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Discussion Forum - Events - Sussex Stride


Author: Peter Richards
Posted: Mon 30th Sep 2013, 12:02
Joined: 2012
Local Group: Beds, Bucks and Northants
Many, many thanks and a big well done to all who organised and supported what a wonderful event, the fog was a special touch of magic just that piece of luck enabling all of us to practice our various navigation skills and bearings with compass, gps tools and plot a straight...ish course across the Sisters not too much like a group of revellers following a path on new years eve.

The hills were up and up and up and just for fun up some more - it was truly a brilliant course and one of the most rewarding events I have participated in many thanks to one and all - the food and support at all check points was brilliant the ravioli was fantastic the - bacon sandwich at the last CP was a sublime boost for a weary walker and whole event made one really remember the reason we do these events. I know walking the last mile I had a bigger than normal smile for surely we had all been tested a little differently on this one. Great event!
Author: Aaron Hookway
Posted: Sun 29th Sep 2013, 22:08
Joined: 2012
Local Group: Vermuyden (South Yorks)
Evening all at LDWA Sussex

Thanks for posting the results to this ruddy tough 50. The fog and near whiteout conditions (took a wrong turn in the chuff too, booo) made this my hardest 50 to date.

Can i ask if the photo's that were being taken on the day have appeared anywhere online yet?
I am especially interested in the one pic of a lady being snapped just leaving CP2 whilst snaffeling one of the very nice buns. It gave us a good chuckle for a few miles.

A tough but well organised event by SussexLDWA, well worth the journey south.
Author: Alan Stewart
Posted: Mon 23rd Sep 2013, 14:29
Joined: 2004
Local Group: Kent
What a toughy (not sure that is a word) I previously had walked out the night section from East Dean and still had trouble finding Crowlink in the dark and mist. keeping on the straight and narrow over the Seven Sisters without falling in the drink wasn't easy in the dark and thick mist. Someone needs to invent a fog piercing head touch.

A great event and a big thank you to all the organisers and all the volunteers who gave up so much of their valuable time to enable us to indulge our passion for torture.
Author: Mark Garratt
Posted: Sun 22nd Sep 2013, 16:28
Joined: 2016
Local Group: Heart of England
Yes great volenteers couldn't agree more about the bacon sarnie and Kent LDWA with their excellent checkpoint as usual . Yes Navigation was hard with the head torch reflecting in the mist you may as well been in a cave . My Wife's first ultra distance event and she says her last , I said the same after the Games 100
Author: David Anthony Giles
Posted: Sun 22nd Sep 2013, 14:18
Joined: 1999
Thank you to all the amazing volunteers, your hard work was much appreciated. The bacon sandwich at Southease was perfect. I hope all got back safe.
David( and Fly/border collie)
Author: Rebecca Lawrence
Posted: Sun 22nd Sep 2013, 8:42
Joined: 2003
Local Group: Marches
Great event. What a challenge the night section was....compass bearings across a featureless down with no obvious path and visibility down to 10ft at times.....hardest event we have done for a long time but thoroughly enjoyed. Thanks so much to everyone who made this possible.
Author: Aaron Hookway
Posted: Wed 18th Sep 2013, 18:19
Joined: 2012
Local Group: Vermuyden (South Yorks)
Thanks for the info Alan

Having a look at the route last night on Google Maps and Streetmap i can see that the squiffy bits will be past East Dean. It WILL be dark by the time I get there.
Author: Alan Stewart
Posted: Wed 18th Sep 2013, 13:29
Joined: 2004
Local Group: Kent
I recently walked out the section from East Dean to the finish, which is the section I expect to be doing mainly in the dark. I found the route description accurate, the compass bearings and distances spot on. One slight exception, on section 7.1 "continue AHD on path across field 360 degrees. In 600yds, at post at top of hill". The path was ploughed out (14th August), the compass bearing took me 5 yards left of the post, but that may have been me not following the bearing accurately enough as you can't see the post until you get to the top of the hill. Fantastic scenery in the daylight.
Author: Andrew Todd
Posted: Tue 17th Sep 2013, 19:38
Joined: 2010
Local Group: Wiltshire
Thanks, but I have a GPX track which I have built which I believe is accurate and probably within 5m for virtually all of the route.
Author: Neil Bromley
Posted: Mon 16th Sep 2013, 22:23
Joined: 2002
Local Group: Heart of England
Andrew and Peter

I have a simple "key turns" GPX as a back-up. When I've done the Stride before the route description has seemed pretty accurate and I plan to use it this weekend, but it's nice to have a back-up on my watch for when I'm confused in the dark! You're welcome to have a copy from nhbromley@gmail.com as long as you take responsibility for checking it on your own software and don't slag me off if it's inaccurate!
Author: Andrew Todd
Posted: Mon 16th Sep 2013, 20:37
Joined: 2010
Local Group: Wiltshire
The answer I got via email was "No it isn't."

FWIW it is not an easy route/route description to convert from the description to the map/GPX track. Spent parts of a couple of evenings doing it, I know there are still some errors which I could not bottom out based on route description, 1:25 mapping, aerial imagery and street view.

Also have a good idea where using just the route description people will go wrong.
Author: Peter Richards
Posted: Mon 16th Sep 2013, 19:29
Joined: 2012
Local Group: Beds, Bucks and Northants
Was there a final answer as to whether anyone has a GPX file I find these really helpful.

On the wider subject of the technology debate, well we use torches (they are required for the night sections and we carry spare batteries and several spare torches).

I have used the iphone with app for the all the challenges I have participated in during 2013 and carry spare battery for the iphone (and a spare satnav = satmap) and the route description.

