From the Course Designer

April 01, 2014

This year has been the hardest for travel due to snow and general weather conditions once winter was upon us. As a result this has made it difficult and in particular, slow to get to areas of interest for possible control placement. The travel in the woods on snowshoes has been the slowest I personally have ever travelled  in identifying control locations due to the type of snow on the ground at the time we were in the woods. An educated guess would be a minimum of 60 km on snowshoes alone. This distance has not been covered before on snowshoes as usually two or three times on them is enough. Huge Root Stock
With the assistance of Neil Harding, AJ Peters, Peter Lewis, Paul Hubley and Eugene Peters doing various treks on foot, snowshoes or ATV’s we have found numerous new control sites  and trails which just are not available on the “normal” topographical map. We are excited about the numerous features we have found and are using. To date, of the 60 control sites we use, there are 40 streamers marking control flag sites in the woods. Of the remaining, 5 are  now identified for specific locations leaving 15 to place on the map then in the woods with streamers. Of these 15, 12 have “tentative” sites leaving 3 to use as fillers or linking control sites to enhance the navigation experience.
There will be a Line-O again this year but it will be a bit longer and each of the turns will be identified to allow teams to confirm that they are indeed at a turn. This is geared to encourage more participants to try the Line-O experience. There will be 6 controls as part of this format this year.
We have created  some grouped controls where the controls are in a “relatively” small area but with numerous direction changes. There will also be a DB (Distance/Bearing) exercise but with a twist, so to speak, and we are really excited about the format for this activity this year. Examples  of Line-O turn indicators and D/B cards will be placed at registration.
Last year when we first received the working map from Eugene Peters it was noticed that there were a lot of property lines with numerous turns. As we began to do our field work we started to find really neat survey markers; the kind that would be created by provincial survey teams. These are white four sided posts propped up in the ground with a pile of rocks. Other spots have just a pile of rocks which may, at one time, have had the white posts. We spent numerous person hours this year finding these posts and corners and then following the survey lines, to see if the lines still existed as a survey line through the woods.  Eugene got excited about these as his initial work as an engineer involved surveying. It was like he went back to his youth!!  We have plotted the survey posts on the map as well as the survey lines and many could provide for a way to travel across country through the woods.
We are excited to have a topographical map with a lot of detailed symbology that is not found on general topographical maps. It will be our best to date!
We hope to have all previous participants back and lots of new folks as well. Everyone will be rewarded with a challenging experience.
Jim Blanchard, Course Designer.
Total man hours involved in setting up the course to date = 450