Oh, control 2.
So, sure, I'm rusty on orienteering. But the weather was nice, and I was feeling confident. I followed the crowd to south off trail, then decided that was just leading to dumb trails, so went around to a stone wall and caught Alex, then went a bit higher than her to the first control. Had a good "avoid swampy areas" since I figured they'd be wet (actually, they weren't that bad, it hasn't been that rainy in the past few weeks) to go left to #2.
Other than dropping off the wrong side of a spur and taking a bit of extra trail, this went fine. I went up the little trail, hopped off at a boulder, and aimed right at the control. And then saw the open area and thought it was the open rocky area, and went up the trail looking for the control. So I had about a 100m parallel error, two concave trail bends on uphills, and the one I was on had a bunch of unmapped cliffs, and big ones at that! So I wandered for about 10 minutes, finally finding my way back thanks to seeing other orienteers. Looking at my track, if I had gone straight across the trail I would have gone right to 2. So I did the orienteering pretty well, then didn't trust myself, and then, uh, the map.
Down to 128 and the old road for 3, passing some folks. Went right to 4, up the trail and then the stone wall, probably suboptimal choice. Then across 28 and along the trail to 5 and the aid at 6, passing more folks.
Good route to 7, and went up to the trail to 8, which may have been a bit of extra climb but was a good attack. Down to the big trail for the long leg to 9, but spent too much time getting to the big trail. Caught two guys there, one went left, and one went right (so did I). Right was correct, but the cliff was not visible from lower down on the hill, and we overran 10, so had to double back (-4 minutes). Then I ran slower down the hill and followed these guys up the wrong stone wall, but figured it out quick enough to correct and only lose about 2m to 11, and just followed a compass to 12, which really needs to be unmapped, if you miss it you have to relocate off of a low point on the trail (this got me in … 2013
). Ran out ahead of the other two guys for 13 and navigated it well, up the trail, diagonally across to the stream, up the reentrant. Lost them both.
Down the reentrant and trails to 14 (avoid the green), then trails to 15, spiked despite greenbriar and smacking my ankle into a rock. And then got greenbriared coming out of 16 running towards the photographer and not looking at the wall of thorns in my way.
Wound up 3rd, 10ish minutes behind Alex and 20ish behind Ethan. 15 of that from two mistakes. I do wonder if I'd run into 2 with them (their attack of the trail from the other direction made sense) if I would have been able to follow and keep up. I lost 16 minutes on those three controls, not trusting my instinct on 2, following blindly on 11, and then just not going high enough on 10 (although I was higher than whoever I was with, but not high enough).
A couple other wonderings … I think the trail north from 2 to 3 might be faster; it only adds 3 contours and is all runnable, although maybe with a vaguer attack. From 8 to 9, going west to the big trail saves distance, but adds 8 contours, so might be no better.