Nav-X High Sierra Rogaine
2016 North American Rogaining Championships
First Annual Western N.A. Rogaine
Date: Aug. 27 - 28, 2016
Location: Sierra National Forest near Shaver Lake, CA
Event Directors: - 650.941.4184, - 510.681.6181
Course Setter: Dennis Wilkinson
Type: Rogaine; 4-, 8-, and 24-hour options; North American Rogaining Championships
August 22nd Bulletin
We are getting excited for the High Sierra event next weekend—hope your preparation is also going well! Here is an update with important information about the race.
The streams that were flowing merrily, and in some cases mightily, in early July are now largely dry. That said, there are pools of clean water in some streams, and flowing water in others. Some of you will also encounter high country lakes. Once purified, this water will be fine to drink. With good natural water on the course, we will be placing minimal water stops: possibly two, but most likely just one drop.
- For 4-hour racers, we recommend you at least prepare to carry enough water from the Start, for flexibility in route planning. Some method of water purification might also be a good idea.
- In the 8-hour event, your route will likely encounter natural water, but for flexibility, preparing to carry at least 100 oz is probably a good idea. Water purification is now required gear for the 8-hour division. Iodine tablets or a small container of bleach (1 drop per 16 oz) are some of the easiest and lightest ways to go.
- In the 24-hour event, you will need to reach natural water, and everyone will have time to do so, via roads if necessary. That said, you may need to go several hours or more between refills. We highly recommend 100 oz or more carrying capacity. If we do place bottled water at a drop, we will ask that 24-hour runners not partake of this until after 8 hours. As a reminder, water purification is required for 24-hour participants.
We will provide water at the Hash House for during and after the race, but please bring your own water for pre-race filling of your bottles or bladders. Also, if you are camping the night before or after the race, please bring your own water for that as well. There is no developed water supply (tap or well) in the Hash House/parking area.
Map and E-punch Notes
For those of you new to this type of race, each participant on the team will get a map. The map will be on two sheets of 17x23 paper, with some overlap between the sheets. The paper is not water- or tear-proof, but we will provide 18x24 plastic cases. You might consider bringing tape to secure the case, in case of rain or a slip crossing a stream or marsh.
You will also receive a separate paper with the control descriptions, and an intention sheet. You must fill out and submit the intention sheet with your intended route before the race start. You may still alter your route as you go, but the sheet helps us if we need to conduct a search.
This race will use electronic punching. 24-hour participants will each be required to carry a punch, attached with a wristband. If you paid to rent one E-stick for your team, or are providing one stick on your own, we will provide the second stick at no cost. 24-hour team members must all punch the control within 60 seconds of each other to receive credit, which insures that teammates all reach the control together. This is a typical rule in championship-level rogaining.
8-hour and 4-hour participants will carry one E-stick per team, and need not attach it with the wristband.
In previous communications about this event, we neglected to talk about point penalties for late finishers. The penalty is 10 points per minute late (round up). For reference, control values range from 30 to 110 points each. The absolute late cutoff is 30 minutes, after which your score will unfortunately be zero.
Supplemental Maps Prohibited
We are disallowing the use of any maps besides the official course map during route planning and racing (basically, after you receive the event map for route planning Saturday morning). This applies to paper, electronic, or any other form of map.
In our most recent visit, we encountered areas of deadfall and underbrush in more remote areas of the map. There are also some areas of thick forest, even close to the Hash House, that you might choose to travel through. While movement is still pretty much unconstrained in most directions (slope allowing), and most of the map is nice and open, you may encounter occasional slower areas. You might therefore consider wearing gaiters and/or long pants. For what it's worth, I did set in shorts with no gaiters (even ankle), and would do it again, but got moderately scratched up.
Shoes that grip on granite surfaces are highly recommended. This includes most shoes I've observed in rogaining and adventure racing with rubber soles. Metal cleats are probably not a good idea.
If you plan to stop and rest, or plan to spend the night with us at the Hash House, bug repellent might be a good item to bring. Mosquitoes were present in most forested areas of the map.
All of the control locations were verified by a human vetter and/or GPS. That said, there are cows grazing in the meadows and marshes near some controls, while other controls are within sight of tracks in the off-highway vehicle area (they are able to drive to diverse spots). There is a nontrivial chance that some of the bags could go missing before the race. You might consider carrying a GPS tracker that can only record waypoints or your track, but not display your location on a map, to verify your route in case of a missing bag. We may ask to inspect your device to be sure it won't help you navigate.
Cell service is pretty limited. On some of the ridges and hilltops, you can get a signal, but most places were out of range (at least for AT&T). Cell phones for safety are therefore an optional piece of equipment.
The weather looks good for now, with highs in the mid 70s, lows in the mid 40s, and 0% chance of rain. If the rain chance stays under 20%, rain gear is not required. I once got caught in a September hail/snow storm in the Sierras when the precipitation chance was quite low, so be warned.
Finally, as a reminder, water purification is now required for 8-hour participants, as well as 24-hour.
"Dispersed" camping is allowed for free in this part of the forest, with no permit (for up to 14 days, if you like). There are no facilities other than a toilet at the Sno-Park lot. The race area is embargoed, and dispersed campers aren't supposed to drive more than 300 feet away from a roadway, so please don't stray too far from the main, paved road (forest road 9S09, also called Rock Creek Rd). The rangers told me people can't set up right by the parking lot either. The Hash House/Start/Finish is less than 200 m east of the parking lot down the main road; this area would probably be fine for camping.
Open campfires are currently prohibited, but propane stoves are allowed with a free permit that is available online here (http://www.preventwildfireca.org/Campfire-Permitwww.preventwildfireca.org/Campfire-Permit). You can also pick up a permit in person at the National Forest office in Prather. We will be operating at least one stove at the Hash House.
Please bring your own toilet paper if you are camping, and if you create your own toilet stay 150 feet from streams and bury waste. As mentioned above, pack your own water for camping and filling your bottles or bladders for the race.
The town of Shaver Lake has some services, including gas, a few restaurants (these close at 9 PM), hotels, and convenience stores. The closest grocery store is a Mar-Val in Prather.
The parking area is less than 200 m from the Hash House/Start/Finish. We must leave room in the lot for members of the general public, and if the lot is nearly full, we will direct you where to go. Most likely you will be able to park off the forest roads not too far from the Hash House.
The state will be removing dead trees along Hwy 168 starting next week. The plan is to start at a location past the Tamarack Sno-park lot, and work back towards the lot. They will be running a one-way traffic break in the affected area. I'm not sure how fast they work, and actually doubt they will disrupt our access, but just in case, you might plan for an extra 10 to 15 minutes from Shaver Lake.
Finally, there is another Sno-Park lot before Tamarack that you will pass along Hwy 168 after Shaver Lake. Your first chance at a "parallel" navigation error. The correct lot is at the "Tamarack Ridge" elevation sign; we will likely put out orienteering signs as well.
See you in less than a week!
Dennis and the NavX/BAOC team