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Discussion: 2023 Winter Series

in: WCOC HVO Winter Series 2023 (Feb 27 – Mar 26, 2023 - Redding, CT, US)

Oct 18, 2022 6:31 PM # 
This year's Winter Series schedule is now available. We have an exciting line-up with multiple Harriman SP and Blue Mountain events, a re-run of the 2017 Billygoat at Ward Pound Ridge, middle-distance courses in Queens, NY, and a season-long O-range GPS course at Coop Sawmill, CT. Links to the map folder will be posted in due course. Enjoy!
Oct 19, 2022 8:15 PM # 
In addition to Br/Gr/Rd courses at Coops, there will also be a euro-long course in the 12-15km range that goes beyond the confines of the fully field-checked Coops map to explore some of the gorgeous terrain N & W of there. Probably at 1:15,000. Courses will go live the same weekend as the Gay City meet across the street. You distance fiends can come do the euro-Long on Saturday and the 11k at Gay City on Sunday. Then rest up for Nationals the following weekend out on the left coast.
Oct 20, 2022 1:26 AM # 
Very jealous. Sounds so fun!
Nov 4, 2022 8:16 PM # 
First winter series is now open for Coops Sawmilll..

The maps and courses are already loaded to O-Range and should be live now.
Courses and notes can be downloaded from
Nov 4, 2022 8:47 PM # 
Coops Sawmill - no flags in the woods, O-Range only.

Brown - 3.1km
Green - 5.5km
Red - 8km
Euro-long - 14km for experienced orienteers only. See course notes
Nov 11, 2022 1:42 AM # 
Winter Series #2 at Surebridge Mountain is open. Flags are in the woods and map and course notes will be posted this evening. The map scale for all courses is 1:7,500. Contours 5m.

Parts of the terrain have become overgrown, and Stefan Slutsky, the course setter, has made a great effort to map the majority of these vegetation changes. Thank you Stefan!

Flags will be out until November 30th, as Rt. 106 has seasonal winter closure starting December 1.

Important safety tip for the Red course - if a foggy/rainy day is followed by a freezing one, watch out for possible black ice in the bare rock areas, i.e controls # 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12.
Nov 13, 2022 2:50 PM # 
Here are some pictures taken on Red course of Winter Series#2
Nov 13, 2022 5:27 PM # 
Very cool Stefan. It's like a photo-O trying to locate the map locations based on the pictures! Looking forward to explore the Red course
Nov 14, 2022 10:50 PM # 
Great choice of an area. I look forward to running it.
Nov 20, 2022 3:04 PM # 
Jim & Rich hung pink streamers on the Coop Sawmill Brown course over the weekend for anyone who doesn't use O-Range.
Nov 25, 2022 3:20 PM # 
Ran Harriman red course Thanksgiving morning and had a blast.
Nov 27, 2022 2:51 AM # 
Andrey Grechko:
I did WS#2 today. Very good park and interesting distance. Thanks, Stefan
Nov 28, 2022 7:49 PM # 
Last call. The WS#2 Surebridge Mountain courses will be available through Sunday December 4th.

Note that starting from Thursday December 1st, Rt. 106 between Rt. 17 and Kanawauke Circle will be closed for traffic for the winter (Dec. 1-April 1). Access to the Kanawauke parking area from the circle will be kept open, which entails a 2+ mile hike or bike along the road to get to the trail head with the WS#2 start.
Nov 29, 2022 7:02 PM # 
For those who don't have a Garmin and would like to do the Coops Sawmill courses with a smartphone, I have posted Clint's event file at UsynligO. I tested this facility this morning on the Brown course and the UsynligO app on my iPhone 12 Pro worked perfectly. I got the "you're at the right control" at every control, including Start and Finish, when I got within about 12 - 15 meters of the streamer Jim & Rich hung. My sensitivity was set to 15 meters.

This should be a tribute to Clint for precise georeferencing as well as his accurate mapping.

Coops Sawmill is a very attractive venue. Thank you, Clint, for bringing us to it.

I paused between #4 and #5 to photograph this waterfall:

Dec 4, 2022 9:18 PM # 
Coops Sawmill Green is now streamered thanks to Jim & Rich. And thus at least 10 controls on Red (shared) also streamered. 9 orienteers out there at Coops today.
Dec 4, 2022 9:58 PM # 
Almost everything on Red had a streamer, I wasn't keeping track, but maybe two or three exceptions?
Dec 4, 2022 10:09 PM # 
Those shared with green & brown. I recollect 10 of 16, but Jim & Rich were still hanging. I think 3, 4 & 15 are the only ones exclusive to Red (not counting Euro)
Dec 5, 2022 6:28 PM # 
This morning, I collected all flags of WS#2, which is now, subsequently, closed.
Dec 5, 2022 8:06 PM # 
The Coops Sawmill Red course is now streamered.

