Map of Great Tower Scout Activity CentreOur first course at Tarn Hows was designed for focusing on contours and using compass bearings. The area of open hilltop on the map was similar to something you’d find in Ireland, with slightly steeper ground than earlier. I found the short legs on this course perfect for contour visualisation. Afterwards, Robert, Zac and myself did another map memory course before returning to the hostel. We all agreed our first day of training went very well, and each of the courses were very useful for focusing on different aspects of orienteering techniques. Later that evening, there was a nightime sprint relay around the hostel grounds on the 1:1000 scale map [editor's note: that's one thousand, not ten thousand!!]. There were over 30 controls on the 1.5km courses. I didn’t run the relay, but it looked like good fun.
‘Contours and Bearings’ at Tarn Hows
The next morning, we drove to Esthwaite Intake for our last few training exercises of the weekend. We started off with a control pick exercise. The short legs proved how important your direction is while exiting a control. Next, there was a tricky corridor exercise, followed by a course with longer legs. Our aim for the longer legs was to combine all of the techniques we’d practised over the weekend together. Robert and Zac ran a longer course than me, so I re-ran a section of the control pick backwards while waiting for them. After a short warm-down we returned to the car and headed back to Manchester Airport.
The control pick exercise at Esthwaite Intake.We all really enjoyed the weekend overall, and we definitely felt it improved our orienteering techniques. It was a great opportunity to train on terrain that we don’t have here in Ireland. I learned a lot about using different orienteering techniques over the weekend, and I would definitely recommend for next years M/W16’s to attend in 2014. It’s a great opportunity to improve as an orienteer! Thanks a lot to Mike for organising and to Paul for being a great coach for the weekend!