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Discussion: If the forest around Oslo w...

in: Cristina; Cristina > 2016-12-26

Dec 28, 2016 3:39 PM # 
If the forest around Oslo were at all like this then I would enjoy it a lot more.

My recollection based on just 4 races around Oslo in 1989 was that the orienteering was among the least enjoyable overseas I ever did, not just in Norway but in Europe (and elsewhere) in general, because of the thick ground vegetation.

Never heard that opinion from others. Perhaps saying so wasn't cool? Or implied your orienteering just wasn't very good?

Anyway, a pleasant surprise to hear it from someone else.

Note -- "among the least enjoyable" doesn't mean the worst. That was at Sons of Norway, though it's a little ways away from Oslo.
Dec 28, 2016 4:17 PM # 
I missed both Sons of Norway meets, which I don't regret at all (were there people who went to both of them?), so I'd have to think about what the worst was for me. I'm thinking strictly of terrain, not map quality or course setting or meet organization. I've been to some places where the forest was impenetrable, but the courses could be done all on trails, so that's not so bad. I think it's also not fair to count places that were nice when they were mapped, but that still got used after they got overgrown. So the places that come to mind that I thought weren't much fun are Ros*Elum Ridge (WA), Boreal Ridge (CA), Far North Bicentennial Park (AK), and Maple Grove (NB). That last one maybe takes the prize because it's the only place where I've been signed up for a two-day meet, and after running the first day, I decided that there was no fun to be had by going back out into that terrain, so I skipped Day 2.
Dec 29, 2016 3:16 PM # 
We went to both Sons of Norway meets; I think the second one was the one with a leg through mapped-as-rough-open-which-was-all-prickers. The first was held in spring (and woods were nice then) but they discovered that was turkey nesting season and there were turkeys, so had the second meet moved to fall.

Linda Kohn once bailed on Ganaraska Woods in Ontario after starting out and discovering the mapped area was filled with poison ivy, to which she's very sensitive. She started the first day but quit after a couple of controls. Our son Greg got his worst case of PI at that meet. First and fortunately only time I've ever seen all three PI forms in one place (ground cover, vine, and shrub)!
Dec 29, 2016 4:55 PM # 
Yeah, I was going to mention that there are some areas that I would consider to be the absolute worst if I were more susceptible to poison ivy, Ganaraska among them. At the one meet I went to there, almost everybody I was traveling/staying with got poison ivy at least to some degree, and I got one of the worst cases I've ever had. Fortunately, there was somebody in our crowd who had a tube of strong prescription ointment for it. I think there are a lot of maps in California that would fail on that point as well. I know of one avid orienteer (competed at WOC for the USA) who moved to the Bay Area and gave up on orienteering entirely, due in part to the poison oak.
Dec 30, 2016 2:50 AM # 
I still refer to really dense healthy stands of PI as "Ganaraska Special".
Dec 31, 2016 5:18 PM # 
I think Tecnu has 'defanged' many maps in California and elsewhere. I used to miss whole weeks of school from rampant, oozing poison oak outbreaks. But if I slather on Tecnu both before exposure, and again before my shower, I rarely get a single blister. Even tho I crash through lots of the stuff during the race.

California clubs have lost too many maps recently for various reasons. It is nice that Tecnu has made the remaining areas runnable again...for some of us.
Jan 8, 2017 1:23 PM # 
The terrain on the north side of Oslo has some very nice areas but they are just really tough to run through -- it's hilly, the ground is almost always covered with small plants, and those plants often hide uneven ground like rocky chunks. The positives are that it's interesting terrain and when you get to a glorious piece of white forest with a downhill leg it's really great. And there's not that much really green stuff. For that you should go west of Oslo. That stuff sucks. On the southeast side of Oslo there's really nice terrain. It's still really hard to run through (for me) but it's nicer overall.

The Norwegians who grow up running in this stuff are really tough runners and I admire them a lot (especially when they drop me while chatting away on an easy jaunt).

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