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).


Dancin’, they’re dancin’ in the street – Jam on Walnut 2012

Last Friday night I stopped by the WYEP Summer Music Fest – holy smokes – what a crowd – Pittsburgh loves an outdoor concert. Schenley Park looked amazing and the entire lawn was covered with people.  It was a perfect Pittsburgh summer night.

Thinking about the WYEP summer Music Fest and all of the other awesome outdoor concerts… I just can get the song Dancing in the Street out of my head today…

Callin’ out, around the burgh
Are you ready for a brand new beat?
Summer’s here, and the time is right
For dancin’ (and drinking) in the street

They’re dancin’ to Denora (They’ll be dancin’)
And to Bill Deasy (Dancin’ in the streets)
Up in the Steel City (Dancing in the streets)

I’ll stop there with the Pittsburgh version of the song.

One of the most visited posts of the blog each summer is the post about Jam on Walnut – so we hope you are excited for the 2012 Jam on Walnut line up.

What is Jam on Walnut? For those of you new to Pittsburgh or to Jam on Walnut  – Each month in the summer they shut down Walnut Street in Shadyside to traffic, set up a stage and bring in a beer truck.  Your $2 contribution for a wristband benefits the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Western PA and means your can drink beer in the streets.  The event is from 7-11pm.

If you haven’t yet seen Donora’s latest video for their song “And Then The Girls” – you can check it out below – its a pretty awesome tune and the video offers a nice view of your local roller rink.

Snowing and Sled Riding in the ‘Burgh

Boy on snow sled
Image via Wikipedia

Before I get started,  there has been a pretty lengthy debate as to whether riding a sled in the snow is termed as sledding or sled riding.  Now, I never considered the term sled riding EVER to be incorrect since I’ve grown up in either central/western PA my entire life.  As soon as I went to college, though, things changed.  For example, here’s a conversation I had with my friend from New Jersey:

Me:              “Hey Brian!  Do you want to go sled riding with us on Flagstaff Hill?”
Brian:        “. . . What?  You mean sledding.”
Me:              “No.  I definitely meant sled riding.”
Brian:        “No.  Sled riding doesn’t make sense.  You meant sledding.”
Me:              “You ride on a sled… which is why it’s called sled riding.  We’re going sled riding.”

After a long-winded discussion and bringing in a few of our friends, it was decided that Western PA people didn’t know what they were talking about and sled riding was incorrect.

So what is it? Are you going sled riding or sledding?

Sled Riding


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Since we are all yinzers here – and with all the snow coming our way – we are going sled riding this weekend! [Read more…]

Links Worth a Look – February 24th

Here are some links/articles/blog posts that are worth a look:

Click here to see more links we like.

Links Worth a Look – November 1st

Here are some links/articles/blog posts that are worth a look:

  • Encyclopedia Destructica – The Pittsburgh Craft Collective Blog highlights this business that makes handbound books and zines in lawrenceville. They also have public binding parties too – you can help to create their next zine.
  • Nine Mile Run Geology Tour – This looks like an interesting look at Nine Mile Run. Sunday. Nov. 2 at 1pm
  • The Buzz » Blog Archive » Welcome to the Berner Blog – I have been bugging Georgia Berner to write a blog about her business, which is a manufactuing business here in Western PA that makes air curtains. Georgia Berner is a wealth of knowledge about business and manufacturing and I hope you will check out her blog. This blog post has a good explaination of air curatins too.

Click here to see more links we like.