sec lost – map interpretation)
1:14 (both #4 and F) Loop 2 8:54 Total 19:40
4:01 (40 sec lost – control search in a pit)
1:21 (10 sec lost - direction)
1:26 (30 sec lost - direction)
0:32 Loop 3 11:19 Total 30:59
3:03 Loop 4 12:50 Total 43:49
Without mistakes it was possible to do this 3.6K, 250m climb, 18 controls course under 40 minutes.
Which is about right given estimation formula (DIST(km)*DIFF+CLIMB(m)/100)*SPEED(min/km), where
DIST is course distance in km, DIFF is terrain difficulty factor (1=open flat fast woods to 2=green slow woods),
CLIMB is course climb in m, SPEED is top USA competitor speed (5:30min/km for blue, 6:00min/km for red, etc.)
For example: (3.6km*1.1+250/100km)*6:00min/km=6:46km*6:00min/km=38:46