Course designer(s): Eric Jones
There will be two time limits for this event. The Short time limit is 60 minutes. The Medium and Long have been combined to the same time limit of 90 minutes. All Ultimate Orienteer age categories will be on the 90-minute time limit. Sign up for Ultimate Junior for 20 years and younger, Ultimate Masters for 50+ years of age, and the Open class for those in-between, to get points in the Ultimate Orienteer Series Standing. There is a total of 30 controls with a range of point values.
In a score-o, each control is given a point value based on its navigational difficulty and/or distance from the start/finish. Your challenge is to get as many points as possible and return to the finish within a specific time limit. You’ll lose points for being late, so make sure you pay attention to the time and how far you are from the finish. Wear a watch or use your phone to keep track of time.
Come enjoy Score-O at Point Defiance Park! This peninsula was originally held as a military reservation but was never developed and became a public park as early as 1888. The park sits on high cliffs above Puget Sound with views to nearly every direction, and is dominated by beautiful old growth forest and a large trail network. After you run, check out the living history museum at Fort Nisqually – a historic Hudson Bay Company trading post originally located near present-day DuPont and now preserved within the park.
Off trail opportunities are good as the forest in many places is surprisingly passable. As is typical of western Washington, you won’t see much white on the map, but even in medium green there are often unmapped social trails and micro-routes which can provide quick(er) passage. Undergrowth is also generally friendly – watch your footing, but I didn’t come across any spiky ground cover while exploring possible control locations so leg protection is strictly optional.
Trails, contours, and landform features on the map are generally good, though some knolls and rootstocks are smaller and harder to recognize while other are missing. I did my best to use recognizable and unique (but not necessarily large) features. Trail junctions are your best bet for relocating, followed by contour features.
A few areas of the park are undergoing construction, marked with magenta crosshatching on the map. These areas are generally also fenced off except for roads that pass through. In one case, the (open) road through construction is not meant for cars and pedestrians to mix and therefore is marked out of bounds – participants should use the nearby trail(s). There are a few controls near these out of bounds areas – don’t miss the magenta numbering near the cross-hatches!
Other out of bounds areas are marked using olive green. The off leash dog park is out of bounds for orienteering, but unlike other city dog parks it is *not* fenced off – please don’t accidentally run through it.
A few trails and one control location are near exposed cliff faces – enjoy the views, but be careful!
Can you find all 30 controls in your time limit? There’s only one way to find out!