How’s your technical navigation? Just ahead of the Junior Nationals Championship in Mt Holyoke, MA, Cascade’s Mike Schuh is simulating that terrain as closely as possible in Washington.

Yes, it’s a bit earlier than we usually go to Central WA with the Ultimate Orienteer series, with some snow on the ground, but it’s been snowing a bit in the Northeast, too. Perfect!

Here’s what you can expect:

  • Saturday’s activities will focus on strengthening skills for off-trail travel, starting with Mike’s usual set of compass and pace drills.  At least one of the later exercises will use a map with no trails or roads. Lick Creek all day. Bring lunch. There may be an evening activity as well.
  • On Sunday, the idea is to simulate, as best we can, the event the following weekend.  Ideally we’d mimic the published start procedures as best we can.  JV and Varsity-level courses.
    Mike will also set up a couple of Micro O’ courses near the finish, which would be a bit of a novelty – Forest Micro O’.

The timed events will use e-punch and Ing Uhlin has volunteered to run this, at least for Sunday.  This implies that everyone has an e-punch finger stick.  If you do not have one, let us know and we’ll work it out.

How to get involved?

  1. This is a training activity, not a formal meet, so we are limited to 25 participants, first come, first served.
  2. “Cost” is two volunteer points per day. If you do not have any volunteer points yet, just sign up to help with something at the next event–anything from registration to control pick-up.  (Each 1/2 hour gets you one point).
  3. Now you’re ready to sign up here!


Courses and lengths depend upon the exercises.

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).


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.


Price is 2 volunteer points per day. There is no day-of-event registration.

If you don’t have any volunteer points, there’s still time to volunteer at an upcoming COC event!

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!


There is no day-of-event sign-up. It’s a training event, so we’re limited to 25 participants.

Learn more about volunteering

Volunteers make these events happen! You can volunteer and participate on the same day, plus earn volunteer points to earn a free meet.




Looking for a carpool? Join the Yahoo listserv and share your request to find a ride.


Part of a chain of orienteering maps in the Teanaway Community Forest, Lick Creek is rugged, challenging, and beautiful. There is a ton of contour details and large areas without trails, making this one of Cascade’s most challenging and rewarding maps to navigate. Vegetation becomes quickly outdated here, so do not rely on vegetation alone; contours are your best friend!

New orienteers should consider choosing a shorter or easier course than usual.

Lick Creek is rugged and moderately hilly, with some especially steep areas that nice course designers try to avoid. Deadfall on the ground makes running or hiking more strenuous.

Read more on the map page

Navigational Challenge: 8/10

Physical Challenge: 8/10


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.

Course Closure
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.