Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Waterfalls, kloofs and maps at Highland Tracks

I haven't been to a weekend adventure race for ages! This past weekend I went to Team Lickety Split's event, Highland Tracks, as a control collector. This means that I got to go out hiking and playing while pickingup the signs at the checkpoints after all the teams have passed through the leg.

The race was held in the Dullstroom area and the organisers really discovered some amazing sites (and sights) that they incorporated into their race route. I only went out in the area used for the second hike (of three) and it was absolutely stunning!

On Saturday Mark Human (ARer and in this case the race doctor) and I went out to look for teams, find some checkpoints and to stretch our legs. We didn't find many teams but we did get some nice photographs. On Sunday morning I whizzed through a section to collect a bunch of controls - teams had only cleared the area late Saturday afternoon.

I was SUPER impressed with their maps, especially the Ama Poort Poort Hiking Map that Sue worked up. I've written a piece about this on The post looks at what I appreciate in race maps and how Sue really got it right (see pics with captions below too).

Here are a couple of other photos that I took on the route.

Mark in one of the pretty little kloofs.

Alec Avierinos went out there as a solo, testing his Neverest system.

With Mark at one of the beautiful waterfalls.

Yay! Another checkpoint located.

I can't resist little yellow flowers!

Flying! Mark making like Jeb Corliss. Here we were on top of a big waterfall and the wind was howling on the edge - updrafts from the waterfall.

Flowers. Waterfall. Pretty.

It's incredible how many kloofs are in this area!

While control collecting on Sunday I found these hay bales. Beautiful scent. Reminds me of my childhood where I spent many a school holiday riding horses, hanging in stables and jumping off hay bales on a family friend's farm in Zimbabwe.

These two did really, really well. Two novices racing together. The didn't complete the last hike but nonetheless they can be really proud of their first race.
Pic from Mark. All colour coordinated with my custom pink O gaiters.

Pic from Mark. This is what the checkpoint markers look like.
A superb race map. Neat, pre-plotted checkpoints. Printed on waterproof paper. Customised so that only the map section needed was printed on the A3 page. Shading shows the area of the Ama Poort Poort Hiking Map.

I totally love what Sue did here. She enlarged this area from the 1:50,000 topographical map, added in the trails, trouts dams, some vegetation features and the farm's numbered 'tourist spots'. There is no way that these relatively close-together control locations could be distinguished on a 1:50,000 map so Sue did just the right thing to create this map. I believe that the farmer's original 'hiking map' was really bad. She has given this map to the property owner to use for his guests. 
Well done to William, Sue and your team for presenting this lovely race.


Anonymous said...

Toughest race I have ever done. But certainly was beautiful. Where can I look at the photo library?

adventurelisa said...

Hi Alan, There isn't a photo gallery that I know of. You can contact William and ask him. Lisa