November 15, 2009

Orienteers of all skill levels will enjoy five classic courses and an adventure race motala on a brand-new, just recently field checked map at Catalina State Park in the western foothills of the towering Catalina Mountains.  If you haven’t been to Catalina State Park lately, you haven’t any idea how good this new map is and what a joy it is to navigate!

National Orienteering Day festivities will include a free beginner’s clinic at 8:30 am.,  free draw prizes, and discounted events for first-timers.  Club members will be able to register through express check-in.

Each of the six orienteering courses set for us by John Pascal of NMOC (thanks, John!) will trek through awesome terrain and provide challenges and fun at a specific skill level:  The White course, which follows mostly trails, is ideal for youngsters and anyone who isn’t comfortable with reading a road map yet.  The Yellow course, which takes you off of the trails but follows helpful linear features, is a good course for the beginning adult.  The Orange course, which takes you out “into the forest”, is for the orienteer who is very comfortable with off-trail travel on topographic maps and has intermediate orienteering skills.  The Green and Red courses, which can take you into difficult, complex, and ambiguous terrain, are only for orienteers with advanced skills (the Red is longer in distance than the Green), and the Tucson Motala (explained below) is for the advanced orienteer who wants to go the ultra distance.

There will be tall weeds and grass seeds to contend with so be sure to wear leg protection.  The color map for all courses will be 1:10,000 scale with a 5 m contour interval.

The meet directors are Margrit McIntosh and Pat Penn.  Call Margrit at (520) 300-0555 or email memcinto at gmail period com if you have questions about this meet.  Please offer to help out with registration, timing, or control retrieval.  The fees collected at each event only cover the costs for permits, insurance, transportation, map printing, supplies, and equipment used at the event.  They don’t cover planning, organizing, or running the event.   It is only through the generous volunteer effort of us club members by which these events can happen!

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 by 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.

Directions:  The entrance to Catalina State Park is located on Oracle Road (AZ 77), six miles north of the intersection of Oracle Road and Ina Road.  If you come on I-10, take Exit 248 and drive east on Ina for five miles to its intersection with Oracle.  Visitors from Phoenix, take the Pinal Parkway to Oracle Junction - from there it is approximately 10 miles southbound on AZ 77 to the park entrance.  After you enter the park, go past the turn to the campground and take the first left.  Continue past three parking areas and look for the shelter on the left.  The State Park charges a day use fee, about $6 per car.  The trip time from Tucson to the event site is about 30 minutes.  Vicinity Map

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.

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.