Fountainhead East

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January 9

FountainheadUpdate as of 7am Sunday Jan. 9: This event is a go! See you at Fountainhead.

The Sunday weather forecast for Fountainhead Regional Park predicts quite adventurous conditions: showers and light rain in the mid-late morning and then steadier rain at some points after noon with temperatures reaching the low-mid 40s. Come prepared and drive safely.

If participants would like to go out on their courses somewhat earlier than their pre-registered start times, we will try to accommodate them. However, do not check in before 9:45 am.
There will not be day-of registration.

Welcome to the first QOC Virginia event of 2022! For this Fountainhead event, we'll be orienteering in the eastern section of the park, i.e., the part running south and east from the park main entrance road all the way to Sandy Run. See a graphic overview of FHE here. We will have access to all of Fountainhead East (minus the archery range area) including the mountain bike course area for the first time since 2016, so the event will be logistically much easier than our last FHE meet in September of 2019. Check-in will be at shelter 1 and e-punch registration at the small shack at the south end of the parking lot adjacent to shelter 1 that our e-punch team customarily uses. Start and finish will be in the general vicinity of the parking lot and the bike course entrance. Patrick Farley has designed a full set of seven classic courses (details below) to take advantage of this great terrain.

Fountainhead Regional Park leadership has coordinated with MORE (Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts mountain bike club) and QOC and designated 9 January as a work day for MORE on two of the three bike loops--Blue and Black--and an orienteering event day in the FHE area for QOC, with the entire bike course closed to cycling. A park representative will be operating in the area of the bike course entrance to help facilitate the event.

QOC white and yellow courses will use the bike course Green loop (the loop closest to the parking lot.) QOC Orange and advanced courses will have full access to all of FHE except the Northern Virginia Archers' archery area which will be marked as off-limits on all maps. The boundaries of the archery course are delineated on the ground with Do Not Enter signs.

Orange-Blue runners may well encounter MORE work parties at some locations on the Blue and Black loops. Please be vigilant in that regard and, without exception, give a berth to any work parties and/or work areas on the Blue and Black loops, as you cross over the bike trails or run on a stretch of trail. It is important that we do our part to make this event function smoothly in conjunction with MORE's maintenance activities.

ARDF Radio Orienteering Courses: We will also be offering a ten-control "Fox-O" radio-direction-finding (ARDF) orienteering course designed by Mike Kholodov, a perfect complement to your classic course for those who would like to try a new orienteering experience. Click here for more details.

COVID Risk Reduction Protocols:

As with all 2021-2022 QOC events, this event requires pre-registration via the link below. QOC’s COVID risk reduction protocols, as also enumerated somewhat here, are in effect. Please read these guidelines carefully. Key points:

  • PROPERLY WORN MASKS AND SOCIAL DISTANCING ARE REQUIRED at all times when near registration, epunch and any other areas or queues where volunteers and/or participants are congregating.
  • No water will be provided. Provide for your own hydration needs before, during, and after the event.
  • There is no planned, on-site beginner instruction, but beginners are encouraged to watch relevant videos such as this one created by QOC's instructional guru David Onkst.
  • There will be eight 15 minute check-in windows followed by two 45min windows (as for most QOC events this season).
Other points:
  • The size of start teams (groups of individuals orienteering together with one e-punch) on a course must be no more than four (4) individuals (juniors and adults combined).
  • Port-a-johns will be on site.
  • Pets are permitted in the park but must be leashed at all times.
  • You're Invited! QOC veteran Sidney Sachs will host a Zoom meeting on Tuesday, January 11th at 8pm to review selected FHE course legs and analyze the routes various orienteers took. Please contact Sid Sachs for the invite link.


Fountainhead Regional Park, Main parking area, Fairfax Station, VA (Classic)

RegistrationRegistration opens at 6pm on Monday, Jan. 3 via this link. Registration will close no later than noon on Saturday Jan. 8.
Who's registered? Check by clicking here. Sorting by column is possible too - just click on the column name.

Start TimesStart times will be by windows (to be defined for this event before registration opens).
ScheduleSunday, January 9
10:00 am - 3:00 pmClassic:
Event Director:Jana Seidlova
Course Designer:Patrick Farley
Location Details

Fountainhead Regional Park
Main parking area
Fairfax Station, VA
Google Map

One route among several: Take I-95 south of the Beltway, exit at Lorton Road (exit 163), go west 2.1 miles (4th stop light) and at the end of the road take a right onto Route 123. Drive 1.3 miles to Hampton Road, then turn left just past the fire station and drive 3 miles to the park entrance on the left.
Google Maps Link
Apple/iPhone Link
Course DetailsClassic
Course NameLength (km)Climb (m)No. Controls
White 1.48510
Yellow 1.39510
Orange 4.318014
Brown 4.517510
Green 5.932512
Red 842016
Blue 9.746018
ARDF 4.212010
Course NotesClassic

Welcome to Fountainhead East, home of a world class mountain bike course. This will be the first time in many years QOC has been granted permission to use the actual mountain bike trails. You should not encounter any bikers. Beginner courses will take full advantage of these trails.

Please note that the short course lengths listed don't reflect the many switchbacks beginners will encounter. So the White course is actually close to 2.4km of walking distance. Near the end of the course, at Control 9, you will follow streamers across an old trail to pick up Control 10 and make your way back to the finish line. Likewise, Yellow's total trail distance is approximately 2.6km and will also follow streamers between Control 1 and 2.

For the remaining courses, you will encounter very fast, open terrain with great visibility. Hopefully your navigation will be challenged with significant elevation changes and a myriad of trails that wind their way through the region.

Cell coverage is excellent, so please keep your cell phone with you in case of emergencies.

Entry FeesIndividual Entries

Note: juniors = under 21

Club Member, adult Club Member, junior Non-Member, adult Non-Member, junior
$10 $5 $20 $5

Group Entries

Participants are welcome to orienteer together as a group (up to the maximum for that event; usually 4). Each member of a group is charged their individual rate as shown above, up to a group total of $30 (maximum), and each receives a map. A group receives one epunch. Individuals or groups desiring to compete on a second course after completing their first can do so for a reduced fee of $2/map subject to approval at the event by the Event Director.

Important Notes
  • If you wish to become a QOC member you should join online in advance via this webpage (which also explains the member benefits). Membership is completely optional.
  • Most of our events use an 'epunch' timing chip for electronic timing. Individuals or groups without their own epunch will be loaned one for that event. Loaned epunches that are lost incur a $40 replacement fee. Epunches (also known as SI-cards or finger sticks) can be purchased from online vendors as described here.
  • Former QOC members who have let their membership lapse pay non-member fees.
  • Compasses are available at no charge, but if lost incur a $15 replacement fee.
  • Please provide collateral (such as car keys) when borrowing a compass or epunch.
  • There is no planned, on-site beginner instruction, but beginners are encouraged to watch relevant videos such as this one created by QOC's instructional guru David Onkst