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Discussion: A few comments on your rout...

in: BillD; BillD > 2020-01-15

Jan 17, 2020 2:55 PM # 
A few comments on your routes --

In general it looks like you did a lot of good orienteering. The tendency is usually to focus on the mistakes, but it's useful to think about what you did right and how to reinforce that behavior.

As we talked about -- use handrails and make sure every time you use one that it is going in the right direction.

I think we talked about the importance of looking around a lot. I was playing a little game with myself, how far in advance of the control could I see it. You want to do what you can to make the O' easier.

#2 -- maybe 40-50 meters, from up on the previous ridge, about where your track veers left down to the marsh. Could certainly see the big cliff from there.

#3 -- only 20-30 meters, blocked by the topography before that, but the landforms were clear.

#4 -- 10 meters, but I treated the feature as at the end of a string of rocks, seemed to make it much easier.

#5 -- maybe 20 meters, not so much.

#6 -- maybe 40 meters. Both 5 and 6 were harder controls.

#7 -- about 70 meters, right after I crossed the wall.

#8 -- maybe 30 meters, it was certainly more visible coming up the reentrant the way we did.

#9 -- 10 meters, but I could see the rock in front of it from 50 meters.

#10 -- the control from 10 meters, the feature from 50.

#11 -- 70 meters.

#12 -- 10 meters, and felt lucky to see it because I wasn't sure I was where I thought I was.

#13 -- 5 meters. Saw the boulder from 30, but there was doubt...

#1 -- knew where it was as had started there.

I don't know for sure, obviously, but I'd guess you could still be looking around a lot better.

I suggest really thinking about exactly what happened on the approach to #5. Actually writing down everything that happened after you crested the spur about 2/3 of the way, right up to finding the control. It's good to review your thought process, what you were trying to do, how you executed whatever techniques you were trying to use.

And as to #9, I think you said to me that you felt your compass skills were good. Clearly that wasn't the case here. Note that the approach here can be done sole on compass, or solely by reading the map (and visibility here was excellent and there were distinct features), or by using both. Guess which I prefer... :-)

Still, a lot of good orienteering!
Jan 18, 2020 1:12 AM # 
Wow! A lot of considered advice here. I will spend some quality time going over this. Thank you.
Jan 18, 2020 1:12 AM # 
I looked at Peter’s route, and mine was mostly quite similar. A few differences:

4. There are two cliffs right along the line. Peter went below them, I thought visibility might be better above, but the same idea, look for the end of a bunch of boulders.

6. Total lack of focus by me. Way off to the left.

8. I had planned Peter’s route, but then looked at what seemed to be big cliffs coming up after getting off the trail where he did, so jumped off earlier. It was a little thick the way I came in and I hesitated some. The cliffs I got scared off by probably didn’t amount to much. Mine was an inferior route.

9. Again a lack of focus. I saw a reentrant up ahead and stopped looking around, so ended up above the control and had to figure out what happened.

11. Similar to Peter, except I went right to the marsh and followed it around. Kind of slow going, but a very secure handrail.
Jan 20, 2020 5:54 PM # 
Finally got time to examine PG's comments. Interesting game to note distance at which control (or correct feature) spotted. Makes me think that I would benefit from taking notice not just of the nearby features as I pass them enroute but also from looking further away for features. Example, on #5 after coming up the ridge I should have looked for the marsh to learn how far to go and not have limited myself to puzzling over which cliff I was passing. While I often had in mind PG's adjuration to exercise the neck muscles (keeping looking around, way around), I should do better. Indeed I wasn't checking my compass as faithfully as I might. All in all, I still feel pretty good about the outing.

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