|2014 ACT Champs navigation challenges|
The course for the 2014 ACT champs was a pleasure to set in such a beautiful area, and being a championship event Julie and I wanted to make it challenging to plan a course and also set some controls that would test even the most experienced navigators.
Looking at the team routes in the Google Earth display, all are quite different, so the first goal was achieved. There were a few controls that eluded even some very experienced interstate teams. These included #100 and #102. There were a number of other controls that required careful navigation, especially in the dark and mist overnight. Some examples include #50 and #96 which are on gully features that are only strongly defined for a couple of contours. I'll discuss #100 and #50 further.
Control #100 was in a broad gully near the top of Whites Hill (click on the map section for larger view in separate window). Looking at the map there are no strong features, and at night in misty conditions this is a tricky control indeed! I'd be looking for a good attack point then a bearing and pace counting. This part of the map is granite country too, which often is more complicated than it looks with lumps and bumps or short changes in slope that may not appear in the contours (10m interval), so it is easy to get led astray. From #91 or #54 I'd probably use the hilltop WSW, and from #85 Whites Hill as my attack point, noting that both are quite broad - the final approach would be a bearing and pace counting, taking careful note of changes in slope. From #81 (or #92) the challenge is to pick the changes in slope as the spur is ascended - pace counting approx 1km up the spur, then contouring into the gully might work with a bearing on the final approach to keep to the gully leading to the flag. If the flag doesn't appear, possibly the best relocation strategy is to drop SE into the sharp gully to relocate and try again with a bearing to keep to the correct gully.
Control #50 was in a small shallow side gully. Looking at the map, the watercourse is unlikely to be running or necessarily that well defined, and the contour below the flag is almost straight, so picking it from the main creek line by eye could be hard. Above the flag the gully becomes very shallow and broad also. The easiest approach would be from #103 by climbing to the knoll then taking a bearing. The main gully would be crossed and pace counting could be used to ensure you are on track. From #82 the watercourse leading up to the flat terrace S of the flag might be a good approach, then a careful bearing and pace counting, noting that there may be some minor gullies depending on exact level across the hill. The approach from #81 is the most difficult. Aim for the flat section on the spur S of the direct bearing at about halfway to use as an attack point. A relocation strategy would be to drop into the main gully and follow it down until confident of location, then approach up the spur between the two parallel watercourses, with a final rough bearing to lead into the control.
These examples illustrate the value of attack points and pace counting to try to maintain best contact with the map, and also in each case there is a recovery plan if the flag is not found. Once you've lost contact with the map in vague terrain, it can take hours to relocate if you don't have a good fallback.
|Last Updated on Saturday, 26 April 2014 21:20|