A note on #4 (saddle between two small knolls). There is a fresh mountain bike trail in the circle fairly close to the control, with the mapped, older trail east of circle less frequently used these days, but still somewhat evident on the ground. But the control is accurate relative to the contours and the adjacent stone walls in the circle. And a pink streamer in wide open woods is pretty easy to see.
Dec 5, 2022 9:07 PM # 
Bills waterfall pic (won't embed):
Dec 10, 2022 4:30 PM # 
WS#3 at Blue Mountain will be available later today. Flags are in the woods and course maps to be posted in the afternoon. Thank you, Lina and Ksenia!
Dec 10, 2022 5:37 PM # 
We are pleased to announce that the WS#7 event in February will be held at Bigelow Hollow SP in CT. NEOC has graciously allowed the WCOC/HVO Winter Series to utilize this brand-new map where the 2022 Masters Nationals took place earlier this fall. Bigelow Hollow SP bridges the gap between western CT/NY and the Boston area, and the WS#7 event will provide added winter training for all members of NEOC, HVO, and WCOC. Thank you NEOC!
Dec 10, 2022 6:27 PM # 
WS3 at Blue Mountain is now open.
Four courses from Lina and Ksenyia, Red, Green, Brown Y and Brown X
Dec 13, 2022 5:36 PM # 
Control Description for 102 (red 2) should be "Boulder Cluster", not "cliff"
Dec 17, 2022 3:57 PM # 
Anyone able to provide a snow report for Blue Mountain?
Dec 17, 2022 5:58 PM # 
There was less than an inch last Wednesday. Only rain since then.
Dec 17, 2022 9:04 PM # 
zero snow at blue
Dec 18, 2022 12:59 PM # 
Andrey Grechko:
No snow at all (RED)
Dec 18, 2022 8:53 PM # 
And surprisingly dry underfoot (Brown)
Dec 19, 2022 12:28 AM # 
I did the green. Great course, terrain, and map. Highly recommended!
Dec 24, 2022 12:24 AM # 
Due to the current winter weather, we will hold off a few days before posting the WS#4 Tarrywile course maps.
Dec 24, 2022 12:49 AM # 
Thanks. I was planning on going Sunday.
Dec 29, 2022 11:19 AM # 
Any chance Blue Mountain flags will stay up another week? I’d like to go, but can’t go until at least 1/4.
Dec 29, 2022 2:39 PM # 
Blue mountain's forest is perfect as of yesterday. 101 was frozen in a small pond but otherwise the woods were mostly iceless underfoot.
Dec 29, 2022 3:03 PM # 
Watch out for muddy slopes if there's a warming spell...I slipped on the trail heading to start. Otherwise the woods were nice (we were there yesterday too, Jordan)!
Dec 29, 2022 4:03 PM # 
We can confirm that the flags for the WS#3 at Blue Mountain will stay out for at least another week. The current plan is to collect the flags on January 7th, and we will revert if that date changes.

Thank you Lina and Ksenia!
Dec 30, 2022 12:37 AM # 
Yep, Thanks Lina and Ksenia. We really enjoyed it
Jan 1, 2023 4:54 PM # 
WS#4 at Tarrywile Park, Danbury, CT is now open. Flags are out in the woods and maps and course notes will be posted shortly.

Four courses offered:
- Red - 7.2km, 23 controls, 1:10,000 scale
- Green - 4.7km, 14 controls, 1:7,500
- Brown1 - 3.5km, 11 controls, 1:7,500
- Brown2 - 3.0km, 12 controls, 1:5,000
Standard control flags with NO control codes.

Parking for Red, Green, and Brown1 is at the Tarrywile Mansion, upper parking lot, while parking for Brown2 is along a public road just off of Brushy Hill Rd. in the southern section of the Tarrywile map. This is in a residential neighborhood, so please be courteous and do NOT block the dirt road driveway at the bend in the road near the indicated parking.

