Autumn Trophy 2

Venue Slieve Garron
Date Sat, 22nd Sep 18
Starts 11:30 to 13:00
iCal file iCal

Event Description

This is the second in LVO’s “Autumn Trophy” series. You are welcome to join us even if you are not a member of the club (for insurance purposes you may attend two events as a non-club member but after that you need to join an orienteering club).

This event is on private farm and forestry land and is a rare opportunity to see some of the most beautiful views in County Down. Those on the green course may enjoy a stunning view towards the Mourne Mountains.

Registration, Start Times and Closing Time

  • Registration will be alongside the car-park from 11:00. Allow 20 minutes to walk from registration to the start.
  • Starts are from 11:30 to 13:00.
  • Courses close at 15:00, at which time controls will be lifted.

Directions and Parking

The map at the top of this post shows the location of Slieve Garron. Parking is off the Clonvaraghan Road at the Seeconnell Private Home. This is a private residential home and we are grateful to the management for their use of the car-park. Please respect their wishes to park in the zone shown below or as directed on the day…please keep entrances/exits clear.

Park in red zone

The route to the start is 1km along a quiet public road. There is no footpath. Please accompany children.

Slieve Garron – Route to Start


Slieve Garron is an intricately contoured area with a triangle of runnable coniferous woodland to the NE and open hillside elsewhere. The mountain rises to 380m at its highest point. The map is 1:7,500 with contour intervals of 5m. Light green forest is runnable.

Contours on Slieve Garron



There will be three courses, details for each course are:

  • Green 4.2km, 195m climb, 18 controls
  • Orange 2.6km, 125m climb, 15 controls
  • Yellow 1.9km, 85m climb, 11 controls

Very Important Notice about Fences

The land-owners have been very open and obliging in permitting us to use their property for this event. The area is crisscrossed with fences, some newly erected. The courses have been planned with a view to minimising the need to cross fences. It is essential that you cross fences only at crossing points shown on the map or at gates. Any competitor found crossing at other points will be disqualified. There is one exception on the Green course. A fence must be crossed between controls 16 and 17. No crossing point has been designated as this would compromise route choice and the  fence at this point is easy to step over every 10m or so.

On the day the crossing points will be marked with red and white tape and will be at points where the fences may be stepped over (not climbed over). Please report any damage to fences to the organiser.


Escape route: A road completely circumnavigates Slieve Garron so in the worst case going downhill in any direction will take you to a road but unless there is an overriding factor escape is to the E to join the road.

Livestock: The SE area was being grazed by by cattle (two to be precise!) during the early stages of planning. There will be information at the MOO as regards the situation on the day. A neighbour told me the cattle were used to people and were friendly!

Walk to/from the start: There will be a walk of 1km along country roads to/from the start. Please take care and children should be accompanied.

Exposed rock and steep mountain side: All courses have “cliffs” as features – these are generally only a couple of metres high but you should take care if approaching from above – go around rather than over please! The green course crosses some steep mountain side but the course has been planned to avoid the worst of this.

Younger juniors: The yellow course is on the lower part of the hillside and in the forest. It is a small forest and if you get terribly lost you can always go directly east where you will see the road, you can then relocate or make your way back to the start by following the edge of the forest (but keeping off the road).

Special Notes for Yellow Course

Linear Features

This is a challenging area in which to plan a yellow course because of the absence of paths which would typically be used as “linear features”. However it provides an opportunity to extend your skills to recognise other linear features. Linear features used may include:

  • the edge of distinct marshes,
  • ruined walls,
  • vegetation boundaries,
  • earthbanks,
  • water channels.

Some fallen trees may force you away from directly following a linear feature but you should be able to go round them and pick up the feature again.

The edges of this distinct marsh are linear features (see the red lines where the long marsh grass ends).

Earthbanks can be hard to spot!

Controls offset from Linear Features

The general rule for yellow courses is that you should be able to navigate to a control by using linear features as a hand-rail. Often a control will be on a linear feature but this need not be the case – for a yellow course they may be offset from the linear feature but visible from it (only 10-20m from it). This will be the case on the yellow course for this event. Keep your eyes about you and use the full range of linear features!

Taped Sections

Due to the lack of paths a section of a leg may be taped – where this is the case it will be stated on the control descriptions. The tapes will be red and white hanging tapes at intervals of 10-20 metres. The tape will take you to a linear feature from where you can find your way onward.

This is how the control card will look.

Taped routes are shown with dashed lines.

Map v Reality

Another thing worth being aware of is that a feature marked as a water feature on the map can dry up when the weather is dry – so what is represented by the symbol for a minor or seasonal water course on the map may be a dry ditch on the day.

This may be shown dashed blue on the map – but the weather was dry when this picture was taken.

Features worth knowing

It will help you to know how these features are represented on a map (see maprunner):

  • wall,
  • ruined wall,
  • earth bank,
  • vegetation boundary,
  • fence,
  • gate,
  • crossing point,
  • water channel.


If you wish to meet up afterwards to compare routes here are some possibilities.

  • If you drive towards Dromara down Dree Hill you will reach Finnis. At the junction with the Rathfriland Road are the James King bar and turning  right after 70m or  so I have seen a “fancy cake” shop – I don’t know the opening hours of either (how very restrained of me) and the cake shop may or may not be open for tea/coffee.
  • In Dromara are several places – the Village Grill (non-fried food available!), O’Reilly’s and Square One Bistro.


  • Organiser – Aileen McCarron
  • Planner – Geoffrey Collins
  • Controller – Michael Burton

All the best for the day! Geoffrey


Slieve Garron
Ardglass Rd
BT31 9LT

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To volunteer at this event please email You can find information on each role here as well as the current list of volunteers.

2 Replies to “Autumn Trophy 2”

  1. I second that. Sounds like a great opportunity to bridge the gap between park orienteering and the more technical stuff. And your advice section is perfectly pitched for anyone making the transition.

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