Edinburgh Southern Orienteering Club


North Pentland Hills

SOL 5, incorporating VHI Individual Event

Sun 22nd Sep 2019

Info updated: 24th Sep
Type of event: National
Type of terrain: Moorland, Woodland


Winsplits are here

VHI results are here

Summary of VHI Points is here

SOL results are here

Routegadget is here

LOST PROPERTY: Contact Fiona Findlay by email to:     If you think you left anything behind and it is not listed here, please contact Fiona as she may be still be able to help.
1 Addict blue sweatshirt, S
2 pairs of inov8 mudclaw, sizes UK 6 and 6.5

VHI Weekend Coordinator's Comments: Margaret Dalgleish writes - A huge thank you to everyone concerned with putting on the SOL and VHI Individual event at North Pentland Hills on Sunday.  It takes a big team of people to put on an event which has starts running from 10am until 1.30pm.  ESOC pulled this off magnificently.  Special thanks to Organiser Fiona Findlay, Planner Richard Oxlade and Controller Graeme Ackland and his support network of Oleg and Scott. Thanks to Keith Brown and Judy Bell for setting up the computing and working out the results whilst still under pressure from other jobs.  

Thanks too to the teams from the home countries who made the sometimes very long journey to take part in the Veteran Home Internationals this year.  The accommodation was in Broomlee Centre in West Linton.  A lovely setting next to the Pentland Hills.  Thanks to Anne Hickling for coordinating all issues relating to accommodation.

CONTROLLER'S COMMENTS:  Graeme Ackland writes - The North Pentlands is not the most technical area in Scotland, but its proximity to Edinburgh makes it very convenient.  Producing a worthy international course was a fun challenge for the team, and I feel we did well.   Its a bit disappointing that due to tight timescales and mapper illness we weren't able to  use the event to get the map into the kind of shape we would have liked, but I think the courses were ultimately fair and the routechoices at least were top class.

At one stage it became obvious that I wasn't physically capable of doing th econtrolling job, so many thanks to Scott Fraser and Oleg Chepelin (INT) who did all the hard miles to ensure everything got checked. I was confident they'd be in he right place. Which they were, although in some places the map was so bad it wasn't possible to be clear on approach from every direction and for fairness we had to make the flags a little more visible than usual.
Richard did a superb job on the planning, leaving me just some minimal input to the course designs - I think short blue is the only one I made serious improvements, and that was the difficult "shortest course going up the hill". We discussed at length having a very long leg even on green, but eventually figured that a 2km leg would be too dominant in determining their results, so went for a more routine low-level "find the flags" option.  Similarly, great work went into setting out the crossing points and hanging the flags.
Ali Masson won the Black in 71, a tad longer than the 67 target. Other course lengths now scale from there, using the same percentages as wehn M@! was a 90 minute course.  So the VHI winning times are typically in the mid-40s - much shorter than they used to be and I feel too short for an International "long" course, but until someone changes them black, them's the rules.

General Information

This event is CompassPoint Scottish Orienteering League (SOL) 5 incorporating Veteran Home International Individual race

FINAL DETAILS: There will be no separate final details, all the information is contained in the item below.

IMPORTANT NOTE: All adult visitors to the barracks should ensure they have photo ID and have it ready to show when entering the barracks.

TERRAIN: The area is mostly exposed open hillside with some wooded areas.  There are paths and tracks, plenty of contour detail and, in parts, many crags and ditches.  There are also numerous low and high fences in the area. None have been marked as uncrossable and there are no mandatory crossing points. Where there are gates and stiles these are mapped as crossing points. Gates will not all be open, but are still the easiest place to cross. There are some new high fences -  stiles over these high fences have been mapped as footbridges and also have been overprinted with crossing points. Gaps in fences that are not obvious on the map have also been overprinted with crossing points and will also be marked with red and white tape. On the shorter courses (Green, Short Green and TD2-4) a few crossing points have been constructed over barbed wire fences and are overprinted. 

The area is used for sheep grazing and there are numerous unmapped animal tracks. There also a few vague, unmapped mountain bike tracks in the woods. Competitors may also encounter the resident herd of highland cows on the high ground in eastern part of the area. They are used to people and should not be a problem.

