=-O How did that happen?! As a club with no clear strategy or captain (although we did have a banner which was more than many) we somehow managed to rack up enough points at Tentsmuir to come 3rd in the Trophy class (small clubs) and a mere 6 points behind arch-rivals Maroc. Result!
It’s a team competition so you need strength and depth across a variety of age classes/courses, so potentially anyone’s score could be the deciding factor between placings.
Tentsmuir’s an area well suited to such a broad variety of competitors with a grid of forest blocks, some of which have small patches and ridges of highly complex contour detail for the TD5 courses. The blocks seem ridiculously easy at first glance but lulled one or two of us into a false sense of security and caught us napping.
Thanks to all 31 Gramps who ventured down and particularly to our 13 highest scorers shown in bold below.
Helen & Stuart Anderson; Evgueni Chepelin; Bob Daly; David Esson; Morven, Kirsty & Laura Farquharson;Sam, Lesley & Josie Gomersall; Oonagh Grassie;Sam, Noah & Tim Griffin; Rob & Anne Hickling; Anne Hoy; Pete Lawrence; Alan & Jayne Macgregor; Neil McLean; Iain, Calum & Carolyn McLeod; Richard Oxlade; Ali Robertson; Rachel Scott;
Bob Sheridan; Gordon Urquhart; Duncan Will. For full results check out Robin Strain’s results pages.
This now means that we’ve qualified for the CSC final down in Devon 22/10/17 at the intriguingly named area, Virtuous Lady – fancy an Autumn break anyone? FlyBe will get you to Exeter via Manchester for a mere £180!
Is your GRAMP club top getting a bit jaded and battle-weary these days? Fancy a change anyway?
Ali has been tasked with coming up with a new design and has been busy discussing materials and designs with potential customers (“no castles on bums!” was the feedback at the HHH lunch) and suppliers.
So how about this? Click on the image to embiggen it.
Size guide here and there’s a choice of a zip collar top or technical T in different materials. Hunt him down, ask for more details, place an order!
Woohoo! Congratulations to Lesley for sweeping up two trophies a couple of weekends ago (and apologies for not spotting this and posting sooner :-[)
And she wasn’t the only Champ as Gramp mopped up several of the
other Night Trophies too… congrats to Helen, Carolyn, Keith and
Scottish Night Champs
W45L 1st Helen Rowlands
W50L 1st Carolyn McLeod
W55L 1st Lesley Gomersall
M/W Open 1st Keith Yardley
M70L 1st Neil McLean
M55L 3rd Richard Oxlade
Scottish Sprint Champs
W55 1st Lesley Gomersall
M21 2nd Callum McLeod
M55 3rd Sam Gomersall
W50 3rd Carolyn McLeod
Full results and RouteGadget can be found on the MOR website.
What do you make of the courses?
Quick summary of you for those of you who didn’t go to the AGM:
Busy year: Forest Sprints, Summer Series, Level C events, Urban etc.
Scottish Champs in May – run jointly with MAROC
JIRCS in Sept – very successful, Ian coordinated whole w/e
GMC – Dave plus 2 Ians – no issues – might move it to April? No one has yet volunteered to organise the next one…..
Looking at getting new club kit – Ali Robertson will reveal all soon (?!)
Would like to organise more coaching- but need someone to plan it and liaise with coaches. If you’re interested please get in touch with the committee. You don’t have to be a medal-winning orienteer just enthusiastic and we can get you some training/mentoring.
It’s getting more and more expensive to run events, mainly levies on all events and Forestry Commission permissions on the larger events. Our aim is to keep the summer events at cost and on the level C events, which often have more costs attached try to make a small profit and help maintain a surplus in the account. So unfortunately entry fees have been raised …….. but we still think we are offer the best deal around.
So, for 2017:
Level D (summer series, urban sprint etc) £4 and £2
Level C £6 and £3
Week end away? Opportunity to do some coaching and go to big event as a club.
Adrian Will thanked all for effort and time over the year
Liz Sloan is our new Social Secretary – anyone got any ideas for club events other than curling this year?
