Register | Login
Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Discussion: HVO/WCOC Winter series

in: WCOC/HVO Winter Series 2019 (Mar 15 – Apr 7, 2019 - Carmel Hamlet, NY, US)

Dec 3, 2018 10:59 PM # 
Once again, HVO and WCOC are pleased to host a series of six bare-bones, time-yourself orienteering races this winter. As with last year, each event offers a Brown, Green and Red course, and participants download the maps from a link posted on HVO’s website. This year, control flags will be out in the woods for about four weeks and the events overlap some weekends so you can do two in one day/weekend if you want. You run whenever you want while the flags are out. The races are honor system based with no boxes/punches on the controls, just touch the flag (no remote visual punching). No beginner’s courses will be available.
When and Where

In case of major snow falls, revised dates may be considered and posted.

Maps will be available for downloading on HVO’s website the day before the controls are in the woods.

Results and Ranking
Participants time themselves and subsequently upload their results directly to the respective event pages. Posting splits and GPS tracks are preferred, but not required.

Each participant in any or all of the six Winter Series events assume full responsibility for any and all injuries, losses and damages that he or she incurs while attending or participating in the Winter Series event.

The tentative schedule is set out below
#1 Jan 5-27 Tarrywile Park Rick & Susie
#2 Jan 19-Feb 10 Blue Mountain Lina Spokauskaite
#3 Feb 2-24 Five Ponds George & Lyn
#4 Feb 16-Mar 19 Westmoreland Sergiy, Andis, Greg
#5 Mar 2-24 Huntingdon SP Joe
#6 Mar 16 – April 7 Ward Pound Ridge (N) Geof & Niels
Jan 2, 2019 5:29 PM # 
Let the Winter Series begin!

Flags are in the woods, and the maps are available for download, for the first event at Tarrywile Park in Danbury, CT. A link to the maps, and additional info, can be found here:

Note that for Tarrywile, a few of the smaller trails shown on the map are no longer visible on the ground, and mountain bikers have cut in some new trails.

Jan 2, 2019 11:17 PM # 
Also, on Saturday, January 19 and 26, please park in the lower parking lot on Southern Blvd. rather than the upper, mansion parking lot on Brushy Hill. The courses start from the upper parking lot so generally that's the best parking lot for the courses. But there are events at the mansion on those two Saturdays so they need the parking spaces. The walk from the lower lot is not far.
Jan 4, 2019 9:09 PM # 
Route Gadget for Series 1 RouteGadget
Click on the blue "I" for instructions on uploading your track/time
Jan 7, 2019 2:21 AM # 
I did Red today , 1:23:06. Thank you for setting up this great course. P. S. The flags do not have numbers so you have to be very careful. Also the scale is not printed on the map, so I still don't know what it is :)
Jan 7, 2019 2:36 AM # 
See the event web site. All courses today were at 1:10000.
Jan 7, 2019 1:24 PM # 
@artem, a quick method to check the map scale is to measure the distance between the north-south meridian lines after you print the map. On most orienteering maps, this distance represents 250m in the terrain. Thus, a measurement of 2.5 cm between the meridian lines indicates a 1:10,000 map scale
Jan 7, 2019 2:59 PM # 
Well... that often works, although on a 1:15000 map they'd likely be spaced at 500 m, and I've seen quite a number of maps where the spacing is something else. (If I'm really in doubt, I measure the distance between two identifiable landmarks such as road intersections, then make the same measurement on Google Maps.)
Jan 8, 2019 6:48 AM # 
IOF spec is now 300m spacing for north lines on both 1:15000 and 1:10000 (i.e 20 mm and 30mm respectively). (ref symbol 601)
Jan 8, 2019 11:21 AM # 
A good move forward for standardization which effectively muddies the waters even more, because it means that the spacing is different between old and new maps.
Jan 8, 2019 12:51 PM # 
Exactly right, JJ. If the US were to follow this strategy we'd all have to have two sets of tools, and multiple scale bars on things like thermometers, measuring cups, speedometers, etc.
Jan 8, 2019 4:24 PM # 
Ran the red Sunday in 55.28 (and the brown but didn't keep time on that one). Had a blast. Quick feedback that it should indicate on the website what size to print the maps. Its letter in case anyone is wondering!
Jan 9, 2019 1:37 AM # 
I'm printing mine on 11x17, what would the scale be? or does it really matter?
Jan 13, 2019 12:20 PM # 
+1 fossil -- I see what you did there...
Jan 13, 2019 8:43 PM # 
Alex and Alex:
Braved the cold to do red today. We took It slow and easy and had fun, thanks so much for arranging this series!
Jan 14, 2019 5:35 PM # 
The Winter Series event #2 at Blue Mountain will be available starting tomorrow January 15th. Flags are out in the woods, and the maps will be posted later today. Lina Špokauskaitė has designed some very interesting courses at Blue Mountain, and even included a Blue course (a first for the Winter Series)! Check it out.

