Rogaining Tasmania - October 2022 Newsletter

Rogaining Tasmania - October 2022 Newsletter

Rogaining Tasmania

Upcoming Events

The Midlands Muster - Tasmanian Rogaining Championships, 5/6 November 2022

A reminder that entries for Rogaining Tasmania’s next bush rogaining event, the Midlands Muster, close at 11:55pm on Sunday 30th of October. There will be three event durations to choose from: the 24-hour State Championships, a roving 15-hour, and a 6-hour. We look forward to seeing champions, enthusiastic participants, and novices alike at this first Tasmanian 24-hour event since the 2019 Australasian Championships at the Bay of Fires. It promises to be a fantastic event.

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Midlands Muster Transport

Rogainer Ben Armstrong from Wilderness Expeditions will be running a bus from Hobart airport to the Hash House, leaving at 4.30pm on Friday 4th November. There will be a stopover in Richmond for supplies but the selection there will be limited. The bus will return on Sunday afternoon after the finish of the 24-hour event, arriving at the airport by 5pm at the latest. Hobart city pick-ups/drop-offs are on arrangement. The price is $60 per person. If you are interested, email . Seats are limited, so book asap.


Online Training For Novice Bush Rogainers

Rogaining Tasmania’s Vice President, Kristin Raw, will be running an online training session for novice rogainers on the 27th October, 5.30 to 6.30 pm. The session will cover what to expect when you arrive at the event, the rules of rogaining, 'how to' and tips and tricks of planning and completing a rogaine, the differences between a metrogaine and a bush event, and a Q&A.

To attend, email Kristin Raw by 8pm Wednesday 26 October. You will be emailed a Microsoft Teams meeting link which you can join as a guest via your web browser. There is no need for you to download any software or have an account if you don't already have one.

Gary Carroll has written a comprehensive guide to bush rogaines aimed at novices and those transitioning from metrogaines. ‘Going Bush’ can be found on the RT website.


SoHo Shuffle, Metrogaine, 19 March 2023

Add RT’s next metrogaine to your diary now. Starting from the South Hobart Community Centre, the SoHo Shuffle course will build on the Lenah Valley Hop and Marieville Mayhem maps. Thanks to Jack Marquis and his team for organising this event.


The 2022 Australasian Rogaining Championships Results

Pyrenees Ponder checkpoint 61. Photo credit: Victorian Rogaining Association
Pyrenees Ponder checkpoint 61. Photo credit: Victorian Rogaining Association

This event was held on the 8th and 9th of October in the Victorian Pyrenees near Avoca (NW of Ballarat) in Victoria. The terrain could be fairly described as being steep. The watercourses were strongly flowing and low-lying areas were wet underfoot due to heavy rainfall leading to flooding just days before the event. There was a genuine risk the event would be cancelled, but it did go ahead and in ideal weather conditions.

The overall winners were once again David Baldwin and Julie Quinn from the ACT with 3200 points. They climbed over 5km during the event.

Tasmanian Results:

  • 2130 Thorlene Egerton (VRA) & Jonathan Sutcliffe. 1st Mixed Supervets
  • 1750 Gary Carroll & Ken McLean. 1st Mens Supervets
  • 1680 Karen Pedley & Chris Brown. 2nd Women Supervets & 3rd Women Vets
  • 1490 Diana Cossar-Burgess & Sebastian Burgess
  • 1460 Soph Thomas & Calum Hendry
  • 1350 Kris Clauson & Ella Clauson. 1st Family
  • 1220 Liz Canning & Hugh Fitzgerald
  • 1120 Lucy Hawthorne & Neil Hawthorne
  • 1010 James Down & Karen Cole
  • 650 Jaymee Knoll & Bridget White
  • 510 Paul Pacque & Paul Lefevre

Victoria won the Interstate and Trans-Tasman Challenge, with Tasmania coming 4th.

View the full results on the VRA website. You can see the map with the teams’ routes at the Rogaine-Results website. There are photos and reports on the VRA Facebook page, which you can access even if you aren’t on Facebook.