The Red and Brown2 courses explore the south-east section of the Tarrywile map. Previously, this area was predominantly mapped as dark green vegetation due to dense Hemlock growth. The terrain has opened up a bit, and while not quite as ‘white woods’ as mapped, the control features and legs have been chosen to utilize the most runnable terrain. Note that the map quality in this section is variable, but we still thought it was worthwhile to explore this area in a Winter Series training event.
Jan 6, 2023 7:10 PM # 
Thinking of doing blue mountain tomorrow or sunday - any chance we can hold off pulling in the flags till the weekend is over? Thanks.
Jan 6, 2023 9:26 PM # 
Yes, flags in Blue Mountain(WS#3) will stay until January 14th.
Jan 8, 2023 2:02 PM # 
Thank you.
I wish you could leave them there till the spring or even better make them permanent. My favorite place.
I will have to ask Jeremy how he does it. Most of us use this opportunity to enjoy orienteering. Jeremy is smart. He uses it as an opportunity to get a date.
Jan 8, 2023 2:30 PM # 
WS#5 at Alley Pond in Queens is now open. This is one you city and Long Island runners can get to easily.

Stefan has set 3 courses

- Red - 5.9 km, 23 controls, 165m
- Green - 5.1 km, 18 controls, 110m
- Brown - 4.0 km, 11 controls, 100m

Because of excellent visibility in the forest during the wintertime and the relatively large number of walkers/hikers in the park, there are no flags, instead, controls are shown with a very distinct combination of fluorescent green and pink tapes.
Jan 8, 2023 6:13 PM # 
Alley Pond Park, the venue of WS#5, is located at the intersection of Cross Island Parkway and Grand Central Parkway, only 10 min drive from Throgs Neck Bridge.
It the takes less time to get there from Westchester than from Manhattan and about the same time to drive from Brooklyn as from Greenwich, CT.
The parking for all courses located here.
Instead of regular orienteering flags, a combination of fluorescent green and pink tapes indicate the controls' locations.

For the last three years, Alley Pond Park is hosting the only permanent orienteering courses in New York City. Locations of two controls of WS#5 coincide with locations of controls of the permanent courses (though they have different descriptions and different appearance). Another three controls of WS#5 are very close (less than 30 m) to the signs of permanent courses.
The signs of the permanent courses are fixed on the trees about 7 feet above the ground and resemble regular O-flags.
If anyone wishes to run these permanent courses as well, visit the NYC Parks webpage.
There are two permanent courses for beginners and three permanent courses for intermediate orienteers. From the webpage, you may also download a map with 40 permanent controls and design your own courses.
On the terrain of Alley Pond park, though outside this orienteering map (200 meters from the northern tip of it), grows the oldest and tallest tree
of New York City
Jan 15, 2023 12:32 AM # 
WS#6 at Huntington SP, Redding, CT is now open.
Flags are out in the woods and course maps are posted. Parking at the Old Dodgingtown Rd lot. Given that running conditions in the woods are still quite good, we wanted to make these courses available earlier than originally scheduled.

Three courses offered:
- Red 5.4km
- Green 4.4km
- Brown 3.1km
1:7,500 scale. Standard control flags with no control codes. The start and finish are not marked.

Due to the excellent visibility, the flags are hung low to the ground, so precise navigation inside the control circle and reading the control description is recommended.

Thank you Joe!
Jan 15, 2023 8:51 PM # 
Wowee, an incredible effort and opportunity. I'm so jealous of all these O courses.
Jan 22, 2023 11:24 PM # 
There may be a flag missing on the Huntington SP Red and Green course control #9. We will check this week, and if the flag is gone, we will put up streamers instead of a flag on this control #9.
Jan 27, 2023 4:03 PM # 
Four maps are available for training right now. The Tarrywile Park control flags will be collected after 2.00pm on this Sunday January 29th.

There is no snow on the ground on any of the maps, but plenty of water in streams and marshes at Huntington, Tarrywile, and Coop Sawmill. With potential for freezing temperatures at night, it may be slippery on logs and rock features. Running conditions are otherwise quite good at Huntington SP. We recommend to test out Stefan’s courses at Alley Pond Park. Run the courses at full speed and challenge your quick decision-making skills in the trail network.
Jan 28, 2023 9:37 PM # 
We have added an additional Green 5.1km course for the WS#6 Huntington SP event in order to take advantage of the good running conditions.
Jan 30, 2023 7:51 PM # 
We are pleased to announce that Stefan will maintain the streamers on the Alley Pond Park courses for the remainder of the 2023 Winter Series duration.
Jan 30, 2023 7:53 PM # 
WS#7 at Bigelow Hollow State Park in Union, CT is now open. Standard orienteering flags are out in the woods and course maps are posted.