Club Championships Overall Trophy Winners
Class 1st (Trophy)
Junior Women Naomi Lang
Junior Men Paul Caffyn
Senior Women Kate Robertson
Senior Men Mark Stockton
Veteran Women Lesley Gomersall
Veteran Men Gareth Yardley
Super- Veteran Women (>55) Oonagh Grassie
Super-Veteran Men (age over 55) Rob Hickling
John Duncan Cup Medal Winners:
W8 Bronze Emily Robertson
W10 Silver Hannah Will
W12 Silver Morven Farquharson
W14 Silver Isobel Anderson
W16 Gold Naomi Lang
M8 Gold Oli Robertson
M10 Bronze Robert Prince
Grampian Orienteers Roll of Honour for 2016
Scottish Elite Development Squad: Tim Gomersall, Katrina McLeod, Sasha Chepelin, Oleg Chepelin
M50S Individual: Pete Lawrence
W60S Individual: Oonagh Grassie
17+ Points Relay Class: Sam Gomersall, Carolyn McLeod and Bob Daly
M16B Lachlan Kirk
M60L Rob Hickling
M65S George Esson
M70L Neil McLean
M85 Angus Aitken
W16L Naomi Lang
W50L Carolyn McLeod
W65S Margaret Aust
M12A Sam Griffin
M55L Bob Daly
M55S Richard Oxlade
M60L Paul Duley
W65S Audrey Wilson-Hay
M50S 2nd Pete Lawrence
M55S 1st Richard Oxlade
M60L 1st Rob Hickling
M60L 3rd Paul Duley
M65S 3rd George Esson
W50 L 3rd Lesly Gomersall
W60S 1st Oonagh Grassie
WYJ 2nd Morven Farquharson
WJ 2nd Josie Gomersall
Scottish Night Championships
M55 1st Sam Gomersall
SOA Presidents Medal: Richard Oxlade
Presidents Alarm Clock: Rob Hickling (Geo referencing all the Maps, and support Mo Farah!)
Musgrave Trophies: Carolyn McLeod – Coaching the Juniors.
Iain McLeod – Organising the JIRCS weekend
Chairman’s Quaich: Richard Oxlade – organising Scottish Champs relays
Did you know that Dave Kirk is the Booking Secretary of the Cairngorm Club Climbing Hut called Muir, near Inverie, near Braemar?
It is free for the week of the 6 Day if anyone wants to book in. People can stay for as many nights as they like. It might be most suitable for the second half of the week when the events are near Braemar. More info can be found on the Cairngorm Club website (Muir section) http://www.cairngormclub.org.uk/muircottage/muircottage.htm.
It’s £12 pppn for adults and £6 pppn for under 16s. Max 22 places available each night, in five separate rooms.
Anyone interested in staying should contact Dave directly dkirk006 ‘at’ btinternet.com.
Congratulations to all our trophy winners!
Juniors: Naomi Lang & Paul Caffyn*
Seniors: Kate Robertson & Mark Stockton*
Veterans: Lesley Gomersall* & Gareth Yardley
Super Veterans: Oonagh Grassie & Rob Hickling*
*these folk retained their 2015 titles but Mark cut it a bit fine in his ding-dong battle with Gordon Urquhart – will 2017 be Gordon’s year?
The trophies were presented at the AGM. If you weren’t there and think nobody else might have collected on your behalf then contact John Lang asap.
In case you’re wondering how the points are calculated, these are the Gramp Champs rules:
2016 events were: Glen O’Dee, Tyrebagger, Torphantrick, Crathes, Glen Fearder, Glen Dye, Carlogie, Scolty, Muir of Dinnet.
2017 events will be announced soon so watch this space…..
Would you like to see the Gramp Champs results published at intervals throughout the year? Would this encourage you to attend more events? If you want the results in Excel format so you can do a bit more analysis and figure out which 2017 events to target for maximum points then contact email@example.com.
Where? The Craigiebuckler Scout Hall, accessed from Craigibuckler Drive starting promptly at 7pm. No parking on the grass please!
When? 7pm en punto
What? AGM business followed by prizegiving and food and fun and games and blether
Just a reminder for everyone to bring a dish to share to the AGM and your own choice of beverage. Your dish can be savory or sweet, and perfect if it can be shared.
If you have any special dietary needs, it is assumed you will ensure you bring a sharing dish to suit your needs.
Drinks as per usual is BYOB “Bring Your Own Bottle/Booze/Beverage”. Please remember your own serving spoons and tongs to suit. Cutlery, napkins, cups and plates will be provided.
There will be team games for all following the meal.
Bring your food 5/10 minutes early to allow a prompt start to the AGM at 7pm.
See you all there.
Listen out for John Lang about 1:33 into the programme talking about orienteering and the new Duthie Park Permanent Courses (you can listen to the rest too of course.)
The results have now been published for the 2016 SOUL races, sponsored by BTO Solicitors.
Congratulations to everyone who took part, and especially to the following who finished in the top 10 of their class :-
2nd Morven Farquharson
4th Kirsty Farquharson
2nd Josie Gomersall
M Vet 40+
5th Peter Lawrence
W Vet 40+
7th Rachel Scott
M Vet 55+
7th Sam Gomersall
Full results can be found here.
Have you played “Spot the Gramp” in the latest edition of Focus?
Helen Anderson gives the low down on our (slightly serendipitous) World Orienteering Day event at Balmedie in June and Murray Anderson is pictured in action at the Scottish Champs at Balmoral in May.
Karen Darke, para-cycling medal winner and one of our patrons of Scottish Orienteering, will be competing in the Paralympics in Rio next week.
