The story of the adventure of a danish Team (Pontresina 2010)
Saturday the 14th of august, we started on the toughest race we have ever participated in. Parcours 3 in R’adys.
At the check in, we received two maps and some plastic cover, but where were the controls???
Luckily we met two other Danish teams, and they informed us about the sheet with the coordinates, and that we had too put them on the map ourselves. Aha, did we have a pen? No we didn’t. One of the girls gave us hers, as she had a spare.
In all the other races we have done, OMM, Coast Zone, Wild West, and ordinary orientation races in Denmark, we are used to maps with the controls printed on. We were not prepared for this. Lesson learned!
Controls on the map, and of we went, running towards the first “bump” on the race Pix Lagalp 2959 meters. Number 1 where halfway up. The run, where quickly replaced by zigzag walk and a heart rate on 180. Let me just add, that we Danes are used to Himmelbjerget (English= Sky Mountain) on 145 meters.
Well number 1 got checked, then the route to number 2 were debated. That was easy. Just follow the cables to the top, go east about 200 meters, there is a track all the way to 2. So off we went.
“How come we are the only ones going this way?”, I said to myself.
Wow, that was a tough trip. And after a long time, spend looking for this “track”, we had to acknowledge, that there where none. ( We where later told, that it was some kind of border between to communities).
Well, we had to get down from this mountain again, but it was a bit harder than we thought. The longer we came down, the more locked we got. We had to climb down through a narrow stream, crawl on a 50 cm edge underneath a big rock, all the while we carried our rucksack . We could have dropped it, but where afraid that we couldn’t follow.
After a long time of hard and intense work, we finally came down. But unfortunately we had use to much time on that mountain, that number 2 and 3 where closed, and we had to go directly to number 4.
We looked up on Pix Lagalp, and said to ourselves, “What where you thinking about, amateurs!?”
4 and 5 where easy.
6 to 10 was free. Off cause, we decided to take the controls in the hardest order possible. Hmm!!
That meant we had to climb up a narrow “cow” track. “Who would take his cows up that way? And who would voluntary get them down again?” It just kept going up up up up. At the control, we had to make another decision. Should we take the short route down in the valley, and then climb up the mountain on the other side? Or should we go further up, follow the track up to the Glacier Lake and further on to the mountain on the other side of the valley? We went higher up. At the lake, we met the radio post, who then called back to camp, “That the two Danes are all right, and are heading home to nightcamp.”
Apparently, we where the last team out there.
It felt nice reaching the other side of the valley, here we could run.
The time was now 19.00, it was raining and freezing. We where so far behind schedule, that we decided to skip 11, 12 and 13.
14 and 15, Night Camp.
Next task, restitution.
We found a high spot on the field, and raised our tent. I was so cold, that I could hardly talk.
We changed our clothes in a cow barn. It was a hard job, changing the wet clothes, while freezing our a.. off. One of the other participants, said the we sounded like two female tennis players ☺.
In our tent, we got our Jet boiler started. Ate two hot meals each and got a nice cup of coffee with some chocolate on the side. Last task before sleep, was the toilet.
It was raining all night, really raining. But our tent did the job. We had dry gear next morning.
0800 next morning, the last leg of the race began. We got our controls, and rushed up into the barn , so that we could make our map out of the rain.
We have made a new strategy for the day.
1. Do not go over the top.
2. Minimize running, only downhill.
3. Stay on the tracks
And it worked. We were not last. There where four or five teams behind us. And we even passed another team ☺.
From 1 to 2, we had to climb this steep mountain side, with a waterfall right beneath us. And the rocky side, was made of loose stones.
As we were fighting our way up the mountain, some Swiss guy passed not only us, but several teams. It was like he just turned off the brain, set the speed very high, and kept momentum. I tried to follow him, to learn of his choice of route, but he was too fast, and as suddenly he appeared, he disappeared again. I wonder if he ever saw the waterfall?
We reached a beautiful little lake. We just had to stop, and enjoy the view. And off cause, take a nice sip of cold and fresh water. I would not do that I Denmark. ☹
In Denmark we run with our bladder filled with 3 liters of water. Here we just had our little “FoldaCup”. There’s fresh water everywhere.
The path to 2, was just a marking over some big rocks. We use those as Wave brakes, along the coast in Denmark. So we where busy concentrating, not to trip over. I’m so fund of my Speed Cross II ☺.
Control 2 was a little lake. At first we thought we where in good time, but no. We where already 30 minutes late.
I must admit, that the closing time on the controls, where very tight. It was at this time, I said something I would come to regret. “ Ole, have you noticed that we haven’t had any injuries?”
200 meters later, I tripped over. Luckily, it wasn’t so bad.
While we where looking for number 3, I suddenly heard Ole speaking in a bad Danish language. He had fallen, and when he tried to stop the fall, his little finger went on the opposite side of the cliff, than all the other fingers. When I looked at his hand, the little finger pointed in a funny way, to the left. “Is it broken?” I asked. “Yeah, I think so. You take number 3, I’ll manage here.”
When I came back, he was taping his fingers together. It turned out that it wasn’t broken, but just misplaced.
On our way to number 4, he tripped again. It sounded like it really hurt.
We had to make a decision. Number 5 was down in the valley, after that, it was up in the mountains again. And according to the map, it looked a bit steep. Climbing with one hand is not one of our expertises. We are not experienced climbers.
So I called the race HQ, and told them we where leaving the race, and coming to Pontresina via the highway.
The ten kilometers to goal, gave me plenty of time to tease Ole☺. I reminded him several times, that it was him who had left the race, I just wasn’t aloud to carry on on my own☺.
The race doctor was waiting for us at the goal. He said the Ole had done the right thing, and that he just had to get some pictures taken, when he returned to Denmark.
OK, we didn’t complete the race, but we had a very good time in the mountains.
We will definitely come back again. Hopefully next year.
We might take a shorter distance then. Not that our physics wasn’t up to the task, but we where just not fast enough.
If you haven’t tried R’adys yet? Do it. You will never regret.
Thanks to all that made this race possible.