The second stage of the O-Ringen week will let you experience beautiful and pristine nature in highly detailed orienteering terrain.
Shortened long distance
Ann Hyvönen and Jonas Bergenfur
How is this stage unique?
Beautiful and pristine nature in highly detailed orienteering terrain
The terrain for Stage 2 is located to the east of Stage 1 and is dominated by several large hills. Their hilltops and upper parts of the slopes are covered with stately mature pine forest, blueberry bushes, and a variety of mosses and lichens. These areas offer excellent visibility and runnability for competitors. The open summit of one of the larger hills used to be a gathering place for local villagers, where they would dance and sing during the long summer evenings. The beautiful and detailed slopes of this hill, known traditionally as Party Hill, will be visited by most of the courses and will offer some of the day’s most enjoyable orienteering challenges. The valleys separating the large hills are often covered by younger forest with limited visibility, where it is still possible to maintain good speed while paying close attention to your compass.
The early parts of the courses that start from Starts 2-5 climb up a gradual, and somewhat bland, slope. While such a hillside is fairly simple to navigate as long as you maintain map contact, it is very difficult to relocate the moment you lose focus. After passing through a green valley, many courses will end up in a very difficult and fun area. Here, it might be tempting for you to stop for an extra moment or two and just admire the glorious old forest around you, where with a little extra luck you might even spot a rare wood grouse. The longer courses continue from here, going over several hills, and featuring tricky route choice legs and slope orienteering. The final parts of the courses pass through some very fast terrain. On the way back to the finish, you will cross a couple of gradual hills and the find yourself running at full speed on rocky trails, navigating using green areas and cultivated fields.
The courses that start at Starts 6-8 spend a greater portion of time in the flatter hills, but also wander a bit into the detailed areas. A number of controls here might seem simple at a glance, but are surprisingly easy to miss on the somewhat vague hillsides. The ancient trail network is supplemented by a number of new trails that help the easier courses make their way between and over the hills.
Even though Stage 2 is a shortened long distance, most courses still have some challenging route choice legs, where difficult decisions have to be made. However, going straight on the line is the fastest route for many of the legs located along the tricky hillsides. A good strategy here would be to keep a precise bearing while traversing the slopes (both on the way up and down) and carefully read all the contour and rock features as you navigate into the control circle. And when the navigation gets a bit simpler, don’t forget to turn up the speed!