Cunningly concocted by
Phil Williamson

You may recall that back in Fall of 2003, when the Map Mania feature last appeared in the pages of the Double Cone Quarterly, we had hired some temporary staff to keep Map Mania going as an occasional feature of the DCQ. Well, what with one thing and another, a year has gone by and our contract with Manpower has expired.

Fortunately, we were able to make a deal with a map-reasearch contractor in Bangalore that was willing to take on the job, so we are able once more to provide a challenging map puzzle for our devoted readers, thanks to the miracle that is economic globalization.

So take a look at the puzzles below, haul out those dog-eared old quads, and get cracking. When you've got it all figured out, send your list of answers via email to The first one to correctly solve all the puzzles will be rewarded with a copy of the Wilderness Handbook, and can expect one of these super-informative booklets in the mailbox shortly after smacking the competition down.

And in case you're interested, here are the answers to the Fall Equinox 2003 Map Mania:

SNIPPET 1: Pat Springs Camp
SNIPPET 2: Lone Pine Camp
SNIPPET 3: Dutra Flat Camp
DEM 1: 1. Bottcher's Gap 2. Pico Blanco Boy Scout Camp 3. Jackson Camp 4. Launtz Creek Camp 5. Vado Camp
DEM 2: Cone Peak; Goat Camp
AERIAL 1: The Rocks
AERIAL 2: Ventana Camp

The winner last time was (as usual) Mr. Mike Splain. Is there anyone out there with the guts to challenge Mike for the title of Grand Exalted Map Maniac?


The map snippets below represent locations within the Ventana or Silver Peak Wilderness areas. Your task is simply to identify the creeks or rivers indicated by the red numbers on each snippet. There are two different creeks indicated on each snippet. North is at the top.

Note that identifying text, trails or symbols may or may not have been clumsily removed from any or all (or none!) of the snippets.

Map Snippet 1


Map Snippet 2


Map Snippet 3



As you'll no doubt recall from past Map Mania puzzles, a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) is a digital file consisting of terrain elevation data for ground positions at regularly spaced horizontal intervals, corresponding to the area of a USGS 7.5' or 15' quad. Using special software (in this case the freeware 3DEM version 17.2 by Visualization Software) the DEM data can be rendered as a shaded three-dimensional representation of the terrain and landforms of a given USGS quad or section thereof, which can then be manipulated into different orientations.

Read the instructions for the two DEM puzzles below. You should be able to solve the puzzles by comparing the topography of the DEM image to the contour lines on the appropriate USGS 7.5' quads (which ones, you have to figure out for yourself!).

D E M  1

The view below represents all or part of six adjacent USGS 7.5' quads). The direction of view is roughly northwest.

Figure out the names of the camps (all official FS camps) indicated by the red numerals 1 - 3.


D E M   2

The view below represents part of a single USGS 7.5' quads. The direction of view is about due east. The lighter the terrain color, the higher the elevation; the light is from the upper left.

Again, figure out the names of the camps (all official FS camps) indicated by the red numerals 1 - 3.



Below are two black-and-white aerial photographs (courtesy of Micro$oft's TerraServer) of well-known areas in the Monterey Ranger District of the LPNF. North is at the top, light is from approximately southwest (i.e. the north or northwest side of a ridge will be in shadow) and a scale is provided. For aerial #2, section lines have been added as an aid (or hindrance). For both aerials, identify the official FS camp indicated by the small red "X".

Aerial Photo 1


Aerial Photo 2


OK, think you have it all figured out? Email your answers to us at

As always, we welcome your comments, suggestions, praise and abuse. Drop us a line.