This example demonstrates the extra dimension of trail orienteering at elite level, the unexpected zero control. This is one where the site looks right but isn’t, the flags being placed on similar features parallel to those within the circle.

In the photograph the stream appears to be associated with the gully or small re-entrant to the right of the tree and, although it cannot be seen, it is assumed that the stream runs down this gully to a bend marked by the furthermost flag. The unwary competitor would identify this flag with the centre of the circle. In fact the gully is dry and the stream emerges from an old mine entrance hidden by the tree. Although many of the features in the parallel terrains are similar, there are major differences, which should be spotted by the alert competitor. In this example the give-away features are the fence by the decision point, the bend in the track and the mapped boulder near the centre of the circle.

Solution: Z

Advanced tips

In elite competition the first question that a competitor asks at acontrol is, “Am I looking at the same feature that is circled on the map?”

When setting and analysing zero controls the absence of a flag at the feature at the centre of the circle has to be definite. Minor displacements in flag positions do not qualify as zero answers.


All controls of the virtual course

Click on the “CONTROL #…” links to go to the page with the full description, images, solutions and comments about each control.

The virtual course can also be done in a simplified way, using only the images in the table below (click on the images to enlarge them).

Control pointControl descriptionMapPhotoSolution
CONTROL #1
CONTROL #2
CONTROL #3
CONTROL #4
CONTROL #5
CONTROL #6
CONTROL #7
CONTROL #8
CONTROL #9
CONTROL #10
CONTROL #11
CONTROL #12
CONTROL #13

Return to the Virtual Course main page.