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Event Information

Eighth IARU Region 2 ARDF Championships
and Fifteenth USA ARDF Championships
August 2015

Peaceful Valley Scout Ranch (PVSR), Elbert, Colorado

PVSR logo


Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, August 24-26

While not an official part of the competition, optional ARDF training will be held on these days for practice of various aspects of ARDF.  Practice will concentrate on determining reliable bearings, interpreting reflected signals, probable control locations, course strategies, route choices, and other essentials for doing well.  This training will be open to anyone who will be participating in the Championships.  There will be a small daily fee for the training to cover maps and other expenses.  The training venues will not include the competition areas.  Meals on training days are on your own.  Attendees are encouraged bring their lunches and to form a group for dinner together at a nearby restaurant.

Training will be at Round Mountain on Monday and Tuesday, then at FoxRun Regional Park on Wednesday.  Round Mountain is just north of US Highway 24 at Forest Road 225, about 45 miles west of Interstate 25.  Fox Run is at the intersection of Stella Drive and Roller Coaster Road, about five miles southeast of the town of Monument.

*** Monday - Round Mountain ***

Classic 80M Course - 2 Hour Course Limit
8:30 - arrival at Round Mountain to pick up packets (bib, eStick, 
   T-shirt, emergency whistle)
10:00 - First Start
10:45 - Last Start
12:45 - Course Closed, Post Results (Everyone should be in and done)

Lunch (bring your own)

FoxOring - 2 Hour Course Limit
14:00 First FoxOring Start
14:45 Last FoxOring Start
16:15 - Course Closed, Post Results (Everyone should be in and done)
16:30 - Round Mountain Departure

*** Tuesday - Round Mountain ***
Classic 2M Course - 2:30 Hour Course Time Limit
9:00 - arrival at Round Mountain
10:00 - First Start
11:30 - Last Start
14:30 - Course Closed, Post Results (Everyone should be in and done)
14:45 - Round Mountain Departure

*** Wednesday - Fox Run ***
80M Sprints - 60 Minute Course Limit
9:00 arrival at Fox Run
10:00 First Start
10:45 Last Start
12:00 Post Results (Everyone should be in and done)

Meet Monday and Tuesday at the "M Lazy C" Colorado Dude Ranch and Homestead
801 County Rd. 453
Lake George, Colorado 80827
GPS: N39 02.239    W105 25.045

Directions from Colorado Springs:

    Take US 24 (W. Cimarron) West toward Pikes Peak (approximately 42 miles from downtown Colorado Springs, about 1 hour travel time)
    Go through Woodland Park
    Continue through Divide
    Continue through Florissant
    Continue through Lake George
    After passing the Lake George school (on left) note your mileage
    The road to the ranch is 5 miles past the school on the right
    There is a sign for Mule Creek Outfitters and the M Lazy C Ranch
    Take a right onto that road
    The road is dirt, but easily traveled by large RV s and horse trailers
    The ranch is three quarters of a mile North on this dirt road

Plan to arrive at 8:30 AM Monday for 80m classic, 1:45 PM Monday for Foxoring and 9:00 AM Tuesday for 2m classic.

Please drive carefully and watch for wildlife.  Deer and elk are common, especially during dusk and dawn.

Meet Wednesday at Fox Run Regional Park, Pavilion 4 and 5
2110 Stella Dr, 
Colorado Springs, CO 80921
GPS: 39.05767N  104.78776W 

From I-25, exit Baptist Road, go east 2.2 miles to Tari Drive.
Turn South on Tari and then take the first left onto Becky 
Drive.  Follow Becky until it intersects with Stella Drive.  
Turn left (east) onto Stella and go about 0.7 mile to the 
park entrance.   Turn left into Fox Run park, turn left at 
the T intersection and go another 150 meters or so to 
Pavilion 4 and 5.

Note 1: IMPORTANT -- All competitors need to be back to the finish when 
the course closes, as control pickup will begin then.  Do not leave
the site without checking in at the finish.

Note 2: 45-minute start window for both events on Monday.  (More than one 
person per category may be started at a time.)  Standard 1:30 
start windows for Tuesday and Wednesday events.  (Only one person per 
category starts at a time.)

