ECOC Course Setter Notes

Course Setter Notes

Dear Orienteers,

I am honored to be given the privilege, to plan courses on the terrain first used 51 years ago, for Quebec Orienteering Championship, and last used 5 years later, on maps created by John Charlow, who’s been patiently waiting for us to return to this area. Have a look at the maps graciously provided by Gordon Hunter: his young and younger versions. Please look at the 1971 and 1976 maps!

The time did a lot of things to this land. Big chunks of it have become inaccessible. The golf course was born and died. Logging operations are taking place. Sugarbush farm took over a big part of the hills. Most of the trails have not been walked on, almost ever, except by hunters.  It took a lot of outside-of-the-box thinking, to make the courses not only championship-worthy but also enjoyable. I believe “memorable” goes without saying.

I could not have done it without enormous help and support from the mapper and event director Dmitri Golovanov, our controller Richard Guttormson, and of course Lorna Guttormson. You guys rock!

Middle distance.

Trash for golfers, a treasure for orienteers! The golf course, which has not been groomed for the past 4 years, will be our playground. Plus, we’ll be taking you to the nice forest around it.

A couple of things worth mentioning:

  • They used to have gravel on them, they kind of still do, but one should really read the map to follow their direction.


2) Beehives (see the special symbol). They just made their appearance this summer, we don’t know how, and won’t have time to find out. The bees would not attack unprovoked, so please don’t (I am also responsible for the first aid 😉 )!

3) Sugarbush pipes. They will be present on course 8 for the Middle, for a very small part of the course. They are bright blue, and very well visible, so practice your ducking skills!

4) Thorns. Yes, you’ll have to go through them, here and there. Long pants are highly recommended. Also, there will be berries and mushrooms. You can come back for them after the closure of the courses!

Very important for the Middle: please be careful crossing the major road on your way to the Start and after the Finish. Assistance will be provided for the crossing. Toilets and O-Store will be near the parking, but the award ceremony will take place near the Finish. Please feel free to use “facili-trees” near the Finish, but don’t wander into the golf course: most of the controls will be there.

Long distance.

Here you’ll see the best and the worst of Quebec’s forest.

Here is the worst: logging tracks. They are everywhere. Some of them are barely visible and not mapped, some of them are decent and mapped as trails or rides, and some of them, actually just one, look like this:

This can be easily followed on its side, but please, spare your ankles. It is mapped with this symbol:

For the want of a good trail, we had to flag a few routes for courses 1-3, please explain to your kids the flagging.

Another bad thing about the Long, is the fair amount of barbed wire that is used to mark property limits some time ago. We marked and cut away as much of it as we could, but please stay aware.

Sugarbush pipes will be there for advanced courses again. Keep ducking!

On the good side, you will encounter a fair amount of clear and clean forest, a few trails and fields that you will indeed enjoy running, and exquisite contour lines with rocks and cliffs that serve as great orienteres.

And the Finish shoot will be spectacular!

Last but not least, three of the ladies in the picture below will be present for this competition. The group represents the “Forest Fantasia” project, which introduced 92 Ukrainian refugee women and children, to Canada and Orienteering. The Quebec Orienteering Federation, and the help of many of us, made their Orienteering Camp in the forest near Rawdon, a true respite from the war, and a beginning of new friendships, and a new life in Canada, where Orienteering is a big part of! Hope to see many of them soon, in the forest with us.

Sincerely yours,

Anna Fichman (in the middle)

Слава Україні!