Here is the OO Cup 06 Day 1 M21E map, and here are my routes.
|Navigation to the map was
harder than the map itself
After Croatia it was on to Slovenia for a couple of days of training and
day 1 of the OO Cup before heading on to SOW at Zermatt. This turned
out to be the highlight of the trip, not only because whatever sickness
I had seemed to magically clear up (only to return in Zermatt), but
because I was lucky enough to stumble onto one of the magical places
on this planet. As Warren Buffet's distant cousin sang (among other
things) -- "changes in latitudes/changes in attitudes".
The good folks at Orienteering Online set me up with several training
maps in north-central Slovenia, centered around Mozirje, and the place I ended up spending my training time was a map called Velika Planina.
The map was basically on the top of a mountain, and quite an adventure
to even get to (I actually used that sign to aid in my navigation).
The map featured an extremely technical and physical northern section,
while the main part was much more open with large karsts to weave
around and trap the unwary. But what got you was the stunning views
of the surrounding mountains and countryside, as well as a botanist's
dream of wildflowers. There were bees everywhere, and you simply had to
go home with a jar or two of one of the many varieties of Slovenian honey
(and honey schnapps) which captured the essence of this place. And
just like Laramie and Kazakhstan, there is a primal joy about running
thru this sort of terrain -- open enough to be fast and fun, while
technical enough to be interesting.
Velika Planina, north part
The olog and pics can't possibly describe the wonder of this place,
one has to experience it firsthand. Fortunately, this will be possible
next year, as the first ever Slovenian 5 Day will take place on these
maps, among others around Mozirje. While there will certainly be plenty
of "5 days" in various European countries in 2007 that will be competing
with this, I think this is worth getting to. I've seen the maps,
terrain, countryside, friendly locals, friendly towns, and great
folks at OO who set me up, and I can highly recommend these races as
an interesting mix of technical and physical orienteering, as well
as natural beauty, and, most likely, a fun travel experience.
Velika Planina, fun part
After the training, it was on to Bohinjsko jezero (lake Bohinj) and
the Julian Alps in northwest Slovenia for the OO Cup. I blew off
the model to lounge on the lake (the first time I've ever done this,
and I did feel guilty about it), and could only do the first day of
the OO Cup, but it was worth it.
After a 48 line climb to the start, which still didn't put us at the
top of the mountain, I managed to put in a 14 min/k pace, and was
happy about it, only booming #10 on a very tough, and appropriately
set, middle distance course. The average time on M21E was 12.5
min/k. It is nice to have this sort of thing once in while, and you
have to go to Europe to get it. It was amazing that a 4K course could
mix in long O-style route choice problems, technical short O,
terrain changes, and incredible views. (The map is 1:7500, so the
lines are closer together than they appear). The last two pics sort
of show what the rocky, white woods in the latter part of the course
looked like, tho this forest was more technical.
I've been thinking about my boom of #10 alot since this race, for
some reason. It seems there may be something to be learned here.
A boom is going to cost, 30 seconds, minimum, in almost all cases,
and in many cases, much more, even up to 2 or 3 minutes. Walking
to the control isn't going to cost that much on such a short leg,
yet will eliminate the risk of boom. Since the penalty of an in
or near circle boom is unrelated to the leg length, there are
circumstances where it is a good bet for people at my skill level
to walk to controls, and #10 was one of those cases.
In any case, I totally endorse orienteering in Slovenia, and hope
people can make it to OO Cup 07.