H.O.W. Planner's Report

28 June 2011

Why Culverden Canter the second?

The first rogaine in Canterbury was organised in the Hanmer area by Graham Frith andGeoff Gabites. A decade before that Graham had initiated (in Canterbury) the other majorform of endurance mapsport, namely mountain marathons. Two of these in the Amuri areawere named the Amuri Meander and the Culverden Canter.

When I first took an interest in this year’s terrain, I approached Graham (who lives inHanmer Springs) for the name of a landowner in that area. The one he gave me turned outto be someone Graham had taught at Amuri Area School and probably partly because ofthis, my initial approach was successful and I soon had the names of five other landowners.Although this year’s area was not used for any of the mountain marathons, CulverdenCanter seemed a good name for this year’s event. And so partly in acknowledgment ofGraham’s helpful kick start for the 2011 name, Culverden Canter it was, albeit the second.


I made the initial visit in late November and my final landowner liaison and terrain scopingvisit was scheduled for the last Saturday in February. Needless to say, a certain event in Christchurch on the Tuesday before stalled that progress and it was more than a month before I returned to Culverden.

With the NW ‘third’ of the map having two overlapping loops, there was a built-inconundrum as to how to do these controls without doubling back or climbing up and oversome quite high tops. This conundrum also meant that (a) I felt no need to place controls ontop of any of those high tops, mindful that you would be there in mid-winter, and (b) ledme to believe that no team would be able to get all controls. However, on the latter point, I awaited the verdict of my younger and fitter controllers, Ian Edmond and Nora Audra.

Ian and Nora joined the action at Easter when they tagged and GPS-referenced all sites.They assured me that no team would get the lot.

I would have liked to have the start/finish closer to the middle of the southern side of themap which would have given more route choice options and enabled the 6-hour teams tosee more of the, generally, attractive western end of the map. But while the landownerswere extremely co-operative, not all were happy with the prospect of 70-odd teamstrooping past farm houses in the night. Also the grazing of horses was another factor. Sothe start/finish moved closer to the eastern end.

Given its eastern location, I now realise with hindsight that we could have minimised thepart-procession for the six-hour teams by not making the most eastern control a 100 pointer. It probably would have been better to have those 100 points at either 83 or 21, witha consequent reorganisation of neighbouring controls.

Thank you

We also need to remind ourselves that the best Saturday for the most effective moon is theone immediately before the full moon, not immediately after. Nevertheless thank you to allteams for coming and making it a worthwhile event and thank you for all getting backpretty much on time. Our organisation team was very grateful for that.


  • The landowners, who are listed in the results, but I will mention again David Croft,on whose property we had the start/finish. (Team 70 in the 6-hour did, however,have a lively ten-minute conversation with a manager of the most eastern farm usedwhen he confronted them and asked what they thought they were doing. Althoughthe landowner had taken me for a tour of the farm in his truck and cleared all sitesbeing used with Ian, he had forgotten to tell his manager !!)

  • Amuri Area School (for the catering)

  • Yanni Tromp and the team from Red Cross

  • Bill Kennedy for putting the topo map into OCAD (for Nora to then develop)

  • Jac Woudberg (for setting up the NavLight system (for Ian to run the results)

  • NZRA (signage)

  • Grant Hunter (water containers) and Grant and brother Bayne (for managing thewater controls)

  • John & Robyn Davies, Anne Hunter, Gordon Smith along with Grant and Bayne(for covering various duties on the day)

  • Alister Metherell (for towing the caravan up)

  • Mondo Kopua and Gordon Smith, along with Ian and I (control collecting)

  • And last but not least: Sue & Keith Unsworth (chief organisers).

- Stuart Payne
for Stuart, Ian, Nora and PAPO.
P.S.2012 will be the 15th Heights of Winter.