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Discussion: Western Canadians - Manitoba

in: 2017 Western Canadian Orienteering Championships (Jul 14–16 - Winnipeg, MB, CA)

Feb 22, 2017 10:56 AM # 
I know a lot of you will be focusing on the nationals especially as it is connected with the Canada 150 celebrations. But to be real patriots you should visit as much of Canada as possible - not just the national capital.

Sure, Manitoba is a long way from most places but I can guarantee the terrain is well worth the trip.

Feb 25, 2017 2:25 PM # 
The Manitoba sandhills are among the best technical terrain there is, anywhere. If you haven't experienced stuff like this, your orienteering life is not complete. It's fast and runnable,and if you make the mistake of running fast, you're probably screwed and it's going to take you a long time to figure out where you are. Very difficult and incredibly fun. The only people I would not recommend this to are people who are very sensitive to poison ivy, as it's very difficult to avoid it completely. Everybody else should grab a washcloth and a bottle of Tecnu and show up, it's totally worth the trip.
Feb 25, 2017 5:15 PM # 
I agree, except that I'd say that the Saskatchewan sandhills are at least their equal. Do put the sandhills of ancient glacial Lake Agassiz on your orienteering bucket list.
Feb 26, 2017 1:20 AM # 
What JJ said! The 1982 North Americans / Canadians in Manitoba is probably my number one favorite orienteering event of all the hundreds I have been to over my 42 years of orienteering. Even including that at the end of the week, I had a rim of poison ivy blisters at the level of the top of my socks.
Feb 27, 2017 9:53 AM # 
You wouldn't happen to still have any of those maps from 82? Would love to see them if you do.

The terrain this year is just south of Hogsback . It is pretty similar - perhaps a little less yellow. The map has 2.5m contours (Hogsback is 5m)
Feb 27, 2017 11:21 PM # 
I have all the maps from 1982. Could scan them and post here - possibly tomorrow.
Feb 28, 2017 3:16 AM # 
Feb 28, 2017 8:25 AM # 
...and here also NA Champs:

Oh - and the results, apparently one of my best ever on Day 1 :)
Feb 28, 2017 12:56 PM # 
The terrain reminds me of the L R Ranch map used for APOC 2002. I remember thinking how much fun that map was.
Feb 28, 2017 2:56 PM # 
Moses Lake (weekend before the Idaho Gold Rush) is fun too, on a smaller (middle-course size) scale.
Feb 28, 2017 9:28 PM # 
I'm planning on going! It is very enjoyable, challenging terrain.
Mar 1, 2017 1:16 AM # 
I pulled out my copy of S L Ranch, which was very cool and lots of fun, and I see what you mean about it looking similar, but the Manitoba terrain (and Eb's Trails in SK) are significantly harder.
Mar 1, 2017 1:57 AM # 
Thanks for the links to the 1982 maps. The '82 Canadians were at Hartney about 100km further west from this year's terrain in Spruce Woods PP, current map. The North Americans were at Seton Park which is about 20km north of Spruce Woods, on the north side of the Trans Canada, current map. Both similar terrains. One of the differences is the lines of high dunes in Spruce Woods - typically with steep heavily wooded slopes on the north and east sides. These lines of dunes will be one of the factors to consider in route choice decisions. Also far less trails in Spruce Woods.

I have heard of Eb's Trails but never seen the map - anybody got a link to it?

You may need to be a bit careful about the poison ivy but at least you wont need to carry bear spray!
Mar 2, 2017 4:16 AM # 
Eb's Trails
Mar 2, 2017 6:57 AM # 

Nice. Contours look very similar to the flatter areas of Spruce Woods. The big differences are the steeper dunes in some parts and the patchy green/yellow that means running straight is so much harder.

The WCOC map is big - over 8km2. On the long courses expect some very long legs - up to 3km.
Mar 2, 2017 2:13 PM # 
3km leg on sand terrain will reward solid navigation. Don't get lost.
Mar 27, 2017 1:53 AM # 
Registration fee goes up slightly on April 1. Save some money by entering now.
May 27, 2017 12:30 AM # 
Only a few days left to enter before late fees kick in.

We have been given permission to print all Long courses at 1:10000 (1:7500 for some of the very short courses for both middle and long). Exact details will be on the website soon.

If you are looking for another reason to come: the nearest town to the map (Cypress River, pop. approx 200) is famous as the home town of Neil Young's father. The town gets a mention on the title track to his 2005 album 'Prairie Wind'. What better way to celebrate Canada 150 than with a pilgrimage to the ancestral home of one of Canada's cultural icons. If you hang out in the bar of the Cypress River Motor Inn there is a good chance you will meet a relative. (I am pretty sure that is the real reason upnorthguy is coming).
May 27, 2017 1:26 AM # 
I'll beat Upnorthguy to the punch and point out that Scott Young (Neil's dad) one was of Canada's greatest sportswriters.
May 27, 2017 3:58 PM # 
Pilgrimage to Cypress River is a close second reason for me, after #1 being the chance to enjoy a great map of great terrain. #3 is seeing Sara the camel in nearby Glenboro, where Scott Young also lived. I probably have enough Neil and CSNY loaded on my ipod to last both ways of the drive from Whitehorse.
May 28, 2017 12:45 AM # 
How could I forget Sara the Camel, an attraction all Canadians can be proud of. Reminds me of any number of 'big' attractions that are strangely popular in Australia.

That's some road trip. If you get bored with old Neil you can throw in some Triffids. 'Born Sandy Devotional' would be quite apt given the terrain.
May 28, 2017 3:25 AM # 
In the pines, in the pines, where the sun never shines. Where we go a-running, when we want to hide.
May 28, 2017 3:30 AM # 
. . .
Away from the sky, away from the lights
Where the overgrown branches conceal what's inside

There might be a few controls like that.
Jun 1, 2017 9:06 AM # 
I was just looking at JWOC 2018 website. The terrain is just like Spruce Woods:
old maps of competition areas
training areas, scroll down to see map samples

Anyone thinking of running JWOC next year should really consider coming.

It's not too late.
Jun 1, 2017 12:21 PM # 
OK I just noticed that this year's JWOC is the same time as WCOC. Obviously this year's team can't go. But if you just missed out this year you can get an advantage over your competition next year by running in some very relevant terrain at WCOC.

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