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Discussion: New Mexico Orienteering - ABQ

in: Orienteering; General

May 9, 2018 12:19 PM # 
Hi! My family is moving to Albuquerque, NM this summer. I will be in high school and I am a current member of the JDT and I am looking for ways to keep up my skills so I can make the JNT in the future. My parents have looked into the local club but have not gotten any response. I know we are going to try to get to some of the national meets, but I am looking for information on local maps so I can practice regularly. Any contacts or information would be greatly appreciated.
May 9, 2018 12:36 PM # 
The club has fizzled but still has maps. Una Smith might be able to help...see
this thread
May 9, 2018 1:22 PM # 
Sadly "fizzled" is true. There are maps in need of updates. Sam, do you have any interest in O cartography? Or, say, designing and setting courses?

In Los Alamos, ~100 miles away, there are several orienteers who compete out of state. I'll try to connect you with them; please email your contact info to the NMO "info" address.
May 9, 2018 1:57 PM # 
It might help to give that email address... (NMO did not recharter for 2018 and is not on the OUSA club listing).
May 9, 2018 2:35 PM # 
There is great terrain with free lidar data in the Jemez mountains, an hour and a half drive from Albuquerque. One could do a lot of practice simply running on the kartapullautin'ed lidar.

New Mexico orienteering might do well by what I suggested for Bozeman...organize one regional ranking event a year, plus local inform training sessions, and travel to other ranking events and events of interest. The traditional model of a full slate of events locally may be too much for the population.

I had offered to do some mapping on my visits to NM, but didn't hear much back. It's still a possibility.
May 9, 2018 4:36 PM # 
Well, nuts. It is news to me that NMO did not recharter. The critical mass for club internal operations just isn't there.

What to do and how to do it has never been the problem here. For example, with a bare minimum of timely marketing I got >100 participants at O meets I directed, even on maps way outside metro areas.

The problem has always been that in New Mexico orienteering competes with an amazing wealth of other outdoor activities and people who do planning, logistics, and operations for O meets are in high demand and have so many other enticing opportunities. As an example, my primary outdoor activity is search and rescue. My interest in orienteering is as a good training activity for SAR responders.
May 9, 2018 5:03 PM # 
I'm also both an orienteer and a SAR member, using my o skills to teach land nav to fellow members.

If the shortage is organizers, some clubs have gone to hiring people for various tasks. LAOC hires its president to do logistics. Etc.
May 9, 2018 6:05 PM # 
There was very old, very poor lidar for some of the mountains east of ABQ, such as as the Oak Flats area off Juan Tomas Rd south of Tijeras. Some new lidar is expected to be released this year for that same area. There is a big patch of lidar for the Caldera area west of Los Alamos, but there might be land-use issues. And it's pretty remote.
May 9, 2018 6:14 PM # 
Jim, I am now an incident commander and an ordering manager with our state SAR program. That means first in and last out, plus paperwork. I am on call 2 weeks out of 5. This past week I worked 3 incidents.

For about 10 years I put a lot of time and energy into supporting NMO, more than I could really spare. I no longer can do that.

Everyone has great ideas. Right now no one, including me, is stepping forward to implement them.
May 9, 2018 6:38 PM # 
Some of the lidar west of the camera is inside the national reserve, but some is out in national forest. It's 45 minutes from Los Alamos and 90 minutes from Albuquerque, I recall. It's quite good quality, from a walk using aKP map made from it.

Yes, orienteering does require someone stepping up. It's a labor intensive sport.
May 10, 2018 12:50 AM # 
What is the story on an area called Elena Gallegos Open Space? It is right on the eastern edge of Albuquerque, has a good trail network showing both on Open Street Map and Strava Heat Map. Contour detail available on Earth Explorer also looks good except it cuts off at apparent private property.
I have made a start of a map of that area in OCAD 12 but I'm sure someone with Kartapall...... expertise could whip off a map for the young lad in a matter of minutes.
The Sandia Peaks Ski area terrain looks awful good, too.
May 10, 2018 1:45 AM # 
I just recently moved here to ABQ, I'm a reservist and ROTC student trying to hone my skills in land nav. I'd love to get involved out here, where a a good place to start?
May 10, 2018 3:16 AM # 
Looks like many new Lidar files available east of Albaquerque. Mapping is a good thing to try out large scale, small parks first, you'll be amazed how much you learn from mapping. Having lived in places far from good terrain or maps, using mapping or virtual orienteering, doing all the virtual challenges from coaches help keep you challenged. Use Karttapullautin and Lidar data to create your own training maps. Check out the resources compiled on the Junior team page, including some mapping tutorials. If you get into mapping, whether just you or with a parent, there are mappers on this thread that could definitely give you great advise if stuck.
And who knows, your enthusiasm with this sport may help revive the NMO :)
May 10, 2018 2:56 PM # 
Andreais---Where did you find the new lidar tiles?
May 10, 2018 6:29 PM # 
I guess maybe they are old after all - published 2014.... though still newer than MN, on USGS National Map Viewer
There are areas listed as "complete" for 2016, but can't find them
May 10, 2018 6:32 PM # 
Actually, 2017 published Lidar is available just east of Santa Fe
May 10, 2018 7:30 PM # 
How do you folks find LiDAR files at that National Map Viewer? All I get is a spinny wheel.
I do find a lot of good LiDAR from a USGS site called Earth Explorer. Good tiles for the immediate Albuquerque area but not in the Sandia Mountain area just to the east.
May 10, 2018 7:38 PM # 
@gordhun I get a spinny wheel if I forget to turn off my "incognito" mode on the browser. On the other hand, I get a spinny wheel on the IOF page if my "incognito" is not on. Go figure.... might not be it for you, though...

