Mt. Pinos Course Setters' Notes

By Sue and Rich D.

We've been up to Mt. Pinos 3 times since April 13th flagging locations and working out the courses. The wildflowers were beginning to bloom. We've found some amazing views at several of the controls. It’s been really beautiful and we’re reminded why we enjoy the open forests of Mt. Pinos.

Mt. Pinos seems to have had a dry winter. The marsh areas are less wet than usual. Despite the light snowfall, there are lots of downed trees and limbs. Curiously, adding to the deadfall, it seems local hikers have been stacking tree limbs across trails in the McGill area to dissuade mountain bikers, but this shouldn’t be an issue for Foot-O. We've both noticed we had trouble following bearings, making us suspect some magnetic anomalies. The contour information is really accurate, so keep an "eye on the ground" if you try to follow your compass for precision orienteering.

All maps will be at 1:10000 and 5 m contours. The normal hazards of the area include steep reentrants which are often covered with a thick and slippery layer of pine needles. There are also two distinct types of undergrowth. One is thorny, grows about to knee high, and is bouncy to step on. The other grows lower and tends to trip you with its branches that arch to the ground then take root. These are generally mapped with the difficult and slow undergrowth vegetation symbols respectively.

We are making map corrections to update magnetic north, to revise the undergrowth around the controls, and to add additional downed trees near controls. Downed trees are mapped as green T's with the cross of the T at the root end. It’s a large map, so our ambition is modest, but we hope the improvements will contribute to a excellent meet.

We’re also excited, thanks to Andrew Tomlin, to have online preregistration and pre-payment available for the entire event. Please let us know if you are coming. We want to have maps for you, but will be basing the number printed on the registered number + a few. Preregistration will close at Noon on June 21st, the Thursday before the event. Registration will also be available on-site.

This year we have classic distance courses, White through Blue, on Saturday morning. The start will be a 1-km easy walk starting at the entrance to the McGill campground. The courses finish very near the McGill entrance. You should see the Finish (and maybe even a finisher) as you walk up the hill to the start. In general, courses start with some climb and require a variety of navigation skills. Mt. Pinos has good topography and many wonderful rock and other point features to keep you in touch with the map.

Later Saturday, the Prolog and Chase courses will be an unique combined challenge for Orange and above skill level. The Prolog starts from quite a picturesque turnout, about 4 km up the road from McGill and descends almost all the way back. We will have a shuttle driving groups up the road, while the finish of the Prolog is a 700m walk back to the download station at McGill. The Chase will be a Night-O starting and finishing at the Nordic center (go uphill to the parking lot at the end of the road) after dark. Mandatory equipment for Night-O is: whistle, headlamp, and/or flashlight.

Sunday for the final event, we have set a Score-O, a rare occurrence at Mt. Pinos. There are 25 controls scattered over what we think are the most enjoyable areas around the Nordic Center. Point values will vary by distance and difficulty. To clear the course (worth 840 points) would take a minimum straight-line distance of ~7.5 km, and will require lots of climb (!) though less ambitious route choices with less climb abound. The course options are either 60 or 90 minutes, preselected. Overtime penalty will be quite steep, -50 points per part of a minute over time.

Help with the event is always appreciated and Mt. Pinos is a great place to spend a bit of extra time. We have to bring in ~18 controls from Saturday's Classic courses for redeployment for the Chase event and Score-O. Control pickup support both days would be very welcome. If you'd like to volunteer, please sign up on this page.

All told, it promises to be a wonderful weekend full of orienteering fun at LAOC’s premier mountain venue. We have a group campground reserved. There will be a potluck dinner Saturday night there. Sunday afternoon, LAOC will hold a Board meeting with pizza. We invite you to participate in the whole weekend.

Email List Signup

Sign up for our monthly email newsletter with announcements of upcoming events, results, and news articles.

Required Waiver

Minors attending without a parent must bring this required waiver filled out by their parent for each event or they will NOT be allowed to participate. Adults and parents with children may sign the waiver at the event.

About LAOC

LAOC is a volunteer-run club promoting map navigation and enjoyment of the outdoors. Learn more here!


Fatal error: Class CToolsCssCache contains 1 abstract method and must therefore be declared abstract or implement the remaining methods (DrupalCacheInterface::__construct) in /home/content/74/8812274/html/drupal/sites/all/modules/ctools/includes/css-cache.inc on line 52