Note 3: Maps will be given out at the start. If we have enough 
volunteers, a standard championship start sequence will be used:  Go to 
map table 10 minutes before start time, 5 minutes to prepare maps, 5 
minutes before start time, go to starting line. Leave at appointed start 

Note 4: The training events will not have a separate start and finish 
area.  Start and finish will both take place at the same area for all 
training events.

On Wednesday afternoon, competitors may check in at Event Headquarters at PVSR and receive their information packets.

Thursday, August 27

This morning will be the foxoring competition.  The location is Camp Magness, which is the family camping area on the west side of the Scout ranch.  The entrance to Camp Magness (the "Southwest Entrance") is on Elbert Road just south of the town of Elbert.  Look for the sign on the west side of the road to "Magness Adventure Camp," turn in there and follow the orange and white signs and arrows to the gathering location.  Please plan to arrive around 8:30 AM to pick up your number bibs and T-shirts.  In any case, be there by 9 AM so we can get the competition started on time..

Information packets will be available at the start of the foxoring event and at the PVSR Headquarters building at Camp Cris Dobbins afterwards.  

Meals today are on your own.  Attendees are encouraged to form a group for dinner together at a nearby restaurant.

Friday, August 28

Today's arrivals may check in at Event Headquarters and receive their information packets.  

The ARDF Sprint competition will take place this morning at Camp Cris Dobbins in the southeast part of the Scout ranch.  The entrance to this area (the "Southeast Entrance") is on Elbert Road just south of the town of Elbert.  Look for the sign on the east side of the road to "Camp Cris Dobbins and Camp Dietler," turn in there and follow the orange and white signs and arrows around to the right toward the gathering location, which will be the Headquarters building (photo below).  Please plan to arrive by 9 AM so we can get the competition started on time.

Meals today are on your own.

Some 2M and 80M transmitters will be on the air for equipment testing from noon to 2 PM (the Model Event).  Starting point will be the Headquarters building.

There will be a meeting of non-competing volunteers with the Meet Director at a time and location to be announced.

Saturday, August 29

The moment of truth has arrived -- today will be the 2M classic competition.

Meet at the Headquarters building of Camp Cris Dobbins at 9 AM (same as it was for the sprints on Friday).  Be prompt so that the group can head for the undisclosed starting point together.  The competition (first runner off the line) will start about 10:00 AM.  

After all competitors have reached the finish, the jury will meet to certify the results.  The remainder of the afternoon is lunch (bring your own) and free time.

Saturday evening is the official banquet and awards ceremony, starting at about 5:30 PM. in the Kephart Dining Hall.  Note the time change!  To get there, continue up the road east past the Headquarters building, then turn left onto the road to the Trading Post.  Continue past the trading post and the Branding Iron building (which has the ham radio tower outside) to the end of that road.

We expect VIP guests from the American Radio Relay League to be in attendance.  Medals for foxoring, sprint and the 2M event will be presented.

Sunday, August 30

Today is the 80M classic competition.

We will meet once again at Camp Headquarters and leave for the start one half hour earlier than Saturday, to be able start the course a half hour earlier to accommodate those with early airline reservations.  Please plan to arrive by 8:30 AM.  Typically, the 80M times are a bit faster than the 2M times.  Afterward, the jury will meet.  Then an awards ceremony will take place at Camp Headquarters to present medals.  The championships will officially end at this time, expected to be about 2 PM. 

Competition Rules and Technical Information

General ARDF Rules

Because no official rules for Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF) exist for International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Region 2 (North and South America), these Championships will follow the current Region 1 ARDF rules.  Any exceptions to those rules that are not stated on this page will be announced at the event briefing and/or in the starting area before the competitions.

Age/gender categories will be M19, M21, M40, M50, M60, M70, F19, F21, F35, F50 and F60 in accordance with current ARDF rules.  If there is registration by a sufficient number of youth, M13, F13, M16 and F16 catetories will be added.  Men competitors ages 40 or older or women competitors ages 35 or older belong to each category from the beginning of the calendar year in which they reach the given age.  Competitors ages 19 and younger belong to each category until the end of the calendar year in which they reach the given age.