Sandia Mountains shows a number of Lidar tiles published in 2014
May 10, 2018 10:49 PM # 
@scoutsam this is a quick map created from one tile (set of data) from Sandia Mountains Lidar data, using Karttapullautin to generate the map. Note there are no trails, but maybe adding trails to these kind of rough maps could be a nice exercise as it forces you to navigate more carefully by contour details.
May 10, 2018 11:51 PM # 
Scoutsam, we'll miss you in Quantico-land! Hope we see you at national events and you stick with orienteering and keep improving.
May 10, 2018 11:58 PM # 
I just got an email reply regarding the new lidar. It just arrived. I’ll pass on information when they tell me more details. He said he needed to find a computer in the office with 5.5 TB free.
May 11, 2018 12:32 AM # 
@andreais That is really something. I wish I had that Kartapallatin skill but I don't.
Would you be interested in turning out another one? If not you would someone else?
It is along the western foothill of the Sandia Mountains on the immediate east side of NE Albuquerque called Elena Gallegos Open Space and stretching north to the aerial tramway It slopes down more gently to the west, has a rich trail network that I'd be glad to import if there were a basemap like the one you had produced here. Most of it is already there on Open Street Map.
One won't find much to put on in the way of tree cover but there are scads of small trees that I can also place one by one.
May 11, 2018 4:59 AM # 

Use slider at top right to compare aerials and map. Dataset will need re-classification, lots of vegetation is now classified as ground.
May 11, 2018 11:26 AM # 
It seems like a shame that an area that has some good maps is not being used. If NM could re-charter their might be enough retired and other interested OUSA members who would be willing to come down to update a map, design courses and help put on a NRE event. Something at the end of February following the SW "O "events in Arizona would be great.
May 11, 2018 11:51 AM # 
Thanks everyone for the information. I am interested in learning how to map as well, but really just looking for places to practice so that when I travel to national meets I can still compete well. My parents are interested in maybe helping bring the club back to life, at least within a couple hours of ABQ. I plan on traveling to some event in AZ and CO, but weekly practice is important. My mom is interested in learning to map, maybe something that she can work on once our move is over. Thanks for the maps.
May 11, 2018 1:18 PM # 
Kartapullautin is a great way to get "instant" training maps from lidar, and the maps can be quite good if the lidar is sufficiently detailed. Even without field checking, they should be good enough to use for training. They won't have trails, but those may be available from Open Street Maps or Strava Heat Map, or visible on aerial photos such as in Google Maps. Best wishes with your training.
May 11, 2018 4:04 PM # 
Scoutsam I think if you comb through this thread you will find orienteers with about a combined age of 500 - 600 years stepping up with help and advice.
There is some back channel work going on as well.
I'm pretty sure that in a short time we'll be able to send you a rough but pretty good map of terrain on the eastern edge of Albuquerque, at least part of the campus of University of New Mexico for sprint training and if you let us know which school you will be attending there we'll make a map of that school grounds and any nearby parks, too.
In return all you have to do is use that altitude training and the maps to try to become America's best orienteer ever.
May 11, 2018 4:17 PM # 
@KPratt... Training on orienteering maps, or on training maps made from lidar using Kartapullautin or other such tool, is a great way to get started, maybe in conjunction with other interested New Mexico orienteers. I understand that there's a mailing list, which maybe you could use to find others who'd like to train, or to share travel to events. I met others in Albuquerque and elsewhere in New Mexico who have an interest in orienteering.
May 11, 2018 4:18 PM # 
Previous threads on Attack point list various training exercises. Orienteers in the area may also know some. Just picking some points and navigating to them is one pretty good practice.
May 11, 2018 8:10 PM # 
@Sam: Coach Greg can help you make/find maps of practice areas.
Do you expect to be living in ABQ?
May 11, 2018 10:21 PM # 
@gordhun - Sir, thank you very much for the help. I really appreciate it. I will be attending La Cueva High School near Sandia Heights in NE ABQ. My dad will be stationed at the base. I will be within a few miles of the Juan Tabo trails, Tramway and Elena Gallegos trails. I do not have any experience with the natural vegetation (ie: cactus) so I am a little nervous. I appreciate all experience and advice regarding this huge change in terrain.

