Saguaro Lake Night-O
Saturday, April 8, 2017


We had a nice turnout for our Night-O at Saguaro Lake. A total of nineteen participants joined us for two-hours of navigation practice at our event site on the Bush Highway north of Saguaro Lake. The temperature was perfect for orienteering (mid-70's). A nearly full moon helped illuminate the area's ridgelines and washes. Navigating at night is a particulary difficult skill to master. Always knowing where you are on the map is crucial. If you do get turned around, relocating is quite difficult due to the absense of visual clues to help. Everyone who participated in the event was able to find 3 or more controls. We're happy to offer a venue for this unique navigation experience.

There were a couple of notable concerns for the night's events. Because of all the rain we received this winter, the foxtail grass was out in force. The seeds of this grass find there way into participant's socks and mesh-footwear. In the future, we need to warn everyone to wear long pants and, if possible, leather shoes. Also, while hanging bags earlier in the day, the course setters nearly stepped on two rattlesnakes. The encounter was fortunately benign (rattlesnakes are really fascinating!) but it does remind us of the need to be careful when hiking in the desert. As the sun goes down and the temperatures drop, the risk of accidental contact with poisonous snakes decreases as the animals become lethargic in the cooling temperatures.

The night's course consisted of 14 controls with a best-route straight-line distance of 4.8 km with 235 meters of climb. The Saguaro Lake event site is quite open with a minimal amount of cactus and other thorny plants to get in your way (except the foxtail). Erik Ringnes was able to use his years of navigation experience to blast through the course and visit all the controls in just over an hour. We might have to make a longer course next time to keep him interested. Other top finishers who visited 10 or more controls include Dan Yamiashiro, James Allred, Rich Orndoff, and the Scorpions. The Scorpions were particularly affected by the nasty foxtail seeds. We're sure they would have found more of the controls if they were able to stay out the full two hours. Long-time participant Debra Allen is showing that her persistence is paying off. She found 8 controls in just over an hour and a half. Since we've nearly had to send search crews out for her a number of times, it's obvious that her navigation skills are getting much better. Way to go Deb!


Course Setters: David Thompson, Ron Birks
Meet Directors: David Thompson, Ron Birks
Bag Hangers: David Thompson, Ron Birks
Water Station Setup: None
Equipment Hauling: Ron Birks
Setup/Tear-down: David Thompson, Ron Birks
Registration Table: David Thompson, Ron Birks
Timing Table: Ron Birks
Beginners Clinic: None
Control Retrieval: Ron Birks
Tabulating Results: Ron Birks


Course Statistics  
Total Points 260
Number of Controls 14
Straight-Line Distance (km) 4.8
Climb (m) 235
Total Participants 19
Number of Minutes 120
Penalty Per Minute 10

Score-O Results

Finish Name Total Points Penalty Final Points Num Controls Time Category Rank Team Members
1 Erik Ringnes 260 0 260 14 1:14:34 M 1
2 Dan Yamashiro 250 0 250 12 1:43:36 M 2
3 James Allred 230 0 230 12 1:54:30 M 3
4 Rich Orndoff 200 0 200 10 1:57:15 M 4
5 Scorpions 190 0 190 11 1:35:00 TM 1 Jeff Brucker, Degan Gurnett, Eli Gurnett
6 William Stevens 160 0 160 9 1:54:00 M 5
7 Debra Allen 150 0 150 8 1:40:12 F
8 Gary Hickey 90 0 90 5 1:08:40 M 1
9 Desert Ridge 80 0 80 4 1:37:00 TM 2 Patrick Heinzman, Michael Merkel, Nichlas Steele
10 Trunk Monkey 80 0 80 5 1:57:00 TX 3 Jill Kyle, Charles Chapman
11 Gold Cobra REC REC 0:52:50 TX REC Matt Gunstra, Amber Gunstra
12 Night Stars REC REC 1:12:47 TF REC Jay Horn, Mercedes Starr