Parking (and Finish) is at the East Ridge Trailhead Parking lot, which is 0.7 miles from the entrance of the park off of Rt. 171. The start triangle is marked with a standard orienteering flag.

Chris Fielding has designed three great courses exploring some of the most beautiful parts of these woods. Note that there is a lot of water in the streams and marshes, but no snow right now. It may be slippery on logs and rock features.

We are grateful that New England Orienteering Club has allowed the WCOC/HVO Winter Series to utilize this brand-new map where the 2022 Masters Nationals took place last fall. Thank you NEOC!
Feb 16, 2023 11:23 PM # 
WS#8, Billy Goat 2017 re-run at Ward Pound Ridge is now open. There are 5 courses.

1. Billy Goat , 25 controls. 13.2k. 1:15,000 (one sheet) and 1:10,000 (two sheets). No fork but you can drop one control without shame (or more if you are shameless).
2 Smaller Goat 16 controls.1:10,000 10k, all controls south of Park Road.
3. Pygmy Goat 1:10,000 7.5k, 11 controls
4 Green 1:10,000 5.1K, 9 controls
5 Brown 1:7,500 3.6K, 10 controls

Control descriptions are printed on separate sheet for 1:15,000 map.
Normal control flags at all controls except for Billy control 16 (edge of parking area) and last control for all goats (isolated tree on well used trail).
All maps now posted as are parking details etc.
Feb 16, 2023 11:36 PM # 
The flags at WS#6 Huntington SP are still in the woods, but will be collected after 2:00pm on Sunday February 19th
Feb 18, 2023 11:32 PM # 
18th midday tried the ‘17 goat. Didn’t check if there were modifications, but used my original map. If none, #2 and #5 need to be checked. Never found #2, near trail, so I didn’t worry about it much. Carefully to #3 - on the button. #5 says upper part of reentrant. Felt good nailing correct reentrant from the top, but no bag. So, spent a lot of time trying to correct my error - from the top. After I gave up, walked by it near the bottom. Didn’t actually see #14 and #15 because, after looking, I decided not to go down and back up through the green e of #14, bagged it there. Very enjoyable day in the woods. Tried some different route choices versus ‘17 - some better, some not.
Feb 19, 2023 2:47 PM # 
As of this morning, all the flags at Ward Pound Ridge are in place. Fantastic running conditions.

@francish. Thank you for the comments. At #5, the area between the control circle and the saddle just north of the control circle, is easily perceived as one continuous reentrant. The flag is located in the middle of the control circle.
Feb 23, 2023 11:47 PM # 
Thank you to NEOC and Chris Fielding! DML and I ran the WS#7 course yesterday.
Feb 27, 2023 2:28 PM # 
WS#9 at Lake Sebago, Harriman, NY is now open. Jordan, thank you for organizing the event.

Three courses offered:
- Red 6.8km; 1:10000/5m
- Green 4.8km; 1:10000/5m
- Brown 3.9km; 1:7500/5m

The control sites, start, and finish are marked with neon pink streamers (no flags). Course maps and notes will be posted today.

Parking at Kanawauke Picnic Area, Kanawauke Rd, Bear Mountain NY 10911. See the course notes for details (especially for the Brown course).
Feb 27, 2023 2:29 PM # 
The flags at WS#7 Bigelow Hollow will be collected this coming weekend sometime so there is still a few more days to explore this great map and terrain.
Mar 8, 2023 6:15 PM # 
We have a flag missing at control #21 of the WPR Billygoat course. We hope to replace it by the weekend sometime.
Mar 14, 2023 1:29 PM # 
Note that the courses at WS#8 Ward Pound Ridge have been extended through March 26th.
Mar 19, 2023 1:39 AM # 
Andrey Grechko:
WS#9 RED is hard core course :-)))
Mar 28, 2023 1:19 PM # 
The 2023 HVO/WCOC Winter Series has officially come to its conclusion. Thank you to all the event organizers that make these training courses possible and to all of our participants.

Note that Jordan has agreed to maintain the streamers at Lake Sebago through April 16th for anyone who wants to do some training in advance of the upcoming West Point races. Also, orienteering at Alley Pond Park continues to be available through the three permanent courses Stefan has organized.

We are always looking to improve the Winter Series, so please feel free to email me any suggestions or let us know if you are interested in being a future course designer.
Mar 28, 2023 5:18 PM # 
Niels -- The Winter Series was a wonderful idea when you first started it up, and it continues to be a wonderful idea. Thanks for all the efforts of you and your course setters to make it happen.

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