so it seems I traveled over 3 km more than you. how is this possible?
Though if our respective GPS tracks are to be trusted, I climbed 250m more than you. So maybe I'm just dumb.
I noticed that too. Clearly the best route was not easy to determine in one hour. What way would you go after having looked at the map for more than six hours?
Yeah, in hindsight, I think minimizing climb at the expense of greater distance was preferable. On the western loop, I made three climbs up the plateau - 2 to 18, then up from 33, and finally up from the low controls in the NW. Doing 2-18-20-9-33 could have been expedient if I hadn't made so many mistakes up on the plateau, but that climb was horrendous. I think your route is at least better than mine; I'd have to give it some thought to try to improve upon your route.
It should be noted that I thought about my route for about three minutes, so I think 10-15 would have been sufficient. I would guess that my route was perhaps ten minutes slower than yours; the bigger problem was that I wasn't moving as fast or confidently as you were.
On the plus side, you weren't drinking a beer at the finish while you were waiting for me.
I'll bet you could add a little snack pouch to the straps of your pack. A craft project like that should be well within the capabilities of a guy who can make chain mail.
Your route did have the advantage over Joe's of staying on the public land, although since I got to the briefing a little late I may have misunderstood instructions which I thought said we had to stay off the non-state-forest property with the exception of two or three roads which were pointed out explicitly. I would guess that a tradeoff of 3K distance vs 250m of climb would often be advantageous for the shorter distance run, but the steeper and more localized the climbs, the more the extra climb plays an important role. Good thing it was a cool day, or you might have had more cramping problems in the situation of being a little light on electrolytes! Of course the stop at the car for more fluids resulted in both more distance and more climb for you than a direct run from 3 to 14-so a bit of a minus for the advance planning, but a very big plus for recognizing that you needed to do something about the situation and correcting while there was time to do something about it, and in a location where the penalty was relatively minimal!
My detour on 3-14 was also motivated by concern I might miss it if I tried to contour. I had such spectacular failures doing so on previous controls that I was a bit gunshy. That said, I would have been uncomfortable at best without water on the last loop.
Eldersmith, what did you think of the course; how was your day in the woods? What route did you take?
I actually enjoyed the day a lot! I did it with John Boland (we'd been planning to do it together, but sending our entries in separately never actually arranged to do it as an official team), and we did a similar clockwise loop to what you did, with the exception that after 18 we did not do 9 and 20, but headed right on down the hill to 33. Didn't really realize until we were coming back up the hill from 23 to 20 that it would probably have been a bit more efficient to have done them the way you did. We were of course considerably slower than you, so after 7 we did 15, 6, 4, 14, and 1 (feeling a little uncertain about the contour route from 14 over to 3 with a deadline approaching). We were a little sloppy on several controls (two of the "corn maze" ones early on, 26 in the middle, and 20 nearer the end, but didn't lose massive amounts of time on any of them. The course wasn't particularly Rogaine-like in some sense, since basically one big loop with some small variants, that could be taken in either direction, and cut short as time pressure demanded, rather than demanding a lot of advance planning to maximize the scoring. But nonetheless quite enjoyable to do, and with arriving a little after I had intended to, maybe a plus not to have to do really intense pre-run planning (though that is a phase of rogaines that I normally enjoy a lot). Weather conditions were near perfect, and I rather preferred this map to the one they have used the previous few years, partly because it was just a different area and the change was nice, but also because with the massive rock features in various places it was both quite scenic, and more demanding of detailed attention at various points along the way (at which task we weren't quite 100% successful). In any case, a nice warmup for the Highlander and Python events coming up in the near future!
Eldersmith - very interesting. I have never really done a serious rogaine, though I've done a few of these 6-hr score-Os. As I was discussing with my Toronto clubmate, Frank - the route planning is much easier if you're planning on hitting all the controls. It becomes more challenging in general if you have to find the maximum scoring feasible subset rather than the fastest route to visit everything. I suppose the climb at this venue was severe enough that all the practical routes were variants on one loop, as you say.
I hope to bump into you at more of these! It was great fun.