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Big Muddy Ranch 6 hour navigation race

Mal Harding Memorial Big Muddy Navigation Race 

Mal Harding, one of the founding members of the Columbia River Orienteering Club, international orienteering competitor, and instigator of the Big Muddy Rogaine series, passed away in Spring 2015. Mal had a special fondness for this landscape, and this event is held in his honor and memory.

Meet Director's Notes - updated May 8 (printable .pdf of important meet info) 

Course Setter's Notes - updated May 19, .pdf file

Event overview

CROC returns to the Big Muddy Ranch in central Oregon for a 6 hour mini-Rogaine (aka navigation race). Don't let the name throw you off: as you can see from the photo above, there's nothing muddy about Central Oregon in the springtime!  Enjoy mild (hopefully) temperatures, open terrain with scattered juniper forest, wildlife, amazing rock formations, and a challenging course. The map will be 1:24,000 scale, an enhanced USGS 7.5 minute series.  The 2015 competition will be in a part of the ranch not used for a Rogaine in many years, so most participants can look forward to completely new terrain.

Dogs: Dogs are not allowed on property (you may see working cattle dogs, but that's it).

How it works - About 30 control points are placed over approximately 12 square miles, each about one kilometer apart. These locations are circled on a map and marked on the ground by orange and white orienteering marker flags.  Each control has a point value equal to the checkpoint number rounded down to the tens place. For example, a checkpoint numbered 72 is worth 70 points. You may visit the controls in any order. Teams have 6 hours to score as many points as possible and return to the start location. There are large point penalties for returning late. 

Maps are issued about 1 hour before the start so teams have time to plan their route.  

Need a partner? We'll post your name and contact info on this page if you are looking for a partner. Please send your info to the meet director .

More info:

 - Teams must have a minimum of 2 members, maximum of 5. There are no age or gender classes.

 - Electronic punching will be used. Rental e-punch sticks will be available at the event for $1.00.

 - There will be water on the course and fruit, snacks, and liquid refreshments at the start.  Portable toilets will be at the start only.

 - There is NO cell phone coverage or electricity at the event area.

Camping (very basic) at the meet site is available on Saturday, May 23. Bring your own water, food, etc., and be prepared to haul your own garbage out. There is no electricity or water. Please notify the meet director if you want to camp. Wind Warning: Big Muddy is known to be windy during the afternoons and evening, and tents have gone missing as a result. Please plan accordingly. Also, temperatures can drop drastically at night.

Gas and Grocery StoresThere are no gas stations or grocery stores anywhere close to Big Muddy. If you're driving in from Portland, the closest grocery store is in The Dalles, and the closest gas is in Biggs Junction. If you're driving up from Bend, the last gas and grocery stores are in Madras.

Getting There. Latitude longitude coordinates of event site:  44.8544,-120.5502Copy and paste these in to a Google search or smart phone mapping app to (hopefully) get directions to the event site. Driving time from Portland is about 3 hours. See complete directions and a map link at the very bottom of this page.

 - Cost per person is $25 orienteering club members, $35 non-members. Cash, check or PayPal only.
 - Pre-registration forms are available here. If you prefer to register onsite, please let us know you plan to attend so we know how many maps to make. Please email the meet director. Registration will also be available onsite the day of the event from 8 am - 9 am.


 - Registration 8:00 am - 9:00 am (if you arrive a bit after 9 no worries, you can still register.)
 - Map handout about 9:00
 - Start 10:00 am, end at 4:00 pm
 - All teams must check out through the course finish area before leaving the event, even if the team does not finish the course or returns after the course closes.


See our Events / Results page.

Links - All on Google Drive

  1. See a map of a previous 6 hour Big Muddy Rogaine
  2. Required medical info and liability form (this form will also be available at registration.)
  3. Read about the geology, natural history, and human history
  4. See the Event Rules
  5. Top Ten Rogaine Tips (from CROC members John Godino and John Bartholomew. Written more for a 24 hour race, but most tips still apply.)


Meet director: Vanessa Blake