Blackfoot Independent Orienteering

Blackfoot Independent Orienteering


On the Blackfoot map, 20km east of Sherwood Park , in the Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area, at the Waskahegan Trailhead. More location details below.

Available:any daylight hours up to 2 hours before sunset.

As there are no physical controls, you will need the MapRunF app to confirm you have found the locations, and a map so you also have a control description.
If you have just the printed map, you can take a look around the fields and learn more about contours by comparing the map with what you can see. Field 7-A might be better for this.

Our orienteering maps are in the grazing fields. Herds of cows and bulls rotate through the fields. We have no idea in advance which field they will be in, so we have planned courses in two adjacent fields. The fields are mostly open with rolling hills.
Currently (late June) after the wet spring, the fields are very wet: marshes are larger than shown on the map; some marshes run into the next one; some depressions shown as dry have standing water in them. You WILL get wet to above your ankles. MOSQUITOES!
Update [early August] the marshes are drying up and the mosquitoes have almost disappeared, but the grass is very long.
Seasonal cow trails are shown on the map – good for running along if you find one going in the right direction, but UNRELIABLE for navigation.
Fences: Fences along side the road are tight plain wire. Barbed wire fences surround the rest of the fields; you should not cross these barbed wire ones (except for longer courses in Field 7-A).

Differences from traditional events:
For Orienteering Club members only.
NO control flags or ribbons. NO SI units, NO punches.
NO registration banner, NO start banner, NO finish banner. NO direction signs. NO beginner instruction on site.
NO fees, but we expect you to meet the requirements below.

Requirements: as well as the usual 2m physical distancing, following COVID-19 instructions from the authorities, and staying home if you are sick or required to self-isolate:
That you have a buddy or two out there at the same time as you (but not necessarily going out on the same course, nor arriving in the same vehicle) [compulsory]
Be self-sufficient: 2 printed copies of the course(s) you expect to do (one to give your buddy) [compulsory]
Courses downloaded at home from the MapRunF app, and the codes written down for any you might do.
a map bag, whistle [compulsory], compass [compulsory] .
water and snacks
Be aware of the weather forecast, so sunscreen/hat?
LONG PANTS strongly recommended
Bug spray !!!!! for emergencies
Fully charged cell phone, if possible (reception is quite good over all the map)
Small first aid kit (in a car)
Toilet paper in a ziploc bag (in case there is none at the outhouses by the parking lot) Hand sanitizer.

For this particular event, wear old runners, (or soccer cleats) . Hiking boots are NOT suitable. Take a complete change of clothes for afterwards, in case (like one member) you trip and fall into a swamp. Dogs must be on a leash.

Safety Bearing for all the courses in Field 7-A is SOUTH TO THE FENCE/ROAD.
Safety Bearing for all the courses in Field 7-B & C is WEST TO THE FENCE/ROAD.
If you are using the app, there’s an easy way of bailing out if you are lost/confused, explained in the last paragraph on the independent page.
Give your second copy of the map to your buddy. Arrange with your buddy a time at which you will meet after doing the courses.
Medical emergency: Strathcona Community Hospital, 9000 Emerald Drive, Sherwood Park has 24 hour A&E. 780-449-5380. (north on RR210 to Yellowhead Hwy; west to Clover Bar exit, right and right again.)
For emergencies that you and/or your buddy cannot handle, phone 780-644-3880 (park wardens) or 9-1-1 .

There are 4 courses in each of Field 7-A and Field 7-B & C
NO absolute beginner course. No beginner instruction available on site.
Each of the two fields has a Technical Difficulty 3 (intermediate) course.
All the other courses are of a TD 4 level.
Recommendation is to download the apps and print maps – one course from each field, so that when you get there, you have an alternative if there are cows in one of the fields. A matching pair would be good idea. Plus extras for your buddy.
Plan C: if both fields are full of cows or your buddy does not want to orienteer, go for a hike. Hiking trails start from the southeast corner of the parking lot.

Control descriptions:
The start for all 8 courses is at a gate.
Control 125 in 7-B has the symbol for an underpass, in this case a culvert.
A diagonal line of dots is a narrow marsh.
An x in a circle is a root stock (a really big one in this case).
A curved line in column E indicates the feature is shallower than the map indicates.
control description manual

Location map and directions
Waskahegan Trailhead entry is east off RR210, 7km south of the Yellowhead. Street address: 52365 RR 210 Sherwood Park
Park in the south section of the parking lot, near the shelter and (open) out-houses. To get to the start, take the gravel road that goes east from the horse box parking area (for about 200m, to the other side of the Texas gate). Outhouses (open) next to the parking lot.

Organizers: Einar Viddal, Orienteering Canada level 300 official; and Geraint Edmunds, Orienteering Canada level 300 official and MapRunF administrator for Alberta.

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