That is how Theresa Rushton described the annual Storm the Mountain Adventure Challenge, which will take place in Wentworth on Saturday, Feb. 4. The challenge is hosted by Pugwash Ground Search and Rescue and the Orienteering Association of Nova Scotia.
“The course we’ve laid out is geared for all levels,” said Theresa Rushton, a member of Pugwash Ground Search and Rescue. “It can be as simplified as you want it or as hard as you like. We’ll have people with no orienteering skills who will basically stick to the trails, and we’ll have people who are really amazing orienteers and have competed in all kinds of events.”
Participants must register in teams of two or more, and can choose to participate in either a four-hour or an eight-hour event within one of three challenges: Challenge 1 – emergency responders, search and rescue, and armed forces; Challenge 2 – public competitive; and Challenge 3 – public recreational.
The event will take place with a 20-square-kilometre area, starting and ending on Station Road, a short distance from the registration area at the Wentworth Recreation Centre.
Participants will search for 30-35 control points within their allotted time period. Some are on trails, and some will require more advanced skills to find. Participants are required to carry items such as a compass, a watch and a telephone. Safety areas will be set up at various locations for anyone who gets in trouble.
“Last year we had 75 people, which we were pleased with,” said Rushton. We’d love to have over 100 this year.”
Last year’s event drew participants from not just the local area, but many from Halifax, the Annapolis Valley, New Brunswick and more, despite a snowstorm hitting the night before. The day of the challenge ended up being sunny and beautiful.
The event is a fundraiser for Pugwash Ground Search and Rescue, with proceeds going towards upgrading their facility. Many volunteers work to put it on.
“It’s a fairly big effort, starting with laying out the controls, which we’ve been doing now for a couple of months,” said Rushton. “It takes a lot to decide where we want to put them. We want to make it so it can be a fun event for those who are not really orienteers, but at the same time we want someone who has experience to be challenged by it.”
In the event of extreme weather such as a blizzard, the event will be held the following day on Sunday, Feb. 5.