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Discussion: What do we have in store for you?

in: Southwest Spring Week 2020 (Feb 15–23 - Tucson, AZ, US)

Oct 2, 2019 7:04 PM # 
It may not feel very wintry (or even autumny) in much of the country right now but soon enough we'll all be dreaming of the warm Arizona sun, cuddly cactus, and beautiful orienteering terrain.

The schedule is coming together and we're super happy to say that the Javelina Hustle will be back, this time on Day 1 on the Box Canyon map near Rt. 83 south of Tucson.

Get excited!
Oct 3, 2019 1:12 AM # 
The dates on the website for individual events appear to be off by a day, e,.g. the first Saturday of the event is the 15th, not the 16th (need to update to 2020 dates).
Oct 3, 2019 1:33 AM # 
Sorry for the confusion, the website is still showing 2019 information while we finalize the 2020 schedule. The dates at the top are correct, and the individual event info is meant to give an idea of what 2020 will be like. We'll try to make that a little more clear asap.
Nov 24, 2019 3:35 PM # 
Is the 2020 info coming soon.....? wanting to make some travel decisions....Thanks.
Nov 24, 2019 6:26 PM # 
Do it, Ross! I'm flying into Tucson on Friday 2/14 and leaving Phoenix on Sunday 2/23. The rental car was actually cheaper that way (picking up in Tucson and returning to Phoenix.)

But, if you fly into Phoenix on 2/14, it's only a 90-minute drive to Tucson.

I have lodging in central Tucson for 2/14 - 2/21. I haven't booked lodging yet for the final few days in Phoenix (nights of 2/21 & 2/23), but that will likely be a hotel on the east side of town (Mesa) since GPHXO's SWSW events are usually in the Apache Junction area.

If you're hoping for an Airbnb or VRBO place in Tucson, book soon -- it fills up fast (snowbirds, gem show, etc.).

-- Brooke (SWSW's biggest fan) ;-)
Nov 24, 2019 8:33 PM # 
The website is being updated as I write!

Meanwhile, here's a schedule for you:

Saturday, Feb 15th: Javelina Hustle@Box Canyon
Sunday: Classic@Catalina State Park
Monday: Cholla Chaser@Catalina State Park
Tuesday: Bisbee Street-O
Wednesday: Rest day / Geology tour / Escape room
Thursday: Sprint training @ The University of Arizona
Friday: Dogbones @ Cat Mountain
Saturday: Day Sprints and Night score-o near Phoenix (GPHXO)
Sunday: Classic near Phoenix (GPHXO)
Nov 24, 2019 10:23 PM # 
Are you guys applying for sanctioning for any of these?
Nov 26, 2019 3:04 PM # 
Is this photo taken at Catalina?
Nov 26, 2019 3:48 PM # 
I'm sure people are aware of the dangers of stepping outdoors.

(I just read about a woman mauled to death by feral pigs in Texas. Guess we should never leave our houses there.)
Nov 26, 2019 4:14 PM # 
If that was Catalina, Anna would be begging Tori to bring her there.
Nov 26, 2019 4:14 PM # 
@JanetT, the photo comes from an infamous blog
Nov 26, 2019 5:05 PM # 
I can assure all potential SWSW participants that when the new map of Catalina State Park was created the mapper also made sure to tame all of the flora and fauna.
Nov 26, 2019 5:17 PM # 
Pink Socks:
I think I'd rather go to an orienteering event with a hundred venomous snakes than one with yurets there berating volunteers.
Nov 26, 2019 5:49 PM # 
FWIW, I've run at Catalina (at these events) a number of times and the worst I've gotten into was prickly pear and cholla cactus spines. I'd think that many snakes would be making some noise.

(edited) But if that's enough to keep one away, so be it.
Nov 26, 2019 5:54 PM # 
Ditto, Pink_Socks & JanetT! I'm waiting to see any map or course yurets creates while continually trashing local club efforts. How does one transliterate GFY into Cyrillic?
Nov 26, 2019 6:35 PM # 
Well, there's this.
Nov 26, 2019 9:48 PM # 
@Cristina, you did not address the complaint of the blogger that the "white" on the map should really be yellow with patches of dark green and green vertical stripes of different density all over
Nov 27, 2019 2:03 AM # 
I grew up in El Paso, Texas, and I've encountered diamondback rattlesnakes while hiking. As venemous snakes go, they are courteous enough to let you know with a very distinctive sound that they are upset. It was a negligible inconvenience to walk around the snake. Also, there are about 5-6 fatalities from all venemous snakebites in the US.

So what's your point, yurets? Are you letting everyone know that there are rattlesnakes in Arizona? I'm sure the event organizers greatly appreciate your advertisement of the exotic flora and fauna in Arizona, which might give potential participants additional incentive to visit beyond the 20 C February weather and spectacular terrain and mountains.

In that spirit, I will share this picture of the iconic Saguaro cactus from Saguaro National Park, which is in Tucson.
Nov 27, 2019 2:45 AM # 
@jjcote, we actually had this conversation (Snakes + O = good) last Feb, but couldn’t get the flights to work. Some day. If she doesn’t go to Australia, first.
Nov 27, 2019 2:47 AM # 

