I’m following up mainly to pass along the route used by the EMPO team in the event: Frank Boscoe and Fred Pilon. You can now look at the map, and check out what they chose to do, and consider other possibilities. They placed third overall, and you can see that their score was not far from the leaders.
One thing to understand about the Snowgaine (unlike the typical Rogaine) is that you have equipment choices to make; generally you choose among skis, snowshoes, and/or simply boots/sneakers. But there is always a bike option, and this year that proved to be important. The rules this year allowed use of bikes for only one of the two days, and each day some teams chose that option. The roads were dry, and unplowed roads and trails that had been snowmobiled were sufficiently firm for mountain bikes to use. Of course, you have to keep your equipment with you all the way to the control, which meant that you had to negotiate open snow-crust for some of the final approaches.
The overall winning team spent the first day using mountain bikes; the top “veterans” team spent the second day using mountain bikes. Frank and Fred spent the beginning of the second day on road bikes (you can change equipment at the Start/Finish/Base Camp); otherwise they were running and using snowshoes as necessary.
Here is the control sequence used by Frank and Fred:
Day 1: 49, 30, 52, 35, 44, 33, 60, 32, 62, 43, 47, 37, 61, 63, 45 (on foot/snowshoes)
Day 2: 57, 50, 31 (on bikes); 58, 39, 65, 64, 53, 56, 25, 16, 27, 12, 23, 26, 19, 13 (on foot/snowshoes)
Here’s the link to the map, so you can view their choices (for viewing at your leisure, right-click the link and choose "save file as":
The map is a large file, at 2.3MB, so you can zoom in on it and see the details. The map covers both public and private lands. The white background areas were approved for access; the pink background areas were not allowed.
As it happened, due in part to when I received approval from local folks to access their land, the route choices turned out to break down into two categories: Partridge Run first, or Cole Hill first. Most chose Partridge. I had expected more movement between the two areas, but I just didn’t get the access approvals early enough for Mark to set the course in ways that would promote that sort of movement. And, it is easy to see, now that we have times for how teams ran, that it’s pretty difficult (and not efficient) to cover parts of both areas in an 8-hour time block. In a 24-hour Rogaine, you would certainly cross from one area to the other; but the winter rules pretty much eliminated that choice.
One final note: despite the wide area covered, I think there were only 2 controls that no team visited:
OK, I think that’s it on this event, unless Frank or Fred want to offer other thoughts or correct my impressions.
See you soon in the Spring.-Phil H-T