Silver 2012 London Paralympic Games H1-2 time-trial
Silver 2014 UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships, USA H3 time-trial
Bronze 2014 UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships, USA H3 road race
….to name a few of her major results but if you read her bio on the Team GB site you’ll see she plays just as hard!
Think it’s all happening on Wed 14th so tune in and cheer her on.
Update: Gold! Missed it live? pic and brief report can be found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/disability-sport/37363311
One person admitted to oversleeping and not getting to Glen Dye when expected to set up the all important time-keeping system and having to be chased from their bed by a phone call from the Planner at 10-ish. He claimed: “Mo Farah made me do it!”
One person admitted to having inadvertently embezzled club assets while they were still in office as Treasurer and sheepishly handed over the red tunnel tent.
One person admitted to double-handedly (judging by the tell-tale spread of purple stains around their mouth) eat all the blaeberries at Glen Dye. Obviously the new wonder-berry though as he won the White comfortably.
Several parent-child* pairings from NE Scotland entered this year’s SLMM in Martindale, it’s becoming a bit of a tradition. Congratulations to the following Gramp and Maroc teams:
Lachlan and Dave Kirk, 29th (out of 71 finishers) in Carrock Fell class
Keith and Gareth Yardley, 4th (out of 86 finishers) in Harter Fell class
Alistair and Craig Chapman, 3rd in Bedafell class (out of 43, but out of 120 if you include Wansfell class on same course)
Peter and Nick Collins, 13th in Bedafell class (ditto)
If you see Bob Daly going about at one of the Summer Series over the next few weeks congratulate him on his call up to the Scottish Vets Squad for the VHIs in Northern Ireland 3rd/4th September. (If you don’t know him, he’s the one who always runs late and always offers to collect controls.)
Tim Griffin and Paul Duley are also down as reserves and Rob Hickling already had a better offer so although invited had to decline.
The fell-runners of the club were out and about over the weekend taking part in the last Highlander Mountain Marathon in Glen Cannich.
“A great event and amazing weather conditions, with some really tough courses. Didn’t expect the B to be quite the test it was for me, or my right shoe (which had half it’s sole hanging off on the start line of Day 2!!) Highlander 2016 will live long in the memory!” Ali Robertson
The Gramps I’ve spotted so far in the results:
A course: 3rd Tim Gomersall (with BASOC’s Johannes Felter)
5th Gareth Yardley and Ian Hamilton (not bad at all for a last minute substitution? 2nd Vet team too)
8th Ali Robertson (with MAROC’s Andrew McMurtrie)
C course: 32nd Dave and Lachlan Kirk (who get a mention for registering as Grampian Orienteers. Yeay!)
Score: 48th Lynn Smith and Bob Sheridan (35th Vets too)
In recognition of his invaluable contribution to the success of Highland 2015, this year the SOA President’s Medal will be going to Richard Oxlade. Read all about it here.
Congratulations and thanks once again from the rest of the club to Richard for stepping up to that very challenging role on our behalf. (Just hope that being Medallion Man 2016 doesn’t go to his careful and calm head!)
Anne Hickling is doing a charity trek for WaterAid later this year and was busy raising funds at the Relays today. Ask her all about it at one of the Summer Series events as I can’t remamber the name of the mountain she’ll be climbing but I do remember it’s 3002m high so that’s her target in £ too. Doubt there were any cakes left today (despite Helen having to use a wide angle lens to get them all in the pic) but I’m sure she’ll bake to order for Templars Park BBQ if we were all each to pledge a £1 extra on top of our Summer Series fee for 10 of the events?
In 2017 the Woodland Trust will launch a Charter for Trees, Woods and People, a lasting legacy for the whole of the UK, leading more than 50 organisations in a call to define the charter. (Is SOA one of those organisations I wonder?)
“The charter will:
- Help to unlock the potential of the UK’s trees and woods.
- Improve our lives and landscapes.
- Celebrate the trees in our lives.
Tell us your tree story. It could be about your favourite tree that you climbed as a child, or the sapling you planted in the garden of your first home. Maybe it’s a memory of the woods you always walked in with your family, or something you made with your own hands out of wood. We need your stories to help us understand what people want and need from the UK’s trees. Tell us what woods and trees mean to you. Share your story today.”
Share your orienteering stories with them today – click here.
(You could consider joining WT too?)
I’d forgotten until Sarah Dunn reminded me yesterday so I’ve retrospectively registered Balmedie on the WOD website and our 39 participants are now part of the bid to create a record for the most folk O-ing on a single day. Not sure when they stop counting but 172,081 so far when I last looked and still counting.
WOD website – scroll down for one of those interactive, blobby maps showing who’s registered and where and you can then zoom right down to Scotland and eventually Balmedie. Did you know there’s a club in Nuuk in Greenland? They had 8 participants. Research station I wonder? Fascinating stuff.
