Experience the unique scabland terrain of Fishtrap Lake, where the vistas are expansive but details are plentiful. There are few trails in this area, so you’ll appreciate the plethora of contour and rock details as you traverse this beautiful desert area. June is a great time of year for wildflowers here, so you might want to take a moment to enjoy them.
Out of Bounds areas
Most of the area we’re using belongs to the Bureau of Land Management. They have identified several sensitive areas, which are out of bounds for our competition. These areas are clearly marked on the map with vertical purple lines. The courses have been designed to avoid them, so make sure your route choice does not include travel through ANY out of bounds areas!
Mountain biking is only allowed for control pickup, so if you want to ride your bike, please volunteer to pick up controls after the event is over.
Per our permit agreement with the BLM, your dog is not allowed to accompany you on the course. Please respect this restriction.
Below are just a few lodging possibilities in the general vicinity of Fishtrap Lake. There could be others. This list is provided as information only and does not imply that we recommend any particular location.
Spokane (30 miles) – numerous lodging possibilities; check out VisitSpokane for specific locations
Course designer(s): Ethan O'Connor, Shannon Cheng
# Water Controls
Solo or group
Solo or group
Ultimate Masters Men & Women
Ultimate Jr. Women
Others (solo or group)
Ultimate Jr. Men
Ultimate Open Women
Others (solo or group)
Ultimate Open Men
There will be water controls on the courses as outlined above. However, it will probably be hot, so if you think you’ll need more, carry your own in a hydration pack or bottle.
Juniors – 20 and under
Masters – 50+
Open – any age
While you can run any course you wish, you will receive Ultimate points in a class only if you qualify by age and gender on that course. Please see the chart below for categories in which you can receive Ultimate points.
Women 20 and under
Men 20 and under
*You may run this course but will not receive Ultimate points.
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.
–Ethan O’Connor, Shannon Cheng
Come out to Fishtrap! This final event of the 2019 Ultimate series is the Ultralong and we were charged with creating courses that emphasize endurance, route choice and rough map reading. Please take a careful look at the estimated distance of your course and plan to start as early in the start window as is practical for you.
We Fishtrap in late May amidst a spectacular display of wildflowers and were reminded of how beautiful and special a place it is. We had an enjoyable time re-visiting the unique landscape and hope that the courses we’ve set provide everyone a sampler of all the terrain has to offer.
In late May we found comparatively wet conditions. Updated information will be provided at the Start but it would be safe to assume water is on the high end of what is mapped. The areas of the map marked as runnable forest that burned a few years ago have largely grown over with annoying-to-impenetrable new growth, and the courses this year avoid most of that terrain. Lone trees are extensively mapped and are a particularly helpful navigation aid outside of the burned areas. Trails vary considerably in visibility but we were able to locate and follow those mapped trails we came across. Linear rock features and the gaps therein are very well mapped and are key to navigating in this terrain.
There will be some unavoidable fence crossings – in most cases, you can find easier spots to cross by walking along the length. We were able to crawl under most – taller people may be able to step over. In any situation, please be careful, especially at those with barbed wire.
Please exercise caution around cliffs and rocky features. Respect cliffs marked as impassable (heavy lines). As always in this kind of terrain, be aware of the potential for picking up ticks and coming across snakes. Rattlesnakes have been spotted at Fishtrap in previous years but are not aggressive and can be avoided by not sticking your hands where you can’t see them and keeping alert on sunlit rock outcroppings.
9:00-11:15 am – Registration
9:00-10:00 am – Newcomer instruction
9:15-11:30 am – Start
2:30 pm – Courses close*
*If you think you might take a long time on the course, start early in the start window. Also, 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.
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 (+ $5) than our Seattle-area events.
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 Thursday, June 13 at 9:00 pm
Day-of-event registration is available by cash or check, made payable to Cascade Orienteering Club
Featuring unique scabland terrain, Fishtrap Lake is challenging, yet accessible, and a complete joy to navigate. On one hand, there are tons of tiny cliffs and rock details. On the other hand, there are so few trees here, that the views are expansive, allowing you to orient yourself off of faraway cliffs. Fishtrap also provides a perfect opportunity to test compass skills, since there is little to stop you from beelining straight to the next control.
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.
Don't have a compass? That's okay, you can borrow a baseplate compass for free at Cascade events, or even participate without one. If you're ready to invest in your own, then be sure to get a thumb compass from our local vendor, Wildwood Adventure Outfitters.