Morgan Hill
Sunday, Nov. 18, 2001

Contact: Abby Wolfe, 408-979-1735

Worried about what Thanksgiving feasting will do to your waistline? Work off those extra pounds ahead of time with a bit of orienteering at beautiful Calero Reservoir. Calero offers semi-open terrain with spectacular views, and it's not as steep as some of our other venues. If you're lucky, you might even see a wild turkey! (The course setters saw flocks of drumsticks, along with deer, a bobcat, and an enormous jackrabbit!) There are plenty of picnic tables, so bring your lunch to enjoy while you discuss your courses with fellow orienteers.

Note: The park rangers may cancel this event in the event of rain. If this happens, it will be posted here and on the BAOC hotline at 408-255-8018. If you're in doubt, check before heading to the park.

The usual seven courses are being offered. Thorsten Graeve set the advanced courses (Brown, Green, Red, Blue), and Abby Wolfe designed the beginner and intermediate courses (White, Yellow, Orange). The four advanced courses use e-punching, so bring your finger stick (or rent one at registration); WYO uses the traditional manual punches.

Event times and fees are as usual, and there will be free beginner's clinics between 9:30 and 10:30 am. Registration will be in the parking area. All courses share a remote start, which is approximately 1.2 km from registration, with 125 meters of climb. Allow 20-30 minutes for the walk. (Good news for beginners on the White course: It's all downhill from there!) The finish area is just across the road from the parking and assembly area.

Course statistics:

               Length      Climb      Controls   Skill level
   White       3.0 km       30 m          8      beginner
   Yellow      3.1 km       95 m         10      advanced beginner
   Orange      3.5 km      135 m         11      intermediate
   Brown       3.9 km      150 m         10      advanced - moderate
   Green       5.1 km      180 m         15      advanced - not easy
   Red         6.2 km      380 m         16      advanced - hard
   Blue        7.9 km      460 m         24      advanced - very hard

Things to keep in mind

Course Setter's Notes: Advanced Courses

The advanced courses this year cover familiar terrain as well as areas of the park that are less often used. The courses are characterized by fast, short legs (the average distance per control is about 350 m, or just 3 minutes per control for the fastest runners), which will require quick decisions for route choice and navigation. The climb is spread out along the courses, making most of the legs quite fast and runnable. Winning times should be close to the standard for a one-day A-meet.

Calero has its share of steep Bay Area hillsides, and a fair amount of contouring is almost unavoidable. Sturdy shoes with cleats and/or metal spikes are highly advisable. There is no significant star thistle in the park, but more than enough poison oak to make long pants and gaiters a must, especially on the Red and Blue courses. The P.O. generally either takes the form of impenetrable thickets, which are mapped as green and easily avoided, or that of single, one- to two-foot-tall stalks that are almost impossible to avoid. The good news is that the poison oak is currently in its most benign (i.e. leafless and dry) condition, and the course setter, although highly allergic, has yet to contract any serious rashes. The standard precautions with Tecnu should be sufficient protection.

The map quality for Calero ranges from highly detailed to somewhat inaccurate. Since being transferred to OCAD, some areas of the park have been remapped to great detail. Other areas are still mapped exactly as they were 20 years ago when the original map was made. Any gross inaccuracies in the areas covered by the courses have been corrected; however, some of the vegetation remains out-of-date and should be used for rough navigation only. The brown X symbol is used for rootstocks (typically a downed tree, sometimes with a stump remaining). The green X denotes a standing dead tree. The maps are printed at a 1:10,000 scale with 25-foot contour intervals (roughly 7.5 meters). Clue sheets are printed on the front of the maps, and the maps will be placed in plastic bags (but not sealed) at the center of the start triangle.

All the advanced courses use electronic punching. At the start, hand your E-punch stub to the starter to get a start time. When your time is called, punch the start control and follow the streamers to the location of the start triangle, where you will find your map. The advanced courses use a finish chute that is separate from the White, Yellow and Orange finish. From the final control, follow the streamers to the closest finish chute and punch one of the two finish controls, which are marked by control bags placed at the end of the finish chute. Courses close at 2:00 pm, and you MUST report back to the finish by that time. Remember to download your e-punch data when you return to the assembly (parking) area.

RED & BLUE COURSES ONLY: The Red and Blue courses follow a streamered route through an out-of-bounds area between controls 7 and 8. You MUST stay on the streamered route (the main trail) while passing through the out-of-bounds area, or you WILL be disqualified. Navigation resumes at the water stop at the end of the streamered route.


From the Peninsula, take Highway 85 south to Almaden Expressway. Head south 5 miles to the end of the road. Turn right onto Harry, and then immediately left onto McKean. The main park entrance is 5 miles south on McKean. Go past the boat ramp and turn right at the entrance marked "Calero County Park; Park Office; Equestrian Center; All Trailheads."

From the East Bay, take Highway 101 south past San Jose and exit at Bernal Road west. Immediately turn south onto Monterey Highway (bear right, then make a left turn). Go south 3.4 miles and turn right at the traffic light onto Bailey Avenue. After 2.9 miles west, Bailey ends at McKean; turn left and go south 0.7 miles to the park entrance.