The winter solstice meet of December 18th at Ironwood Picnic Area will feature the five standard courses (white, yellow, orange, green, and red) and a Tucson Motala designed according to IOF specifications by a veteran course setter who recently ran in two national championship events in St. Louis.  Bill Dennis will assist in the course setting and will finish his internship when he sets courses with Wolfsong for the two day meet at Slavin Gulch this spring.  Keith McLeod will serve as this month’s meet director.

Volunteers will be welcomed to assist with registration, recording finishers and help picking up controls after the event finishes.  Orienteering is called the “Thinking Sport” requiring you to plan your route and select between options to reach your control destination.

Ironwood Picnic Area is adjacent to Saguaro National Park and is a prime cut of lush Sonoran desert, with numerous bajadas, low hills and a variety of tough, prickly plants.  Elevation is 2000’ above sea level.

Consider this event a respite from the demands and expectations of all the holiday activities.  There is a peaceful and spiritual accomplishment being in the outdoors, finding controls and finishing the course you selected.  Pack a lunch and share control route choices with other smiling Orienteers.

Parking: Parking is limited at the actual meet site though there is plenty at the main road, a kilometer’s walk.  Please carpool if possible and pick up orienteers walking in from the highway.  Alternatively, you can help by parking head-in (perpendicular) to the curb at the parking area at the end of the road.  This will allow us to get twice as many cars close to the Finish/Start area.

Motala: The Tucson Motala is a three-stage course that will test and develop both your navigation and endurance skills.  The stages may be run in any order desired and consist of a ~3-4k on/off trail loop (or “Yellow” loop), a more navigationally challenging ~4-5k off trail loop (Orange) and a more difficult ~5-6k off trail loop (Red).  We recommend that you start the first stage no later than 9:15 a.m. The latest time to start the last stage is 11:30 a.m. (Red loop), 11:45 a.m. (Orange), or 12:00 p.m. (Yellow).  Motala fees for members of the Tucson or other recognized orienteering club are $10/person + $5/each additional team member for each event.  Nonmember fees are $15/individual + $10/each additional team member for each event.

Fees: Classic courses:  $5/individual, $8/team for members of any recognized orienteering club.  $10/individual, $15/team for nonmembers.  For motala fees, see the special section above.  Compasses rent for $1.  Safety whistles sell for $1.  Every person, all courses, all meets is required to carry some type of safety whistle.

Members may invite one guest for free to this event.  For details and restrictions, click here.

8:30 a.m. Beginners' clinic starts.
8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.  Registration.
9:00 a.m.  Courses open.
12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.  Route choice reviews.
1:00 p.m.  Courses close.  Everyone must be back by then.  Begin control retrieval (orienteering practice).

Check-In: To insure that all are safe, everyone, whether finished with the course or not, must check in formally at Start/Finish before courses close and before leaving the meet site.

Newcomers: Go directly to Registration.  Ask for instructions and introductory information.  To attend the free beginners’ clinic, arrive between 8:15 a.m. and 8:30 a.m.

Route Choice Reviews: Orienteers love to talk about alternate routes and their advantages and disadvantages.  If you would like to discuss your choices after you do the course, there will be advanced orienteers near the Start/Finish area who would enjoy going over your route with you.

Directions:  From Exit 257 on I-10 drive west on Speedway Blvd. After approximately 5 miles Speedway Blvd. becomes Gates Pass Rd.  Continue another 5 miles through Gates Pass until reaching the T-intersection with Kinney Rd.  Turn left on Kinney Rd and drive south 1.5 miles until reaching the entrance gate to the Ironwood Picnic Area on the right.  Follow the orienteering signs to the event registration area.  The trip time from I-10/Speedway Blvd to the event site is about 30 minutes.  Alternatively you may come from I-19,  travel west on Ajo Way, highway 86, approximately 5  miles to Kinney Road.  There is a McDonalds Restaurant on the N.E. Corner, turn north travel about 3-4 miles into Tucson Mountain Park.  The entrance to Ironwood Picnic Area will be on your left.