24-hour Rogaine in Hat Creek Valley - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 08-11-2005, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
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Default 24-hour Rogaine in Hat Creek Valley

A first for me! I participated in a full scale rogaine, a 24-hour navigation event! I had a blast, but it was exhausting. Some crazy Aussies invented this endurance version of orienteering about thirty years ago.

We were a veteran women's team of three. My teammates were Karen and Kathrin, and one of us was technically a “super veteran” (I'm not allowed to say who) and the other two of us are getting pretty close. We are all fairly experienced orienteers.

The event was held in the Hat Creek Valley, just west of Cache Creek, and the 1:40,000 map showed 60 control locations over an area of about 180 square kms. of forested and open range land. Controls were worth 20 to 100 points, depending on the effort required to reach them, and sometimes on their technical difficulty. You could navigate to as many (or as few!) controls as you wanted between noon Tuesday and noon Wednesday August 2nd and 3rd, and you had to be back by noon or the penalty points were huge. Although this was officially the North American Rogaining Championships, there were various levels of competitiveness, and various categories, including a recreational category for those who wanted to do 12 hours out of 24. Many teams came back to the Hash House during the night to eat and to sleep a few hours. That's what we had planned to do ...but even the best laid plans go awry, and we had an adventurous night. Keep in mind that we were three fifty-something women, not what you'd call hard-core, and I always feel a bit like Bridget Jones at these events because, like her, I will always be “just a little bit fat”.

We stayed out for 22 hrs and 45 minutes, of which we were moving for about 20 hours. We got to 18 controls (gave up on only one), giving us 1160 points. Kathrin and I independently calculate that we covered about 52 km and climbed well over 2000 m. We had trouble adjusting to the 1:40,000 scale from the 1:10,000 we are more used to, and were still pretty far from the Hash House when dark fell. There was no moon, so dark was really dark, but we kept going with headlamps. The usual all-night strategy is to try to be out of the forest and in the more open areas when it's dark, or else it is nearly impossible to navigate, or else to be following good “handrails” such as roads and major paths. We were still in the woods and managed to reach a 100 point control just after midnight. There were groups of cattle in the woods, and their huge eyes reflected our lights as they stood there, silently. One huge bull got up very quickly from his lying position, and I moved quickly. We headed back towards the Hash House, across grassland, but the distances were huge and it took us four hours to reach the valley bottom. It was cold (less than 5 degrees), we were too tired to think, and we had just made a 180 degree error when we found ourselves near a barn at 4:00 a.m.. We knew only roughly where we were, and the only thing I thought was that, for the sake of our safety and sanity, we needed to rest till it got light at 5:00. I opened the door of the cowshed, and we lay down under a space blanket on the hay, which was really full of rodent droppings. (Hanta virus crossed my mind more than once). We didn't sleep.

At 5:00 we got up again, figured out where we were, and headed off to another 5 controls before finally reaching the Hash House. By the time we got there, I had been quite wobbly and slower than the other two for a few hours. The food and the sponge bath in the creek were great! It was hot again, and I couldn't sleep, but just lay in the shade.

It amazes me what the old body can do if you push it. There were spear grass seeds, nettles, prickly pear cacti, scree, rose bushes, large eyes in the dark, and rat droppings. But there had also been a sunrise from a hill top such as I have never seen or felt. I guess exhaustion sharpens the senses. I'm so happy I did it!

Here is the event page:
http://www.orienteeringbc.ca/sage/20...05rogindex.htm


This is our route planning process.

You get the map at 8:00 a.m. as well as rough black and white copy to scribble your “intentions” on. (In case they look for bodies?)

Some pics of our journey, and our "accomodation"!


Note to self: Watch out for cacti BEFORE you sit down.


And a scan of our map, showing the route we took.

The best open men's team got almost double the points that we did, but I don't think anyone reached all 60 controls.

So, who's coming to the next one?

GH
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 08-11-2005, 09:53 PM
 
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I would be all for it if I had any compass and map skills. What a wild and wonderful way to spend a Tuesday and Wednesday.

I was told about this event back in May by the guy who manages the ranch originally homesteaded by my great great grandfather and he suggested we come for a visit during it. I guess we missed out for this year.

I hope you found the valley as special a place as I do.






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post #3 of (permalink) Old 08-11-2005, 11:05 PM
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That sounds like an awesome event. I may have to get into this someday.

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quote:Originally posted by Grey Hair

...to scribble your “intentions” on.
yep, probably right - to look for bodies. Well.. to look for people lagging behind preferably.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 08-12-2005, 12:08 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
quote:...and he suggested we come for a visit during it.
It's not too much of a spectator sport. People just disperse in all directions .....but the cool thing was to see little pairs or groups of headlamps bobbing at various far flung points accross the valley at night.
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I hope you found the valley as special a place as I do.
It was beautiful. I'd love to explore again at a leisurely pace.
GH







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post #5 of (permalink) Old 08-12-2005, 01:19 AM
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congrats on the rogaine, I was wondering if you'd post a report.
Thanks for posting your map/route... i was looking at the results hoping to see the winners route, but only the times punches and controls...I'm too lazy to plot their routes to compare and learn hehe.

