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Discussion: JWOC 2018 Terrain

in: Orienteering; General

Jul 28, 2017 12:54 AM # 
Hi All,
I am wondering if anyone know what terrain in the US or Canada might be the most similar to the terrain for JWOC 2018. Here is a link the old maps of the competition area in Hungary
If you have any thoughts let me know. Maybe Southern Michigan, Wisconsin, Boise. Let me know Thanks

Jul 28, 2017 1:24 AM # 
Manitoba sandhills?
SL Ranch near Rumsey, Alberta, a bit?

Stanley Idaho terrain from this year's Middle and Long championships had topographic similarities, though it was forested rather than the green/yellow character.
Jul 28, 2017 2:52 AM # 
In the East, the closest I can think of is Cape Henlopen, Delaware, if it was mapped.
Even so, not the same. I've been to both.
Getting prepared to orienteer in the heat (July 7-15, non forest, Hungary) might be just as important as learning the sand terrain.
Texas? Florida? with carefully mapped vegetation?
Jul 28, 2017 2:59 AM # 
I guess that Nickerson State Park (mapped) on Cape Cod, Massachusetts has similar topography, but is forested not yellow/green.
Jul 28, 2017 4:35 AM # 
Remarkable difference in mapping style across the Pirto map -- looks like it may be two or more maps grafted together, with the NW bit looking very different from the adjacent (older?) central area.

What in the world is going on at the north end of the Bosca map?

Manitoba is probably the best bet. If LiDAR is available, there's terrain in eastern Colorado that would probably be pretty good using just a basemap, but it's 100% open, no vegetation at all.
Jul 28, 2017 6:47 AM # 
Bócsa is an old military area. So a lot of those ditches, pits, and earth banks are left over from that. The most difficult thing about this terrain were the mazes of juniper bushes you can see on the Bocsa map. Terrible runnability and it reduced visibility suprisingly.

On the training maps, the organizers hid many of the streamers in pits covered by green. Extremely reduced visibility and difficult to get to: they like to play dirty.

I've racked my brain for similar terrains in North America and can't come up with anything, nothing mapped at least.

There are a lot of similar maps in Spain near Alicante and Huelva. I wonder if other coastal areas in the US would be like this.
Jul 28, 2017 8:52 AM # 
Having orienteered in these areas, the key factor here will not be running speed, but simplification, map reading skills and limiting mistakes as much as possible.

As Gswede says, visibility is very limited, you can be 5m from the control and not see it if you are on the other side of a juniper bush strip. Relocation can be a nightmare as well because there are very few definitive landforms or larger distinctive vegetation boundaries. Don't forget that contour interval on these maps is 2.5m and not 5m. I am not sure about the US - in the UK we have some sand dune areas that are somewhat similar but not nearly as complex.

I know it is far but if someone fancies a trip then there is usually an autumn and a spring multi-day international competition organised in this same area (I suspect not the exact same maps due to the embargo) which is highly recommended to come to, the flight might be very costly from the US, but Hungary is not that expensive so you can get some quality training in visiting these comps. Especially in case someone is already over in Europe - there are lots of budget airlines flying to Hungary.

The latest competition in this area from this spring: Lots of photos as well from previous years so you can get a feel for the area.
Future dates are not yet published and in my recent experience they were quite late getting it out there but usually the autumn event is mid November (recent years' dates: 12-13 Nov, 14-15 Nov, 15-16 Nov, 16-17 Nov, 17-18 Nov, 19-20 Nov etc.) and the Spring event is beginning of March (recent years: 4-5 Mar, 27-28 Feb, 1-2 Mar, 2-3 Mar, 3-4 Mar, 26-27 Feb etc.). You can see the trend, pretty consistent, so very likely it will be something similar this November and next March. That means at least two opportunities for people to come and experience the terrain - although not the heat as EricW mentioned. IMHO, one of the most enjoyable terrains for orienteering if you like to challenge your brain. I am told that it is a similar challenge to some of the France terrains where the "mazes" are partially the rock formations - here it is sand dunes and juniper bushes.

Here is also a headcam video of a race in that terrain:
Jul 28, 2017 9:21 AM # 
*Contour interval is 2m, not 2.5m
Jul 28, 2017 9:46 AM # 
re Manitoba.

you can find links to maps and courses (and much more) from WCOC two weeks ago

If you check out the MOA events page ( there are more events in similar areas on Sept 9-10 (Yellow Quill, link to map in event info) and Oct 1-2 (Hogs back and TBA).

The green is passable unlike the juniper in Hungary. But you if organize your own training there you could set courses that avoid the green and make a rule that all green is OOB to simulate the sort of challenges you will get in Hungary - having to weave around the green areas.

