2013 Sierra Summerfest
2013 Sierra Summerfest

Sierra Summerfest

Day 1: Spooner Summit Scramble

Spooner Lake State Park

Date: (Thu.) Jul. 25, 2013
Location: Between Incline Village, NV and South Lake Tahoe, CA
Event Director: - 650.365.4275
Course Setter: Bruce Wolfe
Type: C; Teams of 1 to 5 find up to 20 checkpoints in up to 90 minutes

Course Setter's Notes and Travel Guide

By Bruce Wolfe

If I had but one day left to orienteer, I'd spend the morning in the foggy redwoods of Oakland's Joaquin Miller Park and high-tail it across the state to spend the late afternoon here at Spooner​—​you get the Spooner portion today and can join us at Joaquin Miller on August 25.

This afternoon's event is on the eastern portion of the map first used for the 1999 U.S. Championships, and used for a number of A-meets and adventure races since then. Face it, once you venture away from Spooner Lake, it gets steep and the trail network is limited. That's more than trumped by a forest that is mostly open, afternoon views worth pictures, and enough features to keep your interest level high. Given the steepness, and that this your first day out, think contouring, finding saddles, and climbing only once or twice. Relax, enjoy, and have fun in one of the top places I've ever orienteered in!

There are 20 controls placed with values of 10 to 25 points​—​quite prominent on the description sheet. Each minute (or fraction) over the 90-minute time limit costs you 10 points. In keeping with the Scramble theme, control placement is generally beginner to intermediate​—​it's the route choice that will challenge you. Knowing that this is your first day, I've limited the area (and associated climb) where the controls are placed, so some may clear the course in less than the 90 minutes​—​first one back places higher in case of point ties.

Given the smallish area, water is available at only one control, so tank up at registration or take along your own.

There are essentially three trails on the map:

I've purposely tried to limit your need or desire to use this last trail: each summer afternoon, this trail is a war zone of tired, speeding mountain bikers making their last descent from the world-famous Flume Trail, barely able to maneuver through the sand snakes and stay on the trail. Last thing they can handle is a runner/hiker on the trail, so, if you want to use it, stay on its edge.

Finally, highways 28 and 50 form the southern boundary of the course area​—​use these at your comfort level!

The map remains good. It has had only limited updates since 1999, but recent forest work has made some areas even more open than what's mapped. Pine beetle damage has produced slash and dead fall in other areas, but I've tried to keep you out of the worst of this. There is a new, unmapped forest road on the eastern side of the map​—​if you find yourself on an unmapped track, head west!

There is a concessionaire near Registration, where you can get drinks, nab snacks, or rent bikes​—​but they close at 5:00. Check them out here (http://spoonersummit.com). Lastly, I'm renting the cabin near the Start for Thursday night​—​join me for a BYO on the deck after control pick-up!