There is ongoing construction work along the northern edge of the area to install new water pipes. Fences are temporary and operations were actually taking place on the morning of Sunday 15th. They could be there again on the day of the event. This area has been marked as OOB.

MAP: Scale is 1:10,000 with 5m contours.  The entire area covered by this map has not been used for some time though some of the constituent parts of the area (Bonaly, Dreghorn and Hillend have been used). Routegadget for the British Night Championships from 2010 is at here.  This covers the competition area but has been updated.

EVENT CENTRE: This is in the gymnasium which is adjacent to parking. There are toilets, showers and changing available as you enter but please don’t leave belongings in these rooms. Absolutely no spikes indoors and remove any wet or dirty shoes. The gymnasium itself with registration and download etc is downstairs with exit to/entrance from the route to the start/finish. 

SCOTJOS CAKE STALL: Scotjos will be running their fabulous cake stall.

FIRST AID: A first aid will be available at Registration.  The Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh (RIE) is a short drive away.  

MEDICAL CONDITIONS:  If you (or anyone in your group) have a medical condition that first aiders or health professionals should know about in the event of accident or illness during the course of the event please print off the Medical Form, fully complete it and leave it at Registration - in a sealed envelope with relevant name on it.   You should complete a separate copy for each individual who has a medical condition.  Envelope (and forms) not collected by the end of the event will be destroyed.    

TOILETS: Toilets will be available in the Event Centre at Dreghorn Barracks. Absolutely no wild toileting on the route to the start. This is a well used public area. Please go before you leave the barracks.

DOGS: We are very sorry but dogs are not allowed in the barracks unless they are specifically to enable a disabled person to move around. Dogs are not allowed on the courses with competitors. 

WHISTLES AND CAGOULES: Whistles are recommended and in the event of poor weather you are advised to carry a cagoule. This will be compulsory in very poor weather. There will be a notice to that effect displayed. 

HYGIENE: Sheep are in most of the area and cattle in some parts, wash hands before handling food.

SAFETY BEARING: There is a clear roughly N/S track bisecting the area, head for this and then north towards the A720 city bypass which you need to go under to get back to Dreghorn Barracks. 


map location

Nearest town: Edinburgh


The Event Centre and Parking are at Dreghorn Barracks (Approx. Grid Ref: NT 227686) which are very close to Dreghorn junction of the Edinburgh City Bypass (A720).  Dreghorn Barracks are signed from several directions but these directions are from the Edinburgh City Bypass. Leave the A720 at the Dreghorn Junction and cross over if coming from the east. Straight across the first roundabout and turn left at the next. The barracks are approx. 200m on your left. There will be no orienteering signs on the road but the entrance is very clear.

This is a working military base and there will be basic security checks at the gate. Also all adults will be expected to have photo ID. Whilst on the base please stay on marked routes and follow any instructions from military personnel.

Parking is on the parade ground which is flat tarmac.  Note there will be a modest parking charge of £1 per car (for an Army charity) collected on the day and, as this is a working barracks, there could be searches at the gate. The Event Centre is in a building adjoining the parking area. 

Registration & Start Times

REGISTRATION: This will be in the gymnasium, adjacent to parking.  Registration will be open from 10.30-12.30 or until maps runout.  There will be limited eod with numbers posted on this web item shortly before the event.

START TIMES: Starts will be from 11.30am to 1.30pm with courses closing at 4pm. 

STARTS/FINISH:  There are 2 starts. Both leave the barracks by the south gate and distances are given from there. They follow the same flat route to begin with, initially on tarmac then grassy path. The white/yellow/orange start then climbs up a field to its start approx. 1.8km in all. The far start continues on and the terrain changes. Although an easy path all the way, it is up/down, narrow/wide and can be wet/muddy in places if it has been raining but if you stop to look back there are some lovely views. Total distance 2.6km. This start allows people into a less well used and interesting part of the area.

There is one finish approx. 700m back to the gate, on track and tarmac.

Course Information

There will be the usual courses offered at SOL events. Course details are given below, these are final.  

