In good weather last Saturday, a mix of 46 people from Bendigo, Melbourne and Heathcote went of a ‘Back to Mt Ida’ event based at the familiar Dargile Picnic Grounds some 9 km from Heathcote township.
With the use of a remote start and remote finish, Courses 1 – 3 were able to spend the majority of the time orienteering in reasonably clear and intricate spur-gully terrain along the first ridge to the east of the actual steep Mt Ida ‘mountain’. Flatter areas have seen serious vegetation growth since the current (a non-OCAD) map was surveyed in 1992 and tracks are not now reliably mapped.
The map used for Courses 4 and 5 was a re-use of that prepared for the Heathcote Community Games in 2015 and utilized the flatter area surrounding the picnic ground. Because of the present inaccuracy of the 1992 map, this remap at 1:7500 allowed for the area to be now usable by beginners and newcomers. The difference in the map changes in 24 years is shown in the images shown here.
While the venue is some distance from Bendigo, those who orienteer in this terrain to the east of Mt Ida always seem to find it rewarding with a good level of physical challenge. It is worth considering how this area can be used into the future where the standard and convenience of mapping has changed so much over almost quarter of a century.