Greetings and welcome to the Zürcher Berserker event! This document will provide you with all the information you need in advance of this Saturday's fun in the Züri Oberland.
1. Zürcher Berserker Concept 2. Host Location 3. Schedule 4. What to Bring 5. Course Notes
1) Concept - the Zurcher Berserker is a 5-hour "rogaine" orienteering event. If you don't know,
"rogaine" means that you can visit the checkpoints in any order you choose and that each checkpoint is
worth a different point value; in our event, checkpoints are worth either 10, 20, 30, or 40 points. We
provide (generally) excellent Swiss maps of the area; note that you are not allowed to bring your own
maps to this event! You must visit the checkpoints under your own power, either on foot or on bike;
bikers will have a 150 point penalty assessed to their point total. You may not use GPS devices to
assist in navigation (but if you want to bring one for safety, or if it's part of your mobile phone, please
feel free to bring it but only use it in case of an emergeny). This "rogaine" style makes the Zürcher
Berserker a flexible event: it can be a very challenging 5 hours of mountain running and navigation for
an elite athlete, and it can be a casual 3 hours of hiking for those looking for less intensity.
Regardless, our emphasis is always on fun
and experiencing the Fall in the Züri Oberland!
For this event, we're particularly fortunate in that Stamford Consultants is sponsoring the *fun* in several key ways: they're hosting our meeting space in Fischenthal, providing the gourmet cake waiting for you at the finish line, and providing wi-fi so we can have live-tracking while you explore the wilds of the "other" Oberland. Teams will get a tracking beacon and we can follow your progress in real-time via the computer we'll have at the host location! Thanks again to Stamford Consultants for their support!
2) Host Location - The Gasthaus Blume is our host (website is http://www.blume-fischenthal.ch) in the Züri Oberland. Address is Tösstalstrasse 432, 8497 Fischenthal (ZH). If you come by train, the Fischenthal bahnhof is just a few minutes North of the Gasthaus (your first compass test: walk South from the bahnhof on the main road and you'll reach the Gasthaus Blume in 5-10 minutes).
We have reserved the meeting space downstairs, so if you don't find us on the patio or in the restaurant, just head to their downstairs meeting rooms and we'll be there. You can also mention you're part of the special event, and the Gasthaus staff can point you in the right direction. They have a full restaurant, and we've made arrangements for showers after the event, so this is a great location for us.
3) Schedule - Starting at 10:00 AM on Saturday, we'll distribute your maps and instructions. You can take as much time reviewing and planning your route as you like, but beware that the course officially closes at 5 PM and you're allowed a maximum of 5 hours on the course . . . so to spend the maximum time on the course that you can (and earn as many points as possible), you should plan to leave the Gasthaus and start your Berserker clock no later than 12 noon. As darkness sets in early these days, manage your time wisely! I expect most Berserkers will arrive between 10:30 and 11 on Saturday.
Once you have finished reviewing your maps, you must check-in again with the race staff where we will officially "start" your Berserker clock and you are free to go on the course. We will be staggering starts as much as possible, to prevent following.
We will have gourmet cake waiting for you once you finish, hosted by Stamford Consultants; at 5:30 PM we can present the prizes (and we have some fine prizes from Aarn packs, Teko socks, and Marmot). If you'd like to socialize after Berserking all day, the Gasthaus is a great place with a varied menu and it will be fun to catch-up with everyone. Please join us if you'd like!
3) What to Bring - We don't have any officially "required" gear but common sense and our experience in the region suggests you have the following with you on Saturday:
• Food and water for 5 hours (there are some water fountains along the course, and a few
restaurants sprinkled through the mountains, but no guarantees that you will be close to them!)
• Warm base layer (Marmot makes some great product!)
• Map case or ziplock bag to keep your maps in (race provided maps will not be waterproof)
• Pen to writing instrument (to record any "short answer" type checkpoints)
• Shoes with good traction -- about 30% of the course had 5 cm of snow cover as of last
weekend, the higher reaches certainly had more. I will bring my Icebugs!
• A headlamp or emergency light in case you’re out past dark
• If you're mountain biking, get those nobby tires out for max traction
You may also find the following useful: • altimeter
• change of clothes and toiletries for cleaning up after you're finished
• tissues to wipe away your tears when you realize just what you got yourself into when
4) Course Notes - We have a great course in store for you, with 1 overview map showing all the checkpoints, 3 detailed topographic maps (approx 1:15,000 scale each), and 2 "special" maps with specific navigation challenges. All the checkpoints will be plotted on the maps for you.
The total course distance is 50 km, but your specific distances and route choices will vary so this is just a rough estimate. One "optimum" route of running the full course shows around 3,000 m of total elevation gain. Last year, one person came very close to clearing the entire course; I don't think anyone will clear the full course this year either. How's that for a challenge!?
Thanks everyone, and if you have questions my mobile is 078-914-6018 or email me at Grant@UntamedAdventure.com. There are still a few days for people to join the event, so point them to http://untamedberserker.eventbrite.com if they're up for the challenge!
See you all Saturday and, of course, may your maps always be dry!
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