Welcome to the Winter and School League (WIOL) Series!

These concurrent and popular series run from November through February. The Winter Series is open to all, while WIOL (Washington Interscholastic Orienteering League) is designed for students from Elementary-age through High School.

Events in the first half of the season are held in beginner-friendly venues, some of which are trails-only, while events in the second half move to more forested and challenging venues. The season is capped off with a championship event and an awards ceremony to recognize top participants and school teams in both the series overall and championship event.

As with all of Cascade OC’s series events, while it is fun to participate in the entire series, it is not required. Each event is a stand-alone event and open to all!

  • Register for WINTER SERIES (open to both kids and adults) at the link below or at the event!


Course Controls Length Climb
Beginner/Elementary 9 1.8 km 40 m
Middle School 8 2.8 km 50 m
Intermediate/JV Girls 7 2.7 km 95 m
JV Boys North 9 3.0 km 85 m
JV Boys South 8 3.0 km 80 m
Varsity 10 4.2 km 180 m
Short Advanced 8 3.6 km 120 m
Long Advanced 14 5.9 km 230 m

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.


Putney Woods has some areas that are “runnable” but most areas have either heavy undergrowth or have a lot of fallen trees and debris, which often makes the trails the most attractive route choice.

Off-trail choices are allowed in Putney Woods except for areas marked as private property on the map where one must stay on the trails.

At this time of the year, the dense forest gets darker early in the afternoon, so please start earlier in the morning, if possible, so that you will finish before course closure at 2:30 pm, which is greatly appreciated by the control pickup team.

Some courses, for example, the Varsity course, are somewhat longer than the typical winning time window; another reason to start as early as possible. Coaches, please adjust your team line up accordingly.  

The northern part of the map does not have a distinct border, and is adjacent to Saratoga Woods park, making it possible to end up off the map. Safety bearing is south-west.

The controls are close together in some areas so check that the feature and the control code match your course.

A green circle on the map is a stump and it is represented by a circle on the control description. A brown X on the map is a rootstock and it is represented by an X in a circle on the control description.

Enjoy these courses!

Dave Tallent and Ing Uhlin


9:30am – Registration opens & Newcomer instruction available
10:00am – Start opens
11:00am – Newcomer instruction ends
11:30am – Registration closes
Noon – Start closes
2:30 pm – Course closes

Why is there a start window?

This event uses an interval start, which means that participants are started in waves instead of all at once. When you arrive at the start tent, find the chute for your course and follow the start volunteer’s instructions.


$17 base price
– subtract $5 for CascadeOC members
– subtract $5 for using your own e-punch

$20 base price
– subtract $5 for CascadeOC members
– subtract $5 for using your own e-punch

Become a member for $5-20

Buy your own e-punch for $38

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 closes at 9pm, Thursday January 4th. 

Day-of-event registration is available by cash or check, made payable to Cascade Orienteering Club.


For information on registration for the School League, visit the School League (WIOL) page.

Learn more about volunteering

Volunteers make these events happen! You can volunteer and participate on the same day, plus earn volunteer points to earn a free meet.



Parking will be in the lot until it is full then on the east side of the street. Car pooling is highly recommended. Please follow the parking attendants instructions.


Looking for a carpool? Join the Yahoo listserv and share your request to find a ride.


Putney Woods map sample

The Putney Woods map is all woodsy trails, with widespread underbrush alongside, reminiscent of Bridle Trails. But there are several key differences. First, there are areas of lighter vegetation in light-green areas that are accessible off-trail, offering a wider degree of navigational options, especially for more advanced navigators.

Novice orienteers should be aware that the northern part of the map doe not have a street border; it is directly adjacent to Saratoga Woods park, making it possible to end up off-map with a single turn onto the (one and only) wrong trail. (Note to course-setters: This is a good place for an out-of-bounds sign during the event).

Many trails follow an almost grid-like patterns, making parallel feature errors possible, while others in hilly areas wind almost randomly up and down terrain. There are plenty of areas to practice contour recognition. One area to watch out for is the center-south part of the map; several trails lead into this open, appealing navigational area–but it is private property and should be avoided! (Note to course setters: Another good place for out-of-bounds signs).

Read more on the map page

Navigational Challenge: 7/10

Physical Challenge: 6/10


To ensure a fair competition among all student league participants, participants are not allowed to visit each event venue for the two weeks prior to the event being held there. In orienteering, this is known as an “embargo”.


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.

Course Closure
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.