Team Stories – Team Awesome

June 04, 2011

Below is some feedback from “Team Awesome” and responses from Mapping Director Eugene Peters, and Course Designer Jim Blanchard.

[Team Awesome] This year it was interesting to see all the teams that got caught up on the distance-bearing points (us included!). At one point in particular there were two other teams all searching exactly the same wrong area – until we frustratingly realized we had to subtract the declination. That was definitely a new twist that helped rattle our confidence a bit (in a good way).
[Eugene P] We do try to do something new each year – not to ‘trick’ you but to make it more interesting and give folks a chance to learn or practice, something new. I had suggested we post some as Magnetic Bearings and some as Map/Grid bearings but we stuck to one type for the first year. Read between the lines here when you are preparing for next year! I guess one of the things we didn’t check is is there a prominent topo feature if the competitor plots the wrong bearing? Hmm, something for us to be aware of.
[Jim B] Yes, Eugene and I discussed both magnetic and grid and went with one to avoid “confusion”!!

[Team Awesome] The line-o was fun and pretty challenging, I liked how it was a fairly long one. We found the point, but felt like just as easily could have missed it. It might have been neat if there were more of them.
[Eugene P] Thanks! We also tried to use an area where visibility was good, at least in one direction if not both. And other factors. These aren’t randomly chosen!
[Jim B] In the planning I kept a couple of controls free of locations. Looked at a lot of locations and for a variety of reasons ( mostly terrain) the one Line O control went where it did.

[Team Awesome] In the middle of the night we were surprised to come across the unexpected beaver dam at 209 – which actually made guessing our position on the road and subsequent navigation a little tricky. We probably lost 30 minutes as a result. Of course that would not have been a planned feature!
[Eugene P] Those little buggers!
[Jim B] “Leave It To Beaver” !!!

[Team Awesome] Our biggest challenge actually came when we tried to find the skidder from 219 down to 222. For the life of us we could not find the trail through the woods. It was about 3am and we eventually just gave up and headed back. We were also a little worried that we’d have to wade through the river if there was no crossing – and we were so cold that we couldn’t stand the thought.
[Eugene P] That trail would be hard to find in the dark from that direction. Once on it however there is no problem. The river crossing was the same as last year – unmanned and knee deep!
[Jim B] Yes, finding this small trail at or from 219, at night, very difficult!! Best approach, direction NE to where trail goes into the woods. Trails are usually easier to find in woods than in open, especially at night. Look at ground and also look up to see the opening of the trail. More sky is visible at night along a trail. Same as day time but any extra light will be seen.

[Team Awesome] One critique we did have was crossing the river at 127. The only way to cross the fast flowing water was by shimmying across a fallen tree. It was pretty entertaining, but if someone fell off or the tree collapsed, especially at night, I’d be a little worried about their outcome.
[Eugene P] I didn’t realize/remember that water was that deep there. I’ll find out more. However we had a bit of rain earlier in the week. Now if the event was after three weeks of rain…………..
[Jim B] Approaching this control is determined by the direction of travel. Depending upon which direction you attack, you may or may not need to cross the stream.

[Team Awesome] The only other critique we had was that point 197 was surprisingly set on the road. One team mentioned that they stumbled across it, not even looking for it.
[Eugene P] It was an interesting point, for sure.
[Jim B] This was a DB from 189. It was QUITE possible to “visit” this control by happening along the road. There were a number of reasons this control was where it was located. Since this is a Rogaine type of event, in Orienteering circles it is called “Score Event” – a participant can take controls in any order. Thus, sometimes by luck rather than good management a control is spotted. Some would say it is good management because they chose the route they did. One never knows, depending upon terrain this kind of situation could occur again.

[Team Awesome] I hope this helps give a little feedback from one’s team perspective. Thanks again, we’re already looking forward to next year!


Duncan Enman – Team Awesome