2021-22 Winter League #7 – Summit Trails/Rock Creek Natural Area
Saturday, February 5 at Summit Trails/Rock Creek Natural Area in Maple Valley, WA
The 2021-22 Winter League Series Rules and Information have changed due to COVID. Please read all the important information
for the Public Procedures/Rules here and for the WIOL Procedures/Rules here.
**THERE IS NO DAY OF MEET REGISTRATION**
Summit Trails Meet Documents:
Winter League is the Pacific Northwest’s premier competitive orienteering series for all ages.
- Elementary, Middle School, High School and College students compete under the banner of the Washington Interscholastic Orienteering League (WIOL).
- Winter League public courses offer a range of categories from a competitive long advanced category to non-competitive beginner-friendly categories at every event!
Course designer(s): John Brady
|Elementary||10 controls||1.7k||10m climb|
|Middle School||11 controls||2.4k||20m climb|
|JV Rookie||12 controls||2.7K||15m Climb|
|JV Female||16 controls||2.6k||15m Climb|
|JV Male||13 controls||2.6k||15m Climb|
|Varsity||17 Controls||3.2k||20m Climb|
|Intercollegiate JV||13 controls||2.6k||15m Climb|
|Intercollegiate Varsity||18 controls||4.2k||45m climb|
|Elementary||10 controls||1.7k||10m climb|
|Adv Beginner||12 controls||2.7K||15m Climb|
|Intermediate||16 controls||2.6k||15m Climb|
|Short Advanced||18 controls||3.9k||30m climb|
|Long Advanced||18 controls||4.2k||45m 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.
Summit Trails Middle School is surrounded by over 300 acres of forest land dedicated to King County Parks after a history of railroad and logging use. The park area is known by many names depending on where in the complex you are: Danville-Georgetown Open Space, Rock Creek Natural Area, or Summit Trails Middle School private land. Over 14 miles of trails exist, and are primarily used and upkept by The Backcountry Horsemen of Washington. Additionally, the area is home to herds of elk and deer, spotted owl and many other wildlife. It is highly likely you will encounter some of these while on the property. This past and present history has shaped the landscape in the park.
Much of the vegetation in the forest is thick with vegetation. However, due to the extensive elk and deer herd that call this area home, a vast network of elk trails exist and most have been accurately mapped within the last year. These elk paths are represented by white stripes on the map, meaning it is not a maintained trail, and subject to natures adjustment should it occur. Typically, very dense vegetation is flanked by runnable deer trail because the deer do just what a human would…avoid the dense stuff. This creates the beaten down wandering paths you see on the map. Since the herd is so prevalent, the animal paths are more robust than usual forest.
This area was logged in the not-too-distant past. As a result, many stumps were left behind to rot. There are thousands of them. Most of these stumps have degenerated into a half knoll, half stump concoction. In these situations, it is always mapped as a knoll. The only stumps mapped at Summit Trails are very large. These are undeniable stumps. Most smaller stumps were not mapped. On the map, these stumps are marked with a brown X.
Rootstocks greater than 1m and visible from all directions are mapped with a brown triangle.
There are a few linear contour features that can be useful when navigating off the trails in the park. Almost all of the hills are fairly straight. Often times this is coupled with good elk trails that can make for decent shortcuts if you have the courage. Careful though, because it is very easy to get lost in the dense vegetation and relocating becomes very difficult in these non-descript trails. Vegetation navigation is much more tricky than it might seem!
Lastly, it is recommended you wear pants! You will be presented with many off-trail checkpoints at this venue, testing your use of contours as handrails, compass for maintaining direction in flat areas, pace counting for distance estimation, and finding oneness with the elk as you bash through the brush. Enjoy.
WEAR PROTECTIVE GEAR: PANTS ARE VERY NECESSARY! Eye protection can be useful too.
This will be very hard. I promise. Getting lost is a high probability. Embrace the challenge. Let this warning guide your risk and speed level on the course.
Every course except elementary will be going off-trail. The harder courses will be nearly exclusively off-trail. This will require entry into the forest. If you choose your path wisely, you will be able to use elk paths to find your controls. However, these trails have a tendency to wander and create directional confusion. If you end up on one you didn’t intend, you will likely be lost and need to work your way out of the situation by relocating to a known spot. Ending in thick brush at some point is likely.
All courses are short, however, I expect they will be slow. For the amateur, it is highly recommended that you enter the forest from an absolute known position with certainty of both where you are, and the direction and distance you plan to go in the forest. Keep that invisible vector in your eyesight if possible. Simply wandering into the forest will almost certainly result in getting very confused.
There are a few open areas in the forest that can be seen by looking up to the canopy. These clues can be handy.
Control placement will not be done to fool you. There will be as little hide-and-seek of controls as possible, with the exception of controls on features that are quite visible themselves, and occasionally on the advanced course. I have no desire to make this any harder than it will already be.
If you do not know how to use your compass, I highly recommend you learn now. There will also be a small compass course set up to practice your skills before the race.
Again. Wear pants.
**Due to COVID – ALL Public and WIOL participants will have assigned start times**
9:45 am – Assigned starts begin
12:45 pm – Last possible assigned start time
2:30 pm – Course closes
PUBLIC COURSE PRE-REGISTRATION PRICES
$22 base price
– subtract $5 for CascadeOC members
– subtract $5 for using your own e-punch
-running as a group? Add $5 for each additional adult (16+) group member, no charge for additional children. Max group size is 3 due to COVID restrictions.
Become a member here.
**Due to COVID, there will be no day of meet onsite registration for Winter League 2021-22.**
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 RSVP dates:
- The deadline for Meet Registration for public that wants to request a start time is Tuesday pre-meet at Noon.
- The deadline for Meet Registration for public not requesting a specific start time is Wednesday pre-meet at 9pm.
- Friday evening pre-meet at 7pm all COVID attestation forms are due.
Volunteers make these events happen! You can volunteer and participate on the same day, plus earn volunteer points to earn a free meet.
Parking is at Summit Trail Middle School and is plentiful. See site map here.
Summit Trails/Rock Creek Natural Area is part of the larger Danville-Georgetown Open Space. This moderately flat area has numerous contour and vegetation features, such as stumps, rootstocks, depressions, and knolls. Passage through the trees is often possible using faint elk trails. Adjacent to Summit Trail Middle School.Read more on the map page
SAFETY & ETIQUETTE
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.