  Course Length Climb EOD Maps
1 Black 10.3km 500m 0
2 Brown 8.5km 395m 4
3 Short Brown 6.8km 325m 0
4 Blue 5.7km 280m 7
5 Short Blue 5.1km 195m 6
6 Green 4.2km 170m 10
7 Short Green 3.5km 135m 8
8 Light Green 3.1km 155m 12
10 Orange 3.0km 80m 13
11 Yellow 2.5km 80m 7
12 White 1.7km 50m 7

ENTRY ON THE DAY:  The numbers shown above for EOD are for preprinted maps on waterproof paper.  We had a hugely significant number of entries on the last day (Thursday of this week) for entries i.e. after the maps had been ordered. This is why there are no maps available printed on waterproof paper on the Black and Short Brown courses. 

SOL competition rules plus a list of courses relevant to the full range of age classes in order to count for SOL points is on the SOA website

WHITE AND YELLOW COURSE MAPS: These must be collected at Registration before leaving the Barracks.

You are welcome to enter any course you like but to count for SOL points you should enter the course appropriate to your age class.

STRING COURSE: A free string course will be available.  It is adjacent tothe Event Centre, close to parking.

Explanation of colour courses

  • White are very easy with all controls on paths. They are mainly used by 6-10 year olds and family groups.
  • Yellow use simple linear features like paths, walls and streams. They are mainly used by under 12’s and family groups.
  • Orange progress to basic use of the compass and route choice. They are ideal for novice adults or experienced youngsters.
  • Light Green are ideal for improvers as the navigational difficulty begins to increase and uses simple contours and point features.
  • Green are used mostly by experienced under 18’s and adults wanting a short but challenging course with a very hard navigational difficulty.
  • Blue are a longer, more physically demanding course in comparison to the green. The distances are more varied between controls and the course attracts experienced orienteers.
  • Brown & Black are very physically demanding and have a very hard navigational difficulty. They are for experienced orienteers only.
  • Score means visiting as many controls as possible in any order in a specific time, like 45mins.

Entry Details

Pre-entry was available via Fabian4 until 6pm on Thursday 19th September.  Enter on the day of the event (EOD) and map numbers available for EOD are very limited as noted above.  Start times have been posted on Fabian4 for those who entered by the main deadline of midnight Sunday night (15th) and the start times for those entering between 15th and 19th were entered on a rolling up to Thursday 19th September 2019. Any one still listed as TBC will have to come to registration to be allocated a start time.


  Pre-Entry Pre-Entry EOD
Courses 1-8

To midnight 15th Sept

To 6pm 19th Sept

Entry on the Day (22nd Sept)
Seniors (born 1998 or earlier) BOF/SOA member £15.00 £17.00 £17.00
Seniors (born 1998 or earlier) non BOF/SOA member £17.00 £19.00 £19.00
Juniors (born 1999 or later) BOF/SOA member £7.50 £8.50 £8.50
Juniors (born 1999 or later) non BOF/SOA member £8.50 £9.50 £9.50
Students BOF/SOA member £7.50 £8.50 £8.50
Students non BOF/SOA member £8.50 £9.50 £9.50
Courses 10-12      
Seniors (born 1998 or earlier) BOF/SOA member £7.50 £8.50 £8.50
Seniors (born 1998 or earlier) non BOF/SOA member £8.50 £9.50 £9.50
Juniors (born 1999 or later) BOF/SOA member £5.00 £6.00 £6.00
Juniors (born 1999 or later) non BOF/SOA member £6.00 £7.00 £7.00
Students BOF/SOA member £5.00 £6.00 £6.00
Students non BOF/SOA member £6.00 £7.00 £7.00


TIMING: Sportident (SI) electronic timing will be used.  SIAC for contactless ‘punching ‘ will be enabled for those who have this option, but all competitors have to punch the Start box and the Finish box.

Free SIcard (punching) hire, if required, but £30.00 charge if lost.


Entry is only possible directly via Team Managers.

Contacts / Officials

Planner: Richard Oxlade (ESOC)

Organiser: Fiona Findlay (ESOC)  Email:

Controller: Graeme Ackland (INT)

Safety and Risk

A comprehensive risk assessment will have been carried out by the organiser, but participants take part at their own risk and are responsible for their own safety during the event.

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