ORIENTEERING IN GENEVA – TRY SOMETHING NEW!
by Corona Fontana Arnaldi
Want to try something a bit different that gets you out in the countryside and into the forests around Geneva; is a good workout and teaches you new skills?
Why not have a go at orienteering!
WHAT IS ORIENTEERING?
Well, I would describe it as a type of treasure hunt in nature, a way to make a walk or run in the woods fun! Traditionally it was a training exercise for military officers and it originated in Sweden.
Wikipedia tells us that Orienteering requires navigational skills using a map and compass to navigate from point to point in diverse and usually unfamiliar terrain. Participants are given a topographical map, usually a specially prepared orienteering map, which they use to find control points.
“A TYPE OF TREASURE HUNT IN NATURE FOR ADULTS”
SO, WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO DO?
Each person or team has a topographical map of a selected course, a compass, and an electronic card or badge. You have to use these tools to navigate your way from point to point on the map and scan your badge or electronic card to prove you passed each point (all these items are available for rent or loan from the Cern Orienteering Club).
You can head out on your own or with family or friends, younger or older and you can choose to do the route recreationally or competitively, walking or running: There is something for everyone!
Some of the courses are more technical – requiring a bit more experience and it would be better to wear long trousers as these courses are likely to take you off terrain and through bushes, fields, small streams and less accessible places.
WHY YOU SHOULD TRY ORIENTEERING
I like orienteering because it is a more exiting way to explore nature, with a challenge of finding the best, most efficient route. There are moments of uncertainty, surprises, frustration and finally – great satisfaction! I actually enjoy doing it by myself, while I don’t really enjoy hiking alone. The next step is getting my family actively into orienteering too!
Since it is done in different locations each time, it is a wonderful way to discover and explore the countryside around Geneva, Vaud, and France. I have great memories of courses near Divonne and on the Jura too!
HOW TO GET STARTED
The Cern Orienteering club organizes various events with other regional clubs on Saturdays during spring and autumn.
The next orienteering event on Saturday, 22nd of September, will be on the Salève! There are various courses to choose from: easy (on path) or technical (off path mostly), short, medium or long distances. The courses are open to members and non-members. For more information on this weekend’s activity or future events, visit the Cern Orienteering Club’s website.