Thursday, October 4, 2012
Three15er: a terrific place for a navigation race
A huge thanks to Eric Bone of Mergeo and all those that helped pull off the Three15er last weekend, which hosted not just a 4 and 9 hour rogaine, but also the 24-hour North American Rogaining Championship!
Rogaines are always a huge highlight on my calendar. They happen less frequently than regular orienteering meets, but are hugely epic to make up for their scarcity. Being epic, participants cover a huge area (can I say "huge" again?) during an event. Consequently, the venue is typically a day's drive away into or over the mountains (here in Washington State) until you've found premium orienteering terrain that goes on for miles.
The area is so big, yet it feels like your little secret. Rogaines are rarely in popular hiking areas, as trails are not as necessary as a permit to go off them. So you end up in pretty random spots- old ranch land, DNR land, wildlife areas- areas that don't show up in hiking guides since there is no maintained trail to walk on, but are fantastic to walk through if you're willing to wander through the woods. Then 3 hours into a course, without hordes of hikers lined up like lemmings behind you, each view feels a bit more intimate, and like you truly discovered it.
The Three15er on Cleman Mountain near Naches, WA was an incredible place to navigate with its diverse terrain. We are amazed at how Race Director Eric Bone manages to find these places. Here's a 5 minute glimpse of what we saw:
And yes, we won the 9 hour! The strategy that made that happen is another post brewing. ;)