Events 1 and 2 – Earl's Trails
Map: 1:10,000 with 5-meter contours.
Earl's Trails is the north slope of the Holyoke Range just west of Rt. 116. For those of you who have been on the adjacent Mt. Norwottuck map on the east side of Rt. 116, the topography is similar to the north slope on that map.
The name "Earl's Trails" refers to a network of single-track mountain bike trails that have been built in the last few years under the leadership of Earl Alderman, head of the outdoor program at Hampshire College. Parts of the map have a dense network of trails, while other parts have almost none.
Terrain: Forest. Moderately to very hilly. The slopes have relatively few details and many trails. The runnability is mostly good to very good, with areas of somewhat thicker forest. There is very little rock. The thicker forest is generally patches of younger hemlocks, or a little bit of relatively sparse mountain laurel, or areas of saplings. There is almost no dark green. Often the boundaries are rather indistinct – it has been a challenge in places to differentiate between white and light green and there will be times that the white forest may seem a little slow and others where the light green may seem quite open.
So the orienteering will be quite different from other areas in New England, and also quite different from events 3, 4, and 5. Enjoy it.
Logistics: Check-in is at the Visitors Center at the Notch, where Route 116 crosses the Holyoke Range between Amherst and South Hadley. Please do not wear any spikes in the building. At check-in you will get your bib number, an e-punch if you are borrowing one, and anyone running in event 3 at UMass will have to sign a waiver for them.
The finish and starts are about 500 meters from the Visitors Center. Cross Rt. 116 – CAREFUL, lots of traffic! -- and follow Military Road to the west. After about 300 meters, where the road enters fenced off land belonging to Amherst College. follow the bike trail to the right along the outside of the fence. It is another 200 meters along the fence to the small field where the starts and finish will be.
Parking – parking is available first along Military Road and then in front of the Visitors Center. Along Military Road please make sure to park only as directed and not to block any access to the state park facilities.
Toilets – There will be two portable toilets along Military Road. Please use them. There are toilets in the Visitors Center, but their septic system is antiquated, and we have been asked to use them as little as possible.
Control descriptions – they will be available 2 minutes before your start. They will also be on the map.
Warm-up – In the small field at the finish, or along the trail and road back to the Visitors Center.
Start procedure – Call up three minutes before your start time. Get control descriptions two minutes before. Move forward to maps one minute before. At your start time, punch the start box and go.
Safety and other precautions
There are private residences along the northwest and north sides of the map. Please stay away from them. There is never a need to go between houses.
Some courses go close to one of Hadley's reservoirs. Under no circumstances is swimming allowed, either during the orienteering or at other times.
Be aware that there may be mountain bikers and hikers on the trails and be courteous.
If hopelessly lost, go east until you reach Rt. 116 and then up the hill to the Notch.
There will one water stop for Brown through Blue courses at both events.
Check carefully for ticks.
Course lengths (still subject to slight changes)
Event 1 (A meet, Earl's Trails)
White: 1.8 km, 75 meters climb
Yellow 2.0, 80m
Orange 1.8, 80m
BrownY (women) 2.1, 95m
BrownX (men) 2.4,100m
GreenY (women) 2.5, 105m
GreenX (men) 2.6, 125m
Red 3.3, 175m
Blue 3.9, 220m
Event 2 (A meet, Earl's Trails)
White: 1.4 km, 60 meters climb
Yellow 1.7, 70m
Orange 2.1, 100m
BrownY (women) 2.3, 120m
BrownX (men) 2.4, 120m
GreenY (women) 2.5, 130m
GreenX (men) 3.2, 180m
Red 3.6, 200m
Blue 4.0, 225m
Event 3 (UMass campus)
Approx. 3.0 and 2.0, exact coming
Event 4 (Cemetery Hill)
Approx. 3.0 and 2.0, exact coming
Event 5 (Mt. Tom mass start)
8.2 km, 6.3 km, 3.9
8:30 am Check-in opens
9:45-11:15 am (approx..) Starts for Event 1. Time limit is two hours. Note that controls for a course may be picked up once everyone on that course has either finished or been out at least two hours. That may be sooner than 1:15 pm.
1:30-2:45 pm Starts for event 2. Time limit is two hours.
Transfer to UMass for event 3
5:00-6:15 pm Starts for event 3
8:45-10:00 am Starts for event 4 at Cemetery Hill
Transfer to Mt. Tom
11:45 am Briefing for event 5
12:00 Noon Mass start. Time limit is 3 hours.
Finally, all net proceeds from the 5-Day will go to support our fabulous Ski-Orienteering team. Thank you for coming, and good luck to the team as they prepare for the 2013 world Championships in Kazakhstan.