2021 Ultimate Orienteer #4 – Frenchman Spring (Long)
Sunday, May 16 at Frenchman Spring in Vantage, WA
Event #4/8 in the Ultimate Orienteer Series!
Frenchman Doubleheader – Part 2
Come on out for our second doubleheader weekend in the 2021 Ultimate Orienteer Series in the legendary Frenchman Coulee/Spring area. It might seem far but we go where the terrain is fabulous!
- Saturday, May 15 – Frenchman Coulee Middle
- Sunday, May 16 – Frenchman Spring, Long
COVID Operating Protocols
If you sign up for this event, you will be asked to read and agree to follow our COVID Operating Protocols. Our use permits are contingent on our ability to demonstrate that we can hold safe events, so we thank you in advance for helping us make this happen.
Complete the COVID Assessment Form.
Download a PDF of control desciptions.
Temperatures are expected to be above freezing during the day and below freezing at night, with little to no snow. There’s a WSDOT traffic camera near Vantage that you can check for snow cover.
See Visit Vantage for information about camping and lodging near Vantage (approximately 11 miles southwest). Vantage is very small and has few facilities.
Many people stay in Quincy (approximately 19 miles north), which is farther away but has more services, including several motels, gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants. Visit Tour Grant County (scroll down to Quincy) for details.
Other Things to Do
The map terrain and surrounding areas are unique and beautiful. Below are some other things to explore nearby.
- Wanapum Dam
- Crab Creek map area (25 miles south)
- Gingko Petrified Forest (interpretive center open by appointment only through March)
- Quincy Ancient Lakes – this area north of Frenchman Coulee has primitive camping areas and hiking with great views, as well as 2 orienteering maps
- Wineries – while there are several in the area, most are closed at this time of year; an exception is Cave B Winery and Resort
- The Gorge Amphitheatre
- Wild Horse Monument (a quick stop from eastbound I-90)
Course designer(s): Ethan O'Connor
|Beginner||9||2.1 km||10 m|
|Intermediate||12||3.0 km||40 m|
|Short Advanced||17||5.2 km||160 m|
|Medium Advanced||20||7.0 km||310 m|
|Long Advanced||24||9.5 km||360 m|
What is my age class?
Long-O Course/Class Assignments for Ultimate points
If you want to earn Ultimate points, check the table below to see which category you should sign up for. Find your age class in the left column, then follow the row across to the right until you find the dark orange cell. That is your “assigned” category.
For example, if you’re a female 16 or under, your Ultimate age class is F-16 and, for this event, is assigned to the Intermediate course. If you are up for a more challenging course, you can also earn points in F-18 on Short Advanced, or F-21+ on Medium Advanced. Just keep in mind that other courses are more difficult, both navigationally and physically. Also keep in mind that you’ll be earning points only in the class you sign up for.
How are courses measured?
Courses are measured as the crow flies, in a direct line from control to control. Unless you have wings, you will travel farther than this distance! Courses are measured in kilometers, so a good rule of thumb is to simply round up to miles to estimate how far you will go. So in a 5 kilometer race, you’ll likely travel up to 5 miles.
Check back later for special notes from the Course Designer(s). View courses from a past event on this map on Route Gadget here.
Tread lightly on the land: if the ground is wet, avoid leaving footprints by staying on rocks where possible, not disturbing any rock features such as piles, stacks or cairns, avoiding cactus, and brushing off pants to remove plant seeds before leaving the course.
Snowball cactus (Pediocactus nigrispinus) grows in this area. It’s been designated a sensitive species, so if you see any, please avoid stepping on or near it.
9:30am-12:30pm – Starts (start times are pre-assigned; sign up for a start time when you register; if you don’t, we’ll pick one for you)
2:30pm – Courses close*
*Wear a watch to ensure that you return to the finish by course closure time, even if you have to abandon your course to do so. Those returning after course closure will be disqualified and will make the volunteer staff very grumpy.
If you didn’t sign up for a start time when you registered, here’s the signup sheet. The signup sheet will be locked at 9pm Thursday. If you have any changes after that, please send email to email@example.com.
Why is there a start window?
This event uses an interval start, which means that participants are started in waves instead of all at once. When you arrive at the start tent, find the chute for your course and follow the start volunteer’s instructions.
Note: To cover additional permitting costs associated with this event, fees are slightly higher than our Seattle-area events.
Pre-registration is required
$13 – Cascade OC members*
$18 – non-members*
*Add $5 to rent an epunch stick
Want to buy your own epunch stick?
