Lol rip for you guys. Maybe relevant for some Asian forest, but otherwise practice running on trails!!!
I thought it was "shite" over there...
That's the Pacific Northwest, alright...
I think the middle map is the most disappointing
PNW terrain at its finest
jeez I thought I was done with racing cross country
It's probably worth mentioning that it wasn't Cascade's idea to host JWOC Trials, and several Cascade board members, including myself, immediately said, "This isn't the right terrain for that."
We initially pushed back but the powers that be really wanted the trials at this event.
Unfortunately, we just don't have reliable snow-free access to our runnable forest in April. And our desert scabland terrain is too far away, probably too difficult for non-elite juniors, and doesn't have a great opportunity for an athletes' village.
Ironically, the largest junior league in the country only gets to use shitty terrain, because that's just what we have.
Is it the distance, or the risk of getting stuck on the wrong side of a Snoqualmie Pass closure that keeps all WIOL events west of the Cascades?
Both, plus more.
Distance is definitely a factor, as we see lower attendances and volunteerism at our furthest away west-side venues. Our furthest WIOL venue from downtown Seattle is ~2 hours, and it sees the lowest attendance.
And our closest venues east of Snoqualmie Pass are ~2 hours away, and that's with snow-free road conditions; even if you can cross the pass, poor conditions can make it really slow.
And since WIOL is only November through February, the closest eastern venues (Salmon La Sac and Teanaway Valley) are going to be under a bunch of snow. So you really need to travel another 30-60 minutes further east into the desert, but even that's not guaranteed to be snow free.
The club had a two-day, non-WIOL event in the scablands east of the Columbia in February before. Yes, the orienteering was great, but the attendance was tiny, conditions were foggy with ice and snow on the ground, and we had to send out search parties for some kids who were in over their heads (whose parents were not happy about the situation).
People here just want orienteering to be logistically easy in the winter: easy to get to, easy to park, easy to use, easy to volunteer. Something that just takes a half day on a Saturday morning. When all of these things line up, we get 200 kids, 400 people, and all ~40 volunteer spots filled.
@pink: Thank you for a great overview of PNW O-ing. Yes, it's different, but, judging by the numbers, still fun and worthwhile.
And a big THANK YOU to COC for hosting JWOC Trials!
Yes, thank you for hosting and giving us the platform to compete.