If you were at Balmedie then you might like to award yourself this WOD diploma to stick on the fridge?
WOD newsletter here.
1996 11 Person Relay Winners
Richard Oxlade, Rob Hickling, James Esson, Tim Nash, Bob Daly
Gordon Hendry, George Esson
Andrew Lobban, Duncan Grassie, Laura Mackinnon, David Esson
The first (and only) response to our wee competition was Neil McLean whose first reaction on seeing the photo was disbelief: “But why wasn’t I in the team?”
He quickly regained his composure sufficiently to correctly identify not only the year, the competition and the team members but also the location as being “the top end of Scolty”.
His composure was shot down in tatters again tonight when presented with his prizes – a legendary GRAMP chocolate coin and a bit of GRAMP memorabilia in the shape of a rather fetching pair of red lycras, not too dissimilar to those sported by Bob in the photo.
Many thanks to David Esson for supplying the photo and results. Does anyone else have anything stashed away that Rob, our club historian, could borrow to scan in and publish during our anniversary year? (Mr Controller 1996, we’re looking at you for starters…)
Ali has flagged up that there is a survey on the BOF website for folk to give their opinions on whether or not JK should permanently change to having Sprint, Middle, Classic and Relay for all age classes (it’s doing this anyway in 2017). The link to the survey is here… http://bit.ly/1YrtN0S
Gramps used to travel far and wide to multi-day events like the JK but I’ve noticed these days we’re struggling to get above double figures (apart from the 6 Days).
If you don’t already go to these, what would tempt you to start? Would a change in format to mix it up a bit do the trick so that rather than knackering yourself on 3 long classic courses you could have a bit more fun and still have time to be a tourist too?
Tell BOF and I’m sure the 6 Days spies will be keeping an eye on this too as similar changes have been mooted for that.
Click on the photo to get a better view if needed, then drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the answers to these questions:
Who are all these skinny/hirsute people?
What year was the photo taken?
What was the event they’d just won?
I’ll give the answers (and lavish prize) at the GRAMP dinner and post them here too on the 22nd.
The Grampian Orienteers’ annual dinner is once again being held at Raemoir House Hotel. The price is £26.50 for 3 courses and coffee.
If you have not attended the dinner before it comes highly recommended, this is a great opportunity to meet your fellow orienteers somewhere other than a forest car park! If you have been to previous dinners then you will know it is not to be missed. If you would like to attend then please contact Helen Anderson using this form.
This year you have the added bonus of a level C event at Crathes on Sunday 24th where you can burn off those extra calories.
I’ve just sat and amended the Gramp email distribution list based on the latest membership database. I’ve assumed that there’s been no change of email address so if you haven’t received an eGRAMP email from me 27/2/16 (re membership list and Hack-O-thon) then please contact Helen Anderson using the Contact page from the menu above to check/register your new address.
I’ve left about 5 names on the list of folk who’ve not renewed yet but I think you might just not have got round to it.
Are you sure you’ve renewed? If you’re not sure, check your bank statement for a payment to BOF in mid-December or contact Helen Anderson to check.
Nothing to do with orienteering but he is a Gramp so I feel totally justified in passing on a link to something Ian Searle spotted and flagged up with the comment ‘Simply outstanding!’ Seconded!
Intrigued? Click here.
Well the wrinklies were either too slow or didn’t chance their way past some very unclear mapping particularly in the old town of South Queensferry, so no Champs to report. But the girls did well – Josie Gomersall was 2nd W16 and Morven and Kirsty took 3rd and 4th respectively in W12.
What’s this got to do with orienteering? Well, it has been known for competitors to collapse and the cakes that Maroc Juniors turn out are choking hazards just waiting to happen as you gobble them down they’re so good!!
The defibrillator kept in CNR’s reception was recently used, successfully I’m happy to say, on a member of the public who’d collapsed outside. Our SHE department sent round a link to an interactive video from the Resuscitation Council (UK) on how to perform CPR, use a defib and also how help anyone choking.
I know we have club members trained in first aid but it’s still worth taking a look at this just in case it’s you who has to act in the middle of a forest one day. Be warned, it’ll get your heart racing as you try to “resuscitate” victims with your keyboard while a clock ticks down and the mood music and acting simulate the pressure you’d feel. Very effective messaging as well as teaching you the mechanics.
Can you beat 68/70 in 165 seconds?
(all options selected, 3 multiple choice answers per question)
Congratulations to all our trophy winners!
Juniors: Josie Gomersall & Paul Caffyn
Seniors: Ewelina Szczeblewska & Mark Stockton
Veterans: Lesley Gomersall & Evgueni Chepelin
Super Veterans: Sonia Armitage & Rob Hickling
The trophies were presented at the AGM, although some recipients queried the results (Lesley G, “Are you sure?!”) If you weren’t there and think nobody else might have collected on your behalf then contact the Ian Hamilton asap.
