January 19-22, 2010

Updated January 12th! Registration closed!  The interest in the training camp has been bigger than expected. If you plan on coming and haven't filled out the registration yet, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. directly. 

Thaw out in the desert with four days of technical and physical training in sunny Tucson, AZ in the middle of winter! Average high in mid-January is 65F.

Bracketed by the Anza-Borrego O-Fest in CA and the Ironwood 2-Day, this week will give you a great chance to get in some quality training when you'd otherwise be shoveling the snow off of your car!


Here's what the week looks like, including Anza-Borrego and Ironwood. Details/locations for the training week are subject to change.

Sat Jan 16 am Anza-Borrego Day 1 (CA)
Sun Jan 17 am Anza-Borrego Day 2 (CA)
  pm Anza-Borrego Maze-O (CA)
Mon Jan 18 am Anza-Borrego Borrego (CA)
Tues Jan 19 9 am Sweetwater Track-O (Tucson)
  2 pm Arthur Pack Window-O (4.9km/16c)
  6 pm Presentation by US + Swiss Team Members @ Martha Cooper Library
Wed Jan 20 9 am Route 83 Relay Training
  2 pm Route 83 Route Choice Exercise
Thurs Jan 21 9 am Catalina State Park Orienteering Intervals

2 pm

5:30 - 9 PM

Arthur Pack Race (4.8km/14c)

Dinner at Peg's - see details below.

Fri Jan 22 3 pm Chimney Rock 
  <8pm Chimney Rock Night-O
Sat Jan 23 am Ironwood Day 1
  pm Chase the Sun Trail Run -or- check out the AZ-Sonora Desert Museum
Sun Jan 24 am Ironwood Day 2

 Dinner at Peg's - Visitors, Tucsonans want to meet you. Tucsonans, rub shoulders with the bigtimers. Main course provided, bring a side, dessert or beverage. Or just hang out.You must let me know you're coming. Just call Peg at 520-628-8985 or email pegdavis at u dot arizona dot edu. I'm looking forward to this!

Directions: From the corner of Tucson Blvd. and Broadway, go south to the next street on the right (it's a long block): Parkway Terrace. Follow the curves to my white house on the cul de sac. 2241 East Parkway Terrace.

Registration & Fees

Registration is closed.

The fees for the training camp are simple:

$40 for four days of training/$5 per session -OR-
$20 for four days of training if you volunteer to design an exercise

The $20 registrations have all been taken. See who's signed up.

Maps & Terrain

Possible orienteering training locations and sample maps:

Arthur Pack Regional Park
1:6000, 4ft contours

This small, almost completely flat park is located right on the edge of the city. The terrain is Sonoran desert bajada, which means that it's not only flat, but that the the primary navigational feature is the saguaro cactus (green dots). Relocating here is tricky, and it's a fantastic place to practice looking ahead and following a good line. 

Arthur Pack map sample 


Catalina State Park
1:10000, 5m contours (newly updated!)

Located just north of the city, tucked into the side of the Santa Catalina mountains, this park offers lots of contour and plenty of rock features. The vegetation here is slightly different from Arthur Pack - less cactus, more grass. Some parts are blazingly fast. This is a great park for all kinds of training.

Catalina State Park sample map


Kentucky Camp/Greaterville/Box Canyon
1:10000/1:15000, 5m contours

These three maps are part of a contiguous area in the foothills of the Santa Rita mountains, about 40 miles south of Tucson and about 1500' higher. This is mixed grassland and oak/juniper terrain, with ridge/reentrant style contours. This terrain is very open and runnable, with almost no cactus. A great place for almost anything!


Kentucky Camp map sample   

Chimney Rock
1:10000, 5m contours

Chimney Rock is located in the pass to the northeast of Tucson, between the Santa Catalina Mountains and the Rincon Mountains. At around 4000', the vegetation is transitional between the maps near the city (Arthur Pack, Sweetwater, Ironwood) and the open grasslands to the South (Kentucky Camp, Greaterville, Box Canyon). This area has mixed grassland and trees, with a moderate number of smaller cacti, and a mix of contour-rich areas and less feature-dense areas.

Chimney Rock sample map


Sweetwater Preserve
1:10000/1:5000 5m contours

Another desert area tucked away close to the city, with typical Sonoran desert vegetation, but more contour action than either Arthur Pack or Ironwood. We are generally restricted to on-trail use, so we are planning a line-o session here, using the map sans trails. 

Sweetwater sample map


There are a few possible sprint training locations (The University of Arizona campus or Reid Park) but both locations will require map work in order to be used. Depending on the intensity and density of the O training schedule, there are possible physical training/trail runs in Saguaro National Park and the Coronado National Forest.


Getting Here
All training events will take place within about a one hour drive of downtown Tucson. The closest airport is the Tucson International Airport (TUS), serviced by Alaska, Continental, American, Delta/Northwest, Frontier, Southwest, United, and US Airways. It is sometimes cheaper to fly into Phoenix (PHX), located about 100 miles northwest of Tucson. There are a few shuttle services that will take you to Tucson from Phoenix for around $30 if you are not planning on renting a car.

Once in Tucson there are plenty of hotels in the area - basically anything within Tucson city limits will be convenient enough. There is also some camping, including at Catalina State Park, one of the training locations. We will also have some places available for those who wish to stay with a Tucson Orienteering Club member. These spots are limited and are first come, first served, so please let us know early if you would like to crash with one of us.

We will arrange car pooling to/from Anza-Borrego as well as during the training week.

If you will be driving from Anza-Borrego, consider a stop at the free hot springs on I-8 just before the Arizona border. Exit at Vanderlinden Road. They are across the street from the BLM campground.

Gas is cheaper in Arizona, so fill up after you cross the state line, but don't use exit 2/16th Street in Yuma. It's a construction nightmare.

Extracurricular Activities!

There are too many things to do in Tucson to summarize here! Winter is a wonderful time to come to the Sonoran Desert, and you will find that there are endless hiking and trail running opportunities, as well as awesome cultural and artistic activities. Stay tuned for specific details on organized activities, including a climbing gym trip on Wednesday evening and a potluck on Thursday evening.