After missing the trail after the swim out of TA1, we had our eagle eyes out for this trail. It didn't look much like a trail in daylight. Near impossible to find at night.
When you're doing an AR, it's important to take the age of the topo map into consideration. The government topo maps of this area were based on 1988 information, which is fairly typical of Ontario topo maps. Getawaystix added a few extra trails that he'd encountered during testing but trails from a 1988 map may or may not exist as obvious trails in 2013. So (as you've seen firsthand) it's always good to have a back-up nav plan - usually involving contours or major water features. Also, it's worth buying a Backroads Map Book for any area where you plan to adventure race. Their info is usually newer than the topo, albeit with some inaccuracies.
P.S. Congrats - your team flew on the trek and had a great result overall!
Also, it's worth buying a Backroads Map Book for any area where you plan to adventure race.
Are you allowed non-race maps in AR?
You are allowed non-race maps before the race but not *during* the race. Teams sometimes use Google Earth to get a better idea of what different routes might be like.
Come to think of it, Bob handed out a copy of the Backroads Map Book page with the topo maps. So at this event, it *was* a race map.
We missed this trail exactly as you did and did not recover. This was our demise.... Good on you killing this section. :)
Great race Pat-hectic! I remember hearing Kate say that she wished she had more biking experience but it sounds like after 7 hours of that type of biking she got it. Well done on that trek as you guys nailed it! Curious was if difficult finding that 5 km portage to the east of Round Lake?
We had no problem; it was right where you'd expect a portage to be. Bob and I took that ATV trail on our first scouting expedition when we were actually intending to portage *into* Round Lake, as some sources had indicated might be possible. We had a good laugh when we realized that we were bypassing Round Lake completely. I think if it were me, I would have turned off that trail where the snowmobile trail leads west into the north end of Round Lake (directly opposite the turn you made on the bike section). It's a rough, overgrown trail but you could have paddled most of the way to CP7. Nobody did that.
Cool Bash! I figured it would be fairly easy as that area of the map seemed well traveled compared to other areas. IE Animal tracts..
It was all double track. A couple of teams actually did that portage by mistake during the bike section when they missed the turn-off to the Hydrocut. At least one team rode all the way to Wallace Lake and spent a little time figuring out what they'd done.
Yeah, the start of the 5km portage was easy to find.
We did consider paddling down the river that connects Round and Upper Marsh lake and cutting off 1km of the portage, but in the dark it looked overgrown, reedy and possibly beaver-dammy. In contrast, where we put in to Upper Marsh was exactly where Hammer and I had biked to last month - so there was some safety there!
Would have been a different decision if we'd been paddling in the daylight
From what we saw, the long portage was the fastest route in the dark - although I still think it may have been faster to jump off the main trail into the northeast part of Round Lake as mentioned above. The slowest route seemed to be the beaver-dammy creek and portages through Wallace-Burnt-Round Lakes. The Bear-Birch non-existent portage route worked well for the top teams who got through the hard part in daylight. I wouldn't choose to do it at night since the other two routes are easier to find in the dark, which is important when you're carrying a canoe.
We did the middle route in the dark. Well at least started it while in darkness and it wasn't too bad. After a bit of indecision with the portage trail heading S, we found our way. We were lucky it started to lighten up when we were required to find less distinct portage trails
Yes, your timing was good - daylight just when you needed it. Glad we managed to miss the poopfest when we did our course test!
Btw that was the western route you did. The *middle* route was Wallace-Burnt, and the eastern route was the long portage.
Oh yah, oops. And that is why I don't nav these longer one's! :)
Probably worth mentioning as well, all route choice kudos goes to Bender and Hammer, who pored over the maps, Google Earth and some other government maps website on Friday evening while Katie Mac and I sat on the couch eating peanut butter pretzels.
Carb loading is important for success too. It's not ALL about navigation.
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