November 16, 2017

Last meet this year December 9 at Esther Simplot park

Last meet this year will take place Saturday December 9 at Esther Simplot park. Classic format with our usual 3 courses for beginner, intermediate, and advanced participants. Beginner course will be exclusively around the Esther Simplot park. Intermediate course would also venture into Veterans park. Advanced course would cross Esther Simplot, Quinn, Veterans, and Willow Lane parks for a long adventure. Electronic punching will be used so bring your SI stick or rent one from the club during the meet.

Starts 11am to 1pm. Finish close at 3pm.

Directions: Enter N Whitewater Park Blvd from either State or Main streets, at the traffic circle enter the park, follow about 400m to the first shelter and park. Meet center will be at or close to the shelter.

We are working on defining our next year schedule and hope to have it ready before the meet.


October 29, 2017

Vampire-O Results

Vampire-O Results
We had a pretty good turnout for a dark and stormy night on a new course. A total of forty people took off to brave the vampires. I wasn’t sure how the vampires would work out, would they find anyone? That definitely wasn’t a problem, it sounds like most everyone was a vampire at least twice. The only person I know for sure who was never a vampire was Nikolai and maybe Ben. Maybe next year I’ll figure out how to track the map exchanges between teams.  

The results are attached but they are really the luck of the draw with so many vampire exchanges going on. The poor luck of having the vampire card when the course closed fell to John Murray and Emily & Aleksi Morgan.

A huge thanks to John Murray and Mike Teller for spending countless hours creating a new map for Eagle Island. Also thanks to Mike and Madonna for helping out on race day.

Strategy in the Streets

Once again it’s time for the annual Street Challenge in central Boise! 
In an effort to make the street challenge more exciting and even more challenging, there are two significant changes to this perennial CTOC meet that will make planning and strategizing route selection as well as time management very important:
-        Two courses!

  • Course 1 is a much smaller "run only" course.  The purpose is to encourage both runners and bikers to attempt collecting some controls points (and bonus points) before starting on course 2.
  • Course 2 is a standard street challenge course available to both runners and bikers.   This course will be on a much larger map than Course 1.  Some of the largest point values on this map will likely only be collected by bikers.

Bonus Points!
  •      Controls will be grouped by point values.  Some of the controls will offer an additional bonus if a competitor gets all the controls with the same point value on the same course.
Original CTOC Street Challenge rules (the same as past street challenge events):
  • Score-O course format, where you can collect controls on a course in any order within the specified 3 hour time limit.
  • Competitors arriving after the time limit will be penalized on a 10 point per minute overage basis.
  • No conventional orienteering flags.  Instead when you arrive at the control circle, you answer a multiple choice question that can only be determined on site.  
  • Wrong answers will be penalized - so guessing is discouraged.
  • Very large meet area, roughly 3 miles by 2.5 miles.
  • USGS satellite map is used, with no street names.  Map contact is crucial!
  • There will be both bike and run classes of competition, however there will be one overall winner with the most points from either class that will be crowned Street Challenge meet champion, so strategy is very important!

New rules for 2017 CTOC Street Challenge:
  • Course 1 is optional and is a “run only” course. Any or all of the controls points can skipped.
  • Course 1 map and score sheet must be turned in (or skipped) at the start before receiving their Course 2 map from race officials.
  • Once a competitor starts on Couse 2, they may not go back to Course 1 to collect points!
  • Course 1 is intended to be able to finished completely in approximately 1 hour (or less) if a competitor decides to collect all points and bonus points available on Course 1.
  • The key strategy will be determining how much time to spend on Course 1 collecting points before returning to the start and handing in your Course 1 map & answer sheet and then receiving your Course 2 map & answer sheet and starting on Course 2.

So, there are 3 ways to complete:
  1. Run only competitors: Will start running on Course 1, and finish on Course 2.
  2. Run/Bike competitors: Will start running on Couse 1, and then bike on Course 2.
  3. Bike only competitors: Will skip Course 1, and start biking on Course 2.

Date:  Sunday, November 5th, 2017
9:15AM          Both course 1 and course 2 maps will be distributed for study.
9:55 AM         Course 2 maps will be collected from competitors that are doing both courses.
Course 1 maps will be collect by competitors that are biking only.
10:00 AM       Mass start.
1:00 PM          Time limit – Penalty points for anyone arriving to start/finsh after this time.

Please remember that Sunday marks the end of daylight savings time and the beginning of standard time, so meet will start at 10am standard time (1 hour later than the day before)!

