Sunday, March 5, 2000

by Rosemary Johnson, 510-245-9735, and Dan Stoll-Hadayia, (925) 933-2508

Green hills, panoramic vistas, soft footing and challenging courses await you at BAOC's Briones orienteering event.

We will be enjoying the new map of the southwestern potion of the park, which made its debut last October. It is one of BAOC's most detailed maps. The recent efforts of the indomitable Bob Cooley have expanded the map into a new area that the Green, Red and Blue courses will visit. The maps are at a scale of 1:10000 with 7.5 meter contours, and are pre-marked. This October's scout event will return to the slightly older map of the northeastern section of the park.

Registration will run from 9:00 to 12:00, with beginner's instruction available at 9:30. Starts will run from 10:00 to 12:30. You have three hours to complete your course, but you must finish by 2:00, when the courses close and control pickup begins.

Bring water with you to the park, as there may be none available there due to contamination from cattle. We will of course make water available on the courses as appropriate, just perhaps not at the staging area.


Courses have been designed for maximum orienteering enjoyment. We are staying almost entirely out of the steep, junky woods to the west of the main north-south trail. Orienteers who are sensitive to poison oak should find that they have little to fear at this event, though the usual precautions are never a bad idea.

Course statistics are as follows:

White   1.9 km   135 m climb   8 controls
Yellow  2.5 km   150 m climb   12 controls
Orange  4.0 km   270 m climb   11 controls
Brown   3.7 km   240 m climb   10 controls
Green   5.2 km   345 m climb   14 controls
Red     5.9 km   420 m climb   17 controls
Blue    7.0 km   525 m climb   19 controls
The white course follows trails and fences, with the exception of two sections in which no easy handrails are available. These two sections are marked with red flagging that can be followed. The yellow course also traverses one of these flagged sections.

Due to a late course change, white course participants will no longer pass by a dead cow. However, I will be happy to point out the cow's location on the map for anyone who would like to see Nature at work!

Advanced course participants can expect difficult route choice decisions on long legs across open areas, and closely spaced controls in a few areas of exquisite woods. There are many common legs, so this will be a great opportunity to compare split times across the courses.


The registration, start, and finish areas will all be adjacent to the main parking lot at the Bear Creek (aka Orinda) entrance to the park.

To get there, take Highway 24 to the Orinda exit, and proceed north toward Richmond on Camino Pablo, Orinda's main street, for about 2 miles. Turn right on Bear Creek Road, and after about 3.7 miles turn right again at the signed entrance to the park. Pay the $4 park entrance fee at the kiosk, and then turn left into the main parking lot. There is plenty of overflow parking available in case the main lot fills up.