Monday, December 17, 2012

December 16, 2012 in South Umstead

We got lucky with the weather the second weekend in a row - it was unusually warm for December. Tanya and I went to Josef's traditional 6KM sprint in High Point on Saturday and then to an advanced meet in South Umstead on Sunday. Both courses were a lot of fun! High Point event is one of my favorite events - period. 26 controls with 1:5000 map scale in a somewhat greenish area - very unusual and interesting setting. Navigation is not hard there, but one must think and react quickly. I did well, finishing at 60 mins mark, but had doubts if I could run fast the next day. It's been a long time since I was able to do decent runs two days in a row...

But it worked this time! Ken designed a beautiful fast course with 4 long legs (3 in a row), without very steep hills; plus the weather was perfect - I finished at 60 mins mark again (on 7KM). It turned out to be one of my best runs in Umstead.

Here is how I ran:

#1. Up to the trail, used it a bit to go around the green area, then cut across. Noticed the top part of the big gully, went down, crossed the creek and went up to the control.

#2. Went around the hill by staying on the same elevation, observed re-entrant with control from the other side of the big re-entrant and went straight for it

#3. Kept my elevation when crossing the re-entrant, then aimed south-west-west to avoid the green stretch, reached it at the southern tip and went west from there to the control.

#4. Decided to use two big re-entrants in the middle as hand rails of a sort. So went down to the creek and then up keeping the first big re-entrant on my right (but not going into it). After reaching the top of the ridge aimed slightly more to the north and soon saw the second big re-entrant. Went diagonally through it because it was so open. Then crossed the creek and used compass to get across the next ridge aiming to be just south from the big re-entrants (creeks) junction. Ended up  right there, crossed the creek, went up, and used the top of the side re-entrant as an attack point.

#5. Again kept my elevation when going around the re-entrant to the south. Then went straight south until I saw the re-entrant forming. Ran on the east slope until I saw the control up on the hill.

#6. Very easy. Pretty much a straight ran, while using distant re-entrant on the left as a hand rail.

#7.  Normally I try to avoid running along creeks (due to vegetation and other obstacles), but this time there wasn't a good alternative. Going up hill and running there would have required crossing of multiple side re-entrants - and I hate loosing elevation unless I absolutely have to. So I ran along the creek, jumping across it several times and counting re-entrants on my right. When I reached re-entrant which was second from the control, I cut across the hill to the barrels and attached from there aiming to the right of the control (so I could use the re-entrant's top as a boundary). Reached the other side at the eastern gully and went west from there to the control.

#8. Went south-east, crossed the re-entrant, continued south-east, crossed the trail, crossed the next re-entrant noticing green area on my right, continued until I saw the next re-entrant, crossed it in the upper part and continued on its eastern slope until the control.

#9. Went west to #3, then proceeded south to the top of the side re-entrant, then went down diagonally, so I crossed the creek not too far from the pond. Went over the end of the hill by the pond, then crossed re-entrant close to the pond and went up. From the top of the next side re-entrant aimed for the control, reached the next re-entrant. The forest was open there, but I couldn't see the control because it was in a pit. So during the crossing looked for the rock, reached it and went to the pit from there. 

#10. Went north-west, crossed on re-entrant, reached the other one and stopped there looking for rock formations. Spotted them by the creek, went towards them and saw the control up on the other side.

#11. Went alongside the re-entrant, crossed it at the top and went east till I saw the re-entrant on the other side. Went down into it and to the control.

#12. Crossed the creek, went up diagonally, reached the dry-ditch and followed it east, then when it turned into trail, used it. When I saw the creek in front, made a cut to the control.

Then continued south keeping elevation to the finish.

(click on the image to enlarge)

Huge thanks to Josef, David, Ken and Terese for the great orienteering weekend!