Start/Finish:  Ann Morrison Park, just south of Boise River footbridge.
Time Limit:  3 hour limit
Classes:  Bike, Foot
Cost:  $10 adult, $5 junior for one day club dues; free to club members.
RSVP: To minimize waste please RSVP email me no later than Friday night, Nov. 3rd .
My Email addresses is : mbading AT syzeo DOT com
Thanks - Mike

More details with rules and scoring will be posted on the CTOC website later this week.

October 6, 2017

Vampire O is back!

The Vampire O is back and at a brand new location! Did you know that Eagle Island State Park was originally a prison farm? On the eve of Saturday the 21st it will be transformed into the site for the return of the greatly missed Vampire O
It’s been a while, so in case you didn’t know, or don`t remember, the vampires and you come out at night. The Vampires will try to steal your map and all your valuable control points, then you become the vampire. Then it`s your turn to regain some points, you must hunt down another participant and steal their map!  

So Grab your lamp, and join us for a night of Orienteering in the Dark. It will be spooky out there, you may hear the faint sound of old rusty chains near site of the old slaughterhouse.  

Date:  Saturday, October 21st
Location:  Eagle Island State Park
(park entrance is now from State Street)
Format:  Score
Mass Start:  7:15pm. Don’t be late!!

Time Limit: 1 hour
Cost:  Maps $5 junior or $10 adult/team, CTOC members free, ($5 vehicle entry fee)

Make sure you pay the $5 vehicle entry fee on the way in at the entrance kiosk. For a bargain the Idaho State Park Passport is only $10 for full year access to all 30 state parks.
Event start is at the Harrier Shelter by the park office. Park at the main paved parking area.


1. 2 Vampires will start 3 minutes after the mass start

2. Vampires have a blank vampire punch card worth 0 points

3. Vampires attack orienteers by getting within 5 meters and yelling “vampire attack”, the victim must then surrender their punch card to the vampire. They then receive the “vampire card” and become the vampire.

4. Just like in tag the vampire can’t immediately tag back but must find another victim

5. All controls are worth the same amount of points, 10 points. They can be visited in any order.

6. Penalty of 10 points per minute if you are back late. Be back on time!

7. There is no separate beginner/intermediate/advanced course. The time limit is one hour. It is up to you to determine how many controls you can collect within the time limit. Remember you must be back by the time limit or lose massive points. You had better be a runner if you try to collect all of the controls. But remember, no matter how good you do you may be attacked by a vampire and lose your points, but you may end up with better points.

8. If you don’t want to be attacked by vampires you have the option of carrying “holy water” to ward off vampire attacks. Anyone carrying a 1 gallon jug of water is immune from vampire attacks. You must however bring your own jug, and you must carry it by hand at all times.

9. You can compete as a group but must remain together.

10. Ranking is by highest points and then quickest time.

11. Don’t forget a flashlight or headlamp, please no super bright headlamps, you don’t want to take the fun out of the dark. Also you must have a watch so you are back in time. Costumes are encouraged but remember you will want to run in them.

 It will be almost dark by the time we start, so plan accordingly.

The Vampire O has been a very popular event in the past. Please RSVP with how many maps you need so we print enough for everyone. Email to mmschuste (at) yahoo (dot) com by Thursday evening Oct. 19th.

October 2, 2017

Queen (Mine) for a Day

Sunday was ladies' day at the Queen Mine meet. Ever so aptly named, the Queen Mine drew five women to tackle the steep slopes and rough ground. Only Jay Morgan failed to get the memo that men were not welcome. But, we let him run with the women anyway.

Everything was all Wright. Although it was labeled a beginner course, it was really an orange-level  course that Katrina completed in 32 minutes and 12 seconds, no small feat considering that the grass was taller than she was in a few places. Katrina navigated at a level way above the beginner class while Melanie was out racking up a very impressive winning time of  1:15:32 on what was euphemistically designated as the intermediate course.

A few words about that intermediate course: It was intermediate only in that it lacked the gratuitous extra horizontal distance usually inserted only to gratify our indefatigable ultra-runners. Anywhere else in the country a course with 400 meters of elevation gain and loss would be regarded as excessively challenging. The Queen Mine's steep slopes and rough ground do present a challenge. And that terrain challenge is not without its navigational challenges either as it traverses re-entrants, rock features and is punctuated by dense vegetation.

Melanie Schuster followed Melanie Wright with a solid performance at 1:43:52. Due to injuries we hadn't had the pleasure of Kerry Davis's company for some time. As a bonus Kerry introduced her friend Natalie to our sport as they worked the course as a team. Kerry and Natalie finished in 1:55:06. It just wasn't the guys' day with Jay Morgan at 2:27:00. As for me, I'm a guy too. It showed as I took two-and-a-half hours to pick up controls.

