event :: O Visits Middle Earth


Orienteering in Middle Earth

No matter what level your at or why you go, there is one thing to be said for orienteering, it takes you to all sorts of places! One such event in New Zealand visited the scene of the first Lord of the Rings movie - The Fellowship of the Ring. PAPO ( Peninsula and Plains Orienteers)was the organising club who take in the area surrounding Christchurch city, on the South island. The area in question is called Flock hill which is on the foothills of the southern Alps, on the road to Arthurs Pass, which is a road that traverses the country from Christchurch to the west coast. It was the setting for the scene where the 'Ring Raiths' caught up with little frodo Baggins as they tried to retrieve the ring for the evil Sauron!

As for the orienteering side of things the map is on a steep hillside with patches of dense areas of rocks. It is small and open and covered in giant rocks, a lot of them several stories high. The courses for the event where short but had a lot of climb. 'Navigation was tough, even within the circle it was hard to work out what feature the control was on, there were so many rocks and crags in one place. Controls were placed under, over between crags, inside crevaces, around boulders. and usually unless approached at the exact angle very difficult to find!' commented the source.

We orienteers really do go to the most random places of the world...but thats part of what we love about this sport! Thanks to Fionne Austin for providing the info & pictures.

The PAPO website and results of the event can be found here

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Watching out for the Ring Raiths!

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