Normally the rules do not allow competitors to take transmitting devices onto the course.  However, 2M transceivers are allowable during the 2M event if they are connected to a RDF antenna and are used only for direction-finding.

GPS units with a visible display may not be used by competitors.  GPS recording-only devices are permitted.

Competition Site Embargo

The entire Peaceful Valley Scout Ranch is presently under embargo for ARDF, meaning that if you plan to participate in the championships, you may not enter the ranch (except to the Headquarters Building for check-in and to your lodging area) until the first competition day.  This embargo prevents anyone from having an unfair advantage in the competition by virtue of having been in these woods recently.  Public highways and towns such as Elbert are unrestricted.

Transmitter Details

Here is transmitter information for the main ARDF events.  The two-meter frequencies are below 146 MHz to accommodate European/Asian equipment. 

2M foxes: 144.525 MHz, AM modulation (keyed carrier) with CW tones
2M homing: 145.565 MHz, AM modulation (keyed carrier) with CW tones
80M foxes: 3579 kHz, keyed CW (A1)
80M homing: 3547 kHz, keyed CW (A1)

2M transmitters will use omnidirectional horizontally polarized antennas.  80M transmitters will use vertically polarized antennas. All transmitters will identify with a call sign in CW at the beginning or end of each one-minute transmission.

Foxoring transmitters will be continuous on 3579 KHz.  Sprint event transmitters will be on 3579 and 3547 KHz, transmitting for 12 seconds each in a 60-second cycle.  Finish beacon for both events will be continuous on 3510 KHz.

Map Details (subject to revision)

Scale: 1:15000
Paper size: 8.5 x 14 inches (21.6 cm x 35.6 cm) or less
Contour interval: 5 meters
Start, finish and exclusion circles will be pre-drawn

Required Transmitters For Each Category

Per IARU Region 1 Rules, or as announced at event briefing

Time Limit

180 Minutes for all categories, or as otherwise announced at the event briefing


Electronic scoring (SportIdent) will be used.  Your registration fee includes use of a borrowed "e-stick," or you may use your own.

PVSR Office and Registration

Headquarters Building


Location, Lodging, Food and Gasoline

Peaceful Valley Scout Ranch is located in east central Colorado, 45 miles southeast of Denver (as the crow flies), just east and south of the town of Elbert.

There is no lodging available in Elbert, Kiowa or Elizabeth.  The nearest hotels/motels are in Castle Rock and northeast Colorado Springs. 

Due to road conditions, large RVs cannot be accommodated at PVSR.  Smaller camping trailers may be allowable.  If you wish to bring in such a trailer, please indicate this at time of registration and you will be contacted about this matter.  The nearest private RV parks are near Larkspur, which is 13 miles south of Castle Rock.  They are Jellystone Park and Ponderosa Retreat

For those who want to "rough it," there are bunkhouses at in PVSR.  Each room sleeps six and is available for $50 per room per night.  Only one person should register and pay for each shared bunkroom.  You must bring your own bedding.  There is electricity in the room, but toilets and showers are in a nearby building.  The ranch also has level pads for bring-your-own tent camping at $10 per pad per night.

The Hi-Test gas station and convenience store on the north end of Elbert is open 5 AM to 9 PM weekdays and 6 AM to 9 PM weekends.  Shell gasoline is available 24 hours a day (by credit card) in Elizabeth at the intersection of Highway 86 and County Road 13.  The convenience store there is open 5 AM to 10 PM weekdays, 6 AM to 9 PM Saturdays, and is closed on Sunday.

The only food service in Elbert is at the South Forty Saloon on Garfield Avenue, just west of the highway.  It has "pub food" such as hamburgers, fries, wings, nachos, eggrolls and chicken tenders.  Food service hours are 11 AM to 6 PM Sunday through Wednesday and 11 AM to 8 PM Thursday through Saturday.

