Happy Holidays to all New Mexico Orienteers and friends!
Snow! As of daybreak on December 17 reports of new snow include 7 inches at Pajarito Mountain and 5 inches in the Valles Caldera. Valles Caldera National Preserve will begin grooming trails as soon as enough snow accumulates. We may yet hold a Snow O on our map in Valle Grande this winter. To whet your appetite, see some photos from last year on our website (also attached: Ian Swift showing his mom Robi Mulford which way to go). Volunteers please step forward ASAP. All interested, volunteers and others, please sign up on the NMO website.
The northern New Mexico foodie magazine Local Flavor, December/January issue, has a nice paragraph about orienteering on page 46. The magazine cover says "Out of the box: adventure gifts" and the storyline is "Not an easy wrap". The paragraph reads: Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to navigate from A to B armed only with a compass, topographic map, and your wits. Insiders call orienteering "cunning running" (it's fine to just walk!) and it's a great way to get out on the land, but with an objective. "There's a real surge of what I think hunters feel --a conquest. Yes, I nailed it!" says Una Smith of New Mexico Orienteers. Adults and kids learn to navigate off the grid to find checkpoints--starting at 10 to 20 minute challenges, up to a tougher 5 miles. Meets include coaching and cost from $8 for adults; compass rental is $1. And once you've found yourself, join an optional group potluck. www.nm-orienteers.org.
On Attackpoint.org an interesting discussion is in progress that compares data for United States orienteering clubs. NMO supplied data separately for Los Alamos and Albuquerque, and the results are interesting. Los Alamos is at the top of the list in terms of members and orienteering meet starts per capita; Albuquerque is in the middle of the pack. We should devote more attention to orienteering in the Albuquerque metro area. In particular, we need lower elevation maps for snow-free winter orienteering.
At our November meet we received a request from JROTC to organize an orienteering meet for JROTC programs in the Albuquerque metro area. With assistance from JROTC instructors Larry Zentner and Mike Lloyd, NMO course consultant John Pascal, NMO mapping coordinator Rick Kelley, and Orienteering Unlimited's Ed Hicks, Una Smith has found a location for a sprint orienteering map and begun preparations to make the map and hold a meet on it. This will be our first orienteering map and meet south of Albuquerque. Date and location are TBA.
Our course design workshop in Albuquerque on the afternoon of January 15 (Saturday), has openings. Please sign up on the NMO website.
Our annual business meeting also is on January 15 in Albuquerque. Please suggest to Jerry where in town we can meet, before or after the course design workshop.
NMO has received a request from REI Albuquerque to offer in-store classes about orienteering for adventure seekers. If you are interested in participating, as teacher or learner, please contact Una.
New memberships and renewals for 2011 are flooding in. Please join the flood: download the current form and mail it with payment to Jerry.
Jan Bear (Santa Fe) will set courses for NMO for the first time, for our May meet in Los Alamos. Zakk Beaton (Clovis) has recently moved to New Mexico from Washington State. Jerry Boyd (Albuquerque) is making a top secret new orienteering map in the Los Alamos area; contact him for details. Colm Connaughton (UK) is hoping to become a more frequent visitor at LANL so that he can orienteer with us. Sagi Granot (Albuquerque) and his wife are expecting their first baby, a girl, any day now. Cristina Luis (Arizona) has been enjoying a very successful year on the orienteering competition circuit. John Pascal (Farmington) set an awesome menu of classic courses for Tucson Orienteering Club, for their Catalina State Park Classic on November 21. Una Smith (Los Alamos) has located existing orienteering maps at Philmont Scout Ranch (3 maps) and United World College (1 map), and is discussing with their keepers how NMO might help to organize high quality orienteering meets on those maps. Stephen White (East Mountains) is helping Jerry to upgrade Jerry's 2005 ARDF competition maps in the Manzanita Mountains into IOF-standard orienteering maps. Do you have news? Please send it to Una.
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