Map & Compass Orienteering in Frick Park – Dec. 1

Some of the most popular posts here on this blog have been about scavenger hunts – so we wanted to share this event from the Western PA Orienteering Club.

This Saturday, December 1, 2012 the Western PA Orienterring Club is headed to Frick Park for their last event of 2012.

Here are the details for the event from the Meet-up page:

For the first time, Frick Park has been mapped into a standardized Orienteering (the sport) format, using map symbols and conventions that are specific to that activity. The Western Pennsylvania Orienteering Club will host a meet on Saturday December 1, registration and starts can be anytime between 10 AM and 1 PM, and everybody must be finished by 2:30 PM (time when the courses officially close).

Orienteering is a outdoor recreational activity in which participants find checkpoints in the woods using solely a topographic map and a compass (no GPS, like in geocaching…). It can be either competitive (runners) or non-competitive (walkers). It is rain or shine. It is all ages (7 year olds and 90 year olds all welcome). It is all skills (beginners, intermediate, advanced). It is inexpensive ($5 for the map – group or family doing event together with just one map only pay $5 for the entire group. If a group has five people and sharing one map, it comes to $1/person).

The meet HQ will be setup in the small shelter at the bottom of the Ravine Trail, also known as “Lower Frick”. There is a parking lot for vehicles, reachable from Hutchinson Avenue when coming from S. Braddock Ave.

There is no mass-start. The starts are staggered two minutes apart so that participants don’t follow each other. Orienteering is a land navigational challenge, in which one selects the best and optimal route to from point A to point B, considering obstacles, climb, terrain, visual references.

This question comes pretty often, so here is the answer: “can I bring my dog?”… “yes you can, as long as it complies with city ordinances, such as being on a leash”

Beginner instruction is available on site by volunteers.

There will be four courses available:

  • The beginner course (White) will have a bird’s eye distance of about 2.5 km. All checkpoints are located along a trail or very accessible terrain.
  • The advanced beginner course (Yellow) will have a bird’s eye distance of 3.5 km. Checkpoints are visible from trail and there may be off-trail short travel to reach them.
  • The intermediate course (Orange)will have a bird’s eye distance of about 5 km, and will involve some bushwacking and off-trail navigation.
  • The advanced course (Red) will have a bird’s eye distance of about 7.5 km, and have checkpoints located in hard-to-find locations, and given the hills of Frick park, involve also considerable climb and require some athleticism.

Orienteering is a sport that is currently practiced in Scandinavian and Eastern European countries. In the US, it has a small but passionate following. Here in Western Pennsylvania, it has a small group of volunteers of all backgrounds, from normal outdoor lovers, hikers, adventure racers, scouts, geocachers. The club is a 501(c)3 organization (non-profit).


Recommended Posts