There are sit-down restaurants and fast food establishments in Elizabeth (reviews here and here), in Kiowa (reviews here and here), and in Castle Rock (reviews here and here).


US ImmigrationCitizens of many countries do not need a visa to travel to the USA for tourism, which includes "participation by amateurs in musical, sports, or similar events or contests, if not being paid for participating."  If you are traveling from a country that requires a visa, get information from the US embassy or consulate in your country.  If you need a letter of invitation, send your request to the contact e-mail at the bottom of this page.

Airport logo

For those traveling by air from overseas or distant cities in the USA, the recommended airport is Denver International Airport (DEN), which is served by 15 airlines including Air Canada, Alaska, American, British Airways, Delta, JetBlue, Lufthansa, Southwest, United and US Airways.

Twelve car rental companies operate from the Denver airport.  Shuttles to car rentals pick up and drop off from Jeppesen Terminal Level 5, Island 4, outside doors.

Colorado Springs Shuttle LLC provides scheduled service between Denver International Airport (Jeppesen Terminal Level 5, Island 3, outside doors) and Castle Rock (Days Inn) for $30 per person, one way.  Group and senior discounts are available.


For those who prefer rail transport, Amtrak Denver Union Station is served by the California Zephyr.  It travels between Chicago and San Francisco (Emeryville) daily and arrives in Denver westbound at 7:15 AM and eastbound at 6:38 PM.   Connections can be made to major cities in the west from Emeryville and in the east from Chicago.

Competitors and visitors are encouraged to provide their own ground transportation during their stay, as is customary at American orienteering events. Persons who will need transportation assistance to the event site, or to/from an airport, bus or train station must notify the organizers at the time of registration.

Driving Directions from Denver to Elbert and PVSR

From Denver, take I-25 south to Exit 184 onto Founders Parkway near Castle Rock.  Turn left at the stop sign onto Founders Parkway.  Take Founders Parkway to the traffic light (Highway 86 intersection).  Turn left at the stoplight onto Highway 86 and follow Highway 86 through Franktown and the traffic signal at Parker Road.  Continue on Highway 86 through Elizabeth until you come to Elbert Highway on your right (just before the town of Kiowa).  Turn on Elbert Highway and continue south through the town of Elbert.  About two miles south of Elbert, turn left into Peaceful Valley Scout Ranch at the second entrance (the southeast entrance, an unpaved road).  Bear to the right toward Camp Cris Dobbins to get to the camp office, which is on the right side of the road.  For your GPS, the address is:  22799 North Elbert Road, Elbert, Colorado 80106-0097.  Coordinates of the southwest and southeast entrances are 39.18364 north, 104.53864 west.

Denver-to-Elbert map

Southeast entrance sign

Weather and Climate

Climate in the Elbert area is classified as "Tropical and Subtropical Steppe."  The average daily high temperature in August is 81 degF and the average daily low is 47 degF.  The probability of rain on any given day in August is 42 percent and average rain amount on rain days is 0.17 inch.

Open Regional Repeaters For Travel Coordination

Nearby repeater to be announced.
Wide-area repeater to be announced.

Local Simplex Frequency

146.52 MHz (monitored when possible)

Medical Care

The event's First Aid team will be stationed at the finish line on competition days. The team will monitor 146.52 MHz simplex (or other frequency as announced) during the competitions for emergency calls.  Note that competitors are forbidden to transmit while on the course except in an emergency.

The nearest 24-hour emergency medical facility is the 50-bed Castle Rock Adventist Hospital in Castle Rock, which is approximately 35 miles by road from PVSR.

Important PVSR Regulations

Fun Factoids

Contact: [, also Yahoo group]

The event organizers are looking forward to welcoming you to the Championships and providing an outstanding radio-orienteering experience.

Brian Coleman, Meet Director and Registrar
Marvin Johnston KE6HTS, Course Designer
Joe Moell KØOV, USA ARDF Coordinator

Online registration is now closed.

Send inquiries to the organizers by e-mail to  For the latest updates, subscribe to a special group mailing list for participants and others interested in these championships by sending a blank e-mail to

Denver Scout Council

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This page updated 30 August 2015