August 21, 2012

Return to Thorn Creek

This month we revisited the challenging terrain of  Thorn Creek on the 10th anniversary of our A-meet there which we had named the "Huckleberry Hillside Hunt".  This was an apt name for this meet also as the controls proved to be a difficult hunt and the huckleberries a distraction for some.  Arduous orienteering shook up the usual order and made for some interesting results.

Ben runs through huckleberry bushes
Advanced 5.6km. 160m. climb 
Sergey Velichko  57:30
Ben Brock    1:19:31
Bill Pilcher(& Marley)    2:05:30
Jeff Black   2:05:40
John Murray   2:21:40
Andy & Elijah Hill  2:29:05
Russ Pilcher  2:29:51
David Murray  2:33:49
Melanie Wright & Pam McKnight  -dnf
Bill Leahy  -dnf


Intermediate  4.4km. 130m. climb
Doug Mastaler  1:53:37
Bob Didisse  2:01:30
Dondi Black(& Toby)  -dnf

Novice  1.8km. 35m. climb
Masha Velichko  29:16
Ben & family -control pick up

Sergey's route
Splits: 5:21-1:15-4:22-5:17-3:48-

On the advanced course #5, and the route from 5 to 6 proved to be the most difficult with several competitors getting off course and following the wrong reentrant up and to the edge of the map and beyond.  Many had trouble with KA (adv. #10, int.# 4)  also. 
#7 on both the Int. and Adv. course was located in a beautiful grotto with cascading creek and abundant huckleberries nearby.  Andy and Elijah added several minutes to their time by enjoying some of the bounty, perhaps it was a trade-off and they gained some energy from them also.  There were several route choices for 3 to 4 on the advanced course and competitors tried just about all of them.  Ben went high on the dirt road, Sergey low down to the lower road, others generally followed the mountain bike trail but with cutting the corners.  Ben was pretty sure his route was poor and added a lot of time.  The intermediate course went the opposite direction from the advanced and shared some of the same controls, but had small differences that made for some easier route choices.
A thirsty bear needing something to wash down the berries must have made off with the water jug at PT (adv. #4, int.#9) during the two days it was out there; no trace of it was found. 
Andy and Elijah race in
fueled by huckleberries

Thanks to Ellen Crosby for these great photos, including capturing a rare one of Sergey on the course (must've used a high speed setting).  To see more, or add your own, go to our Yahoo groups photo album: more photos

We look forward to seeing you at Hidden Springs for our National Orienteering Day Meet on Sunday, September 16. Check back here for more information after Labor Day.
- Karin Didisse, meet director


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