Saturday, 27 September 2014

Little O mistakes

Ja, with FEAT on this coming Thursday, I'm a bit behind the times. Nonetheless, here's a bit of my O magic from this past Sunday.

My club, Adventure Racing Club, hosted the bush O event at the Hennops Trail venue North of Jo'burg. It's a great area with a good mix of terrain and distinct features. I wasn't involved with the planning, just with the on-the-day helping so I was through at the venue really early to set up start, finish and registration, with assistance from other club members not involved with the planning.

I only started running just before 11 - it was already plenty warm out.

I found the terrain to be pretty decent. A lot of the open ground was pretty runnable and some was very runnable with few rocks. There were also some steep climbs (many close contours) and I was a total lazy butt, walking them.

Overall my navigation was exemplary. But I did have two wee wobbles.

Here they are:

Control 4 to 5

Fairly straight forward and a short distance of maybe 150-200m between the controls. My initial line was A-ok, but just short of the actual control location. There were also a few other cliffs around, that were not boulders (I've drawn them in red). I came down and when I saw the cliffs I totally expected to see the control. Curious... nothing.

I actually thought I'd overshot so I backtracked thinking I'd missed the right cliff. I then stayed on the correct level, walked past my previous point on top of the cliff and within a metre or three saw the control. Doh!

Control 11-12

I know, I know... what was I thinking! Clearly a no brainer too...

Here's what happened. Follow with me.
Leaving Control 11 - no problem. Easy. My options were to go to the left or the right of the ridge. Note the cliffs marked - thick black lines (no, not the path), the boulder cluster (sold black dot) and knolls (brown dots) and boulders all over (quite big ones in reality). It was a clear feature. I decided to some up from below - nice, pleasant terrain.

I must have come up very near the control but I was not yet looking for it. If you draw a straight line along the ridge, it looks like the control is just to the right of it, at the end, eh? Well, it wasn't. Thinking I had the wrong boulders, I dropped down a bit, saw the fence and headed up.

I figured that since I'd messed up from the bottom, I'd correct my alignment from the top. Truth be told, there wasn't really anywhere here to hide the control that I shouldn't have seen it. But, you never know.
So, I tracked along the right-hand side of the ridge (coming from the direction of 11) and ended up in the same place.

There was another guy with me here - he'd come from on top - where I'd initially approached from below.

Then I started thinking... if the control is clearly not at the end of the ridge, to the right, where could it be? Look at the contours... And the contours show the control at the end of the spur - a cliff and boulder cluster marked. So I went to the end of the spur... and found the control. Clear as daylight.

There were a few controls from here to the finish - all in close proximity.

I drank all my water out there, had a good glug when I came in and headed out again to collect controls - penance for wasting time on two very easy controls. hahahaha.

1 comment:

Running Commuter said...

By whom was the map drawn? Looks like a tricky area but the contours are very smooth and don't seem to show the ground very well? The black rocky stuff seems to be substituting for this and so becomes an interpretation of what to leave out. Some of our Scandinavian drawn maps are much clearer as they leave out all the black except for really solid features - takes some getting used to but ultimately much easier to sort out than all the black stuff that many SA maps seem to get covered in