For those of you who didn’t make it to the AGM, here’s a copy of the Chairman’s Report and the 2015 Roll of Honour and other awards.
The last championship event of the year, the Scottish Score Orienteering championships, was held last Sunday 22nd November at Pitmedden Forest, Fife. The provisional results can be found are the KFO website here.
Gramp competitors ran well and came away with some excellent results:
In the associated Scottish Inter-Club competition, GRAMP was 3rd in the Large Clubs class, behind ESOC and RR. We beat FVO, TAY and Interlopers, despite having fewer counting competitors than each of those three clubs.
The trophies for the 2015 Compass-Point Scottish Orienteering League (SOL) were also presented at the event. Click here to find out the final SOL positions and GRAMP’s class winners.
So a great end to the year on the competition front.
The club AGM and social will be on Saturday 5th December at The Scout Hall, Oakhill Crescent (near the Atholl Hotel) starting promptly at 7pm.
Short AGM & prize-giving (including the GRAMP Club Championships), followed by ‘Bring a Dish to Share’ supper (food and drink), and some entertaining games for adults and juniors.
Please come prepared to air your views about any topic and suggestions for next year.
Juniors welcome too – there’s another room to escape to so you don’t need to be involved with the talking bit, but can then join in the eating bit!
Any queries? Contact the secretary using this form.
See also this is flyer (with map). NB The Scout Hall is on a narrow lane, late-comers may need to park on Oakhill Road.
Post-AGM event at Tollohill on Sunday 6th December!
Congratulations to David and Lachlan Kirk on their excellent 10th place on the C Course in this year’s OMM.
Quite a debut for an M16 (although we already knew that Lachlan can run the legs off anything!)
And thanks for the tip off and congratulations too to Mark Stockton and Urban Sprint newcomer, Chris Cowley, on their 11th place on the A.
He won’t thank me for telling you this (he’s very quiet and self-effacing) but we have a hero in our midst. He’s been regularly volunteering to get controls in after events for years and years but looks like he’s now started collecting competitors instead…..!
“Can you relay a thank you to Bob Daly who came upon me injured in the forest today and reported this to the controller? He then came back up to help carry me to a waiting car. I have a spiral fracture of the fibula in my right leg and a stitched right knee – the result of 2 separate mishaps! Please pass on my heartfelt thanks – I was so glad to see him in the forest! Regards Marjory Craig”
Well done to GJOs Dara Tivendale, Morven Farquharson, Isobel Anderson, Kirsty Farquharson, Duncan Will, Douglas Walmsley, Mairi Walmsley and Alex Lang for holding it together at Wood of Easter Clune over the weekend and not being phased by stiff competition from Maroc and MOR.
They ran in courses varying from White to Light Green and for many this would have been their first taste of major competion. 264 points total gave them 3rd place overall and they also boosted their (JD)2C scores at the same time. An excellent day all round!
This pair of apes were spotted swinging through the canopy at Crathes this afternoon. There is a banana skin for the first person who can work out which Gramp members are in disguise.
…Adventure Show, BBC2, Sunday 19:00
Features the blood, sweat and tears of WOC2015. I know we all know the results already but you can still cheer on our local elites, Spongey and Jess.
Great result for Tim yesterday in a truly mind boggling race around the peaks on either side of Glen Coe. Part hill running, part scrambling, part Spider Manning his way round 30 odd km of brutal terrain in 7:55:09 and only 11 minutes behind the Skyrunning World Champion, Emelie Forsberg. (Don’t think he’ll mind being chicked in this case!)
Take a look the website http://www.glencoeskyline.com for a squiz at the race route and possibly photos soon but to give you a brief flavour: “The race route traverses high and remote mountainous terrain. Once committed to many sections of the race route it is impossible to retreat.” (Actually that last bit could equally apply to some of Day 5 of Highland 2015?) Followed by: “Our proposed route features long and sustained sections of scrambling terrain, which is roughly equivalent to moderate standard rock climbing. Be under no illusions that a slip or trip on these serious sections of the route could result in death.”
Ali Robertson leaping over one of Strathfarrar’s finest boggy bits.
(Photo by ActivNorth)
This may look impressive but is as nothing compared to the hoops Richard Oxlade and Anne Hickling have been jumping through on our behalf over the last two years in their respective roles as Highland 2015 Co-ordinator and Scottish Orienteering 6-Day Event Co. Ltd Chairman. A huge thank you to both of them for delivering another great 6 Days despite the added complications of dovetailing with WOC 2015.
Richard even found time to run 4 days of the 6 coming 49th in M55S which is even more impressive given what must have been churning through his mind rather than concentrating on the map.
