Tuesday, February 26, 2008
ESG ski-o map and route
start-#1: I figured my options here were to approach it from the north, which was flatter but longer, or go over the top of the hill and approach it directly from the west. I opted for the latter, figuring that I wouldn't get too tired from the extra climb.
1-2: I could have continued around on the one-way trail, but decided to backtrack instead, saving some elevation and possibly some distance. I was lucky in that the "ungroomed" trail to the top was actually groomed, so this was pretty quick. When I reached the top of the hill I took my skis off and ran in to the control.
2-3: I was cursing one-way trails at this point. The way I saw it, I could either stay high, probably gaining some elevation and lots of distance, I could go low and follow that loop all the way around, or I could go low and then cut through the woods. I cut through the woods, again with skis off, where the trail came up next to the hill, since all I had to go on were contours. Came out right below the bend in the trail and spiked 3.
3-4: This was my only navigation error-- I glanced quickly at my map, noted the two bridges further north than the two tunnels, and planned my route to 4 from those bridges, as I skied to the tunnels. Stupid displacement error, I relocated off the tunnels thinking they were the bridges three times as stuff just wasn't making sense, eventually I stopped and really looked at my map and went DOH! Since the biathlon range was off limits, there wasn't much route choice to #4.
4-5: Skied through the control and then just took the trail that just kind of went there. I had been planning on skiing through the control but I was running so it didn't matter.
5-6: Came out of the snoeshow trail into the Cascade trail system, which was marked as ungroomed but was groomed with one classic track down the middle, dodging puddles. marathon skate was pretty viable, so I took the straightest line to 6, catching up to one of the masters on my course.
6-7: followed the trail that took me straight to 7. This was starting to feel like a straight-up ski race. And really, what is the point of putting 7 on top of that hill there? It adds nothing to the complexity of the race, the only thing it tests is your running speed while carrying skis. Last I checked, that isn't supposed to be part of ski-o...
7-8: Again, took the trail that basically went straight past 8's snowshoe trail, with one jog halfway.
8-9: Skied through 8 to the big trail, then took my skis off and post-holed my way through some thick trees to the trail 9 was on. Made up about 1.5 minutes on the master I was skiing with by not going around.
9-finish: not much thinking necessary, just went back to the finish the way I'd come.
The first third of the course (1-3) was interesting, with some good route choices, but the rest was pretty boring, to be honest. Double the number of controls would have been a good start.