Big Basin

Boulder Creek
Sunday, Sept. 23, 2001

Contact: Peter Graube, 408-245-7457

Welcome to this year's event at Big Basin Redwoods State park. For those who have never had the pleasure of visiting here before, Big Basin is an extensive first-growth redwood forest, famous for its majestic trees, cascades, and rippling streams. A hiker's paradise; miles of trails make wind their way through the forest, rising to the crest of the Santa Cruz mountain range. The registration point for orienteering is close to park HQ. There are ample picnic amenities, so why not bring family and friends to this fantastic forest and make a day of it!

All 7 standard orienteering courses are offered. E-punching will be employed for Blue, Red, Green and Brown courses, so don't forget to bring your SportIdent e-cards. If you don't have one, they can be rented at registration.

White, Yellow and Orange courses have starts close to the registration area. Advanced courses will have a remote start served by a shuttle service, leaving at regular intervals for the 5-minute drive up to the start location. We will endeavor to get everyone to the remote start as fast as we can. However, demand may not be evenly spread and it is possible that queues may develop. If you find yourself waiting for a shuttle, enjoy the scenery and please, be patient. Please also note that there are no toilet facilities at the remote start.

For all courses from Orange through Blue, WHISTLES WILL BE MANDATORY. We, of course, expect and hope that whistles will not need to be used - for the hopelessly lost, the injured, or the angry. However, please do help the organizers by understanding why this important safety measure is in place, and by familiarizing yourself with whistle signalling procedures (the International Distress Signal is six (6) short blasts repeated at one (1) minute intervals).

Also remember: You must be back by 2:00 pm, when the courses close, and you MUST check in at the finish WHETHER OR NOT you finish your course. This is the only way we know you have returned safely; else we must initiate search-and-rescue operations.

Course Notes

Course statistics are as follows:
          Controls     Length     Climb    Navigation
Blue          23        6.8k       370m    Advanced
Red           17        5.7k       305m    Advanced
Green         17        4.7k       200m    Advanced
Brown         16        4.0k       165m    Advanced
Orange        14        4.0k       270m    Intermediate
Yellow        14        2.5k        10m    Advanced Beginner

White          9        1.7k         5m    Beginner
White and Yellow follow a tricky path complex through the glorious redwood groves close to the park headquarters. The White course is almost entirely on-trail, while some limited off-trail work will be required on the Yellow course to locate some of the controls. Please use bridges where stream crossings are needed. Paddling is neither condoned by the park rangers nor recommended by us!

For the advanced competitor, the park offers technical orienteering of the highest quality. Complex systems of reentrants and gulleys, interspersed with numerous point features, demands that concentration is kept at all times. Visibility can be restricted, increasing the navigational challenge but also making re-location difficult and mistakes costly.

Big Basin is a tough physical venue and the intermediate and advanced courses will be demanding. Steep climbs are a feature of the forest, and can be expected on all of the advanced courses. Some of the steeper slopes, are slippery and treacherous due to loose vegetation cover and it is highly recommended that footware with good traction is worn. The forest is mostly runnable, although debris on the forest floor can be tiring and make for heavy going, particularly if the terrain is at all steep. Fallen redwoods may provide further obstacles to progress!

For all of the reasons stated above, it is recommended that participants use careful consideration before stepping up a course at this event. Please be sure that you understand the nature of the challenges that you will face on your selected course.

Due to bridge rebuilding in the park, all the advanced courses have been unavoidably routed along a section of tarmac road (for about 400m). Entry onto the road has been streamered at the easiest and quickest access point. The road is not closed, so please watch out for traffic. We hope this small diversion will not spoil your enjoyment of the courses.

Map Notes

Some map features are non-standard. In particular, your attention is drawn to the following: Redwood tree circles, will be depicted on the control description sheet by an unbroken circle.


Take I-880 or I-280 to Highway 17. Go south over the Santa Cruz Mountains. Exit at Mount Hermon Road in Scott's Valley, and go right 3 miles to Highway 9. Turn right, proceed about 6 miles to the town of Boulder Creek. Turn left on Highway 236, and go 9 miles to Park Headquarters.

From the West Bay, a shorter scenic winding alternative is to take Highway 85 to the Sunnyvale-Saratoga exit (also known as S. DeAnza Blvd.), go south to the town of Saratoga and then turn right on Highway 9 (Big Basin Way), and follow this 2-lane road up, over and down the mountain, about 13 miles in total, to the north end of Highway 236. Turn right on Highway 236 and go about 8 miles to Park Headquarters.

Once you reach the Park Headquarters, enter the parking area (fee required), and follow the O-signs and the road north until you reach the registration area. Park along the road just beyond the registration area.