@GuyO - I will speak with Coach Greg as well. Thank you for the suggestion. I know that there is limited LiDar and mapping resources for some of the areas and just needed a good jumping off point.

Thank you for the suggestions of Kartapullautin, I will look into it. My mom has been working in OpenOrienteering to work on her mapping skills (she was a geography/cartography major) so we look into making our own maps. I will also have my parents contact the New Mexico club to see if there are any old maps that I could update. I am excited about the move to ABQ, but never thought that the Navy would send our family there. The altitude training is going to be awesome once I adjust. I am hoping to restart the club to at least get scouts and other junior orienteers into the sport. I am hoping to do my Eagle Scout project on something orienteering related. Thank you again for all the help.
May 11, 2018 10:35 PM # 
When I ran off trail in Santa Fe, the cactus wasn't too bad. I'd see a few to several in a five to ten km run/jog. I don't know what it's like in Albuquerque. Learn to recognize and give a berth. They can be quite pretty when flowering.
May 12, 2018 1:57 AM # 
New Mexico doesn't have jumping cholla cactus, it appears. There may be something similar. Jumping cholla stems break off at this slightest touch and cling to your clothes or skin. It's a good idea to remove it with a comb rather than with your fingers. Carry tweezers, too.
May 13, 2018 12:44 AM # 
Hi Sam. If you are able to get to the Rocky Mt. O-Fest at the end of August in Laramie, Wyoming, there's going to be a mapping clinic there. It would be a great opportunity for you and your Mom to get some information on how to make a map.
Here is the website for meet information.
May 13, 2018 10:04 AM # 
Scoutsam If you could send an e-mail to me at gordhun at rogers dot com I have some map files to send to you so that when you get to ABQ you'll be able to get right in to training.
Also I see your new school has MCJROTC. One of the best orienteering teams in my part of Florida (where I'm a winter visitor) is also MCJROTC. Perhaps you can talk them in to taking up the sport. It's always great to have training partners.
May 13, 2018 8:39 PM # 
La Cueva HS used to have an orienteering program prior to 2004, so it is possible that teachers or the principal there may have heard of it, or there may be somebody willing to help re-start a team at the school. Unfortunately, the school's cross country and orienteering coach, marathoner Eddy Hellebuyck, had a positive doping test at Olympic marathon trials and was given a 2 year suspension from Olympic affiliated sports (including orienteering). I assume he left the school (or was fired), and I haven't heard anything from or about him, or the school since that time. Perhaps Una or someone else from NMO knows if there's still anyone there with an interest in orienteering.
May 14, 2018 1:29 AM # 
Holy Cow, Mike!
How do you know all the stuff you know???
May 14, 2018 4:05 AM # 
I remember when shooting star Eddy Hellebuyck flared across the sky...
May 14, 2018 5:41 AM # 
It appears he's in Belgium now. Sad story.
May 14, 2018 5:14 PM # 
Eddy is the only person to ever have his 1000-Day results voided.
May 14, 2018 5:56 PM # 
It might be an idea for OUSA to target some areas like NM that have a number of old maps for the formation of a new club. Perhaps some sort of FB campaign would yield some local interest and then OUSA could support an effort to update the existing maps and get a club going again.
May 14, 2018 7:52 PM # 
I'd be happy to help a bit if there's enough NM interest, and if such an effort got underway.
May 15, 2018 3:04 AM # 
@Gord: You know a lot of O' history too.

Eddy and his cross country team camped next to me and my juniors at Yellow Pine at Laramie Daze the year before. He had some very promising athletes including his young son. We were real excited about a new HS team in the NM club - very disappointing when the doping issue came up a few months later. And I was on the OUSA board at the time as well.
May 16, 2018 12:25 PM # 
Thank you for all the support. Once we get settled my parents will be looking into bringing back the club in ABQ. My dad likes to run as well and my mom is pretty good at organizing events. My hope is to find others that would want to informally train. For my future Eagle Scout project I am looking to find a way to reintroduce orienteering to the community (ie: permanent course, information meet, scout meet are just some of my ideas right now)- any and all advice, suggestions or information is greatly appreciated. I am hoping to run XC at La Cueva, but pure speed isn't my greatest strength yet, I'm much better at map reading and running. Thank you again!
May 16, 2018 6:40 PM # 
I’m looking forward to running a NRE in New Mexico in a few years! It sounds like Sam’s family has the right skills to make a new club and events happen. Very cool.

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