Jan 12 01
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The Christmas weather in the NW UK has been up to 33 degrees warmer than last year (when it went down to -18) and horribly wet and miserable. But one has tried to get out from time to time.

On Boxing Day I accidentally arrived at the start of an orienteering course shortly before entry closed, so felt obliged to have a go.

Setmurthy Woods near Cockermouth

This flummoxed me a bit because it was the first time I had come across an orienteering map without consecutively numbered controls and/or a route marked. But I recalled R & R mentioning having to plan their route before starting a race. Though I did not have a biro to hand or the comfort of a tent in which to sit and think, at least this memory gave me a clue! When I’d had enough of wandering about the woods I emerged from the trees onto a track… and realised I had no idea where I was – but then remembered that I could use my map and compass to navigate as well as orienteer, so that was all right!

Thick woods

This experience was not enough to put me right off, because a couple of days later I braved the wet miserableness again and made another attempt to orienteer on Binsey (northern fells).

Binsey - small fell with great views in good weather - but not today

At least there was daylight, if murky daylight, so it was often possible to spot a control when one was within ten or twenty yards; cheating a bit really?

A control on the ridge wasn't hard to spot

It was a pretty muddy outing though as half the controls were in bogs.

Lots of clarts in the rain

But eventually the welcome sign:

Hurrah!

Still smiling!

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