February 5, 2023 by John Brady
WIOL#8 Offered Training Package
Preview previous Fire Mt. Races on COC’s RouteGadget
Play the video game Running Wild
Each of these links will take you to a computer simulation video game. The simple object is to click on the screen the route you would take to get to each checkpoint. However, if used as a visualization and route tool, you will see it can be much more useful. I challenge you to consider this as you do each of these levels. Do not click just to get it over with quickly, but rather ensure that each thing you click on is a fundamental stepping stone you want to see on or near your path. Don’t be so focused on shortest path either. Get the most out of your training. Do it twice: once with urgency and once with specificity. Then compare! Password for each course is COC
Fire Mt. Thoughts
- Much like Camp River Ranch, there are many vignettes of multiple cabins arranged together in a bunch. It is easiest to consider the bunch as a group rather than identify individual cabins. This lets you simplify the map to a more general and identifiable area. Counting every building will become overwhelming fast.
- There are big features at Fire Mt for beginners to consider to avoid making a large mistake. These include a large lake, a large hillside, power lines, and open fields. If the opportunity arises to use these to keep your coarse direction correct, then make sure you consider them.
- Dark green is dark green. Make a plan to avoid it. It is likely the course designer is not trying to send you into it. Also, rivers and streams may be difficult to cross in wet seasons.
- There is a high density of point features. When this happens, as many learned last week at Pt. Defiance, it becomes tempting to see a feature that looks like your aim point, and allow it to pull you off trail or handrail early. The best trick for avoiding this is to only leave your handrail at a specific point. If that means you must use bigger features to jump off trail and it causes you to go a little further than you’d like, then you should consider this to avoid adding unnecessary risk. Wandering around the woods within 75m of a checkpoint is a standard PNW error due to the lack of visibility and the ease of which controls are hidden. Remember, thick forest = danger. Add safety measures.
- Get on the same side of the feature as your control. If the feature is a boulder and the control is placed on the East side of the Boulder, then you should be on the east side too. Do not let the feature shield you from the flag unless the approach is just significantly easier from the non-control side.
- Have fun! It is a blessing to be able to participate in such an amazing sport with the scale and complexity of orienteering. Losing is okay, but not getting to be in the game is a curse:).
If you have completed the requirements for the OUSA skill patches, make sure you turn in your paperwork to your coach and have your coach submit your name to John Brady for recognition at the WIOL awards. Further patch information is here: https://cascadeoc.org//patches
Join ABOUT THE ROUTE. A social event for COC members and runners meant to discuss and learn from each other. Often the course designer will join in and folks can discuss all of the things that went wrong!