Personally I like all options technology, maps, compass, route guide, sun, stars, anything that convinces me I know where I am and where I am going. (even when I then end up going the wrong way). Having spent many years reading maps with compass in many environments I think, the reality is the modern technology offers many more options for all and as such makes our events much more inclusive, younger generations never knew a world without the gadgets ever existed and if they join and enjoy the walk then that has to be good.

To my mind the LDWA is the long distance walking association not the Long Distance Walking and Map Reading Association and what ever works for and helps keep us all walking in our wonderful countryside, works for me, especially if it encourages more walking.

So having had my say on that anyone got the GPX file?
Author: Peter Steckles
Posted: Fri 13th Sep 2013, 21:40
Joined: 1998
Local Group: East Lancashire
Some thoughts to get you out of trouble...

1. Transfer all the checkpoint grid references onto paper map.

2. Mark the full route onto paper map.

3. Reconnoitre the complete route using route description, map and memorise every inch.

4. GPX on Satellite Navigation device, in pocket, in waterproof cover, for emergency use.

5. Route description in pocket, for emergency use.

6. Leave trail of breadcrumbs from the start to retrace steps, for emergency use.

7. Follow the person in front.

However...

Paper maps get wet, disintegrate, and blow away.
Sometimes, you go to North Wales in the mountains, only to find you have a map of Scotland in your map case
Route descriptions get wet, disintegrate and blow away. Once you have lost your bearings with a route description, you might as well be on the moon.
After reconnoitring the whole route, and memorising it, sometimes the Good Lord sends mist, fog, rain, hailstones, driving snow and darkness.
Your Sat Nav device batteries go flat, and then you trip and smash the screen sending wires, transistors, valves and springs all over the heather.
The birds eat your breadcrumbs.
So stick to the person in front like glue... especially if he happens to be a good egg like George Matuszewski :)
Author: Andrew Todd
Posted: Fri 13th Sep 2013, 10:19
Joined: 2010
Local Group: Wiltshire
I would suggest that route descriptions are the ultimate form of "simply following the track" . I would certainly propose that not issuing a GPX track is not going to encourage people to consider the surroundings of the route. Certainly working a route description into a track is not easy, and not everyone will manage it.

Equally I would further assert that a practice of saying the "only thing you need is a route description" will encourage people to looking to easy problems with navigating by route description to look at just following the GPX track. ie not issuing a track is only going to make the 'problem' you are trying to 'fix' worse not better.
Author: Tony Cartwright
Posted: Mon 9th Sep 2013, 16:30
Joined: 1978
Local Group: Surrey
Apologies. I did not mean to suggest that a route description should be sufficient in itself. A map should always be carried since an RD is only useful whilst you remain on route. I have always carried maps on Challenge (and other walks) over the years. Usually, like others, I mark the route on the map prior to the event. Fairly standard practice.

I have no problem with electronic maps (with all the usual caveats of batteries life etc). RD's can be traced onto GPS's in much the same way as they can be traced onto paper maps. What I have a problem with, is downloading a GPX file of the route, syncing it to a GPS and then simply following the track with no regard to the surroundings. Not means everyone will do this of course but it does encourage the practice.

As organiser of the Surrey Tops I issued a GPX file of the route along with the RD in 2011. Many commented along the lines above so for 2014 I will not be repeating the practice.

I think my original reply to Andrew was, in retrospect, a reaction to his request. I should have been a little more detailed. So apologies again.

Coincidentally I have been looking at carrying an iPad with my route and maps of the Cape Wrath Trail instead of paper maps. If one exceeds 5, OS maps the iPad is lighter option. For some years I have carried a home-configured solar charger on my sac. Not yet convinced but I feel its an option worth considering...
Author: Alan Stewart
Posted: Mon 9th Sep 2013, 10:08
Joined: 2004
Local Group: Kent
I agree with Andrew, a GPX file is useful to trace the route on the map to be used in conjunction with the route description. I don't think it would be advisable to rely just on the route description or just on a GPS for obvious reasons.
Author: Andrew Todd
Posted: Sat 7th Sep 2013, 19:13
Joined: 2010
Local Group: Wiltshire
Dont like working off just a route description. I generally prefer to do most of my route finding from a map, backed up with a route description.

I take the view that a route description is fine if you are in the grove, and know where you are, but even less useful than a chocolate fire guard if you go off route, or think you may be off route.

As such personally I would not want to do a walk without a map, of the route. (Particularly since the description is sparse on grid refs). On a personal basis I would consider that not having a map of the route is increased risk. The increased risks that not having a route map is significant and those risks are at a level that IMO they need to be reduced, particularly since those risks can easily be removed.

It didn't take too long to remove this risk and build a track, but a bit of unnecessary work if GPX track is available, and always a risk that I have made a mistake. However that is a risk that I am prepared to carry. Having worked through the route description my view is that there are significant number of points where it would be possible to go wrong without a map of the route.
Author: David Kearns
Posted: Sat 7th Sep 2013, 9:26
Joined: 1998
On this topic, a news item on the GROUGH website, "Walker rescued from Glyder Fach after GPS batteries fail" is well worth reading
Author: Tony Cartwright
Posted: Fri 6th Sep 2013, 20:56
Joined: 1978
Local Group: Surrey
I hope not - what's wrong with a route description?
Author: Andrew Todd
Posted: Tue 3rd Sep 2013, 19:55
Joined: 2010
Local Group: Wiltshire
I dont suppose that anyone knows if a GPX track is going to be made available for this?

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