Several other Gramps were drafted in to help on the Highland 2015 Central Organising Committee too: Kevin Reynard – Treasurer (not to mention his band of eager helpers back at his Counting House), Jayne MacGregor and Anne Hoy – Traders (free coffee and burgers as perks of that job), Anne Hickling again – Nairn Open Sprint Organiser and Rest Day Co-ordinator, Helen Rowlands – Website Updater and Routegadget Putter-upperer.
We also provided Planners for Day 4 in the shape of Ian Searle and Pete Lawrence (to fill gaps left by more experienced members of other clubs drafted in to plan WOC courses), David Esson was the Planner/Organiser for the MTBO on the rest day, Jonathan Smith for the Trail Run and of course all of us stepped up to the mark to deliver Day 1 in true well-organised Gramp style with help from orienteers from WCH, WIM, Goldseekers, SLOW and INVOC. Big thanks go to Adrian Will and Helen Anderson for being our Day Organisers, Ali Robertson as joint Planner with Fraser Purves of FVO and Neil McLean as Controller along with Roger Coombs MAROC.
Somewhere in amongst all that activity, about 70 Gramps, from M/W10 and less to W75, found time to run or hobble round most days and enjoy the best terrain that Scotland has to offer, not to mention some serious relaxation with great banter and camaraderie in the club tent and at the BBQ. We had one podium finisher in the overall results: congratulations to Kate Robertson on her 3rd place W35S.
(It seems traditional to provide some quirky stats in this kind of round up so I offer you this little curiosity to finish: the Red/Blue start list had ~3250 names on it, took up ~50 pages of A4 and weighed 280g.)
A small but determined contingent of Gramps travelled across to EckoLand for the Scottish Championships 23rd/24th May and gained several podium finishes between them:
17+ Points Relay Class: Gramp One aka Carolyn and Iain McLeod and Bob Daly (Woohoo!)
W21S Individual: Heather Hale (Woohoo too!)
W50L Carolyn McLeod
W55S Anne Hoy
M50S Richard Oxlade
W55S Sonia Armitage
W60S Anne Hickling
M60L Rob Hickling
Click here for a video or read on….
Well….. the basic idea is to navigate your way around a course, usually in the woods, using a specially drawn map which shows features such as streams, fences, boulders and crags. You have to start at the Start (!), finish at the Finish (!!) and visit a series of control points along the way, but it’s entirely up to you how you get from point to point and whether you run hell for leather or bimble round with the kids and dog and have a picnic en route. If you like treasure hunts, the outdoors, running or any combination of these then give it a go.
Where do events take place and how to find them?
Our fixtures list shows what’s happening where and when and gives you a link to a map online so you can find us. When you get close to the event car park you’ll probably see red and white orienteering signs to show you the way. The summer events are particularly ideal for beginners being either in or close to Aberdeen and hopefully warm enough that it doesn’t matter if you take a while to get into the swing of it.
What to bring?
Trainers or lightweight boots and tracksuit bottoms or similar that you don’t mind getting a bit mucky; a compass if you have one for orientating the map; a drink/snack for afterwards; a few £’s to pay for your map.
What to expect at your first event….
Having parked, look out for a queue of people by a car or tent waiting to register. You’ll be asked for your name (so we can keep track of who’s out there and the time taken for keen competitors) and which course you want to try. Don’t be afraid to ask advice about which course is the best for you. To begin with try the easy/medium or yellow/orange courses as they are based on tracks or other linear features such as walls. Eventually you’ll work up to a light green and beyond where things start to get a bit more technical. You’ll be issued with a map, a set of control descriptions and usually an electronic timing device called an emit brikke (the system comes from Scandinavia.)
The map…. will look a little strange at first with colours and symbols that might as well be hieroglyphics, but you should be able to recognise tracks, paths, streams and contours. There should be a legend printed down the side to explain the other features but for beginners courses you’ll be using linear features so make sure you know what a track, path, stream, fence and a wall look like and forget about the rest for the time being. The other thing you should note about your map is the scale – we use 1:10,000 or 1:15,000 scale maps to get the necessary detail in. That means that 1cm on the map represents 100m or 150m on the ground respectively. Imagine what the 100m dash looked like on the school playing field and that should help you judge the distance you need to go between controls.
The control descriptions…. will show a list of controls and you must visit them in that order. Control sites are marked by special orange and white “kites” to make them easier to spot at a distance. Each control on the list will have a number or letter code next to it. When you actually reach that control, it will have a code physically attached to it so you know you’ve got the right one. The list also gives a brief description of the feature that you’re looking for, e.g. path/stream junction, fence bend, to help you home in on it once you’re in the right area on the map. The descriptions are in the form of a pictorial code – just ask someone for a translation or ask for one of our cards explaining the different symbols.