Australasian Rogaining Championships Report from the Winners of the Mixed Super Vets

By Thorlene Egerton and Jonathan Sutcliffe (newly Tasmanians)


Thorlene Egerton and Jonathan Sutcliffe at the prize ceremony. Photo credit: Victorian Rogaining Association
Thorlene Egerton and Jonathan Sutcliffe at the prize ceremony. Photo credit: Victorian Rogaining Association

Oh boy, what an area. We went into it pretty confident in our ability to handle it given we just came back from Worlds in the mountains of the Czech Republic. But the Victorian Pyrenees were a whole new world of challenge. The climbs were steep and relentless and it simply wasn’t possible to plan a course that avoided them. Probably in hindsight, we should have gone to the northwest flatter area first and cleaned up there before facing the bigger climbs but we thought we’d save it to the end and see how much time we had left given the points/km was considerably lower. But we just exhausted ourselves in the first few hours in the centre and east side of the map. We realised we were going to need some major revisions of our plan and we got to work cutting big chunks of our planned route and then also cutting any checkpoint that involved a really big climb. As it went dark our strategy was to move slowly and stay on tracks as much as possible – taking long track routes to any checkpoint that had only a moderate amount and steepness of climbing. That meant ditching a bunch of the high points-value checkpoints. At that stage we didn’t really care much about the points and were just trying to hang in as long as possible before we were forced to quit, exhausted.

So we kept plodding slowly through the night. Navigation was okay apart from the two occasions we took a parallel spur, but realised our mistakes quickly. The rogaine became more of a social activity than a championship event as we ran into lots of people we knew and had mini-catch ups all over the area. We also enjoyed the moonlight, the wildflowers and lots of lovely bush. Our last checkpoint in the dark was 68. We only went there because we decided we might as well pay a visit to the ANC before it closed. Up the hill we went in search of a shallow gulley. All we found was sloping land with thick vegetation. It was difficult to see shapes in the dark and difficult to search a large area with such limited visibility. We did however find Karen Pedley and Chris Brown also searching, having come in from the other direction. We hunted around together for a while, testing a few theories to no avail. Just as we were all ready to quit and the glow of sunrise was very definite on the horizon, Jon spotted the orange and white coreflute. Thank goodness.

All the time we were hunting the big concern was whether the ANC would still be open. And it was, thanks to the super volunteers, Paula and Steve Horton. They had no intention of closing until the bitter end. It was broad daylight by the time we got there but the fire was still going. The Hortons and Tasmanian volunteer, Donelda Niles, were lively and could not be more helpful. A cup of tea was all I needed but Jon was very happy to see the other goodies there. Sunrise on the ridgeline on the way from 68 to the ANC was an event highlight. Rogaining is very special for that – you see the sun rise from some wonderfully unconventional locations.

Lessons learned: we are not getting younger or fitter and we need to adjust our course planning accordingly; we do better when we are enjoying ourselves than when we are trying to do well; always expect and mentally prepare for some tough terrain; and rogainers are the best!


Australasian Rogaining Championships Report From a Non-champion

By Lucy Hawthorne

the hills of the Pyrenees beyond a misleadingly flat paddock
the hills of the Pyrenees beyond a misleadingly flat paddock

This month I travelled to Victoria to the Pyrenees Ponder Australasian Rogaining Championships where I competed with my dad, Neil Hawthorne. Unlike Neil, who has competed in the World Rogaining Championships multiple times, coming second in his category one year, I like to think of myself as an enthusiastic participant, rather than a champion. Happily, we achieved our modest goals: get over 1000 points, don’t get a concussion, don’t get irreversibly lost, and get back to the hash house on Saturday night to sleep at a reasonable hour.

The navigation was tricky for most checkpoints we visited, which ultimately made every point even more satisfying. The 1:30,000 scale really threw us. Gullies that seemed huge on the ground didn’t even show up on the map, and the hills were steep and rocky (we did the equivalent of two kunanyi/Mt Wellingtons). Consequently, we covered far less ground than on previous bush rogaines. However, Hobartians are used to the slopes of kunanyi, and so we tackled the hills with enthusiasm.

