Tucson O Club is hosting a fun-filled morning of orienteering at Cat Mountain in Tucson Mountains Park on Sunday, January 12, 2014.  All skill levels will be represented on classic style point-to-point orienteering courses, set by Ludwig Hill, and starting and finishing at a new location on a full-color map.  There are nice views and great terrain for navigating with wonderful opportunities to hike or run along sandy washes, through tall mesquite bosques, along and up-and-over breezy ridges with clear views of where you are going, and some man-made artifacts from days gone by.  Make sure to bring water and snacks to round out your enjoyment.  And don't forget - you can bring a friend for free if they are new to orienteering!

Starr Pass Rd. (the dirt road that we used in the past to get to our usual parking at the Cat Mountain trailhead) is now blocked by a locked gate -- do not park there; parking for this event will be at a new location (see new directions below).  Also, registration and start/finish will be at a new location situated at a high point in the northwestern part of the map.   Because the start/finish is located very close to a spectacular view-point overlooking the course area, those spectators who bring their binoculars might have ample opportunity to spot orienteers as they venture skillfully across the landscape.

The permit for this event was granted by Pima County.  Thanks to Mark Everett for doing the permit application.

Courses and Map:  The courses will cover all skill levels and include White (1.9 km), Yellow (2.7 km), Orange (4.0 km), Green (4.5 km), and Red (5.3 km).  Courses will be offered both competitive or recreational, and you may go out on a second course for free after finishing your first course.  There won't be any water placed on the courses (i.e. no water controls), so please bring your own water.

You will enjoy navigating on the full-color Cat Mountain map, greatly improved in 2011, with its 5-m contour intervals and nice-to-read 1:10:000 scale.


Maximillian The Cat

I still don't have any terrain pics for Cat Mountain, so this picture of a cat will have to do. (Photo by Ludwig Hill)   


By the way, here are some pics from a TOC event at Cat Mountain three years ago!

The meet director is Jeff Brucker.  Jeff will need help carrying the essentials from the parking area up to the pass and then back to the cars at the conclusion of the event.  Please offer to take something additional with you on your hike to the start and then back to your car.  Call Jeff at 520 (-dash-) 886 (-dash-) 2528 or email jeffbrucker (-at-) hotmail (-dot-) com if you have questions about this meet.

Large Groups:  If you are planning to bring a large group of more than five people, please let the course setter know so that we can reserve enough maps for you.

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

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

Schedule:  Both the registration and start windows will be shorter than usual.  This is to allow more time for folks to make the 20-minute hike from and to their cars and to make it easier for folks volunteering to help take equipment back down to parking or helping with control retrieval.  If it takes you longer than most people to complete a classic course, please arrive early and don't forget to allow an additional 20 minutes to walk to the registration site from the parking area.

8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.  Registration.  Express Check-in for members.
9:00 a.m.  Courses open.
11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  Route choice reviews.
12:00 p.m.  Courses close.  Everyone must be back by then.  Begin control retrieval (orienteering practice).

New Directions!!!  From Tucson, take Ajo Way (AZ 86) west to Kinney Road (4 miles west of Mission Road).  Turn right at Kinney and go northwest 0.9 miles to Sarasota Blvd.  Turn right at Sarasota and drive 1/2 miles until you reach the Sarasota trailhead parking.  To reach the registration area, walk 200m north on the foot trail to a trail junction.  Take the trail that starts the climb north-east into the mountains and follow it east and then southeast 1 km up to the pass.  The travel time (for driving and hiking) from I-19 (South Tucson) to the event site is about 40 minutes.


No Water:  There won't be any water placed on the courses (i.e. no water controls), so please bring your own water.

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.

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.