It’s almost Billygoat time! Below are some Notes from the Head Goat.
----- Parking and Start Time -----
The meet is at Ward Pound Ridge, Cross River, NY (site of 2016 US Champs). The location of Pound Ridge, as well as additional info, is on the event page at
For parking, the basic idea is to enter through the main entrance, continue straight to the Trailside Museum, and look for kindly meet workers to direct you to parking.
Important parking note: The park will charge a $10 entrance fee starting about 9:00 AM that morning. We encourage you to arrive before 9:00 to avoid the fee.
Mass start is at 10:30 AM sharp. Billygoat and Pygmygoat start at the same time from the same location. We’ll walk to the start about 10:10 AM.
----- Course Specs -----
Billygoat: 13.3 km, 470 meters climb, 25 controls.
Pygmygoat: 7.5 km, 290 meters climb, 11 controls.
----- Billygoat Traditions -----
Forked Control: There is one forked control. Both controls are shown on the map; you choose which fork to visit (you may also choose this as your skipped control; see below). Both controls have identical control descriptions, so you will not be able to tell from the clue sheet which control is the forked one.
Skipped Control: One of the primary BG traditions. You may skip one and only one control (this goes for the Pygmygoat as well). This can be any control. You may skip the first control, the last control, the control before or after the forked control or the forked control itself, or any other control. But only one. Choose wisely.
Following: Another key tradition. Following is explicitly allowed.
Saeger Loop: This year’s course features not one, but two Saeger Loops, and all for the same low, low price! This is sort of an on again/off again BG tradition. These are short loopy sections with deliberate doglegs in areas of good visibility, which allow you a good look at who is 3 to 4 minutes ahead of you and who is 3 to 4 minutes behind you.
Control Codes: Again keeping with tradition, control codes correspond to the initials of the top 25 finishers of last year’s BG.
Club Award: There seems to have been less emphasis on the Club Award in recent years, but by all means let’s bring it back. The Club Award is given based solely on the judgment of the Head Goat and using criteria not announced, though in the past bribery–which like following is explicitly allowed–has been an important feature. (Rumor has it the Head Goat enjoys local craft brews.)
Billygoat Doorstops: We are cautiously optimistic that we will have the coveted Billygoat doorstops traditionally awarded to the top male and female finishers.
And the Central Billygoat Tradition: This should be fun!
----- Map Notes -----
Not a lot to say. The past two years Craig Weber and I, with an assist from Geof Connor, remapped the area for the 2016 US Championships using an excellent basemap produced by Greg Balter. Craig did additional mapping recently so that the BG course can go into a section not used for last fall’s Champs. The map is to IOF standards (the one non-standard symbol on the map used for the fall Champs does not come into play on the BG course, so no need to concern ourselves with it here).
----- Other Park Users -----
If your route choice takes you near occupied shelters and picnic areas, PLEASE take a wide route around people using these areas. If a trail goes through such an area, just stay on the trail and don’t cut corners through areas others are using. Geof Connor has done a remarkable job getting the park to welcome orienteering, and we want to keep it that way.
----- Training Event Saturday -----
Don't forget the nearby training event the day before the BG. See Becks note immediately above.
----- Shout Outs -----
To Craig Weber, especially for handling all the Meet Director duties and for the recent additional mapping.
To Geof Connor, especially for his diplomacy in getting permissions and other workings with the park personnel. (What’s his secret? Is it just the Australian accent?)
To Greg Balter, for the previously mentioned basemap and for handling the map printing.
To all the additional volunteers helping with food, parking, packets, and all the usual tasks. As usual, we couldn’t do this without them.
Head Goat, Billygoat 2017