Looks like a lot of fun was had! ...well my kind of fun anyways hehe


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post #6 of (permalink) Old 08-12-2005, 07:56 AM
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Let's see - up all night, a few thrills, great scenery, tired beyond belief, trudging all over the landscape...hey, sounds wonderful! When is the next one?
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 08-12-2005, 09:34 AM Thread Starter
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quote:Originally posted by telkwa

When is the next one?
Probably not in Western Canada for a few years. The last one was near Kamloops in 2002. These events are an excuse to travel, and run around new terrain. There were people at this one from 10 countries (Finland, Estonia etc.)
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 08-12-2005, 10:14 AM
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That looks like a pretty cool event - thanks for posting a T/R on it. Would like to try something like that someday
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 08-12-2005, 10:15 AM
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Wow, I never knew it was such a huge sport. I first learnt orienteering in summer camp way back when and loved it but never really thought much about it after. This sounds like so much fun. Good for you for finding so many points. Have you done orienteering before this event or was it all completely new? Will you be doing it again in a not such an international venue?
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 08-12-2005, 10:54 AM Thread Starter
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quote:Originally posted by telkwa

Have you done orienteering before this event or was it all completely new? Will you be doing it again in a not such an international venue?
Hi Telkwa,
I had done a little bit of orienteering when I was in my 20s and lived near Calgary. I was never especially competitive, and I wasn't much of a runner, but enjoyed the map reading. Even though the map scale is different (ususally 1:10,000 as opposed to 1:50,000), I found the skill transfered well to hiking or climbing navaigation.

Fast forward 15+ years: We took our kids to a local park meet here in Vancouver, when our daughter was 12. She just GOT IT right away, and LOVED the sport. For the last 9 years (daughter is now 21) our family has been more and more involved in the local club (the only clubby thing we do), and we often go to meets in the Kamloops area put on by the Kamloops club. Parents and brother (he is 18) are not especially competitive compared to daughter. She has become progressively more focused and serious about the sport, training harder and harder, and travelling to various corners of North America (on dad's points)and even to Sweden and Norway in 2003 to compete. As I write, she is competing at the World Orienteering Championships in Japan, running the "long" event, and the relay tomorrow. (Note: A teammate has just been bitten by am 8 cm poisonous spider during her race!)

I guess you could say the other 3 of us went to the rogaine to prove we are not complete duds compared to our daughter. [] My son and husband were a team, and dad let son lead in route planning, strategizing, and deciding what gear to take. They had 5 hours sleep.(We are still dealing with a teenager). They dubbed themselves the "iliterit runerz" , since they viewed themseelves as being in friendly competition with the "Literate Runners" who were another father/offspring combo. The daughter in that duo is a friend of my daughter's...the mother was with me as part of our veteran women's "Head for the Hills" team.

It has been a family venture, and has given the kids a sort of structured way of being active outdoors, which has been good as it becomes uncool to do stuff with your parents. We travel to the events together, they compete individually, and they have a network of of people much cooler than their parents that they know, and who encourage them to be thoughtfully active. Meanwhile, we parents help in the background with event organization, and offer beds and meals to any travelling orienteers who flow through Vancouver.

Sometimes I think it is taking too much time from possible hiking. For the most part, though, it works well for us! Change is imminent as our son leaves for UVic in a few weeks. I wonder what's next?

GH

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post #11 of (permalink) Old 08-12-2005, 10:57 AM
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what a fun trip!
complete with misadventures - I find that a trip with one or two "mishaps" just serve to make it that much more memorable (though don't tell my friends that )

thanks for sharing your story, a great read! [^]

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post #12 of (permalink) Old 08-12-2005, 11:02 AM
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That's pretty cool Grey Hair. I admire parents who take such an active approach to their kids lives, especially when it has anything to do outdoorsy! [8D]
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 08-12-2005, 11:04 AM
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Excellent that Orienteering should appear on a hiking website.


Trekking should include complete involvement with the topography and not just the trail. Map, compass and maybe an altimeter should be all that is needed. I used these as a forestry technician. Often following bearings for kilometers in thick bush before tying into swamps for helipickup.

Skills with basic orienteering should be basic to all.

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post #14 of (permalink) Old 08-12-2005, 12:26 PM
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Very [8D]. Nicely written and described. Thanks GH!



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post #15 of (permalink) Old 08-12-2005, 01:13 PM
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That's really cool. Hope your daughter does well in Japan! Hope the other person survives! Wow.

I also use maps and compass extensively in my job too. Never thought of it as a sport just necessary. I think it is really neat that your whole family participates. Love to hear how your daughter does.
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