3rd Babcock Bog & Boulder Challenge (3BC)

Saturday 27 April 2024
Babcock Division of Gallitzin State Forest
(4 miles east of Windber, PA on Route 56)
3-hour and 6-hour Score Orienteering (mini-rogaine)

Registration for this event will open at noon on March 1, 2024
To view 2023 results, go to 3BC Results

In a rogaine-style format, individuals and teams of up to five people can compete for either 3 hours or 6 hours to find as many of the 40 controls (checkpoints) that are set over a large area.  Maps are on a 1:15000 scale with 5-meter contours and will be premarked with the locations of the controls.  Point values for visiting the controls will vary depending on distance from the start and navigational complexity.

3BC is on an area with very gradual slopes, many rock features, complex stream systems, many small marshes (including the pictured one) and very few areas of dense vegetation; it presents many technical challenges.  Here is a link to a typical part of the terrain; the shown area is about 4 sq km.     3BC sample area  An additional 500 acres have been added to the map for 2024.  You should also understand the conditions of the forest for the 3BC.  At the end of April, there will still be very few or no leaves - visibility will be excellent.  This is because the average elevation is about 2500 ft; Spring starts late up that high. For more description of the venue and map to be used and even a few photos, go to 3BC Description

:  Registration/Check-in for 3BC will open at 8:30 am.  Maps will be distributed at 10:00 am.  There will be a mass start of both the 3-hour and 6-hour participants at 11 am.   There is a mandatory meeting at 10:45 AM. at the start location for all participants.

Organizers: Western Pennsylvania Orienteering Club (WPOC)  - website     www.wpoc.org

Start/Finish area: Picnic Area of the Babcock Division of Gallitzin State Forest.  Located 4 miles east of Windber on the south side of Route 56.  Here is a link to the Start Area on Google Maps   The GPS coordinates of the Start are N 40.215679, W 78.763344   The Picnic area itself has several small parking areas, capable of holding only 2 to 5 cars.  The main parking area is on the opposite (North) side of Route 56.

Driving Directions: From the East on the PA turnpike (76), take the Bedford Exit to route 99 and go North for 3 miles, then go West on route 56 for 24 miles. From the East on route 22, at Ebensburg go South on route 219; then take route 56 East for 8 miles. From the West on the PA turnpike, take the Somerset exit to 271 North for 3 miles to route 219; take 219 North to route 56; then follow route 56 east for 8 miles. From the West on route 22, at Armagh take route 56 east through Johnstown and Windber.

Provided Equipment: An orienteering map at a 1:15,000 scale with a 5-meter contour interval in a clear plastic bag will be provided to each participant.  The map will be on two 11 x 17 sheets.  In addition to maps, each team or solo competitor will be provided control descriptions and an SI card for recording found controls. Water is available at the base camp and at selected points marked on the map. Food will be available at the end of event. Recommended equipment: compass, whistle, water bottle or camelbak, watch, snack food, sunscreen.

Rules: No help from others is allowed during the races away from the base camp. If in a team, team members must stay within sight and speaking distance throughout the event.  Portable GPS systems are allowed as long as the intention is to simply record the route taken for later analysis, discussion and sharing.

Checkpoints: Each checkpoint is marked by an orange/white 3-sided control flag, with sides approximately one foot square. The control flags will usually be visible from some distance, not intentionally concealed, but also not in view of trails or roads. There will be 40 control points distributed throughout the mapped area.

Scoring: The point value of all control points visited is totaled (the Maximum is 2260 points). The point value of each control is easily determined - it is the same as the control number.  The lateness penalty will be 17 points for every minute late. Teams with tie scores will be differentiated by their finishing times.  If in a multi-member team, all members of the team must be present at the finish.  After finishing, the team will need to download the information from their SI card to get a score and a report on their progress through the course.

Categories: There are three age categories:  Elite (age 20 and over), Masters (age 40 and over), and Veterans (age 55 and over).  Within each of these categories are  gender categories:  Men, Women, and Mixed.  You will be placed in the most competitive category that fits all team members.  As examples, a team of three women age 40, 44, and 57 would be in the Masters, Women category; and a team of two men ages 22 and 63 would be in the Elite, Men category.  Team members under age 20 are not considered in determining age category unless all are under age 20; then the team is Elite.

Entry Information:

Entries received by noon on 6 April 2023 will receive a souvenir of the event. Entries received by noon on 13 April 2023 will pay a fee of $30 per person for the 6-hr event and $18 for the 3 hour event. After that date, the fees are $40 for the 6-hr event, and $25 for the 3-hr event. At noon on 20 April 2024, registration will be cut off.  There will be no on-site registration.   The 3-hour race is limited to 40 people; the 6-hour race is limited to 60 people.    ALL registration must be done online using the link provided above.  There is a $8 discount per person for members of WPOC on the 6-hour event and a $5 discount per person for members of WPOC on the 3-hour event. Discounts are refunded in cash at the event.

Here is a link to photos of some of the 2023 control sites.