There are actually a few juniper bushes on Cypress River SH (eg: WCOC sprint : cs1, control 11; cs 2 control 7). Not enough to make it like Hungary but at least you could show someone what they look like.
Jul 28, 2017 10:04 AM # 
How early in the year are the Manitoba maps usable for training camps?
Jul 28, 2017 10:27 AM # 
Gswede, yes, 2m, sorry. In practice doesn't make that much difference :)
Jul 28, 2017 10:59 AM # 
This year the first time anyone went out there for control checking was the very end of April. Seems there was little or no snow on the ground but they did not have a good time - it snowed.
Jul 28, 2017 10:59 AM # 
For any Australians reading this thread, although it's not the easiest of places to get to, I think the Port Lincoln limestone terrain is reasonably relevant.
Jul 28, 2017 11:35 AM # 
Thinking a bit more creatively, for visibility and accessibility purposes, I think using Lynn Woods in Boston might not be such a bad idea.
Jul 28, 2017 11:36 AM # 
I would also add the Cat's Meow maps in Wisconsin to the mix.
Jul 28, 2017 1:36 PM # 
Parts of our Carcross Desert map, in Yukon Territory.
Jul 28, 2017 1:58 PM # 
Ooo, I forgot about that, very nice I recall, and juniors could prepare for NAOC as well.
Jul 28, 2017 2:18 PM # 
None of the top Canadian juniors live anywhere close to Manitoba, chances of training there before JWOC are slim.
Need to be where athletes can get to for reasonable cost or else not happening.
Jul 28, 2017 3:13 PM # 
As a side note, I'd like to say how great it is that the planning as already begun for next year's JWOC. Thanks Erin!
Jul 28, 2017 7:52 PM # 
In agreement with Boris, there's parts of Pawtuckaway and some of the New Hampshire/Northern MA maps that will teach the right skills in low vis terrain. It's not a perfect match, but it can get the job done.
Jul 28, 2017 8:38 PM # 
The one thing that Cape Henlopen shares with that Hungarian terrain are military artifacts; those tank/artillery installations are all over Hungarian terrain, whereas there isn't much public land in the US that has analogous military vestiges.

Cape Henlopen is a place I'd like to orienteer even more than here: Not that the latter is relevant to JWOC 2018.
Jul 28, 2017 8:46 PM # 
Most similar terrain in southern Ontario:


- This map is 15 years old.
- A golf course has encroached on the southwest corner.
- The city of Guelph's suburban tentacles are dangling across the road on the western part of the map. (Good for parking/start/finish in a strip mall/school parking lot though).

- Apparently a developer owns the 'rough-open, scattered trees' goodness, but it seems like their plans for a country estate community have stalled.

- The 'scattered trees' are mostly conifers - I imagine of varying heights - I also imagine many areas of poor visibility.

(From what I recall though. I haven't visited that section in 15-20 years.)

I have great memories doing a stealth training session on the west side with the Ontario Junior Team as a 15 year old.

Lots of potential for this one, but all signs point to the terrain being developed in less than 3 years.

It would be lovely to give this classic map a proper sending off before it becomes extinct. There has been far too much talk of its greatness, yet it has only hosted one event over the past 30 (or more) years!!
Jul 29, 2017 1:36 AM # 
Yah come to Port Lincoln! One of the most difficult to get to orienteering destinations.
Jul 29, 2017 8:01 AM # 
Nah, we drove through last year, it's only 2200km from us. Pity it didn't match up with the events though.
Jul 29, 2017 1:41 PM # 
I'd say military installations is a bit of a red herring, as long as you are prepared for the complexity of the dunes and maze of vegetation/low visibility, you should be OK. That stuff is mainly things like ditches, small earth walls, and odd-shaped pits / earthbanks, so whilst there are quite a lot of them, what makes the terrain difficult is not that they were dug/erected by the military but that they are often difficult to see/find. They aren't concrete patches (as they would be on abandoned airfields that I have orienteered on occasionally), nor tripwires or other contraptions that are present in some other terrains used by the military.
Aug 24, 2017 3:16 AM # 
On the off chance that any juniors are interested in coming to Manitoba, Canada, I'll point out that our provincial championships (Sep. 30 - Oct. 1) are indeed being held in similar terrain. Also, some of us can offer rides from the Winnipeg airport if needed.
Aug 24, 2017 11:53 AM # 
I don't have input to the original question but thought I'd share the training notes I've done in those terrains. That headcam above is also done by me.

2013-11-17 (the headcam one, with routegadget)
Aug 25, 2017 12:44 AM # 
Port Lincoln is on my list.
Sep 2, 2017 4:46 PM # 
Just to note that the Hungarian Open Long Distance Championships this year will be in the neighbouring area so although I haven't been, from the description it looks like a good opportunity to learn about the terrain (again, if anyone is in Europe around that time - 21-22 Oct this year).

This discussion thread is closed.