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Ascent of Mount Misery on 2012-04-29

Climber: Dave Dunham

Date:Sunday, April 29, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Misery
    Location:USA-Massachusetts
    Elevation:276 ft / 84 m

Ascent Trip Report

Mt Misery – Orienteering meet

I headed over to Lincoln, MA for my third O-meet of the month and 200th of my life. 200 sounds like a lot, but I’ve been orienteering since 1992. I haven’t done many meets over the last few years but things have worked out that I’ve been able to race recently. I had raced the day before and ran 9 miles earlier in the morning so I didn’t exactly have “fresh legs”. Usually that is a good thing for me when orienteering as I tend to run faster than I can read the map, which inevitably leads to trouble.

This is a very scenic location and I was one of the first to arrive (1/2 hour before the meet started) and parked in the lot next to the Sudbury River. I taped up my ankles and headed out for a 3 mile warm-up. The woods looked very open and there wasn’t much in the way of rock features, which is the kind of woods I like. The warm-up included a peak-bag as I went to the top of Mt Misery (about 100’ of climb) before heading back to the start.

I grabbed my compass and headed out for the Green course. The meet featured electronic punching which is very cool, you get your splits right after you finish and you can compare split with everyone else who does the same course. I sprinted off into the woods and had no trouble finding the first control. It is always a relief to start off well and I kept a good tempo for the next two controls. That was the end of doing well as I got very confused heading into the fourth control. It really shows in my splits, the first three controls I was among the top 5 times but the fourth, fifth, and sixth all gave me problems and I was 12th – 16th for those splits. I think that really shows that when I’m accurate I can run fast enough to do well but when I mess up, I mess up big-time.

Anyway, I regrouped after the 6th control and the next five controls went by quickly with no big gaffes. Then I had my only split that was the fastest of all competitors. It was a short leg but it climbed to the summit of Mt Misery. I covered the 200m with 80’ of climb in just over a minute and was trailed the entire way by a dog. The woods were thick with walkers and loose dogs!

I had no problems on the next couple of controls but again made a big error (on the final control) and this was my worst split of the day ranking 17th. I had to drop 200m to the south and figure out exactly where I was before heading back into the big valley that the control was in.

All in all it was a lot of fun out there; I would have liked to have been a little faster especially with such wide-open woods. There was a great turnout and in celebration of the 40th year of the New England Orienteering club there was no entry fee. It was a great day for my own personal celebration with my 200th finish. That may be my last meet for a while as I get into the more serious road and mountain races later this spring.

Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:180 ft / 55 m
    Distance:4 mi / 6.4 km
    Trailhead:96 ft / 29 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack
    Gear Used:
Pack Animals
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Clear



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