What is Winter League?

Winter League is the Pacific Northwest’s premier competitive orienteering series for all ages. Elementary, Middle School, and High School students compete under the banner of the Washington Interscholastic Orienteering League (WIOL). Cascade Orienteering Club also offers a competitive league for college students and adults, as well as non-competitive beginner-friendly categories at every event!


Course Controls Length Climb
Elementary/Beginner 10 1.2 km 15 m
Middle School 12 1.8 km 15 m
JV Rookie/ Advanced Beginner 14 2.1 km 15 m
JV Girls / Intermediate 15 2.6 km 20 m
JV Boys 16 2.5 km 20 m
Varsity 16 3.5 km 25 m
Short Advanced 19 3.7 km 45 m
Advanced 20 5.0 km 55 m

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.


It’s time to get ready for the first WIOL/Winter O’ meet of the season.  You will be competing on a brand new re-fresh of the Magnuson Park map (even beyond the SART version), and it looks good!  Many thanks to Mike Schuh who performed this work.

  • Out of Bounds, whether marked as Olive green or Purple bi-directional slashes, denote areas you should NOT travel through.  Your compliance to this is necessary to preserve and protect sensitive areas within the park, and to extend our land use ‘welcome’. 
  • While much of the “Ponds” area in the south portion of the map are clearly marked out-of-bounds, the maintained trails that go through the area are fair play.
  • Competitors found transiting Out of Bounds areas will be disqualified.
  •  Map Scale is 1 / 4,000, with a 2.5 meter contour interval.  We don’t see this scale very often, so we suggest some pace counting early on to dial in your distances.
  •  Rootstocks (under the new ISSOM Standards) are mapped as brown triangles (‘Prominent land forms’)
  • Large distinct trees are mapped as Green circles, while smaller distinct trees are mapped as Green X’s.  Have a quick look at the Legend to familiarize yourselves.
  • We can’t predict the weather, except at Magnuson.  It will be wet.  Consider bringing extra shoes and socks for your post-course comfort.
  •  Some open grasslands can come into play as route choices.  Be aware that the ground is uneven and there are chuckholes that can sneak up on you, so please watch your footing.
  • For those who are familiar with the Magnuson Park map and are on one of the Advanced courses, we have a surprise for you. Hopefully you will first see it when you flip your  map at the start. Also please note and make use of the Optional Crossing on those courses if you choose to go that route.
  • There has been some planting of saplings at the park. You may come  across areas of small trees with red bands around them. Please be very careful  in these areas and respectful of the work done by the volunteers who planted them.


9:30 am – Registration opens

9:30 am – Newcomer instruction available

10:00 am – Start opens

11:45pm – Registration closes

Noon – Newcomer instruction ends

Noon – Start closes

2:30 pm – Course closes


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.


$17 base price
– subtract $5 for CascadeOC members
– subtract $5 for using your own e-punch

$20 base price
– subtract $5 for CascadeOC members
– subtract $5 for using your own e-punch

Become a member for $5-20

Buy your own e-punch for $38

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

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.



Follow the  Cascade OC directional signs to the E-4 parking lot.


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


As a large (1:10,000-scale), open venue with profusely scattered vegetation, Magnuson Park is often an early-season school league venue. Rather than a collection of areas with different personality, this is a single and diverse collection of grassland, dark green, trails, roads, and water areas, with one notable large hill.

Event parking is usually in the northernmost parking lot along with water, for easiest access to the shelter and restrooms.

Read more on the map page

Navigational Challenge: 3/10

Physical Challenge: 3/10


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.