Much thanks to the Wright girls for picking up the orange course. Mike Teller was kind enough to help me carry equipment to the start and, more important, to keep me company with good conversation. Greg Davidson and Melanie Schuster carried almost all of the equipment and supplies out and waited for me to return from control pickup which they followed up with some planning for the next meet.

Our next meet is the ever popular Vampire-O on Saturday, September 21. Thank you to Melanie Schuster for securing permission for us to use Eagle Island State Park. Mike Teller and I will begin field work on the new map this week. As we've begun mapping and planning we've become increasingly excited about Eagle Island both for our Vampire-O and maybe for a daytime classic. Thanks to Greg and Melanie for directing Vampire-O. It's going to be fun.

John Murray
Meet Director

September 24, 2017

Return to Queen Mine -- Sunday, October 1

The calendar lists the October 1 meet as Upper Dry Creek. However, recent restrictions to off-trail travel on private property very much reduce its appeal. Consequently, we will be returning to the Queen Mine map first used in April of last year. A 2016 wildland fire scorched the re-entrant that contains the parking area and the start. From the Highway 21 earlier this year it appeared that we had lost the map for the near future. As it turns out a fire line was established to restrict the fire to that easternmost re-entrant leaving approximately 80% of the map's terrain intact. And, as unlikely as it seemed earlier this year, the wet spring and long summer restored almost all of the burned over grass.

Last year Jeff Black welcomed orienteers to the new Queen Mine map with these photos. Now, I am pleased to invite you back.

I can't do any better than Jeff in describing the Queen Mine terrain: "This new map on beautiful foothills terrain comes with a few caveats.  If you thought Stewart involved some elevation assured, this comes with its fair share plus some.  While the course design will constrain the routes within a band of elevation lines to keep things reasonable, this is a seriously physical map and you need to be prepared to climb, descend, and contour.  The topography makes it very difficult to design suitable beginner courses or even those seeking an easy O hike, but I will have a very simple set up around the start area (~1km) to illustrate the basics and offer a short scenic tour.  It will still involve a little climb!"

When:  Sunday, October 1  Starts from 10 - 11:30.   Course closes at 1:30pm, so if you want more time you should come earlier in the window.

Location:  Queen Mine map.  This link highlights where to park.  Drive north on ID21 (towards Idaho City) until just past mile marker 14.  There is a parking area on the west side. If you reach the Hilltop Station you went too far.  From here, you will hike in ~800m to the start.

Format:  Classic:  Advanced (~5.5km, ~400m climb), Intermediate (~3.5km, ~290m climb), Beginner (~1km, ~40m climb).

  • Single meet (day) dues: $10 per person/team, free for members 
  • Junior (up to 20 years old): $5 per person/team, free for members 
  • If more than one map is needed for a team, it is +$1 per map.
  • You may join CTOC for the full year which makes all local meets free!  See member info.
RSVP:  To minimize waste and also the amount of stuff we are hauling in, please email me (jnm2870 AT cableone DOT net) with your count and maps needed by Friday, September 29.    If you show up off the cuff, I will probably have a few blank maps to copy a course by hand.

  • Compass!
  • Waiver, prepared in advance especially if you are not a CTOC member.
  • A suitable pack with essentials and snacks as you usually need to prepare for a day hike in the foothills.
  • Sufficient water for yourself.  
  • Sunscreen and/or hat.  This is very exposed terrain.
  • Clothing suitable for extended hiking in foothills brush.  This is surprisingly runnable terrain but there will be extended areas of large sagebrush and other plants.  Gaitors are helpful.
  • Shoes for steep and often rocky terrain.  If your ankles are sensitive please prepare accordingly.
  • Cell phone. Jeff reported that much of the map appears to have at least Verizon coverage, but be prepared with a whistle and other fallback options.

Important notes:  
  1. There are NO restrooms in the parking area or on the map.  Closest available facilities are at the Hilltop cafe (where a purchase is necessary) or five minutes downhill to the dam or Discovery Park.
  2. Per the regulations for the foothills in this area, dogs are permitted but required to be on leash.  This area is important for overwintering deer (which means there are a great many of them) and we hope they will welcome us back.
  3. Your car won't be visible at all from the start/finish area.  Lock it up when you head in and avoid leaving valuables inside as it is right next to the highway.
  4. This area contains an old mine shaft (hence the map name) in the map center.  This is a hazardous object any visitor should exercise caution around, especially if approaching from above.
  5. There are a number of crisscrossing barbed wire fences around, especially in the start/finish valley.  These are not in great shape and easily crossed in many places, but this also means there are loose strands around and you need to watch where you run and step.
Welcome to boulder town.
Hope to see you out navigating with us this Sunday!
John Murray