My winter O-Ringen

The last Sälen Blog this year from David Andersson, Malungs OK. Here he shares a different O-ringen.

When O-ringen was in Sälenfjällen 2008, I participated in H21Elit. that year was the second highest class, the World Cup runners had their own class. My physical shape was not quite on top, but after a week with very stable orienteering, I finished second after Niclas Jonasson, Leksands OK. Overall it was a tough week with three long and two middle distance stages.

Six months later I was in Sälenfjällen to celebrate the New Year with my family. In a cabin at Gruvens fäbod, we usually stay during New Year's week. We train cross-country skiing, eat great food, and play a lot of games. During the New Year 2008-2009, I decided to create an extra challenge in training. I looked up my five O-Ringenmaps from the summer, packed my two pairs of snowshoes and decided to run my own winter-O-Ringen.
The snow cover in Sälen at this time was 50-60 cm in wooded areas and in the mountains even deeper. I started with stage 1 in Berga by. During the summer, I ran the course on 82 minutes but in this winter O-Ringen my only goal was to get around the course. After 3h12min, I happily reach the goal.

The second stage, middle distance in Berga by was a simple challange which was needed for Stage 3 long distance above the tree line on New Year's Eve morning. I tried to persuade the at that time young and more inexperienced William Lind to follow around the course, and I succeeded. In the chilly weather, minus 17 degrees we decided the run the course by orienteering every second leg. After about 3.5 hours on the mountain of Hundfjället with frosty faces and with icicles hanging along the body we finally finished and were met by many long glances from ski tourists.
Some of the legs of stage 3 with route choices is shown below.

William must have been positively influenced for even the fourth day, he wanted to follow, it was a middle distance in Hundfjället. We divided to run the course in intervals. A problem arose when it was extremely difficult to se the control points in the deep snow. In a fantastic winter weather we still got a memorable run on the bare mountain.

The final stage was as next summers final in the forests east of Lindvallen. The track was tough in the summer of 2008, it was even tougher on my winter-O-Ringen. The feeling when you put the final punch on an O-Ringen week is still special and the tougher week you had, the more reason to feel proud of yourself.
Good luck with your preparations for next summer's O-Ringen in Sälenfjällen.
// David Andersson, Malung OK

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