version: 2018-03-30

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Rules & Notes

The Event

As a sort of “Short” emulation of the world’s largest orienteering event, held annually somewhere in Sweden, this event will offer races on Five different maps, but all on a single day: Saturday, June 2, 2018. All the venues are within what are known as the “Helderberg Hilltowns”, in the southwest corner of Albany County, and all are within a short drive of each other.

The ultimate winners will be determined by their total time over the five courses. But you do not need to attend/compete on all five if you don’t wish to do so. All the courses will be e-punch (SI) timed, though manual punch will be available for those competing on fewer than all five.

Depending upon available equipment, downloading may only be done at some of the venues (there will be instructions on where and when to do so). For those competing over all five, they must be completed in the order listed below (1 - 5).


You are welcome to compete on all five maps, or any subset you choose. The prices are somewhat different than usual due to additional expenses:
-$25 for all five maps/courses for EMPO members; $40 for non-members
-$7 per individual map for EMPO members; $10 for non-members (if you are NOT doing all five)

-$3 per SI stick rental for the whole day

The Maps

All maps use ISOM 2007 and symbols, plus some common (in the U.S.) Mark Dominie symbols. Legends showing all symbols used are available. Some of the maps also have a legend showing the symbols on that map. The maps were all created by Phil Hawkes-Teeter, except Camp Pinnacle which was initially created by Mark Dominie, updated by Glen Tryson, and updated again with LIDAR contours recently by Phil H-T. The Cole Hill map was created over an excellent base-map made by Eddie Bergeron. (Directions to maps and links to Google maps on our maps page)
  • (1) Margaret Burke WMA
    New map, never used before (and thus never corrected!). Scale is 1-10,000, with 2.5m contours.Even with 2.5m contours, some form lines are included, as it is a generally flat area, so any climb is noticeable. Special symbols used:
    • Brown dashed lines: (area symbol) These indicate areas where there are rock crevices/fissures which are much too prevalent to individually map. This symbol (created by Mark Dominie) has been used in the past at Thacher Park. At Margaret Burke the fissures aren’t quite as common, but they are still unmappable individually.
    • Smaller black X’s: These are mostly something I would not normally map – birdhouses. I have mapped them because they are quite visible at about 2 feet high and about 10 feet above the ground; and because there are few point features on this map. They are all in very open woods areas, but any flags placed using these will be on the opposite side of the tree (which are not extremely wide), so if you don’t see the birdhouse as you approach, you will see the flag. You’ll likely see the birdhouse first, from some distance.
    • Shale area: There is a section which is an open former shale mining area. After some internet discussion with other mappers, I have decided to use the “sandy ground” symbol for this area.
    • Other factors:
      • The rough-open/undergrowth areas on the North portion of the map are periodically mowed, and sometimes have brush-hog paths created within them.There is no way to map this as it is sporadic and frequently different from time to time. So, when in these areas, take advantage of any seeming paths when they present themselves, but don’t expect them on the map or to continue going where you want to go.
      • Parking – there are two very small parking areas; Registration/Start/Finish are near the southern one; park near that area on the west side of Pleasant Valley Rd.
      • There are No Sanitary Facilities at Margaret Burke WMA. (Stewart's Shops, a local convenience store chain, has public restrooms at most of their stores)

  • (2) Camp Pinnacle
    Originally part of the Thacher Park map made by Mark Dominie in 1993, this has been separated and then updated a couple times. Last used by EMPO apart from the overall Thacher map in 2017; updated and separated for 2018. Scale is 1-10,000, with 5m contours. The Start/Finish area will be on the east side of Pinnacle Road, not in the main building area on the west side of Pinnacle Rd. Look for EMPO signs.

  • (3) Cole Hill State Forest
    Debuted in 2010, most of this map has been left fallow for a few years as EMPO has been encouraged to hold events at the Town of Berne’s “Switzkill Farm” recreation center, which was added to the western edge of this map (see next area, below). This course uses only the original State Forest portion of the map, because you will get to the Farm next. Updated in 2018 primarily to show recent logging, which has an uncommon (Dominie-created) symbol: rough-open yellow bars running from upper left to lower right. I sometimes add the undergrowth symbol when it is particularly hard to get through the area, but it’s never easy or optimal. Scale is 1-10,000, with 5m contours.
    • Other factors:
      • Parking – There is only a tiny pull-over for parking near Reg/Start/Finish; park on the west side of Cole Hill Rd.
      • There are No Facilities at Cole Hill State Forest.

  • (4) Switzkill Farm
    • This area was purchased relatively recently by the town of Berne, and it is adjacent to Cole Hill State Forest. The courses here will only use the Farm lands, and not cross over to Cole Hill SF.Scale 1-5000, with 5m contours.

  • (5) Foxenkill Flats (BKW School)
    • Debuted in 2009 and only sporadically used with school kids since. Updated for 2018. Scale 1-5000; contours 2.5m.

The Courses

There will be two courses set on each map. The longer course will be of “Middle” distance, and “Orange/Green” difficulty. The shorter course will be “White/Yellow” distance and difficulty.
The statistics are:

(1) Margaret Burke WMA:

-Start Window: 9:00 – 11:00
-Course closes: 12:00
-Short: 1.6k, 6 controls; minimal climb.
-Middle: 3.2k, 12 controls; 55m climb.
-Distance to Camp Pinnacle: 6.7 miles.

(2) Camp Pinnacle:

-Start Window: 10:00 - Noon
-Course closes: 1:00
-Short: 1.6k, 6 controls; minimal climb.
-Middle: 3.4k, 7 controls; 70m climb.
-Distance to Cole Hill State Forest: 7.4 miles.

(3) Cole Hill State Forest:

-Start Window: 11:00 - 1:00
-Course closes: 2:00
-Short: 1.7k, 6 controls; minimal climb.
-Middle: 3.0k, 7 controls; 80m climb.
-Distance to Switzkill Farm: 5.4 miles.

(4) Switzkill Farm Town Park:

-Start Window: Noon - 2:00
-Course closes: 3:00
-Short: 1.6k, 5 controls; minimal climb.
-Middle: 3.7k, 5 controls; 70m climb.
-Distance to Foxenkill Flats: 4.3 miles.

(5) Foxenkill Flats (BKW School):

- Start Window 1:00 - 3:00
- Course closes: 4:00
- Short: 1.2k, 7 controls; minimal climb.
- Middle: 2.9k, 10 controls; 55m climb.


Due to manpower and equipment limitations, we must require that if you are doing all the courses, they must be visited in the required sequence. The only event “winners” will be among those who completed all five courses. Their times will be simply added up, as all courses are considered equal.

All courses are subject to change depending upon conditions.