Note that Susie and Rick DeWitt’s middle-distance style courses at Tarrywile Park will still be available until January 27th.
Jan 14, 2019 6:53 PM # 
Event 2# maps and directions at
Jan 15, 2019 12:54 AM # 
I hope this still is still going strong when I move into the area!
Jan 17, 2019 2:12 AM # 
Please note we have updated the maps for WS#2 with smaller size files which are also sharper. As per request, there is now both 1:10,000 and 1:7,500 scale maps for Green, and we have made a minor adjustment on Blue. All maps print to scale on letter size paper. If you already downloaded or tried to download the maps, it is suggested that you re-download the latest ones.
Jan 17, 2019 7:52 PM # 
@JLaughlin: that is very good news :)
Feb 1, 2019 1:56 PM # 
Winter Series #3 is now live. Lyn and George Walker have designed courses based on WCOC’s permanent controls at Five Ponds in Litchfield, CT. All the controls are 6” orange and white markers attached to trees near the control features. While the markers generally stand out well, they are not visible from all directions like a standard flag, so navigate to the feature and then look around at the nearby trees for the markers.

Winter conditions apply with up to 6″ of snow on the ground but this will likely decrease with milder weather after the weekend. Be aware of icy spots on the trails!
Feb 3, 2019 11:54 AM # 
Event #3 maps and directions at
Feb 8, 2019 7:35 PM # 
Reminder. This is the last weekend the Blue Mountain courses are available. Note that flags will be collected Sunday afternoon, starting after 2pm sometime.
Feb 9, 2019 2:28 AM # 
Any current intel on the snow conditions at Five Ponds?
Feb 9, 2019 4:29 PM # 
FYI - woods are great, trails icy in spots.
Feb 9, 2019 6:04 PM # 
Good to hear. May go out and try a course. Have only done it in order of the permanent sequence.
Feb 10, 2019 12:34 AM # 
We plan to go tomorrow.
Feb 10, 2019 11:08 PM # 
I tried to upload gpx track to Routegadget, but doesn't appear to scale properly to the map. Not sure what's up with that. Both the tracks on the long course can be deleted.
Feb 11, 2019 5:09 PM # 
I did the Brown course at Blue Mountain on 2-10 with my teen son, it was our first ever orienteering course. I loved it, and hope to do many more, thanks for organizing!! posted my route on the route gadget site. Couldn't find #8 (my error, probably). we saw another gentleman on the course, not sure about etiquette for interference, but we passed him and he passed us on a couple occassions. Is there an etiquette resource for this, so as not to ruin another competitors experience?
Feb 11, 2019 6:53 PM # 
Etiquette varies depending on the level of the event, but for something like this, say hello!
Feb 11, 2019 6:56 PM # 
In a casual setting Iike these training courses and most local events, saying Hi isn't out of line. Usually most folks like to solve the puzzles (find the control features/flags) on their own, so I do my best not to draw attention to them. Don't point out, for instance, that "control xxx is over there!"

