24-Oct-2009 -- We used public transportation from our home in Zurich. The train took 1.5 hours to Entlebuch including an interchange at Lucerne. From the little town Entlebuch, the beeline distance to the point is 4.7 km, a distance that we wanted to cover on foot. However, the terrain is rough, the footpaths are winding up and down. On the mountain tops, you have nice views, the deep and narrow valleys can be crossed on slippery bridges. After 3 hours into the hike, we still were 2 km from the confluence point. First, we needed a lunch break on the top of one hill, before we were able to set out for the last 2 km (i.e. one hour).
Very close to the confluence (ca. 80 m), tree felling was going on heavily. But the friendly man let us pass through. He used his motor-saw for a huge tree and I expected to see it fall – so I started to film it. I filmed and filmed, and after 5 minutes I stopped the camera. You know what happened just in that moment!
For approaching the last 60 m, the confluence hunter needs to leave the trail and climb down through a deep forest. It is not undangerous, due to the extremely steep grade. I had to put all electronic equipments into my bag, because I needed both hands for climbing.
The conditions for satellite reception and position determination is extremely difficult for a GPS receiver. The difficulty arises from two facts: First, the spruce and beech trees make up a dense canopy that blocks the satellite signals. Secondly, the steep grade hides almost half of the sky. That's why I used this confluence as a test run for comparing and assessing 3 generations of receivers. As you can see, their readings don't agree. Although two of them have compasses, they point 180° in opposite directions. The best reading (minimal distance and maximal accuracy) I could get was 7 m. Note: the confluence dance is dangerous here. The chance that you fall down the deadly cliff is significantly above zero.
On our way back we hiked to Romoos, from where we intended to take a public bus. Since there was no bus for the next 1.5 hours, we hitch-hiked. The man who had cut the huge tree came along and took us to the next train station in Wolhusen.
CP visit details:
- Time at the CP: 3:49 p.m.
- Time to hike to CP from train station: 4 hours
- Distance to a track: 60 m
- Distance to a road: 160 m
- Topography: extremely steep grade
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 6 m
- Position accuracy at the CP: 7 m
- GPS height: 935 m
- Vegetation: Mixed deep beech grove and conifer forest. On the ground foliage and moss.
- Weather: sunny, 15° C (felt temperature)
- Description of the CP: In the western part of Canton Lucerne, in the Goldbach valley, a side valley of the Gross Fontannen.
- Given Name: The Receiver Testfield Confluence