While looking at the AP ad for the event, I wanted to assess the accuracy of information about the venue that I recall I saw in a blog a few years ago. So I asked the organizer a direct question. It is uncommon but occasionally happens that the terrain is barely suitable, or unsuitable, for orienteering, it is more likely to be the case in exotic places, like AZ, TX or FL. The fact it is picturesque and enjoyable for trail hike does not necessarily mean off-trail running is reasonably safe.
Nov 27, 2019 4:16 AM # 
Yuri, you have to realize that a question like that is going to be taken in the context of the other posts that you've made.
Nov 27, 2019 5:02 AM # 
@JJ, AP seems to be hijacked by this group of aggressive, full of hate people (I do not include Cristina in it, I think she just got under a bad influence, you know whose).
Nov 27, 2019 6:05 AM # 
Yurets, when you complain (in this instance, about "aggressive, full of hate people", but also more generally when you constantly complain about so many things and so many people), I suggest you exercise some self-awareness. (I think I am just paraphrasing what JJ said, which you might reread and reconsider.) More bluntly, it *is* *your* problem, precisely.
Nov 27, 2019 6:41 AM # 
I should acknowledge, Yurets, that I have just noticed that you have apparently reconsidered and edited out some of your most ill-considered earlier comments that had been posted above, presumably well before I posted the comment immediately preceding. Thank you.
Nov 27, 2019 12:23 PM # 
There are plenty of timber rattlesnakes in the Northeast. And copperheads covering pretty much the entire eastern half of the country.

In 21 years of outdoor activities here, I've seen rattlesnakes while hiking, but never orienteering.

It doesn't seem like much of difference between out here and Arizona. In fact, they would probably have less vegetation to hide under in a desert.
Nov 27, 2019 12:28 PM # 
They’re all in brumation in February, anyway, much like the chupacabra.
Nov 27, 2019 12:36 PM # 
Oh, come on. There aren't plenty of timber rattlesnakes up here. They're really rare and elusive, though they do exist. I've never seen one, in a lot more than 21 years. (But then, I've never seen one in my travels elsewhere, either.)
Nov 27, 2019 12:43 PM # 

A few questions:
- How many years has SWSW been going on? It looks like you've gone through at least two websites, so that seems encouraging.
- Is it really spring if it's in February?
- How many cactus/rattlesnake/attackpoint vitriol-related fatalities do you anticipate each year?
Nov 27, 2019 2:57 PM # 
Not to steal the thread, but I am speaking from in experience on rocky outcrops in PA, where I've seen piles of rattlesnakes similar to the picture posted by our dear Yurets.
Nov 27, 2019 3:14 PM # 
OK, I've spent less time in PA, and the rattlers are less flagrant in New England,

Though I am reminded of the Relay Champs at French Creek sometime in the mid-1990s, when a report came in that there was a snake at the last control. Somebody went and looked at it, and reported that it was a copperhead, and people were alarmed. Then somebody else checked it out and said no, it's a diamondback rattesnake! which caused even more panic. And then Charlie, knowing that a diamondback in Pennsylvania would be quite a remarkable thing, went over to form his own opinion, and found a corn snake or something. I think maybe he then picked it up and carried it to someplace where it wouldn't get stepped on.
Nov 27, 2019 3:28 PM # 
@ o-maps, yes I edited out some of my writing, as the recipients have seen it, and so it served the purpose. Re the ‘problem’ part, it seems these kinds are just naturally aggressive and intolerant, they attack peaceful free-speech protesters while wearing black masks, or march in DC blaming their misery on “toxic masculinity”.
Nov 27, 2019 7:33 PM # 

A few answers:
- The history of the SWSW is not well documented but I'll give it a shot. The Tucson Orienteering Club has a long tradition of holding multi-day events on the President's Day weekend of February. This is a good time to visit Tucson because it is between the annual Gem Show and the Rodeo Week festivities and the weather is usually somewhere between delightful and perfect.

We have snowbird and TSN legend Leif Lundquist to thank for pushing the tradition of multi-day events at this time and for giving us the name Southwest Spring, which he first used in 2012 for the 3-day event in 2012. Four years later the first SWSWeek was held and we've kept it up ever since, which means that SWSW2020 will be the fifth edition!

- It would be less appealing if we called it "Southwest Winter Week"

- 1/0/0
Nov 27, 2019 8:53 PM # 
No rattlesnakes will die, and just one cactus? Impressive.
Nov 28, 2019 2:08 AM # 
I just learned a new word - "brumation" - AP really is the gift which keeps on giving!
(it's the source of most of my Swedish lessons too)
Nov 28, 2019 3:02 AM # 
I googled that too!
Nov 29, 2019 2:10 AM # 
And, not surprisingly with the reptile enthusiast in my family, I did not have to look up brumation. Greg, I'm sending Anna to see you to talk about rock outcroppings of rattlers in PA...with the caveat that the entire conversation must occur in Spanish, which might slow her down.

Perhaps the good thing about orienteering is that we're focused enough on navigating and moving fast enough that noticing snakes usually isn't a problem - they see us, but we don't see them. That seems like a good thing, as long as we don't step on them. Haven't had a snake error before, but my bear error (going away from mama bear and cub) about 10 years ago in a rogaine is still memorable...
Nov 29, 2019 3:55 AM # 
A mama bear and two cubs were guarding our first control at the North American Rogaining Champs in B.C. I'd rather have a rattlesnake.
Nov 29, 2019 1:33 PM # 
Rogaine teams of two are best, because it's common wisdom that the first runner wakes the snake up, the second makes it angry, and if there's a third...
Dec 14, 2019 2:10 AM # 
Hubby and I went to SWSW last year and had a fantastic time. We considered the weather pretty darn decent, and spring-like, although the locals may have disagreed. All depends what you are used to! The title doesn't matter - Southwest Winter Week in Arizona would still be more appealing to us than Southwest Winter Week in Nova Scotia, Canada :-)

We were very appreciative of all the hospitality... great organizers, great volunteers, lots of variety in events and terrain. Did not see a single snake (rattlesnake or other) while we were there. The cactus took some getting used to (can't lean up against them like the trees in our woods lol), but I can't say they were any worse than running through a patch of blackberries at home. We're happily returning this year.

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