Once you've found a control and determined how you will get to the next one don't spend a lot of time standing next to it.

Providing assistance when requested may be okay at local/trainng events, though not in a competitive environment where it's frowned on (unless the assistance is for a medical situation). In that case, I've been known to answer the occasional youth (or someone who I know is new to the sport) to help them figure out where they are.

That said, there are several "rules" regarding fairness in the OUSA Rules which govern fairness at larger regional and national events.
Feb 16, 2019 3:47 AM # 
The maps for Winter Series #4 at Westmoreland are posted. Sergiy Gnatiouk, Andis Vitolins and Greg Balter invite you to revisit the arena for last year’s Team Trials Middle courses. Red, Green and Brown courses await! All maps print to 7,500 scale on letter sized paper (a 10,000 scale option is available for Red). Note that control flags will be put out in the woods on Sunday before noon. Look for streamers at the control features if you test out the courses before Sunday. Enjoy!
Feb 17, 2019 4:50 PM # 
The Westmoreland control flags are all out in the woods. Be aware of slippery, winter conditions. Many trails are icy, and low-lying terrain and north facing hillsides have an inch of hard crusted snow that is slippery as well.
Feb 17, 2019 11:08 PM # 
Thanks to Sergiy, Andis and Greg for the nice WS#4 courses at Westmoreland. Susie and I did the brown course today. Very glad we wore microspikes.
Feb 18, 2019 9:46 PM # 
Route Gadget is up for WS-4
Mar 2, 2019 7:20 PM # 
And we are on to Huntington SP and Winter Series event #5!

This morning, course setter Joe Brautigam braved the snow and ice to hang the final control flags. Maps are downloadable at the HVO website. Each prints to 7,500 scale on letter sized paper.

The past month's wintry conditions may have limited some participants' opportunity to test out the various courses available. Hence, we will keep the Five Ponds course maps online for an additional week or two, and we are considering to extend the time period for the Westmoreland courses (tba).
Mar 3, 2019 8:13 PM # 
Route Gadget for WS #5 at Huntingdon is up
Mar 4, 2019 2:39 AM # 
Thanks for the track. I can really recommend neoprene socks for Huntingdon. I accidentally uploaded my route twice. I think removing the extra requires admin rights. Sorry.
Mar 5, 2019 10:59 PM # 
Did the Westmoreland Red course today. I was able to find all checkpoints under the snow except 109.
Mar 13, 2019 1:36 AM # 
Geof, this is a shameless plea to get the Pound Ridge maps a day early! I'm heading up for the weekend early Friday and my parents printer is out of commission. ( is email)
Mar 14, 2019 8:39 PM # 
The maps are up and the flags are out for WS#6 at Ward Pound Ridge. Sorry Patrick, it might be too late for today unless you have a flashlight but we did our best. Details and download on HVO website

Snow cover is about 20% 1-2" in the woods. Major trails still have slippery slushy snow on them but today was first day with no spikes for me.

Huntingdon and Westmoreland flags are still out - make a weekend of it and do them all.
Mar 16, 2019 10:18 PM # 
No worries Geof, the urgency was printing the maps, couldn't print them once I got up in the area. Really enjoyed both the Westmoreland and Pound Ridge Red courses on a gusty but beautiful day. No snow on the ground in either park except for a few icy chunks on trails. Actually must less muddy than I expected too! Westmoreland has a lot of flags that have fallen, I tried to prop them back up for any late comers after me but it was gusty so probably half are back on the ground already. They are all there though. Thank you to all who take the time to put these together.
Mar 24, 2019 10:21 AM # 
I ran the red at WPR yesterday. I don't have splits I can post. I really enjoyed it. Thanks again for doing this again this year.

This discussion thread is closed.