2016 Thacher Park Map Notes and Score-O Rules


First, be aware that Thacher Park has two significant types of hazards:
  • Cliffs – most significantly, the entire Park is set up along a big cliff, known as the Helderberg Escarpment. You will not need to come near this cliff to get to any of the controls shown on your map; but be aware that it is there, to the Northeast. Don’t be a fool and play around with it. But, there are also other significant cliffs, and you must pay attention to how you might cross or work around them.
  • Crevices – the geology of this Park is unusual, and some of the normal rock layers created over long periods of time are not set up & down, but rather side-to-side. This has produced areas where there are gaps between stone layers. They are shown on the map by dashed brown lines, but they are more extensive than mapped. When entering an area with what seem like sideways rocks, be very careful of your footing.
Second, this is a somewhat older map, made in the mid-2000s. In general, what is shown on the map is there, but there are other things not shown on the map which are also there. This is normal for an older orienteering map, but can cause confusion. In particular, there are many rootstocks (downed trees) all over the map, which are not shown. There were a couple of very significant wind storms which brought down a lot of trees after this map was developed. I have tried to choose control locations which would not be affected by this problem.

Third, it has been very dry this year. So, most of the “streams” shown on the map do not actually have any water in them. They should still be easy to identify. Marshes are a bit harder, but can generally be identified by the vegetation, if not the water.


You have 90 minutes to get all of the points you can. You are free to complain about this limit whenever, but I wanted to be sure that no one could “sweep” the entire set of controls, and thus some significant choices of controls to attack would be required, not just route choices (though they remain significant).

Point values are 5, 10, or 15 per control, as indicated on your map/clue sheet. I changed the top level from 20 to 15 in order to make control selections more difficult. As you may quickly see, despite point values, some controls are more difficult than others. That too is intended to make your choices more significant.

As usual, being over the time limit (90 minutes) will be costly, but I will be a bit more forgiving this time (partly because it’s easier to work this way with our new Score-O software), and we’ll see how it comes out. Thus the penalties will be 5 points per minute overtime for the first 10 minutes; then 10 points for the next 10 minutes; and then everything after 20 minutes.

-Phil H-T