Saturday, May 14, 2011

Will we swim tomorrow?

With all these rains the past few days I have growing suspicion that people will have to swim tomorrow... One of the controls is set in a way that the only reasonable way to/from it is across a creek which is usually knee deep...

To late to change it now. Good luck, everyone...

Sunday, May 1, 2011

May 1 in South Umstead

I've been wondering where the shingles from my house went after strong winds two weeks ago (that was before the tornadoes). I know now. They flew to the Umstead Park. Very likely so.

The park was full of torn shingles and pieces of insulation. Especially insulation - it was everywhere. I didn't pay much attention to it during the run, but when I went out to pick out controls I was astounded by how much debris from the tornadoes landed in the forest.

Anyway, back to orienteering. It was a great day for a run - warm, not too hot - perfect. Not many spiderwebs either. I planned to run green (it's South Umstead after all - with all those hills!) and I did just that. I used "no-man-made-features" map and the course was very interesting. Every leg was challenging in its own way - I liked that. There were a lot of hills at the end, of course, so I ended up walking a lot, but the course quality made up for it. Thank you, Mihai!

Here is how I ran:

#1: I used the trail until it crossed the power line (yes, despite using "no-man-made-features" map I did remembered and used a few trails - nothing I can do about it :)). Then I went south-south-west trying to get between the gully and re-entrant. I saw the gully first and then re-entrant. After that it was an easy run down to their junction.

#2: continued along the creek, switching sides a few times, then walked over the spur. Somehow I got disoriented there. I thought it was the spur north-east from the control, but it was the one before that. So I ended up in a wrong re-entrant. I checked the compass - the re-entrant was going in a kind of right direction, but not quite. Plus the other side was clearly too steep. So I decided (correctly) that I confused the spurs, went down along the creek, then over the right spur and eventually to the control (stayed on the same elevation to get there, so ended up going in a wide half-circle). Lost about 2 mins there...

#3: went down to the big creek staying on the re-entrant's slope, crossed the creek and proceeded down alongside it, reached the side creek, crossed it and walked up the hill right there aiming for the top side of the side re-entrant. From there went east, crossed a trail, saw re-entrant on the other side and went down using the "white" slope. Saw the rock from the top and took the control.

#4: along the creek, switching sides, to the trail and the bridge. Crossed it and ran south along the river. When the river started to bend, turned into the re-entrant and ran (walked) up. Crossed the saddle at the top and went down to the gully. Followed the gully up into the thick vegetation to the control.

#5: didn't use the re-entrant because of the vegetation, but went down using the "white" slope of the hill and reached the bottom right by the creeks junction. Crossed the creek and ran alongside it around the first spur and finally over the second spur. Crossed the creek there and used the trail on the other side for a little bit until I saw the shallow re-entrant going up on my left. Took compass bearing and went up. Saw and recognized a bunch of small gullies on my left, but then it all got very confusing. The re-entrant became very shallow, almost flat and there was a bunch of dry-ditches and depressions. I knew though that I should get pretty high, so I passed this area, reached the elevation where I thought a control might be and went left looking for it. Saw it as well as 3 other people coming to it from different directions.

There Nadya joined me and we stayed pretty much together all the way to the finish.

#6: ran around the gullies and then west parallel to the re-entrant (but staying up top). Crossed the re-entrant at the bottom, used trail a bit to pass the cliff, crossed the creek and walked to the slope on the other side. Didn't see the control right away and walked a few steps north. But quickly realized that it wasn't the likely way, turned back and found the control.

#7: simply ran north, crossed the river and continued north. Reached the slope and realized that I didn't see the slope turning on my right which meant that I was too far to the left. Went right, so the re-entrant and slope on the other side. Went up the re-entrant to the control.

At this point I was already very tired, plus the hills started, so I walked pretty much all the way from there.

#8: walked up the hill, but lost orientation for a bit and ended up too far to the right. Saw the big gully, corrected myself and proceeded along the slope, then crossed the big re-entrant, walked up the hill, saw re-entrant on the other side and went up along the hill to the control.

#9: down the hill diagonally, then further in the same direction, crossed the creek, walked up the hill. Continued a little further, so I could see gullies on the other side and from there walked up north to the control.

#10: across the hill, saw a glimpse of rocks on my left, down the re-entrant, noticed rock cliff on my left and steep side re-entrant in front of me. I knew it wasn't the right one, but decided to go up there anyway and then cross over to the correct re-entrant. Did just that.

#11: went down to the creek, then west along the creek watching/counting side re-entrants. Kept going until I reached the control on the slope.

#12: kept going west and eventually reached the road. Didn't use it, continued west, through "green" and down to the creek. Crossed it and noticed rock piles line. Followed it up, then saw another big pile and used it as an attack point. Reached the gully, but control wasn't there. Looked around and saw it further up (probably in a wrong place). Took it and ran to the finish.

I spent 65 mins 05 secs - an OK time for me in this part of the park.

Here is my route (blue - mostly running, brown - mostly walking). Click on the image to enlarge.