The brikke…. should be attached to your finger using the strap and fits snuggly in the palm of your hand, orange side facing outwards. Every time you get to a control, including the Start and Finish, place the brikke onto the base plate, orange to orange, and make sure that the red LED on the control flashes. At the Start, as soon as you lift your brikke from the control, any previous timing data is wiped and the timing starts for your run. (So don’t punch the Start again by mistake instead of the Finish if you’re bothered about timing!) Again, don’t be afraid to ask for help on the use of these – there is always someone hanging around to help beginners.
Starts…. generally you can start whenever you like after you’ve got your brikke and map but there will be a last start cutoff time and also a time when all courses close, as obviously the people organising would like to get home sometime the same day! If you want you can leave your car keys at registration before setting off.
Finish…. once you’ve punched the Finish control, go to the download point (often the same place as registration) and hand in your brikke. You will be given your time on a slip of paper which also shows how long it took you between each control. IMPORTANT – Even if you don’t finish your course, you must still go to download to hand in your brikke – this is the only method we have of knowing that you’re back safe and sound and we don’t need to call out International Rescue.
Here’s another article courtesy of the OS explaining the basics if all that above isn’t enough words – best way to explain is to come along to one of our events and we’ll show you.
What should I wear?
A pair of trainers or lightweight boots and jogging bottoms or similar will do fine to begin with. You might also want to bring a light cagoule if it looks like rain and something to change into afterwards as it can be a bit muddy at any time of year.
Do I need to know how to use a map and compass?
A rough idea of what North is all about should be more than enough. Although we use compasses, we don’t take bearings the same way as hillwalkers do – rather we use the compass to make sure that the map is orientated correctly relative to North as there are special lines on an orienteering map that represent magnetic North. Ask for a lesson on how to do this when you register or have a look at this online guide to using a compass.
Who can take part?
Pretty well anybody can take part in normal orienteering events – there is usually a short course of 1km or so on main paths aimed at kids plus a series of courses getting progressively longer and more technical. We have a couple of ladies who manage to get round quite rough stuff with the aid of sticks and although not as fast as they used to be they still enjoy the navigational challenge. There is a special brand of orienteering originally created to allow the physically disabled to compete on an equal basis called Trail-O, but these are specialised events that don’t take place that often.
Is it really competitive?
Yes and No! If you find that you and orienteering click, you can progress to the level where you compete nationally or even internationally. On the other hand, probably 50% of Gramp’s members are more than happy to take part for the simple pleasure of being outdoors and getting a bit of exercise both physically and mentally.
How much does it cost?
Local events typically cost £4 per adult per course, bigger events £12 upwards (unless you join a club in which case you get a discount.)
Entry fees are usually advertised in the event details. If you want to join Gramp then there is a small annual fee – see the joining post – or contact the membership secretary for details.
Is it always the same kind of courses described here?
Generally, yes, but there are other variations on the theme such as Night-O, relays or Score events where you have a time limit in which to find as many controls as you can in any order you like. There are long distance events in moorland/mountain terrain, mountain bike O, park races and street events . For the summer series, Gramp members get really creative and put on all kinds of inventive courses to try and give a simple area a bit more of a challenge for experienced orienteers.
Can I practise anywhere else apart from the organised events?
There are several Permanent Orienteering Courses (POCs) in the Gramp area and also some up the Deeside valley which are looked after by another club, Maroc. And Bennachie FC visitor centre can supply you with maps for the semi-permanent courses always available there, details on the POCs page.
Where can I look up all these new terms and abbreviations I keep coming across?
Try the most excellent Jargon Buster courtesy of SOA – sorry that’s jargonese for Scottish Orienteering Association – and Fixture List De-Bunker.
Prompted by a good bit of feedback from a beginner regarding the lack of a legend on the Tyrebagger map (sorry about that) here is a useful link to a page explaining map symbols and control descriptions side-by-side put together by Brsitol Orienteering Klub.
(NB these are for forest maps. There is a different set for urban maps which I’ll post in the autumn for our Urban Sprints Series.)
TIP There’s a lot to take in on that page so concentrate on the basics…
Map symbols – concentrate on the linear features first:
– streams, ditches
– fences and walls
Once you get more confident and start to go “off piste”:
– start to read the contours (ask at Registration for a quick lesson if you find this hard at first)
– use the vegetation information to avoid the thickest trees and bracken and boggiest marshy bits
Control descriptions – concentrate on the symbols described as being in Column D:
– paths, tracks
– streams, ditches
– fences, walls
And the symbols in Column F:
Got those sussed? Good. Now add the symbols for the following to your control symbol vocabulary as these are often used on easier courses where they pop up next to linear features:
– depression (small hole in the ground)
– knoll (very small hill)
Worry about the rest later when you get onto the medium/harder courses – looks like loads when you look at that BOK page but you’ll only need about a quarter of what’s shown. And if you don’t recognise a control description just ask at Registration or go on a mystery tour and see what you find when you get there!