We looked at our watches after the third checkpoint, and realised we were covering a mere 2.5km/hour, having slowly picked our way around ankle aching contours between the three controls. We sat on a high point and revised our already modest plan. Happily, on the way to the next checkpoint, we stumbled across an unmarked motor bike track, which deposited us very close to the flag. It felt like a super-highway compared to the previous legs. We nailed the next couple of checkpoints and decided to add a few more back to our loop.

For some insane reason, we skipped the relatively nearby 103 and 94 due to my concern about pace, turning back towards 83 as per our revised loop. If I’d thought about it rationally, I’d have realised that we’d picked up our pace to a more reasonable 4 km/hour, despite the hills. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

Our confidence was buoyed as we navigated down complex spurs and swampy gullies to the tricky 96 – an achievement quickly undermined when Neil discovered he’d been standing on an ant nest just beneath the flag. Realising we were ahead of schedule, we headed for 77 via 39. The mapped track around the private property wasn’t distinct enough to follow, so we made our own way, leaping across a swollen creek in a move I didn’t think was physically possible. We chugged our way up the spur straight onto the control, and then easily picked off 86 over the other side of the mountain range.

By now it was getting dark. We steeled ourselves for 104. The navigation looked tricky by day, and even more so by night. If we picked the wrong gully, we’d be in deep trouble. We played it safe by travelling along the road that snaked its way over the top of the mountain range and then down the track that followed the major spur off which our smaller target spur lay. This ‘safe route’ added an additional 3km to our leg. We pace counted our way down the track then taking a deep breath picked our way down what we hoped was the right spur. Keeping the gully to our left, we realised we were being forced to the east, until we stumbled across a lovely looking road. Fantastic, I thought. “We’re back on the main track,” Neil clarified. Reluctant to skip 100 points, we walked back up the track and tried again, picking our way down the steep and rocky spur, our eyes on our compass. As the gradient lessened, a bike trail appeared. What luck! We followed it until it dipped into a slight gully. I panicked, but Neil is possibly the calmest person I know. He expertly led us up to a saddle where the bike trail reappeared. It led us straight to the checkpoint. We returned to the HH at 10.30pm to a fantastic dinner, and didn’t leave until 7.15 the next morning. Luxury!

We drew up a modest route for the next morning, heading once again for the hills to get 20 and 90. Realising our route to 70 was going to be tricky from below, we made the arguably mad decision to climb up to the road at the top of the hill, taking the opportunity to nab an unplanned 60 pointer just over the hill. Time was ticking. We were still far from the HH with only 2.5-hours to go. All that time spent on kunanyi’s steep trails really paid off as we danced our way down the rough trail above 70. As we got closer, it became obvious that 70 was a long way down and there was no way of knowing which gully it was in. They all looked the same! We had 2-hours left. We decided to skip it and head to 30, which sat close to the road. We walked straight onto it.

Cocky, we decided to go for 50, which would mean taking a detour away from the HH. Risky with only 1.5-hours to go. We took a compass bearing towards the hills beyond, and performed another couple of unlikely jumps over the fast-moving creeks. To our dismay, we ended up in the wrong gully. Just as we were about to give up Neil spotted it in the adjacent gully. Now to head home. But first we had to find the fence line that was the only route through the private land between us and the HH. Following rough pads we picked our way around the hill, but were forced slightly off course by a prohibitively wide creek. Behold, a log! I’d managed to cross the Gordon River earlier this year on a log. I could do it now. It’s amazing how brave I can be when the prospect of losing 10 points per minute looms. We returned to the HH with more than half an hour to spare! Phew.

This was my second Australasian Rogaining Championships (the first being the 2021 ARC in South Australia’s mallee scrub). While I’ll never be a champion, I plan attend the 2023 ARC in NSW. The navigational challenge and atmosphere of a championship event is just so exciting. Thanks to Rogaining Victoria and the many volunteers that made it such an enjoyable experience, as well as the coffee machine at the HH (how Melbourne is that!).


the Hawthornes’ Pyrenees Ponder route
the Hawthornes’ Pyrenees Ponder route