O Log - More From the Team Trials

[23-May-06] 

    I've uploaded some pics. They're bad; the point is to learn how to use the software. I'll learn to use the new camera some other time.

    Vlad sent me a very detailed writeup on M21 day 3 control #4 (#248), (the one I griped about in my last entry), among other things. I've excerpted some of it here because I find it interesting. Note that the point is never to dis the club, course setter, controller, consultant, etc., just to learn.

    Quoting Vlad --

    the description is "western reentrant, bend". There was maybe a form line amiss that would show exactly where in the reentrant the bend is located. But there was already a form line at an intermediate elevation, so this original form line could have been modified rather than a new one, added.

    There is a similarly sized long reentrant to the east of the control, a part of which is in the circle, hence "western". The bag was about 15 m S of the actual bend because there was no tree at the bend on which to hang the bag. Therefore the bag was placed high. I came there on Saturday afternoon, saw the bag 15 m too far S, dragged it to the actual bend, saw no tree, went back and stuck it where it had been, only about 10 cm higher (it was already pretty high). The bag was, and ended up, well inside the circle.

    It is my belief that the control was sited and described correctly, within an acceptable margin.

    I think my problem stemmed from the fact that since there was no feature in the center of the circle, it was unclear which drainage system to look for. I think it is easy to assert that no feature in the center of the circle is an error. If one then assumes there is a pathology with this control, then it isn't much of a leap to assume that the description is also in error. In other words, something is wrong, therefore why trust the description, especially when you don't see a western reentrant? And I still don't really see "western" in the circle -- that looked like an error at the time. I felt the map was simply printed wrong, and it could be anywhere.

    In any case, it didn't affect my time too much, it didn't affect who made the team, nor did it affect enjoyment of the meet. But from a geek-out point of view, I feel it should have been handled differently. I'm not sure what I've learned, or how I would have approached this differently.

    Vlad points out that my route gadget is wrong on this, and it probably is. It was an estimate of the bag being somewhere to the south, which was my gut instinct at the time, and turned out to be true.

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