05.08.2019 - The panoramic and highest SOW stage

The second stage demanded an extra effort even before starting the courses. Long lines of competitors stretched for almost one kilometre heading steeply upward from the Col du Pillon where the shuttle buses had unloaded them on their way to the event centre on Lake Retaud. This lovely lake invited them temporarily to stay and linger. Looking South the “panoramic” stage offered a far and wide view onto the impressive Les Diablerets massif. However, looking north of the lake the competitors got a clear view onto a steep slope named “La Palette” which made it obvious to them what challenging terrain may await the orienteers in some of the classes.

The imminent climb to the three start areas already caused quite a bit of respect, occasionally with questioning faces and somewhat slight reservation. Lastly, after the expected possibly tricky and difficult area passages, one should be able to free up some speedy reserves for the demanding final part of the course. More so because the weather cleared up more and more and gave the late starters a slight advantage. Additionally, the return trip steeply down to the Col du Pillon for the shuttle buses had to be considered.

There is no question that this “panoramic” stage required mastery, patience and stamina from everybody. In the finish, the measurable achievements prevailed for the most part, however, maybe some of the competitors could also enjoy some of the powerful mountain view. Or such as the three little Chinese girls from Beijing who played mindfully in a puddle and whose mother was delighted about “the great SOW in Switzerland”.

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