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Thread: GPS in fell races

  1. #111
    Master DrPatrickBarry's Avatar
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    A capable navigator heads out on a race, with his map compass but in the heat of the moment in awful conditions makes a mistake and looses his sense of direction. (How many of us has not have that happen) He gets his GPX device out of his rucksack works out where he is so he can right the situation and continue on in the race.
    Has he "cheated", should he be disqualified? Would the organisers prefer him to continue floundering around on the hill or use technology to get himself back safely into the race. You could argue it is an emergency situation and the use in that situation was justified. How do you prove it really was an emergency situation? In fact who would ever know he used it, unless he owed up?

    Isn't the point of a rule is that it must be enforceable.

  2. #112
    Grandmaster IanDarkpeak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrPatrickBarry View Post
    A capable navigator heads out on a race, with his map compass but in the heat of the moment in awful conditions makes a mistake and looses his sense of direction. (How many of us has not have that happen) He gets his GPX device out of his rucksack works out where he is so he can right the situation and continue on in the race.
    Has he "cheated", should he be disqualified? Would the organisers prefer him to continue floundering around on the hill or use technology to get himself back safely into the race. You could argue it is an emergency situation and the use in that situation was justified. How do you prove it really was an emergency situation? In fact who would ever know he used it, unless he owed up?

    Isn't the point of a rule is that it must be enforceable.
    to the first part, it depends I guess. a bit of clag in the morning, plenty of day light hours, properly kitted..no really an emergency.
    end of the trigger, rain/snow, night falling, wet/tired..definitely an emergency.

    to your last sentence Pat agree as per my last post.

    Quote Originally Posted by stumpy View Post
    An annual subscription to OS is more than a pretty decent GPS watch! That said, I'd agree, you need to be able to navigate with map and compass - anyway Ian, you have a vested interest in folks having to learn these things ;-)

    Knowing how to use a GPS watch to supplement your map reading and route finding skills is all part of a developing skill set of fell craft I reckon - albeit not essential for anyone who can already navigate well using traditional methods. The affordability thing doesn't really wash with me either given the price of a pair of running shoes and shorts selling for 50+ by the bucket load!

    I think the final Ambleside rules are pretty sensible, and sets what will probably become the trend, but we do need the FRA to come to a (thoroughly considered) view in due course.
    Lol yes but don't you think I've been very good to not mention my hill skill courses...

    To be fair it also affects my MR life too. so many people are just using phones and it causes so many rescues, batteries go or they let water in?

    OS maps available for 20 a year subscription. you can then print your own race maps? pays for its self.

  3. #113
    Master DrPatrickBarry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IanDarkpeak View Post
    so many people are just using phones
    If only!

    Couple of weekends ago, I was in the campsite below Tryfan when this bloke and his 14ish year old daughter pulled in to the carpark and said to me somebody told them there was route up the South Side of Tryfan that was suitable for a dog. It may be possible from that col between Tryfan and Bristly Ridge, so I pointed them towards the Heather Terrace path. As soon as they headed off, I said to myself what sort of an idiot I was for not challanging them on what they were intending on doing. It was very early in morning, with a glorious weather forecast, so my logic was they would realize the error of their ways before they got into trouble.

    Some of the comments on here seem to equate Fell Runners that have a route on the device to this bloke, and possible in some very rare occasion that may be true. But that is a long way from a runner who knows a route but has a quick look at the watch every now and then to ensure he has not made some stupid mistake.

  4. #114
    Master Stagger's Avatar
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    I wonder what percentage of BG challenges carry a GPS device?

  5. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrPatrickBarry View Post
    If only!

    Couple of weekends ago, I was in the campsite below Tryfan when this bloke and his 14ish year old daughter pulled in to the carpark and said to me somebody told them there was route up the South Side of Tryfan that was suitable for a dog.
    The route is suitable for a dog. But the dog would be irresponsible to take those humans with it.
    In his lifetime he suffered from unreality, as do so many Englishmen.
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  6. #116
    Master sbrt's Avatar
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    I have OS Locate and OS maps on my phone. I have used them both when out and about, on my own. It is definitely much quicker and easier to relocate or follow a route with these aps and devices, so I would say, unless the race specifically allows GPS, it is cheating.
    I do take my phone on most races nowadays, but would disqualify myself if I ever used it. My comfort blankee

  7. #117
    Senior Member stumpy's Avatar
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    I have GEOGPS on my (shite but free!) Windows phone and a great little data field on my Garmin that gives a 6 figure OS grid reference. Both are useful, especially in the clag. The OS grid ref on the watch is great when used with a proper map - very quick to use, but still requires map and compass skills. I actually prefer to navigate like this than with the phone. I do wonder whether using it will erode my ability to relocate by traditional means through lack of practice...

    Funnily enough, this OS grid ref was a standard feature on the old Garmin 310xt, which you can now pick up on e-bay for less 50.

    Personally I think (blindly) following a breadcrumb trail in a race, either on a phone or watch, crosses the ethical line but I wouldn't be agin using the grid ref feature - unless the RO ruled against it of course.

  8. #118
    Senior Member PeteS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stumpy View Post
    I have GEOGPS on my (shite but free!) Windows phone and a great little data field on my Garmin that gives a 6 figure OS grid reference. Both are useful, especially in the clag. The OS grid ref on the watch is great when used with a proper map - very quick to use, but still requires map and compass skills. I actually prefer to navigate like this than with the phone. I do wonder whether using it will erode my ability to relocate by traditional means through lack of practice...

    Funnily enough, this OS grid ref was a standard feature on the old Garmin 310xt, which you can now pick up on e-bay for less 50.

    Personally I think (blindly) following a breadcrumb trail in a race, either on a phone or watch, crosses the ethical line but I wouldn't be agin using the grid ref feature - unless the RO ruled against it of course.
    mmm..... I was contemplating this one last night. I have a Grid Reference app on my Android phone - it just gives you the OS sheet and 8 digit reference for your current location and nothing more. I too find this really useful for a quick fix (especially in the clag) but then prefer to get the map and compass out. I've not used it in a race though I guess I'd feel like it was cheating even if it didn't specifically contravene any rules.
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  9. #119
    Master DrPatrickBarry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stumpy View Post
    old Garmin 310xt, which you can now pick up on e-bay for less 50.
    Ta, just got one for 50. I really like my current TomTom, but the faulty battery means that it will work as a watch for less than 36 hours, gets annoying.

  10. #120
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    I believe there is a device that if you say ''Alexa, please take me round the Langdale Horseshoe and play me some nice music'' then not only will you be guided round your favourite race, you will also be able to listen to your favourite music :-)
    See the light in the night

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