Blue Mountains Meanderings

I’ve been poking around in the orienteering calendar for random events we might be able to get to over winter.  Somehow I’ve ended up picking four events in four weeks..   Moonlight Madness was the first one and yesterday we headed out to Glenbrook for a local event.

We had no idea what to expect, just that there was a range of course lengths and difficulties and we would ask once we got there.  All the courses were a line course.  We were always going to go the long course, just the decision to go easy or moderate.  We met a chatty bloke at the start who ran us through it all and in the end decided that a Moderate course would provide a bit more of a challenge rather than just a nice run in the bush.

We finally headed off around 11am, starting on the streets for the first control on our way to the bush.  The weather was mild and sunny – a perfect autumn day!  The tracks were clearly marked, the map was easy to follow and it started surprisingly level for most of the first half.  The difference between the easy and moderate courses was that for the easy course the controls would be on the path, while for the moderate course the controls were off trail, so the navigation component became much more important.

We found it!

We found it!

The next few controls passed by fairly easily.  The trails were fun and we passed many mountain bikers out enjoying the day.  I may have charged down a hill or two with my arms out and making aeroplane noises, much to the amusement of my husband.  About half way through it started getting a little trickier and we had to start really paying attention to the map and trusting in our ability to know exactly where we were.  The hills started kicking in here too!

There;s a control in there somewhere...

There;s a control in there somewhere…

Up out of the gully and back onto some streets, then things got tricky.  A couple of controls in scrub, no paths.  A little searching and we found those two ok.  Then it was up and over a hill and clambering over some rocks tot the next one and off for the final control.  This was probably the trickiest yet as we pushed through the bush, slipped over ricks in a creek and found the final control in a clearing!  An easy enough walk out of the bush and back on to a short section of road to the finish.

Now that's a hill!

Now that’s a hill!

It ended up being a lot longer than we expected – both in time and distance.  We had expected to start earlier, so hadn’t planned to eat beforehand, but by the time we finished we were starving.  Luckily I had put a couple of bananas in the car, but we really hadn’t fuelled well at all.  My legs had hheld up well until the final stretch of road when my left calf started pulling.  It sorted itself out quickly once we stopped, but then my right calf knotted up.

More of an effort than we had been expecting, but a gorgeous day to be out in the bush!

The numbers:

  • Distance: 7.9km
  • Time: 1:29:29 (approx 1hr moving time according to strava!)
  • Elevation: 139m

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