While we do offer rentals, we encourage everyone to purchase their own epunch stick. If you’d like to take the plunge, the nearest supplier is SPORTident.us in California. We recommend purchasing either SI-9 , SI-10, or Air+ sticks. Other vendors can be found here.
What’s an e-punch?
An e-punch records your race. At each control, you’ll dip the e-punch into an electronic box, which will beep and flash as confirmation. After you finish, you’ll download the e-punch at the download tent and get a receipt that show which controls you visited and how long you took between each; these are your “splits.”
Part of the fun of orienteering is comparing your splits with people who completed the same course, and discussing the routes you took!
Online pre-registration closes:
Day-of-event registration is available by cash or check, made payable to Cascade Orienteering Club
Volunteers make these events happen! You can volunteer and participate on the same day, plus earn volunteer points to earn a free meet.
Discover Pass Required
You will need a Discover Pass to park at Frenchman Spring (and at the boat launch). You can purchase a Discover Pass (annual or one-day) online or in person at many hunting/fishing license vendors or at several retail locations. Check the Discover Pass website for details.
Carpool Meeting Place
Parking will be on the northwest shoulder of Vantage Road SW near the (very small) Babcock Bench parking area (reserved for event officials). We are limited to 30 cars along this road, so please carpool if you can.
We suggest you arrange to meet others at the boat launch parking area at the west end of Vantage Road SW and then take one car back up the hill to park near the event center. It’s slightly less than 2 miles one way, so you could also bike or even walk if necessary.
Please DON’T park at the Frenchman Coulee climbing area, as we don’t want to take parking places from the climbers. There’s room for quite a few cars at the boat launch.
Looking for a carpool? Join the COC email group and share your request to find a ride.
The Frenchman Spring map is owned and maintained by Forest Runs. They have generously allowed us to use it for some of our events.
Frenchman Spring contains a lot of rocky features. A number of decisions have been made about what and how to map.
- International Specifications for Orienteering Maps 2017 symbols are used.
- Vegetation is mapped in a limited fashion:
- The only vegetation that limits running in any way is sage bush – still growing or burnt leftovers – and similar semi-desert plants. They are mapped with green vertical stripes – undergrowth, slower running symbol – in locations where the impact is larger.
- There are several more distinct trees mapped with the green dot symbol.
- In general, only distinct objects are mapped. A 1-meter-high boulder is mapped if it is in a gravelly area, but not if it lies between other larger boulders. In a similar fashion, we don’t mark 209 Boulder field or 210 Stony ground in a context where these make the map too hard to read. In contrast, most of the 418 Prominent bush or tree are prominent only in the Frenchman Spring context.
- Uncrossable cliff usually means very uncrossable. Please respect that and do not go too close to it.
- Ground covered with little to no vegetation while still allowing near full speed running is mapped as 214 Bare rock. Unlike in many other venues, bare rock in Frenchman Spring is not necessarily a smooth cliff face but may instead resemble a pile of rocks. For instance, in the photo below, the foreground is mapped as “bare rock.”
- Rocky ground may be similar to bare rock, just less smooth and making running slower. Below is a few meters high hillside, mapped as 210 Stony ground, slow running
- As basalt breaks into fragments of widely different sizes over time, so most of the boulders are in some sense just piles of rocks. This is a 1-meter-high rocky thing, mapped as 204 Boulder
- Similar objects that look less rocky may be mapped as knolls. The one in the following photo is 109 Small knoll
Read more on the map page
SAFETY & ETIQUETTE
Return to the Finish
All participants MUST return to the finish and download their e-punch or turn in their punch card.
Even if you have not finished your course, you must still return to the the finish and confirm with event staff that you have returned safely.
Out of Bounds
Some areas may be marked out of bounds. It is imperative to respect these boundaries to maintain our relationships with land managers. Participants MUST NOT go out of bounds. Any participant caught going out of bounds will be disqualified.
All participants MUST return to the finish by course closure time. If a participant does not return by course closure, event volunteers will begin coordinating a search party.
If you need a long time on the course, start as early in the start window as possible, wear a watch, and be prepared to cut your course short to make it back by the course closure time.
All participants MUST carry a whistle on the course. Complimentary whistles are available at the start tent (please only take one).
If you are injured on the course and need assistance, blow three long blasts to call for help.
If you hear a call for help, abandon your course to find the person in distress.
Part of the fun and fairness of orienteering is navigating your own course, so please be polite when you find a checkpoint and don’t holler that you’ve found it.