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2014 Cole Hill Map and Meet Notes

posted Oct 17, 2014, 5:48 PM by J N
All courses will be using SI (SportIdent) electronic timing. If you do not have your own SI stick, you may rent one for $2. You may run/walk the White and Yellow courses using manual timing, but in that case timing will be less precise. Orange/Green/Red competitors must use SI. Most control flags and SI boxes will be on metal stands, with a few on plastic farm fence posts, except for Start & Finish, which are on sawhorses.


•    White – 1.9k, 8 controls
•    Yellow – 2.1k, 9 controls
•    Orange – 3.6k, 11 controls (2 water stops)
•    Green – 4.9k, 10 controls (2 water stops)
•    Red – 6.4k, 12 controls (3 water stops)

The map for all courses uses a 1-10,000 scale, with 5 meter contours, and is printed on 8.5x11 paper. There is no Legend on the map, but separate copies are available.
White/Yellow competitors get a map with clues in English on the front of the map. There will be no separate clue sheets.

Orange/Green/Red competitors will get a map with clues in orienteering symbols on the front. There will be separate copies of the clues to take with you, if you wish.

Safety Note

Everyone should be aware that there could be Bow Hunters around, but don’t spend too much time worrying about it. Some important points regarding bow hunting:
•    There has never been a recognized accident involving a bow hunter and a “civilian”. Bow hunting requires very close contact; it should not be a cause for concern.
•    Nonetheless, everyone should wear bright clothing. Camouflage or dark colors are NOT a good idea.
•    In many years of working with this map, much of it during bow hunting season, I have never seen a bow hunter in Cole Hill State Forest, as opposed to Thacher Park, Camp Pinnacle, and Partridge Run, where I have seen them a number of times.
•    EMPO will have a small number of blaze orange vests to lend to those who think they can’t create a sufficiently visible ensemble.

Map Notes

The map was produced using LIDAR data available from Albany County. Eddie Bergeron (former member of the US Orienteering Team) created a base map from this data, and I subsequently field checked it and made corrections/additions. Further, after the “Snowgaine” this past winter, some additional contour information was imported, mostly outside of the current map boundaries. In general, because of the data and Eddie’s work, the contour information is excellent. The rock information is also very good, though I had to re-work some of the stone walls.

The degree of ruination of stonewalls is variable, with the distinctions among “wall-ruined wall-very ruined wall” somewhat arbitrary and perhaps inconsistent, particularly as they vary from section-to-section along their length. Anything mapped with any of those 3 symbols should be visible and usable.

The trails are mostly from my own GPS work, and the roads from the NYS orthophotos. Water features are pretty good too, though I have chosen to raise the markings of the depth of some marshes from how they were shown in previous editions, partly because of visible recent beaver activity, and partly because I can see a lot more open water.

What can be problematic are the vegetation levels. That can’t be derived very well from the LIDAR, and so it mostly is a result of my observation. The clearings and distinct veg boundaries are all good, but levels of green and undergrowth are likely less consistent than would be ideal. Let me know if you see places that should be re-visited.

The most inconsistent thing on the map is likely the rootstocks. There are a lot of them, and they are not all mapped, as is true on a lot of maps. All the rootstocks shown with a trunk have been checked by me. Those without a trunk could be suspect. I’m thinking about upping my standard for even showing rootstocks from around 1m to around 1.5-2 meters, as that was the standard just used in the North American O Championships. Let me know what you think.

Newly Mapped:
Green/Red runners will be accessing a piece of land which we have recently received approval to use. Because approval came so recently, it has not been field checked as much as the rest of the map. I believe the relevant parts of it are mapped adequately, and again the contours and rock features should be good, with vegetation the most suspect. This section is outlined in Orange.

Out of Bounds:
The land belonging to Cole Hill State Forest is outlined in Red. The symbol is shown in the legend. You are NOT allowed to go on any land outside that boundary. I have not cluttered the map up by marking everything outside the red line as “Out-of-Bounds”, but it is. There are only two places where this might come into play on these courses: one property due south of the Start/Finish, on the bend in Irish Hill Road; another east of the small cemetery on Willsey Road. Both of these have been marked with the “Out-of-Bounds” symbol.

Have Fun!

I hope you have an exciting and fun time on your course. Please feel free to give me suggestions/corrections about the map, the courses, or anything about the event. I’ll do my very best to accept any criticism as constructive!

All courses close at 3:00pm.

You MUST be back by then, and you MUST report to the Finish whether you complete your course or not.