Day 1 of a 2-day event at Fishtrap Lake. We’re going old-school! While each day will count separately for Ultimate Orienteer standings, we’ll also add the two days together for 2-day results.
Make it an orienteering weekend and stay for Sunday’s event, also at Fishtrap.
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!
There will be NO water on the courses, so plan to take your own. Fishtrap can get hot, even in May, so be prepared!
There will be water at the finish (you’ll pass this on the way to the start). Help us reduce waste by bringing your own bottle or cup.
For both days, the start and finish for Intermediate, Short Advanced, and Long Advanced will be approximately 1k walk from the parking/registration/download area. Please allow sufficient time to get there. Beginner courses will start and finish near parking/registration/download.
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): Peter Golde
We’ll have 4 courses each day.
Beginner – 2.4k, 9 controls, 25m climb
Intermediate – 3.6k, 12 controls, 70m climb
Short Advanced – Ultimate Jr (20 and under) and Masters (50+) – 4.9k, 13 controls, 125m climb
Long Advanced – Ultimate Open – 8.2k, 19 controls, 210m climb
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.
Green O is a large needle-leaved tree, green X is a large deciduous tree, and a green dot is a small tree or large bush. All three use the “tree” control description symbol.
Contours and cliffs are mapped very accurately and should be your primary means of navigation. Pay attention to the gaps between the cliffs, they can be quite important. If there is a visible gap, even a tiny one, then you should be able to get up or down, but solid cliffs are almost always too high to climb or descend. Check your control descriptions carefully; some controls are on the top of cliffs, while others are at the base.
The small trails have faded considerably and may be quite hard to follow, if not invisible (especially those with the intermittent double-dash symbol). I did not have time to recheck all the trails. It is extremely easy to run across one of the small trails without seeing it, or to not see a junction. Beware!
The water level is very high right now, much higher than is mapped. Anywhere you see the marsh symbol will be a significant pond, generally larger than the mapped marsh. Many depressions or low areas without mapped water have also become ponds of varying depths. If there is not an uncrossable boundary line, you are free to cross any water, and it will often be necessary. It will depend on route choice, but Long Advanced will need to wade knee to thigh deep for sure. Short Advanced will probably need to wade shin deep, and Intermediate will get at least ankle deep but possibly deeper. Beginner will be the only course where your shoes will remain dry.
All courses (even beginner) will cross barbed wire fences. Sliding under on your back is usually the easiest way through. Be careful, and please don’t damage them.
I hope you enjoy orienteering in this unique and beautiful area, and don’t forget to look around and take in the view.
*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: because we must pay an additional permit fee of $5/person/day at Fishtrap, registration fees have been raised by $5 (or 2 points if you pay with volunteer points) for this location.
$22 base price
– subtract $5 for CascadeOC members
– subtract $5 for using your own e-punch
$25 base price
– subtract $5 for CascadeOC members
– subtract $5 for using your own 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: Thursday, May 10 at 9pm
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.