This stage will truly put your orienteering skills to a test on Bodafjället’s extremely detailed north slope.
|Course setter:||Magnus Nordström|
|Unikt för etappen:||Lovely forest and challenging hillside orienteering|
By Stage 4, most competitors should have become accustomed to orienteering in the great forests of Värmland, which is good, since this stage will put their technical orienteering skills to a whole new test. This stage takes place on Bodafjället’s extremely difficult northern slopes, just to the East of Wednesday’s long distance.
The walk to the start heads east from the arena down into the valley and along the old railroad tracks that still hold memories of this region’s vibrant industrial past. When the railroad was closed in 1985, the Boda station was also torn down. You can see some remnants from that time by visiting the Koppom station house, which has been left intact both inside and outside. But when the start whistle blows for O-Ringen’s Stage 4, you’ll have no time left to reminisce about history: challenging orienteering will start from the very first steps of your course. Be sure to arrive at the start focused, or mistakes will pile up from the very beginning.
Since the courses start out far down on the slope, you will find yourself climbing for the first few controls. Your heart will be pounding and your legs will be screaming for mercy, while your energy will be drained by the deep blueberry bushes and the soft mosses underfoot. Eventually the climbing will stop, and the courses will cross the slope in every direction: up, down, across, and in every direction in between. The courses cross over themselves many times, and it will be important to keep track of where you are going and to pay attention to all the contour and rock features. In order to succeed here, you will have to find the right balance between physical effort and mental focus on the details inside the control circle. In addition to detailed orienteering, the courses will also present you with some route choice problems: contour along the slope or take a shorter route through a green patch? Or perhaps take the extra climb early in the leg in order to save some distance. Steep cliffs will also need to be taken into account when planning your routes.
After many controls, short legs, and direction changes, you will welcome the downhill finish. At the end of the course you will cross the now-familiar railroad, and be sure to orienteer all the way to the finish. This will be a true middle distance experience in wonderful terrain, and the feeling of self-satisfaction will be guaranteed for those who manage to get through their courses mistake-free.