Rachel Scott and Kate Robertson helped Team CNR to victory today in the ActivityMix Corporate Decathlon Urban Navigation event. Although as it all took place within a very small and well-known area of central Aberdeen there was very little navigation involved unless you count the navigation through Google and Yahoo pages to find the answers to some of the questions as it was part treasure hunt, part pub quiz on the run and a little bit of selfie-ing, sometimes with the help of bemused but willing passersby up for a bit of fun.
Interesting concept – each team was issued with an iPhone running an app that showed a map of central Aberdeen marked with ~40 locations where questions could be found or instructions for selfies taken doing certain things.
Questions were worth 10, 20 or 30 points with half points value awarded if you used the Hint button and penalties if you were late back. Basically a 2 hour Score but with many technological twists.
As you got close enough to a question location and entered the small GPS hotspot around it, the app would pick up on it and then allow you to access the question but only while close enough to that hotspot. Answers were entered and submitted electronically and you instantly got feedback whether you’d got it right or not. There were also a couple of mystery questions whose locations weren’t marked but which popped up on the screen as you happened to pass the GPS hotspot to trigger them.
Wonder what the app was? Could we use it, or something similar, to put on urban POCs?
Which reminds me – I saw an ad in CompassSport for The iOrienteering App. Anyone got an iPhone and some time to spare to try it out?
Congrats to Pete Lawrence and Anne Hickling for their 3rd places overall on M50S and W60S respectively after 2 days of tough and intricate orienteering in the Lake District.
Steep, rocky, muddy hillsides really sorted the sheep from the mountain goats. It was all too tempting to follow the muddy trods along the path of least resistance even though your brain was saying you needed to keep higher and really concentrate on ticking off the features.
Anne also found the energy and brain power to compete in the Temp O and Pre-O competitions narrowly missing a top 10 finish in the latter.
Photo by Claro Orienteer (Flickr)
(It’s not often I get to put my own name up in lights so I’m going to enjoy this while it lasts….!)
Congrats to Helen Rowlands and Rachel Scott for winning 1st and 2nd Female in this year’s Mini Deeside Night Cup (aka the Short course). Chocolatey prizes featured largely and also vouchers from Field & Trek in Aboyne so thanks to them for their support for the DNC this year.
Lots of other Gramp DNC regulars took part and good to see a couple of our Juniors, Lachlan Kirk and Paul Caffyn, taking on the challenge and no doubt you’ll see the results in their day time orienteering this year as it seems to be what really boosts the Maroc Juniors’ performance.
At the curry and prize giving, Jon M mentioned that maybe next season we might try putting on an Orange course for Juniors and beginners to try and boost the DNC numbers as they seem to have stayed around the 30+ runners/event mark for quite a while now. MOR have put on a few more lowkey night O events recently which have proved very popular with families and beginners so the precedent has been set.
What do you think – would you be tempted to come out and enjoy the fun if there was an Orange on offer?
Jen Hickling’s taken over our Facebook page and has been busy culling things from the blogosphere and FB-land that she thinks you might like to see. Amongst other things we have a brand new cover photo featuring a stunning photo of Alex Lang in full flight during the rather wet 2014 Jamie Stevenson competition. (He’s said he’s quite chuffed to be the new face of Gramp and will be willing to sign autographs in exchange for chocolate.)
Jen’s keen to get you all involved so even if you don’t want to post or comment yourself you can send her snippets – she’s particularly looking for photos from events – to jenhickling1″at”gmail.com.
Go on, pay a visit now https://www.facebook.com/grampoc.
Last updated 23 May 2017
Level C Events – colour coded events
05 Nov Bennachie planner, organiser
Urban Series – 1 course
13 Sep Westhill
20 Sep Balgownie
Iain McLeod needs his garage back and would love to shift some of the Gramp Kit that has been sitting in boxes for a while now. He has a selection of tops – a mix of the Fugro sponsored Trimtex and the previous Noname ones with the castle-on-the-bum design – plus a handful of jackets and a single GJO Hoody.
Full details of sizes and prices here: Gramp Kit Sale Jan 2015.pdf
If you’re interested, give Iain a call on 01224 867297.
Iain also has some vintage clothing that ought to be fetching a premium but instead he’s only asking you to make a donation. Red and white T-shirts, retro tops and pride of place are some red lycras.
For those of you who didn’t make it to the AGM, here’s a copy of the Chairman’s Report and the 2014 Roll of Honour and other awards.
Don’t forget that Ian H is still waiting for your contributions to the 2014 Yearbook to add a little colour to this list of achievements so get scribbling!!
Couple of GRAMPs featured. One you can’t possibly miss in the Know Your Class Leader section where he describes his initial reluctance to get out into the woods (you’d never know it to look at him now!) and the other is hidden away in a crowd (the way she likes it) despite being a Legend.